In an ever widening search to bring value to our clients, I'm introducing a new series to this page, where we will have occasional conversations with significant players in the marketing and communication fields. The goal is that we will both learn a little something, and get to know some people in several aligned industries as well. 

This month, we speak with Rohit Valia, CEO / Founder of Cafyne, Inc. a US-based startup which helps enterprises protect their brand by ensuring compliance to regulatory and company policies.

Cafyne is one of the new breed of start-ups launched by an incubator and was selected as one of the "Cool Vendors of 2014" by Gartner, noting "The future success of risk management will require the creative use of current technology, as well as innovations that support the digital business and capitalize on technological advances within the Nexus of Forces — cloud, social, big data and mobile" .

We talked with Rohit late last year. 

Namarketer: Your website says Cafyne, Inc. is founded on the principles of helping organizations safely leverage social media to enhance their brand by amplifying their social media presence while managing risk arising from potential violations of regulatory and company social media policies. Simply, how does it do that?

Cafyne was listed by Gartner as a Cool Vendor 2014 for its Enterprise Social Media solution and enables the creation of a stress-free social media marketing environment for corporate enterprises. Cafyne allows employees to amplify their brand and increase marketing organically. Why should anyone stress over social media as social media should be fun, informative, and a strong asset for brands. Companies can put themselves in jeopardy when they have a ”slip" that can ruin their reputation and trust. Using our Stimulator, Observor, Enforcer, Discoverer, and Archivor tools, companies can leverage employees while abiding by company policy. 

 

Namarketer: Where did the idea for Cafyne come from?

The exciting energy from caffeine continues to bring people together under one roof, making it easy to hang out, mingled and join hands to generate new and creative ideas. Sip a nice cup of coffee, relax, and fuel up for the next day, week, or even the year. Similar to caffeine, the Cafyne Social Stimulator is personalized fuel for organizations to leverage their employees as a way to grow and develop organic and authentic conversation with their teams, partners and customers using multiple social media channels.


Namarketer: Gartner was named Cafyne a 2014 Cool Vendor in Risk Management. Tell us a little about how you can help a business manage their risk, and why that has become so important today.

Risk management is a growing concern for businesses, especially Health, Finance, and Retail. FFIEC, SEC, FDA, NLRA, FCRA, COPPA, FTC Disclosure Guidelines, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Communications Decency Act are just a few examples of major policies regulations. One mistake on social media is all it takes to destroy a brand’s reputation. It is hard to manage multiple social media platforms and hundreds of employees at the same time. It’s scary to think that you never really know what is going on when it comes to employee engagement and brand marketing on social networks. Cafyne works with companies to prevent this from happening and make it easy to amplify employee marketing. We offer personalized tools and resources for companies that want to cut risk, increase engagement, and make the most of social media networks. Employees get their own profile on Cafyne.com and optionally, link their social media accounts. A designated  “approver” or automated policy engine,  can be used to manage  business related content produced by employees. Each business can personalize their approval system, choosing Rules that flag inappropriate content, making sure it never hits a social media newsfeed. Predictive analytics shows the expected ‘Virality' of a post.  Users are provided with intelligent analytics to see how their content performed, who it reached, and so much more.  In addition, all Business accounts content is archived to meet the Regulatory guidelines.

 

Namarketer: Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission levied a $100,000 fine against adviser Mark Grimaldi and his firm last week for misleading investors in two tweets about his investing strategy's performance.  How might have Cafyne prevented this from happening?

 In a recent article 
Reuters states,"While the promotional appeal of social media is understandable, the risks of clicking that "post" button can be high.” This is a great example of why companies are at risk with their social media profiles.  Cafyne stops social media accidents by using a tool called the Stimulator. This tool allows employees to submit social media content for approval before going live. This system regulates and amplifies employee engagement, taking the stress away from worrying about policies and rules. In this incident, Mark could have assigned a review of the post to ensure it met the guidelines with a link to more details of their disclosures.

Q; Firms use social media for purposes such as marketing, communications and client outreach, but they have to be careful not to breach rules concerning advising and making recommendations for clients. How can this be integrated into the Cafyneworkflow?

 

We personalize our approval tool to fit a company’s needs. A company’s workflow will improve greatly, increasing productivity and organize marketing. In addition, with the analytics embedded in the product, Cafyne allows marketers to get a prediction on the Impact for a given post as soon as it hits the Network.

