5 Reasons Why I Love the Hubspot COS

Posted by Brent Martino

Dec 21, 2015 1:00:00 PM

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When Hubspot first introduced their Content Optimization System I wasn’t sure what to make of it. After all, I had spent years learning HTML, CSS and then came content management systems which required me to begrudgingly relearn how to build a website. I was not a big fan of Content Management Systems (CMS), I felt like after all the years spent learning to hand code it took away too much control.

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Topics: Digital Design, Inbound Marketing, Hubspot, COS

3 Obvious Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Web Site

Posted by Brent Martino

Oct 7, 2014 5:14:35 PM

questionsI recently attended the 2014 HubSpot Inbound Conference. if you are doing any sort of content/inbound marketing, I highly recommend checking it out. Typically I go to a conference with a well mapped out plan so I can maximize my time there, but as often happens sessions fill up and you have to alter the plan, which sometimes turns out to be for the best. In this case a last minute change to my schedule wound up sparking a big change to how I think about the web sites I develop. From now on I'm asking myself and anyone else in the room three obvious but often difficult to answer questions about the sites we build.

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Topics: Digital Design

3 Reasons to Build a Responsive Website

Posted by Brent Martino

Sep 9, 2014 2:58:00 PM

3 Reasons to Build a Responsive Web SiteAs I sit here watching the countdown clock on Apple's website tick down to what is hopefully their much anticipated announcement of the iPhone 6, it occurs to me how important my smart phone has become to me over the last couple of years. Just a few years ago, my phone was just a phone: I got calls on it, text messages and occasionally accessed web sites through the clunky and oftentimes painfully slow web browsers. Fast forward to present day and my phone is within a couple feet of me at all times. I use it for everything. It's become my main source of communication (text), music collection (Spotify), my radio (Pandora), my television (YouTube, Netflix), my encyclopedia (Wikipedia), my navigator (Google Maps), my camera, my video recorder and information finder (Google). About the only thing I don't use my phone for is to make calls ( I hate talking on the phone).

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Topics: Digital Design

A Recipe for Good Branding

Posted by Andrea Drown

May 1, 2014 3:57:00 PM

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The funny commercials, bright signs, using kids to advertise, claiming “best” and “all natural”, mini toys, promotions for bargains ($1 for a coffee and a burger anyone?). Why wouldn’t all that seem enticing, especially to a six-year-old. Actually, that might be enticing to many age groups.

Teaching a child what is right or wrong may be difficult for many. Not everyone will agree with this opinion, but eating at a fast food shop two, three or four times a week IS wrong. I get it; I do let my kids eat at McD’s once a year because, well, just because. But after all of the bad press on most of these chains, why would anyone want to eat there, or believe all of the great stuff these companies claim about their products? It’s clever branding for sure and the FDA isn’t telling them they can’t advertise this way, so why would they stop? These fast-food operations aren’t telling the hard truth and some of us don’t realize that the products are just plain old unhealthy. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the pink slime scandal. This disturbing video renowned chef, Jamie Oliver put together shows this process. Nasty, right?!

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Topics: Branding, Content Development, Digital Design, Social Media, Public Relations, Organization Alignment

Happy 25th Birthday World Wide Web

Posted by Brent Martino

Mar 13, 2014 4:54:11 PM

birthday-catIt hardly seems possible you’re 25 already. Since you’re a global network of interconnected information I’m not sure if that makes you a young adult, teenager or maybe you’re still a toddler. You’ve grown so much it’s hard to tell. I guess it also depends on how long you last, as I suspect you’ll be with us in some fashion as long as there is an “us.”

In the early years you were nothing more than a bunch of hyperlinked documents created by your creator Tim Berners-Lee and his buddies at CERN and other places. I’m sure in the early days they thought you would just be used by scientists and academics, but in 25 years you’ve become so much more. I first met you in 1993 not long before Netscape came to be. You could be a pretty cranky baby back then; all I had was a modem and your pages could take a long time to download. Like most babies you couldn’t do much, text and images were about it at the time. Little by little you learned to do more. Remember when you first learned animated GIFs? They were cool at first, but then people started getting crazy and used them as tiled backgrounds. This was about the time you went through the first of your many tacky phases. Remember the <blink> tag? Sorry I know you’re a bit sensitive about that one.

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Topics: Digital Design

Five Tips to Engage Your Staff and Boost Organization Alignment with an Internal Communications Platform.

