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4 Ways Branding Contributes to the Customer Experience

April 12, 2018 by Sam Holzman In today’s digital age, the customer has more power than ever before—and marketers are taking notice. In fact, a recent study found that 83% of marketers think customer experience is more central to their role than it was five years ago (source). Interestingly, that same study found that 74% of marketers believe brand strategy …

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How Marketers Can Increase Customer Spend by 22.7%

December 22, 2016 by Michelle Smith Marketers are universally dedicated to looking for ways to deliver compelling value to empowered customers, foster lasting connections with those customers, and measuring the value of their marketing efforts. However, for many customers and prospects, the unending stream of marketing content on and off-line often leaves them confused and overwhelmed. But there are ways …

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A Strong Storytelling Strategy Will Expand B2B Reach

October 6, 2016 by Carla Johnson B2B marketers have tapped social media as a pillar approach to reaching audiences. In fact, 83% of respondents in the 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends from Content Marketing Institute named social media content and their number one go-to tactic. But social media for B2B usually means LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. A few brands that …

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How to Tie ROI, KPIs and Other Metrics to Storytelling

October 4, 2016 by Carla Johnson We hear about storytelling a lot, but what does it mean? And does branded storytelling actually work? And can you measure it? That was the topic of last week’s Content Marketing Institute twitter chat with Jacob Warwick, marketing strategist at Blast Analytics. Here were the top takeaways from the chat… Question 1: What’s the …

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Humana Taps Socially Savvy Employees as Brand Advocates

September 13, 2016 by Carla Johnson Humana’s focus on health and wellness isn’t just something for its subscribers. It’s proving a tremendously beneficial approach for inspiring and empowering employees to serve as brand advocates for the Louisville, Kentucky-based insurance provider. Companies face a tug of war between wanting to empower employees to act as brand advocates and wanting to control …

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B2B Brand Storytelling: Learning From Nike

August 23, 2016 by Carla Johnson When it comes to consistently telling a brand story, few brands have the sustainable track record that Nike does. From its inception in 1971 (previously known as Blue Ribbon Sports), founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman have been unwavering with Nike’s mission: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. What …

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Where Do You Fall on the Customer Experience Maturity Scale?

August 16, 2016 by Carla Johnson Customer experience isn’t a new idea, but the growing attention to it is. Customers are more widely connected than they’ve ever been, easily hopping between a growing number of devices. They’re looking for a rich, consistent experience that delivers value – whether that’s information or entertainment – whenever they want it. Marketing’s ad hoc …

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What’s Brand Storytelling and Why Do You Need It?

August 11, 2016 by Carla Johnson Frustration. I’m hearing more of it and not just from marketers – but from executives as well. Conversations that used to be within the walls of marketing are overflowing into the C-suite. And a big part of that conversation is about relevance. How do we become more relevant not only to customers, but to …

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Drumming Up Business

August 4, 2016 by Mark Robinson Clients of our practices often ask us how we can convert minimally engaged audiences into fully engaged brand enthusiast.  If you are impetuous, the short answer is to use engaging content to create meaningful experiences and then allow your audience to market for you. Oh, and avoid parlor tricks to boost you audience count, …

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Can You be the Steven Spielberg of Content?

July 12, 2016 by Robert Rose Allow me to geek out a bit. I was surfing Reddit last week, and a thread caught my eye. It was a question about the classic movie Jurassic Park. The person asked why, after 20+ years, the CGI (computer-generated imagery) seemed so much more realistic than some of today’s movies that feature state-of-the-art technology. …

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Wickedly Effective Storytelling: Exercise of the 5 Whys

February 16, 2016 There’s one critical element that makes a great story a great story. Relevance. In working with hundreds of companies and even more marketers on how to become stellar storytellers, I’ve noticed that relevance in storytelling is what separates the strugglers from the artists. Without exception, when we struggle to tell a story that sounds different from everyone …

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The Theory of Relativity and Brand Storytelling

January 26, 2016 In 1905, a rather unknown German physicist named Albert Einstein published three papers about the theory of relativity. Eleven years later, Einstein came up with the general theory of relativity which has become the accepted description of gravitation in modern physics. In a nutshell, Einstein’s formula shows how gravitation force can be calculated like this… Take the …

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How a Content Marketing Mission Statement Supports the Brand Story

January 5, 2016 I love teaching workshops on content marketing and brand storytelling because there’s such a great opportunity to connect the dots for people. One of my favorites is when we talk about brand storytelling and how it relates to the content marketing mission statement. When I explain how this works, I truly feel like a magician revealing the …

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Why All Marketing Should Start With Your Brand Story

December 15, 2015 “Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom.” Aristotle I’ve had interesting conversations with a CEO the past few weeks. He reached out to me to talk about marketing because, as he puts it, “We create a lot of content but nothing seems to get better.” “Nothing” of course, means revenue. He’s right. They’d rebranded the company earlier …

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Content is Too Important to Leave to a Content Department

December 8, 2015 by Robert Rose There’s a saying, usually attributed to Hewlett Packard co-founder David Packard, that marketing is too important to leave to the marketing department. This sentiment has caused many marketing practitioners to lament that people throughout the business now have two jobs – their own and marketing. Sometimes it seems that everyone in the company has …

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How to Convert Customers’ Passions Into Inspiring Content

December 1, 2015 Western Union banks on its customers’ passions to inspire remarkable content. Laston Charriez, the company’s senior vice president of marketing for the Americas, explains how it innovates in a conservative industry. Few brands have been household names as long as Western Union. Launched in 1851 as the New York & Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company (the company …

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REI’s #OptOutside Brand Story Proves Marketing Should Drive Operations

November 17, 2015 REI announced it is doing the unthinkable. The multi-billion retail giant is closing its doors on the biggest day of the year – Black Friday. Why? Because they’re allowing what they promise their customers through their brand story to guide their operational decisions. For marketers everywhere, this is a big deal. And a huge inspiration. In most …

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Are You Missing the Most Important Audience for Your Content Marketing?

October  20, 2015 All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. – William Shakespeare A few years ago I worked with a telecom company that struggled to get traction with its audience. “We have a content …

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Can Content Marketing Create Corporate Culture?

August 25, 2015 Film and TV have shown us a host of nasty bosses that make our days at a desk look pretty tame. There’s a slew of horrible bosses from Don Draper, Michael Scott, Miranda Priestly and even cartoon bosses don’t fare much better. We cringe and enjoy them because we know they aren’t real. Or are they? Can …

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Lincoln Electric Changes Perception of Industry with Brand Storytelling

July 7, 2015 Great storytelling starts with a narrative bigger than yourself. But getting buy-in for an approach to building an audience that’s unconventional isn’t easy for B2B marketers – especially if you work for an industrial company. Most brands want to talk products and features, rather than spark a captivating conversation. But stepping outside the norms of what people …