Creating Loyal Brands : Themes Of The Week...

So much content, so little time...

A weekly round-up of the themes and posts I found particularly interesting or useful.

This week provided much for marketers and brands to chew on. The changing nature of marketing, the role of purpose in business, the challenges of content marketing, and the realities of Big Data all provoked thoughtful conversations and advice.

Brave new world...
Several posts looked at how marketing is changing, and offered a variety of advice.

Five ways branding is changing provided a useful practitioners view of the big tectonic shifts that are underway.
4 Popular Marketing Concepts That Need to be Rethought took a provocative look at conventional marketing wisdom, and showed how they needed to change.
3 essential truths, golden rules to live by in the digital age offered simple but powerful advice for brands today.
While In Search Of Brand Coherence showed how today, brands need to align their behavior with everything they offer.

Of purpose and profits...
While conventional wisdom sees the purpose of businesses and their brands as profit maximization, several posts argued that adopting a higher purpose is the better route to creating long-term value.

The New Management Paradigm & John Mackey's Whole Foods provided a thoughtful review of John Mackey's book Conscious Capitalism, which convincingly argues for redefining business around a higher purpose and core values.
Every Business Is (Or Should Be) a Social Business showed how the historical division between social and non-social business and "purpose" vs. "profits" is both artificial and out-of-date.
How social innovation builds your brand and bottom line examined some examples of how brands are showcasing their social innovation credentials to engage customers and demonstrate the value they bring to the community.
While How Brands And Personal Responsibility Are Trumping Politics demonstrated how people across the world are starting to believe that they have more influence as consumers than voters, and that businesses bear as much responsibility as governments for driving positive social change.

We're all publishers now...
Traditionally advertising has been based on interruption, but marketers today need increasingly to engage and entertain customers without interruption, which brings its own challenges.

Marketers are Today's Journalists highlighted the change in mindset that content marketing demands of brands, if they're going to be successful.
Solving the Content Creation Conundrum looked at how marketers don't really understand content marketing, or how to measure it.
Idiosyncrasy, Artistry, And The Future Of Content Marketing argued that the creation of compelling content cannot simply be automated, as some brands are trying to do.
While What we can learn from The Atlantic's sponsored content debacle highlighted the need for sponsored content to be useful and aligned with your brand.

How big is Big Data...
Finally, Big Data was again the subject of several posts, which highlighted both its opportunity, and its limitations.

Big Data: Getting Ready For The 2013 Big Bang passionately argued that businesses need to embrace the business and customer insights data brings to stay relevant, or face extinction.
Illusions of Expertise: Why Marketers Should Start Listening to Data looked at how our technical capacity to analyze data is growing faster than marketers ability to understand what it says.
While Why big data might be more about automation than insights suggested that while big data can make businesses a lot more efficient, it still requires human intuition to get to real insights.

It's certainly shaping up to be an interesting year.

Have a good weekend...