9 May 2012

Take the long way home: uncovering real insights in discovery interviews

Take the long way home: uncovering real insights in discovery interviews

All of our strategy projects usually begin with a series of discovery interviews, usually involving people we’ve identified as “key stakeholders.” The roster usually includes people from a company or organization who can provide insights into the inner workings of the business and how customers make decisions, engage with the company, and use the products. […]

13 Mar 2012

Social media and mobile: Amy Laskin

Social media and mobile: Amy Laskin

The three major principles of content strategy for social media? Create, curate and eliminate, said Amy Laskin during the Social Media and Mobile session at Content Strategy Applied 2012. Amy, a former Ogilvy content strategist who recently started a new position at Bed, Bath & Beyond, reiterated a number of times that while many companies […]

8 Mar 2012

Measuring quality and effectiveness: eBay and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

Measuring quality and effectiveness: eBay and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

eBay Europe had a communications problem: every team was communicating in its own way, when it wanted to, to its customers. Lucie Hyde from eBay and Hannah King from eBay’s consultant Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, described in this session at Content Strategy Applied 2012 how they went about solving that problem by developing a consistent, […]

29 Feb 2012

Voice and tone: the ambiguous and misunderstood duo

Voice and tone: the ambiguous and misunderstood duo

You hear people talk about “tone and voice” as inseparable concepts: “We really need to define the company’s tone and voice.” I did this too, for many years, throwing them around as a package deal (“tone ‘n’ voice”) without stopping to truly understand the difference. But there is a difference — albeit an ambiguous one. […]

19 Feb 2011

Our bios, ourselves

Our bios, ourselves

Recently I worked with a client who runs a boutique wealth management firm and prides himself on being different from his peers — both in the way he works with clients and how he makes investment decisions. His story hummed along nicely as we worked to develop messaging about the company, its services and its […]

23 Mar 2010

Five meaningless phrases to never use again in B2B copy (if you can help it)

Five meaningless phrases to never use again in B2B copy (if you can help it)

The CEO is on the phone to review the copy his marketing team and I have been working on for six weeks. This is the first time we’ve been able to get him on the phone for a meeting that hasn’t been rescheduled four times and ultimately canceled. The pressure is on. We sent the […]

31 Aug 2009

25 is how I drive: the call for slow communication

25 is how I drive: the call for slow communication

Last weekend, I was riding with my husband and daughter on a busy four-lane commercial street on a Sunday afternoon, on our way back from shopping for a toddler bed at IKEA. Typically while I’m riding as a passenger, I space out and stare out the window and neglect to pay attention to the negotiations […]

30 Jul 2009

Does your copy win the “so what?” game?

Does your copy win the “so what?” game?

We’ve all seen examples of bloated, jargon-heavy marketing copy that makes our eyes roll into the backs of our heads. Seeing it out of context from the Web site or brochure that is its normal habitat, called out as an example of lazy, long-winded space-filler, makes us laugh. We laugh as the consumers of such […]

20 May 2009

The creative brief: when it’s good, it’s good

Did you hear the one about the ad agency that wrote a 27-page creative brief for the rebranding of a major beverage brand that was so pretentious, self-indulgent, and ludicrously aspirational it had everyone in the ad business rolling in the aisles? The story has been hard to miss since someone leaked the “Breathtaking Design […]