Portland, OR, USA
A digital and B2B marketer with a background in analytics and online media. Based in Portland, Oregon, I run the media group at Babcock & Jenkins, a B2B agency.
Some good tips, but actually practicing them is critical. I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to typos or grammar issues on a blog, but when you call out not proofreading as a mistake to avoid, follow your own advice. Even basic spell check would pick up that "littel" was a typo...
2 months, 1 week ago on What Not to Do, Part 2: Social Media Content Marketing Mistakes
@annelizhannan Anne, I had the same problem until I turned off my ad blocker on this page. It seems Frank doesn't want to admit it, but this is actually his ploy to ensure all the ads are delivered on his page and he gets paid in full by his sponsors. Of course, if he just switched to native ads it wouldn't be a problem. ;-)
4 months ago on Infographic: The State of Native Advertising is…Confused
LOL. Love this, and so true!
6 months, 3 weeks ago on A Listless: Misguided Brands Must Stop Sponsoring Schmucks
LOL, thanks Shonali, I'm looking forward to it!
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Monday Roundup: A Goodie Bag of #measurePR
Shonali, clearly you are reading the wrong books. There are hundreds (millions?) of books, blogs, white papers, ebooks, infographics, ... that break down in detail how to be the grand poobah of social media for your business in anywhere between 5 minutes and 15 minutes a day. 1 to 2 hours a day? Crazy talk. Once your social media money machine is running, you won't work, in total, for 2 hours a day!
Ok, snark is over. I've wondered how you have been, glad to hear that less blogging and social media time just means you are busy. We'll have to carve out an opportunity to say hello for real, you know, between the time spent doing real work, family time, keeping social media barely alive, ... :)
1 year, 1 month ago on Dear Business: Get Over the Social Media Hump
Gini, I prefer "Spin Sucks: Communicating to Customers in the New Age of Transparency" but if the SEO generals will approve a little change I'll like it a lot more: seriously, we should be communicating with customers, not communicating to them.
I'm not a big fan of all of the "spin" ties, many aren't particularly clear, and one (spinning out of control) is a fun play on words but I think introduces a different meaning for spin that could change what someone assumes the main title means.
One idea that I think clarifies spin a bit (can keeps communication in): "Spin Sucks: Taking Spin Out Of Your Communications Toolbox"
Alright, best of luck sorting through a few hundred more options! :-)
1 year, 3 months ago on Vote for the Spin Sucks Subtitle
Holly, this is great and something so many people seem to struggle with. Thank you for sharing your perspective along with your personal experience.
PS - you don't need to quote Godin, the good part here is straight from you.
1 year, 4 months ago on Would the Real Holly Dawson Please Stand Up?
Shonali, great list, definitely a couple new ones I'm looking forward to trying. I didn't even finish the post once I hit Write That Name, I just stopped and signed up (and then came back and finished).
Thanks for sharing!
1 year, 5 months ago on 20 Tools to Grow Your Business, Efficiency and Productivity
Shonali, definitely an interesting view (and a refreshing departure from all of the "add an image!" recommendations out there).
I wonder, on the 0.1% comment, if the % is fixed, or if the amount of content that can really go viral, in terms of the attention it get and requires from each person, is what is fixed? ie If 10 times as much content is created, will that actually drop to 0.01%?
I suspect the chance of "going viral" drops each and every year. Would love to hear what others think of that.
1 year, 7 months ago on What Compels People to Share Your Content?
Oh, where to begin.
I've been guilty of using this statistic, however when I tried to trace it back to a real source last year, I found there isn't one. This is a great example of a "known fact" created simply by repetition among bloggers and marketers. As you point out, CEB has a pretty different figure. I believe the 70% has been twisted from an older estimate of the portion of research that happens outside of direct dialogue with sales, it doesn't mean sales isn't involved until the process is 70% complete. (ie 30% is directly in dialogue with sales, a really big number!)
Next: Social Zealots are Drunks.
I'm quite certain I've seen Ninjas and Gurus with LDS affiliations in their Twitter bios. I'm thinking there are stronger illicit drugs at work here. Just sayin'
Moving on: The CEB study.
I'm not familiar with the methodology, but the fact that it is survey-based definitely points to some type of self-reported statistic. Even before slicing it up by industry, country, etc, we should recognize that it is a picture of how buyers buy on average and every process is different.