 

Namarketer: What is next on the drawing board for Cafyne? Improvements, Extensions,? New product

Cafyne is always looking to innovate and bring new capabilities that leverage our expertise in Real Time Big Data technologies and Data Science capabilities. Stay tuned for new and improved Social Analytics, Mobile capabilities, support for additional social networks and broader language support. Be sure to follow @Cafyne on twitter and Cafyne.com on Facebook!

 
 
 Rohit Valia, CEO / Founder of  Cafyne, Inc

 Rohit Valia, CEO / Founder of Cafyne, Inc

 
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Side reading: Social Business: What Keeps Compliance Up At Night? (Forbes, Nov. 2014)

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Authorbob namar

A 2014 study by the Content Marketing institute has reveled some notable findings. B2B First, First that content marketers are using an average of six social media platforms to communicate their messages; that is up from five platforms in 2013.

Next, B2B content marketers are using each of their chosen social media platforms more often than they did last year. So, at the very least, they are seeing reason enough to increase their dedication to swimming in these waters, however uncharted they may seem to some.

As for performance, we can only deduce that marketers are finding value from social media, as evidenced by large increases in use from (this year over last) with sites such as SlideShare, Google+, and Instagram.

Our friends at the Content Marketing Institute remind you, "speak human." 

Our friends at the Content Marketing Institute remind you, "speak human." 

Whither Facebook?

The news is out that Facebook has again changed its algorithms. In short, it means that your posts are less likely to be seen -- unless they are "boosted" (paid for).

According to a representative from the ads product marketing team at Facebook, the decreased organic reach is simply a response to Facebook's popularity and to the theory of supply and demand. Since there’s a fixed amount of space in the any user’s News Feed (demand), and innumerable posts (supply), not every post will make it into a user’s News Feed. So, more is less.

But fear not. The News Feed is designed to show content that is relevant to the audience, rather than showing all possible content out there. So it becomes increasingly important to publish content that teaches people something valuable, entertains them or makes them think creatively. 

Facebook's modified algorithm is supposed to position the best posts higher in News Feeds. Although these algorithm changes are another reason for declined organic reach, which is likely to continue to fall. But we are not ready yet to suggest to our clients that they have to pour money into Facebook to have it be an effective marketing vehicle.

We continue to recommend these tried-and-still-true practices:

 

  • Create good, quality content that people actually want to see to increase engagement with your fans.
  • Re-share older content that is highly beneficial to reach different audiences within a short span of time. (Make sure the content is relevant to your audience.)
  • Increase the frequency of posting. To reach more people, post content multiple times a day. Focus on the quality of your content and the preferences of your audience.

We will continue to monitor the progress with Facebook and other social media tools and update you on what we learn to keep you informed. Drop me a line if you have any questions.

 

This is the last blog entry for 2014. Wishing you a happy holiday season from Namarketer.

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Authorbob namar


Content marketing can help you create awareness, build your brand and establish credibility. Its purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy. Here are 25 more things you need to know about content marketing:

  1. Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
  2. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
  3. If your content is irrelevant to your customers, it might as well be invisible. 
  4. 90% of consumers find custom content useful.
  5. 57% of respondents said quality content is their most effective SEO tactic; keyword research/mgmt next highest (46%).
  6. Three biggest complaints of B2B buyers regarding content are: 1) too many requirements to download; 2) too promotional, self-serving; 3) non-substantive, uninformed.
  7. Over half (57%) of millionaires surveyed use Facebook; 41% use LinkedIn, says Spectrum Group survey of 13k millionaires. 
  8. The most valuable content marketing efforts are collaborative, & draw on strengths from marketing, sales & customers. 
  9. Nostalgia can make users more likely to share.
  10. Surveys show that nearly half of all Millennials don't trust branded content.
  11. 50% of consumer time online is spent engaging with custom #content.
  12. Never use a photograph without putting a caption under. On average, 2X as many people read captions as body copy.
  13. The best content marketers are crowd-sourcing from within their organization.
  14. Respect the 4C's of digital marketing: Creating, Curating, Connecting, Culture.
  15. Art is content. Every Trader Joe's has its own in-house artist. What could an artist do to increase interest for your business? 
  16. Blogs give websites on average 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
  17. Powerful headlines help your readers imagine a better life.
  18. Outsource your content to get quick turnaround. Content marketers deliver good-quality work in a short time; meet any deadline.
  19. Identify what topics you can own and create the best pages on the Internet for that topic. 
  20. Quality content helps build a community of advocates.
  21. If you don't have enough resources for a steady stream of newly created content, re-purposing is great way to keep it flowing.
  22. Make content that prospects/customers can learn from quickly and share with their friends
  23. Consumers far more likely to choose brands that engage their interests than to select those that only urge them to buy.
  24.  27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day.
  25. Only 1 out of 5 readers gets beyond your headline.

