Monthly Archives: April 2015

This Week in Content Marketing: Like It or Not, Advertising Is Booming

advertising-booming-podcast-coverPNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this week’s episode, Robert and I discuss one author’s slightly skewed definition of content marketing and debate what it really is. We also share a video where two agency executives urge marketers to stay calm in the wake of Google’s mobile-friendly search update, and we share our thoughts on what marketers should do to prepare. We also ponder if all social media is really just advertising and how publishers can benefit from revenue stacks. Rants and raves include Mad Men  and the wildly exaggerated (again) death of publishing. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing  example from Robert Half.

This week’s show

(Recorded live April 6, 2015; Length: 1:00:10)

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1. Content marketing in the news

  • Marketing is not about content (4:03): Bryan Del Monte, founder of Clickafy Media Group, offers his definition of content marketing in this AdWeek opinion column. I take issue with his idea that it only helps to solve the challenge of customer acquisition. Further, Del Monte claims content marketing is not about creating and distributing valuable, relevant content. If that was the case, musicians and artists would be content marketers, he says. Exactly, says Robert. He points out that the most successful artists realize that exceptional content helps them market their products and services.
  • Don’t change your mobile plans for Google (12:51): Google’s planned rollout of a new mobile-friendly search engine update has website owners in a panic. In a helpful video, two executives from Distilled caution that it’s not that big of a deal. Robert and I agree, and we explain why. This video also highlights two valuable Google Developer resources that can help you optimize your website: The mobile-friendly test and the PageSpeed Insights tool.
  • There is no more social media, just advertising (19:33): Mike Proulx, in a recent AdAge opinion column, says the ideal world of two-way brand-consumer communication envisioned by The Cluetrain Manifesto  never materialized. In its place is advertising. In order to get any reach on social channels, you must pay to amplify your messages, he says. A companion article from Forbes says online ads look a lot like TV commercials lately. Advertising is booming today, but Robert and I think that’s just fine. We predict significant growth in the use of paid media to promote content that’s part of brand experiences and in video content, and we explain what will drive these trends.

2. Sponsor (40:19)

  • This Old Marketing  is sponsored by Widen Enterprises, a digital technology company that specializes in digital asset management. Widen is offering Great Visual Storytelling Takes a Village, a new white paper authored by CMI’s Robert Rose. Today, rich media experiences are paving the future of content marketing. This timely report explains how the four C’s – Collaborate, Customize, Communicate, and Connect – can help your business streamline the management of its digital assets so you can scale your content marketing initiatives. You can download this report at http://bit.ly/pnrwiden.

widen-visual-storytelling-white-paper3. Rants and raves (44:26)

  • Robert’s rave: Robert loves this New York Times article that describes how the Mad Men  cable TV series has done a remarkable job of chronicling the history of the advertising industry. All of the concepts that influence how we think about advertising and marketing today are baked into its content, he explains. Mad Men  features real clients and real campaigns and does a great job of telling the stories behind a number of successful brands. Robert says it’s an awesome show for anyone who is a student of history and a marketer.
  • Joe’s rant: My rant this week is focused on an iMedia Connection article entitled How Advertising Killed Publishing, written by the enigmatic Sean X. This ridiculous column chronicles the steady downward slide away from editorial purity and toward the pit of shameless paid promotion. He even claims that advertising is “the cause of modern society’s collapse.” Mr. X’s solution? Micro-payments. Seriously? I recommend a mindset that enables us to look more broadly at all opportunities in advertising and publishing.

4. This Old Marketing example of the week (54:04)

  • Robert Half: Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the first business to provide specialized staffing services for accounting and finance professionals. It is now the world’s largest professional placement firm, with more than 400 locations worldwide and over $4 billion in sales. Robert Half has had a core focus on content for decades. Its highly regarded Salary Guide  is so authoritative that the U.S. Department of Labor uses it as a source for its own research on hiring trends. The company has also published books on getting hired and managing people. Robert Half is an outstanding example of thought leadership through the consistent production of content.