Finally: The abuse of statistics.
There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Statistics are easily twisted (ignoring for the moment the fact the 70% one isn't even a real stat).
What should the 57% really mean? This is all: many buyers do their own research before connecting with sales. Does your sales and marketing consider these buyers? If not, should it?
This should take into account your industry (as you pointed out), the type of solution (completely new paradigms versus differentiated but well understood categories versus complete commodities), as well as your business goals. Even if this buying process is common in your category, it doesn't define every single buyer. You may be able to establish a very solid business even ignoring people that do research first (or even: letting your competitors spend time to educate them on the category and then delivering when they are ready to buy).
Ok, I'll stop before the comment becomes as long as the post! Great, as always, thanks for posting!
1 year, 8 months ago on This B2B Whopper MUST Go
Thanks for the kind words about your followers here at BNJ!
And yes, I agree. An example or a case study does not a best practice make.
1 year, 8 months ago on Right Way to Share a B2B Success
Jon, I wasn't certain what to expect from the title, but this is spot on. #1 and #5 are real thorns in my side and much of the marketing advice I read takes people down these bad roads!
1 year, 8 months ago on 5 Promises Every Living Marketer Should Make to Themselves
Where to begin...
Let's start with the tweets.
Only two of the eight tweets say anything about search, but this appears (I think, we will get there...) to be a paper about improving search. Sets the wrong expectation and draws the wrong audience.
Way too many baseball metaphors in only about 50 words. I have seen a number of marketers make this mistake lately. It is like they are so enamored with the campaign idea that they carry that they have decided to talk about the campaign. In doing so, their real value proposition has been lost.
Strong brands use big data for long-tail discovery. Completely disconnected from most of the tweets and way too big of a mouthful. It sounds like marketing, how would you explain it in a conversation over coffee? Hopefully not like that...
It's really about search (I think, when I strip away all of the metaphors) and basically says we will help you improve your search marketing. Ok, but about 1800 other companies or pieces of content make the same claim. Nothing motivates me and makes me believe this piece of content is better than the stack of similar pitches already sitting in my inbox.
(Nevermind the metaphor issues, which muddy language and cause problems in search more often than not. Clear direct language is key in search, but I digress...)
Thank you page.
Really, don't make me go dig out of email. I know you want to make certain you captured a legit email but your content is proof of your claims of expertise. Don't make it so hard to get that your target audience never gets that proof.
"Thanks for your interest in BloomReach." No, I didn't express any interest in you, just your piece of content. Rather than assume I'm interested in you and present a bunch of links about you, offer up additional content or information I might be interested.
By giving me two or three related content options, my decision about what to look at next actually would give BloomReach additional information about me and my interests, which they could use to make any followup emails more relevant (enter marketing automation).
Ok, my rant is over. Thanks for sharing!
1 year, 10 months ago on Conversion Optimization 101: Social Media Landing Pages
For most businesses, nothing is going to overcome a consistently poor experience with your product/service/solution. If that isn't going right, stop and fix it. Marketing will not solve your problem. However, marketing may have an important role after that.
Loyal customers are customers that expect to continue working with you. They are confident not only in your service today, but in what you will continue to provide in the future. In B2B, this is where marketing's role in loyalty comes in.
1 year, 12 months ago on Loyalty (sigh). What A Concept.
Interesting perspective. I definitely agree with you, today's buyers don't want to see volumes of additional largely irrelevant information tossed their way.
I think the answer for marketers is a bit more nuanced. They need to deliver the right information, not all of the information, to prospective buyers. In order to have the right information, most need to produce a lot of information. From that library, they then need to surface the right information for each person. Of course, sales has always done this in a 1-1 environment and they didn't need the same range of content that today's marketing approaches require. With the opportunity to provide information along with context specific to each recipient on why it was being provided, they could introduce it appropriate. Today, content has to stand on its own.
So, don't flood ME with content, but you just might still need to produce an overwhelming amount of it.
2 years ago on What B2B 'Personas' Initiatives Neglect To Consider
@JayBaer @jay_zo The routing for response mechanism here may implement much more quickly than you indicate here in a number of companies. Consider both customer service (where there is already a degree of automation) and new business or sales (where it is more often manual but routed to the appropriate contact).
