The State of Enterprise Content Marketing: Fast-Paced Change Raises Big Questions

July 22nd, 2014 by Canright Communications

state of enterprise content marketing

 

CMI recently released its study on Enterprise Content Marketing , and we find it insightful and useful. Below, you will find our notes on the findings.

The fact that content marketing is here to stay is not news in particular to anyone. With enterprise content growing at an amazing 200% annually (p. 4), it is more important than ever to stop and evaluate how effective content marketing is, why we are doing it, and where it fits within the company as a whole.

Although companies are acknowledging the power of content, the management and measurement of it seem to leave many in the dust. “The research CMI conducted prior to the Executive Forum showed that while budgets for content marketing were becoming quite substantial, the processes were still mostly ‘being figured out’” (p. 9).

What has become clear is that change is happening rapidly. We will need to move just as rapidly to keep up with it. The key here is the warning at the opening of the review – content marketing needs the respect of a strategy. Mindless content creation is a dangerous dead weight both to a company’s time, and its brand as a whole.

We looked through the main highlighted points of the study, and pulled them together in a way that will help everyone wrap their heads around the whole concept a little better. We divided this into the greatest challenges and how they affect the whole process:

  • A lack of process/standard operational model
  • A failure of existing measurement tactics
  • The need for integration of content marketing not just into the strategy, but into the culture of the company
  • Need dedication to understanding the creation of content, not just management and distribution

Purpose: Understanding the purpose of content creation not only drives a stronger creation process (less mindless churning out of “filler” content) but shapes more effective operational models and measurements. “When looking at data integration and providing value, it’s important to develop a robust taxonomy and tagging structure for your content from the very beginning” (p. 6).

Quality: The first key is understanding that unless your content is providing real value to your customer – we’ll give you a hint: this doesn’t mean just listing product features – you are throwing away valuable time and money. Quality comes from addressing the needs of your clients. This is one of the key reasons we emphasize the need for the integration of content marketing within the company’s culture. The company is a hive of experts with valuable knowledge to share. Time and energy must be invested in communicating it. These are things employees and c-suite will only dedicate once they truly embrace the culture of content marketing, not just the requirements.

Integrity: Integrity is a word that gets thrown around quite a bit in our industry, but one of the best definitions we’ve read views integrity as a consistency of values. Uniting the need for a cultural embrace of content and the need for operational models, content marketing is not just the hook to the old fashioned sales funnel, but nurturing the life-cycle of client interaction. An important note here is consistency does not necessarily mean every area and every product needs dedicated content, so much as a strategy in how we apply it.

Measurement: Most importantly, results must be measured. This is difficult, as many of the executives interviewed noted. To read an interesting take on the problem with the measurement of content success, take a look at the proposed “attention web” plans that Forbes describes.

There are of course, a number of views on the subject. BMA takes a look at B2B marketers and the struggle to connect content marketing with business value.

All these different view means there are a lot of change happening in the industry right now. We’re all looking forward to new challenges these changes will present. It’s certainly an exciting time to be working in marketing, but we’ll all need to be quick on our toes to prevent wasted hours and useless content. Stay interesting, stay informed, and be informative! All of this seem like a bit much to you? Give us a call!

The Wall Street Journal Celebrates 125 Years

July 8th, 2014 by Samantha Hulings

Today is the 125th anniversary of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and to celebrate, the newspaper reprinted the cover of its very first issue from July 8, 1889.

Founded by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser, the name for the long-standing paper was created by Bergstresser, the lesser known of the three founding reporters.

IMG_20140708_103643876

 

The first edition included just 4 pages and cost $0.02. Two pennies for a paper! Now, that would equate to $0.51. . . almost $1.50 less than the actual cost of The Wall Street Journal today.  Below are a few facts from that original cover.

IMG_20140708_103726140

To continue the commemoration of the anniversary,WSJ staff rang the opening bell of NASDAQ this morning.