Posted by Brent Martino

Feb 18, 2014 10:00:00 AM

web“Intranet.” I cringe whenever I hear the word. To the people proposing an intranet, it sounds like a great tool to bring employees together and get everyone on the same page. To the users it sounds like another boring, hard-to-use internal system that will very quickly be collecting cobwebs on a company server in the basement. In theory, an intranet should be a great tool. In practice, most users don’t pay much attention to them. The five tips below can help you create an intranet your employees might actually want to use and participate in or better yet one they might actually enjoy.

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Topics: Content Development, Digital Design, Organization Alignment

Is your brand using video as part of your inbound marketing strategy?

Posted by Brent Martino

Dec 11, 2013 2:22:00 PM

video-headsIt’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, then video at thirty frames (pictures) a second is worth 1.8 million words a minute. Over the last few years as bandwidth has become cheap, video has practically taken over the web. Unlike other web technologies that promised to be the next big thing but wound up nothing more than a fad, video is here to stay. In fact it’s expected to continue to grow. According to the Cisco visual networking index report from May 29, 2013, video traffic will make up 69% of all internet traffic by 2017. If video isn’t part of your inbound marketing strategy, it should be.

Unlike other content, video has a place in all stages of inbound marketing methodology. It can be used to attract, convert, close and delight your customers and potential customers. Many studies over the last several years have shown that users prefer video. For example, Software Advice's 2012 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey found over 90% of respondents chose video over other content such as whitepapers, case studies, webinars, etc.

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Video, Digital Design, Inbound Marketing

5 questions you should ask yourself before redesigning your website.

Posted by Brent Martino

Nov 7, 2013 10:30:00 AM

5-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-redesigning-your-siteSo you woke up this morning and realized your website sucks. Before you contact a web development firm, spend some time answering these five questions. You’ll develop a much clearer picture of what you want and need from a new site. The more information you have going into a redesign, the smoother things will go. Web projects can get complex quickly. Having the answers to these five questions will allow you to better articulate your project to potential development firms.

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Digital Design

Welcome to the Digital Hive

Posted by Brent Martino

Oct 15, 2013 11:00:00 AM

digital hiveGenerally speaking, I don’t get out much. Every few years I find myself at a digital marketing conference. In 2006 I attended an IT conference as part of Mac World, in ‘08 it was at a podcasting and new media expo and this past August it was the HubSpot Inbound13 Inbound Marketing conference.

Conferences generally follow the same format, register: attend sessions, take notes, have a “networking” lunch with people you don’t know (awkward), fill up a bag or two with free swag, and then go home. When it’s over you typically get access to each of the presentations which is great because I only pretend to take notes (it makes me look studious).

In the past when attending a session, it was good manners to put away devices and pay attention to the speakers. Conferences aren’t cheap so may as well pay attention. Between Mac World and this year’s Inbound13 I’ve noticed a change in the unspoken device interaction rule. At Mac World most people had laptops with them and they used them during seminars. I found this a bit annoying but my sessions were IT focused so it was to be expected. This was back in 2006 a full year before the iPhone came out and 4 years before the iPad. For the most part, people were still engaged with the speaker, watching, listening and taking notes on their laptop.

Jump ahead two years to the Podcast/New Media Expo and we are now a year post iPhone. Not too much had changed though a lot of people recorded the audio of the sessions on their phones and other devices. After all, this was a podcasting expo.

Fast forward to Hubspot’s Inbound13 and devices are everywhere. Everyone has at least one and many have two or three. At first I found this crazy. Why be distracted by all of these devices when you’re supposed to be paying attention? I quickly learned that resistance is futile. We are at the dawn of becoming a hive-based culture and the trip from individual to part of the digital collective is a short one. The following is an account of how I made that trip in only three days.

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Topics: Digital Design, Social Media

Marketing Execution: The 3 Common Digital Archetypes

Posted by Brent Martino

Apr 1, 2013 9:53:00 AM

digital jungI recently read a great article titled “Brand Strategy and Jung’s Archetypes,” which talked about Carl Jung’s concept of 12 Common Archetypes and how Jungian theory has been applied to post World War II branding and advertising. In Jung’s concept, there are twelve basic types that symbolize basic human motivations. Most of us are made up of several with one being the more dominant. I apologize to all of you Jungian’s out there for the brief description of such a complex topic but I’m trying to keep this post to fewer than 1000 words. Anyway the article and 4 espressos got me thinking of a theory I came up with a few years ago. After 16 years working in all aspects of digital, I have come to the conclusion that there are three basic types of people working in the world of digital development, let’s call them the 3 Common Digital Archetypes. They are The Futurist, The Purist and The Builder. As in Jung’s concept, you can be composed of parts of all three but one is the dominant archetype. I think it’s important to have all three well represented across your digital team.

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Topics: Marketing Execution, Digital Design