Pepsi United and Sean Spicer PR Disaster

3 Valuable Marketing Lessons from Pepsi, United Airlines and Sean Spicer’s PR Disasters


Over the course of a week, PR and marketing professionals have had the chance to get some great real-life lessons in how quickly public stupidity can backfire and become a brand nightmare, thanks to three spectacularly public PR disasters by Pepsi, United Airlines and Sean Spicer.
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What Is Digital Marketing?

What Is Digital Marketing?


Although it’s been around for going on three decades now, digital marketing is still an area of marketing many people are still struggling to understand. Part of the question of “what is digital marketing?” comes from the fact that it wasn’t until recently that digital marketing became an actual field of study at universities and tech schools. Another reason though is that digital marketing, unlike traditional marketing, is much more intangible since it exists only in digital form.

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The #1 Best Marketing Tip Ever in the History of Marketing Tips


One of the biggest challenges marketers run into when being asked for “great ideas” on how to market a product is what to do when a product just isn’t very good or interesting. It’s one I’ve encountered many times in my life, and it’s a tough position to be put in, as you want to be helpful … but you also don’t want to be a jerk.

The truth is though, no matter how great of a marketing strategy you have behind a product, service or brand, if it’s something that no one wants (or might want), then it’s doomed for failure. Yes, you might sell a few ice cubes to eskimos, but sooner or later they’re going to realize they got bamboozled. That’s not a business. That’s a scam.
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Payoff by Dan Ariely

Read This Book: ‘Payoff’ by Dan Ariely (Book Review)


If you’ve ever spoken with me about books, particularly “business-type” books, one author I always mention as a must-read is Dan Ariely. As the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, as well as founder and director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, Ariely’s work on behavioral psychology has provided groundbreaking revelations and insight into the decision-making process, and the not-quite-rational way in which we make our decisions.

As a marketer (and a once-upon-a-time psychology major) I find the research into these topics particularly useful, especially when your job is to help build out strategies specifically designed to guide people to a desired outcome. After all, that’s pretty much what marketing is – using psychological principles to guide behavior and perception.
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Marketing Consultant vs. Marketing Strategist

Marketing Consultant vs. Marketing Strategist (What’s the Difference?)


One of the big areas companies regularly need help with is in their marketing. And for those who are looking to trigger some growth via marketing, some outside help is often necessary. But when faced with the challenge of finding outside marketing help, a common stumbling block is the question of if you need a marketing consultant or a marketing strategist.

At first glance, the two may seem to be very much the same thing, but they definitely are not. And as you look to build out your internal marketing team or external marketing agency strategy, it’s important to understand the difference between the two so you can decide which is right for you.
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SEO Agency

Should I Hire an SEO Agency? (Search Engine Optimization)


Should I hire an SEO agency? It’s a question that as a digital strategist I hear often – and one that can definitely have multiple answers. But in general, the question of hiring someone to handle your search engine optimization really is a question of just how much do you want to really want to be good at digital marketing and how much do you want it to be a core competency.

Generally I think of SEO as something that should be done in-house, and as part of a company’s core competencies. Anyone who’s writing content or creating web pages should have a good understanding of all the standards and best practices for SEO and work to ingrain them as part of their content creation strategy.

Honestly there’s not a LOT to good SEO once you start thinking of things you create with those in mind. Things like what your title tags say, how you are using your <h> tags, keyword phrases and density etc. are all things that can become pretty much second nature if you start to make it a point to follow them.

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Always Use a Pencil When Writing Out Your Plans

Always Use Pencil (When Writing Out Your Plans)


Plans.

Life plans. Business plans. Wedding plans. Travel plans. Marketing plans.

Plans.

They never seem to work out, do they? And it’s not for lack of proper planning.

The reason our plans often don’t work out the way we planned them is as simple as this. Life happens.

And part of life is the unknown. It’s fluid and changing and you never really can know what will happen next. But still we try to force some level of control over it. Some part of us wants life to be predictable and known – and so we make plans.

What’s your marketing plan? Can you help me build a marketing plan?

Questions like this come up all the time in business – but I’m here to tell you something.

Stop relying on plans.
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A Strong Marketing Strategy Requires a Strong Foundation


One of the key tenets I espouse to anyone looking to improve their marketing effectiveness is that marketing should be looked at holistically.

Each part of what we do with our business, particularly in the ways we present our business or brand to the world, is part of marketing. And, whether those actions are online or offline, they all need to work together to build a a greater whole that none of them could accomplish on their own.

That’s a main part of what I do when I’m working with clients – look at their goals as a company and how all their channels and communication are working together to help elevate the brand. This includes looking deep into the data to understand how the channels intersect, where breakpoints are occurring and where things may be missing altogether.

But none of this does any good without a strong foundation.
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Your Customers Know When You’re Full of Shit


As the saying goes, “you can’t bullshit a bullshitter.”

But it’s also true that you can’t bullshit an expert.

And that’s something you had better keep in mind when you’re talking to your customers. A lot of them are experts, and they know when you’re full of shit.

Any time you’re talking to a customer, whether it be via email, video, social media or <gasp!> in person, you’re talking to someone in their world.

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