 

________________________________________________________________________

Bob Namar is the Namarketer, a professional writer, editor and Internet marketer providing promotions and marketing via custom content and social media to businesses nationally and internationally.

 
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Authorbob namar
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Every business, big or small, has the opportunity to be showcasing its expertise. For larger businesses, you may already have a blog installed (though have you developed a strategy and are you a regular publisher?). Smaller business may have been dragging their feet, but they should not. You can embed one in your site for little more than the cost of assigning an editor to it; or even if you do not have a web site for your business, you can still promote yourself by creating one for free.

But your blog has to be used and used well. To serve up content that will drive business, I suggest you P-L-A-T-E it:

  • Provide a call to action. Tell readers what they should do with information you just shared. Read more about the product or service, click to ask a question, visit the online Q&A, or another meaningful activity. Get them moving.
  • Link to other sources for your customers. Industry associations, news sites, experts, even other blogs that support your vision, all serve to educate, motivate and engage your readers.
  • Aggregate content for your visitors. That means bring information from other sites to yours. Putting a lot of good content in one place is convenient for your readers, projects authority as your readers see you can recognize good content, and can create a spring board from which ideas can grow. You can find some help here.
  • Target your community, and by that I mean your customers and prospects. This isn't a forum for your political or social beliefs, or your personal complaint department. You're doing this to be a leader and to attract people who want to do business with you.
  • Embed visuals. It's eye candy and makes your posts more interesting. Use charts, product pics, photos of your staff and operation, events and tradeshows, etc. Show AND tell. 'Nuff said.

If you aren't already blogging about your business, dive in. If you are, make sure you're doing it well and have a qualified editor putting it together for you (this is not an intern project). PLATE it, and you'll be serving a new wave of customers sooner than you think. It's your blog...Use it.

 

Bob Namar is president of Namarketer, a content marketing, publicity and promotion agency in the NY-NJ metropolitan area. Visit Namarketer.com.

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Authorbob namar

ImageYou do not need a social media strategy. Collecting "Likes" or Followers nets you nothing in and of itself. And chasing those will frustrate you waste your time and money and do nothing for your business.

What you have to understand is that social media tools enable people to have conversations, and However, if you are a useful contributor of helpful information  through social media tools, you will gain trust, credibility and positive word of mouth.

So first, you must have something to say.

The bad news is, few people are saying much that is worthwhile. The good news is, if you have a business,you have plenty to say.

Truth is, customers and prospects no longer depend on traditional sources to find businesses that can solve their problems. They look for solutions to their problems online today. And your business needs to show up in the first few pages of Google to be found.

How do you get there?

I told you once.

Buying Ad Words? Very expensive.

Hire someone who bills themselves as a “search engine optimization” expert? Just remember that Google hires Ph.D. computer scientists and mathematicians by the boatload. Will your expert beat their system?

But there is one way to top the pages of a Google search-- create content that Google indexes. Because Google gives a much higher score to pages that are updated frequently and contain “rich media,” meaning photos, audio, and video.

What we like to call "content".

I bet I know where you put your content. In your blog, right? Or your What's New page?

Meanwhile, the front door to your business, your home page, continues to be the boring, static, "welcome" with beauty shots and links to other pages. Where's the vibrancy? Where's the news? Why hasn't it changed since I saw it last year, last month, last week?

Don't you have something to say, to tell?

Go Live. Be Fresh.

Put it on your website and THEN Tweet it and post to Facebook and everything else with it. Having your story told on your website, and teasing it out there on social media gives you the steak and the sizzle. An unbeatable combination.

Oh, and then?

Produce more content.

Namarketinggears2 Social Media is an important part of every digital marketing playbook. But many marketers still struggle with using it effectively. Keeping up with the constant changes that evolve seemingly daily separate weak marketing from strong marketing. Those who are able to adapt quickly will be far more successful than those who don't.

