A recent article in the Economist discussing McKinsey & Co.’s PR struggle with their role in the unfurling of the opioid crisis suggests that a key facet of the firm’s marketing strategy difficulties is in fact the lynchpin in the product they sell: the firm’s model requires its consultants to sell themselves as “a solution shop” with all the answers rather than a collaborative partner. As the Economist article puts it, when you have to have all the answers all the time, “collective self-delusion” gets in the way of actually great idea generation. “The smuggest guys in the room” ...

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Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them… Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.” God I love that quote. It should be hung in every product designer, software engineer and marketing executive office in the world. We’d have a lot more cool products that we never knew we needed but can’t live without. And that’s the power of intuition, empathy, insight… you know, the soft skills that truly separate great marketing strategists, product designers and business people from the rest of the pack.  So why ...

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What if I told you there are 5 simple steps to create ridiculously consistent growth for your business? Would you be interested in that? If so, then do yourself a favor and grab my friend John Jantsch’s (the Duct Tape Marketing Guy) new book, The Ultimate Marketing Machine. I just finished it (he was nice enough to send me an advance copy) and there is some really good thinking in this 207-page marketing roadmap. And while I don’t want to give away all the greatness, here is a glimpse of my favorite pieces of his brilliance. The 5 Steps ...

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Have you seen Facebook’s most recent ad campaign? Here’s a link to their 2020 Super Bowl commercial, if not. The #MoreTogether campaign, launched by Facebook in 2019, goes all-in on one key functionality of Facebook. And it may not be the function you’d expect.    It’s not photo-sharing. It’s not free video calling or free messaging in Messenger. It’s not even their new YouTube-rivaling content delivery platform Facebook Watch.   It’s Groups.     Specifically laser-targeted Facebook Groups with key self-identifiers, where a person can meet-up with other rough-and-tumble “Lady Bikers of California,” swap tips with fellow differently-abled basketball players ...

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Have you ever been at a networking event and met someone you really hit it off with, but there was just something off-putting about them that made you hesitant to work together? They had the connections, the skills, the product, the charisma…but man, their breath just stank? Now, the nice, reasonable guy in me would say “yeah, ok, but surely you can look past something superficial like bad breath to work with the right person.” And that’s true—appearances can be deceiving and all. But, there’s also a little bit of wisdom in this kind of half-second hesitation: if they ...

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The answer might just surprise you. Why? Because so many influencer agencies and a fair number of brand side marketers don't believe there is a difference between the two. But, as my friend Jason Falls says in his new book, Defining Winfluence, that pesky little "R" at the end makes all the difference in the world both in terms of definition and more importantly, success of your influencer marketing programs. So let's talk about influencer marketing today because frankly, based on what I've seen over the last year, it's woefully broken for any brand that isn't a beauty, food ...

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