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Yonkers

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Awards go a long way

Many congratulations to my clients, A2B Excellence, on winning an Employee Engagement award! ...And, ahem, congratulations to Wells Park Communications for writing the successful award entry. In a world where marketing is multi-layered and it's a challenge to shout above the noise, awards are a remarkably low-cost opportunity to gain traction. Better still, the benefit grows for smaller businesses. Awards (so long as they're recognised and suitably substantial) yield a year or so of instant credibility, a stack of good photos, the chance to take clients on a jolly and a good excuse to email everyone in your contact book with the good news. Yet the cost of entry is often zero; and even if there is a fee, it's much less than the cost of, say, entry to a second-rate conference; o

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The report that reminds us what ‘social’ means

Once again, the big hitters of social media are getting a good kicking. A Forrester report into social media is questioning the value of marketing spend on social - particularly focusing bile on Facebook and Twitter. The challenge seems to me to be not one of "To Social or Not To Social". Rather, it is the ludicrous differential between organic social activity and paid social activity. Consumers rarely love brands. Usually they have a fleeting, ephemeral relationship with brands based on how much they need the product. Many of our largest brands are positively loathed (which is why when energy companies delve into social, they get burned. Again and again). So when such brands pay to inveigle their way into a community's consciousness, particularly when this wheedling is acceler

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Is there room for comedy in B2B?

A cracking piece from VentureBeat entitled 'Is there room for comedy in B2B?' http://venturebeat.com/2014/10/05/is-there-room-for-comedy-in-b2b/ To which the answer is, of course, a resounding yes - but the author's point is that even in a B2B context, we speak to each other as people first and business owners/buyers second. The age of corporate posturing is long gone and most people - even at the top - primarily consider themselves to be a Department of One. We contribute individually to our businesses, and we want to be spoken to as individuals. Comedy is just one of the tools in the communicator's armoury - and marketers now need to be communicators first.

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A brand for $50? Great! Except for the weak link… me.

I was really excited to have a little play with the latest automation tool for business branding - Tailor. It's not a completely new idea; Justin Champney has been running Buildabrand for quite some time. But each new execution sees improvements in the process, and nobody can deny that one of the most fun (and necessary) parts of starting and marketing a new business is engaging in a bit of branding. So I had a play with Tailor...   ...and it asked me some questions. Nothing too demanding. No more than five minutes effort. And because we do words for a living, I didn't hold back.   I added some brand values (Authoritative, credible, capable, trustworthy, businesslike, go the extra mile) and explained when my business was founded. Then we went through

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The death of long-form has been greatly exaggerated…

Lovely piece here from the gang at LikeMinds (interview with a VP at Ogilvy) on the value of long-form in advertising. The idea that we have the attention span of a goldfish is simply not true - and particularly in B2B, there is immense value in the consultative sell. Bespoking, relationship-building and value generation all take time, especially when the product or service is not a commodity. Twitter and Vine are certainly fine And quick hits are surely engaging But when you take time (as I have with this rhyme) You'll find that despite the lack of scansion and use of second rate poetic devices that the results for your brand of a richer and more explanatory process can be better buy-in, which is amazing. I thank you.

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Unpleasantness on social media

I spend a lot of time writing about healthcare. I also spend a lot of time writing about marketing (and to be honest, writing about writing). It's not often I get to do them both together; but this extraordinary story caught my eye. It is the story of an Essex GP surgery which will potentially sanction patients for taking their grievances to social media. Copyright precludes me from sharing the picture with you, but the text reads: "If you have any comments or complaints about the surgery, please write to the Practice Manager. Do not use social media sites - Facebook Twitter. Any comments we see on social media sites may be seen as a breach of our zero tolerance policy. We are happy to deal with your comments/complaints in the usual way." Let's start with the inability to commu

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49 words never to use…

The lovely and immensely talented Janet Murray has put together this post called "49 words you should avoid in your press releases. We think this deserves to be applied to most marketing materials! Enjoy.

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