The quality spectrum in content marketing

spectrum As CEO, you’re confident that your social media and content marketing is sorted. Someone handles your Twitter and Facebook, your blogging strategy, press releases, brand awareness and the general public face of the company. Maybe you don’t totally understand it, but you trust them to do whatever they think is best.

There’s a growing climate of casual acceptance in content marketing, which borders on complacency. While the various facets of social marketing are rapidly maturing, acquiring some kind of critical mass and effectively integrating with more traditional digital marketing tools, it still appears enough for many to just know the box is ticked.
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Be careful who you follow

followMost online social communities depend upon reciprocation, following the activity of others in order to be followed back; a sometimes blind and urgent focus on simply driving up those important numbers. This is a call to pause for thought.

Much of business today revolves around metrics, data, numbers.  The mass of people online means a wealth of data, new job roles designed to exploit that data and professionals desperately scrambling to keep their skills up to date.  It’s not hard to see why data has been dubbed the oil of this century.

This is largely for the good, for transparency and accountability, for conversions and web traffic, unambiguous black and white.  Close measurement and analysis has become meaningful and arguably most meaningful where it’s most niche, where there is specifically developed software within a sector; where metrics are fluid and have serious value.
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Wise words from a communications Olympian

BrockDoyleAfter attending the season’s launch earlier in the month, last week I took another trip to the salubrious surroundings of St David’s Hotel in Cardiff Bay for a Cardiff Business Club event.

Kicking off the season was Jackie Brock-Doyle OBE, CEO of Good Relations Group. When you’re credited with bringing the Olympics to London and having a large say in overseeing communications for the whole thing, as well as for the Paralympics, Commonwealth and Invictus Games: that deserves respect.
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Business buzzwords serve a purpose – get over it

Some ducks, "going forward".

Some ducks, “going forward”.

Whether it’s ‘thinking outside the box’, ‘going forward’ or virtually any other oft-used term of business-speak, many people bristle at buzzwords. They should probably relax about it. 

For marketers, communicators, PRs and most professionals addressing words all day long, those hackneyed and overused phrases of business language can become a grind.

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Comfortably dumb? The next revolution will be psychological not technological

RoryThis blog seems to have turned into a place where I irregularly write about public lectures at Cardiff University.  Apologies for being deeply unimaginative, but here is another one.

In the next ten years some of the biggest advances in business and government will come from new insights into human psychology and behaviour.

This was the hook for a Cardiff Business School lecture by Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group UK, an enormous advertising group.

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The IET/BCS Turing Lecture – beyond cognition?

bernard-meyersonThis year the annual Turing Lecture series from the Institute of Engineering and Technology and The Chartered Institute for IT was delivered by Dr. Bernard Meyerson, Vice President for Innovation at IBM.

Responsible for IBM’s corporate technical strategy, Global University Relations and the IBM Academy – a worldwide organisation of around 1,000 IBM technical leaders, it’s fair to say Dr. Meyerson is a highly respected figure in the world of computing, data and innovation.
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Dying to talk – an event on Healthcare In Wales

ageing1Having attended this equivalent Cardiff University event last year and been encouraged by a level of tangible innovation, I was keen to take a return trip to see how the 2014 version compared. 

The event back on January 22nd seemed especially pertinent.  Leading the news headlines in Wales over the previous week had been two separate, tragic incidents in the north and south of Wales, both concerning excessive waiting times for ambulances, both leading to fatalities.  Additional stories this week have concerned the postponement of planned surgery across north Wales due to increased pressure, and a plan to centralise care for babies born in west Wales.

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Nice to meet you – is the future of the conference physical or virtual?


physVvirt1Today’s virtual, digital world usually creates a comfortable distance for users.  This is a comfortable distance that suddenly disappears when you’re actually in a conference room with other people.  If you fall into a conversation and grow bored, you can’t click or swipe for them to go away.

Well, you could. But that would be quite rude.

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Mobile’s new best friends – playing nicely?

MDA AnalystsWhile the title of the annual market analyst forum suggested a certain current harmony between the cloud, social media and analytics, a series of analyst viewpoints indicated that the developing multi-device landscape might be a little more complicated.

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Smooth operator – Stephen Fear, phone box millionaire

Cardiff University’s latest Innovation Network event presented Stephen Fear, a lifelong entrepreneur who set up his first company in 1969, aged 16.  He bought a cleaning formula from an American company advertising in the Exchange & Mart, after claiming a council estate phone box as his personal office for transatlantic calls.

Stephen Fear calmly took to the lectern on an unsettled autumn evening which blustered and spat outside.  His was a sturdy and unflashy presence: smart business suit, no tie, a gentle West Country lilt to his voice suggestive of the Bristol roots.

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