Hear That? It’s Your Imagination Calling.

When we were kids, seeing a Formula 1 race screaming past or a 20′ Ape walking with us as we stroll down the street wasn’t completely out of the question.  We simply closed our eyes and the world around us turned into our own fantastic playground. Whatever we wanted we had.  Whatever we imagined was fact. Easy-peasy… So what happened? What happened to the race cars zipping down main street?  What happened to the lasers beams from your finger tips or the super powers stored in a beach towel tied around our necks? Were we SO wrong? Or was life

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Put The Playbook Away – You Know This Already!

Have you ever seen a great NFL quarterback run to the sidelines and look into the playbook? Neither have I… So why is it that so many marketers out there are generating rote, boring plans for their clients based on “plays” they learned back in the bush leagues? The traditional approach to marketing is too linear for today’s world. Today’s target audience is constantly moving, growing and learning new technologies. But much of the marketing we see today is still formulaic and trite, as if someone in 1976 created “The Playbook For Successful Marketing” and it’s been dogmatically followed ever

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Just A Reminder… GET TO WORK!

In a conversation with one of my Des Moines social media buddies this morning, I was reminded that with the onset of CreateWOWmarketing, I’ve (As CreateWOW AND TheBrandChef) fell off a bit on my posting regularity.  Sure, it’s one of those “The cobbler’s kids have no shoes” situations.  How can I create content and meaningful posts when I’m spending 12 hours or more a day doing it for my clients? Then I remembered a post I’d written over at The Brand Chef.  It kinda shook me from my “production-boy” slumber… the contents of THAT post are below. Let me know

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A Perfectly Blogable Moment?

Create page depth. Use “these” keywords and SEO-friendly content. Blog… Blog… Blog… Post… Post… Post… I sat in a client’s office earlier this week chanting the same words that I’ve been chanting for the last three years. And then, as if I was on autopilot, I detached myself and heard myself say… “Strategic social media marketing isn’t so much having the social media tools, but knowing where and when to use them to support your brand and your targeted market.” Oh my God, did I really say that out loud? I sound like I just read it out of a

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You Can’t Rely on Gimmick Branding

Differentiation. It’s one of the keys to good branding. Branding and marketing professionals have been beating that drum since the dawn of communication. But being “Different” in simple separation from the competition isn’t enough. Differentiation needs to add value. Otherwise what good does it do for the consumer? Take for instance the recent “change” MillerCoors Brewing has made to their packaging. We’ve all seen the “Vortex Bottles” and the new big-mouth aluminum bottles. Sure that’s different, but the product is the same, watered down, tasteless swill. There hasn’t been any value proposition or improvement in the actual product. So unless

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Don’t Miss The Boat: Track Conversions With Landing Pages

Companies are diving into social media with a vengeance.  It’s like they saw the boat in the port for months (years?) and just bought tickets and boarded when they saw the mooring lines being cast off.  WHY? Tracking! Everyone is out there selling the tools and the “engagement,” but no one is talking about how to measure success. We constantly hear “…what about the ROI of social media?” Well, listen up. Determining the ROI of social media marketing and your efforts through your blog/website is imperative.  Too many sites have the tools installed for great engagement, but how do you

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Sweet, Intrinsic Brand Differentiation

How does your brand stand out in a crowded market?  It’s not enough to tout “great customer service” or “our focus is on quality.” Those are feeble excuses for separating your company brand from the rest.  It’s when you have a proven, quality product and recognizable trait to your brand that the differentiation will emerge.  And most times it’s not something that your marketing department or even the CEO can define. In an article from William Lozito (@WilliamLozito on Twitter) he talks about the unexpected success Sweet N’ Low has had with their current “Think Pink” campaign.  And while what

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The Interview… Who IS The Brand Chef?

Have you ever wondered how I became The Brand Chef? It’s not a story I tell often, but in a recent interview with Johnny Wright (Twitter: @unsecretshopper), better known as The UnSecret Shopper the TRUTH was revealed. The request came out of the blue (proof of building a good personal brand), but after a few Twitter direct messages and a phone call-or-two, I decided Johnny had some great things to talk about and was very interested in learning more about The Brand Chef, marketing strategies and generally what I do… (go figure). 🙂 In 19 short minutes, we covered everything

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Character Counts In Business Too

Does your company have good character? I’m not talking about the people or “characters” within the company. While the people make up a very important part of it, I’m talking about the character of the company, itself. Good character, like TRUE branding, is based on a very specific set of criteria. For TRUE branding, we’ve determined that the brand must be True, Relevant, Unique and Engaging to have a strong, marketable brand foundation. But when it comes to character, there are six traits that form the strongest foundation: • Trustworthiness • Respect • Responsibility • Fairness • Caring • and

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