The Gap Between Preception and Performance

Sunset 2012-02-05 17.10.20 at Media Post shared some powerful data about the nature of a rewarding experience. Marketers too often focus on the customer actions they want without really understanding the values that drive those behaviors.

The resulting gaps impact sales results and brand engagement. The good news is that with a slight shift in perspective, marketers can gain the confidence that the customer actions they want can be predictably and reliably delivered. Read more about customers and What Are They Really Thinking?

I have seen this play out in the retail environment where products require a more education before the customer can fully appreciate the true value proposition of the products. In one case study we were able to boost engagement and sales to the tune of 40,392 units to 813,892 units in only two months.

We were able to crack the code for those customers. Results are often unprecedented.


10 Questions Entreprenurs Should Ask To Focus

Why 5% Succeed Best Selling Book CoverJackie Nagel, at Synnovatia offers excellent questions every entrepreneur should ask to focus their vision. That got me thinking about some of the examples I’ve collected, saved and used when developing projects, designing possibilities or delivering profit.

Elaine Starling co author of Why 5% Succeed: The 5 Principles of Predictable Profit, shares Key Questions To Triple Bottom Line Any Project, Business or endeavour worthy of your time and attention.

So once you know what your why is all about, you can focus on your customers. One of the best ways to do that is to Build an empathy map of your customers, clients. This is a powerful exercise and it’s often uncanny how close you can come without any other market research. If you do verify your empathy map with research or focus groups, you’ll have highly relevant data. If you do or don’t verify with focus groups, revisiting the empathy map regularly to revise or refine is essential if it’s to remain a useful tool.

Once you build an empathy map of your ideal customer it informs the steps to be taken that implement your customer engagement strategies. If you’ve done this much, your chances of producing relevant results for both sides of the bargain.are pretty good. That’s something to build on.

Asking questions is part of how we’re wired so why not ask really good ones? The best advice I have on the subject is to really be present when listening to the responses..

Key Questions To Triple Bottom Line Any Project, Business

Thanks to Elaine Starling author of  Why 5% Succeed for a really useful way to leverage opportunities and energize business practices. You can accomplish anything. You are unlimited and incredibly resourceful!!!

Have a blast writing about your projects and you’ll be totally energized for an amazing 2016!!

  1. How the project will benefit YOU.You As Center Of Your World– What skills will you practice or learn?
    – Who might you meet because of this project?
    – How might you be positioned socially and professionally because of this project?
    – How do you FEEL as you write about this project?
    – How long will it take you to complete this project?  If it took all year, is it worth it?
    – Can you automate this project at some point?
    – Is the impact of this project ongoing or a onetime burst?
  2. How the project will benefit OTHERS.Multiple people back of head view– Who will benefit?
    – How might they benefit?
    – How could it change their lives and the lives of those they know?
    – Is the impact of this project ongoing or a onetime burst?
  3. How the project will benefit the WORLD.– What might the ripple effect look like?  How would it spread?
    – How might the world change because of this project?  (Imagine the most AMAZING results EVER!!)

When you’re done writing, put it away for 24 hours.  Then re-read what you wrote and stack the pages with the most impactful on top.  You can rate them from 1 to 10 if you want to, but it’s really based on how you FEEL as you review what’s possible.


Building An Empathy Map Of Your Clients, Customers

Understanding the thoughts, emotions, motivations and needs of the audience a business serves is often a series of questions. These questions are a starting place.

The key to success is listening to the answers and taking action. That way the questions continually engage the audience and the level of feedback you gain helps to optimize how you operate your business

Empathy Map Questions

·  What are your customer’s concerns?

·  What are your customer’s real feelings?

·  Is your customer happy with your product/service?

·  How does your customer react to _________________?

·  Is your customer angry or upset about your product/service?

·  What are your customer’s dreams and aspirations?

·  What are your customer’s preoccupations?

·  What really counts with your customer?

·  What are your customer’s fears?

·  Who is your ideal customer?

·   What do they think about during the day?

·   Are they feeling stressed? Relaxed?

·   What other factors are they wondering about during a typical day?

·   Do they hate their job? Love their job?

·   What is their core yet unexpressed priorities?

·   What causes an emotional reaction for them?

·   What are their dreams and goals?

·   What worries keep them up at night?

STEP TWO: What does the person HEAR? What Friends Say, What the Boss Says, What Influencers Say

·  What channel does your customer use the most?

·  Is your customer easily influenced?

·   What influences your customer?

·  Who influences your customer?

·  Through which channel does your customer get their information?

·  Does your customer listen to family and friends?

·  Is your customer more influenced by peers and co-workers?

·  What music do they listen to?

·   What “self talk” goes through their head?

·   What kind of ideas, information and opinions are being shared with your target customer by their friends and family?

·   What kind of things do they hear at work?

·   Who are the people they are most influenced by?

