This hack has helped me grow revenue by as much as 300%.

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One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses of all sizes make is not understanding their product-market fit. The old way of discovering this was to hire some “expert” to create a SWOT analysis. If you’ve ever used these, I don’t need to tell you how ineffective they often are. Don’t believe me?

When was the last time you used your SWOT analysis to validate how successful the recommendations in it have been for growing your business?

My approach is different and more straightforward. It can take more initial thought, but has proven time and again for me and the hundreds of businesses I have counseled to work. It can also be reused, revisited and applied to either broad business strategy or specific verticals. Plus, it’s something you can (and should) do in-house. Reach out to me for a free consulting session and I’ll tell you why. …

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I should be embarrassed that I watch other people play video games every night before going to sleep. But I’m not. I think what I’ve learned from the gamer community in the past couple of years is a model for how society overall should behave, connect and return to giving a crap about each other.

Before I tell you my story, I want to set your expectations: this is not some article with best practices or case studies. I am not promoting a brand or a methodology. …

Three Keys to “Going Viral” for Any Business

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“We need you to make this campaign go viral.”

Long pause. Nervous looks.

“Uh, sure, we can do that.”

If you’re an agency or run marketing, you’ve probably sat through this meeting. You may have even been the one to accept the challenge. I admit I have. In all likelihood you haven’t launched a campaign that “went viral” in a way that met expectations. Why? Because you can’t plan to “go viral.”

Forbes writer Robert Wynne says:

“If you are a client and a PR firm guarantees they can create a viral video or post for you, end the meeting immediately. This is a promise they cannot make. …

Part One: Creating Digital Experiences People Care About

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To China, With Love

Since this is the first in a series of articles that introduces the concept of The Marketing Matrix, let me set this up for you. A few years ago a Chinese businessman reached out to me on his trip through the U.S. He was looking for ways to market his “Proudly Made in China” products on Amazon. I wouldn’t consider myself an Amazon sales expert, but I do know how to create marketing and messaging people care about.

After several meetings, he was inspired. But since he was selling a product and not creating much of a brand, he wanted assurances that what we were proposing would work. We showed him research and strategic briefs, but those alone didn’t convince him. We showed him creative ideas and mood boards, but those didn’t either. We modeled his media spend with expected acquisition, conversion and retention numbers, but showing possible numbers wasn’t enough without a guarantee of results-you know, that thing that marketers hate to hear from their clients more than anything. …

New Threats Need You as Part of the Solution

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Photo by David East on Unsplash

What a real community is today has been usurped by the internet. “Online” communities have created a reason to disengage from the real world. Behind the safety of our keyboards, we vicariously experience the joy, pain and opinions of others. We participate (or not) as good neighbors (or not) without any consequence to our virtual actions. But virtual belonging is not real belonging. And when we emerge from behind our screens and step foot outside, we still need coping mechanisms to deal with the real communities we live in.

As much as the online world has accelerated the rate of our connections, it has degraded the quality. So it’s worth remembering what real communities are, and what our responsibilities are to them. Why? Because in the real world, we must sill navigate the sensibilities, sensitivities and safety of those we encounter. There are still real consequences to how we move through our real, shared, connected world. …

A Prophecy for Marketing Executives.

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I originally wrote this article in 2009. Nearly 10 years later it proves to be prophetic, and the concepts I discussed back then even more relevant today.

6:00am: I wake up.

The alarm clock application in the LCD TV by my bed chirps out my morning playlist. I hit the “off” button and my schedule pops up on the screen.

I wipe the schedule aside and catch my personalized news that has learned my preferences from my DVR content filter and consumption behaviors. “You might also be interested in…” recommendations appear at the bottom from my last few days viewings.


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If you are a marketing traditionalist. You respect the value of great storytelling and intuitively tap into consumer motivations. And you work constantly to learn new channels as they pop up. This year has the potential to make you irrelevant. Unless you prepare yourself now.

We are at a tipping point where human intelligence will be sidelined for the sheer speed and scalability of artificial intelligence.

It’s a scary time to be a marketer during the rise of the machines. But there is plenty of good news. In the first part of this series, I will lay out some of the foundation-shaking technologies that are coming online. In Part 2, I will share how to work with these technologies to keep yourself relevant. …

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Updated for 2018 from original publication in UX Magazine.

As consumers access more information across emerging media channels and new devices, marketers have responded by treating every new interaction as an available touch-point to connect with and engage their target audiences. This has created an overpopulation of one-way brand messaging that has dangerously distanced consumers at critically important buying moments.

The result has been catastrophic for many companies — they’re bleeding customers and they don’t know why. What’s needed is a new approach engineered around what the customer wants to hear from us, not what we want to say to them. An approach that starts with a deep understanding of the moments that matter — the key trigger points for interacting successfully with buyers without alienating them. …


Doug Klein

Marketing consultant. Startup mentor. Former Walt Disney Imagineer. Founder | Editor at @InKleinD

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