• Content Marketing 101

    Okay, so it took me ages, but I finally created the first 101-infographic! Many thanks to the Piktochart tooling which – for me – turned out to be the only useful non-designer tool.


    As a bonus, let me include this Content Marketing Tooling image created by Curata:

    curata content management


  • Just in case you’re wondering…

    Just a short update, in case you’re wondering… the 101-project is alive and kicking!

    The first subject will be Content Marketing and the second one will be Customer Journey related. The reason the whole thing takes longer than I planned is because I discovered the results are great input for infographics. However, I have zero experience making those, so I’m still discovering. As soon as I get some decent output, I’ll let you know!

    Also, I got a great marketing book for my birthday, which might turn into a review… 🙂

  • 11x Marketing 101

    They say as long as you apply enough effort, it’s possible to learn virtually anything. As you might know, on an average day I spend 4,5 hours on the road. Some of it is work, but I’m still left with plenty of time for myself. Now that I’ve seen all the Mad Men seasons Netflix has to offer, I’m looking for meaningful ways to pass time and I thought of one that will help me meet my goal of having a better understanding of the fields I want to focus on career-wise. The good news? It’s something you could profit from as well, so read on!

    For the remaining 11 months of 2016, each month I will pick one marketing-related subject and do research on that subject. What’s going on in that field? What best practices are there? What great websites, books, other resources? Who are the players in the field? What jobs titles are there? That kind of stuff. And: I’m going to share my findings with you!

    I’ve already selected five subjects I want to focus on, but I want to fill the other six spots with suggestions you have! So reply to this post or mail me and tell me what subject you want researched!

    These five are definitely on the list:

    • Customer journey development;
    • Marketing analytics;
    • Community building;
    • Content marketing;
    • Conversion rate optimization;
    • (Digital) Customer Profiling

    Oh, and if you have ideas on the type of information you would like to be included on each subject, let me know, I’ll see if I can embed it!

  • A tiny post on Superbowl Commercials

    I commute, almost every day. On good days, it takes me somewhat over two hours for a single trip, which makes a rather daunting 4,5 hours a day. Unfortunately, there are also bad days, like this Monday, when I had almost an hour of delay on the way home. So I decided to watch all the Superbowl 2016 commercials (yes, I watch commercials for a hobby). I mean, I’ve heard great things about Superbowl Commercials, so I expected it to be at least as amazing as the work entered into the Cannes Lions competition. Reality was slightly disappointing (but nowhere near as disappointing as watching that-day-Netflix-suggestion LOL starring Miley Cyrus, so all in all still time well spent).

    So, what’s notable in Superbowl land? Well, there are several things.

    First of all, while some brands hire famous directors to create their commercials, other focus on crowd sourcing or letting their customers create something (Doritos did a great job there!). That’s a pretty interesting approach. First of all, the method in itself generated attention amongst your fanbase (especially if you work with some voting system that requires participants to share their work with their network). Second, since this way of working is relatively new, it might gain you some free media exposure. Third – it’s good for your likeability (I mean, it is sort of cool that Intuit handed their slot to a small business). Seeing how Wix.com (made by famous animators), Hyundai (made by a famous director) and Doritos (commercial made by fans) are the top three, the chosen approach doesn’t seem to influence view numbers (much).

    Second: hashtags. So many hashtags. There’s #startstunning, #everydropcounts, #findyourmagic and much more. Admittedly, the 45% percent of commercials that had hashtags this year is a drop compared to last year and the record of over 50% in 2014, but it’s still a pretty impressive number. Hashtags are great to link commercials to online campaigns. Of course, you want people to actually use hashtags (which they will do only if they want to actively contribute to your campaign). Hashtags work best if people are able to create their own content (I’m talking tweets, posts, but also – definitely – photos or even movies) related to your tag. For example: most people could think of quite a few pictures of their own that they could tag with #defylabels (Mini’s hashtag) and much less with #puppymonkeybaby. And of course: a commercial is probably just one step in inspiring your fanbase to use your hashtag.

