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Content Marketing

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3 Thoughts to Jostle the Marketing Mind

Jason Khoo: 3 Thoughts to Jostle the Marketing Mind

This summer I devoted myself to honing my skills and learning the vast unknown of marketing. I decided to not pursue any internships or jobs. I thought it more beneficial to learn marketing by studying and applying what I learned on my own.

It was a gamble and a little hard, especially when all my peers went off to their internships or jobs with Google, Deloitte, EY, and other big companies. It has been almost 2 months and the following documents what I have learned during that time.

This is made especially for those who are just entering into the world of marketing and don’t really know what is going on.

1. Social Media can be all the schooling you need.

I use to think that in the online sphere, there was only so much you could learn. Why would anyone teach other people how to do their job?

I figured out during finals week of the Spring semester that I was completely wrong. When it came to study for my Market Research class, I found myself a little screwed. We had no textbook and also a complicated software, SPSS, that we were going to be tested on.

Beyond the software intricacies, there were algorithms, formulas, and processes that you had to understand in order to properly manipulate the data. Of course, like any college student, I could not for the life of me remember anything the professor talked about all semester.

Thus I decided to see if YouTube might have any videos. I was happily surprised. There were hundreds! Within 3 days I learned more than we did in the entire semester and when the final came around I was good to go.

After this experience, I told myself, if there were videos online teaching topics even about high powered, expensive software then I definitely can expand my knowledge of marketing on my own. So for the last two months, with the help of Twitter, YouTube, and tons of books I have exponentially grown my comfort ability and confidence in Marketing.

If you want any recommendations for people to follow, message me and I can give you a list.

2. Marketing is too Inter-Connected to just know One section

I am a huge basketball junkie. I watch, play, read, and train basketball. So for this section I am going to use Basketball as a comparison.

Throughout my educational career, especially my college years, my peers have continually explained to me it is pointless to know everything, just know one thing. With that being said, I disagree with that statement.

Marketing is a vast network of many trades that are extremely different and intricate. There is the coding side of Web Design and SEO, the analytics side of Market Research, and creative side of Campaign Creation. However, they are not so different that they should be taken in isolation. [Here is where the basketball analogy starts] There is a saying in the NBA, that the minimum to get into the NBA is to be a shooter. Every team needs a shooter.

I thought about that statement and I've realized that it holds true if you want to reach the bare minimum. If your a shooter, you have to rely on other players to get you open, to get you the ball, to get the rebound, and to play defense. If all you can do is shoot, pretty much you won’t be playing much. The best players and even just the role players have AT LEAST 2 — 3 skills.

When we take a look at players like Kobe and LeBron, they are widely seen as the top two players in our generation. These two can shoot, dribble, rebound, command teammates, pass the ball, and play defense. Though it might seem unfair to compare to the two most iconic players in the league, they are the most recognizable and appropriate for the comparison. However, the hundreds of other players who make it to the NBA are required to have all these talents as well. To think you can make it to the highest stage by only knowing one skill, you won’t make it. So if you want to be great at what you do, you better start learning multiple marketing disciplines.*

That being said though, what you will be happy to know, once you learn more and more of the different areas of marketing, it becomes easier and easier to learn. Everything is so interrelated that the time it takes to grasp concepts is much quicker.

*In a future post I will explain the inter-connectedness in further detail

3. Social Media isn't the future, it’s Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a concept that really is not new, it just finally has a term associated with it. Content Marketing is essentially publishing and marketing information, facts, stories, and anything people generally find interesting.

Every business does it, but how effective a certain business varies widely.

My favorite example, is the LEGO Company. LEGO’s lost their patent in the late 80's and yet many companies have tried to jump in on the success of these building blocks, but none have really gained any ground. Why is this?

The reason is because LEGOs does an amazing job with its content marketing. Each LEGO set has a story, a contextual connection with other LEGO sets. The company enhances the experience by immersing the user with the exciting content that is associated with it’s products. This includes the LEGO movie, Star Wars and other partnerships, and the overall theme that each LEGO is made in conjunction with.

This is where many businesses go wrong. They feel that Social Media is the future and though it does have a lot of upside, if you don’t properly create a content strategy, you might as well ditch the Facebook/Social Media strategy. Businesses must first create interesting content that pertains to their business, THEN they can start posting.

Social Media is simply a channel, Content Marketing is the actual message. Make sure you have your message before you start talking.

If you want to know more about Content Marketing, I recommend looking up CopyBlogger, NewsCred, and to buy the book Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi.

In Conclusion…

I've really been at this marketing game for about 2 years now, but I am obsessed with it. I have not had this much obsession since I first started playing basketball 8 years ago.

I hope that this post and the ones after can help those who are just like me and just trying to learn about marketing and it’s craziness.