How to leverage this newest medium? Here's a few tips:

  1. The highest engaged piece of content is an image. Stills and videos; graphics, art. The picture is worth many thousand words.
  2. Tell Don't sell. 80 percent of your marketing should be education for the audience; information that they're want to interact with and is not disruptive to their user experience. Only 20 percent of the content that you push out should be promotional.
  3. Have a call to action. After all, that is what you are there for, to get a reaction.

For 2013, and likely forever beyond, the keyword is optimize.

A social enterprise is an internal social network. Think business version of Facebook where all colleagues are able to collaborate in real-time on documents and projects. It  is a truly collaborative environment to service and support customers and prospects and make better use of employee time. No more waiting for email or hoping someone will pick up the phone. It takes away the geographic boundaries and massively increases business efficiency.

Namarketer social enterprise

Made possible through cloud computing, businesses are extending this familiar model to establish a similar synergy between their employees, customers and business partners — thus, employing a new social enterprise.

The value of the social enterprise is simple. It allows customers to get closer to their favorite brands, offers them a voice when they have something to say (good or bad) and encourages them to make better buying decisions. For companies, it magnifies the voice of the customer, allows them to identify macro trends, improve their customer service, maximize sales through new channels and even improve employee satisfaction.

The social enterprise is a strategy, not simply a single system or idea. It impacts an organization’s culture, processes, systems and bottom line. Leveraging social media in the enterprise is new to many, but time is ticking for those who haven’t developed a social enterprise strategy — chances are competitors have a head start. The cost of not taking action could be high.

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Authorbob namar

Before the Renaissance, the letter J had been merely a glyph variant of I. After the Renaissance, it became conventional to treat I as a vowel, and J and as a consonant. Thus, the Latin "gesta" for "deeds," turned to "geste" in Old French, "to carry, behave, act, perform, and became the root for words such as con-gest-ion, in-di-gest-ion, sug-gest, re-gist-er, belli-ger-ent, con-ger-ies, and ex-ag-ger-ate.

The letter J was officially set apart from I in the 16th century; probably first been used by Petrus Ramus, a French humanist philosopher, logician, and educational reformer, known for being an outspoken critic of the Aristotelian philosophy which dominated European universities at that time. He advocated a more natural approach to logic which would conform to the way in which the human mind actually approaches the world around it, and made a distinction between logic and rhetoric.

Ramus objected to the way in which young students were made to memorize meaningless facts and rules of logic, and set out to reform the curriculum of the faculty of the arts into one that would teach students to use reason to advance their knowledge. He advocated the “freedom to philosophize,” maintaining that the use of reason would eventually lead a person to discover the truth.By emphasising the central importance of mathematics and by insisting on the application of scientific theory to practical problem solving, Ramus helped to formulate the quest for operational knowledge of nature that marks the Scientific Revolution.

Science and math have not only advanced the world politically and socially, but economically as well.  This is no more evident that with the recent introduction of Microsoft's gesture controlled advertising

Lynx, Toyota and Samsung are the first brands to take advantage of Microsoft’s “game-changing” NUads platform for Xbox that uses Kinect gesture control to make ads interactive.  The ads will appear on Xbox Live this autumn.

Lynx

Xbox says the NUads platform “transforms standard TV ads into engaging experiences” by allowing users to use the voice and gesture controls on Xbox 360 to control the ads.

Unilever will adapt its Lynx brand’s cops and robbers themed ad for Lynx Attract - its first fragrance for women - to ask users whether the Lynx Effect should be given to girls. Viewers can then answer yes or no using Kinect’s gesture controls.

Toyota will use its “Reinvented” ad that ran during the 2012 Superbowl to ask viewers what they would like to reinvent. The car marque then plans to use the feedback from users to inform the direction of future campaigns.

Gesture controlled ads deliver the one thing traditional TV advertising is missing - engagement. Brands can get real-time feedback from audiences, making TV advertising actionable for the first time, helping establish a dialogue with consumers.

Gesture and voice-based Kinect technology have great potential for creativity. No jest.

Namarketing: Habits, and Social MediaHabit: A learned response to a stimulus that has become automatic and routine, requiring little or no cognitive effort. Influence is the ability to cause action, and action is the ability to act within and across social and private networks.  The people we influence the most are our friends and acquaintances in our private networks: family, friends, neighbors, classmates, churches and clubs.

The sum total of our private and social networks allows us to influence others. In network, content and relationships, the quality of the network, content and relationships is the most important thing. The social media habit of sharing quality content is where we add value and trigger action.

