Three Dangerous Marketing Myths.

Poison sign by Murray Williams

Many marketers are shifting their strategies and budgets away from traditional media and into inbound, content-driven marketing. Most would tell you the outcome they hope to achieve is greater “engagement” with customers and, as a result, more sales. According to a recent CEB study, the approaching of most brands use to create “engagement” is dead wrong.

Most marketers think that the best way to hold onto customers is through “engagement” — interacting as much as possible with them and building relationships. It turns out that that’s rarely true. In a study involving more than 7000 consumers, we found that companies often have dangerously wrong ideas about how best to engage with customers.

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Posted By: Jeff  May 24th, 2012

Don’t watch “The Pitch”. Read this post.

Where business problems and the Hidden Agenda overlap.If you want to learn how great advertising is created and sold to clients, don’t bother watching a TV drama, read this post, Win the Pitch: Tips from Mastercard’s “Priceless” Pitchman.

Kevin Allen explains the big drivers behind buyer behavior and how ad professionals can personally connect with those drivers to create breakthrough ideas and win the pitch.

You need to understand that behind every decision
lies a hidden agenda.

There are no magic tricks or hypnotics to persuade people to do what you say. Rather, behind every decision the average person makes to buy something — whether a product or service, your argument or an idea — is an unspoken emotional motivation. I call this the hidden agenda. Tap this, connect to it — and you will have people saying yes. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted By: Jeff  May 15th, 2012

Create greatness Denver.


What you can do-What you know.

All this talk of Create Denver Week reminded me of this great post from Jessica Hagy, Six Enemies of Greatness and Happiness.

A big part of Create Denver is supporting local creatives—artists, designers, musicians, everyone—by helping them gain the skils and make the connections needed to sustain their craft. That is a huge helping hand to people who aren’t always naturals in the art of business. But there are even greater challenges to a successful creative career that have nothing to do with cash-flow, taxes or contracts.

There are the internal challenges we all face when we’re trying to realize our creative vision. Jessica lists the six enemies of greatness as: availability, ignorance, committees, comfort, momentum and passivity. Read the post for her insights on each. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted By: Jeff  May 11th, 2012

Create Denver Week. Design, art and awesomeness.

Create Denver Week

Create Denver Weekstarted last night with a launch party at Battery 621. If you don’t know about Create Denver, this is your weekend to experience the diversity and energy of the Mile High creative community. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted By: Jeff  May 11th, 2012

Marketing and crime are similar.

Opportunity, Means, Motive by Jessica Hagy

Here’s a great post from Jessica Hagy on the surprising similarities between marketing and crime. Of course, it includes Jessica’s witty and poignant Ven diagrams.

Messaging, marketing, and personal actions (criminal or not) are simple human behaviors. We all want need to be in the right place with the right message at the right time. It’s as true for meeting your soul mate as it is for meeting your quarterly sales goals.

Entertain, Inform, Persuade by Jessica Hagy

Read the whole post on

Posted By: Jeff  May 8th, 2012

Brand promise is the foundation of content strategy.

Spalted Maple Blocks
20 years ago brand building dominated our marketing conversations. It was a new concept that had everyone’s attention. Today our conversations are about search optimization and social media engagement. The concept of branding may seem to have taken a backseat to newer ideas—but it hasn’t really. Brand building is more relevant, and more important, today than it ever has been.

Online marketers, B2C and B2B, need to continue investing to create a differentiated brand. The reason is simple, at the core of all the content marketing, social media and lead nurturing you are doing today, is your brand. In fact, your brand promise is the foundation of your content strategy. Without infusing the strategy, and the content that follows, with the voice of your brand, it has little chance of producing the clicks, likes and leads you seek. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted By: Jeff  May 4th, 2012

Denver web design honored at the 2012 Webby Awards.

The Denver Gallery Guide

This Friday, art galleries across Denver will open their doors to lively gatherings of art goers, just like they do every month for the First Friday Art Walk. This year, though, denizens of the arts will have a new guide for their First Friday stroll, the Denver Gallery Guide. The Gallery Guide brings together all the art neighborhoods of Denver into one interactive map that lets you explore the venues in each area. The site is beautifully designed, fast and intuitive to use. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a better use of a map metaphor as the main navigation. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted By: Jeff  May 2nd, 2012

Big Ideas & Useful Stuff – April ’12

Big Ideas & Useful Stuff-Hero Newsletter

Each month we compile a list of our favorite articles. The arrival of Spring to the Rockies has us thinking about planting seeds for future growth and how the landscape of digital marketing is changing. If Spring is your time for putting things to order, then check out this Tumblr-things neatly organized. It may inspire you to clean out that closet, drawer or idea file you avoided all winter.


April ’12 issue of Big Ideas & Useful Stuff.


Posted By: Jeff  April 28th, 2012

Design, to design another day.

for the swap

An art director I worked with long ago used to say he didn’t like graphic design, because design is never done.

“I can always find something to make better. The only way I know I’m done, is when the client says ‘Approved’”.

Over the years, I’ve felt the same frustration Rob did. Back when graphic design meant printing, advertising meant TV commercials and product design meant factory manufacturing, there was a high cost for design changes. And few companies valued an iterative design process. It was a “one and done” mentality. Digital changed all that.

Freedom to change.

The 8 page glossy-brochure is no longer the primary marketing piece, it’s a company’s website. Video production has moved from the studio to our lap top, literally. And software that used to be sold on disc (in a box), is now delivered through the App Store. As our technology has improved, digital has grown and the cost of production has come down. In many cases, to near nothing. So how are you taking advantage of this freedom-to-change? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted By: Jeff  April 26th, 2012

Be strategic about marketing content.

Be strategic about marketing content.
More and more, businesses are recognizing that a strategic approach to marketing content is becoming essential. Content, especially a business blog, has moved from being a big-brand luxury to a vital part of every business’s digital-marketing strategy.

A business blog, though, is merely a means to an end, a way to share useful, interesting information that people connect with. Blog posts drive conversations, conversations are how you engage with people, and engaging with people is the only way your business will survive in the social-media-disrupted world we now live in.

No traditional sales funnel.

“The Internet has fundamentally transformed the way people discover, share, connect and shop. It’s time for marketers to transform the way they connect and communicate with their customers—and potential customers—as well. From

In his book The End of Business as Usual, Brian Solis writes about the emergence of the connected customer, a new segment of our shopping, buying, donating population. These savvy, networked customers have evolved past the traditional sales funnel to a buying cycle that is driven by search, social media and digital experiences—all of which rely on content to start conversations and create engagement. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted By: Jeff  April 25th, 2012