·   What are the mediums and tactics used to influence them?

STEP THREE: What the person SEES: Environment, Friends, What the Market Offers

·   How does your customer interact with their environment?

·  What does your customer’s environment look like?

·  Is your customer more in a private environment or a public environment?

·  How does your customer respond in a private environment?

·   How does your customer respond in a public environment?

·  What is your customer exposed to on a daily basis?

·   What problems does your customer face within their environment?

·   Are they highly visual?

·   Are they looking for great design or content?

·   What do they see?

·   What does their environment consist of?

·   Who are the other individuals who form a part of the customer’s environment?

·   What kind of product offerings do they see?

·   What kind of issues and challenges do they usually have?

STEP FOUR: What does the person SAY and DO? Attitude in Public, Appearance, Behavior Towards Others

·   What does your customer say to others?

·   How does your customer respond to others?

·   What are your customer’s actions after a conversation?

·   Does what your customer says match what your customer does?

·   How does your customer portray themselves in front of peers?

·   Does your customer influence others with their actions?

·   Does your customer influence others with their words?

·   What information does your customer hold back from others?

·   What information does your customer repeat to others?

·   What are they telling others?

·   What actions are they taking on a day-to-day basis?

·   What is their behavior when they are surrounded by people?

·   What, according to them, are their priorities?

·   What is the gap between what they express and their actual actions?

·   Do they act as influencers and opinion leaders for others?

·   Place direct quotes from your customers HERE.

STEP FIVE: PAIN – Fears, Frustrations, Obstacles

·   What are your customer’s pain points?

·   What does your customer fear the most?

·   What does your customer fear the least?

·   What kinds of frustrations does your customer face on a daily basis?

·   What obstacles have gotten in the way of what your customer wanted?

·   What obstacles does your customer still need to overcome today?

·   Why hasn’t your customer been able to reach their goals?

·   What future fears could your customer have?

·   What frustrations could your customer have in the future?

·   What frustrates them about their current situation?

·   What are the moving away from?

·   What are their main concerns or causes for frustration?

·   What stands between them and reaching for their aspirations?

·   What are the methods they employ to reach their goals?

STEP SIX: GAIN – Wants/Needs, Measures of Success, Obstacles

·   What kinds of success has your customer had?

·   How did your customer measure the success that they had?

·   How did your customer obtain their success?

·   Is the customer happy with your product or service?

·   What future success does your customer have?

·   What long term goals does your customer have?

·   What short term goals does your customer have?

·   What makes your customer the happiest?

·   What are your customer’s wants and needs?

·   Where would they like to be?

·   What are they moving toward?

·   What are their expressed goals and needs?

·   What is their metric for measuring success?

·   What are the methods they employ to achieve success?

11 Examples of Facebook Ads That Actually Work (And Why)

Facebook Web Page ImageI love seeing ‘best of’ examples of anything. I especially love the breakdowns of the nuts and bolts that short cut the time it takes to make all the same mistakes that led to the results being showcased. It makes it possible to implement at a more advanced stage.

Thanks to HubSpot for

11 Examples of Facebook Ads That Actually Work (And Why)

Checklists & Cheat Sheets To Make Marketing Easier and More Effective

One of the surprise gifts for the New Year for marketers everywhere was Natasha Alex‘s post on Business 2 Community.

29 Checklists & Cheat Sheets to Make Marketers’ Lives Easier

Revenue Formula Nested Framework

It’s so great to know what tweaks, low hanging fruit and accepted standards are for various marketing tactics and activities.

The real benefit from comprehensive resource lists is that no matter where your business is, there’s a first step that’s right for you business. This makes it easy to take action and leverage that action into measurable results.

If one were to spend the rest of the year implementing the nuggets from this, it would be time well spent.


Journalism And Media Relations

Street Sign With Media Types as DirectionalsAccording to computer giant IBM, 2.5 exabytes – that’s 2.5 billion gigabytes (GB) – of data was generated every day in 2012. That includes print, digital video, audio, and every possible social media mashup and trend to stimulate somebody’s glandular system. Getting the story is as important as telling the story. And getting both of them right is the hallmark of quality content.

@mp_research has written about some of the new elements journalists have to contend with to tell a relevant story. After all, its all  news all the time for somebody Extra, Extra! .Read all about disruption in journalism, media and the news.

According tothe results of the 2015 Business Wire Media analysis of journalists from around the globe show that upstarts like BuzzFeed and the New York Times represent the future of news reporting and they plan to incorporate livestream technologies like Periscope and Meerkat into their reporting more than traditional multimedia sources like Getty or the AP.

The report says that the big story in the study is one of disruption, and the big question: Is your media relations programming changing fast enough to meet the needs of today’s 24/7 media?

