Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lie of content marketing

Lie of content marketing

A lighthearted look at how you might be approaching content marketing backwards.
Inbound marketing

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

10 Insights on How Top Marketers Use Twitter - Report - Jeffbullas's Blog

10 Insights on How Top Marketers Use Twitter - Report - Jeffbullas's Blog

There is one big advantage Twitter has over Facebook. It’s not filtered.

That is both a blessing and a curse. It means you can see every tweet as it streams past from your followers. But it can be overwhelming.

That is why using lists and #hashtags are vital to glean the gems from the garbage on Twitter.

The serious application of Twitter by business was ignored for a long time. Bloggers bent their head around it early but it struggled for adoption by bigger brands.

That is changing as the CMOs and marketing managers have worked out its place in the social media universe. Twitter was also its own worst enemy as its management chopped and changed over the years and it delayed rolling out its self service advertising feature.

So how do the top marketers use Twitter?

Read more at Jeff's blog

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When Companies Start Reading Your Mind | LinkedIn

When Companies Start Reading Your Mind | LinkedIn

Bernard Marr

It is the dream of most commercial companies to read the mind of their customers. Retailers, for example, would love figure out what products we really like and even more so the ones we are going to buy. Looks like one of the retail giants has figured out how to do that., the Seattle-based ecommerce giant, has always leveraged data. In one of their latest business moves, the company has obtained a patent to ship us goods before we have even made a decision to buy them, purely based on their predictive big data analytics.
I don’t think that back in 1995 when Jeff Bezos started the company in a garage, he could have imagined that it would one day grow into a Fortune 500 global retail empire. I believe that the key building blocks of Amazon’s success are their ability to use data and an eye for the right innovations and patents.
In the early days, when Amazon was primarily a book retailer, the company was the first to extensively use algorithms so that it could provide recommendations for customers: “Customers who bought this item, also bought this one…”. Today, it uses item-to-item collaborative filtering on many data points such as what users have bought before, what they have in their virtual shopping card or wish list, the items they have rated and reviewed, as well as what other similar users have bought, to heavily customize the customer browsing experience.
Another big coup for Amazon was when it obtained the patent for it’s ‘One Click Buy’ feature. This was pure genius and who would have thought a company could ever get a patent for that.
What Amazon has just done is combine the two (strengths in data analytics and it’s instinct for patenting key features) to obtain a patent for what it calls: Anticipatory Shipping.
What Amazon has patented here is the process of shipping an item to a customer in anticipation that this customer will order that product. This means that Amazon believes the big data analytics insights will become so accurate that it can predict who will order what and when. The reason for this is that Amazon wants to be able to deliver products faster. This is also why it negotiated Sunday deliveries and why Amazon started to experiment with unmanned drones that might deliver our parcels in the future.
Other, more traditional retailers have long used predictive analytics to ensure the right items are in stock, based on past buying patterns as well as social media analytics and weather predictions. What is new here is that Amazon is taking it to a personal level, predicting the items YOU might buy. This is different to a local supermarket stocking items that the people in that community might want to buy.
One problem with anticipatory shipping is that Amazon has to get it right. If their big data algorithms get it wrong, then it could potentially lose the company a lot of money because the logistics costs for shipping the product out and then returning it would be lost. The way Amazon proposes to deal with cheaper unwanted items is to either heavily discount them or give them away as a free gift to build customer ‘good will’.
Another problem with anticipatory shipping is the question about how much a company should be allowed to act on the insights gained from analysing our personal behaviours. For example, my wife bought a pregnancy swimsuit from Amazon as a present for one of her friends who was expecting a baby. The problem was that for the following 9 months or so she had to look at pregnancy related recommendations or watch pregnancy related ads. Just imagine if she had to return all those diapers, baby blankets or baby wipes that a predictive anticipatory shipping algorithm might send in the future!
As a big data guy, I am fascinated by the increasingly accurate predictions commercial companies can make about our behaviours. As a consumer I am excited about the prospect that the stuff I order will be with me quicker, because it will already be on its way before I place my order. But as a private individual, I am getting a little concerned about the power predictive analytics puts into the hands of commercial companies. Especially when companies use additional data, such as the things we say on Facebook or Twitter.
How do you feel about the fact that companies are now getting so confident about 'knowing you' that they can ship stuff before you have ordered them? Do you see it as a scary intrusion of your privacy or simply are great innovation that will make shopping even better? Please share your views...
Here is a nice little video clip explaining Amazon's anticipatory shipping:
As always, I really appreciate you reading my post. Here, at LinkedIn, I regularly write about management and technology issues and trends. If you would like to read my regular posts then please click 'Follow' (at the top of the page) and feel free to also connect viaTwitter,Facebook and The Advanced Performance Institute.
Finally, here are some other recent posts I have written:

