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The future of marketing in a technology world

Next week, I’ll be presenting at Search Insider Summit with an 18-minute, TED-style talk called Rise of the Marketing Technologist. This time around, the event organizers — led by programming chair Gord Hotchkiss — asked speakers to put aside the usual topics and instead share our visions of where the future of marketing is headed. So while I usually talk about post-click marketing and conversion optimization at such events, I’ve decided that this is the …

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Marketing, technology, and storytelling

With social media marketing, everyone is a writer. Whether you’re writing tweets, blog posts, or landing pages, you’re telling a story. So good storytelling skills are well worth cultivating. Even for those of us in marketing technology, who work behind the scenes, we need to understand that the solutions we build are often vehicles for good storytelling — ideally masterful storytelling. And, more often than not, you need to tell a great story to sell …

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Web 3.0 conference focuses on advertising and marketing

I think 2010 is going to be a good year for the semantic web — now better known as the linked data movement — especially as marketers become increasingly aware of its potential in their mission for online branding and relationship building. It certainly seems that January will be off to a good start. Media Bistro is holding their next Web 3.0 Conference in Santa Clara on January 26-27, and a good number of the …

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Google bets HUGE on advertising everywhere

These past few weeks, I’ve repeatedly remarked that social media marketing — while a glorious and wonderful phenomenon in its own right — is unlikely to be the death of online advertising. This has not been a popular position. In fact, I was feeling a little lonely out on that limb. But today, I had some company join me. And not just any company. Google, the great masters of the Internet universe, happily crawled out …

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Study reveals issues with search ads — trust and usefulness

A few weeks ago, I launched an informal survey to ask people what they thought of PPC search advertising, hoping to peel back a bit more of the curtain of their sentiments and beliefs. As promised, I’m happy to share the results with you. Well, maybe “happy” isn’t the right word. As you’ll see, the feedback about search advertising is not particularly positive — although on the bright side, it does leave considerable room for …

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Survey: what do you think of search advertising?

I have two favors to ask of you. (Is that a bad way to start a blog post?) I’m doing a small research project on what people think of search advertising — both marketers and non-marketers — as part of a graduate seminar at Harvard on intelligent interactive systems. There are some intriguing hypotheses I have around search advertising, which I promise to share soon… but I don’t want to influence your answers for a …

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Branding is dead! Long live branding!

Is branding really at odds with the new era of social media, or should the true meaning of branding be recognized as a broader mission that transcends logos and color palettes? If you’re a brand marketer and an ABBA fan (what are the odds?), then your song of the day might as well be Under Attack. A recent ClickZ article, Branding Today: Why It’s Ineffective, Irrelevant, Irritating, and Impotent captures the backlash against old-school branding …

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Beyond fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD)

If you’ve been at the intersection of business and technology for a while, you’re probably familiar with fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). I’m not talking about the natural stress, worry and concern that everyone feels in the course of their work. Instead, FUD is an intentional “tactic of rhetoric and fallacy” that has been used in sales and marketing, particularly in high-technology, to dissuade customers from considering a competitor’s products. By many accounts FUD-as-strategy took …

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The most important strategic choice in online marketing

At the most abstract level, your organization is a single entity. At the most detailed level, each of your customers is an individual, unique and special. Perhaps the greatest challenge in marketing is reconciling these two forces: the unity of your brand and the individuality of your audience. You want to speak to people as specifically as you can, addressing their particular wants and needs, related in a way that resonates best with their perspective …

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Reflections on marketing technology for a New Year

I believe that marketing — as a function, a profession, and an industry — is experiencing transformational changes and disruptive innovation, driven by the evolving capabilities and culture of the Internet and a new generation of marketing technology software. It is becoming more distributed in execution, more personalized in communications, and more fluid across boundaries inside and outside the firm. Its cycle speed is accelerating, its tactical building blocks are fragmenting — from a few …

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