This survey identifies the profile of today’s media in order to best understand who represents the news creators and distributors. The results contain insights from editors, reporters, writers, columnists, and bloggers, many of whom have been in the industry for more than 20 years and actively use corporate news as the basis for articles and posts. (Charts found at end of ResearchBrief)

One of the biggest changes in the last decade has been the rise of new technologies and their impact upon news creation, delivery and consumption. For media outlets, the biggest shift continues to be the movement of readership from print to web, and now mobile devices. This shift provides limitless opportunities for reporters to reach and engage readers throughout the day via fresh content and via quickly adopted formats such as livestream video, but with this shift comes a need for faster content creation, resulting in faster turnaround time, says the report.

Type Of Medium Primarily Reporting
Medium % Of Respondents
Radio 3.7%
Television 1.8%
Newspaper 17.7%
Website 36.3%
Magazine 24.7%
Blog 6.5%
Other 9.3%
 Source:Business Wire, October 2015

The primary internal metrics used to evaluate the success of a reporter’s story, says the report, include the number of page views (59.1%) and unique visits (46.5%) to the story, as well as social media activity such as likes, tweets, sharing and emailing (48.8%) and comments l (19.5%) on the individual article.

Print, Phone, Pad News Delivery OptionsWhen it comes to how journalists prefer to receive breaking news, email alerts (66.5%) and newswire delivered press releases (20.9%) are still the most desired methods. Only 3.7% prefer to use social media platforms as a resource for receiving breaking news stories, while text messages and telephone calls (total 2.8%) are the least favored.

Preferred Method For Receiving Breaking News From An Organization
Preferred Receipt % of Respondents
Email alert with link to full press release 66.5%
Other 5.6%
Social media posting 3.7%
Newswire press release 20.9%
Telephone call 2.3%
Text message .5%
Company blog post .5%
 Source:Business Wire, October 2015

Social Media Channels As Microphone IdentifyiersThe role of social media platforms is changing to be more oriented toward news discovery and sharing as well as providing additional content and information for today’s reporters. 74.9% of respondents use social media platforms for work-related research, however, 74% said they prefer not to receive story pitches via social media platforms.

34.5% of Asia-Pacific respondents, and 50% of South American media are more likely to receive pitches through Facebook than any other social channels, finds the study. However, 50% of reporters in these regions prefer not to be pitched through any social channels.

The survey results showcase the specific news topics a reporter needs to not only consider writing about your news, but to also produce a strong piece of editorial coverage. The most sought-after type of press release information reporters want from an organization is:

  • Breaking news (75.3%)
  • Followed by interesting story angles (72.1%)
  • Supporting facts (68.8%)
  • Trending industry topics (56.7%)
  • Quotable sources (50.7%)
  • Company background information (51.2%)

Content Element Platfomrs Audio, Video, TextToday’s most compelling news articles include a good headline and an interesting and relevant story, augmented by intriguing multimedia. In this survey, we asked reporters how likely they would be to use a company-issued news release if it included multimedia elements.

36.3% of responding reporters said they would be likely to use a news release if it included multimedia. The element most preferred is a photograph (82.8%), then:

  • Graphics (48.4%)
  • Video files (38.1%)
  • Infographics (35.8%)
  • Logos (27.4%)

When news is being consumed so rapidly and abundantly, the role of newswires in journalism remains vital in the news creation space, says the report.

A majority of media respondents (84.7%) use commercial newswire services to find and augment their news coverage, with 53.5% referring to newswires daily or several times a day. When asked what newswire they relied on the most, 67.4% of respondents chose Business Wire as their most utilized commercial newswire resource for researching an organization.

Frequency Using Newswire Service
Frequency Used % of Respondents
Several times/day 23.7%
Several times/week 10.7%
Monthly 1.9%
Occasionally 9.3%
I don’t use a newswire 15.3%
Weekly 6%
Several times/month 3.3%
Daily 29.8%
 Source:Business Wire, October 2015

The survey also aimed to identify what steps communicators could take to support the journalists covering their stories. The most requested step asks communication professionals to spend more time researching the journalist’s publication/beat before reaching out to them (57.2%). Sharing their articles via social platforms followed at 39.5%.

What PR Professionals Could Do To Support Your Role Better? (Select all that apply)
Support Material % of Respondents
Do more research on my publication/beat before reaching out 57.2%
Socially share your article out to their audiences 39.5%
Be more responsive 38.6%
Provide more story-related assets 35.3%
Be available to speak upon request 34.9%
Provide company fact sheets 25.6%
Other (please specify) 20.5%
Write better stories1 8.6%
 Source:Business Wire, October 2015  

Quality Content Check Box Marked By Green PencilGlobally, the top concern for today’s media outlets is the increased focus on inbound traffic vs. story quality. With this move, it becomes even more vital for today’s communicators to create and implement a coverage amplification program to help reporters meet these metrics.