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

4 Major Content Marketing Problems (and How to Solve Them) - Relevance

4 Major Content Marketing Problems (and How to Solve Them)

4 Major Content Marketing Problems (and How to Solve Them)
Whether you work in-house or for an agency, you'll have no shortage of challenges in your role as a marketer. You might face marketing problems ranging from a strategy that targets the wrong audience to a lack of respect for marketing within your organization.
Many of the following problems we'll address relate in some way to content, and as content marketers, we're believers in the power of content that's aligned to customer needs – the right message delivered at the right time over the right channel.
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1. Time Is Always Against Us
Many marketers feel the pressure of limited resources, whether in budget, staffing, or time allotted for projects. And there's always an emphasis on measuring how tactics affect the bottom line. The result? Many organizations skimp when it comes to content creation – neglecting their blog and not taking the time to create helpful pieces of content that demonstrate thought leadership in their field.
So, the question is how to make the most use of limited resources. Well, you can do this by getting scrappy and mastering the art of content repurposing. Believe it or not, you don't always have to start from scratch; you've probably got existing materials that could be turned into blog posts or combined to make white papers. Learn how to maximize your efficiency by taking a cue from NPR's credo of "Create Once, Publish Everywhere."
2. No Respect, I Tell You
Sometimes a marketing department is like Rodney Dangerfield – not getting enough respect; some executives might view marketing as a black hole for company dollars. These views can come from a variety of reasons, but one of the reasons might be that you're struggling to increase and prove ROI.
If that's the case, it's not enough just to keep your boss or customer happy. You need to improve how you measure the results of your marketing efforts by understanding and communicating the specific metrics that matter for your marketing campaign.
3. Unleash the Experts
Often, your company or client has many subject matter experts who aren't necessarily writers. It's evident to you that it would be beneficial to publish their expertise, but you might not be sure how to accomplish that. There are many ways to encourage non-marketers to contribute, such as clearly articulating your marketing goals, offering writer incentives, holding blog training sessions and providing continuous support. Find ways that work for you, and get your company experts involved.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it – nothing will kill a great content strategy and drive a passionate marketer insane quicker than being shackled to the status quo. Your company wasn't built overnight, and neither was Rome. But, if Alexander the Great hadn't been willing to push his army harder than ever before, crossing boundaries and breaking barriers along the way, Rome never would've achieved the magnificent height it did. Be bold in your marketing! Try something different; test it. Do something radical like addressing a public relations problem head on. Admit defeat. Celebrate success. And when somebody tells you "this is the way it's always been done," challenge that notion. Rome wasn't built without taking that first step, and great companies don't become great by standing still.
Did you find this article helpful? What other marketing problems would you like to see addressed? Tell us what you think and what you'd like to see more of in the comments below.
For more ways on how to optimize your content, check out our Blog Post Optimization Guide.
This post was co-written by Dustin Clark and Derek Smith.
2015 Content Idea Book - Fresh Thinking from Top Brands
Download today for inspiration to wow and engage your audience with new content marketing programs ‒ by OneSpot
Download today for inspiration to wow and engage your audience with new content marketing programs ‒ by OneSpot

Tags: PATHPublish
November 05, 2015 at 10:32AM
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Thursday, November 5, 2015

13 Strategies to Simplify Your Life.

13 Strategies to Simplify Your Life.
Via Monika Carless on Nov 4, 2015
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."  ~ Clare Booth Luce

