Monthly Archives: October 2017

11 Ways to Improve Your Digital Workplace

11 Ways to Improve Your Digital Workplace

Digital workplaces, and by extension, digital transformation, are not just about technology. They are about fundamentally changing the way we work. At the Gartner Digital Summit in London this September, Gartner VP Matthew W. Cain and Gartner research director Helen Poitevin outlined seven existing and emerging trends that would shape digital workplaces  in

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3 Things To Scare CMOs This Halloween

Someone once said about Halloween: "It's said that All Hallows' Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin - and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright."

Well if the air feels different today for chief marketing officers, CMOs to me and you, these may be the reason. 

1. Integration Continues To Be the Holy Grail

Consumers, in case you didn't know, like to use more than one channel before making a purchase - most notably among these channels? Mobile and social media. And it appears the latter and the integration thereof remains problematic for CMOs. 

According to the most recent CMO Survey, marketing leaders continue to struggle when it comes to integrating customer information, better known as data, across channels including social media. 

The question is why? Why this prolonged futility? Could it be these same marketing leaders are not using the correct martech? Could also explain why that since 2014 nearly 50% of these same marketers are unable to show the impact of social media on their business. That is mind-blowing.

Here's something you should already know: Marketing leaders need to eliminate data silos and create a single source of truth. And they need a 360-degree view of customers to reliably and efficiently target the right message, to the right person at the right time. 

2. IoT Means Increased Data Security

I am a huge proponent of IoT from both a marketing and a consumer perspective. The possibilities from the former are endless but the concerns from the latter are real. Very real. 

From a recent e-Marketer article:

As you can clearly see many consumers around the world are concerned about their data and hacking when it comes to IoT. 

And knowledge of IoT and data is growing. From the article: 

"Interestingly, the survey also found that awareness about security threats to internet-enabled devices actually increased with the age of respondents. For example, 72% of those ages 18 to 24 were aware that IoT devices could be targeted by hackers, but that figure rose to 80% among 45- to 54-year-olds."

The bottom line is that as more and more devices get connected to the Internet the more and more brands and businesses need to up their data security game. Easier said than done for sure but if these brands and businesses want to reap all the benefits of IoT collected data they better be at the ready to guard it with their lives. Their brands lives. 

3. Personalization Remains An Enigma

As per another ubiquitous red and black eMarketer chart, marketers continue to struggle with personalization with lack of resources and data the top of the list. 

if you notice coming in at 14% are tech-related challenges. Forgive me but there's no way this percentage is correct. 

Whether the survey was worded poorly or for some other reason, the martech challenge is significantly higher and more than likely should be rolled up into lack of resources. 

The reason I am so confident lies in the numbers, AKA the over 4,000 different marketing-technology solutions on the market today. 

What's ironic is that with the right martech the challenge of resources - automation anyone? and data would be relieved to some extent. 

The right martech solution creates engagement, orchestrates experiences, connects data, and optimizes online interactions that attracts and retains ideal customers. Moreover the right solution connects cross-channel, content, and social marketing with data management and activation. 

Yeah it really is that simple. 

And Speaking of Simple

Much of the customer experience is broken because the marketing experience is broken. But it’s not marketing’s fault. With legacy technology, marketers only get a distorted view of the customer because data silos cannot be shared across channels.

Download Customer Experience Simplified to discover how to provide customer experiences that are managed as carefully as the product, the price, and the promotion of the marketing mix.

Image source: Pexels

Why You’re Not in the Content Business (and Why That’s a Good Thing)

Create Transformation

Originally posted as a Facebook update from FinCon in Dallas (video below)

In my opening keynote at FinCon last night I challenged the attendees to think about how their blog, podcast and video content could potentially be changing people’s lives.

You see, many of us see ourselves as being in the ‘content business’. But I think it’s better if we start seeing ourselves as being in the ‘transformation business’.

Great content leaves a mark on people. It moves them from one place to another.

The the creators of that content do it in various ways – teaching, giving information (such as news), entertaining, providing motivation, and giving their audience a sense that they’re not the only ones and providing hope for a better future.

We can all probably think of content that’s changed our lives in some way. For example, I can personally think of podcasts that inspired me to eat better and exercise, and probably added years to my life.