Biggest Concerns Relating To Today’s Media Environment? (Select All That Apply)
Focus % of Respondents
Quality content 66.5%
Increased reliance on “robot” journalism 47.0%
Increased presence of advertorials 44.7%
Reduction in reporting staffing 43.3%
Reduced time available for research 36.3%
Outsourcing of work previously handled by reporters & editors 33.5%
Publication shuttng down 32.1%
Increased usage of company branded content 31.2%
Increased speed in story publishing 29.3%
 Source:Business Wire, October 2015

Curved Wall of Video ScreensThe use of video technology in the future of news reporting is highlighted even by the media’s response to what future reporting tools they plan to use to supplement coverage. 50.7% noted livestreaming video apps and 51.6% plan to rely on photo services for multimedia creation or discovery, says the report.

While these results show that journalists continue to embrace established forms of news story telling, there is a dominant shift occurring towards newer methods found primarily on digital platforms.

Modern news consumers are diverse in their choice of where to engage with news, and in their choice of formats – visuals, textual, videos, interactive platforms – so creating content that resonates with audiences across multiple platforms is the best practice for maximizing message visibility. 36.7% of respondents noted they are currently learning new multimedia technologies emerging in the news coverage space, with 23.3% already using interactive photos and video to supplement their stories.

In a surprising twist, says the report, across the globe responders chose BuzzFeed, known for short, entertainment-styled content and news, over more traditional long-form media outlets such as The New York Times as the publication that best represented the future of reporting.

Media Outlet Best Representing The Perceived Future Of Media
Media Outlet % of Respondents
CNN TV + web crossover 10.2%
New York Times: traditonal top tier news sources 27.9%
Buzzfeed: interactive news telling 33.5%
Reddit: consumer driven news telling1 2.6%
Yahoo! News: search engine hosted news 15.8%
 Source:Business Wire, October 2015

Wood Block Letters Spell Once Upon A TimeAfter search engine use (97.2%), an organization’s corporate site (88.8%) and online newsroom (76.7%) are the foremost destinations for journalists when they need to research an organization. This “News,” “Media,” or “Press” section of an organization’s website is used regularly for editorial research as are:

  • Social media networks (49.3%),
  • Spokespersons (43.3%)
  • Blogs (38.1%)
  • The press release boilerplate (35.8%)
  • Trade publications (36.3%)
  • And wikipedia (40.9%)

Again this year, press releases (84.7%) remain the most sought-after content type within a company’s online newsroom, with:

  • Breaking news (83.7%) and
    • Media contact information (76.3%) close behind.
  • High resolution images (71.6%)
  • Fact sheets (66%)
  • Press kits (58.6%)
  • Executive biographies (51.6%)…

…round out the top required pieces of content journalists look for when crafting news coverage.

Online NewsroomsMore than 75% of surveyed media are receptive to seeing brand articles within an online newsroom. When asked what type of stories should be found in the online newsroom, 39.1% responded that they’d like to see industry trends, as well as content about products and services (26.5%), events (20.9%) and financial information (20.5%).

The functionality behind an online newsroom is just as important as providing required content types. Journalists expect to be able to search content within an online newsroom by type and or date (60.9%).

The ability to download and re-use content (55.3%) such as video and image files is far more desired by media than simply offering an embeded code (24.2%). And the ability to register for email alerts specific to their news interest is important to 60% of those surveyed.

The report concludes by reminding readers that the purpose of the 2015 Business Wire Media Survey is to provide communicators and media professionals insights into the latest trends in news coverage to provide a roadmap for communicators to create and present better, more effective news packages, allowing not only for the faster processing of quality content, but content that meets reporter metrics as well.


Most Closely Resembles Title
Title % of Respondents
Blogger 6.0%
Other 7.4%
Reporter/writer 13.5%
Editor/editorial staff5 2.1%
Producer 1.9%
On-air talent 1.4%
News director 4.2%
Freelance journalist 11.2%
Correspondent/columnist 2.3%
Years As A Member Of The Media
21 years > 45.1%
16-20 years 18.1%
11-15 years 8.8%
6-10 years 14.4%
2-5 years 13%
1 year 0.5%
 Source:Business Wire, October 2015  


Primary Industry Beat  
Beat % of Respondents
Technology 10.2%
Energy/utilities 6.5%
Entertainment 5.6%
Automotive/transportation 4.2%
Finance 3.7%
Sports/recreation 3.3%
Healthcare 2.8%
Food/beverage 2.3%
Retail 2.3%
Agriculture 1.9%
City/metro 1.9%
Real estate 1.9%
Travel/hospitality 1.9%
Architecture 1.4%
Arts/culture 1.4%
Environment 1.4%
Government/politics 1.4%
Science 1.4%
Other (please specify) 27.0%
 Source:Business Wire, October 2015  

For additional information, please visit Business Wire here.



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