Scientific Message Mapping: a Pillar of Strategy


A few weeks ago, I published a blog about content marketing and publication planning. The gist of it was that the science of content marketing as we practice it today includes a lot of similar principles and practices to creating an effective publication strategy for the development of a drug, biologic, diagnostic or medical device.

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Content Marketing and Publication Planning: Two Peas in the Same Pod


Everybody in marketing today knows that Content Marketing has become central to reaching audiences across multiple channels and platforms. That is because it is comprehensive, strategic and multidisciplinary. But despite what some communications agencies might be saying, it certainly isn’t new. In fact, Content marketing has been around since the 1800’s. With the advent of digital, and the proliferation of social media, what is new is that there are more channels than ever before to market content.

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The ABC’s of an Effective Content Marketing Strategy


Content marketing uses a multitude of skills, capabilities and services across multiple media formats to deliver consistent, useful information and messages to all of a company’s target audiences. While that may sound complicated, in practice, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Effective content marketing is more about planning and doing some hard work, over an extended period of time, while ensuring consistency and coordination of messaging by audience. Creating your story, designing a powerful narrative arc, and telling your story to your targeted audiences in ways that make an impact–this is where the magic happens. And while every story is different, and no two strategies are the same, there is a strong underlying philosophy that I think should underpin every great content marketing strategy. It is all about the A, B, C’s.

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Map Your Content for a Successful Content Marketing Strategy


Crikey. It’s hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. This year has been a great one for us, and I hope that for all of our friends, clients and colleagues it has been just as good. MANA is now firmly established, serving clients in multiple innovation-focused industries, and working hard to change the agency business model. And our work is just getting started.

This time of year has always been my favorite. Probably because it is always filled with optimism. As we plan for the year ahead, we look forward to new strategic directions, new programs and new clients. And for the clients we work with who are focused on content marketing, this time of year is the time to engage in content mapping for the year ahead. Continue reading

Empathy: The Killer App in Strategic Communications and Leadership

empathyOf all the challenges we face working in the strategic marketing and communications business, among the most frustrating is dealing with those who have a misguided understanding of what it is that we do. Amazingly, in 2014 there are still people who view strategic communications as ‘spin’ (a word I personally loathe) and as a non-essential function that can be done when times are good, and cut from the corporate budget at the first sign of financial difficulty.

It saddens me that there are still those among us whose understanding of strategic communications dates from the 1950s. Fortunately there are also plenty of folks that I work with in corporate leadership positions today who really value the importance of communications and see it as an essential part of their company’s executive leadership function. In today’s world, communication is ubiquitous. Companies that understand this tend to see corporate communications as an essential function, and many are at the forefront of their industries. Companies that fail to embrace this fact spend much of their time reacting to events, putting out fires and trying to catch up with their more enlightened competitors. Continue reading

A No-Nonsense Approach to Content Marketing

Create_More_ContentIn the world of strategic communications, some content marketing “gurus” running communications departments and agencies like to position themselves as knowing the “secrets” of content marketing, which they will introduce to you, The Client, if you’d just provide them with a budget and pay their fees. My advice to prospective clients is this: if you hear that from an agency or a marketing person, what you should do next is slam the door in their face, and put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign until they go away.

There are no “secrets” to content marketing. It starts with objectives, and a clear strategy. It requires a clear understanding of your story, your audience, your communications assets and how best to deliver them to your audiences. Here is a no-nonsense approach to creating an effective, coherent strategy. Don’t let an agency try to over complicate things as a way to sell you what you don’t need. Continue reading