Also for this milestone anniversary, a number of celebrities and industry leaders served as guest columnists. Singer, songwriter, and seven-time Grammy Award winning artist, Taylor Swift penned a column on the future of the music industry. Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg discussed a future where the internet is available to all and Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Companydiscussed the future of transportation. If you would like to read more opinions of industry leaders, visit online.wsj.com.

If you are interested in how the Journal has covered the last 125 years, I recommend heading over to the WSJ 125 Archive, so you can explore history through the lens of the Journal.

 

 

Market and Regulatory Changes Prompt Investment Policy Review

June 9th, 2014 by Canright Communications

The continued low interest rate environment, ongoing regulatory reform and record stockpiles of corporate cash have contributed to a renewed focus on the investment policy process. While most large companies have an investment policy statement to help guide their cash investments, many privately held or smaller firms may not. It is considered best practice for companies to implement one.

Read the entire article here.

 

Taking on International Supply Chain FX Risks

June 2nd, 2014 by Canright Communications

As the US economy continues to strengthen, many treasury teams are wisely reviewing established payment practices to allow them to take full advantage of new growth opportunities. A US company that has taken the time to explore and implement finance and treasury processes that work best with international suppliers and customers will have greater opportunities to maximize rewards and gain a competitive advantage.

Read the entire article here.

A Straight Path to Receivables Reconciliation

May 27th, 2014 by Canright Communications

Though straight-through reconciliation for receivables (STR) may often present more of a challenge than straight-through processing for payments (STP), recent advances in regulations, electronic payments acceptance and paper-to-electronic (P2E) conversion, allow companies to move rapidly toward the STR ideal. Many are now looking to achieve rates of success similar to what they have achieved with straight-through processing for payables.

Read the rest of the article to learn more about STR and its benefits.

 

Canright Inspiration Monday: Printing

May 12th, 2014 by Canright Communications

Inspiration is key at Canright. It is a part of everything we do. To celebrate what inspires us, each week we present Canright Inspiration.

This week, Collin presented on the history of typography and printing.

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Collin says, “check out my inspiration presentation to my firm, drawing in my experience growing up at my family’s newspaper, The Chesterton Tribune. I covered stories I heard of my grandfather learning to set type by hand and seeing him run a Linotype machine. Plus the paper’s early move to offset printing and mine with desktop and digital publishing. 600 years of history on three generations and told in 30 minutes.”

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Who knew fonts got their own ads? We do now!

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Three Keys to Compelling Presentations

May 8th, 2014 by Christina Canright

“The music is not in the piano.”

I once saw this quote by Clement Mok on a poster and have never forgotten its message, particularly when I see speakers giving presentations with highly bulleted PowerPoint slides. Know what I’m talking about? Slides with graphics pulled from the web with list upon list of bullet points and text galore. The speaker sure gets through each and every point, but often loses the audience early on. The focus of the talk from the speaker’s perspective becomes the slides rather than the speaker’s message. And that core message has to work that much harder to get through.

The slide portion of your presentation can be a powerful instrument, like the piano, and can actually be a great partner: reaching your audience, compelling them to pay attention. Here are three key things I remember when creating slides for presentations we do with our clients:

1. Simplicity always, always trumps complexity in a talk.

Simplicity is a key element in doing an effective and compelling presentation. This does not mean simple. A well-designed slide is one that has clarity—the arrangement is well thought out, words are pared down to their essence, and concepts are prioritized.

At the same time, the presenter fills in relevant information—often with a story from his or her own experience. The content becomes personal and grounded in the speaker’s experience. That way, the audience can connect and relate more authentically with the speaker.

2. Know precisely what you want your audience to take away.

Keeping it simple, with just two to three points you want to be remembered, also serves another purpose: You increase the odds that your audience will remember what you said. According to Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen, “There is simply a limit to a person’s ability to process new information efficiently and effectively.” When you have too much information, your audience has to cope with what Garr calls “excessive cognitive strain,” and your message, even though it may be a good one, gets lost in the clutter of too much information. Have two to three concepts or take-aways you want them to remember. The clearer you are, the more likely you and your message will be remembered.

