Blog | What's going on in the world of marketing communications
If you could get your customer to spend 15-20 minutes with your marketing material I bet you'd be more than happy. That's what one UK online retailer is finding with the catalogs they are sending their customers.
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I was out on my LSD on Saturday - that's Long Slow Distance for you non-runners, not some mind-expanding substance! When you are on these runs it helps to think of something to mask the pain.

A lot has been said recently at Content Marketing World Sydney about "keeping the customer as the focus of all your marketing activity", "it's about them, not you", "the customer is the hero, not the marketer". 

But a mindset shift for me occurred when I started thinking about various ways in which content is distributed.
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With share price double the IPO listing in November 2012 and surging a whopping 14% two weeks ago, everyone wants to know what Restoration Hardware is doing so right
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There's a lot we can learn from history. In "4 Illuminating Lessons From One of History's Most Inventive Content Marketers," business strategist, Scott Aughtmon writes about discovering what he believes is one of the first examples of  Content Marketing -  "Poor Richard's Almanack" published by Benjamin Franklin to promote his printing business - way back in 1732.
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We've made comment elsewhere in the Toolbox about who we see as one of Content Marketing's earliest great practitioners - Benjamin Franklin. 

Back in the 1700's he produced, over a 25-year period, "Poor Richard's Almanack" involving all manner of content (including maths exercises and demographics) essentially to promote his printing business.

The content became so successful in it's own right that it sold up to 10,000 copies a year.

There are a number of marketers out there who would use this story as evidence that not much has changed. All this "Content Marketing" baloney is just old ideas repackaged.

So, what's different to Benjamin Franklin's day?
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The bad news for Facebook is that Instagram has taken over as teenagers preferred social network. The good news for them is they own Instagram.

Which is just as well as it seems to also becoming a major player for content marketing.
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Content Marketing Sydney was the mecca for Australian content marketers last week as the Content Marketing Institute's founder Joe Pulizzi brought together a raft of international and local speakers for Content Marketing World Sydney.

With the number of delegates almost double that of last year it was clear the message was getting out to marketers that this was no quick fad. In fact, many of the central thoughts have been around for quite a while. 

Bringing those all together, making them the focus of a marketing strategy and giving them business structure, however, is something new.
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Want to know what the more innovative brands are doing to get their content marketing shared? Of course you do. For those of us who were not able to attend the recent the Brand Innovators Social Media Summit in New York, this Content Marketing Insider blog post summarises it for you.

Got room for yet another Three Letter Acronym (TLA) in your marketing lexicon? Add LEE to the list. It stands for - Listen. Engage. Experiment.
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In two separate recent articles, leading online retailers are reported as turning to the use of hard copy printed material, to increase sales. 

Whether in the form of product catalogues or more elaborate, editorial style "magalogues" featuring products available on their sites, these e-tailers see print as both another touchpoint and as a "bridge" to those on their customer data base who may not be regular visitors to their sites but who still enjoy the convenience of shopping at home. 

"We're meeting customers where they shop," said Wayfair's GM of merchandising for lifestyle brands.
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While the era of the phone/digital camera might suggest that anyone can take a picture, when it comes to producing photography that sets you apart, talent and experience are what top consumer marketers rely on.

That, and strategy.
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Does it matter what we call what we do? According to Stephanie Miller, Senior VP at The Direct Marketing Association (US)*, it does. She recently led an interesting discussion on old DM techniques Vs new "Big Data" techniques.

While she presents both sides of the debate (divide?) she doesn't lose sight of the customer's role in the whole story. Are you an old bull or a young bull?
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Last week we reported the development of the sub-$20 Tablet and this week we follow up with the latest digital usage patterns survey of over 2,000 users over the age of 14 by Deloitte.
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