Category: Experience


Exclusive content done right: Untappd Supporter

There are nearly infinite tactics for content creation and distribution. Any business hopes that content creation will result in revenue of some sort. If you are looking for a great way to build a community of passionate customers and generate revenue, there is one content tactic that you may want to consider: exclusive content.

Truly exclusive content is rare these days. Many companies have simply disguised readily available content as “exclusive” by putting it behind a landing page with a form on it. There is little or no vested interest in offering content only to devoted members of an audience. Rather, it is a bait-and-switch with hopes of creating a sense of scarcity, rather than added value. To do exclusive content correctly, it has to be genuine and of real value to the person jumping through the hoops to acquire it. Continue reading “Exclusive content done right: Untappd Supporter” »


FAB Understands Marketing is a Part of Everything

The philosophy of “marketing is a part of everything” is the notion that every part of your business that touches the customer is an opportunity for marketing. Not marketing in the sense of selling, but true marketing that reinforces brand values, builds consumer relationships and, yes, sometimes up-sells. It describes marketing that touches every part of your business; product design, manufacturing, customer service and billing all have marketing built in. 


You are likely familiar with the discount design shop FAB, or at least familiar with this type of business. FAB is an e-commerce website that offers time-sensitive deals on designer products. Based purely online, this company must have precision marketing to grow and sustain its business. That is where the “marketing is a part of everything” philosophy comes into play.

I recently purchased something from FAB (a nifty pair of touchscreen-compatible gloves). When my package arrived, it came with a note and four cards. The note said, “Here are three gift cards for your friends. Keep one for yourself.”


Even after I purchased, they continued market to me, and even empowered me to market for them! It’s the holiday season, and I passed the cards out at the office. FAB used the delivery of purchased items as an opportunity to spread the word about the company.

They needn’t reward me, but it certainly helped. FAB’s success is based almost purely on word of mouth. Tactics like these help FAB empower its customers to market for them. Nearly every touch point that the company has with its customers can be a marketing opportunity.


Every business can do this. Invoices, inbound phone calls, packaging and paper receipts are all opportunities to market the business and tell your story. If you are handing people plain, brown, recycled paper bags to carry your product in, it better be part of your eco-conscious, world-saving story. Otherwise stop being a cheapskate and get something printed on them that reinforces your brand values or entertains your customers! You are missing a big opportunity for your business. Think it through, consider all the touch points you have with a customer and make them all work together to tell your story.

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Give Your Consumer Control of Your Messaging

In the past we have discussed trends found in the Content Sharing Matrix. One of these trends is giving more control over the content to the consumer, which then increases the likelihood of that content being shared. Giving consumers control means that they can either customize the content or publish new content based on a template or guidelines. 

There are likely a number of reasons this tactic works:

1. By allowing consumers to create variations of content, there is an opportunity for exponentially more pieces of content to be viewed. Continue reading “Give Your Consumer Control of Your Messaging” »


Is your product a chip or salsa?

The real meal of chips and salsa is the salsa. The chip is just the vehicle that brings the delicious salsa flavor to your mouth. No one eats just chips. They are hard, flavorless and have little to offer your taste buds. Doritos knows that! They pack their chips full of flavor. So much so, it changes your fingers colors and people go crazy for them. Don’t be mistaken, people don’t buy Doritos or chips AND salsa for the chips. Continue reading “Is your product a chip or salsa?” »


The Customer Content Matrix

The content matrix below describes a 27 types of content that you can create that fit conveniently into 4 categories; Entertainment, Inspiration, Education, and Convincing. Whether your brand is B2B or B2C, you can create a variety of content that ignites action in your consumers. These content ideas connect with your consumers in either emotional or rational ways to build awareness and drive purchases.

The content marketing matrix

by first10.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


You can stop reading now, if you believe that story. Continue reading “The Customer Content Matrix” »


Pinterest Tactics That Work…

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with spanish wine enthusiast and gardening pinner, Mary Ann Rounseville, to talk about getting the most out of Pinterest. Mary Ann is passionate about communities and brought together passionate pinners on Pinterest. However, passion is only the start to a successful presence on Pinterest and during our conversation, Mary Ann talked about a few tactics that make the difference between being on Pinterest and being successful on Pinterest. Here are three tactics for more success on Pinterest.

1. Get Specific

When Pinterest first became popular many people were jumping in and creating boards like “vision” and “recipes,” but for content providers that’s just not good enough. Continue reading “Pinterest Tactics That Work…” »

Bad Metrics for Facebook Likes

CRAP: How to Get More Facebook Likes

First of all, who cares about “Likes” on a post? FB engagement is the low hanging fruit in the social world. It also doesn’t mean ANYTHING unless you have a specific goal in mind for the stories it generates about your page. You can add virality and reach to the shortlist of metrics that don’t translate to social media success, too. They are simply short-term “health” metrics.

Secondly, this infographic is a gross overgeneralization of engagement monitoring. The quote at the bottom of the image “Just because activity peaks at certain times, doesn’t mean those are the best times to post.” pretty much says, “Our infographic a load of crap” None of what is on this image is true for the majority of brand pages. The notion that images do better on FB the only glimmering light of truth, but that statistic varies based on industry, page size, and fan quality.

You want to know the best times and days to post? Download the last 180 days of your brand page posts and run the analysis yourself. Or if you need help, ask me. I’ll do it for you in 30 minutes and you won’t need to worry about even looking at the infographic below. 

