Small thoughts, big ideas.

Surround yourself with the dreamers, the doers, the believers & the digital ninjas. #SmallThoughtsBigIdeas


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MOBILE MOBILE MOBILE

Wake up and smell the mobile.
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The above chart is taken from this E-consultancy article. It shows, that in the UK, of total time spent with media, mobile represents 20%, yet only 7% of ad spend. That’s a £1.9bn gap.

Yes, the data is UK only. Yes the data is a little old. It’s not accuracy i’m getting at, it’s the principal.

See 10 Small Thoughts about 2015 & Beyond for another small thought on the future mobile.

“Mobile is the biggest platform in the history of mankind” - Karthee Madasamy, Qualcomm Ventures


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10 Small Thoughts about 2015 & Beyond

social-media-prediction2014. Blinked. Missed It.

Here’s my predictions (in no particular order) on what’s in store for 2015.

1. The Visual Web
Is there any other kind? Video is soaring. Everybody loves infographics. Tweets with images get 35% more engagement. YouTube is streaming blockbuster premieres. Pinterest & Instagram are crushing life. This really is nothing new. The smart ones are there already. 2015 will be the year the rest of us catch up.

2. Mobile
An exciting platform still in it’s infancy. Nobody has really figured out the solution for mobile, nor have they nerve to invest before they see it work. 2015 will be the year of somebody, somewhere unveiling the most amazing, unique, engaging mobile experience and native monetization campaign you’ve ever seen. It will blow us away. It will shake us up. It will change the mobile game internet.

3. Content
In 2014, we learned that content is the key to survival on the internet. In 2015 the volume of content will amplify. It’s quality will not. It will become really really hard to be seen. The fastest way to do anything on the internet will be to pay for it. A ton of money will get thrown down the drain. Only the smartest will survive.

4. Advertising
Native advertising will grow. Supply will outgrow demand and quality will reign. Programmatic will remain problematic. The smart amongst us will have figured out how to restructure organizationally to take advantage of it’s efficiencies. The rest will be hiring someone else to figure it out.

5. E-Commerce
Everyone will get on the e-commerce wagon in a desperate attempt at monetization in a crowded content market. It will probably work. Brick & mortar will suffer. It will become cheaper to shop at the mall than on the internet. Just slower.

6. Social Media
Some people will still be trying to find a monetary ROI on Twitter. Few will find it. Instagram will continue to crush life providing it resists the temptation to become Facebook. Organizations will realize that the intern can’t manage social media. Really good, proven social media managers will prosper.

7. Search
We will shift an increasing amount of attention & investment back to search upon the realization that Social Media although vitally important, is volatile and can change on a dime. The smart ones have mature strategies in both yet invest confidently in maintaining relevance.

8. Email
Some people will return to email. The smart ones never left.

9. Marketers
Today’s marketers will be the next generation of CEOs. Their customer centricity & influence over technology, product, content, sales & operations will make them the linchpin of every organization. This is nothing new, it just that more people will realize it. Make some room at that table. Pass the Perrier.

10. Strategy
With so much change and growth on the internet, it’ll be hard to stay focused. The smartest will stick to what they’re good at. They’ll do their thing and they’ll do it well. When they test, they’ll do it in conjunction, not at the expense of their thing. They’ll graciously leave behind what doesn’t work, and scale what does. They’ll be fast. They’ll be fearless. They’ll be humble.

2015 will bring to you, exactly what you bring to 2015.

Ready?

Let’s go.


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Let’s Make Social Media Human Again

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Below, an excerpt from a simple, yet overwhelmingly ‘hit the nail on the head’ refreshing story about bringing the ‘human’ back to social media from @blagica, via Digiday – Let’s Make Social Media Human Again. I loved it.

“The innovation in our world is tremendous, yet it seems that we aren’t investing in the training and development of human capital on the other end of the tweet, email, Facebook post, comment or regram. Facebook’s upcoming changes to its news feed coupled with Forrester’s recent report on the value of social advertising point to a solid reminder: investing in building relationships with consumers across multiple digital platforms is win-win for the consumer and the company. By ‘relationship’, I don’t mean a targeted ad, but a bona fide human conversation.”

In case you can’t tell, I concur.

“It’s simple. Talk to me like I’m a human being. I’m more than an inbox, Twitter handle, or opportunity for a Facebook “Like.” I’m your audience. And if we connect, there can be a meaningful exchange that’s beneficial for both of us.” – Dave Brown


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10 Easy Ways to Take Your Twitter Engagement To The Next Level

Twitter recently began experimenting with in-tweet analytics.

Soon afterwards, I tweeted that one particular tweet in my timeline had an engagement rate of 34%.

Compared to some other tweets in my timeline, this engagement rate was high.

Here’s 10 small thoughts why; and how you can take your own social media engagement to this level of engagement.

