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Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Your First Marketing Hire For A Startup

Your First Marketing Hire

As many have written (most recently Jason Lemkin on Quora), B2B marketing contains at least four really discrete disciplines: demand generation, product marketing, positioning/strategy, and PR/communications/branding. Increasingly, marketing technologist & operations is being broken out separately, but it otherwise falls into the demand generation role.
When it comes time to hire a company’s first marketing person, most founders think they just need a director or experienced individual contributor to start doing demand generation and bring in leads. They think, “I’ve got to make sales productive with leads.” They invest in SEO, spend thousands on SEM, turn on email marketing, and crank out webinars. That is one approach, but I’ll argue it is the wrong one.
I recommend starting with a director or senior product marketing manager who is willing and ready to roll up her sleeves for three key reasons:
1. In the early stages, all marketing is product marketing.
The most important marketing milestones are to articulate the value proposition in your customer’s’ eyes, position it relative to competition and alternatives and help the company tell its story. If you’re spending money to amplify a bad or wrong story, it’s money down a drain.
2. Making sales productive is sales enablement not lead gen.
Making the company’s new sales people productive *is* critical, but what sales most needs is sales enablement tools rather than leads. Product marketing creates company presentations, case studies, ROI calculators, the website, and materials for a webinar or conference presentation. Product marketers are domain experts who can create content for lead gen and generate thought leadership.
3. Product marketers by definition are generalists with broad skill sets.
Someone who is exclusively really great at Demand Gen is not likely to be good at articulating a great story. They look for short-term clicks vs. playing the long game, which is what positioning is. On the other hand, product marketers tend to be “athletes” who play a productive role and stand up other marketing disciplines. A product marketer can build the website, write and disseminate articles, pick and manage PR agencies, run an analyst tour, optimize website for search, initiate and manage a competent SEM campaign, and pick the first basic marketing tools.
Companies who do not do the positioning work up front do not build the necessary foundation.
The risk of NOT doing the positioning work up front is you get customers, but they’re not the best or right ones. Your single best marketing asset as an early B2B company are early customers who love you.
For example, one major online backup company did all performance-based acquisition in its early days. They took anyone whose money was green. Only when they saturated their early markets did they start working on positioning, but at that point Dropbox already dominated the conversations in their categories. Shifting awareness at that point took millions instead of the thousands it would have taken to own their position in those markets up front.
There are plenty of companies that have experience on one side of this line or the other. But even though it’s contrary to today’s conventional wisdom, at Costanoa we feel leading with product marketing is the way to go.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The 'A' Word -- Does Advertising Still Exist?

A thoughtful piece on advertising in today's world we wanted to share as we felt it rang very true--especially these two lines : 

As anyone reading this column knows, the idea of talking to (or rather, at) people to sell them something has gone the way of the home rotary phone.

Now more than ever it's about not only starting a conversation, but offering something of value to the consumer.


When people ask you what you do for a living, do you feel an odd sense of discomfort saying, "I work in advertising?" It feels dated, right? It feels perhaps even weirder to explain, "I work at an ad agency." You know they're picturing Don Draper with an easel and Sharpie, not the latest Snapchat filter or paid tweet. So how to describe what we do in a modern, relevant way? What's the right word these days?
As CMOs question the AOR model, watch their budgets shrink or be cannibalized by other divisions, and desperately chase consumers to the next digital platform, the word "advertising" seems more challenged than ever. And is an "ad agency" really the best partner for winning customers, selling products and claiming share in today's frenzied marketplace?
The identity crisis of the word is not dissimilar to the challenges the notion of TV has faced over the last several years. Is it still TV? Or is it "content," "video," "storytelling" or something else?
At Hill Holliday, we've just completed a very eye-opening series of one-on-one interviews with CEOs and CMOs from leading brands of Fortune 500 companies. Their idea of what an ad agency is today and what "advertising" should do for them is as conflicted as our own, yet their need for what we do has never been greater.
For these brand leaders, the advertising agency role is still critical -- not simply as the generator of the big idea (although they state this is still important) but also as the aggregator, curator and steward of the brand, the consumer and all the brand experiences defined by the customer journey (which they believe the ad agency, with its multichannel approach and consumer expertise, should own). The ad agency also helps them make brand choices based on strategic direction, versus simply on what's shiny and new.
Seeking best in class, most clients work with multiple agencies representing different marketing specialties, but they believe their "ad agency" is best qualified to put the pieces together into one brand story. But is that story advertising?
The word carries not only its negative baggage with the industry of old, but also the implication that it's a one-way street -- me the slick marketer, pitching to you, the unsuspecting consumer. "Advertising" implies that one is advertised to versus engaged with. As anyone reading this column knows, the idea of talking to (or rather, at) people to sell them something has gone the way of the home rotary phone. The consumer has never been more sophisticated or better prepared to fend off unwanted messages. Ad blocking, anyone? Appointment viewing? You may as well show up at my door with a briefcase full of Bibles.


