McDonald’s Black Friday Marketing: Epic Fail or Nifty Strategy?

Last Friday, McDonalds tweeted from its @McDonaldsCorp account: Black Friday **** Need copy and link**** — McDonald's Corporation (@McDonaldsCorp) November 24, 2017 Interestingly, it seemingly failed to include any promo content in the tweet, leaving readers to wonder was this an epic fail in the marketing department or a deliberate action intended to drum up interest and buzz for the brand.  I…

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Data Storytelling: Big Data’s Next Frontier

If you're looking for a business prediction for the year, here's one: "Data Storytellers will be in high demand." Many self-proclaimed business gurus are predicting this year will be the year of "Big Data". For those unfamiliar with the concept, big data is a general term for the processes and automated tools related to the search, capture, storage, curation, analysis and visualization of data.…

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How to Build a Compelling Marketing Plan for Your Startup

This 3-part series is intended to illuminate what goes into developing a superior business plan-one worth funding. I hope that you enjoyed Part I of the series last week. In this installment, we will examine the Marketing and Sales Section of the typical business plan. The Marketing and Sales Section is the "guts" of a business plan. Generally divided into three parts, the section traditionally…

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Leadership and Storytelling

Leadership and storytelling go hand-in-hand. In fact, leaders who lack the ability to leverage the power and influence of storytelling are missing the very essence of what accounts for compelling leadership to begin with - the story. If you've ever been captivated by a skilled orator whose articulation and eloquence has influenced your thinking, you understand the power of the art of story. I…

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Personal Branding Done Right

So what's the big deal about personal branding? The mere mention of this topic sparks intense emotions and frothy debate. The legions of personal branding advocates believe it's the great brand equalizer, and the growing constituency of disgruntled adversaries see it as little more than the latest form of snake-oil. So which is it? The answer is for you to decide...I'll frame both sides of the…

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Social Media for CEOs

Nary a week passes where I don't hear from a CEO who's grappling with this social media conundrum: should I, or shouldn't I? The inquiry usually goes something like this: "I'm interested in learning more about social media, but my board thinks it's a bad idea, I don't have any additional bandwidth, and I'm not even sure where to start...is social media really effective for CEOs?"  The discussion…

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Addiction Marketing

"Addiction Marketing" is a phrase I started using a few years back while waiting in line for my drink at Starbucks. I was observing the mass of people who seemed almost desperate for their daily (if not more frequent) fix of caffeine. It was at that moment I realized the real power of one of Starbucks key business drivers, if not their most critical business driver - Starbucks sells products that…

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Brand Exposure

Do you understand the difference between presence, visibility and overexposure? Have you figured out how to apply the laws of scarcity to brand management? If not, then this post is for you. While a brand without exposure is not much of a brand, I consistently find that brand exposure is an aspect of brand management that is all too often overlooked as a success metric. Whether you're assessing…

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Marketing Success

How do you know when marketing is out of control? Those of you familiar with this blog know that I'm generally a strong marketing advocate. That said, my typical pro-marketing position assumes that certain key fundamentals are in place to insure that the lunatics don't somehow become in charge of the asylum. In today's post I'll discuss how to keep marketing in check so that brand focus is…

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How to Build a Brand

Assuming that you have deep pockets, a talented staff, and a lot of patience, growing a recognized brand isn't difficult...spend heavily across all mediums with consistent, creative, on message advertising while simultaneously conducting aggressive public relations and social media campaigns. Avoid controversy, maintain a high like-ability factor, consistently and proactively engage your…

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10 Things That Sell

Each week I receive a tremendous volume of e-mail asking questions about a wide variety of business topics. I received one of these e-mails yesterday which peeked my curiosity as it was not only a great question, but it also challenged me to answer the question in a specific format. The question was: "Can you provide a list of 10 things that appeal to buyers, and explain why they appeal to buyers…

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CEO Marketing Priorities

The fact that CEO marketing priorities need to be extremely focused in this tough economic environment should go without saying. The days of spending just for the sake of spending are long gone. As the above graph denoting responses from an eMarketer survey of C-level executive displays, by necessity CEOs have become extremely focused on aligning marketing priorities with revenue growth. Because…

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Influence and Personal Branding

I'm often asked how to tangibly measure personal brand equity and my answer is quite simple...The value of a personal brand is directly proportionate to its ability to create and wield influence. When it comes to the subject of personal branding much has been written about authenticity, transparency, marketability, thought leadership, etc., but it is the ability to leverage the sum of these…

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Personal Branding Simplified

Great personal brands are simple, understandable, and straight forward in their brand promise. If you want to create a strong personal brand do yourself a favor and avoid the hype and rhetoric being espoused by the masses of overnight personal branding experts who have suddenly flooded the marketplace. Most so-called personal branding gurus are more akin to modern snake-oil salesmen than they are…

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Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing has always played a critical role in managing the visibility of a company's online brand. However with the Internet becoming what is arguably today's dominant medium, Search Engine Marketing has also risen to become a key driver in a company's overall brand strategy. Regrettably the maturity of the products and services that comprise search engine related disciplines come…

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CEO Branding

"CEO Branding" has never been a more important or relevant topic than it is in today's highly charged business and economic climate. Working with some of the top CEOs in the country I can tell you from first hand experience that to the one, chief executives at the top of their game all place CEO branding near the top of their priority list. With the public's overall perception of CEOs as a class…

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