Deep thinking on content marketing (and more)…

10 08 2018


I recently stumbled across a podcast called After-On by Rob Reid. He also wrote a book of the same name which Seth Godin called a “Rollicking tech pop-culture thrill ride”, which I haven’t read yet but it’s on the list.

On a recent trip I ended up listening to a podcast Rob did with Chris Anderson from TED. You can listen to that episode here. It’s not short, they go into a deep dive about Chris’s life experiences and how he over saw the growth of TED! But put in the prism of content marketing (which we’ve been revisiting recently) I thought it was a fascinating look at a conference, man and brand that really lead the development of content marketing for events.

Some of the themes that struck me:

Power of free – I’ve blogged about this before (and read a book by a guy with a similar name). But The TED conference is probably the most compelling case study of both free and content in the event business.   If in doubt take another look at this chart, it highlights the impact free content (2006) had on attendance and price, it’s an oldie but a goodie:


The threat of click bait – Or maybe it would be better to say the threat of click bait and where it might lead if content marketers aren’t sparing in its use, or don;t deliver on the promise.

The risk of sponsored content – Chris talks about how TED has avoided advertising between videos, so as not to create barriers to the core concept of spreading ideas (They do have some advertising). I’m not sure I agree the two things are mutually exclusive, but it does highlight how important it is to work with sponsors on crafting a compelling message that resonates with your audience.

Complex measures of quality – We need to move beyond email metrics, downloads and traffic metrics to measure the efficiency of content marketing. So how do you measure quality or effectiveness, Chris suggest’s using 3 axis’s; progressing the conversation, painting an optimistic world view, and inspiration. Maybe loftier goals than most content marketing, but it dives back to the idea that in content marketing you should always add more value than you can capture. The reader should get some significant insight, something scarce, or something unique that helps their work or life.

The power of video – Just go to and you won’t be to many clicks away from some inspirational video. Chris talks about how online video is potentially driving the renaissance of public speaking and how online video might just be as powerful as the invention of the printing press.

Ultimately…Spreading ideas – It was refreshing to here Chris talk about how effective conferences (& content) can be at spreading ideas, influencing people and changing behaviors. All of which is easy to forget when you’re busy marketing your next conference, but should be at the heart of every event (& the marketing copy!).

Next time you have a spare hour to kill, I recommend listening to any of After-On podcasts.


Paco Underhill Podcast on B2BiQ

15 09 2017

Paco Underhill

Our podcasting super star Seth Adler, has posted some amazing podcasts over the past six months via B2BiQ, but this is one of my favourites!

Seth recently sat down with Paco Underhill, the author of “Why we buy“, the seminal book on the science of shopping. It’s a broad ranging interview, sharing insights on how simple observation can help save organisations millions all the way to skinny dipping with John Lennon and dealing with issues around homelessness!

You can also go to B2BiQ to listen to a range of other podcasts on CX, Shared Services, Artificial intelligence and process excellence.



Digital Marketing Trends 2017 by CX Network

28 07 2017

CX NetworkMy colleagues at CX Network, led by the amazing Zarina de Ruiter, just published their annual Digital Marketing Trends report.



The report outlines 4 key trends:

  1. The brave new world of content marketing – Looking at the increased impact of video and the growing reach of influencers
  2. Customer driven marketing decisions – Experience is everything now!
  3. Data big & small; From actionable insights to changing regulations
  4. The future of Marketing tech – AI, AR, Alexa and more!

It also features an update on GDPR, a case study on social influences, and great tips for staying ahead of all these changes. There’s also insight from multiple marketing experts at Revlon, Westfield,, Bloomsbury Publishing, Duck & Waffle, Jones Day and yours truly. It’s well worth a read You can download your copy of the report at CX Network or click here.

Marketing 4.0 – Moving from Traditional to Digital

20 02 2017

9781119341208.pdfThe new book from Phillip Kotler (Hermawan Kartajaya & Iwan Setiawan) Marketing 4.0 is a great road map for the new digital marketing reality. It’s the best marketing book I’ve read in years, both insightful and practical. It gives an excellent snap shot of the current trends and highlights the need for offline & online to coexist. Including some great insight into the modern informed vs distracted customer and introducing the f-factor (not that F!) – Friends, family, fans and followers.