What takes time is scale, but for companies that already have a routing infrastructure and mindset, I have to wonder, why is this such a leap? When you label is "social" and "content" it may seem like a big change but when you dig under the covers, I think there are a number of companies that are not far from being able to implement meaningful aspects of this.
2 years ago on Why Insourcing is the Next Social Media and Content Marketing Trend
@TedRubin Thanks for the reply. I completely agree with your closing statement (and have said something similar myself).
"Understanding and immersing themselves, at least a little in social, will at the very least give them a basic feel for what it is instead of what they perceive it to be."
If they do NOT support social and it is because they do not understand it, then yes, most definitely, getting engaged can make a big difference. Ultimately, I view this as a path to supporting social. Understanding it better is just one of the potential paths there.
Appreciate your reply and perspective helping to shape mine.
2 years, 1 month ago on CEOs On Social Media: Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Steve, why do CEO's need to embrace a presence social media? Do they take out the trash? Do they answer the phone at the front desk?
I think the social media community is too focused on personal usage by executives, and the analogy you use is a bit broken. Equating business use with social use is apples and oranges. Equating personal use with being willing to support it in the business is also apples and oranges.
I agree with you, it may be many years before most CEO's of major companies are engaged in social media. But as long as they support social media in the business, it should be ok.
Wow, a lot of good points. I want to share a couple reactions I had to this.
1) My views are not necessarily my employers. Yes, being somewhat active in social media, my views may be public, but what is important is generally far more important is my behavior. If I post that content is overrated as a differentiator and is fast becoming tablestakes for marketers as we are all inundated, you won't likely dismiss my agency for content. In fact, you might even see that we do content creation and see perspectives of individuals around content's evolution as a positive, even if it isn't a position you will see on the agency's website.
I'm blogging, tweeting and facebooking in public, with full disclosure of who my employer is. What I say may not be there view, but that doesn't mean I'm not associated with them.
2) What is sharing? In my view, it should be an endorsement that it is worth the time to read, watch, fill out, etc. It can be something a disagree with but gives insight into a different perspective. Or can be entertaining, or it can just be so awful that you have to share the misery of having sat through it (with a full disclaimer of course for what it is).
This isn't a sense of the right way and the wrong way. It is a perspective I have after following many people and seeing the increasing glut of content. What is valuable to me, and I believe will be increasingly valuable to others as well, is that we are acting as a filter.
And a closing note: views are my own, so please don't hold my employer responsible for anything considerate or intelligent I might accidentally say.
2 years, 1 month ago on Does Social Sharing Equal Public Endorsement?
Sam, I don't want to pay for content because so much of it these days isn't valuable. I hesitate because I don't know that it is worth the bother of even providing my email address.
Add to that being burned so many times by companies that sell or spam me or processes that start with a simple form (first name, email) and then require a 20 field form to be completed as the second step, I would rather take the next result in Google because it isn't any more likely to be low quality than the one I just passed on paying for with my information.
It isn't just blogs that are producing awful content these days, even some of the respected publishing companies produce a lot of fluff these days. If we don't pay with our information or credit card, we are still paying with our time and attention.
So, to answer your question: yes, there is value in free content. But the real value is in valuable content. Content that your audience would MISS if it wasn't there. When you consistently deliver that content to your audience, you win the battle for attention.
2 years, 2 months ago on Is Free an Asset to Content Marketers?
Good point from @ShakirahDawud , blogs can be skimmed. What I appreciate most about your posts, and a few other folks, is that they are NOT directly actionable, but they are thought provoking. They plant a seed, like this one does.
Seed: Is making someone stop and think enough, or do you need to tell them the answer too? Does the answer to that change depending on the relationship you already have with them?
I don't need a 60 minute webcast to spark a thought, if I have 60 minutes to give, then I don't have any time after to think! But for a blog, there is ample room for both styles.
My $0.02 in reply. :-)
2 years, 3 months ago on Of actionable items and a touch of hypocrisy
2 years, 3 months ago on Catching Up
[This is where I bite my tongue and resist the urge to launch into a useless monologue. Well said Margie, absolutely nothing should be added.]
2 years, 4 months ago on The problem with armor
@Lisa Gerber Happy Birthday Lisa!
