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  • 10sept
    Demographics vs. ethnographics: a marketing minefield
    Posted by Christopher Hosford

    One of the most volatile issues facing American marketers today may be demographic, targeted marketing, particularly when it comes to segmentation that picks out certain “ideal” groups as potentially good customers.

    It seems innocuous enough on its surface. A TV spot for a diabetes drug might feature black actors. Why? Studies show that minorities have a higher prevalence of diabetes than whites, and some minorities have higher rates of diabetes-related complications and death. It’s not that other spots don’t feature whites; it’s that minorities can be considered an especially appropriate demographic for a particular drug, and thus are targeted by marketers. But other examples are a bit less clear, a bit more problematic.
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  • 8jul
    Marketing and Old Cameras: An Exercise in Composition
    Posted by Christopher Hosford

    Recently I bought an antique camera on eBay. When it came in the mail I wanted to quickly load it with film and shoot something. Anything. It taught me a little about marketing.

    The mantra today is some variation of, “Act quickly and fail fast.” While I’m certainly not averse to changing with the times—I’ve done an incredible amount of it in the past year alone—I see eerie parallels with earlier times and techniques, and I wonder if we’ve lost something in the process.
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  • 5may
    Content Marketing Is Doomed! (Or, Why Las Vegas Cookery Isn’t All that Good Anyway)
    Posted by Christopher Hosford

    Thanks to a LinkedIn post by Howie Sholkin, former IDG communications guru, I was directed to a sprightly Mediapost essay titled, “Why content marketing probably won’t work for you.”

    “Content marketing is like setting up a small food stand in the middle of a Las Vegas eat-as-much-as-you-can buffet, to an audience that’s just eaten. And one that happens to have the world’s finest chefs serving their best dishes for free, while the top fast-food joints do the same,” Goodwin asserts. I think Goodwin’s reasoning offers a gloss of logic which (like a lot of other smart, short-form Internet writing) overlooks several key points.
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  • 23apr
    Finding that entrepreneurial spirit, and maintaining it even when you’re big
    Posted by Christopher Hosford

    Last month I attended the Future of Business conference in New York City, sponsored by international software giant SAP.

    One of the featured speakers was Josh Linkner, founder and CEO of Detroit Venture Partners, whose company enables startups in the infamously dystopian town. But Linkner was not here to talk about bootstrapping Detroit. What he did talk about was an eye-opening presentation about how to bring the “startup mentality” to enterprise companies.
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  • 6mar
    Social media ROI sucks! (Or, you can prove anything if you send out a survey)
    Posted by Christopher Hosford

    Social media marketing is now precariously ensconced as a more-or-less mainstream marketing channel.

    Companies try to dutifully engage with customers and prospects on all the main social channels, plus as many of the secondary ones as possible. And the rise of content marketing has rushed in to boost social’s street cred. After all, content is the “fuel” that drives the social media engine, right? But things can get murky when marketers are asked to rate social media in terms of contributing to business goals.
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  • 20feb
    The opportunity with Big Data and content marketing
    Posted by Christopher Hosford

    Never before have marketers had so much information about prospects, customers, the competition, and the markets they hope to reach.

    Sounds like a happy situation, right? But say “Big Data” instead of “information,” and marketer smiles will turn upside down in a hurry. But Big Data is information—competitive knowledge about the behaviors of customers. This provides an excellent opportunity to respond in kind, with campaigns of information that directly address those needs.
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