strategy

Helpful, Company

2017 C_NCENTRATE End Of Year Reader Survey

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Every six months we ask a selection of C_NCENTRATE readers how we are doing to make the next six months better than the last for readers. It's a task we take seriously. With +18,000 readers it's important to understand what's working and what they would like to see changed moving forward. Overall we're doing well with just over 59% of respondents giving C_NCENTRATE an A or an A* but it turns out readers miss the *MUST READ* element (so we'll be adding that back in 2018). Based on prior feedback we dropped the number of links from ten to five but it appears you missed them so we'll be adding a few more. Finally, the new design will be going live in 2018 - it was promised this year but work got in the way - we're excited to show you a fresh and streamlined look.

OTHER FINDINGS/2018 CHANGES:

FOCUS: The top five answers (via categories) were; Emerging Technologies, Strategy, New Tools (new), Consumer Insights and Big Picture Analysis. These will feature more heavily over the next six months. 
MISSING: Three elements popped up when asked (unprompted) what C_NCENTRATE was missing; robotics, tweetable links (we’re honoured!) and content that discussed 'purpose'. We will look for content in these areas and add tweetable links to each
BIGGEST ISSUES IN 2018: The areas that readers are finding challenging; strategy, what should I do, Content Marketing, next steps in verticals/tech (social media, Blockchain, advertising) and A.I....A.I. is very much of interest to readers. We overdid Bitcoin/Blockchain, however. Sorry. 
MISCELLANEOUS: A few people requested increased frequency which is sadly something we cannot commit to at this time but there is always TNN, #social_lens, 8ight and 15 Minute Executive if you want more of us! Several respondents requested more implications of technologies for the everyday consumer so we'll do our best to include these moving forward.

NOTE: Sample size n=200, optional incentive used (75% entry rate).

Insight, Interesting, Helpful, C_NCENTRATE+5

2015 MCL - The Year In C_NCENTRATE

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With more than 15,000 subscribers, the C_NCENTRATE newsletter is now read regularly in all four corners of the globe and continues to grow steadily.  We took a look back at what got subscribers clicking and have created a Top 10 Most Clicked Links of C_NCENTRATE 2015. 
Interesting points: content marketing does not feature in the 2015 list (despite being strongly represented in the 2014 Top 10 Links list), there has been a 200% increase of productivity and strategic advice links in this year's Top 10 compared to 2014 (likely based on the subscriber feedback from 2013).  Roughly the same amount of video made the Top 10 with Uber's Uber Rush intro video being the first of its kind to make the list.

1)  What your 2016 Video Strategy Should Look Like [#50]
2)  How To Plan Any Presentation [Video] [#25]
3)  How To Work 40 Hours A Week Sending These Two Emails [#28]
4)  The 30-Second Habit That Has A Lifelong Impact [#43]
5)  Introducing Uber Rush [Video] [#42]
6)  What Google Really Knows About You [#40]
7)  Why Startups Succeed [#30]
8)  Why Scientists Are Upset With The Facebook Bubble Filter Experiment [#19] 
9)  How To Write An Email That Convinces Anyone To Meet With You [#29]
10) Infrastructure For Modern Brands [#36]


(NOTE: Numbers were adjusted for size of list at the time of sending)

C_NCENTRATE+5

C_NCENTRATE +5 - 08/02

5 links that aren't in the C_NCENTRATE newsletter.  Please share them with your colleagues and friends.  

[1]  To phrases that are about to replace 'Sharing Economy".  [4m]
[2]  16 trends that will define the future of the gaming industry.  [8m]
[3]  Gladwell on the Facebook problem, the Snapchat problem and the AirBnB problem. [5m]
[4]  How to question what you "know" about strategy. [5m]
[5]  Here is the periodic table of eCommerce. [3m]

Got a link you think we should share?  Let us know!

*Register your interest in the HERE/FORTH conference, coming 2016.*

C_NCENTRATE+5

C_NCENTRATE +5 - 24/05

5 links that aren't in the C_NCENTRATE newsletter.  Please share them with your colleagues and friends.

[1]  Be clear, not clever.  [6m]
[2]  How brands should be thinking about Selfies. [6m]
[3]  The first question of any strategy. [7m]
[4]  Who is the modern consumer? [4m]
[5]  Are you thinking about the future of your product/brand like this? [5m]

Got a link you think we should share?  Let us know!