-- A fellow Pacific Northwesterner
2 years, 4 months ago on #FollowFriday: Lisa Gerber
@ginidietrich I look forward to joining you in the 10% club.
Here is my crazy question (because I always like to flip statistics on their heads): will this be 90% because people will be writing that much less content? Or is that a 9x increase in content, rewritten and repurposed by machines?
Remember the old game of telephone? I wonder what happens when a machines creates content that is then spun by a machine that is then spun by a machine that is then...
Will a cycle of machine content built on machine content end up creating and perpetuating misinformation?
So, here's to the 10%!!
2 years, 4 months ago on Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story than Humans?
One of the worst things about self-hosted wordpress blogs is sorting through all of the available plugins. This is a great list, and particularly helpful since I'm also using Genesis. Thanks for posting Danny!
2 years, 4 months ago on 27 Highly Recommended WordPress PlugIns As Used on Here
Jay, saying Pinterest will behave like search is an interesting thought. For physical products, that might be the case, but I think that view may ultimately be too marketing centric.
Seeing the bit that is shared from my blog, it is clear many people are sharing images that resonate with them, for reasons that have nothing to do with the underlying content.
I don't have the data on pinterest traffic to my little blog to compare engagement in a meaningful way, but take a look at these two pins, both from my blog, and the boards they are on. Clearly the image, not the "bookmark", is the thing being shared.
Definitely a space to watch as it continues to develop. And yes, I agree 100%, traffic for most should merely be a means to an end, it is meaningless if it doesn't get you there. Great stuff, as always.
2 years, 4 months ago on The Most Overrated Social Media Metric
I'm definitely a fan of the magic middle idea here, although I wasn't aware of the term before. I highlighted something similar as the "real" goal of Klout and other firms - they don't need to identify the top 10 people for us, if they give marketers a way to engage influencers 100 to 1,000, they can provide significant reach through an audience that historically has not been targeted by marketers in the same way (and hopefully isn't as jaded).
Nice to see the source of this approach!
2 years, 5 months ago on How to Manage Influencer Outreach Programs: The Power of the Magic Middle
Definitely a dichotomy in social media, but I'm not convinced it is actually as big of a disconnect. The biggest problem I see is that "conversation" isn't connected. Conversation or engagement is generally good advice as part of an overall plan, but it has been adopted standalone, without connecting that engagement to the process of educating prospective buyers and uncovering new sales opportunities.
2 years, 5 months ago on Myth: Marketing consists of just talking to people (or what is Social Media Marketing)
Margie, what strikes me about the "X is dead" perspectives is it always seems to come back to two points:
1) The cost of X.
2) The limited visibility into results from X.
As you point out, visibility into results is, in part, a factor of knowing how to track traditional media. The other side of this coin is that digital and social media don't necessarily provide great insights into real business results. Most digital reporting connects activity (clicks, tweets, etc) to activity (purchases, leads, ...). Unfortunately, it doesn't establish cause or get to lift. Those are much harder to measure, are far closer to a measurement of the business impact, and are more commonly used in traditional (ie the hard to measure) media. You can do it in digital and social too, but it isn't easy.
The cost arguments have some merit today, but are mostly fleeting. When new channels emerge, they frequently don't get the investment they potentially deserve. Marketers are reactive, they wait for their audience to move. Marketers that can move quickly can get a brief cost advantage. But media and marketing are about return and the return is, in part, a function of those media costs. If social media is really more cost effective, the costs will come back into alignment over time, and then the next "new" thing will all of a sudden be the cheaper option!
Alright, a mini-rant and nearly a blog post, I'll wrap up at that! :-)
2 years, 6 months ago on Myth: Killing anything that's not social media is advisable
Marissa, definitely interesting stats, but I can't help but wonder if there is some bias here. Do you know how the responses were recruited? From the numbers, it would seem social media was a big piece of the recruitment. 86% to 94% of people caring about what a company does in social media, outside of social media circles, seems tough to believe.
Any context you can add back here to help understand what these results mean?