New Habit: Adopt Social Media

Personal branding and the responsibility and power of social media is demonstrated every day. The line between public and private life is a blurred one. We begin a conversation at school or work, and it leaps onto a social network, and then into text-based comments.

In a world where awareness of connections and degrees of separation are openly discussed, where networks are consciously cultivated and nurtured, people are connecting us to their networks, content and relationships. Those who change their social habits to include the private networks will be those who have the power to listen, to act and to change.

Is the Content Void continually harassing you? 

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Authorbob namar

Namar  and Namarketing Designed by England's Ministry of Information during WWII, the Keep Calm and Carry On poster has regained a place in the social fabric of the U.S. will versions representing everything from video games to dietary choices, appearing on tee shirts, key rings and, yes blogs. Never underestimate the power of a slogan.

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Authorbob namar

1. What do you do? 2. What problem do you solve?

3. How is your product or service different?

4. Why should I care?

Describe your product or service in 140 characters or less, short enough for a tweet. Business professionals who stand out are the ones who deliver their pitch in less than a minute, but still make their points quite persuasively.

But it is not all about speed or brevity as the infographic below details quite nicely.

Content communications

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Authorbob namar

Your business card is a marketing tool Birds of a feather will gather together. 

Centuries ago , English clergyman and scholar Thomas Burton studied and wrote about the nature of man, as well as science, history, politics... and social reform. His insight into social behavior--how beings of a like kind gather--has borne fruit in today's social media revolution.

A shorter time ago, the president of the company I was consulting for called his staff together to announce some changes to help the business. Among the items he presented was a plan to give everyone a business card. At that time, only employees who were in a sales position or had vendor relationships were given the little deck of 50-100 cards with their name on them. But this initiative would put business cards in the hands of everyone -- admins, designers, assistants, accounting personnel, production staff... everyone!

Why? He explained he wanted all employees to be ambassadors for the company. Even in social settings, he wanted everyone to be proud (and able) to show and share the brand with their own card. "You should be proud of where you work and the business should be proud of all of you," he said. "It's a small cost to give everyone cards," I remember him saying "and the return can be enormous."

His vision was for each one of his team to carry the brand out into the real world. He wanted to take advantage of their social networks to spread the name, and the reputation, of the firm. It was a great idea. Simple to explain and understand, cheap to execute and easy to implement. And it created buzz throughout the company as people felt empowered and validated by this simplest of measures.

Then it all crashed.

The business manager would not approve the expense. There was not a proper business case for an expenditure on business cards for people who had no business purpose to have business cards.

And like that, it was over. Get back to work. Opportunity avoided.

Thomas Burton had another famous saying that applies: Penny wise and pound foolish.

Your Advantage: Your employees. While some envision the growth for business that social behavior could bring, there is always skepticism about expenses associated with "experiments", just as there is an unwillingness to allow all employees to speak for the brand. FLASH: They already do.

Epilogue: I find it interesting that today, a couple of decades after my experience, we are on the verge of a new paradigm, total employee engagement, or what IBM is calling social business.

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Authorbob namar

Almost 100 years ago, in April, 1912 during the sinking of the Titanic, the ship's radio operators sent out distress calls begging for help. They intermixed "CQD" and "SOS" distress calls, hoping someone would respond. French was, and still is, the official language for international postal services.  The letters CQ, when pronounced in French, "sécu", resemble the first two syllables of sécurité, and were therefore used as shorthand for the word. It is still used in this sense in international telecommunications.  In English-speaking countries, the origin of the abbreviation was popularly changed to the phrase "seek you" or, later, when used in the CQD distress call, "Calling all distress". CQD appears to have died out shortly after this event, but SOS has lived on into today in popular culture.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the letters SOS were chosen because they are easily transmitted in Morse code; a continuous sequence of three-dits/three-dahs/three-dits, all run together without letter spacing. They were not an abbreviation, acronym or initialism for "Save our Ship", "Send Out Succour", or "Save our Souls". These were 'backronyms,' and came into popular use after SOS went into effect.

Today, marketers can rescue their business from its distress by intelligently applying content to their blogs, websites or tweets. Their key to success is as simple as S.O.S.: Solve Or Share.

But leave out the "sell"

Your blog should focus on your customers. Solve their problems; share your resources. Don't sell. As tempting as it may be to force yourself on your customer once you make a connection, resist!

