Monthly Archive: April 2013

Adventures On Content Mountain

Content is a much ballyhooed term in MarCom circles today. Sadly, there are as many definitions of what content is, or is not, as there are people trying to pick up the content ball and run with it. In short, it’s a mad scramble to the top of Content Mountain.

To help clarify matters, and to show marketers the way forward, I put together this presentation which outlines the big opportunities in content marketing. Please take a look and send over any thoughts or questions you may have.

To my mind, content is much more than media in support of brand initiatives. Content is what a brand is and what a brand does. Also, content fuels brand experiences and helps create the right conditions for customer interest and loyalty.

Find Your Brand’s True North

After spending close to two decades working on quick serve restaurant brands Michael Goldberg, Partner/CMO of Deutsch Inc, has some solid insights to share.

I particularly like this selection from his list:

Brand as compass. A brand is not just the sign on the outside of the building. It is also the compass inside the building. It should guide investments, decisions, virtues and values. It should help determine what you serve, who you serve and even when you serve. Chick-Fil-A is a good example of how important this is, whether you agree with them or not.


Of course, I would like it given that Bonehook’s logo can be seen as a compass. In fact, I am in the process of creating a self-promo display ad that will read, “Find your brand’s true north.”

To me, our job as ad men is to reveal our clients’ brand truths in smart, memorable ways that drive sales. It’s that simple, although it is far from simple.

Sadly, what I sometimes see from prospective clients and also when meeting people at cocktail parties, is a concept about what I do that is totally foreign to the one that drives me to get out of bed in the morning. Generally speaking, people believe my job is to dress up a brand, when actually it is to strip it from any and all artifice.

Content Strategists: Brandlandia’s New Mythical Creature?

Last week in Seattle I met with two high level Brand Strategists, smart women who advise big brands on big decisions.

Why am I meeting with Strategy execs versus Creative Directors? I don’t know. But a quick look at my LinkedIn page indicates that 18 people endorse me for Content Strategy, compared to only eight endorsements for Content Development. Naturally the two work together, and clearly there’s a lot more to Content Strategy than ideation and execution — the two strengths I bring to the table for my client partners.


Suzanne Baran, Content Strategy Director at Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles explained to OpenForum that “today’s content marketers are somewhat of a rare breed. For those looking to get into content marketing, she recommends learning the language of technical, quantitative and design.”

“A content strategist is a unicorn,” Baran says. “We interface with search, IT, UX, creative, product, customer service, marketing, finance and QA. We have to know code, best digital and traditional publishing practices, a bit of market data, editorial style, product development, marketing taxonomy, and the list continues.”

Given her rundown, my own doubts and the oddity of unicornism, I’m perfectly content to continue to identify as a Copywriter/CD with expertise in content development.