The Confluence of Marketing and Entertainment

Thought I’d share this great article from Simon Pont, published in

In the article Simon makes a case for using brands as “entry-points into story worlds.”  In effect, he is addressing a very interesting confluence between the entertainment/art community and the marketing community.

As we all know, the business models in the entertainment/art community are rapidly evolving from a tightly controlled hierarchy with regulated channels to a free-for-all where artists are going straight to the audience, and the audience is increasingly fractured and dispersed.

Likewise, marketers are trying to evolve from a disruptive voice to an integrated voice.

Removing the artificial barriers of “product placement” and “branded content” creates a landscape where creators and brands create something greater than the sum of the parts.


Click here to read his article “Where Entertainment Meets Marketing: Lessons from Kingsman, Rolex & James Bond”

This is “Bring Your Marketing Dinosaur to Work” Week

Sometimes you just have to bring your marketing dinosaur to work. You know, the marketer that thinks up snappy jingles, wants to buy ads in newspapers, uses the google to surf the information highway and thinks social media is a fad.

Here we are walking up to our building.
He is trying to blend-in by flashing the peace sign to the ladies and fist bumping the guys.
Fortunately, he is a very small marketing dinosaur so no one has been scared.

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Being an old-school marketer, he likes to hum commercial jingles when he enters a room.
He calls it “branding”.
We just ignore him.
He also keeps muttering something about a coffee percolator.
I show him how to use the espresso machine, then carry both of our coffees to my office. Marketing dinosaurs are not very coordinated – they find it difficult to walk and carry coffee at the same time.

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Practical Marketing – not just for small business

Last year I had the opportunity of sharing the “Practical Marketing” framework with thousands of small businesses during SBA’s Small Business week.
I developed this framework specifically for small business owners who need to grow their business, but have no time to fuss with ridiculously complex marketing principles.
I wanted to call it “The Cut-the-Crap Marketing Guide”, but our branding team didn’t think that was in alignment with our brand identity :-).
This week I was reminded (again!) of how some marketers are brilliant at obfuscating simple ideas and concepts under layers of spin and jargon in order to justify costs, pet projects or (in some cases) lack of true understanding – literally demonstrating the quote from Albert Einstein “If you can‘t explain it simply, you don‘t understand it well enough.” My thought for the week: it’s marketing, not physics – keep it simple.



Drupalcon Keynote

gahrrrr… I LOVE it when someone gives you a kick-in-the-pants!

Karen McGrane

I gave a keynote at Drupalcon Portland, and here is the video, my slides, and my speaking notes, which I formatted using the convenient WYSIWYG toolbar at the top of my editing blob. My talk starts around minute 24 of the video.

I owe a lot of my success to Drupal. Let me be clear, I’ve  never installed Drupal, I don’t know my Drupal username, if I find myself on the command line it means something has gone terribly wrong. I’m not a Drupal developer. But understanding Drupal—how it thinks about content, how users interact with it—has deeply informed and inspired a lot of my thinking around the future of content. I wouldn’t be where I am today without this community. I’m not just saying this to flatter you. I’m really humbled and grateful and super excited to talk with you about the future of content today.

It’s impossible to talk about…

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Death by Numbers

I like to think that I am a well rounded marketeer; able to balance creativity, technology and analytics.  I take great joy in sliding seamlessly from the big idea to the metrics but I’ve had it up to here (finger slashing across my throat) with numbers.

I have come to believe that numbers are the enemy of any good marketing plan.  They suck the life blood out of creativity, are the bamboo shoots under the fingernails of originality and are the knife in the hand of the bored boogeyman lurking at the bottom of your basement stairs.

But wait, before you judge me for these comments, please understand – I said “numbers” –  not useful insights.  And this is where I get to the point: numbers in and of themselves are nothing.  The important thing is the RIGHT number.  The right numbers can paint a picture of your audience, the right numbers are the voice of your customer, the right numbers can spark a brilliant idea and solve a complex problem.