• Branded Entertainment Must Entertain To Brand
    It's 2010. You've got a venerable brand in the U.K. but it's virtually unknown in the U.S. You're also aiming to be the first company to sell your product direct to consumers online. How do you generate awareness? How many of you answered: "You create a branded entertainment series on the Web that doesn't mention your name - or hint at what you do - except for a short lead-in and close during its first 10 episodes"? That's exactly what business insurance company Hiscox did when it wanted to establish itself as a company that understood the tribulations of small-businesspeople.
  • The Problematics Of Programmatic Creative
    "We've been doing what they call content marketing for 25 years," Bruce Bolger told me last Friday. "It's a big part of enterprise engagement." Bolger, a friend and hiking buddy, is an entrepreneurial author who has been pushing the importance of engaging everyone involved in the sales of goods and services - customers, employees, partners and suppliers - into a proactive process of communication, learning, recognition and collaboration. "It's 21st century marketing," he says. "It's finally taking hold with CEOs, and the advertising industry hates it. Advertising is a 20th-century solution."
  • CNN's Courageous Charting Path Of 'Newsworthy' Branded Content
    It's all about relevancy, Otto Bell will tell you: finding that kernel of a story within every brand that provides some kind of utility, or deepens a viewer's understanding of a subject, or even just evokes a smile. This requires that brands "rethink their modus operandi a little bit and recognize that they are sometimes sitting on stories that are oftentimes of really wonderful societal relevance," he feels. That's not something often said about the :30.
  • Radio One Launching OneX Branded Content Studio
    Radio One, which reaches 82% of the African-American population across platforms that also include television, live events websites and social media, is the latest media company to create a custom content studio - OneX - to work directly with brands and their curators.
  • Custom Print's Not Dead -- It Lives Alongside Everything Else
    In 2007, I wrote the cover story for the premiere edition of Content, a magazine produced by the Custom Publishing Council, surveying the state of the industry. Eight years isn't that long ago culturally - both "Mad Men" and the iPhone had made their debuts - but this sentence I used to sum up the disruption that was clearly on the content horizon seems as dated as the BlackBerry "device" you were probably using then: "It won't be long before consumers are using cell phones to scan a barcode that will instantly yield both a recipe for the product and ...
  • Are Buyer Personas A Waste Of Time?
    In this era of preference marketing, buyers are in control. When online information became ubiquitous, the customer suddenly didn't have to simply accept what marketing delivered; she now had choices. To win her business, we need to create a connection that goes well beyond a transactional relationship. To me, that's the rationale behind content marketing: instead of an organization broadcasting inward-focused messages, it must deliver value to the marketplace in order to create the customer connection.
  • When Your Content Marketing Fails
    Just about everyone has embraced content marketing. And some people are even succeeding with it. However, a shockingly high percentage of B2B content marketers report that it really isn't going all that well. According to a recent Content Marketing Institute study, just 38% of content marketers say their efforts are effective. Which means that almost two-thirds of content marketers are coming up short. Why is that?
  • Coca-Cola Tries Again To Position Itself As Health Food
    How many million marketing dollars will Coca Cola have to spend to make us believe it's in the business of promoting good health, instead of pushing a constant craving for its sugar- and chemical-laden drinks?
  • Spotlight Cinema Networks Knows How To Reach Affluents
    Whether it's HBO, Showtime or Netflix, one of the biggest challenges marketing upscale TV programming is how to reach an affluent audience. Same goes for those marketing luxury goods, whether it's Louis Vuitton or Porsche. Since its late-2011 launch, Spotlight Cinema Networks has offered a targeted platform for brands such as those to reach a blue-chip market.
  • GE Burnishes Content Marketing Legacy With Nat Geo Series
    The front page of Tuesday's New York Times business section trumpeted a story about how General Electric chairman Jeffrey Immelt had retooled the company. In doing so, he was shedding the "shadow" of his legendary predecessor Jack Welch. That same day in the same section, there was a piece touting a major content marketing deal among National Geographic Channel, Imagine Entertainment, Asylum Entertainment and GE for a six-part, multimillion-dollar documentary series about science and technology dubbed "Breakthrough." Not surprisingly, GE is bankrolling the series because it will highlight work being done by technologist and scientists, some of whom work for ...
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