• What Can Analytical Segmentation Tell You About Your Site Users?
    [February 23, 2016] Analytical segmentation can be a helpful tool when marketing to customers. It would be impossible for a site to tailor itself to the entire population; segmentation helps by dividing site users into meaningful groups with similar characteristics. Thus, a company can tailor its marketing strategy to appeal to a few or several target markets. Site […]
  • People Buy Stories Before They Buy Stuff
    [January 18, 2016] I’ve been writing about the use of story in marketing for years. I remember when I first started telling people over a decade ago to make their clients the hero of their stories and to use their personal stories as foundational marketing elements they were dubious at best. Today, every marketer understands the value of […]
  • A Recipe for a Sound Social Media Strategy
    [December 17, 2015] As marketers, we are often asked to take the latest and greatest trends and tactics and make them work for our clients. While we are always up for the challenge, the truth is, not all tactics will work for all brands. Social media is no exception, seeing as each platform has a designated purpose to differentiate from […]
  • Yahoo Image Search Gets More Personalized
    [November 11, 2015] Yahoo announced that it has revamped its image search offering to include imagery from Flickr on a personalized basis. In addition to showing web results, it will also now display Flickr-based images from your own Flickr account, from people you follow on Flickr, and “top” public photos from the service. Yahoo says it only shows […]
  • The overlooked role of emotion in brand experience
    [October 15, 2015] While CRM systems have been around for many years, in my experience, among the companies who invest in them, only a few have grasped their true purpose. For a business or a brand to “wrap its head around” the idea of an ongoing conversation with the customer, we are best served by taking a closer […]
  • Want to improve your marketing? Get emotional. Here’s why!
    [September 17, 2015] Someone recently asked me why her business needed a story. She thought it was “a load of trendy nonsense”. When I answered her question, she emailed me back to say it had changed her perception completely. She said it would improve her approach to marketing forever. I decided to share my answer with you, and I hope you find […]
  • Segmented Lifestyle Experiences for eCommerce Customers
    [August 13, 2015] Writing compelling content and blog posts for multiple audience personas takes a unique finesse. It’s possible to get too caught up in hyper-specificity when creating content, which can hinder creativity. For example, how does one come up with an engaging article related to high fashion heels while your brand is trying to connect with moms, outdoorsmen, […]
  • Interaction Is the Key To Your Customer’s Hearts
    [July 9, 2015] I talk to a lot of business leaders that think of web marketing as something that just happens. They build a site, get top rankings and the sales start rolling in. That mindset comes from the good old days of disruptive marketing. Put out a TV, radio or print ad and just wait for the […]
  • Understanding consumers
    [June 2, 2015] Over the last two years we observed a shift from a linear perspective about how consumers behave and interact to a fuzzier, holistic perspective, with many more parameters to describe it. People spend most of their time on the go online, and they become receivers of crazy amounts of information in real time. At the […]
  • Facebook and IBM Team Up For Personalized Marketing Solutions
    [May 14, 2015] Facebook and IBM have teamed up on marketing solutions with IBM’s marketing cloud clients now being able to utilize Facebook’s ad capabilities starting today. This includes Custom Audiences, which can be used in conjunction with IBM’s analytics and design features.
  • Creating Truly Personal Omni-Channel Customer Experiences
    [April 16, 2015] When I was in London, I visited the Smart Focus HQ to shoot a series of videos, host a webinar and also sign books for local marketing professionals (videos and webinar accessible here.)  While there, something unplanned and very cool began to surface and I’m excited to share the result with you here. We assembled […]
  • How Humanity Drives Customer Experience
    [March 18, 2015] According to Nielsen, we trust friends and family members’ recommendations 92% of the time. We trust advertising from companies 47% of the time. We fundamentally trust humans more than companies or institutions8 (highlight to Tweet). This is why the smartest companies don’t act as such. Instead, they operate as real people, united by a common […]
  • Content marketing personalization: know your audience
    [February 19, 2015] Last month, we talked about personalizing your content marketing by presenting your content with a consistent – and human – voice. Even B2B companies benefit from this approach. After all, it’s not a business making the buying decision. It’s a businessperson.