3. Spend the time to make it yours.

Too many people wait till a few days before the talk to do the “PowerPoint” portion and undercut themselves in having their presentation be a partner, rather than an afterthought. Steve Jobs is known for spending many hours on his presentations, both on the visuals and on the words, so that they appeared effortless in the delivery.

So construct each slide with care to make sure it communicates efficiently and elegantly. Then, remember that the audience is there to hear what you have to say about the topic. Because, when it comes down to it, the presentation is not about the slides, it’s really about you and the experience you bring.

The slides are a partner to your message. The slides can either underline what you have to say or get in the way. Think again of Steve Jobs, a master of presentations who famously valued design—and thought like a designer. Most people remember him, the experience he created, and how he spoke about Apple’s products. The slides, which were beautifully done, added substance to what he was describing. The slides were his tools, but he was the show.

Christina Canright

PS. Need help getting started creating your compelling presentation? We’ve partnered with associations, entrepreneurs and corporate clients on making their presentations great.

Call me at 773 220-9433 or email me at christina@canrightcommunications.com.

The Popularity of Plastic Payments

May 4th, 2014 by Collin Canright

The future of payments may well reside on mobile devices, but today’s mobile payments consist of the plastic cards in your pocket or purse. Card payments now make up more than two-thirds of all noncash payments, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve.

In the same vein, my last several articles for Independent Banker magazine have dealt with the following card topics:

Profitable prepaid cards remain mostly elusive, but their potential still glimmers
Prepaid card use is soaring, and the checkless account cards are expected to help banks attract millennials and other underbanked customers. As of now, however, prepaid cards are not providing easy money to many community banks.

Four principles of the top-producing credit card programs
Community banks with highest producing credit card lending programs keep cardholders close to home. They also tend to use their card programs as part of their overall relationship-building activities, in many cases offering simple, stripped-down programs that solidify their customer relationships and their community bank brands.

Making the most of your card program year round
Community banks with successful credit and debit card programs plan their success. They understand that getting customers to use their cards consistently requires more than the occasional statement insert or special event promotion.

The New Integrated Marketing: Content-Focused

April 30th, 2014 by Collin Canright

Canright worked with BMA Chicago to develop a campaign describing the elements and process of the new integrated marketing for B2B marketers. The result is this infographic on the elements of the new integrated marketing, along with a comprehensive ebook.

Click to download the infographic:

DTPInfoGraphic

 

As we wrote in the BMA Chicago’s email on the campaign:

Marketing today requires a 360 degree  view, with a complete holistic approach to communications. In addition to the thinking of a marketer, B2B marketing now requires the pizzazz of a media publisher, the analysis of a data scientist, and the creativity of a copywriter and designer. All combined with intuition and response of the exquisite conversationalist.

Download the infographic and visit the BMA Chicago’s page for details on how to get the ebook.

Graphic Design Trend of the Year

February 2nd, 2014 by Collin Canright

Flat design went from Microsoft’s operating system to mainstream print in 2013, making flat design our pick for graphic design trend of the year.

Flat design eschews the 3D look of beveled edges in graphics, featuring a distinctly two-dimensional look, often with bold colors. It emphasizes typographical simplicity and readability.

The flat-design look and probably the term originated with Microsoft in its mobile and Windows 8 user interfaces, as explained in our post “Design Fashion: Flat design for flat screens.” 

This year, the design approach informed Apple’s operating system and Google’s logo, making it a bona fide user interface design trends. At the same time, however, flat design informed print design as well. Here are examples of flat design in print I collected over the past few months.

GQflat

GQ Layout Excerpt

xeroxadfastco

Xerox Ad in FastCompany

AmtrakPosters

Amtrak Posters

Goose-Island-25th-Anniversary-Ale200x200

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goose Island Brewery 25th Anniversary logo

brooklynoktoberfestlabel

 
Brooklyn Oktoberfest beer label

Bell's Oberon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oberon Ale packaging