Ideas, insights and inspirations.

In the age of Google and AI, a manufacturing and industrial marketing strategy is incomplete without a blogging strategy. We will first share several good reasons why manufacturers must include blogging in their marketing mix. Why manufacturers should blog? While a blog does require some time and effort, it is well worthwhile for these five reasons: 1. Provides the fresh content that Google and Bing rewards with page one rankings. 2. Significantly cheaper than annually paying third parties for links. 3. Conveys subject matter expertise, which buyers reward. 4. Builds topic authority, which Google and Bing reward with higher rankings. 5. Expands website real estate which grows your brand impressions and reach in the age of Google, Bing and AI. Best practices in industrial blogging Next, we’ll share eleven best practices we’ve seen work for many industrial companies. 1. Goals: Could be a combination of communicating subject matter expertise, reputation building or humanizing your company. 2. Name: A good blog name … Continue reading

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ChatGPT, the latest AI tool, has taken the world by storm. Should under-staffed and under-resourced marketing teams use it? And can it make marketing teams more productive? Before I answer that, let’s just review how this artificial intelligence (AI) tool works. How ChatGPT Works ChatGPT does not have a mind of its own, nor does it have its own thoughts. Instead, its responses are based on the collective memory of humanity, embedded in billions of web documents – imbued with the entire spectrum of humanity’s truthful, partially true, baseless, misinformed, racist and sexist points of views. Based on existing written sentence and document structure patterns, it completes or predicts word and sentence combinations weaving them together into authoritative-sounding, smooth, somewhat verbose and human-like answers.  Next, an army of human reviewers — with their unique personal biases — manually fine-tune the responses by ranking for quality. Using ChatGPT For Marketing Let’s examine how chatGPT fares in various components of marketing: S T … Continue reading

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What’s the difference between a college with a surplus of applications and one with an unacceptably high acceptance rate? Sometimes, it’s curiosity and nerve. Adversity — brought on by geographic isolation, shifting demographics, living in the shadows of giants, deep-pocketed for-profits and other Goliath competitors — can inspire a college and university to challenge assumptions and try new approaches to gain an unfair competitive advantage. We call these schools underdog brands — and salute the leaders willing to rethink the potential of a school website, blog, and social channels. Underdog brands evolve from thinking of marketing assets as a fixed cost — an unwelcome guest knocking at the budget door — to seeing its potential to enlarge the vision and change institutional culture. Underdog brands tend to serve a lot of first generation in college families and students who are willing to try harder. These students are unafraid to roll up their sleeves and get things done, and are eager … Continue reading

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Communicating before, during and after a capital campaign requires the kind of symphonic thinking that author Daniel Pink explores in A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. Strategic visions and campaign priorities can quickly deconstruct into campaign inventory and itemization — losing all connection to a larger and more compelling story about why a college matters and to the invitation for how donors might connect their singular sense of purpose to something larger. It’s not a matter of longer versus shorter content, but a question of what Pink calls the “relationship between relationships.” Pink talks of the three types of people that thrive when asked to overlay little and big pictures. Boundary Crossers: comfortable with abstraction, they understand how a concept like regulation can inspire donors to support the training of future financial accountants who will police insider trading and osteopathic doctors equipped to ease an epidemic of diabetes. Inventors: able to project new … Continue reading

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Thought leaders are created through persistent leaning into critical issues with a distinct point of view and expertise. Here are our guidelines for positioning yourself as a thought leader using blogging and social media: Goals Build your personal or institutional reputation as a thought leader in your core expertise. Create a readership that engages with your passion for your expertise by delivering insightful, practical, dependable and valuable content. Personal Brand Curate and manage your personal profiles on your organization’s website, your personal LinkedIn account, and other social channels. Grow and cultivate your personal network comprised of practitioners, peers, collaborators and perhaps most importantly influencers. Target Audience Speak to practitioners, peers, collaborators and influencers. Lead the believers in your cause. Persuade the receptive. Ignore the rest. Keyword Focus Think of the keyword or phrase you would like your blog post to be ranked for. Search Google to see who else appears on page 1 of Google for that phrase. Tie content … Continue reading

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Content marketing is in a state of constant flux. To reach potential students, best practices in higher education marketing dictate being everywhere; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and SnapChat, right? Well, no. Yes, the number of ways consumers can access information, and thus make a purchasing decision, has grown exponentially. The days when a university only bought a billboard, some television commercials and used direct mail are long gone. Websites, email, digital ads and sharing content on social sites are used in addition to the older forms of marketing. But, that doesn’t mean you should just throw the same content everywhere. Instead, universities must make their content interesting, useful and at times, entertaining. This only happens if you focus on your customer’s needs rather than your own interests. That’s where John Deere enters the picture. They published a magazine, called The Furrow, in 1895. The goal was to sell farm equipment and they did this by sharing stories farmers … Continue reading

“Everything you quote — every movie, every TV show, every lyric — has been endlessly rewritten… Fall in love with rewriting!” My uncle, who is a great writer, recently said these words. And I love them. It’s a process I know well. Every brand. Every headline. Every script. Every sitemap. Every webpage. All of it. They’ve all been nipped and tucked and scrapped and scratched out and added back in and shifted and shaken not stirred and screamed at and forgiven and rinsed and repeated. A bucket brigade of project managers, clients, writers, editors and SEO strategists passed the words back and forth. Commas were nixed and then added again. A passionate battle in grammar rules that frankly are meant to be broken likely made its way in. And I’ve fallen in love with this process. As you’re reading this, I’ve probably already changed this post and these words — probably this word — ten times. Make that eleven. In … Continue reading