Some content creators see the change they’re bringing to their audience in flashing lights. It’s obvious, like the example I just gave. But some of us think the changes we bring are smaller, or even insignificant.

For example, at Digital Photography School we teach people how to move from being stuck in Auto Mode with their cameras, and help them get creative control and take better photos. It’s a transformation, but it’s not on the scale of adding years to someone’s life.

Or is it?

Here’s the thing. While giving someone creative control over their camera doesn’t feel that ‘big’, it can actually have a far bigger impact than you might imagine.

Since starting that blog I’ve had emails and conversations with readers who have told me that by bringing about that transformation in photography they’ve:

  • found new creative outlets that have helped their mental health
  • built new skills that have led to promotions at work
  • developed confidence and overcome fears
  • grown new income streams
  • learnt how to take images they can use in meaningful ways as gifts to family and friends, and to serve their community groups.

The point is, you never quite know what impact your content will have on people. But when you create content that brings about change, it can potentially have ripple effects beyond the changes you’re aiming to bring.

The other thing to consider is that sometimes you create changes in your readers on a scale you could never imagine.

ProBlogger, for example, is a blog all about helping bloggers start blogs and grow income from them. We attract a lot of bloggers at the beginning of their journey, and as a result hear a lot of great stories from them that reflect this stage of blogging.

It’s really satisfying to hear those stories from newer bloggers taking their early steps. What we don’t always hear are the stories of those who read ProBlogger in the early years of their journey and went on to do bigger things.

But just because we don’t hear the stories doesn’t mean it’s not happening. And the last few days here at FinCon and our Success Incubator event was testament to that fact as I bumped into some of these ProBlogger readers who went on to bigger things.

Without naming names, I met:

  • a person who credits an article I wrote on ProBlogger to saving her marriage, and helping her and her husband to build a business that earns several million dollars a month. (The article was nothing to do with marriage, by the way.)
  • another person who landed a job on our job board that led to a freelance writing career where he earns a seven-figure income each year.
  • yet another person who tells me that reading ProBlogger seven years ago, and later writing some guest posts for us, helped him build a business with a revenue at the mid-eight-figures level a year.
  • a person who found the first edition of the ProBlogger book in an airport bookstore back in 2008. She read it from cover to cover on a long-haul flight and started a blog the next day that helped her become a full-time author and speaker.

Each time I heard these stories I was taken aback, and even found myself getting emotional. Sometimes people take the content you create and the products and services you offer and run… or sprint with it. You may never know the end result, but you may have just played a part in changing someone’s life.

So stop seeing yourself as being in the ‘content business’, and start thinking about what you do as ‘transformation’.

When you do, you’ll find it has a number of impacts.

  1. What you do will become more meaningful, and be more motivated to do it.
  2. The content you create will be different. You’ll stop writing ‘about topics’, and start writing ‘for people’.
  3. It will probably also become more empathetic and passionate (something your readers will notice).
  4. Your audience will become more willing to engage with you (and each other).
  5. Your content will be easier to promote (as people are attracted to content that gives them a win or a benefit).
  6. You’ll find your blog easier to monetise (particularly if you create products and services that also bring about transformation).

So don’t just create content. Create a transformation!

(Un-mute to listen!)

Image Credit: Dan Gold

The post Why You’re Not in the Content Business (and Why That’s a Good Thing) appeared first on ProBlogger.


The Slippery Truth about Grammar Checkers

It was a brisk winter evening. While editing a Copyblogger article written by Brian Clark, the sound of my fingers tapping on my keyboard harmoniously blended with the rain pattering on the window next to my desk, as the light from the full moon illuminated my computer monitor. Then, as the clock struck midnight, something

The post The Slippery Truth about Grammar Checkers appeared first on Copyblogger.

Arjé Cahn: Use Machine Learning to Humanize Digital Experiences

Arjé Cahn: Use Machine Learning to Humanize Digital Experiences

Over the years, Arjé Cahn has observed a cyclical pattern in how the content management system market responds to change and the emergence of new technologies. Often, the initial response results in the creation of a new system silo which only later becomes part of a larger unified CMS.

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