Robert-Half-Salary-GuideImage source

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The post This Week in Content Marketing: Like It or Not, Advertising Is Booming appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

10 Golden Rules for Good Benchmarking | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Originally posted on the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) blog


Insights from the NOA “Benchmarking” Special Interests Group with Everest Group

Benchmarking is a worthwhile endeavour. When conducted properly, the practice will give you a baseline indicator of where your business is currently, where it is headed on its current trajectory, where you need to be to maximise gains and how you can get there.

Benchmarking can also act as the catalyst for a more fruitful long-term outsourcing relationship, by highlight areas that must be focused on moving forward. On the other hand, it is not the solution to every problem that relationship might have. The term is frequently misunderstood and the practice is even more frequently misused.

At the NOA’s Special Interests Group on Benchmarking in association with Everest Group, benchmarking experts led a roundtable discussion on when benchmarking is necessary, how it is best carried out and what the practice does to help business relationships between clients and their providers.


Read more on the NOA blog

 

10 Golden Rules for Good Benchmarking | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Originally posted on the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) blog


Insights from the NOA “Benchmarking” Special Interests Group with Everest Group

Benchmarking is a worthwhile endeavour. When conducted properly, the practice will give you a baseline indicator of where your business is currently, where it is headed on its current trajectory, where you need to be to maximise gains and how you can get there.

Benchmarking can also act as the catalyst for a more fruitful long-term outsourcing relationship, by highlight areas that must be focused on moving forward. On the other hand, it is not the solution to every problem that relationship might have. The term is frequently misunderstood and the practice is even more frequently misused.

At the NOA’s Special Interests Group on Benchmarking in association with Everest Group, benchmarking experts led a roundtable discussion on when benchmarking is necessary, how it is best carried out and what the practice does to help business relationships between clients and their providers.


Read more on the NOA blog

 

Dropbox? When is it OK to say ‘yes’?

When CIO Gerry Moore joined St. James Hospital Group last year, the staff and doctors — who increasingly work with mobile devices — wanted to use Dropbox, a popular, cloud-based storage tool often used for file sharing. Moore denied the requests because of security and compliance concerns.

Physicians and hospital departments wanted Dropbox so they could quickly share medical reports and results, but the hospital group “could not implement a solution that would put a patient’s data at risk in any way, shape or form,” Moore says.

Speed vs. security

St. James Hospital Group, which has hospitals in Malta, Hungary and Libya, is greatly concerned about ensuring data privacy and security, but it also needed a way to speed up collaboration and workflows.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Supply Chain Management BPO Grows 25 Percent, Offers Immense Opportunity to Buyers, Providers | Press Release

Rapid growth of SCM BPO—25 percent CAGR since 2010—spurred by large, North American organizations and manufacturing sector. 

DALLAS, April 10, 2015—BPO in Supply Chain Management (SCM) has grown from a nascent practice to an emerging one in a very short span of time. This practice grew at over 25 percent compound annual growth rate from 2010 to 2014, and the market size currently stands at US$1.0-1.2 billion.

In terms of adoption trends for SCM BPO, the following buyer categories are the primary drivers:

  • Adoption is led by North American organizations (65 percent)with Asia Pacific being the region with the highest growth;
  • Large-sized organizations (revenue exceeding US$5 billion) represent 69 percent of buyers; and
  • The manufacturing vertical leads in adoption (40 percent market share).

Currently, core SCM BPO processes focusing on delivery are the most frequently included in SCM BPO agreements. In the future, control tower based solutions are likely to continue to gain traction. Also, as supply chain analytics become more complex, big data analytics is likely to impact the market significantly.

These results and other findings are explored in a recently published Everest Group report:  “Supply Chain Management (SCM) BPO—Annual Report 2015: SCM BPO: An Idea Whose Time Has Come.”

***Download a complimentary 14-page preview of the report*** (Registration required.) This preview summarizes report methodology, contents and key findings and offers additional resources.

