Friday 5 for October 25, 2013

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted a Friday 5 update so I’m posting 7 interesting links this time around.

Keep in mind that these are 7 of about 100 links I’ve added to my Pocket account to dig into, so they’re definitely the creme of the crop and worth checking out. For that reason I’m not going to summarize – just go read them on your own and learn along with me.

Content marketing that drives engagement, Christopher Carfi

Worksheet: How to Explore a Metaphor to Use in Your Messaging, Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog

How Online Engagement Can Inspire Offline Action (Research Findings), FutureLab

The Creative Team of Tomorrow, Today, FutureLab

Digital Marketing Has Changed. What Are You Doing About It?, TopRank Blog

The consumer decision journey, McKinsey & Company

To Engage Customers, You Need to Inform, Connect and Motivate, Business2Community

Develop a Customer Centric Website

I ran across this 90 second video today and found it worthy of sharing.

Amy Chowdhry is a usability expert who shares 3 great points to encourage you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes as you look to build a website. She’s also the CEO & Co-Founder of AnswerLab, a digital experience research consultancy in San Fransisco. She knows her stuff – listen to her!


video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Don’t have 90 seconds? Here are the 3 basic points Amy makes:

  1. Design around the key tasks and things your customers are going to come to the site to do
  2. Make what you offer and what you can do for your customers is front and center
  3. Make your labels and navigation clear with customer-speak and not internal company-speak

I found this video on Inc.com. Go check out their site for a ton of other great content. I’ll also be spending some time digging into her other Inc.com offerings.

What do you think? Share your thoughts!

Did this video challenge you? Let me know how by leaving a comment.

Article versus Story

“Let’s consider the difference between marketers and journalists. Journalists remove themselves from articles to ensure objectivity — but marketers? Marketers should be inserting themselves into their stories. That’s what differentiates an article, from a story.

Great brand stories are not objective. In fact, the most successful ones are highly subjective.”

- from Go Beyond Blogging: How to Become a Great Storyteller, by John Bonini

This statement really stood out to me. One of the biggest challenges in Church communications is trying to break out of the event or program promotion “what, when, where” rut and really dig into the why.

Telling a story will help you get to the “why” and the reader to the “how”

As Bonini prefaced the above statement, “We’re here to be inspired, right? I mean, I’m not talking the last twenty minutes of Rudy inspired, but rather inspired to read more, and maybe buy something. We have a challenge. A question. A need or even a want. And we’re looking for that moment of inspiration to help make our purchase decision easier.

Somewhere along the way of this mass information age, many forgot this. They forgot that storytelling is the main ingredient for inspiration.

It’s why we cry at the end of Forrest Gump. It’s why we cheer at the end of Rocky (all six of them). It’s also why some of us buy Dunkin’ Donuts over Starbucks (or vice versa).

We’re here to be told a story. And in the process, be inspired to take action or behave in certain ways. And while storytelling goes far beyond just your blog posts, it’s often your most shared resource; therefore, it’s the best place to start.”

Developing Your Story

  • Who are you trying to attract?
  • How can you tell a story that inspires them to act?

While I’ve summarized portions of John’s blog post, I haven’t shared all of the great thought leadership that he presented. Go read the entire post and spend a few minutes thinking through how you could start telling better stories rather than just posting articles.

Friday 5 for October 4, 2013

1) Persuasion and the Power of Story, by Jennifer Aaker – FutureofStorytelling.com


Problems? View here http://youtu.be/AL-PAzrpqUQ

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Jennifer Aaker studies happiness, and how stories can affect our happiness; she believes that stories are more meaningful–more memorable, more impactful, and more personal–than statistics alone. When used with statistical data, stories are an incredible persuasive tool that can help us as humans decide what to believe in a world that is otherwise incredibly over-saturated with information.

2) The Key Ingredients to a Winning Mobile Content-Marketing Strategy, by Jayson Demers – Entrepreneur

Here they are, but go read the article.

  1. Mobile isn’t just about the device
  2. Base your strategy on how your audience really uses mobile
  3. Think before you shrink
  4. Rethink your user experience through design
  5. Expand your understanding of conversions
  6. Take advantage of location
  7. Leverage the rise of micro-video

3) 3 Critical & Consistent Elements in a Customer Journey Framework, by Andrea Fishman – ClickZ

Again, here they are but go read the article to learn more.

  1. Empathize with Your Customers
  2. Provide a high level of utility
  3. Context is (Almost) Everything

4) Everywhere Social-Local-Mobile, Jeremiah Andrick

This links to a really great slide deck that was presented at the Houston Interactive Marketers Association Interactive Strategies 2013 event. It shares a great story and is highly educational.

5) The Adaptive Digital Strategy Framework, by Andrea Vascellari

“Today we still see a large number of organizations that keep struggling to align social media and new emerging communication technologies with the overall firm strategy.

Organizations should adapt, look in the mirror and recognize that they need to change because the world has changed. They should embrace new strategic frameworks to avoid getting caught up in the digital hype that hit them every day with new solutions and focus on what can actually help them achieve their business and communication objectives.”

Go visit this post and hear from Brian Solis, principal at Altimeter Group.

… and 1 great reminder!

Four Dangerous Navigation Approaches that Can Increase Cognitive Strain, by Jen Cardello – NN/g Nielsen Norman Group

“Summary: Some navigation implementations risk pushing users into a state of cognitive strain which lessens the likelihood of them taking desirable actions.”

Go read the post and contemplate those difficult site menus you’ve run across and how you might do better next time!

Happy CX (Customer Experience) Day!

Today is the first annual CX (Customer Experience) Day, a global celebration of companies and people that are creating great experiences for customers.

In his book, To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink states and supports his claim that we’re all in sales. Even if your actual job description isn’t salesman, you’re constantly living in the world of “non-sales selling” just by trying to persuade, influence or convince someone else.

Regardless of what, or how, you’re selling there is a process to it and an overall experience that is created as part of that process. Whether you’re just trying to be a helpful friend, get a promotion or trying to build a business it’s important to remember that the better that “customer” experience the more someone will remember the interaction in a positive light.

As you go about your day be aware of the customer experiences you are creating. At the end of the day go back through each interaction and think about how you could’ve made it a better experience. Write those ideas down and then try to improve those interactions tomorrow. Not only will the people you’re interacting with appreciate you more but you’ll find you’ll start taking more pride in providing better customer experiences.

If you’d like to pursue this concept further you might check out Jay Baer’s new book Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype. This is definitely on my reading list.

Remember, we’re all in sales and, by default, are all customer experience professionals. Go make great experiences and put a smile on someone’s face.