In the movie War Games, Mathew Broderinck's character needed to 'break into' a computer (the WOPR) in order to prevent WWIII. The generals all stood by and watched as he chatted with and coerced the computer to play a game with him. As soon as he accessed the game, the generals jumped in and tried to manipulate the WOPR and it immediately shut them out. He had more work to do to get back int he good graces of the WOPR, which he did, and saved the world.

Like those generals, marketers are anxious to force themselves and 'news' about their company, products and services as soon as any tenuous connection is made with a consumer/customer.

But that won't engage prospects or attract customers. You need to write about what they care about.

What should you include? Ask your sales force or customer service staff  about the problems or questions they frequently encounter. What search terms are popular on your site? Think like a customer, or a reporter, not a salesperson.

When the Titanic was sinking, customers wanted to know where to get a life-jacket and how to find a lifeboat. They were not interested in the total tonnage displacement of the ship, or how many years of brilliant service the captain had under his belt.

Give your customers what they want and need, and it'll be smooth sailing.

----------------------------------- A new truth about the sinking of the Titanic?

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Authorbob namar

What do the Doobie Brothers know about marketing? Listen to the music... What the people need Is a way to make 'em smile It ain't so hard to do if you know how Gotta get a message Get it on through

The very best companies have built their business on the backs of customer satisfaction. It's the "number one rule" in business. We increasingly live in a customer-centered market economy.

Developing a strong marketing message that resonates with that specific group of people, and providing useful content related to your customer's needs, helps to build your credibility amongst that target market. You’ll be perceived as someone who specializes in that product or service. In effect, you'll become the “go-to” authority when someone is looking for solutions in your particular area.

While you develop your marketing message, think of the best way to communicate your differentiation. What would motivate someone to buy from you rather than someone else? And what do your prospects and customers want to know? ...need to know?

What social media has taught us is that a good conversation with your market can go a long way to making your business successful. And every good conversation starts with good listening.

Make the people smile.

What the people need is a way to make them smile.

..Gotta get a message, get it on through...

Listen to the music.

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Authorbob namar

What exactly do you do with content? I am not asking those of you who write, design, produce, create, edit, shape, film, review, strategize, draw or otherwise "make" the content. This is a question for those who have recoiled at the term 'consume' and are tired of being referred to as consumers. Marketers are quick to label people and their actions, but to me at least, this term rings true. While the first definition of consume is usually "to expend" (consuming gas, air, energy) the more appropriate use in this case has been "to use". When it comes to content, reading is using. Watching, listening, looking is using. Using is using.

How else can we refer to what we do with content if we don't "consume" it? Here is a word cloud of some other options.

Sure, you can appreciate content. You can absorb it. Assimilate or enjoy it. But I'd say these are redundant to the idea of consuming. We do consume. We are consumers.

Bottom Line: When it comes to content, after all is considered, the Consumer is King.

Consumers are the Kings of Content, and vice versa.

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Authorbob namar

The Wellington boot. Topboots, billy-boots, barnboots. Muckboots, sheepboots or gumboots.

The tall hunting boot, originally designed in leather for the Duke of Wellington, was recreated in rubber and became required footwear for use in Europe's flooded trenches of WWI. It then found further use again in WWII.

After the wars, gumboots became popular among men, women and children as general wet weather wear. Even Christopher Robin donned them to visit the 100 Aker Wood. Soon enough, laborers found them useful for daily work as they became the preferred protective shoe in all forms of industry, eventually including a steel toe. The gumboot was a versatile boot; a people's boot.

The gumboot was a successful manifestation of fulfilling a need, finding broad appropriate application for the product, and then, through design and marketing, elevating the product to global levels of success.

Social media and a consumer conversation

I thought about the international success of this remarkable, organically grown (in a marketing sense) product while I listened recently to Paul Simon's Gumboot. The song title refers to an African dance performed wearing the boot, but I was struck by the lyrics and how, like all good poetry, they seemed to be talking about something very current, unanticipated the time of its writing: social media.  Here's a conversation between a brand and a consumer, just the kind of conversation a company could--and should--be having with their customers.

I was walking down the street When I thought I heard this voice say Say, ain't we walking down the same street together On the very same day I said hey Senorita that's astute I said why don't we get together And call ourselves an institute

You don't feel you could love me But I feel you could You don't feel you could love me But I feel you could

Isn't that the acquisition mantra internally brewing in the mind of every marketing or sales professional?

"You don't feel you could love me, but I feel you could..."

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbQEbCu-lRA&w=210&h=170]

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Authorbob namar