A Major Executive Move In Content Marketing — Q&A With Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner, SAP. Michael Brenner has long been a recognized leader in content marketing in his role as VP marketing at SAP. Very recently, he joined content marketing technology vendor NewsCred to head strategy for that company. NewsCred is a rapidly growing content marketing technology platform that also offers licensed and original content. Clients include Bank of America, Time Inc. and P&G. This is a rare moment when an executive from the brand side of content marketing has decamped to the vendor side of the industry.  In light of this, I decided to interview him to hear his motives for the [...]


Independence Day Campaign Lets People Sign Declaration Of Independence Using Twitter

dec_steve_hall Just in time for July 4, New Orleans-based agency Peter Mayer is out with an admirable labor of love that celebrates America's independence and, at the same time, brings some 21st century technology to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The agency's founder, Peter Mayer, a first generation immigrant who "cherishes America's freedom and opportunities," inspired the agency to develop a piece of work that asks American if they, too, still believe in the country's core values. The work allows people to digitally "sign" the Declaration of Independence. To do so, people simply n [...]


Social Media Skills Are Really Social

business-social-handshake-shutterstock Social media as a practice is nearly a decade old. But for many of us, this job skill is a fairly new requirement. So how do you learn more about social media for your current or future job? Where do you go to learn more? What do you need to know? It's challenging. Most experts have gained social media skills on the job. So if you're lucky enough to land a job that requires social media understanding, that's great. If not, then you remain at a distinct disadvantage. The journey to social media literacy is not obtained through personal use. Although daily interactions with major platfo [...]


An Interview With Joe Pulizzi On Content Marketing

joe-pulizzi Content marketing as a strategy has gained lots of steam over the past few years, though it isn't exactly a new concept. But long before content marketing became an everyday term among marketers, Joe Pulizzi knew its importance. Seven years ago, he founded what is now Content Marketing Institute, a website dedicated to all things content marketing, including practical how-tos and insight from industry leaders. Recently, I had the pleasure of discussing all things content marketing with Joe, including the challenges marketers face, the future of content marketing and the fate of his belov [...]


Too Bizarre Or Too Boring? Finding The Right Balance For B2B Content

shutterstock_147474611-scale-bizarre-boring B2B companies have been loosening their figurative ties in the past few years, and most everybody is breathing a sigh of relief. But for content marketers, it's a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's great news that we no longer need to fill our blog posts with meaningless jargon and clunky technical terms. On the other hand, we have a lot of possibilities and no real roadmap or set of guidelines that let us know we're doing the right thing. For big companies, this isn't a concern. They can afford to take risks and don't even have to worry about whether their efforts directly impact [...]


Marketing At The Speed Of Ideas: How To Ensure Your Messaging Keeps Up

Speed_shutterstock Of the many demands on marketers, messaging is considered among the most difficult to deliver. We want our brand's message to convey the perfect balance of being fresh and creative while striking a chord of inner recognition. Not only do we need to hit this combination repeatedly, but we need to do so quickly if we want to elevate our brand in this fast-paced digital world. It's a tough standard to meet -- and many businesses turn out bland or predictable content in their efforts to keep up. Even worse, some try to ride an outdated trend or speak to a need that no longer exists. Stale, re [...]


Restaurant Chain Asks Customers to Punk Competitors On Facebook And Instagram

behind_enemy_lines In a new marketing campaign, health-conscious restaurant chain Muscle Maker Grill, with help from Pittsburgh-based agency Brunner, is sending its clientele “Behind Enemy Lines." It's asking its customers to head over to any of its competitors’ fast food restaurants and engage in a little Facebook/Instagram foolery. Through July 28, Muscle Maker Grill fans, which the brand refers to as “Warriors,” are asked to be seen, and photographed, making the three-finger “Warrior W” at some less-healthy chain eatery. Those who do and post the image to Facebook or Instagram with the hash [...]


5 Key Trends To Watch (And Use) In Mobile/Location-Based Marketing

mobile-devices-trends Mobile is quickly becoming one of the most important (if not the most important) channels for marketers to focus on. As more and more users do more and more on their smart phones and tablets, understanding the needs and wants of prospects and customers is critical. On the heels of mobile/internet analyst extraordinaire Mary Meeker's now famous Internet Trends presentation -- and with a nod to the fact that we are halfway through 2014 -- the timing seems right to take a look at some key trends in mobile and location-based marketing. The Trends Within Ms. Meeker's report, it's interes [...]


Ride The Tides Of Your Website To Make More Money With A/B Split Testing

The Traitors' Gate at the Tower of London In medieval London, pirates were often punished by chaining them to a wall near the Thames River (you pronounce it “ˈriv-ər”) at low tide. For most rivers, this wouldn't be a problem. The pirate would simply get wet. [caption id="attachment_89092" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Traitors' Gate at the Tower of London[/caption] However, the Thames, being an estuary, rises 15 feet, 20 feet or more at high tide. These pirates didn't just get wet. They got dead. You might say that the judges of London used the tides for their work, but the pirates lived and died by these tides. [...]


Heineken Makes Awesome Use Of Instagram’s Like Heart For Gay Pride Month

heineken_us_on_Instagram_1 Today, Heineken launched its "Like For Love" campaign on Instagram in celebration of Gay Pride Month. Several photos were posted on the brand's Instagram page this morning which show six couples in different pictures. The couples are posed with space between them so that when users Like the image (on the mobile app by double tapping), the Instagram heart appears between the couple. One couple is posed with their arms in the shape of a heart which Instagram's Like heart fills when a person likes that particular photo.  Of the campaign, Heineken USA Brand Director of Marketing sa [...]


