My Horrible Print Ad, circa 1984

Ad for North Carolina Economic Development

It’s an ad about education. Please, oh please, no typoes!

I just wanted to follow up my previous post about blogging – and how it’s not the end of the world if you occasionally make mistakes. Try to avoid them, of course. But don’t let the fear of mistakes keep you from posting content that’s vital to your strategy.  Most online mistakes are fixable. 

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My Horrible Blog Post

Blogging can feel like walking a tightropeMy stats page notified me last month that someone had visited one of my old posts from April 2011.

I always liked that particular post. I wondered why it had never generated much traffic or any comments. There was no love for it at all. And it was about a circus. What’s not to love?

Let me count the ways.

First, I hadn’t read the post since I had originally hit the “publish” button. Had I taken a few moments to double-check it, I would have seen that I’d totally botched a nice little story.

The phrasing that was supposed to be ever-so-clever sounded phony. Entire sentences, and paragraphs, made no sense.  Continue reading

5 For The Weekend, Vol. 4

Bill Dorman compares blogs to restaurants

Great record from 1967, not a restaurant or a blog

Combing the blogosphere, the Twitterverse and places that can’t be mentioned in polite company, our staff has uncovered five blog posts that make a fine weekend marketing read. 

Soon you’ll be asking yourself, “What kind of restaurant is this blog?” And wondering if you would bring a respectable date here.

You’ll have to read on to get the reference. 

Without further ado, or explanation, the winners are (the envelope, please): 

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How To Avoid The “Solutions That Matter” Trap

Strategic marketing messages aren't complicated

It’s message development, not rocket science.

For this post on strategic marketing messages, I was trying to invent a vague and completely meaningless example. The result: “Solutions That Matter.” 

Then I Googled it, just for fun. I invite you to do the same. 

I’m not sure how “Solutions That Matter” could add value to any brand, in any situation. Is it supposed to contrast with “Solutions That Don’t Matter”? 

Major brands can spend millions developing strategic messages to use throughout their marketing.  And still they get it wrong. Your business can do better, even if you’re bootstrapping it.

So with no further ado…

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5 For The Week, Vol. 3

Five Links For Your Weekend Marketing Pleasure

 

Comedian Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s summer comedy tour continues all month

For most people, the big excitement on the Internet this week included Britney Spears’ love tweets to the Mars Rover, and boffo press reviews of the Joe Biden summer comedy tour. But you and I have something special. We get to look over the best marketing links of the week, as calculated by nine ArmentDietrich analytics interns and stored in a #2 mayonnaise jar on Funk &Wagnalls porch. (For a complete list of contest rules, please tweet me at @barrettrossie.)

See why I leave the comedy to Bill Dorman?

At any rate, here are some things I ran across this week that seemed useful or interesting, and contributed to the “lifetime learning” component of my personal plan. Continue reading

5 For The Week, Vol. 2

Five Great Links For Your Weekend Marketing Reading

5 Great Links For Your Weekend Marketing ReadingOnce again, I’ve scoured the Internet to bring you five links to increase your marketing IQ while sipping your morning latte. This week’s 5 include: a large brand spilling the beans about how it grew into a social media leader in its industry; a fascinating timeline infographic on the history of marketing channels; an amazingly in-depth primer on getting more out of Twitter; and two thought-provokers on the nature of marketing and the relevance of advertising.

The envelope, please…

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Musical Advice For Bloggers

Long before any of us had any concept of the web or blogs, Kenny G had something to say about the risks you take in expressing yourself. What he said then, with sax in hand, is timely for bloggers today:

Kenny G

“During the show I play completely  alone. The rest of the band leaves the stage and I sit there (he plays a quick sax riff to demonstrate) and do that stuff.And I mean I’m putting my neck right out there. If people don’t like it, I’m gonna be feeling terrible…But, yeah, you’re vulnerable.

Because whenever you express yourself honestly, you have to put yourself in a position to where people may not agree with what you’re saying or what you’re playing.

And if you can do that, and just feel inside that you’re doing the right thing, then you can live with it.” Continue reading

5 For The Week

Weekend reading material

25 hours of poring over the web, then a break.

I spent about 25 hours scouring the blogosphere last week, poring over countless posts and articles on marketing, strategy and business in general, archiving my favorites, all to save you some time and make your weekend business browsing more enjoyable. Seriously.

Here are five articles I really enjoyed last week. Maybe there’s a nugget or two you can use. Continue reading

Does It Really Matter What You, Or Anyone, Thinks Of Chick-fil-A?

I ask this purely from a marketing perspective.

Here’s why: Chick-fil-A takes in more than $4 billion each year by aligning perfectly with the community it serves: traditional, family-oriented people of all ages, races and creeds.

Chick-fil-A has raving fans

Meanwhile, they’re extraordinarily efficient about not expending resources elsewhere. They’ve targeted exceptionally well, just by being who they are.

If you’re not a part of their extended community, you may be unfamiliar with how the company became so successful. It’s more than just tasty sandwiches and lemonade, or cool ads from The Richards Group.

No matter where you stand on Chick-fil-A’s values, or the size of your business, or what markets you serve, you can take lessons from their success.

The secrets of Chick-fil-A’s brand power Continue reading

Why I love inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is kind of the opposite of Mad Men advertising

We were the Mad Men of the 80s and 90s. Kind of.

At a large ad agency where I worked in the early 90s, many of the copywriters and art directors would show up late each day. Then they’d spend an hour or so visiting, as if they hadn’t seen each other in months. Then they’d attend a “meeting” – to view directors’ reels with a production company sales rep bearing free pastries. Most attendees weren’t even working on TV projects.

After an hour of this vital work, many would go out for a Jamba Juice.

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