1. Use an image. (Example Tweet).

Tweets with images get 35% more engagement.

2. Use a hashtag. (Example Tweet).

Think of this as targeting your tweet to the right audience

3. Don’t use 140 characters when 40 will do. (Example Tweet).

Don’t waffle. Shorter is sweeter. Shorten your tweets.

4. Use an infographic. (Example Tweet).

Everybody loves infographics.

5. Use stats & soundbites. (Example Tweet).

Especially if they’re new, topical, strange or surprising.

6. Use quotes. (Example Tweet).

Snippets of wit, wisdom and genius are social media sharing gold.

7. Don’t use stock photography or photos with faces. 

Ugh. It looks cheap and people don’t like faces they don’t know.

8. Tweet for your twitter audience, not for the whole of twitter. 

If your tweet isn’t interesting or valuable to your audience, don’t tweet it.

9. Dont’ try and sell anything.

Build relationships & trust, nurture, engage. Sell later.

10. Use @names. (Example Tweet).

If you’re referencing a person or a brand on twitter, use their handle, in the right place.

* None of this matters if your content sucks.

“There is no substitute for brilliant content.” – Anna Lee Tweet this.


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10 Small Thoughts on Creating Really Good Content Marketing Campaigns

This post is an overview of a presentation I gave at a new event series – ‘Discovery Labs for Marketers’, hosted by Outbrain in NYC on November 18, 2014.

simplicity-quotesReally good content marketing campaigns are not easy – but they are really simple.

Let’s keep it that way.

Tip #1. Don’t overthink it.

Overthinking slows execution – the only way you’ll ever know how good your idea was. Just get it done.

I’m not suggesting you rush or skip the planning process altogether – i’m suggesting that content campaigns planned on a half page of a notebook in green sharpie can be just as powerful than those planned in a 57 page powerpoint deck.

Tip #2: Set a meaningful, measurable goal.

Having a measurable goal is the only way to plan something that actually works. Imagine what a successful campaign looks like for you. How will you measure that?

Goal setting will also help you prioritize the campaign against others by comparing this goal back to your top line business goals.

Tip #3: Know who you are talking to and why they care.

This is where you identify the value this campaign delivers to your audience. What specifically do your customers want from content? What are your customers searching for? What are they sharing online? What else are they reading and where are the gaps?

Tip #4: Identify the distribution platforms.

You don’t need to be on all platforms but you do need to be where your customers are. The platforms you choose will shape your execution.

Tip #5: Identify the influencers

Who are the people who are going to amplify your distribution on these platforms – or other platforms where you don’t have exposure? Consider some influencers may get pitched content hundreds of times per day. Relationships are key. Build them.

Tip #6: Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Make the most of what you’ve already got. Take existing content and repackage it into something new – perhaps in the form of lists or slideshows.

If you don’t have any existing content or your content isn’t evergreen, then consider partnerships with other bloggers or publishers to syndicate content. Many publishers are happy to share content providing you link back to the original source.

Tip #7: Optimize your content for each distribution platform.

There’s nothing worse than visiting each of a brand’s distribution channels and exactly finding the same delivery of exactly the same content on every platform.

Take one piece of content and publish it many times, in different formats for each platform. Consider for example images, infographics & video for social media vs. slideshows & lists for the web.

Tip #8: Write good headlines.

Headlines are 90% of the job of attracting audience to your content.

DO Create high-quality content and package it with a compelling headline.

DON’T leverage the curiosity gap without delivering on the promise you’ve made.

Tip #9: Use data to optimize your campaign.

Use data to validate the hypothesis you made at the beginning. Start small. Test. Learn, and scale successful results quickly.

Tip #10: Don’t forget about mobile

Sure, your campaign looks great on your desktop in the office, but how is the experience on mobile? If you forget about mobile then you can probably forget a large percentage of your audience. Pull out your smartphone and navigate your content on mobile. If you don’t have a great experience with your content on mobile, chances are that your audience won’t either.

“All the great things are simple” – Winston Churchill Tweet this.


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The Role of The Customer in Disruptive Innovation

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Pay too much attention to customers and the company risks not disrupting itself to prepare for tomorrows market and the inevitable arrival of disruptive competitors & technologies.

Pay no attention to customers and the company risks results that don’t meet their needs. They quite literally risk the customers themselves.

A ‘customer centered’ approach is more than ambitious; it’s impossible. It ignores the many other factors of consideration in a successful strategy – new technology, competitive threats and market trends. Customers are an essential input of a winning strategy, but they’re not the only input. A ‘customers included’ approach will have more success.

Companies that aim to be disruptive should include, not ignore the customer.

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new” – Steve Jobs Tweet this

I first read about the concept of a ‘customers-included’ strategy in the book ‘Customers Included by @MarkHurst & @PhilTerry. I’m only 15 pages into this book and already inspired by this refreshing take on the realities of creating a winning strategy.  
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