• What Agencies Need To Do To Stay In The Game
    Michael Farmer, who has been consulting for advertising agencies for 25 years, sees the industry trapped between "fee-cutting clients and profit-hungry owners." Farmer lays out the details of how agencies have steadily fallen from the height they held 40 years ago and lays out a compelling argument for how they can best regain relevance and appropriate remuneration in a new book, "Madison Avenue Manslaughter." It will be available in September; I read an advance copy. At a time when some marketers question whether they need a traditional advertising agency at all to achieve their objectives, I posed a few questions ...
  • 'Doing' Content For A Cause
    Steve Butcher, the CEO of Seattle-based global ticket vendor Brown Paper Tickets, says he's had "a lot of love and respect for traditional marketing" dating to when he discovered Adweek magazine at his first job when he was 14. Not that his company does any.Instead, what Brown Paper Tickets does - and has since its inception in 2000 - is do things that aim to make a difference. "As we were growing the company, we decided that instead of putting money into marketing, and normal stuff like that, we were going to put it in the service level," Butcher says.
  • Keeping Up With The Millennials
    Susan Murphy figures she's been doing content marketing since she was graduated from Marquette University with a degree in journalism 30 years ago and landed a job as an assistant account executive at Edelman Public Relations. Still, sitting in meetings lately with younger, tech-savvy associates, she has been wondering if everything has been moving faster than her ability to keep up through hands-on osmosis.
  • It's Worth A Laugh, Bro
    Want to engage potential customers with content marketing? Humor helps, along with having a product that evokes passion - one way or the other - in the target consumer. Or, barring that, you need the talent to create a roiling controversy out of any material that happens to be at hand.
  • Being Real With Real Estate Marketing
    Long perused by wistful dreamers and active buyers alike, real estate and development listings, display ads, brochures and publications are certainly among the most enduring and endearing forms of content marketing. There has been a lot of new activity of late, from the sumptuous Elliman magazine that landed with a thud outside my home bundled with the New York Times a few months ago, to Coldwell Banker's empathic "Home Field Advantage" videos featuring baseball stars, as well as its use of user-generated photos and videos as part of the sales process, to name just a few.
  • Nurturing Freelancers Who Nurture The Brand
    As someone who has freelanced for most of the past 25 years - including some dabbles in what I had no idea would someday be called "content" - I was intrigued by a blog post I came across the other day: "Nurturing Freelancers Is the Key to Content Marketing." "Of course it is!" you may have heard me shriek.
  • Why GAF Rebuilt Its Marketing From The Roof Down
    About four years ago, GAF was marketing its roofing supplies just about the same way it had been since it was founded in 1886. But after listening to "some rumblings" from its certified contractors about the different kinds of questions their customers had been asking them lately - queries about color, style and design - the Parsippany, N.J.-based GAF commissioned some market research. It revealed some startling insights, says vice president Emily Videtto, and led to an overhaul of GAF's marketing that sets it apart not only from direct competitors but also from most companies in the building trades industry. ...
  • Study Finds Global Content Marketing Exploding At Double-Digit Rate
    Global content marketing revenues - monies generated by operators who provide content marketing services - rose 14.4% during the first half of this year following a 13.3% spurt last year, and are expected to more than double over the next five years, according to KPI benchmark data released yesterday by PQ Media in its first annual Global Content Marketing Forecast.
  • Cannes Winners Provide Peek At The State Of The Craft
    Branded content and entertainment creators must feel a bit like the B+ student whose report card contains "you can do better" notations from teachers. For the second consecutive year in the four-year history of the category at Cannes Lions, the jury declined to hand out a Grand Prix, although 63 Lions overall, including 16 Golds, were awarded.
  • 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.
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