Category Archives: Marketing

Denver Startup Week: Life Lessons from Serial Entrepreneurs

Cuban Laughing at Denver Startup Week Session: Chinese Rockets and Disco Dance Lessons: The Art of Reinvention - A Night with Startup Visionaries Charlie Ergen, Mark Cuban and Brad FeldI had the opportunity to attend one of the more than 350 sessions that were part of the 2017 Denver Startup Week. Now in its sixth year, Denver Startup Week is the largest free entrepreneurial event of its kind in North America, and is one of the best resources in the nation for those looking to start or grow a business, or in my case, to learn from the best in business.

One of the sessions I attended, “Chinese Rockets and Disco Dance Lessons: The Art of Reinvention – A Night with Startup Visionaries Charlie Ergen, Mark Cuban and Brad Feld,” was highly entertaining and included a candid discussion with successful entrepreneurs.

While admittedly I’m not an entrepreneur, I’m in awe of gutsy business leaders who just go for it and live their dream. Charlie Ergen is the co-founder of Dish Network; Brad Feld runs the Foundry Group, a Boulder venture capital fund; and Mark Cuban is the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of “Shark Tank.”

Read more after the jump…

The Art of Taking a Step Back

Photo credit: @WiredForLego

Photo credit: @WiredForLego

This week one of our account teams held an “Intense Period Debrief” – an opportunity to assess what went well, what could have gone better and what we can do moving forward to learn from experiences once a project is complete. The irony of this particular meeting was that, in taking the time to take a step back, much of what we learned from this particular account was the importance of taking calculated steps back more often.

The marketing world moves fast – new platforms, new products, content trends (this week it’s sarcastic polls on Twitter, FYI), changes in user behavior… the list of things that change actually changes itself quite frequently.

Add aggressive deadlines and high expectations to the list, and we’re frequently working in a world that pushes forward so fast that it’s easy to forget to step back and think strategically once a plan is in place. Ultimately, the best-laid plans don’t mean much if expectations aren’t set, processes aren’t communicated, and those plans don’t evolve based on trends and ongoing data.

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The Future of Content, and What it Means for PR

usc-annenberg-logoThe USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism recently released its Global Communications Report 2017, and it offers a number of interesting findings that affect the public relations and marketing industries.

One trend that has profound implications for public relations specifically is PESO – paid, earned, shared and owned – content. Historically, public relations has lived in the earned content box, but more than half of PR executives believe that in five years the average consumer will NOT make any distinctions among content that is paid, earned, shared or owned. Read more after the jump…

Branding & Loyalty: What Are Micro-Moments?

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Get ready for micro-moments.

Buyer behaviorists have for a long time relied on the traditional consumer journey funnel to describe how a potential customer starts with a set of brands and through a set of methodical steps, reduces the number of brands down to a small number to make a purchase. The following funnel visually indicates the typical consumer journey:
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Thoughts from CenterTable’s 6th SXSWi Denver Download

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Capitalizing on in-person opportunities as well as digital opportunities brings us Back to the Future.

Last week we hosted our sixth South by Southwest Interactive “Denver Download” – a chance for our clients and partners who attended the SXSWi conference in March to share the knowledge they gained with other clients, partners and colleagues back here in Denver. This year’s panel consisted of Comcast’s Cindy Parsons (who hosted one of the festival’s on-site social media lounges), Sukle’s Dan Schultz, Children Hospital Colorado’s Elizabeth Whitehead and yours truly. Below is a recap of common themes that were discussed during the event – all relevant concepts to look to as evolving trends in digital marketing in 2017.

Knowing your audience (and segmenting your messaging and marketing plan accordingly) is more important than ever.

Gone are the days of distributing one message to as many people as possible through digital channels. With so many social media and digital marketing platforms, combined with the fact that it’s not “solely Millennials” using Instagram or “only older people” using Facebook, it’s more important than ever to create specific audience personas and speak directly to each one of them with tailored content and messaging. Read more after the jump…

Sources for Social Media Ideas

Social Media Ideas ResearchWhere do you get your social media ideas? When you hear the words “brainstorming” or “creativity,” you may not immediately associate them with science and research, but I do. When I see a calendar invitation to a brainstorming session, I make a note to make time for some research. I’m not talking about what competitors are up to, though that too is important. I’m talking about finding a LexisNexis log in and doing some digging to see what the scientific community says about the topic. You’d be surprised what exists out there to inspire your work.