2 years, 6 months ago on Study: 74% Of Respondents More Likely To Buy From Companies With CEO Social Media Engagement
One challenge is with frequent use, new words that captures the essence of an idea become commodotized. They come to have a simple definition and have been disconnected from the ideas their use was born out of. As a marketer, one more I would add to the list: strategy. We used to need a strategy. Today, according to bloggers, we need a headline strategy, a Twitter follow strategy, and probably a color strategy for our site. Strategy is important, but the word no longer has an important meaning.
2 years, 6 months ago on 7 Business (Buzz)Words That Have Lost Almost All Meaning
I actually blog on my commute. I have a slight advantage: public transit instead of driving. I'm able to draft or completely write the majority of my blog posts during my commute, relatively free of distractions, all on my mobile. Check it out: http://b2bdigital.net/
One additional point that adds: the possibilities today, thanks to the power and functionality of mobile devices, are way beyond what we had just a few years ago. I remember syncing news to my Palm every morning using AvantGo, to make productive use of my time. It was a pain and the screen was awful. What mobiles and apps make possible a decade later is pretty incredible.
2 years, 6 months ago on 12 Most Efficient Uses of Your Commuting Time
Margie, sadly, it isn't just you (but you already knew that). Consider David Meerman Scott's book and advice on Newsjacking.
The problems are not just in social media, they cover all aspects of marketing. They can't shout any louder, so to be heard, marketers are shouting earlier or in the moments of silence we once had. I have said in the past that marketers will move to the extremes to be heard. It is unfortunate, but right now, it is the world we live in. My goal is to work with marketers that pick the extreme of serving their audience, rather than shouting louder, ambushing, bashing or spreading FUD. However, I do believe that we will see all possible extremes in the years to come in a desperate attempt to stand out.
Great point, well said. Thank you for sharing.
2 years, 7 months ago on For the love of the shame
I'm with @BruceSallan1 on this one. There is definitely more intimacy in personal interactions. I would never tell my wife to check Facebook when she asks about my day or limit the information I share with her to what I share publicly.
The issue of "always knowing" aside, technology definitely brings us closer together, closing distance for collaboration and relationships. The global workforce is now the global office in many cases, and our ability to communicate and collaborate effectively over distance, with no loss in time, is incredible when compared to just a decade ago, and increasingly these advances are available to everyone, not just to major companies.
When you head west to see Bruce, take a trip North to Portland. Lunch is, of course, on me.
2 years, 7 months ago on “Death Of Distance” – Social Media and Collaboration
Learning is sexy. Learning by succeeding is really sexy.
Learning by failing... well, at least its sexier than just failing, but wouldn't you be better served to test things with confidence they will be successful at some level? I think we all would...
Great post, thanks for sharing.
2 years, 7 months ago on Myth: Failure is Sexy
@margieclayman If you are of that rare breed of publisher than never drinks your own Kool-Aid, it may be possible, but the rest need to maintain some degree of separation or they will be blinded by their own bias.
I know you have been in media buying in the past (it's a big piece of my day job), and I'm sure you have heard publishers that say things like "our CXO audience starts their day with our content" or "if we don't publish it, CXO's don't believe it". When publishers have attitudes like this, they are not longer capable of really wearing their audience's shoes.
2 years, 7 months ago on Myth: E-Newsletters are easy to create and send
Margie, I would like to add one very good reason why some people rail against newsletters yet send newsletters.
We are not our own audience.
This is what I mean: marketers (publishers) need to meet their audiences. As the publisher here at MargieClayman.com, you may despise newsletters, but you have that little signup box in the top right corner still. You do it because you know that some of us will prefer newsletters, others will prefer RSS feeds (personally, I'm of the RSS variety), and maybe a few will prefer to subscribe to your FB page. As a publisher, you don't impose your own preferences on your audience.
Now, I don't mean to support adding people manually to your newsletter, that is a completely different topic of conversation. But why do we rail on newsletters yet still send them? There is a very good reason...
I rarely see promoted tweets in my main stream, thankfully. However, I do see them regularly pinned at the top of search columns in Tweetdeck (I still have the old version, that may be why I don't see them elsewhere). I don't like the room they take up, my laptop screen only fits 5 or 6 tweets, when one of them is promoted...
Clearly, the promoted tweets need some targeting work. Since Twitter doesn't fully explain 'how' they determine who to show them to, examples like this will be a barrier for advertisers as well.