The full report analyzes the global SCM BPO market, focusing on:

  • Market overview and contractual activity
  • Global growth and adoption trends
  • Solution characteristics and emerging trends
  • Service provider landscape

“In the past, organizations tended to compartmentalize procurement, logistics and inventory management, but now companies are seeking third-party providers who offer comprehensive SCM BPO offerings,” said Swapnil Bhatnagar, Everest Group practice director. “The potential is huge, so service providers are responding quickly, developing offerings that blend technology augmentation, reporting/compliance capabilities and analytics to transform the supply chain operations of their clients.”

*** Download Publication-Quality Graphics ***

High-resolution graphics illustrating key takeaways from these reports can be included in news coverage, with attribution to Everest Group. Graphics include:

  • Supply chain management: Out of the shadows
  • Supply chain management BPO contracts often paired with other functions
  • The supply chain market shows increasing interest in control tower solutions to enhance supply chain operations.
  • Analytics: A potentially disruptive force in supply chain management

***Additional Resources***

 

Supply Chain Management BPO Grows 25 Percent, Offers Immense Opportunity to Buyers, Providers | Press Release

Rapid growth of SCM BPO—25 percent CAGR since 2010—spurred by large, North American organizations and manufacturing sector. 

DALLAS, April 10, 2015—BPO in Supply Chain Management (SCM) has grown from a nascent practice to an emerging one in a very short span of time. This practice grew at over 25 percent compound annual growth rate from 2010 to 2014, and the market size currently stands at US$1.0-1.2 billion.

In terms of adoption trends for SCM BPO, the following buyer categories are the primary drivers:

  • Adoption is led by North American organizations (65 percent)with Asia Pacific being the region with the highest growth;
  • Large-sized organizations (revenue exceeding US$5 billion) represent 69 percent of buyers; and
  • The manufacturing vertical leads in adoption (40 percent market share).

Currently, core SCM BPO processes focusing on delivery are the most frequently included in SCM BPO agreements. In the future, control tower based solutions are likely to continue to gain traction. Also, as supply chain analytics become more complex, big data analytics is likely to impact the market significantly.

These results and other findings are explored in a recently published Everest Group report:  “Supply Chain Management (SCM) BPO—Annual Report 2015: SCM BPO: An Idea Whose Time Has Come.”

***Download a complimentary 14-page preview of the report*** (Registration required.) This preview summarizes report methodology, contents and key findings and offers additional resources.

The full report analyzes the global SCM BPO market, focusing on:

  • Market overview and contractual activity
  • Global growth and adoption trends
  • Solution characteristics and emerging trends
  • Service provider landscape

“In the past, organizations tended to compartmentalize procurement, logistics and inventory management, but now companies are seeking third-party providers who offer comprehensive SCM BPO offerings,” said Swapnil Bhatnagar, Everest Group practice director. “The potential is huge, so service providers are responding quickly, developing offerings that blend technology augmentation, reporting/compliance capabilities and analytics to transform the supply chain operations of their clients.”

*** Download Publication-Quality Graphics ***

High-resolution graphics illustrating key takeaways from these reports can be included in news coverage, with attribution to Everest Group. Graphics include:

  • Supply chain management: Out of the shadows
  • Supply chain management BPO contracts often paired with other functions
  • The supply chain market shows increasing interest in control tower solutions to enhance supply chain operations.
  • Analytics: A potentially disruptive force in supply chain management

***Additional Resources***

 

IDG Contributor Network: Why you must rate enterprise software requirements

Too often, RFPs (or RFIs, or RFQs) are just lists of requirements with little thought of how important those requirements are. In the absence of importance ratings, all requirements must be treated equally. This is never accurate because some requirements are always more important than others. Here’s a look at why it is worth rating requirements for importance, and how to do it.

Rating requirements for importance means capturing who wants them, why they want them and how important they are. In doing this, the organization is exploring, discovering, and documenting their needs. Rating requirements should be done by the process owners and subject matter experts, and not by those who capture the requirements in the first place. While most organizations looking at a particular type of enterprise software have very similar requirements, it is the relative importance of those requirements that makes each organization unique.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

How to Choose the Best Mobile Strategy for Your Business

How to Choose the Best Mobile Strategy for Your Business

These days, mobile strategy is an imperative for marketing departments across every industry. While today’s CMO is looking at mobile advertising and optimizing websites for tablets, the first word on everyone’s mind is “app.” Developing an app isn’t the right solution for everyone, so how do you determine what mobile strategy makes sense for your business?