Most recently, I did some work with a child abuse prevention nonprofit and stumbled across the amazing Frameworks research that studied how people in various demographics responded to different message framing related to child abuse prevention. This research is widely used amongst nonprofits working on this topic. It has great insights like “because so many frames have the effect of lifting support for child abuse and neglect policies, child welfare advocates on this issue have the opportunity to create some synergy across child development issues by using frames that also elevate other areas of child development.”  To translate, there are many ways of talking about child abuse that can be effective, but a few strategic ones will also help everyone else working on the topic. In coming up with ideas for this April, which is child abuse prevention month, we kept that research in mind.

The child abuse example is just one of many. If the topic relevant to you doesn’t have extensive existing research there can be more broad ways to investigate, such as looking for research related to online giving and social pressure for nonprofits. Or even understanding theories related to how people choose what to buy. This study tested whether people offered a coupon for jelly bought more when they could choose between 26 flavors or 6 flavors. More people were attracted to the big display, but more people actually bought jelly when there were fewer choices.

If you want to propel your agenda, build a movement, and change the narrative, you’re going to need some powerful social media ideas for content. Why not start with a Google search to leverage psychology, cognitive science, and the latest social science research to help lead you to success?

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Monday Sessions

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Art and inspiration are everywhere at SXSW.

The fourth day of South by: When sleep deprivation and too many creative thoughts in your head from the previous three days starts to cloud everything. But the sun came out today and we had an impressive lineup of speakers. Here are our top takeaways from Monday at SXSW 2017:

Jim’s Take:

  • I attended a wide variety of sessions today, the first being “Blending Leadership: Online and Offline,” where presenter Reshan Richards reviewed six pillars of leadership traits from his book. From a professional development standpoint, the main takeaway for me was, “Once you’ve become more efficient and find yourself with an extra 30 minutes or hour in your day, be intentional about how you fill that time. Don’t cram it with busy work. Rather, spend it on something you’d hoped to do from an aspirational standpoint.”

Read more after the jump…

Biggest PR Disasters of 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, we take time to reflect on the year’s biggest PR disasters:

lochteRYAN LOCHTE … An Olympic swimmer perpetually overshadowed by Michael Phelps finally finds the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Ryan Lochte is an accomplished Olympian who in almost any era would be recognized as one of the greatest swimmers of all time. Unfortunately for Lochte, though, he swims in the Michael Phelps era. That frustration may have contributed to his decision to “over-exaggerate” – his term ­– the details of an alleged armed robbery at the Olympics in Brazil. After video emerged of Lochte and other U.S. swimmers appearing to vandalize a gas station bathroom, the armed robbery started looking more like a request for restitution. Lochte apologized, but the consequences were swift: sponsors Speedo and Polo Ralph Lauren dropped him immediately, and he solidified his spot as an Olympic punch line for generations to come.

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SAMSUNG … What do the global electronics giant’s mobile phones and washing machines have in common? They both explode.

It was a tough year for Samsung, who twice found itself at the top of the list of the year’s biggest safety recalls. First, it was the company’s flagship mobile phone, the Galaxy 7, some of which were spontaneously exploding. It got so bad that the Department of Transportation eventually banned the phones from all U.S. airline flights. And then Samsung was forced to recall 2.8 million washing machines because they could explode. That caused a viral sensation because no one could really wrap their heads around how a washing machine could explode. But YouTube videos gave us our answer, much to Samsung’s dismay.

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What are Holiday Supershoppers?

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Have you ever had that friend who always seemed to know the latest popular brands and must-have products and where to find the best deals? Most of us have and probably all wondered how that friend was able to obtain all this information and be what’s coined a “supershopper.”

The good news is that anyone can now be a supershopper. Through a combination of mobile access to vast amounts of inspiration and virtually unlimited information, a new breed of shopper is quickly becoming the norm. These shoppers are willing to try new products and brands in their search for the best and aren’t looking simply during the holidays.

Read more after the jump…