Thursday, April 3, 2014


An artist's sketchbook can read like a personal journal. These pages got me thinking ... what a great approach for telling brand stories - in print or digitally. 

Who could resist spending time snooping around? 

The art is totally engaging and I especially like the way the copy is broken into bits and bites. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


So interesting, this recent story in Adweek about high-end e-commerce brands using print magazines and catalogs to drive deeper fan engagement. 

You can't beat digital media for its touch-and-go immediacy, but there is something undeniably special about a good glossy pub - the kind you hang on to for months and leisurely re-read many times. 

Glossy print is expensive to publish of course, but for some brands it can be a worthy investment. I've long admired American Express for its very upscale Departures magazine - available exclusively to Platnium Card and Centurion members. 

This pub is world-classy - superbly written, beautifully edited and art directed, printed on quality paper stock - and it delivers real reader value with news, tips and feature stories that make you want to buy, buy, buy ... using your Amex card. 

Plus, each issue is plump with ads that command attention on the printed page. These ads translate well on screen, too, since Departures' members-only online edition is plenty luxe. However, the feel and smell of fine paper make them seem a lot more personal, if not more memorable. 

Yes, print is still relevant.  Costly no doubt, but Amex seems to monetize it just fine. Let's see how new players such as Porter do. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

5 Questions Help Filter and Align Social Content

Anyone managing a brand's robust social media program knows the pressure of pumping out continuous content.  

There are lots of ways to feed the content pipeline, like generating original material, re-purposing old content, tapping syndicated sources, re-tweeting, commenting on forums, posting news links, etc. Being flush with content isn't enough, however. It's important that every bit of content that's fed out connects back to the brand in a meaningful way.  

One way to keep content on-strategy is to use a brand filter against which all content - original or borrowed – can be judged.

Filtering brings focus and discipline to content management and an effective filter can simply pose five key questions:

1.     Does this content accurately position the brand?

2.     Is it relevant to our target audiences?  What value does it provide?

3.     Does this put the brand in proper, authentic context?

4.     Will it have traction in media channels that reach our targets?

5.    How does this content tie back to the business?  Does the message leverage brand news, a competitive attribute, keywords, or promote a measurable call-to-action?

 How do you align content with your communications and business strategy?  Do you use a filter? 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Instagram Hits 200 Million Users. But Will Any of Them Care About Your Brand?

Last week the social photo-sharing platform Instagram announced it had reached the 200 million monthly active users mark – doubling in size from just a year ago. Among those users are many well-known brands; reportedly 43% of the top 100 brands now post content on Instagram upwards of six times each week.
The highly viral nature of photo-sharing makes Instagram extremely appealing to marketers. Indeed, some brands see their content fly fast and wide on it, but in truth far more get little to no traction at all. Why not?  Consider that the core of Instagram’s estimated 75 million daily users is young – very young in fact. Half are females between the ages of 12-24, of which 20% are between 12-17. 
Is this group part of your target market? If yes, then certainly hitch your publicity wagon to Instagram’s success and give it a go. If not, your social marketing efforts are probably better spent elsewhere. 
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