Think about your business challenges. What processes do you, your staff, and your customers follow that could use a makeover?

Apps can do just about anything, but a mobile strategy is essential to determine how a mobile app could best serve your needs. Identify an issue or opportunity first, then think about how mobile may be able to solve it (highlight to tweet).

Let’s dive deeper into how mobile can fast-track your company’s transformation.

Calling Customer Service

Gone are the days where customer support was handled via phone, your customers’ agitation only amplified by mindless hold music. Consumers expect brands to address their issues immediately through a variety of platforms, including (but not limited to) email, online chats, and social media.

This is a ripe opportunity for mobile. It’s your chance to constantly remind your customers that you’re there for them, that their experience is important to you, and that you’re actively paying attention to their needs. Instead of sending a link to their UPS shipment via email, why not offer to update them when the status of their package changes, and prompt them to give you feedback upon arrival? This way, you engage them with service instead of making them ask for it.

If that’s too complex, you can solve the same problem simply: Create an app that allows them to reach a customer service rep immediately via SMS. Go beyond enabling customers to track shipments via a link.

The difference between these two approaches is simple. In one case, you’re making them work for the information they want; in the other, you’re engaging them and providing a simple, unobtrusive answer to their question—maybe before they even ask it. Your relationship can extend far beyond the warehouse, and it should.

Window Shopping

By the time consumers step foot in a store, they’ve usually decided what they want to buy. This is especially true for products over $500. In fact, 80 percent of those purchasers research in advance—and they spend an average of 79 days collecting that information online.

When you meet customers with that much research under their belt, you can bet the impression you’re making in-store is not the first—but it is one of the most important. Rethink the window shopping experience for mobile, and make it as engaging as possible to lock in the sale. This is not the time to be mysterious—it won’t pay off.

Keeping the Conversation Open

Customer feedback is everywhere, and it’s both a blessing and a curse. There are too many Yelp reviews, Twitter mentions, and Facebook posts to wade through, but there are nuggets of pure gold nestled within both scathing and glowing reviews. In most cases, businesses are flooded with more feedback than they can handle, and the feeling of futility makes them throw up their hands and walk away. At Tonic Design Co., we have a better (albeit seemingly counterintuitive) approach: find more.

We keep a sharp eye on the App Store and Google Play, but we also spend a lot of time in the field talking to customers, sending out surveys, and doing in-person interviews to find out what they think and how they feel. “How was your experience on the site?” “Would you be interested in this product if we developed it?” “How do these navigation styles feel to you?” We preemptively conduct research to ensure that our products will meet customer standards, and then continue to observe and react to feedback long after the product launches.

By using mobile to engage, interact, and respond to your customers, you can turn them into die-hard advocates and your biggest social sponsors. Start early, and talk often.

Punch-Card Loyalty

It’s human nature—we want to win. We love earning points, getting prizes, and gaining rank. But the loyalty punch card promising one free sandwich for every 10 purchased doesn’t suit today’s customer, and frankly, neither does the “My [insert company name]” card swiped at the register.

The Starbucks mobile app is a good example of loyalty rewards that have been reinvented through gamification. Starbucks customers pay for their product using the mobile app and earn points simultaneously. Moreover, they’re constantly reminded of how many points they need in order to move to the next level. The app offers a nudge and facilitates friendly competition.

Mobile payments are on their way to becoming mainstream, outpacing website payments in growth for 2014. In fact, mobile payments may exceed $3 trillion in the next five years. This is last call to get ahead of this trend.

These are just a few compelling ways mobile can help you retain customers. Have you accommodated your customers’ changing needs and preferences over the past 10 years? Developing a mobile strategy is the next step in this evolution.

What other old-school business practices do you plan to change? And as a consumer, which ones will you be happy to see go? Continue the conversation on our Facebook or Google+ pages.