Personally, as long as the "volume" of advertising doesn't distract, I'm willing to put up with a few irrelevant promoted tweets. Besides, this is in my stream right now, and it isn't promoted: "Gagnez 1 paire de billets pour le combat ''Championnat du monde'' de " Umm, I can't even read it! I think that automatically means it qualifies as not relevant. :-)
2 years, 7 months ago on Is Twitter Spamming Users?
Ross, I was just preparing to say something similar. There is some truth to it, and I'm exposed to it regularly. People that are aware of social media buy not particularly engaged see followers as success. In fact, @jeffbullas posted a case recently of an individual that credits his follow numbers, not their engagement or opinion of him, but purely the numbers, for some of his success.
@PamMktgNut Overall, I agree with your view here, where I disagree, I'm saddened by it. The fact that worthless gaming the system purely for the sake of follower numbers can make you more successful with some people is one of the things that is wrong with social media today and continues to create an opportunity for the consultant you profiled here.
Hopefully it changes soon. Hopefully the number of followers is ignored. But unfortunately I don't think it will be until we have an alternative to replace it with. Size is used as a metric in every publishing business, and people looking to quickly grow an audience to blast promotions have the mindset of low value publishers, and people like this are playing directly to that mindset.
Alight, I'm ducking into the corner now with Ross. :-)
2 years, 7 months ago on Social Media Consultant Gone Bad... Real Bad!
Margie, this is awesome. I'm trying to figure out how to pen it. My advice is to use more words in your posts, it will make it easier for us (your rabid fan audience) to pen your posts and help drive traffic back. If you haven't heard, penterprise is THE place to share the written word, building your audience, driving traffic and garnering massive SEO benefits all at once. I suggest preparing for it now, when it is released to the public in 2013, it will be THE big thing.
2 years, 7 months ago on Enough of the gold rush
@ShakirahDawud You are right, "authentic" is the wrong word (or actually, it is applied from the wrong perspective, it shouldn't be used from the marketers perspective, but rather from the audience's perspective). We want them to seem real to us, as the folks in the audience.
As I said in my response to Gini, to me this is about being believable, and in many ways, it is the same as appearing authentic from your audience's perspective (although it has NOTHING to do with actually being authentic to who you are!). Crazy how we have learned to abuse the language. :-)
Thanks for the comment!
2 years, 8 months ago on Don’t Be Authentic: Real Social Media Marketing Advice
@penneyfox Good point.
Part is definitely choosing what to share, to take the analogy further, it's like pushing the whiskey to the back of the cupboard first. It starts to shape the image we give someone, sometimes in subtle ways. I think marketers can, and most should, shape that image somewhat as well.
@geoffliving As a place to engage with companies, I certainly hear you. As a way to meet individuals (like @ginidietrich and @lisagerber , who opened the door for me to post here), I find social media to be incredibly valuable. The trick for companies is harnessing that personal value, and their activity as a "brand" isn't always the way to do so.
I'll stop there though, or I will end up writing another full post in this comment!
@Shonali Thanks Shonali!
"Face" is a great way to put it. It is a complete image you project, and one you live up too. If there is a big gap between the real you and the public profile, you won't be able to keep up the act (stay in character), and you will be called out for it.
Thanks for the comment and the kind share, look forward to your upcoming post!
@jasonkonopinski Well said. When the gap is too wide, we see right through it. You will not be living up to the image you are attempting to project and you will get called on it.
@wabbitoid Um, thanks for supporting my authenticity, I think... :-)
Thanks for the great addition to the discussion here!
@KenMueller Wow, thinking about this throughout the afternoon? Glad it sparked a reaction and thank you for sharing!
Yes, we definitely get mixed up in the semantics here. Authentic doesn't mean revealing everything, but the line blurs very quickly.
There was a TV ad a couple years ago of a guy riding a lawnmower, living the 'perfect' life. The punch line: "I'm in debt up to my eyeballs". His life wasn't authentic because he was projecting an image that was very different from the reality.
So where is the line between what we need to share and what we can conceal? And is it a line that, as marketers, we can really say we will never cross? Personally, I don't believe it is.
Love the comment, thank you for sharing!
@ryancox Wow, thanks Ryan, appreciate it! I would appreciate it if you ping me when your post on twitter (wittlake) when your post it out!