They define Marketing 4.0 “as an approach that combines online and offline interaction between customers and companies. In the digital economy, digital interaction alone is not enough. In fact, in an increasingly online world, offline touch represents a strong differentiation. Marketing 4.0 also blends style with substance. While it is imperative for brands to be more flexible and adaptive due to rapid technological trends, their authentic characters are more important than ever. In an increasingly transparent world, authenticity is the most valuable asset. Finally Marketing 4.0 leverages machine-to-machine connectivity and artificial intelligence to improve marketing productivity while leveraging human-to-human connectivity to strengthen customer engagement.”

Some of the new insightful (and more scientific elements) include:

  • The new 5A’s that re-define the customer path – Aware, Appeal, Ask, Act, and Advocate. Including how that process now loops and transforms the customer journey.
  • An excellent review of modern marketing metrics, including the introduction of BAR (Brand Advocacy Ratio) and PAR (Purchase Action Ratio). The science behind the art.
  • A great over view and update on content marketing – including some great insights on content amplification and Googles ZMOT. The amplification part is probably one of the most over looked of element of any content marketing strategy.
  • It also highlights the often overlooked aspect of social – ‘Listening’.

It’s a fantastic book that will challenge any marketer to rethink how they approach and solve the current challenges. It’s a must read for all marketers. It has that WOW factor!  (P.S – There’s also more to that video than meets the eye!)

Starting a Marketing Career at IQPC

5 10 2016

I may be biased, but I think starting your marketing career with IQPC (or any events company for that matter) is a great move! Unlike a lot of entry level marketing jobs you get to work across all marketing disciplines and channels, this exposure will help you decide where you want to focus in the future. You also get to work with highly motivated teams, working on tight deadlines and fast paced events that also enhance the learning opportunities.

But don’t take my word for it, have a listen to what some of my talented colleagues have to say in this video:


Marketing Careers at IQPC

If you’re interested in joining IQPC at an entry level marketing role email your CV to me at

Marketing automation, digital natives and value based content at IQPC

4 10 2016

I recently sat down with Esther Smith, the Global Head of HR at IQPC to discuss the current state of play in Marketing within the group. You can read the whole post here: IQPC Blog


IQPC extends research capabilities with DART

5 09 2016

You can read more about The Shared Services and Outsourcing Network’s new Data Analytics and Research Institute through the IQPC blog by clicking the below map or watching the video.

For the last 20 years SSON, a subsidiary of IQPC, has been a one-stop shop for shared services professionals, offering industry-leading events (over 50 a year), training, reports, surveys, interviews, white papers, videos, editorial, info-graphics, and more. All that work has yielded huge amounts of data and so in May 2016 with the growing recognition that […]

via IQPC moves into Data Analytics — Life & Work at IQPC

IQPC Singapore launches Future Leaders Program

17 06 2016

IQPC Singapore has launched a new Future Leaders Program for Asia.

It’iqpcs designed to fast track the career of fresh graduates in Singapore and will expose the participants to opportunities in Marketing, Sales, Production and Operations, helping them choose an area of expertise. It’s like an MBA in applied event sciences! but with hands on learning that can accelerate your career.

To read more click here and to learn more about the great team you’ll be joining click here.

UBM Acquire CMI

2 06 2016

CMI logoInteresting press release from UBM yesterday about the acquisition of the Content Marketing Institute.

It seems on paper to be a good match, which I am sure will go through the normal M&A growing pains, but it does seem like a good acquisition for UBM and this blog post from CMI seems very positive.

However, I think it’s interesting from another level. Will the acquisition help UBM become a content marketing machine?

By applying the theory and strategy of content marketing (eating their own cooking?) CMI has very quickly built a highly successful series of events. Growing from 600 delegates in 2011 to over 4,000 in 2016 and spawning a number of successful spin offs around the world. The CMI events also show a level or speaker curation and pride in the agenda that is missing from many commercial B2B events. They also have some innovative approaches to sponsorship and event management.

It will be very interesting to see if UBM can adopt these practices and have a similar effect on other events in their portfolio. Perhaps a new model for the event industry.


We need a hash tag!

12 11 2015

The creative geniuses at Adobe are at it again…Thanks for sharing Dhiraj!