       

As More Say ‘No’ to Ads, It’s Time to Immunize Content Marketing

no-ads-content-marketing-cover

Around the world, consumers’ power to say “no” to unwanted ads is growing. More and more, people crave complete control of the content they consume. How can content marketing protect itself from this spreading “unwanted-ad disease”?

In France, a pas de publicite  sign stops the delivery of unwanted junk-mail ads. Consumers’ power to choose hurts interruption-driven advertising. Yet it could prove positive for content marketing.

Pas-de-publicity-example-stenitzer

People look forward to great content marketing because it’s helpful. And that’s the difference between content marketing and most advertising. When your content addresses customers’ needs, fears, and pain points in an informative, entertaining way – rather than selling – your customers will want  your content.

Americans’ complete control of the content they receive is surging:

  • More than half of Americans record TV shows to skip the commercials. People increasingly watch TV programming on their mobile devices so they can ignore the ads.
  • Ninety-one percent of consumers unsubscribe, “unlike,” or stop following brands for which they once opted in.
  • Millions of people sign up for the Do Not Call Registry or put their names on stop-junk-mail lists to avoid receiving solicitation calls and mail they don’t want.

As countries grow more vigilant in allowing their citizens to limit junk mail and even billboards, content marketing must immunize itself against the increasing consumer rejection of advertising. We need to help people see clear differences between helpful content marketing and hard-sell advertising. Here are five ways to do it:

1. Permission is gold. Appreciate it with customer-centric content.

The most valuable asset we have is the permission of our readers and customers to share content with them. Earn it every day. Create content your readers will find alluring, relevant, and fascinating – because it’s about them, not about you.

2. Give them what they want.

Some 10% to 20% of your content will greatly outperform the rest, so use analytics to create more of the content your readers want most. Track changes in tastes and keep your content fresh, newsy, and useful.

3. Keep your customers’ names and addresses up to date.

Personalize mail and email to increase the odds your content gets delivered and noticed. Get customers’ names right: Nothing is thrown away faster than a letter addressed to the wrong name.

4. Earn attention in seven seconds.

Remember, in the battle for attention, we compete not only against other marketing but against any content on a page or screen. We need to capture readers’ attention in the first seven seconds. How?

Use images or cartoons, which increase readership by up to 70%. Tell readers what’s in it for them  in the first seven seconds – 23 words or less. Keep headlines, sentences, and paragraphs short and clear. Develop a message map to make your message concise and sticky.

Simple-Message-Map5. If you apply Big Data, be smart. 

People don’t want to feel that sellers know too much about them or that their personal information is being used in the wrong way. Use Big Data judiciously. Avoid making assumptions.

For example, recently a mobile company matched my user file with my U.S. Census data. Because I’m Hispanic, the company began writing me in Spanish – even though I had done business with it for years in English, which is my first language.

When marketers make too big a leap – like assuming it’s OK to change a language preference based on census data – and use Big Data the wrong way, it stinks.

Conclusion

People don’t want to process the clutter of 5,000 advertising messages each day. Yet, customers are willing to receive or view content that is a real help. That’s how content marketing can win attention even as hard-sell advertising loses potency.

Consumers are getting better and better at resisting the marketing they don’t want. It’s up to us content marketers to create what customers do want – and thereby immunize content marketing against “unwanted-ad disease.”

Ready to make an immunization plan? Follow CMI’s simple, step-by-step plan to integrate unique, impactful, and strategic content marketing into your organization. Get our new workbook today.

Cover image by DodgertonSkillhause, morgueFile, via pixabay.com

The post As More Say ‘No’ to Ads, It’s Time to Immunize Content Marketing appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

The cloud scores NIH approval for gene research

After pushback from researchers, the National Institutes of Health has reversed course and now will allow researchers to use cloud services to store and analyze content from the Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes, a key asset in genetics research. The NIH had viewed the use of the cloud as a risk to the privacy of the research participants.

Of course, the cloud systems must meet the data-use and security standards set forth by the NIH. For the most part, the larger cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google, comply with these requirements.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here