A Weekly Update of Tips, Hacks. Articles, Tools and News You Can Use.

Total resources in my private compendium as of this date: 1978. If you are a client or student you have the link. 
I curate so that you don't have to!

I've added many resources to my curated compendium of links this week. My students and clients have the link. Some highlights of newly added items are:

Tools Of The Trade, Articles and White Papers:

  • AddThis (www.addthis.com): AddThis launched a gorgeous new "state of the art" website and wrote about their development process. You can read the article here. I find only one fault with this new site and that is that they've neglected to make it secure (https://), a new Google ranking factor.
  • Typed (Typed): This a new product from RealMac Software, As they describe it "Typed is the stunning new writing app for the Mac, and the first that improves your focus so you can create great content. Typed makes writing for the web incredibly easy, and its Zen Mode features relaxing soundtracks that help you concentrate".  Unfortunately it's only for MAC. Business Insider reviewed the product. You can read the review here.
  • I have read many business books over the years that I've been in business. Of all the business books that I've read none has had more influence on my thinking than Edward DeBono's Sur-Petition (Sur-Petition: Creating Value Monopolies When Everyone Else Is Merely Competing). In this, just one of his many important books, DeBono instructs us to forget the competition by building a company that is so focused on innovation that your company becomes the competition.
    Blue Ocean Strategy and the concepts that DeBono discussed are two peas in the same pod. This thinking leads organizations to unassailable market dominance through superior performance. This requires thinking about what "can be" instead of "what is".

    The following chart from an October 2004 Harvard Business Review article by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne clearly lays out the difference between conventional thinking (what they call "Red Ocean Strategy") and "Blue Ocean Strategy".

    Source: Harvard Business Review
    As I say repeatedly, we have entered an era of exponential innovation and change. What's required today for market leadership is an approach to strategy that is dynamic, fluid and ever evolving.  In this environment a "Red Ocean" strategy is a formula for remaining mired in an endless cycle of imitation where your organization is mercilessly competing for market share.

    A Blue Ocean Strategy is a strategy of creating unassailable market dominance driven by delivering differentiation. This is a strategy that makes your competition irrelevant.
    Implementing  a Blue Ocean Strategy, to be sure, is not easy to achieve. It requires a radical re-orientation of conventional thinking.

    To successfully achieve market dominance leaders must implement policies and procedures that constantly ask: 
    What market standards, those things that are taken for granted in every segment,  should be eliminated? What market standards can be raised. What should be offered that the segment has never offered?

    Check out The Blue Ocean Leadership Series.

  • A blog that I recently found is Zen Habits. Leo Baubata, Zen Habits creator describes his blog thusly: "Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness.

    It also happens to be one of the Top 25 blogs and Top 50 websites in the world, with more than a million monthly readers, and is uncopyrighted. Zen Habits features a couple powerful articles a week on: simplicity, health & fitness, motivation and inspiration, frugality, family life, happiness, goals, getting great things done, and living in the moment."

    Sage advice from Zen Habits: 

    "If you feel overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm you and release the tensions.
    If you are worried about something coming up, or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. It will bring you back to the present.

    If you are moving too fast, breathe. It will remind you to slow down, and enjoy life more.

    Breathe, and enjoy each moment of this life. They’re too fleeting and few to waste

    Check out Zen Habits here. You'll be glad that you did.
  • Global Voices (www.globalvoices.org) is a site that I have followed for several years. Most of you know that I've traveled extensively and I try to keep up on news and events around the world. For me, Global Voices is the place on the web to do that. I subscribe to their RSS feed in my Netvibes dashboard. It's a great source of content inspiration and, of course, Newsjacking!
  • An additional source of content inspiration, Newsjacking and keeping up with the world is another site that I've referred to often over the years, ABYZ Newslinks, a fabulous compendium of links to every newspaper and media site on the globe.
  • I often speak to you about the vital importance of writing strong headlines. I found a fantastic tool this week to measure the emotional impact of your headlines. Check out The Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer, truly a great tool. And, it's FREE.
  • Designing and deploying an EFFECTIVE website is tricky. As we know instant impressions of your site are what drives engagement, "stickiness" and conversion. The difference between engagement and a "bounce" happens in seconds. User testing used to be a costly and time-consuming effort that only the "big boys" could afford. No longer. Have a look atUsertesting.com, where, for costs starting at $49 your site will be user tested and a 15 minute video of the test will be sent to you so that you can make the changes necessary to make your site truly user friendly.
  • I often speak to you about how radically marketing has changed in the Internet era, about how marketers no longer control the message, that consumers do.

    Tina Wells the founder and CEO of the Buzz Marketing Group gave a fantastic lecture as part of the Stanford University Technology Ventures Program on just this subject. In this talk she "explains how corporate marketers can no longer dictate consumers tastes because technology gives them (consumers) a greater voice and more choices".