*Register your interest in the HERE/FORTH conference, coming January '16.*

Interview, Helpful

INTERVIEW : Brian Eden - Creator of 'Tell Us Your Story'

We instantly loved 'Tell Us Your Story' when we came across it on Twitter - it's an impressive and passionate rage against a trend we have seen emerge over the last few years...the tell us your story campaign.  We grabbed the creator, Brian Eden who is a Copywriter in New York.

Why did you set up 'Tell Us Your Story'?  

I started the blog last year after noticing that every brand suddenly wanted to hear my stories. The cat food wanted to hear my cat food story. The bleach wanted to hear my bleach story. The disinfectant wipes wanted to hear my disinfectant wipe story. The more I started paying attention to it, the more I started to see the humor and absurdity in these requests. Because, when’s the last time you heard a good disinfectant wipe story? 

What is the problem here?

As long as there’s been advertising, there have been trendy executions. From side-by-side taste tests, to “your family will love you for giving them [insert product here]” to jingles and flash mobs.  It seems the newest advertising trend is that brands want us to tell them our stories. But most products - especially the more ordinary ones - don’t lend themselves to being the centrepieces of especially compelling stories.

Why do you think brands do this? 

It’s easy to see the appeal of “Tell us your story” for a company, because it seems like a good way to create social media content, generate conversation with customers, and collect a bunch of testimonials all in one.   And for some types of businesses, that might actually work out. Travel, sports, hospitals, charitable causes - people actually do have stories to tell about these kinds of things, so it’s not as strange of a request coming from a brand like that.

Where it starts to get funny is when the more mundane, everyday kinds of products ask us for our stories. Kitty litter. Iced tea. Nose spray. They’re funny because they’re so socially awkward. Who actually has a nose spray story? 

What do you wish brands would do? How can they be better?

There are a lot of companies that are using social media really well - Oreo, GoPro, Old Spice and Honey Maid to name a few.   Social media offers brands big opportunities to do great work. But the work has to be rewarding for the customers. The more time and energy you’re asking people to give you, the more worthwhile it has to be for them to give it. The work can’t be totally self-serving (at least not overtly).

Interesting, C_NCENTRATE+5, Helpful

C_NCENTRATE +5 - 14/12

An extra shot of C_NCENTRATE that doesn't appear in the newsletter - a bit different this week - this is a collection of books we think you should be reading right now.  

*** Please share this post if you find the links useful ***

_  "Weak messages create bad situations" / David Shrigley - a great call to arms.
_  "To Sell is Human..." / Daniel Pink [Out Jan 16] - selling has moved on, have you?
_  "Storyscaping" / Gaston Legoburu - immersive experiences are the future.
_  "Marketing Excellence 3" / Hugh Burkitt - case study porn that is worth your time.
_  "Read Me." / Horberry & Lingwood - "Most people think they can write, most people are wrong".
_ BONUS! "The Ideas Book" / Kevin Duncan - Smart, practical advice - pockesized

DO YOU FLIP?  We are now Flipping exclusive content on Flipboard daily!  Add us there to stay ahead of the latest movements in technology, innovation, psychology and lots more.

C_NCENTRATE+5

C_NCENTRATE +5 - 23/11

An extra shot of C_NCENTRATE that doesn't appear in the newsletter.  

*** Please share this post if you find the links useful ***

_  How people get new ideas.
_  Proof the 1% have run the show for +800 years.
_  This is the woman who started the ALS ice-bucket challenge.
_  How Frozen took over the world.
_  Doing this makes you 27% more likely to land a job.  

DO YOU FLIP?  We are now Flipping exclusive content on Flipboard daily!  Add us there to stay ahead of the latest movements in technology, innovation, psychology and lots more.

POV

Are you creating "Brandfill"?

HERE/FORTHs, Paul Armstrong, was recently asked for comment by the Guardian about the emerging trends in Content Marketing and what brands should be careful of.  

Get ready for some harsh truth...

Transient
The theme may be newsworthy, but it will do little to build their brand values – and could even damage them, Armstrong warns. “Brands are jumping on the news of the moment and putting something out for clicks and engagement. But my worry is, what does it do for them in the long term? It stays in people’s minds.” He wonders whether some of the brand activity surrounding the Royal baby – he mentions ads by Oreo and Coke – really have enough synergy with the event to justify their activities. Oreo tweeted a picture of a baby’s bottle on a stately looking cushion, with an Oreo biscuit balanced beside it.
— Paul Armstrong