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…

Since the pandemic started, I’ve heard an increasing number of stories of bad online customer experience. The timing is not a coincidence. Many businesses are at a critical inflection point when it comes to online customer care. In fact, as marketers are focused on “customer experience” as a priority, I’ll argue that customer care might be the most important issue facing the marketing profession right now.

It gets down to this: Nothing could prepare the world for the digital onslaught created by the pandemic. We have been setting eCommerce revenue records every single month since March 2020. …

Believe it or not, I gave a real, live speech last week at a well-attended industry conference! In fact, the event had record attendance and I had to give the speech twice, back-to-back, so everyone could see the talk in the socially-distanced room. It was a little taste of a post-COVID world.

The association conference was VERY “COVID cautious!” It was the first time I have ever seen an official disinfectant sponsor at an event!

Since this keynote speech took place in south Florida, my wife and I decided to extend the stay and drive down to Key West for…

I recently wrote that we are heading into an Era of Unintended Consequences because it might take years to really see how millions of small and large post-pandemic changes in our customers impact our world and businesses. One of my projections of the “new normal” is that there will be even more importance of personal brands in the coming years.

What does this have to do with the pandemic? Read on …

Trends impacting the importance of personal brands

Before we go too far down the road here, let me emphasize that if you roll your eyes when anybody mentions “personal brand” you need to reassess reality…

I’ve had some amazing experiences connecting to young students and entrepreneurs over the past weeks and several of them asked me this question: How do you monetize your content?

The very short answer is: You probably can’t.

At least not directly.

But lots of valuable revenue can come from content indirectly and I’m living proof of that. Let’s have a content monetization throw-down today.

The challenge of direct

Here are all the ways I can think of that you can directly monetize online content — meaning that you create something in writing, video, audio, or visually (like Instagram), and you are paid directly for…

I’ve recently done a few experiments in influencer marketing that exposed an important shift in how we must view and assess content creators. In fact, today I will contend that there is a significant new dynamic changing the very fundamental nature of influencer strategy.

Let’s start at the beginning and think about what influencer strategy has been, and then examine what it is becoming.

Three types of influencers

If you study influencer marketing as I do, you can boil influencers down to three strategic tiers. Some people say there are 12 or even 15 types of influencers, but I think that is unnecessarily complicated…

Fun fact: Bloomberg keeps a “ wealth index” of the 100 richest people in the world. Ten of those individuals had no apparent headstart in life — they were born into poverty and didn’t have a college education. In my book Cumulative Advantage, I describe how all 10 of them took the same path to success. Indeed, it is a prescription for how we should all look at strategy and increasing our odds of success today.

What I discovered is that simply having a good idea is not enough to break through. …

I recently had an experience that reminded me of how we often overthink marketing. I observed our marketing discipline in a refreshingly simple form and wanted to share it with you.

I took some time off in Florida recently and spent a sleepy Saturday morning at an outdoor farmer’s market. This wasn’t your typical market filled with produce — it was around the town square of an extremely wealthy enclave of homes. Remember … I was VISITING! This was way out of my league.

My wife became preoccupied with some jewelry, and I was bored, so I started a conversation…

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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