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Guide to persona and buyer persona models for integrated marketing


Using personas in (online) marketing is not new. Among others conversion optimization practitioners, user experience designers, web developers and usability experts have been using personas for ages. By defining personas we put ourselves in the shoes of a “typical” target person and define processes by empathizing with them in a very detailed way so we […

Psychology and marketing: respecting and failing the customer


As organizations focus more on customer service, the customer experience and, well, anything that’s customer-related, there’s also an increasing attention for the psychological dimension of business (workers) and customers.

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Digital transformation, the customer experience and marketing


Although digital transformation is about much more than customer-facing functions, it’s clear that in many transformation projects, the customer experience is a key driver and catalyst. In more IT-oriented projects, the same goes for the user experience and user adoption. Actual usage and adoption in fact is essential to make such projects succeed. Knowing the […

Content marketing strategy beyond the first degree(s): value chains


Each successful content marketing strategy is a social and connected content marketing strategy by definition. I’m not just talking about the areas where social media marketing and even social business overlap with content marketing. I’m even not just talking about the need to work with audiences of audiences in an era where everything is (getting) […].

The Content Marketing Survival Guide: How to Navigate the Wilds of Social Media

Use this guide to inspire your creativity and ignite more successful and sustainable social media conversations.

The Big Content Marketing Fail: How Much Content Do You Need?


This blog post tells some personal stories and takes you a bit back in time. In case you don’t feel like fully reading it, prefer the rules of short copy and want to read the conclusions first then this is for you: we are massively killing content marketing and are making the same old mistakes we always have. So, if you care about your budget and your customers read this. Hurray. It gets worse.

Customer experience and beyond: customer journey mapping


The key to creating business value is focusing on customer value. Truly understanding the needs and preferences of customers, as well as their behavior during the buying journey, is essential for your business strategy. Customers buy products and services but also experiences and emotions. The buying decision is connected, highly individual and highly emotional, even […

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Defining Social Business: a Call for Clarity and Collaboration


Yes, you are right: social business is a buzzword. It is omnipresent and it is trendy to proclaim “it’s not about social media anymore but about social business.” ” However, social business is not a hype, on the contrary. Last week I stumbled upon a blog post by Gerardo A. Dada on MarketingProfs, titled “ What Exactly Is a ‘Social Business ‘?” Social is social.

Why We Still Fight Over Social Media and Content Marketing


A few years ago I wrote a piece on the commoditization of content (marketing) in a social jungle. Last year I took it a step further with what you could call a rant about the ‘ big content marketing fail ’. I was pleasantly surprised to see that many people using content marketing (as I do) wrote similar posts taking a critical look at the evolutions in content marketing. Guess not. Bloggers.

A World Gone Social

Learn how companies must adapt to survive.

Social Business Failure Is a Choice: Speaking a Common Language


We are warned. Gartner predicts 80% of social business efforts will not achieve intended benefits through 2015. There is a problem with that prediction and the perception it creates. In practice, social business is a huge Babylonian confusion. The lack of speaking a common language within the enterprise, let alone within the global context, is always a reason for failure. Which business purposes?

Digital transformation in practice: now and tomorrow


We often focus on optimization and digital transformation projects for the now in a rather ad hoc way. An example: if we want to change the ways we work in a more collaborative and agile way, very quickly the project involves the quest for a solution that enables this new way of working. Assuming that […]. Digital transformation A.T.

Gartner: the Growing Role of the Social Customer Experience


Providing great customer experiences and optimizing touchpoints in a consistent way equals successful marketing. It’s as simple as that. We are shifting to a more customer-centric marketing view. In the age of the connected and empowered consumer, providing relevant information and engaging in a mutually valuable way, is a must. The result of doing so is ROI. Guess why? Indeed, social.

Digitalization and the human element in technological change


One of the key reasons technology implementations, digital transformation efforts, IT projects, customer service or experience optimization plans and digital business projects fail is the lack of attention for the essential human component. It’s a phenomenon we see in virtually all areas of business.

Five Customer Empowerment Tips: the Days of Intuition are Over


We all talk about the empowered consumer and it’s safe to say that consumers indeed dispose of more ways to inform themselves, interact and buy when, where and how they want. You don’t really need studies to notice customer empowerment. Just ask any retailer of consumer electronics, for instance. People still ask for advice but they know better what they want than ever before. So, what is it about?

