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Summer Blogging Break

I am taking a break from posting on this blog.

Existing clients – you can continue to reach me as before.

Potential clients – please get in touch with your requirements via my contact page.

Many are the projects in the writing oven…

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– M. McClure

Starving For Mobile Marketing Morsels

I removed the Twitter and FaceBook apps from my smartphone a few weeks ago.

It feels great to be disconnected from the extraordinary madness of mobile crowds.

Why? Well, in the case of Twitter it’s overrun with self-promotional noise. And I’ve found very few b2b tech marketing managers with the time to tweet regularly or to pick up on mine (timezones and tweet velocity would necessitate retweeting the same content over and over. Er, no. It’s supposed to be social media… not digital direct mail lol.)

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I haven’t abandoned social media marketing. But I am being more selective of how I use it in general, and of Twitter in particular.

If I have tech marketing content to tweet about then I will do so but maybe only once or twice a week.

And should some major event be happening e.g. a network vendor’s annual tech week then I may tune into some hashtags and see what is going on and who is there. (For a freelance b2b marketing writer these can be a source of prospects to follow and to perhaps also engage with at a later date.)

Even with a desktop screen, my time is better spent  researching and reading content of my own choosing and so I’ve just about given up on opening retweeted links there too. Of course, it was a pita on a smartphone to open and manipulate pdfs, and then navigate via a tiny screen.

FaceBook? The less said the better. In my freelance b2b tech marketing writer universe I’d prefer not be ‘virtual friends’ with prospects or clients. And I suspect the feeling is mutual.

Well, that’s enough complaining for one post. Back to what works – writing for clients who know what I can do.

If you’re not yet a client please feel free to get in touch about your requirements via my contact page.

Not Golden Information Week

Well, we’re coming up to Japan’s “Golden week” of holidays. Great name, except that there’s nothing golden about getting caught in what the media love to call the  ‘U-turn rush’ – where teeming millions find themselves in giant carparks known as ‘expressways’ on trying to return to Tokyo.

And one more thing – it’s not actually a week of holidays for most of Japan’s corporate foot soldiers. Just a few days tagged on to a weekend. I’ve never left Tokyo during this time as the city is often quieter and cleaner.

This year I’ve plenty of projects to be getting on with but will also make some time to check out online IT community resources.
One that caught my eye is the relaunched Network Computing / Information Week platform. I had a quick look and will return for more.

Customer Reference Marketing in Just Two Words

Imagine your customer reference marketing could make use of just two words? Sounds lame, doesn’t it.

But if those words happened to be ‘Olympic’ and ‘Games’…

Whatever your views on the corporate commercialization of the modern Games, especially those of the 21st Century, it’s difficult not to be impressed by their global broadband telecommunications reach. Whether it’s via TV or the Internet, billions are able to follow the action on many kinds of devices.

For example, the winter Olympics just finished in Sochi, Russia and I became interested in their behind-the-scenes IT efforts.
Googling turned up Atos, a ‘Worldwide IT Partner’ – and how about that microsite page as a customer reference! Not only are the Olympic rings displayed in the header alongside the Atos name logo, but Atos’s tag line’s also there too – “Your business technologists. Powering progress.”

This CNET media article provided some breathtaking background about the IT infrastructure challenges faced by Atos and led me to seek out their corporate site, and the Games-related microsite page mentioned above. Of course, no single case study, or even a series of them, is going to do justice to the mammoth scale of what Atos are tasked with by the Olympic movement. And anyway, there are probably numerous security and confidentiality issues in the type of information that could be released into the public domain.

That being said, the Atos microsite does a fine job of connecting their challenges and achievements at the Olympics with what they can do for the corporate prospects checking them out. In the words of Jacques Rogge, former President of the IOC,  “The unsung hero of the Olympic Games is Atos, because without Atos none of this would be possible.” (Although he was referring specifically to London 2012, that message has been reinforced by each subsequent Games they have been involved in.)

The Content Relevancy Checksum

Mark Schaefer’s {Grow} marketing blog is one I keep tabs on.

He published two posts in January about the limits of online content marketing. They’re worth reading if you’re at all concerned about how prospects managed to find yours, and how some then make time to consume it. (We’ll leave digestion for another day…)

Mark’s first ‘Content Shock’ post is here and a followup addressing points raised by readers is this one.

In the B2B IT networking world I think that one major difference between mediocre content and the stuff people actually make time to read, and sometimes share, is ‘relevancy’. That got me thinking about a possible checksum, a content relevancy checksum (CRC, if you like), that might help b2b technology marketers get a better bang for the buck.

This CRC goes roughly as follows:

DA: The content message must show an end state or goal that the customer can see and understand. “Here’s your problem, here’s our solution, here’s what happens when implemented.”

SA: The content message and the people who deliver it must know the target customer, their industry, their challenges and fears, better than that very same customer. This requires research, planning, creativity… and time.

TYPE: It should be clear to all (marketers, sales, and customers/prospects) what the content piece is aiming to achieve, along with how much time and specialist knowledge will be required to understand and make use of it e.g. if it’s a white paper aimed at tech support managers then it should clearly say so from the start and not lead others into believing they must also wade through it in order to ‘get’ your solution offering.

PAYLOAD: The content’s length, delivery media, complexity and relevancy should be categorized so that anyone seeking it can do so effectively and with minimal assistance. The goal is to have the ‘back office’ aspects of how this content came to be, invisible to the reader.

Ping! Your message succeeds when targets are unimpeded by the marketing CRC that guarantees receipt.