The New 4 C’s of Marketing

I’ve been think a lot lately about marketing topics, and reading conflicting arguments on whether “Content Marketing” is dead. After listening to both sides of the debate, I think I’ve landed on the position that “Content Marketing” IS “Marketing” in 2016.

Everything from lead generation to sales tools are now dependent on a solid content strategy. So I put forth the new “4 C’s of Marketing.” Everything you do today needs the following attributes.

1) Consistent
In early meetings with clients, I like to advise them to look at the masters of content when coming up with their content development model. Sunday football games are always at 10:00am and 1:25pm Pacific time. Movies always come out on Fridays. Music always drops on Tuesdays. TV shows are scheduled for a certain day and time all season long. Magazines get delivered on the same day each week. Etc…. This is because the most experienced marketers of content in the history of the world know that people have rhythms and habits. They demand some predictability in return for their attention. They appreciate you providing them content, but they won’t search for it, or be happy if it doesn’t show up. Imagine waking up one Sunday morning in October, flipping to CBS or FOX, and finding the NFL got a little busy and moved all the games to Tuesday. It doesn’t work like that. Build an editorial calendar and figure out when you’ll be publishing in each channel.

2) Concise
You have A LOT to say. And it’s all VERY IMPORTANT. Now cut that down to 25%. I’ve become a believer in the 3-30-3 rule. You get 3 seconds to hook someone and earn another 30. In that 30 seconds, you need to pique their curiosity enough to earn their next 3 minutes. And in that 3 minutes, you’re giving them the pitch to earn their email address or whatever you are trying to get from them. But that message up front needs to get across quick.

3) Compelling
Yes, even your company has something interesting to say or a unique way to say it. You cannot just publish a recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches and expect an audience. Put on your creative hat and come up with something good. You have a lot of smart people in your org with even more interesting opinions. Find them.

4) Convertible
To the pessimist, the amount of channels in which you need to produce content is terrifying. To the opportunist, it’s a dream come true. All of your content should e specifically tailored to the channel, but it also should be easily transformed. One well-written, long form blog post can also be your email newsletter content, a Powerpoint presentation for Slideshare, a series of soundbites for Twitter, at least a few Facebook posts, a conversation for Blab, and a YouTube video.

Let me know what you think.

Talking B2B Marketing on Blab.it this Wednesday

Well this should be a lot of fun. Wednesday I’ll be joining Dominic Canterbury, President of the Turbine Agency, for a discussion on B2B Marketing and how to reach new markets. We’ll be having our conversation via Blab.it, one of the new forums in which people can discuss topics and have a great dialogue with the audience.

We’ll be kicking off the conversation at 11am PDT at this link. I’d love for you to log in and throw out some questions. Plus, I’d love to hear what you think of Blab.

A Request to the Writers of The Daily Show

Dear Trevor Noah and the rest of The Daily Show writing team,

I have a request for this election season.

Every candidate is busy lining up endorsements from the people they thing will most energize voters. Candidates need endorsements from all the individual politicians, tastemakers and influencers, from President Obama to Jay Inslee to Ed Murray.

But here’s what I would find REALLY interesting. Not who the thought leaders are endorsing. But who the crackpots, weirdos and psychopaths want to see in office. I would learn way more about a candidate by knowing if they are being supported by the craziest of the crazy. After all, candidates can try to hand pick and choreograph the endorsements they get from positive figures. But they’re helpless to defend themselves against endorsements from the “wrong people.”

So Mr. Noah, this is where you come in.

You have the power, the prestige, the connections and the brains to pull together a list of some of the biggest wackos in America AND get them on camera and find out who they are endorsing. You all can dive in and find out why. And as Americans, in some cases we’ll have to reconcile the fact that we support the same candidate as someone we’d never invite over to dinner.

I think the rare combination of ratings winner and public service. Thanks for your consideration.

Your loyal viewer,

Andy

Missed the .COM rush? Grab a .FAMILY Domain for your clan

If you’re not keeping up with all the online tech publications these days, you probably don’t know much about what are called, “Top Level Domains (or TLD’s).” The traditional TLD’s are the ones attached to url’s you know and love – .com, .net, .edu, .org, etc…

But some really smart people realized that with all the url’s already owned by people, the only way to make any money was in the secondary market. And since those smart people who made money the 1st time around weren’t in the secondary market, they needed a way to create a new primary market.

