I have so much to say, and not enough time to say it.

I’ve collected a few ideas worthy of your attention but probably too short for a normal blog post. Here are some short takes for you today …

The crash of the influencer

I viewed a TikTok video of a young woman sitting in her car sobbing because she had just finished her first shift at her new 9–5 job. She’s devastated as she realizes that this could be the routine for the rest of her life. It makes me wonder … we have an entire generation that aspires to be full-time professional…

I recently vacationed in the lovely state of Maine and had dinner with an executive responsible for economic strategy development. He told me that some of the state’s traditional industries are in peril, and the worst is the paper industry. Maine once had 17 thriving paper mills but today there are seven.

What do they do with all those old facilities? What do they do with all those trees?

What does Maine’s paper industry have to do with you and your marketing? A lot. Because Maine needs a new way to look at its strategy development, and you probably do…

If I had to pick one marketing theme repeated most often in the guru circles, it is this: “You need to be different than your competitors.”

I agree with this by the way. Finding your point of differentiation is essential. If you’re not different from competitors in a remarkable and meaningful way, how in the world can you compete (except on price — and then, you’re a commodity!). What is your marketing message if you don’t know what story to tell?

So differentiation matters and you probably already know that.

But today I want to push your thinking further. Because…

When I do personal coaching, I often get the question — How do your build your personal brand? For many people today, it’s essential. It’s how you get work done in the online world.

I’m seeing a pattern. People struggle with the trade-off between building a personal brand and doing real work. You know — work that makes money. It’s hard to do both. But you have to do both.

Here’s why.

Brand versus work balance

I had a wonderful chat with a talented woman who told me she wants to become “the Mark Schefer of Latin America.”

I wish she had a loftier…

I had this question from a young reader: “Can you share what you do in a typical day as a marketing consultant? I want to be like you one day.”

I’ve never written a post documenting my day before, so … why not?

Career in context

I am about to list the primary activities of one day — Wednesday, June 16, 2021. But first, a little context.

This is not a typical year. Because of the pandemic, I’m doing almost no travel. A typical day in 2019 or 2022 (let’s hope) would be much different, I think.

This year, I only work four…

A few years ago, I attended a panel discussion on Snapchat at the annual Social Media Marketing World conference. This was a time when Snapchat was the hottest social media platform around. People proclaimed it would be “the next Facebook!”

One of the conference panelists gushed: “You HAVE to be on Snapchat!!! It’s so easy to build an audience and get engagement there, compared to any other social media platform!”

I knew, with certainty, that this fellow’s positive experience with Snapchat and its levels of engagement would end. …

I have this place on my website where anyone can sign up for an hour of my time. It’s a lot of fun because I get to meet people from all around the world and help them solve their business problems.

A high percentage of the time, I discover that the underlying problem is FOCUS. My client is having a hard time defining exactly what they do and why they matter. This may seem like a pretty basic issue, but believe me, I have hundreds of data points to prove this is a prevalent issue!

Today I will share the…

Many years ago I had the opportunity to work alongside Sergio Zyman, the former Coca-Cola CMO and one of the most visionary executives of his generation. A colleague once asked him, “Sergio, how many marketing strategies should you have?” Without missing a beat, he said, “How many customers do you have?”

While this might seem like a whimsical or even flippant response, there is a deep truth here. A company needs to stratify its messages to the Nth degree, to personalize for individuals as much as the budget can afford.

It dawned on me that Sergio’s wish has come true…

In more than 12 years of blogging, I have never devoted a post to a single book (other than my own, naturally!). But the release of the second edition of Content Inc. represents a milestone in marketing history that is worthy of recognition.

Joe Pulizzi wrote the first edition of Content Inc. in 2016 and it became one of the seminal books in the digital marketing field. And I don’t say that lightly. There about 10 books I keep on my desk at all times and Content Inc. is one of them. The other nine? …

I’ve been interviewed more than 120 times in the last 10 weeks. That might seem amazing. Actually … it seems amazing to me! I’ve never been interviewed so much in my life and I probably never will be again, so I thought I would write to you about this strange and interesting moment in time. What did I learn from 10 weeks of non-stop talking? Why did all of this happen anyway? And … was 120 book interviews worth it?

Why me and why 120 book interviews?

In the famous Jim Collins book Good to Great, he talks about his famous concept of a flywheel. Collins says…

Mark Schaefer

Keynote speaker, strategy consultant, Rutgers University marketing faculty and author of 9 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Cumulative Advantage.

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