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Social Media Marketing GPS

SMGPS will tell you the why & how to use social media for marketing, 1 tweet at a time. You'll learn essentials in digestible little spoonfuls.

The Future of Social Media: Identifying the Drivers


Recently, I was asked to write a chapter in a book on digital marketing and business about what’s coming next in social: the future of social media, both from a business and consumer perspective. It might seem like a challenging task, but it really is not. I’m in the process of writing it and will share my thoughts as I move along. Today, these drivers start being recognized. Yes and no.

By: Week 8: Online Communities, Communities of Practice | alh.meshari


[…] of the main reasons people succeed with social media marketing where others fail is that they think of those with whom they’re communicating not as pixels on a […

Social CRM and Return on Marketing: Customer Life Cycle Value


No marketing activity is an island. No customer-centric business process should be isolated. Every business should be working on integrating all data platforms, silos, marketing channels and businesses processes right now in order to have a single customer view and 360 degrees social CRM approach. Smart campaigns and branding are crucial for every business. Integrated. People-centric. Why now?

Altimeter Report: the Convergence of Paid, Owned and Earned Media


Co-author Rebecca Lieb By now, you probably know what paid, owned and earned media are. If you haven’t, you might be new in marketing or might have missed phenomena such as blogging and forums in the nineties. You probably also know that the number of media and channels has been growing for years now, often at adoption speeds we never witnessed before. In recent years, it only become clearer.

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How to Be Social: A Social Media Manifesto

Learn the 10 worst social media marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Content Marketing: What Content People Share And Why They Do It


Why do people share content? It’s a simple question but when looking at it, you’ll quickly discover the answer is all but easy, depends on many factors and requires a good deal of psychological insights. However, in trying to answering it, one can find a lot of value for his business and “target groups” in this social media and multi-channel marketing age where content plays an increasing role and content marketing is a hot topic. Content is an enormously broad concept that we use every day without really defining it. We seldom talk about what it is. Thus context. Or are we both?

The Rise of Digital Influence: From Persuasion and Passion to Action


(Digital) influence is the capacity to affect others to take actions and/or change opinions or behavior. It can happen directly (persuasion) and indirectly. However, it is always characterized by the resulting actions and changes. Influence is used by people for many reasons: some ‘good’, some ‘bad’, some in between. Influence is powerful and marketers love it. It’s a matter of results.

The Ultimate Truth About Klout and Influence


An analysis of Klout, the use of it and the concept of influence from the Klout and social network perspective. Let me start by disappointing you. I do not know the ultimate truth. just wanted to grab your attention. That’s what you do with a post title now and then. However, now that you’re [.]. Opinion Social media marketing Eloqua influence Joe Fernandez K+ Klout Klout score PeerIndex

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Optimize: a Holistic View of Content and Marketing Optimization


Lee Odden, the founder of online marketing agency TopRank and the widely acclaimed TopRank marketing blog, released his new book, “Optimize”. In an interview, Lee outlines some key takeaways of his book, that is yet another appeal for a more customer-centric and holistic (digital) marketing approach. The consumer is channel-agnostic, and empowerment is not a buzzword. That’s optimization.

8 Stupid Simple Social Media Tricks to Boost SEO

Discover just how easy it is to boost SEO with social media.

The Cross-Channel Customer Experience Must and How to Achieve It


If you occasionally read my posts here or elsewhere, you probably know by now that a consistent and valuable user experience, a multichannel approach with a strong dose of social and customer-centricity are my favorite themes. Actually, I don’t like the word customer-centric too much, I prefer the term ‘people-centric’. Why is the customer experience so important? Succeeding. How far are you?

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Five Cultural Reasons Marketers Fail to Keep Up with Consumers


Consumers are becoming channel-agnostic. They are effortlessly switching from one channel to the other. People discuss their experiences as they get in touch with a business, product and service. They share their buying decisions and actively seek information throughout every step of the buying journey, relying upon trusted advisors and even perfect strangers. The shift is clear.