    Third: differentiation. Not just product differentiation , but commercial-style differentiation. Some go with “Such nonsense it’s actually funny” (yes, puppymonkeybaby, I’m looking at you.. but not just you). Others try to relate themselves to famous actors, singers and soundtracks (Skittles, Bud Light, Honda, Intel). Or amazing visual presentation (LG, Coca Cola). And just a couple stick with rather dry product information (mostly health related products). Unfortunately, many companies focus on just one or two aspects, leaving us wondering why the hell the bravest thing one could do is eat a Butterfinger (I’ve never tried them, are they that disgusting eating them requires bravery?) or wishing Budweiser would stick with puppies (this year’s commercial just doesn’t live up to the (or at least my) expectations). Or wishing for… well, anything special at all with the Persil commercial.

    Now there’s plenty of sites doing extensive analyses on the SuperBowl and its commercials, so for all the best details you could just visit them. On these sites you could also watch every single  commercial. But you know what? Maybe you want to spend your time on something else. In that case, here’s a short selection of my favorites, each one with a different focus (but if you choose to watch just one commercial, scroll all the way down, my favorite for this year and an absolute must-see!):

    • Best commercial made by fans:  Doritos
    • Best commercial telling a story: Toyota – the Longest Chase (yep, another car commercial, cars did a good job this year)
    • Best commercial focussing on visual: Coca Cola
    • And the best commercial showing you don’t actually need fancy visual stuff: Fiat Chrysler
    • Best commercial with famous actors: Bud Light
    • Best commercial that makes no sense at all (kind of hard to choose, they’re all pretty bad!): Shock Top
    • Best mostly informative commercial (no brilliant stuff here, either): OIC

    And, finally, the best commercial with a famous soundtrack and… well, simply the best commercial in the game. This one has it all. Yes, this great soundtrack. And emotion. And actual product relevance. If there’s just one commercial you should watch, pick this one, you won’t regret it!

  • The first commercial I can remember

    This is a commercial from my childhood. No, I guess this is *THE* commercial from my childhood. Probably the only one I remember after all those years. Such a simple idea, but so funny!

    For the non-Dutchies out there, the kid yells: “Daaaad, it’s green!”
    And then after the crash he says: “Oh, now it’s red again…”

  • Salesforce Knowledge: Data Category vs Article Type

    Almost two weeks ago I passed my Salesforce ServiceCloud exam (yay!). One of the things I had most trouble understanding was the difference between data categories and article types. As someone on the internet put it:

    I am looking for the difference between the two – don’t both do the same job iei classify the articles and the access to them? (http://goo.gl/oDhndx)

    Well, sort of, but not quite. So when I finally got the difference, I couldn’t wait to share that piece of Knowledge with the world. So if this is a subject you’re struggling with as well, read on (basic knowledge of Salesforce is preferred).

    Content vs. Shape

    Imagine you have a blog article. This article could be categorized in two ways:

    1. By content (for example, you could have articles on travel to Asia, on blue screens of death, on Jane Austen novels or on reasons why people should stop watching TLC).
    2. By shape (for example, an article could be shapes as a long piece of text, as a series of photos with captions, as a Q&A), in which case different articles would probably have different fields.

    Well, Article Types are ways to organize the presentation of different shapes of articles in Salesforce (such as manuals, FAQ’s etc.) and ways to present these different shapes (e.g. an Q&A might have two fields, a Question field and an answer field, while a manual will have a list of steps). Data categories, however, are ways to organize articles by content, so you might have different categories for articles on different things you sell.

    So what’s with profiles and roles?

    In order to understand how article types and data categories help restrict the visibility of articles, it helps to have a solid knowledge of Salesforce Profiles and Roles. If these concepts are not very familiar to you, or if you feel like you’ve never really grasped the difference, here’s a very short recap:

    • Profiles determine the TYPE of information one is able to see (for example, one might be able to see Cases, but not Campaigns);
    • Roles determine the INSTANCES of information one is able to see (for example, one might be able to only view his own cases, but not cases owned by their peers).

    Essentially, Data categories and Article types help us organize knowledge articles in the following ways:

    • Article Types add (well, the name sort of says it all) more types (like record types, really, if you’re familiar with the concept) to knowledge articles.
    • Data categories help us group instances of knowledge articles.

    And that’s why, if you want to restrict the article types a user is allowed to work with, you should use article types (for example enabling users to only write general documentation, or only write FAQ’s). But when you want to restrict users by content (for example enabling users to create all kinds of such as FAQs, manuals, general documentation and so on), but only on specific subjects (books, or cars, or famous aliens from the 70’s), you should use roles.

    I really hope this clears things up!