If you think that life has become overly hectic and complicated, you're not alone.
Our homes, minds and lifestyles are overflowing with things and stresses.
Was life truly simpler back in the day? I think that every generation believes that things used to be less complicated for generations before them.
Still, we have managed to acquire many time and effort saving gadgets without actually realizing the time they were supposed to save.
I am a purger. I grew up in a family of borderline hoarders. I have an innate drive to clear—not only my home but also my thoughts. Organizing is a pleasurable experience for me. But I realize that it's not like that for everyone. But one step at a time though, it is possible to own less and live more.
There are some things we can do that, although simple, will contribute to our feeling of freedom. How awesome would it be to have more time for exploring the magic of life?
1. Get rid of that extra bank account. Keep the basics, one for savings, one for everyday life. Less paperwork, less aggravation trying to keep it all balanced.
2. Consolidate your debt if possible, and cut up all but one credit card. Keep two at most. If you need more than two, you can't afford your life. Be honest with yourself.
3. Purge those points cards! Keep the ones that actually do earn you significant savings. The other ones are just a temptation to make more purchases. Oh, you'll need a smaller wallet!
4. Get rid of every sock and piece of underwear that have holes, are close to being vapor, or look like they belonged to your granny. Organize that dresser. You'll be happier in the good things you own anyway. Look how much room there is in those drawers. When we rid of old things we clear old energy from years past as well.
5. Unsubscribe from all the e-mail lists you never read and set your computer to clear junk and spam mail regularly.
6. Donate furniture and artifacts that you've been collecting for years and try a minimalist look for a while. Enjoy the extra space in your home. You may not need to move to a larger home after all; there may be ways to retrofit what you have once you've let go of all that clutter. Or you may be able to downsize home and debt even further.
7. Choose a less expensive TV cable package or get rid of it altogether. Read. Go for a walk. Have dinner with friends. The television is an energy vampire. Count up the televisions, computers and telephones in the house. Seriously people! Less is more.
8. Donate good coats and purses to the women's shelter. Keep the ones you actually wear all the time.
9. Organize your closet into the four seasons and recycle or donate everything that doesn't suit you. Admit it, there's lots of that stuff in there.
10. Sell one car and pay down some bills. I've just done this and it takes some getting used to as I live in the countryside, but I can tell you that my bank account has thanked me. When I really need one I can rent for the weekend or carpool with friends. Other times I use the car when my partner is home.
11. Get rid of paper clutter. Keep documents that are still pertinent and shred or burn everything else. Recycle magazines and donate books.
12. Clear your fridge and kitchen cupboards. Simplify your eating habits by concentrating on healthy, real food. Get rid of condiments, ingredients and packaged foods. While you're in the kitchen, throw out all chipped glasses and crockery. Those extra can openers and shot glasses from Vegas and everything else can go, too.
13. Simplify your beauty regime. Stick to basics and as natural products as possible. Throw out old makeup. Sharpen all your eye and lip liners. Wash your brushes. Clear outdated medications.
"I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all encumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. " ~ Henry David Thoreau
Take a look around and breathe. Wow! Your life and your home will be a lot more elegant with just these few changes. If this list seems overwhelming, Invite a friend to help and offer to help them do the same. Or create a list of one change a week.
Quite often when we purge things, we also purge emotions, relationships and old thought patterns. Stay open to changes. Simplifying may turn into a whole new adventure.
Author: Monika Carless
Editor: Caroline Beaton
Image: Wiki Commons/ Pixaby

About Monika Carless

Monika Carless
Monika Carless lives and dreams in her home by a great wood where writing is another word for breathing. A Reiki Master and Holistic Nutritionist, she also follows The Wise Woman Tradition as a solitary witch. She believes in skinny dipping, laughter with friends and moonlit walks as therapy for the human soul. Many passions fire this Scorpio's quest for living as authentically as possible. One of them is supporting the human endeavor to live free of fear and persecution, no matter our path. To this end, Monika has authored an erotica/historical fiction novel, which focuses on having the courage to spend each day walking in our most intrinsic truth. The novel is currently seeking publication. A life well lived, a road less ordinary, and a heart filled with love, is what you'll find her patiently seeking. Connect with her on her Website or via Facebook or Twitter, @MonikaCarless.

Tags: PATHPublish
November 05, 2015 at 08:43AM
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