Courtesy of KISSmetrics:

KISS Metics Pile of Facebook Like Crap

Applebees Tweet

Applebee’s Successfully Uses Sarcasm

The big name restaurant chain gets the last laugh after comedian Rob Delaney tweets about his experience in one of their establishments.

The tweet stirred up a flurry of feedback, everything from praise to jealousy. Studies show that the top two reasons user follow a brand online is for either coupons/giveaways and exclusive content. However, this customer service offer was just a joke. Applebee’s successfully used sarcasm on the internet and only upset a few people.

Product Fails

27 Marketing Reasons Your Product Launch Will Fail

Well, according to the Harvard Business Journal article “Why Most Product Launches Fail“, there are actually 40 reasons your product launch will fail anywhere from the pre-launch through the launch phase. A majority of them relate to marketing. Just another reason why “Marketing is a part of Everything

Pre-Launch Phase

1. No market research on the product or the market has been done.
2. Most of the budget was used to create the product; little is left for launching, marketing, and selling it.
3. The product is interesting but lacks a precise market.
4. The product’s key differentiators and advantages are not easily articulated.
5. The product defines a new category, so consumers or customers will need considerable education before it can be sold.
6. The sales force doesn’t believe in the product and isn’t committed to selling it.
7. Because the target audience is unclear, the marketing campaign is unfocused.

8. Distribution takes longer than expected and lags behind the launch.
9. Sales channels are not educated about the product and thus slow to put it on shelves.
10. The product lacks formal independent testing to support claims.
11. The marketing campaign is developed in-house by the manufacturer and lacks objectivity.
12. The product is untested by consumers; only the company can assert its benefits.
13. The website is the primary place to order, but the product description is unclear and the site isn’t fully functional.

Launch Phase

14. The product is launched too hastily and doesn’t work reliably.
15. The launch is aimed at the wrong target audience.
16. Supplies of the product are insufficient to satisfy orders.
17. The product is launched too late for its key selling season.
18. The product doesn’t fit into any key selling season.

19. The manufacturer’s claims can’t be backed up.
20. A governing body (the FTC, the FDA) pulls the product, citing false claims.
21. The product is given a limited “trial at retail” but without public relations, marketing, or promotion to “turn” it.
22. The product is launched without influencers to promote its efficacy.
23. The launch budget is insufficient to “pull” the product off the shelf.
24. The product has no trained spokesperson to educate the media.
25. Management launches the marketing campaign before distribution is complete.
26. Management has promised the board and stockholders an instant hit without considering how much time is needed to educate consumers about the product.
27. The ad campaign is untested and ineffective.
28. The launch campaign depends solely on PR to sell the product.
29. The company spends the entire marketing/advertising budget at launch, so no funds are left to sustain the campaign.
30. Company executives underestimate the value of Twitter and Facebook.
31. Retailers are given no incentives to feature the product.
32. All marketing dollars go to advertising and public relations, none to social media.
33. Line extensions aren’t test-marketed as thoroughly as the original product, so they fail.
34. The product is launched to capitalize on a fad that soon fizzles. [market trends]
35. The product design is unique but confuses consumers, who don’t understand how the product works.
36. The spokesperson is a bad fit with the product, creating a discordant message.
37. The product is priced too high for mass adoption. [market positioning]
38. Consumers are unclear about what demographic the product is geared toward.
39. The product is manufactured offshore; quality control issues result in negative consumer feedback and product returns.
40. The ad campaign is launched before the sales force is fully briefed, so customers know more than salespeople about the product.

Aside from product development and design budgets, marketing is involved. Just consider all the places and times your product touches the consumer. Each of those moments is an opportunity to market – and it better be doing a good job!

3 Reasons Google Drive Crashed

Update: This post is a bit dated, but my position has not changed much. While Drive is now available on iOS (point #1 below) it still has limitations that Dropbox does not. Google is quickly getting to the point where it final ties everything together (including Google Plus). When it finally does, will be incredibly hard to ignore – even if it does have a few flaws.

I gave Google Drive a fair, one week test period and it has not proven itself! The experience me asking for more – or at the very least matching what already exists. So, it is being dumped and I’m going back to me ex, Dropbox. And its for three simple reasons.

1. No iOS. I used my iPad frequently in business meetings to pull up docs, which I previously stored on Dropbox. Google Drive doesn’t have an iOS app. This is a big issue for all Apply users.

2. Google Docs. They are not actually docs. The files stored in Google Drive that were sold as “your documents” are still just web based Google Documents. You try to click on them or open them natively on your machine with Microstoft Word and you get a bunch of garbage. You have to open them in a browser, which means if you don’t have internet, you can’t use your docs! Secondly, Google Drive takes up a ton of space on your android phone in the internal phone memory because it stores the files you upload to the device.

3. Privacy Policy. This issue came out shortly after Google launched Google Drive. Dropbox explicitly states that everything stored on Dropbox is yours. Google takes their umbrella approach, like they do with your email, and take ownership of everything.

Once again Google has launched a product that is not better than existing services. You would think with all their programming power and integration possibilities they could launch a decent product that would actually be worth gravitating to.

Do we need to take the Googlers back to business school and re-teach them the concept of differentiation in a marketplace?

Other posts you might like:

Why Budweiser is Not Hypocritical

Many in the craft beer community have been pointing the finger at Budweiser for being hypocritical for bashing craft brewing while its parent company AB …


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