Sorry…That’s Not What Our System Says…

February 8, 2018 by Carla Johnson I went to my local library yesterday to use their production studio to make a higher-quality voiceover recording than I could do on my laptop. My schedule’s tight so I reserved the room online ahead of time. I checked in with the woman behind the desk when I got to the library. She checked …

How Brands are Using Artificial Intelligence in Customer Segmentation

February 6, 2018 by Mitch Duckler With another year of rapid advances, artificial intelligence (AI) was the marketing technology buzzword in 2017. And in 2018, AI and machine learning will become even more accessible to brands. AI will pave the way for marketers to laser focus on target market segments and reach customers, while attracting new prospects and leads, with highly-personalized …

Is Marketing Its Own Worst Enemy?

February 1, 2018 by Carla Johnson People have been talking about marketing’s need to change for as long as marketing’s been around. We’re told to adjust or perish. Choose between surviving and thriving. Stop taking orders and start creating value. But marketing has the potential to be much more than any of these best-case scenarios. Which is exactly the point …

The Multidimensional Customer: Building Experiences from the Outside In

January 25, 2018 by Carla Johnson When, where, why and how do people spend money? The motivations that make up how people make decisions have become incredibly complex in the last few years. And while businesses keep gathering bigger and bigger data, customers feel brutally frustrated with how brands interact with them. The outcome is that companies find that they’re …

What do B2B Customers Want in 2018?

January 23, 2018 By Carla Johnson Getting their message and content in front of their target audience is the biggest challenge B2B executives say they face in 2018, according to Bridge the Gap: The State of B2B Marketing Communications 2018, a report published by communications technology company Ytel. In fact, 55 percent of the 2000+ CEOs and other top executives …

Does Innovation Make a Company Innovative?

January 18, 2018 by Carla Johnson I have a client that’s proud of his new innovation center. It’s well thought out. He’s hired the best-of-the-best across the board. Design thinking is core to their innovation discipline. They bring customers in for focus groups and collaborate on product development. He’s able to deliver products that solve problems in the marketplace. But …

10 B2B Women CMOs to Keynote Your Next Event

January 9, 2018 by Carla Johnson CES received a backlash when it announced the roster of keynotes that was barren of female representation. Kristin Lemkau, CMO JPMorgan Chase responded with a list of 22 “amazing women innovators in tech and media who would slay any keynote anywhere.” And she came up with this list in less time than it took …

How Well Do You Trigger Anticipation?

January 4, 2018 by Carla Johnson When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Sunday nights. I grew up on a farm and work was never a 9-to-5 gig. With crops, hogs and cattle, we worked whenever work needed to be done. But Sunday nights were different. Sunday night was when we had milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches for …

Digitization or Integration: What’s Marketing’s Holy Grail?

May 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson One of the primary drivers of change for businesses in the last decade has been digital transformation. But with the shift to a heavy digital-first experience, marketers have neglected the bigger picture: creating a connected, integrated and seamless experience for customers who bounce between online and real-world interactions with brands. When we look at …

3 Top Trends in Customer Experience

May 9, 2017 by Carla Johnson I remember seeing the first Terminator movie. Holy crap, the machines scared me. They felt no pity, no remorse, no pain, no fear. It was a far-fetched idea in 1984, but now that our vocabulary is infused with artificial intelligence and virtual reality, some people have a great deal of empathy with Sarah Conner. …

How Giving Useful Ideas and Secrets Builds Trust

May 4, 2017 by Brian Carroll I had coffee with a potential partner, and our conversation ebbed to us talking about business philosophy, marketing, and lead generation. I talked about freely sharing ideas and helping people. He replied something like,  “I think companies [like yours] give away too many of their trade secrets on their website and blogs. They provide …

Stop Burning Budget on Inefficient Strategies

April 18, 2017 by Chuck Frey Would you stack bagfuls of cash into a crude pyramid, and then set it on fire? Of course not! That would be stupid, and you’re not stupid, so you’re not going to ignore inefficiencies in your content marketing initiative, are you? Here are five areas that are especially problematic: 1. You’re producing content, but …

RESEARCH: B2B Enterprise Content Lacks Audience Centricity

April 13, 2017 by Carla Johnson Research from the Content Marketing Institute, released yesterday, shows how far B2B marketers still have to go to put customers squarely in the middle of conversations. Too many B2B marketers still focus on their brand, rather than their audience. In fact, 53 percent of respondents say they focus on creating content for audiences versus …

10 Things Marketers Need to Know About AI

April 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson Artificial intelligence (AI) is seeping into more and more industries, including marketing. While brands aren’t ready to hand over the reins of responsibility to AI quite yet, smart marketers are getting a handle on what it means to them and the future of their profession. A recent article in CIO points out that AI-enabled …

Human-Centered Design: What It Is And Why It Matters in Marketing

April 6, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve been watching the backlash to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad this week. According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged …

If LEGO Built Your Brand Experience, What Would It Look Like?

March 9, 2017 by Carla Johnson Marketers love massively creative work. We hype Super Bowl ads. We study the most innovative companies. And we follow curious minds. But that’s where much of our inspiration ends and reality sets in. We have bosses who would never go for such wild ideas. Budgets that can’t stretch that far. There’s too much bureaucracy. …

RESEARCH: Marketers’ Confidence at All-time High, But Still Room for Improvement

March 7, 2017 by Carla Johnson Marketers’ confidence rose from last year. While almost a third (30%) of marketers say they’re worried that their organization isn’t investing in the right customers. That number is down 13% from 2016. These are the findings from the Marketers’ Confidence Index, a survey released by the American Marketing Association (AMA) in partnership with Kantar …

30 Seconds to Killer Storytelling Anytime, Anywhere

March 2, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve written about how high-quality storytelling can take companies out of the commodity conundrum and actually help raise prices. “That’s great!” readers tell me. “But how do I actually tell a story?” I’d like to share the easiest and quickest storytelling formula ever, courtesy of former Disney Pixar writer Emma Coates. Story, story everywhere. …