Social Media ROI: Check Before You Start


An army of social media thinkers has deemed it useful to redefine ROI. In 2010, Brian Solis introduced it in his book Engage! as Return on Influence (and also as Return on Investment, Return on Involvement, Return on Innovation and Relevance of Interaction). The term Return on Influence (now Realization of Influence as well) [.]. Blog Management Social media marketing Jim Lenskold marketing ROI return on influence return on investment social media ROI

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Is Touchpoint Marketing the Only Marketing Left?


Content marketers like to use Seth Godin’s famous saying that ‘Content marketing is the only marketing left’. Content is obviously crucial in marketing. It has always been. It just took businesses a very long time to realize it, helped by what we call ‘content marketing’. Content is not an afterthought. Unfortunately, I see an increasing attention for content as such. Empowerment is not new either.

Maximizing LinkedIn for Business

Get started on truly maximizing your LinkedIn presence with this informative eBook.

What You Really Must Know To Succeed in Social Media Marketing


Social media and networks have been part of many internet users’s life for the last six to seven years, with services popping up and falling down at an astonishing pace. And, yet,  social media marketing is still a very “hot&# topic. From forums to blogs: online conversations are happening since years and the success of [.]. Blog Connected marketing Social media marketing social media marketing

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Open Letter to the CxO: Can You Survive the Age of Integration and Collaboration?


Here’s the golden rule I always followed as an IT business guy, marketer, publisher and digital strategist: I only care about the customer of the customer. No matter how you look at it: no business can succeed if it doesn’t make sure that its customers can make their customers succeed. In the social era we have started calling this the audiences of audiences of audiences, etc. However, I do blog.

Brian Solis on Digital Darwinism and Customer-Centricity


As you probably know, Brian Solis published a new book a while back, called ‘The End of Business as Usual’. Since it’s an ideal time to catch up with my reading before going underground for the end of the year, I asked Brian some questions that are related to the ideas he develops in it.  [.]. Blog Connected marketing Customer-centricity Interview Social media marketing Brian Solis customer-centricity Digital Darwinism new consumerism The End of Business As Usual

Successful Social Business Pilot Projects: Benefits of Starting Small


In a previous post I looked at how the ‘people and process’ part matters before all in what we call social business (WIIFM, speaking the same language, common intended benefits, etc.). These two P’s are not new but repeatedly get overlooked, especially when technological and societal evolutions are still in the hype faze. History has a tendency to repeat itself. It doesn’t have to be your picture.

Doug Kessler: taking a stand – content marketing as evangelism


Everyone says content marketing is not about selling. They’re wrong, Doug Kessler says. Doug is Creative Director and co-founder of UK-based Velocity Partners, a B2B marketing agency with a strong focus on content strategy. Doug is a displaced Yank who started his career at Ogilvy & Mather, New York. Soap and fabric softener bored him […].

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Recruitment and Social: the Shift in Control Employers Forget


Generation Facebook - tomorrow's employee - is watching you You heard it before: the consumer is increasingly in control, and marketers have a hard time catching up and reconnecting with an increasingly connected consumer. Your future employees are connected and demanding consumers as well. And it impacts recruitment. Your business has many customers, everyone in its ecosystem and beyond.

Content Marketing As A Process: Three Rules Before Starting


Content marketing is defined as a marketing technique. However, it’s also  a process that it is very connected – and thus should be aligned – with several marketing purposes and business processes. Note that the definition of content marketing as a technique should not make you focus too much on the content itself. To succeed, [.]. Blog Blogging Content marketing Conversion Opinion AIDAS content marketing conversion customer life cycle customer-centricity lead management metrics ROI

Ardath Albee: what you need to know about buyer personas in B2B


Ardath Albee is one of the smartest B2B marketing and content marketing experts. I’ve been following her since quite some time and, even if we never met, I guarantee you that with Ardath you just know she’ll bring value to the table, based on experience. On top of being a B2B Marketing Strategist, Ardath Albee […].

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Most Employees Have No Idea if Their Company Has a Social Media Policy


A company is a legal entity. It does not produce anything. It does not communicate, and it has no activities. Production, communication and all other activities are done by the people within the company and within businesses that collaborate with it. That’s obvious, right? The people in the company operate within a market environment. A [.]. Social media marketing