Tim Parker's blog

05/13/2014
Marketing Automation and Thought Leadership Marketing automation is the next big thing. It has worked wonders for Amazon. But now vendors are pitching it to companies that sell B2B products and services. They’re promising B2B firms that they can attract prospects with content and then manage them...
05/13/2014
We frequently publish articles in third-party journals on behalf of our clients. You can see some of them featured in “Recent Client Successes” on our home page (top right). Sometimes people ask us how we do it and we tell them. But we’ve never published our approach. So in the spirit of an earlier...
04/28/2014
With thought leadership exploding as the next big thing in B2B marketing, there has been an eruption of punditry offering to define it for us. A search on “What is thought leadership?” returns about 34,000 citations on Google. And it seems a new attempt at definition arrives in my mailbox via...
04/09/2014
We’ve lived with social media for a good 10 years now. Despite the passing of a decade in which we’ve all become familiar with social media tools – figured out the ones we like, dropped the ones we don’t, and generally ceased being excited about them – the  hype shows no sign of abating. The trend...
03/19/2014
I once wrote a post here about why developing and writing thought leadership content is harder than many people think. I explained that one of the reasons it’s so hard is that the source of a firm’s insights – its consultants and experts – are almost by definition an inch wide and a mile deep in...
02/19/2014
I was told last week by a B2B conference organizer (named Susie) that thought leadership is the biggest new thing in B2B marketing. I cite her as an authority because she has no reason to be biased on the topic – whereas I clearly do. She asked me what I saw as the biggest barriers that companies...
01/17/2014
Demand Media’s share price today is $5.50, down from a high of $24.55 shortly after it went public in 2011. This is good news for companies that can create good content. Let me explain why. Demand Media is one of several “content farms” that sprang up in the first decade of the new millennium to...
11/21/2013
Your mother probably told you never to sell the family silver: the bowl with your coat of arms lovingly etched on the side, the flatware with your family initials beautifully engraved on the shafts. In the professional services world, there’s a similar feeling about a firm’s proprietary insights...
11/08/2013
Recently, more than one person has taken our work, edited it slightly and used it for their purposes. So let’s talk about why this is a bad idea. And it’s not just because copyright violation is crime. The demands on B2B content creators are continually rising. In a study we conducted earlier this...
08/26/2013
We’ve long been advocates of writing in plain English, but our remonstrations have fallen, like dead leaves, on deaf ears.  Buzzwords continue to reign in business marketing, and their stubborn persistence has forced us to rethink our position.  We pride ourselves on taking a clear-eyed, evidence-...
07/19/2013
Most professional services firms today can’t generate enough good material fast enough to put distance between themselves and their competitors. But that's because they're not making the most of a source of intellectual capital right under their noses: their professionals in the field. Why are they...
03/24/2013
Over the weekend I watched a TED talk (here) by Andrew Stanton, the writer of all three Toy Story movies, and writer/director for Wall-E, Finding Nemo and John Carter. In it Stanton lays out some of the lessons he’s learned over the years, both from others and from his own trials and errors, about...
02/03/2013
Perhaps the biggest challenge for B2B content marketers today is creating strong content, quickly and consistently (see chart). The standard is continually rising for both the quantity of great ideas and how compelling they must be to stand out in an increasingly cluttered marketplace. But as Jeff...
01/08/2013
Mostly Yes, and a little bit No. Let me tell you a story. About a month ago I got a call from “one of the country’s biggest search engine optimization firms,” based in California. Since the sales guy was appealingly non-pushy, I agreed to talk with an ‘SEO technician’ next. He turned out to be the...
12/17/2012
It might seem odd to turn to the literary masters for lessons on business writing. But I think there are some we can learn. And the first has to do with clarity. Here are a few excerpts from some of the greatest fiction writers of the 20th century. Ernest Hemingway: “The house was built on the...
12/03/2012
Lots of companies actually. Especially those that: Primarily sell expertise: I.e., professional services firms, especially management consultancies and IT services companies Sell complex products with associated services: E.g., call center telephony systems, business intelligence software Sell...
11/16/2012
Anyone who invests in thought leadership wants a good return on their investment, whether in leads generated, engagements closed or reputation enhanced. But there are many ways companies can make sure they don’t get a good payback. Here are the 10 worst ones we commonly see, from strategic...
06/07/2012
We just conducted our third consecutive study on the use social media for marketing by management consulting firms (with AMCF and Research Now). We found that social media is becoming ever more important to those firms and to their clients. And we wondered, as it does, how will that affect the...
05/16/2012
Usually companies publish thought leadership to be more visible in the marketplace. But sometimes when they publish research-based material, they do everything right until, at the very end, they inadvertently dilute the impact and limit their audience. To make sure we get interesting results from...
04/13/2012
Good writing is important in business as everyone knows. And it’s especially important for professional services firms publishing articles, research studies and white papers. These things show off a firm’s expertise and so are actual samples of the firm’s product. A sales brochure for a printer,...

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