  • A more personal approach to content marketing
    [January 22, 2015] One of the great advantages small businesses have over large corporations is the way their size makes a personalized customer experience so much easier to offer. Gone are the layers of bureaucracy and policies “from the home office in Milwaukee.” So it’s surprising that many firms – large and small – overlook the personal approach in the content […]
  • Instagram Performs Better in Brand Engagement Than Twitter
    [December 31, 2014] Brands looking to cultivate a robust social media following should be putting a lot of their time into Instagram, according to recent data. Socialbakers says that brand engagement on Instagram is blowing Twitter out of the water. In fact, the average engagement per post for the top 25 most-engaged brands in 50 times greater on […]
  • Why personalized content is just better advertising
    [November 13, 2014] I’ve been doing a lot of work recently with clients on website personalization, and I have been struck by how a distinct minority of people (mostly with an advertising background) question whether we really need to target people with website personalization. At first, I thought that they were just resisting something new, but after a […]
  • Take a More Human Approach To Your B2B Marketing
    [October 9, 2014] Answering any question about what’s next in B2B marketing must involve the increasing attention on buyers as people vs. simply “business to business”. The human element of business marketing has attracted a lot of play in the B2B marketing conversation and rightly so.
  • Publishers Now Have Access To ‘Yahoo Recommends’
    [September 18, 2014] Last month, a Yahoo “recommended” content box was spotted on various publisher sites, such as VOX Media’s SB Nation and CBS Interactive’s GameSpot and TV Guide.
  • The Feel Good Principle: How Hormones, Habits, and Behavior Affect Storytelling
    [August 21, 2014] We like things that make us feel good. We avoid stuff that hurts, feels bad, or is painful.
  • Analytics for Personalization
    [July 28, 2014] Personalization is the heart of digital. As a direct channel, digital rewards personalization in almost every form, and there are no shortage of forms. My last post described a laundry list of strategies for personalization. From crowd-sourcing to Next-Best-Offer to people-matching, I cataloged thirteen different ways to make an experience more relevant. Most of those […]
  • Will hyper-personalized content help or hurt us?
    [July 10, 2014] As the data crunching and behavioral analysis technology behind consumer actions online improves, targeted messages are becoming even more pinpointed. Indoor GPS beacon technology has the potential to track consumers down to the aisle they are standing in, providing discounts and suggestions based on both paid ads and assumptions based on previous purchases by the […]
  • We Don’t Need to Be More Human – We Just Need to Be People
    [June 19, 2014] You and I have opinions. We have favourite colours, favourite books, favourite actors. We love the National Geographic Channel but don’t really understand the point of reality TV celebrities. You and I like to talk. We tell each other about our favourite colours, the latest books we read, how The Empire Strikes Back will always […]
  • Why the Human Story Will Always Beat Brand Storytelling
    [May 29, 2014] There’s a large movement currently for brands to “tell their story”, to enable them to be more approachable to customers. Communications pro Gini Dietrich does a great job of showing the strengths of storytelling for brands on her leading Spin Sucks blog.
  • Strategies for Personalization – Delivering an Extra, Unexpected Treat
    [May 1, 2014] Personalization is the new frontier for digital analytics. It’s the single most powerful, analytically driven tool in the marketing (and customer service) arsenal. Digital is fundamentally a direct response medium. The companies that succeed big in digital have almost all found ways to create unique and highly personalized experiences.
  • Personalization, Customer Profiles, and Digital Segmentation
    [April 3, 2014] In one of my favorite presentations from the past year (Unlocking Excellence – Analytics as the Key to Digital), I walk through some of the most important lessons I’ve learned when it comes to doing digital analytics well. One of those lessons, headlined “Don’t Look at Data – Use It,” argues for the central importance […]