Hence, we have the expansion of hundreds of new TLD’s. Things like .Lawyer, .Ninja, .Me, etc…

The newest one to come out is .Family. For those of you who fancy the idea of having a personalized web site that your family can post info to, or have email addresses with your family surname, the opportunity to get it is now.

Just go to www.name.com and grab your family surname. Note: for most people the surname without an “s” at the end (ie www.Boyer.family) is like $500. Add the “s” (ie www.Boyers.family) is $20.

Note: Yes, those links are referral links above so if you use them, I would get $5 credit to my account (not cash.) But that’s not why I’m writing this. If you don’t want me to get the referral bonus, just type or click thiswww.name.com/domains/family. There’s no referral code attached to that one.

What I’m Looking Forward to in 2016, List 1

I don’t do predictions. But I like to read other people’s predictions. And based on what I accomplished in 2015 and what other people are saying is coming, here’s what I’m looking forward to in the year ahead.
1) Travel: In 2015, I made it to Spain, France and Italy. I also enjoyed a fantastic 2 week road trip through Southern California and the Central Coast, and an annual trip to Arizona. In 2016, I’d love to get to France for a Euro 2016 match, Cuba, and Orlando to see the Sounders play.
2) More medical technology: This isn’t really my field, but I’m fascinated how devices are becoming available that can help people with preventative medicine. From heart trackers, to cholesterol monitors to simple devices that measure stress, I’v never been more interested in health products.
3) 3D Printing: It’s still years away from being practical in every home. But there was also a day when mobile phones were useless devices that weighed 8 pounds and had to be plugged into a cigarette lighter. Keep you eye on this and notice the baby steps the industry makes.
4) Really bad political drama: Oh lord, this year’s Presidential election is going to be a disaster. If you were a company that needed to fly under the radar, this campaign is going to give you plenty of air cover.
5) The Mariners: Last year I was skeptical. I believe in Mariners 2017, and that Mariners 2016 will at least be interesting to watch as it’s being built.

That’s today’s top 5. More later in the week.

A Dumb Idea for Gun Control Compromise

If there’s one thing I know for sure about the gun control debate, it’s that none of the sides are absolutely right.In a country of 350 million people from hundreds of thousands of different cultural backgrounds, you aren’t going to find a solution that appeases everyone. Rather than discuss this point, I’ll direct you to this very well written piece on the complication of legislating gun control.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t take baby steps in one direction or another to at least try to make things a little bit better. I have one such idea for making things just a little bit better.

For the purposes of this discussion, we are going to ignore assault weapons and even hunting rifles. We are going to simply address handguns.

Now, the argument FOR handguns is personal protection. Some people feel a God-given, or 2nd Amendment given, right to bear arms for the purpose of self-preservation. The problem is when people use that purchasing opportunity to go on the attack instead, sneaking into a school or restaurant and rattling off as many shots as they can before using the last one on themselves.

So if the true purpose of a handgun is PROTECTION, what can we do to make it a purely defensive weapon?

The answer, is to make it non-lethal.

A non-lethal handgun could cause immense amounts of pain. It could render an attacker helpless. It might even knock them out. Either way, it would be powerful enough that if you were attacked and got off a couple of shots that hit your assailant, even an MMA fighter would be down long enough that the police could be called, or at least for you to flee to safety.

We could make these guns available anywhere, no background check at all. Shooting someone would be the equivalent of hitting them with a baseball bat and we could treat it as such.

Now sure, you are still mostly defenseless against a group of trained and heavily armored assassins carrying AK-47’s into a French bistro. But you are less likely to get anything ore than a major headache if some guy goes nutso in a movie theater.

We need to get a few minuscule wins if we’re going to get any real compromises underway. Maybe this could be one.

7 Fun Facts About the St Vincent and the Grenadines Soccer Team

The U.S. Men’s National Team starts its World Cup Qualifying run vs St Vincent and the Grenadines tonight. Who the heck is the the St Vincent and the Grenadines soccer team? Well, here are some fun facts.