    As I've told you all many times this requires all organizations to develop the skills (utilizing the fantastic tools that are available to us) to "listen" to the consumer when we are developing our products and our marketing plans. This lecture is well worth your attention. Here are links to the entire talk and four clips from it: 

    Tina Wells:  Consumers and Brands in the Digital Age [Entire Talk] (55:33)
    Tina Wells: Consumers Shape Marketing and Product (3:17)
    Tina Wells: Seeing Beyond Biases (2:17)
    Tina Wells: Inspired by Simple Innovations (3:17)
    Tina Wells: Know Your Total Market and Target Market (2:17)
  • An interesting article in Business Insider this week caught my attention. You know that I believe Podcasting is a powerful marketing tool. The Business Insider article, Here Are The Main Differences Between Apple CarPlay And Android Autohighlights just how important Podcasting is becoming. As "in-car" digital audio expands so too will the importance of Podcasting as more and more commuters find listening to Podcasts easier and easier. NOW is the time to join the rapidly expanding world of Podcasting.

    I've added several Podcasts to my Compendium of Resources this week (it now includes 34 Podcasts of interest to Digital Marketers) and I want to point out one that is especially interesting, Foundation.This podcast is hosted by entrepreneur Kevin Rose (founder of Digg). The show features guests who made it big in the business world. They discuss ideas, their past, inspiration, and more. This is a podcast that should not be missed.

  • What distinguishes a great marketer from merely a good one? According to Carly Stec, writing on The Impact Blog in any article titled "5 Traits That Distinguish Innovative Marketers From Average Ones" great marketers (1) take risks, (2) they stay curious, (3) "they eat analytics for breakfast", (4) they "talk less and do more", (5) they "aim to understand behavior" and last but not least, (yes, I know this is 6) "they treat people like people". There's lots of great advice in this short but important article, give it a read.
  • Attracting visitors to our sites is a tough job. But as you consistently hear me say, the real job is engagement and conversion. Tim Ash, writing for Marketing Land this week offers some great advice in an article titled "Smarter Remarketing: Psychological Tricks To Bring Back Abandoned Visitors". This is just one article, and a very valuable one, that I've added to the Compendium this week along with several other "Tools Of The Trade. As always, clients and students have the link. 
  • Think With Google, which is always full of fascinating stuff, ran a really interesting article this week on the YouTube phenomenon known as "unboxing".  According to the article "Unboxing video views have grown 57% over the past year, and uploads have grown more than 50%. But it's not just the growth in the unboxing genre that's impressive—it's the sheer volume, too. It would take more than seven years to watch all the videos on YouTube with "unboxing" in the title that have been uploaded so far just this year. And those videos have more than a billion views in this year alone". Read the article here

News You Can Use

  • (FIle this on under "it's about time") Goodbye CAPTCHA (and Good Riddance)
  • (Also file this in "it's about time") A very interesting article from Business Insider - an interview with Barry Diller on the future of TV.
  • They have been called the Dead Sea Scrolls of physics. Since 1986, the Princeton University Press and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, to whom Albert Einstein bequeathed his copyright, have been engaged in a mammoth effort to study some 80,000 documents he left behind. Digital Einstein went live on on Friday and now anyone with an Internet connection is able to share in the letters, papers, postcards, notebooks and diaries that Einstein left scattered in Princeton and in other archives, attics and shoeboxes around the world when he died in 1955. The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. This is fascinating stuff and a true example of the power of the Internet to bring knowledge to everyone.
  • It was announced last month that New York City's 10,000 street located Pay Phones will be converted to WiFi Hot Spots by the end of 2015. Now, this week, the New York Public Library, with the help of a $1 million grant from Google will expand its Free WiFi Program that will enable New York City residents to check out free portable wireless routers. "The program is intended largely for the estimated 2.5 million city residents who don't have the Internet at home, generally because of the costs". Library branches throughout the city will have various eligibility requirements for taking out a unit. The length of time a borrower may keep a unit will vary. The hubs, powered by Sprint, will generally be lent to library members in adult learning programs, English-language courses, and residents who don’t have home broadband, officials said. This is great news for all New Yorkers. Let's hope that the rest of the nation follows suit - and soon.

The state of content marketing is abysmal. Most organizations have no strategy and, as you've all heard me say (over and over) an end-to-end strategy is where an effective Digital Marketing effort starts. So, I'm writing a new article on the subject that I will have for you next week. I'll include it this newsletter. Look for it next Monday morning.

So, that's it for now. Have a great Digital Marketing week. As always, "if you want a cool drink of water, you've got to dig a little deeper in the well".