How Blacklists Ruin Christmas For Email Marketers

holiday-retailer9-600 [caption id="attachment_91580" align="aligncenter" width="600"] This article is part of Marketing Land's Holiday Retailer series[/caption] A blacklist is a way of blocking IP addresses or domains of email servers sending out identified spam. Once a spam source has been identified, the blacklist owner will place the domain and/or IP address onto a list so that anyone can query it and block these spam sources, whether you’re an email provider like Gmail or someone running your own business. There are literally hundreds of public blacklists in operation around the world, and even more pri [...]


How Universal Analytics Is Different And What You Should Be Doing Now

logo-ga-upgrade If you've been using Google Analytics (GA) as your analytics solution over the past year or so, you've probably noticed that Google has been promoting its new analytics solution called "Google Universal Analytics" (UA). UA was in beta for well over a year. On April 2, 2014, it was moved from beta to production. While Google is treating this as the "re-imagining of Google Analytics," there are many new features and technologies behind it. How do the new features and technology behind UA impact what you're doing today? For everyone, there is no visible impact beyond the constantly chang [...]


Tablets Vs. Smartphones: Online Engagement Patterns Present Opportunities

shutterstock_200036231-tablet-vs-smartphone Two of the overarching goals for online marketers are maximizing the reach of their campaigns and increasing engagement levels. While delivering on the reach portion of this equation can be achieved through a number of well-known tactics, increasing campaign engagement is a much more nuanced task. The optimum content and delivery method of a campaign will vary from industry to industry -- and with consumers browsing across multiple device types, context (and how that impacts engagement on a larger scale) needs to be taken into account. In this article, we examine a month's worth of No [...]


The Power Of The First Follower: Analyzing The Viral Spread Phenomenon

twitter-birds-followers-featured First, watch this video: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA8z7f7a2Pk[/youtube] What Is This? This is a perfect example of an offline viral phenomenon whereby a single creative act, without active encouragement, is spread and grown organically to many hundreds of times its original size in less than three minutes. Okay, But Why Did This Actually Work? This is where things get really interesting. By dissecting the event, we can see that there were a number of factors that contributed to its viral spread. More specifically, the performance is: An original act of creativity, und [...]


5 Instagram Users Helped Propel ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ To $170 Million Box Office Success

fault_in_stars While this arrived sounding like a big 'ol self-promotional press release -- they all are, actually -- our interest was sparked by this work from Instagram influencer marketing firm, theAmplify. The company makes a technology called SharedRank which is an algorithm that provides strategic analytics and advanced audience targeting. Working with 20th Century Fox to promote their recent film, The Fault in Our Stars. In advance of the film's release date, theAmplify selected five key influencers within its entertainment affinity to attend a screening of the film. The influencers were s [...]


Prepare For Future Search: SEO For The Connected Home(Kit)

connected-devices My wife called me at work last week to let me know that she locked herself out of the house. Oddly enough, she had her phone with her but not her keys. If this had happened six months in the future, I would have never received her call because she would have just unlocked the door with her phone. This is all thanks to a newly announced iOS feature called HomeKit, coming to iPhones and iPads this fall. HomeKit, which premiered earlier this month at Apple's WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference), turns your iPhone or iPad into a remote control for your house, giving you the ability t [...]


The Highly Effective Habits Of Web Readers — What We Aren’t Doing

social-media-content-sharing-600 We all do it. When we read online, we skim, scan, and sometimes rifle through content, the same way we (used to) flip through fluff magazines or cumbersome pages of newsprint. Thanks to aggregate web analytics, we now have a better idea of what web readers are up to... and what they're not. Bottom line: read-through rates suck. I wrote about the issue in 2011, and it seems the problem has only gotten worse since. A 2013 aggregate web reader study conducted by Josh Schwartz, a data scientist at web traffic monitoring service Chartbeat, showed that: Over 30 percent of readers bounce [...]


8 Reasons To Start Using Tag Management, If You Haven’t Already

code-113611_640 At this point in the history of digital marketing, I think it's safe to say that -- for better or worse -- tags are required table stakes of digital measurement. Your analytics solution, your search marketing platforms, your UX tools, your testing platform, your voice of customer solution, your bidding platforms, your retargeting strategies… most, if not all of these, require those little snippets of code to be configured and added to your web properties, your apps, and basically your entire digital footprint. And for years now, we've done it. We've taken the code from vendor X, adapte [...]


One Of 2014’s Hottest Mobile Retail Opportunities: User Reviews

mobile-review-shutterstock Each year, the retail shopping season seems to catch us off guard, beginning sooner than we expect. Retailers begin to see a lift in sales during the back-to-school season, which continues through post-holiday sales at the end of the year. June is the perfect time for digital marketers to examine last year's trends and prepare to execute on new ideas that will help drive this year's sales. Based on the customer behaviors that we saw last year, we expect mobile -- browsing, showrooming and purchasing -- to continue to grow in 2014, supported by research-savvy shoppers who browse user revi [...]


oPhone DUO May Increase Online Sales With The Power Of Smell

Imagine the aromas! Have you heard of the oPhone DUO? I’ll bet you haven’t because it's brand new! And it has very interesting implications for online marketing. The oPhone DUO is a combination of oSnap and oPhone which was unveiled at the Connected Conference in Paris this week. oSnap is an application that allows you to share smells online and oPhone is the delivery system. (No, this isn't a joke, though Google did joke about something similar on April Fool's day in 2013.) [caption id="attachment_88367" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Limited Edition oPhone[/caption] This amazing new product has so many [...]


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