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Can We Really Predict Brand Success?

“There’s no secret formula to marketing and to working on strategy.” That’s what branding consultant Laura Ries told me when I interviewed her for the most recent episode of Marketing Smarts, and I absolutely agree with her (though I also thought, “Isn’t that EXACTLY what someone who KNEW the formula would say?”). I believe the same [...]

Business Is Not a Democracy: You Need a Decider

“Everybody should have a voice, but not everybody should have a vote.” That’s what Tom Fishburne told me when I asked him about ways that organizations could harness the creative potential of their teams without getting bogged down or distracted by the wealth of ideas that groups come up with. Fishburne’s view was that, to put it one [...]

How to Grow Giant Prize Winning Pumpkins

Marketing podcast with Mike Michalowicz (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen) Okay, I’ll admit the title of this post is a bit odd for a marketing blog, but it relates specifically to the title of a book [...]Show More Summary

Stop Fussing Over Your Content!

“All is flux.” – Heraclitus Years ago, when the company I was working for was going through yet another website makeover, someone commented that such makeovers were rarely the result of customer feedback. To use a popular meme: “I would do more business with you if you would just change the color palette and font on [...]

Why Social Media Makes Perfect Sense for B2B Companies

“B2B has always been about the relationship sale. What social media does is help scale those relationships.” That’s what Kipp Bodnar told me when I interviewed him for this week’s episode of the Marketing Smarts podcast. His comment got me thinking. As “sexy” as social media is (if it still is sexy; it’s also possible that social media [...]

There’s Never Been a Better Time To Be an Entrepreneur

Marketing podcast with Phil Auerswald (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen) Here’s my take. There is no resource scarcity issue, dependence on oil, shortage of water, climate change, political gridlock or disease treatment that can’t be solved [...]Show More Summary

SAP’s Brenner on Content Strategy and Challenges (and Pay-for-Performance Advertising)

“Brands needs to start delivering effective content to their marketplace,” Michael Brenner, senior director of global marketing and content strategy at SAP, told me during this week’s episode of Marketing Smarts. “Otherwise, they’reShow More Summary

Three Reasons Your Content Is Booooooring (and Ideas for Energizing It)

The long-time slogan of the Swiss publishing house, Diogenes Verlag, was simple and cheeky: Diogenes books are less boring. (Of course, they said it in German, “Diogenes Bücher sind weniger langweilig.”) What I’ve always admired about the slogan was that the company didn’t gild the lily—books ARE boring, everyone know this—but, instead, Diogenes Verlag humbly promised [...]

Best-Practices Are Mythical (but They Do Serve a Purpose)

After interviewing Maddie Grant back in May, I wrote a post that asked, “Are best-practices evil?” I was prompted to ask the question because Maddie and her co-author Jamie Notter had said as much in their book, Humanize. I return to the subject once more because in the new book, The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing, [...]

Ride a New Set of Unwritten PR Rules to Coverage in the Largest Blogs and Publications on the Planet

Marketing podcast with Ryan Holiday (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen) Today, even the smallest business or individual professional has the ability to generate media coverage in the largest, most sought after channels available. The key is [...]Show More Summary

Snack-Sized Smarts: Guy Kawasaki Talks About Google+, Facebook, and Inner Nobility

Guy Kawasaki is my guest on this week’s episode of the Marketing Smarts podcast. For folks stretched for time, I’m giving a sampler plate of five bon mots uttered by Guy in the course of our conversation. Enjoy! 1. “Bulleted lists or even numbered lists show that there’s an organized mind behind the article.” My conversation with Guy [...]

Five Morsels of Marketing Goodness From Smart Marketers Tour: Minneapolis

We’ve been taking the Marketing Smarts podcast around the country and recording episodes before live audiences. (Our next stop is Boston on July 10.) Two weeks ago, in Minneapolis, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pat Schaber of The Lonely Marketer fame and Joe Sorge, president of Hospitality Democracy (though you may know him better as the AJ Bombers guy or as [...]

Five Tips for Developing an Adaptable Approach to Online Marketing

In Lee Odden’s new book, Optimize, Odden suggests that companies need to have an “adaptable approach” to content and online marketing. During this week’s episode of Marketing Smarts I asked Odden what he meant by that comment. Here’s what he told me. (If you want to know what he said when Ann Handley interviewed him about his book, [...]

What If We Actually Had a Conversation

Marketing podcast with Doc Searls (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen) There’s so much talk over the last few years about conversations in marketing when I think a great deal of what still goes on are monologues [...]Show More Summary

Never Get a Real Job Just Like Chris Guillebeau

Marketing podcast with Chris Guillebeau (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen) Chris Guillebeau is one of the most fascinating people I’ve interviewed. Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of [...]Show More Summary

Savvy Advice From Savvy Auntie: The Three Elements of Business Success

Melanie Notkin, guest on this week’s episode of the Marketing Smarts podcast, launched SavvyAuntie.com in 2008. The site quickly garnered media attention, interest from sponsors, and, most importantly, thousands of engaged visitors. I asked Notkin how she accounted for the site’s success. She attributed it to three elements: a strong product; a focused, powerful niche; and [...]

Turning a Platform Into an Asset

Marketing podcast with Michael Hyatt (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen) Every individual, whether business owner or employee, needs to understand the benefits of building a platform. The term platform has often been applied in the publishing [...]Show More Summary

The Dip, revisited, plus audio bonus

Five years ago, I published a little book (little even by my standards) called The Dip. I did a tour, built a small blog and shared what I could about it. It was a very risky book—certainly not for everyone....

Man Proposes to Woman via Audio Ad on Pandora

Nerdy couples are awesome. They do nerdy things for each other that cause both of them to squeal in delight. Recently this phenomenon has extended all the way up to nerdy marriage proposals. We've seen the infographic proposal, the crowdsourced Photoshop meme proposal and the web banner-ad proposal. Show More Summary

Finding Your Way In the Wild New World

Marketing podcast with Martha Beck (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device. The way that many people still think about work has its roots in the Industrial Revolution where workers were told to go to a place at a certain [...]Show More Summary

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