Ideas, insights and inspirations.

Today marks the one year anniversary of Steve Job’s death. Apple’s created a wonderful video tribute, which, incidentally, makes the case for a liberal arts education better than any I’ve ever heard. “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.”

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Here are five big ideas being talked about heavily in the web world that marketers should be considering. Create Once. Publish Everywhere. (COPE). This is the philosophy guiding NPR’s brilliant content/digital strategy which has allowed them to make the most of every story created–serving it up on any device and application. Responsive Web Design Oft understood as a coding and design solution for being able to adapt a site to the ever proliferating number of screen sizes, responsive web design is as much about one content base as it is one code base. Mobile First Mobile First is the concept that if we restrict ourselves to designing for the smallest screen size first, we’ll force ourselves to have to prioritize content and decide what’s really most important. A great way for you to separate the must have vs. nice to have vs. why do we still have? among your thousands of web pages. Storytelling All this device proliferation and talk … Continue reading

I have to imagine that @sweden’s citizen-driven Twitter “experiment” is waking up many a marketing director’s concerns about social media—ergo their brands—in the hands of the masses. As part of its Curators of Sweden campaign, Sweden’s government-sponsored tourism agency turns the reigns of the @sweden Twitter account over to a different citizen each week. This week, Sonja Abrahamsson’s tweets have taken their followers on a magic carpet ride. Everyone from Mashable, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes weighed in on the controversy. Even Stephen Colbert riffed on it on The Colbert Report, causing over 4.7MM Twitter users to campaign for him taking over the account for a week (#artificialswedener). Because of Abrahamsson and her gaffes (or trolling?), many are calling this “experiment” a colossal failure, while a few say it is absolute brilliance. Having worked as a digital marketing consultant for many tourism directors over the years, I felt an immediate concern for the future of tourism social media efforts. … Continue reading

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The New York Times wrote a great and fun story about a nut company that just spent a fortune for the domain, despite having a wonderful brand to itself and a thriving online business at We had a nice debate internally about all the search and brand impact of this decision. Read Abu’s response and all the other fun responses. I can’t help but be struck by the amazing social opportunities that have been created here for Newark Nuts. If the age of corporate social media has taught us anything, it’s that customers value businesses that are honest, forthright and show their human side. We want to join in this story of their heroic rise, fall, rise — and we wanted to save these nutty nut lovers from falling again. The world is already coming to their aid in the NYT article with tons of free, some good, advice. Newark Nuts now has a tremendous opportunity to connect … Continue reading

Most of us understand, if only by feeling, the power of great photography. But on a recent client photo shoot I was reminded how much your approach to photography—just like your approach to social media—can influence your brand. Do you stage everything? Shoot the obvious? Capture what’s natural? Leave room for the unexpected? Have a fallback plan? One of the key moments during our three days on campus was capturing the ROTC physical training at the wee hour of 6:20 a.m. To be ready to get the shot, we got there early and scoped out the scene. It was still pitch black, and the field where training would take place was only dimly lit. I saw the concern in Ed’s, our photographer’s, face. We talked with a coordinator and mapped out the route they’d be taking, then figured out where the best place to intercept them would be. We settled on a long, steep hill where we could catch them … Continue reading

It was a dark and stormy brainstorm session. Ideas were flying. “What if we could connect them to people who came before them and then show them the ones they could influence after?” “What if we use a narrative device, juxtaposing past stories with current stories. The platform could provide a dramatic backdrop for the rhetorical argument.” “Will anyone fill out a form? Let’s not make them log in.” Marketers worldwide are hard at work dreaming up campaigns and interactive whiz-bang features that will inspire or impel users to engage. As someone who waves the social media flag in the new world order, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we want people to get involved, share their enthusiasm with others, be our brand ambassadors. And sometimes we’ll settle for just liking a pretty picture or new yogurt flavor. And therein lies the problem. All the world’s a stage. We’re scattered, untethered, bouncing like … Continue reading

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