Weekly FeatureA PR Partnership That Makes Social Media Easier
Consumers now sift through hundreds of messages every day, and the younger they are the harder it is to catch their attention. That's with an average of 9-10 hours of daily media consumption. Now more than ever it's about not only starting a conversation, but offering something of value to the consumer. Something they choose to spend time with. Something unexpected that provides a connection that is a not just a two-way street, but a freeway of valuable information, useful ideas and sharing.
My conclusion is yes, it's still "advertising," but it's about context and channels now, rather than just the message itself. It's about mapping the customer journey to start a conversation with consumers, one that leads to engagement, purchase, loyalty and advocacy at different touch points against this integrated journey. The same things that were always important but that are much, much more complicated to deliver now.
And while engagement is critical, it is still our job to send relevant messages out there that start the conversation. Here's a silly example. If I wear a T-shirt that says, "Eat Ice Cream," I am advertising ice cream. I'm telling you I think you should eat ice cream. But chances are you're going to come up to me and ask "What's up with that shirt? Why should I eat ice cream?" And we start talking. It's a conversation. At that point, I'd better deliver proof that eating ice cream is advisable. And if I've hired the right designer, chances are you're going to want a T-shirt, too. And then your friends will see that T-shirt ... and hey, you might even start to eat more ice cream.
Advertising -- whether it's Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, radio, outdoor, video or yes, even print -- is the POV of the brand, inspired and informed by culture and consumer insight, but a POV nonetheless that starts or inspires a conversation.

Monday, March 9, 2015

mickael jou's gravity-defying dance series captures ballet mid-move

mickael jou's gravity-defying dance series captures ballet mid-move

original content
mar 02, 2015
mickael jou's gravity-defying dance series captures ballet mid-move---This is a great idea for an advertising campaign.....

mickael jou’s gravity-defying dance series captures ballet mid-move
all images courtesy of mickael jou

mickael jou has embarked on a year-long project which unites his two creative careers — photography and dance. the french-american artist has comprised his ‘365 self-portrait project’ using everyday scenes for the composition’s backdrop — a supermarket, park and museum hallways. caught mid-move, jou acts as the focal point of each scenario, sometimes suspended weightlessly in flight, other times dramatically interacting with the surrounding environment. what looks to be the work of wires, tethering him to some invisible support system, is instead the adept manipulation of his own body, with which he has skillfully and carefully controlled. with perfectly-pointed toes and elegantly-outstretched arms, the series takes a rare look at the graceful steps and paces frozen in a frame. 
mickael jou's dance moves defy gravity
the photographer / dancer hovers in front of a stunned room of museum-goers
mickael jou's dance moves defy gravity
jou’s dance position interacts with a nearby statue
mickael jou's dance moves defy gravity
the dancer holds onto the bars of a fence and drifts his legs into the air
mickael jou's dance moves defy gravity
jou caught mid-move sees him seemingly floating above the city street
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