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How To Write An Open Letter Like Jeff Bezos

The open letter is an art form that not enough companies have learned to use effectively. This morning after the announcement that The Washington Post would be taken over by Amazon - one of the first commentary pieces to emerge was an open letter from Jeff Bezos to Amazon employees (published on The Washington Post website, of course).

7 Ways To Get Marketing Agencies To Work Together In a Mega-Agency World

Today two of the biggest communications holding companies, Omnicom and Publicis, announced they will be merging to form the world's largest advertising company. For anyone familiar with the common in-fighting among agencies for limited client budgets, one of the immediate concerns will be the challenges that these new found partners in this "merger of equals" will face in the coming months.

Domino's Proves You Can Simultaneously Have Great Advertising And Bad Marketing

Great advertising appeals to emotions. In the world of marketing pizza, this usually leads to some new "innovation" in pizza making that might induce cravings and cause people at home to pick up the phone and place an order for delivery.

What 5 Fake Ads Can Teach You About Great Marketing

Sometimes clients don't buy great ideas. And sometimes creative people have great marketing ideas for brands they don't work on. I have thought for years that the greatest marketing idea for Crayola would be to create their own series of coloring menus and crayons for kids, and sell them to restaurants on a monthly basis as a subscription.

Brand Reputation And Why All PR Actually Is Good PR (Unless You're Already Famous)

Lots of people who don't work in public relations will tell you that "all PR is good PR." In other words, if people are talking about you - it doesn't matter what they are saying. Then there are those who are in the profession who will usually tell you the exact opposite ...

How Do Big Brands Answer 16 Essential Social Media Questions?

In just a few weeks, it will be time once again for one of my favourite marketing events of the year. No, it's not the party-filled serendipity fest of SXSW, or the Las Vegas geek-pride gathering at CES. The event I'm talking about is all business ...

How To Choose A Great Blogging Platform That Won't Shut Down After A Year

It can seem like a risky time to think about starting a blog. A mere two weeks after Twitter decided to shut down the blogging platform Posterous (just 10 months after acquiring it), Yahoo announced that they will purchase the popular blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 Billion.

5 Unforgettable Things I Learned From The Office

Fellow fans of The Office television show are sharing a moment of sadness this morning. Last night was the series finale of the documentary-style comedy show that exposed the silly side of the workplace for nine years.

Get A Free Copy Of My Newest eBook ... Always Eat Left Handed: 15 Surprisingly Simple Secrets Of Success

I want to give you a free copy of my new ebook ... but I don't want you to keep it.* Let me tell you why. On June 18, my newest ebook will be released and I am writing it for an audience that may not include you.

The Norwegian Art of Strategic Waiting

Choosing not to preserve a 1000 year old Viking ship doesn't really surprise anyone in Norway. For Americans who are used to their own country putting mere 75 year old documents behind bullet proof glass, though, nothing could be more confusing than the longstanding debate about the fate of the Oseberg ship - a remarkably well preserved 1200 year old Viking ship unearthed from a burial site in Norway in the early 20th century.

How To Earn Respect ... By Giving Up

Today was a big day for the Netherlands. Back in January, the Dutch Queen Beatrix decided to abdicate her throne to pave the way for the next generation of loyalty to take over. Today was her final day as queen, as her son Willem-Alexander became the new King and youngest monarch in Europe.

How Bracelets & Intuition Offer 3 Keys To Using Big Data Successfully

Imagine if Buzz Lightyear walked up to you and wished you Happy Birthday at a Disney Park. Or if a smart app could predict when you might be hungry based on your last meal, and proactively send you an alert with a coupon to a restaurant you happened to be walking past.

How Dyson's Winning Strategy Depends On Who They DON'T Hire

The "Ballbarrow" was never really a product destined for greatness. Replacing a wheel in a traditional wheelbarrow with a ball hardly qualifies as a groundbreaking technological innovation. But it does solve a problem. Great inventions usually do.

10 Smart Ways TurboTax Helps Users Suffer Less

TurboTax is like the financial equivalent of anesthesia before a surgery ... you know you are about to do something painful, but at least you can suffer a bit less. Yesterday was tax day in America, and for millions of users of the most popular tax software - it was a little easier to get this necessary chore out of the way thanks to TurboTax.

Why Simplicity Saved Apple, But Couldn't Save JCPenney

Simplicity always wins. If there is one lesson the modern business world teaches us, it is that complexity kills and simplicity wins. Apple, Flip Camera, Twitter, Uber, Walmart - all are examples of companies that owe their success at least in part to their ability to simplify a service or product to an extreme level.

7 Ways Millionaire Self Help Gurus Make More Money Than Social Media Experts

Last week no one cared what my Twitter name was - and I was thrilled about that. At dozens of social media centric events, the Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or Pinterest question has become the de facto proof of purchase. People write their Twitter names on their nametags.

3 Strategic Ways To Use Hashtags For Marketing

In 2009 a candy brand launched a campaign that would scare marketers off from using Twitter for years. Skittles decided to tap into the growing popularity of Twitter and engage their youth audience with an idea that probably seemed brilliant on a whiteboard.

Content Curation: How To Use Content Marketing Without Being A Creator

There is a creation myth that we often hear when it comes to content marketing. It tells us that in order to provide value with the content we produce, we need to create answers to questions. We need to create continually updated events, articles, videos, or images. Create, create, create.

Why Great Brands Don't Have Obvious Answers

What problem are you solving? It's one of the most basic and fundamental questions in business ... and one that most brands believe they need to be able to answer. The best ideas solve problems, right? There is a problem with this logic.

15 Big Brand Lessons From The 2013 Corporate Social Media Summit

There are all kinds of ways to judge the quality of a conference. Some people look at the venue, or the number of attendees. Other look at the list of speakers, or the keynote presenters. Across the dozens of events I attend every year, I have seen or used almost all of these metrics myself.

How To Get Better At Networking: 7 Questions With Porter Gale

Recently I had the chance to sit down with Porter Gale and pick her brain about some smart tips that can help anyone get better at networking. Her new book Your Network Is Your Net Worth features a cover quote from Sir Richard Branson.

What An 80s Cult Hit Can Teach You About Curation ...

In the 1987 cult hit film Mannequin, a chronically unemployed artist landed a job decorating a department storefront window after saving the owner's life. His partner is a mannequin who comes life at night - and together they create storefront window displays that get people stopping in the streets.

The Most Authentic Movie Marketing Campaign Ever?

It's hard to imagine a movie trailer without "The Voice." You can probably hear it in your head right now. Usually "The Voice" starts with the same three words: "in a world ..." There are few marketing campaigns as well scripted as movie marketing.

Culpa Marketing: How To Win By Publicizing Screw Ups

There is nothing more powerful than a genuine heartfelt apology. At least, that's what JCPenney is hoping based on a new ad the brand just released today featuring an apology to customers for recent changes and a promise to start listening more: The ad is a marked departure from the Apple-style "we'll tell you what you really want" strategy employed by former CEO (and longtime Apple exec) Ron Johnson (here's my take on why that didn't work).

7 Tips To Win A Business Competition Or Pitch Contest

There's a few things they don't tell you about being on The Shark Tank. One of them is that every pitch on the popular reality business TV show starts with a silent 10 second staring contest.