1) The island is here.

2) The country has 109,373 people. That is approximately 321,905,480 less people than there are in the U.S. For perspective, the United States has 4,186,778 registered soccer players.
3) Assuming the team has a standard 23 players, .021% of the country’s population is on the National team, or 1 out of every 4,750 people.
4) The team is ranked #129 in the world. That’s actually better than Luxembourg (146), New Zealand (159) and India (172).
5) There is an actual St Vincent and the Grenadines Professional Soccer League. It features the Toni Store Jugglers, Prospect United, Avenues United, Fitz Hughes Predators, JG & Sons Stingers, Camdonia Chelsea, System 3, Zodiac Football Club, Nemwil Hope International, Digicel Jebelle, Besco Pastures and K&R Strikers.
6) Two members of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Soccer Team, Myron Samuel and Oalex Anderson, play for Sounders FC 2. Put that in this perspective – the man with the most games played and most goals scored for this country, plays on the minor league version of the Sounders. If Oneil Fisher was from SVG, he could be a starter.
7) In the qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup, they were eliminated in the 2nd round, going 1-2-3 vs Guatemala, Belize and Grenada.

Did the MLS Playoff System Work, to the Detriment of the Sounders?

This may be a stretch.. but I think the MLS playoff structure did its job in the Sounders vs FC Dallas series.

– The Sounders had to field the best 11 they had for the last game of the season vs RSL, to ensure they made the playoffs.
– By finishing 4th, they then had to play again that Wednesday in a winner take all match vs LA Galaxy, so they had to field their best 11 again on 2 days rest, or rest a couple of guys and take their chances.
– Predictably, as an older team, this led to small injuries that over the course of a season would be recoverable, but in the case of the playoffs, was not.
– So Dallas, already built younger, goes into the series with 7 days rest vs our 3. We got the win in game 1, but we were clearly taxed at the end.
– Now we roll Oba and Dempsey out again for game 2. That’s Game #4 in 14 days for these guys. I think our 30+ year olds at the end of a 40 game season were simply tired vs a bunch of 25 year olds who had one less game to play.
– Thus, the system worked. Dallas was rewarded for having a better record. And that slight edge got them to the next round.

Join me at the Seattle Interactive Conference November 3

Over the last few years, I’ve had a few amazing chances to get in front of a large audience and either speak on, or moderate panels full of smart people. In about two weeks, I’ll get the opportunity to moderate a panel at one of my favorite events – the Seattle Interactive Conference.

The panel is focused on the changing role of online advertising. Here’s the description:

Game of Screens: The Rise of Multi-Screen Marketing
The rapid evolution of consumer behavior as it relates to their media consumption has rendered many of advertising’s traditional targeting and measurement metrics difficult or obsolete. So how do you accurately measure results when Device proliferation is making even basic reach and frequency management nearly impossible? How can you balance the new expectations amongst consumers that messaging to them should always be relevant and timely? And what are some recent technology advancements in targeting and measurement to help address some of these challenges? In this panel, executives from Choicestream, GoDaddy, Logitech and Sharethrough will share their experience and expertise in delivering successful behavior-driven marketing to consumers who live on multiple screens.

The panel will be on Nov 3 at 11:00am. If you’re attending the event, please come on by and check out our session. And if you have questions you want answered, shoot me an email and I’ll add them into the queue.

Why do we split young soccer players by gender?

Saturday morning, shortly after my friend Trevor and I had completely our lap around Greenback – at a blistering pace I might add – you could find us relaxing on the deck of our favorite coffee shop, Forza. There, we had the perfect view as parents and 5-8 year olds invaded the soccer fields and set up for their matches.

The games started and we watched with amusement as goalies who would eventually fit into their jersey 5 years from now whiffed on punts, entire packs of kids followed the ball around the field en masse, and 12 year olds ruled the field as referees.

But we noticed something odd. Even though the talent was the same on each field, each team was either all boys or all girls. We asked the question, “When kids are that young, why not have boys and girls play together?”

Yes, I understand that there’s an age where each gender’s bodies start developing at different paces and it makes sense to separate them. But at the very earliest ages, why not instill in kids that being good at what you do has nothing to do with gender?

I have no answer here. Just curious.