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Stop thinking you need to be an Expert

Jason Khoo: Stop Thinking You Need to be An Expert

For years I waited to write this blog because I thought I was a noob. Why would anyone want to read or listen to anything that I had to say. So I decided to wait to get more experience before really committing to blogging. However, I was mistaken. You do not have to be an expert to be followed and listened to. Just look at who you talk to when you talk about workouts for your abs. The friend you know who goes to the gym. Where do you go look for food recommendations? Yelp. Your friend who happens to go to the gym or the millions of Yelp users are FAR from experts. They are just people who are similar to us trying to achieve a common goal. We give these people our complete attention though when it comes to product reviews online and Yelp ratings.

So stop thinking you need to be an expert. As long as you are honestly trying to reach a certain goal you have every right to share information.

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Write Different, Be Different

Jason Khoo: Write Different, Be Different

Yesterday I filled out an application to apply for a job. This was a relatively prestigious firm and as I was creating my resume and cover letter I thought of something interest. Why was I staring at so many templates and example resumes. The whole point of this world and especially marketing is to stand out, be yourself. In order to be different from everyone else I had to write with voice, my voice. I talked with words and structure that fits me.

There is no point in trying to sound better than everyone else by using the same words, sentence structure, format and white space. Do something different, change it up. If you don't, you will work for a company or with clients that want resume you, not the true you. Save yourself the headache and conflict, be yourself and you will find those people who want you.

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Win your Customer with a Sentence, not an Essay

Jason Khoo: Marketing with Simplicity, Not Complexity

I was at Walgreen about an hour ago and I was walking around the aisles and came across Hot Cheetos Fries. I knew not to do it, I spent months trying to get back into shape, countless games of basketball, and hours of staring at my stomach in the mirror. I looked at the back of the bag knowing how unhealthy the bag of chemicals was for my system. I tried so hard to convince myself to tell myself no. I began reciting all the reasons why it was bad for me, how for my health this was one the worst decisions I could make.

After what seemed like an hour long worth of reasons, but really, was probably only about 30 seconds, I made my decision.

I bought the bag of Hot Cheetos Fries.

Why? Quite simply because I wanted to taste the blend of spiciness and soft potato chip texture of these fake fries. After a whole set of debate and reasoning on the no side, one simple argument on the buy side of the debate won. It tasted good and would give me momentary pleasure.

We need to remember the best arguments are not overload with information, reasoning, and logical conclusions. The best arguments are the ones that tap into our emotion and feelings immediately. Buying the chips gave me a sense of momentary pleasure. I kept trying to convince myself with reason and logic to not buy the chips, but i succumbed to my senses.

If I had maybe tried convincing myself not to buy by picturing the sadness of looking at the mirror or that inferior feeling of being at the beach, it would have prevented me from the purchase.

So remember, lots of research and thought goes into the persuasion of the sale, but at the end of the day we need to realize that simplicity wins the day, not complexity. That is why every essay has one theme, every episode has one moral lesson.

What is the simple message of your advertising? Can it be summarized in one emotion or sentence? Or is it a complex aggregation of arguments and logic?

(P.S: I feel terrible right now after eating those Hot Cheetos Fries. ARGH!)

 

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Making Content Marketing Make Sense for You

Jason Khoo: Making Content Marketing Easy for You

Recently, if you noticed I haven't been able to post as much on my blog. (I know it's terrible!!!) My excuse is my school's organization, Entrepreneur Society. I have worked with the organization for four years and as I conclude my final year of college I am now a student adviser. Every week I spend hours researching, preparing, and prepping the new leadership to present educational and exciting information to our new members. Over the last 4 weeks I have been able to gain a new perspective on Content Marketing.

1. Content Marketing is easy when you are creating a product for your customer!

This is the one and ONLY bullet point today, but I am doing this because it is so important. Many businesses have a hard time coming up with the right content for it's customers. Creating stories and articles is pretty much a warp back to the anguish of High School Essays.

What I found though is that if your business/organization is focusing and creating a product that is centered around its customer, then the content marketing section of the business becomes no work at all. Our organization's goal is to help our members take their first step on starting their business. We create presentations, events, and worksheets that help stimulate the Entrepreneur mindset and give confidence to our members to take that leap of faith.

There is so much information that we would like to convey to our members, however, with only one hour a week there is only so much we can do. Here is where content marketing should come in! All those interesting stories, helpful supplements and worksheets we deliver through the different channels of marketing our organization takes part in.

So when thinking about how to convey this to your own business remember, what are all the stories that you wish you could tell your customer? What extra facts and info do you think will enhance the customer's experience? Answer questions like these and your content marketing experience will become ten times easier.

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