Posted in Useful Tools, Publications, and Reviews on October 06, 2010 by Ann-Christin Lindstedt
Have you ever attended a class or seminar that taught you everything you wanted to know about a business concept except how to apply it in real life? By the end, your head is swimming with theories. You know why you should do it. You just have no idea HOW to do it.
Well, if content marketing is high on your priority list to implement in your business, there’s good news. Joe Pulizzi, author of Get Content, Get Customers, and his team at the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) have purposely built their site around practical, how-to information and advice.
In their own words: “We launched the Content Marketing Institute in May 2010 as a meeting ground for the brightest minds to give you real-world how-to advice about content marketing in any venue: online, mobile, in-person and in print. No fluff, just practical insights.”
The Content Marketing Institute blog is at the top of my reading list so when Michele Linn, CMI’s Executive Editor and co-founder of Savvy B2B Marketing, asked me to become a CMI contributor, I was thrilled to say the least. What an honor to write alongside the brilliant contributors CMI has gathered. And how exciting to interact with and learn from the global professionals visiting CMI daily.
If you haven’t already discovered this gem, take a few minutes today to browse through the Content Marketing Institute blog. You won’t be disappointed.
Now, before you go, tell me:
Posted in American Business and Consumer Insights for Europe on September 20, 2010 by Ann-Christin Lindstedt
European marketers and business owners: are you interested in B2B (business-to-business) opportunities in the United States? I'm guessing that places like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago spring to mind, right? Of course, these are huge metropolitan areas filled with every kind of business you can imagine. Yet, allow me to direct your attention to the southwest for a moment. Texas, to be more precise. What springs to mind now? Cowboys, longhorn cattle, and rodeos? Oh, but there's so much more.
This year's ranking by CNBC crowns Texas as the top state in the USA for business in 2010, citing Texas' strong economy as an important factor. In fact, the study describes the Texas economy as "the 15th largest in the world, according to government figures; larger, for example, than all the Scandinavian nations combined."
Now, Texas is my home state and I'm certainly "Texas Proud" about a lot of things the Lone Star State has to offer. But when it comes to business opportunities, I'm not unduly biased. The evidence is clear.
Here are just a few of the characteristics that make Texas a top place to consider for B2B marketing and other business opportunities in the USA:
Cost of Living:
Technology & Innovation:
Population/Workforce & Land:
► Interested in learning about effective B2B marketing, communication, content marketing, corporate communication, and copywriting for Texas and the rest of the USA? Please leave a comment or contact me with specific questions and/or topics.
Posted in Marketing on July 16, 2010 by Ann-Christin Lindstedt
It was HOT in Sweden this week. And being from Texas, I don't use that word lightly. Now, before all my friends in Texas start hollerin' at me for complaining about Nordic temperatures: yes, of course, I realize it's not as hot here as it is in Texas. However, there's a big difference in how we experience warmer temperatures in Sweden.
After our bodies have acclimated to 8+ months of cold weather, it's a shock when the temperature suddenly rises. And here's the catch: we can't escape the heat. There is no indoor air conditioning here. There hasn't been much of a breeze, either. The sun is up until midnight, and our upstairs bedrooms act like little greenhouses — storing all the heat they can. And the office? Yikes! The computer monitors add to the heat, making concentration nearly impossible.
At 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (26-32 C), I've been more miserable than I was on most triple-digit days (40+ C) in Texas. Is it any wonder most Scandinavians take long summer vacations and spend countless hours at the beach? Growing up in Houston, I thought my family in Scandinavia didn't know what "real heat" was. How could they complain? Now, I understand.
Here's the point of my heat wave rant:
When marketing your products, services, or ideas, remember: your perspective is not their perspective — and their perspective is more important.
That seems basic, right? We know it's vital to connect with our audience, and we know many factors influence audience perspective: cultural norms, peer influences, available local resources, history, climate, languages and dialects, standard technology and equipment, etc.
Yet, it's still easy to fall into the trap of assuming some things are the same for everyone. Because of our own natural perceptions and life experiences, there are factors we wouldn't even think to consider. Things that seem innate, universal. After all, wouldn't many of us assume 80 degrees (26 C) feels the same for everyone?
The danger is if, when we become aware of differences, we ignore them or judge them.
People living in different parts of the world may experience and perceive your business, services, products, and website in some unexpected ways. Their problems, "pain points," likes and dislikes in these areas are real and serious. If their support is important to you, address their experiences properly.
Happy summer! I'll be at the beach with my laptop if anyone needs me.
Posted in International Communication on July 02, 2010 by Ann-Christin Lindstedt
Recently, I was talking with a friend of mine from
That’s when she looked at me with a strange expression on her face. “Biscuits?” she asked. “For breakfast?”
You see, in the
My friend was disgusted when I mentioned having biscuits and eggs for breakfast. We were both speaking English, but our minds had conjured very different images and emotions from just that one word. It was startling, confusing, disconnecting, and it threw off the whole conversation.
We laughed about it, of course. And it was educational. But when you’re writing to customers or business partners online, in brochures, or via email, you don’t get to know immediately if they’ve misunderstood something. You won’t know if they’re thinking or feeling something completely different from what you’d hoped.
In your international marketing and communication, you want to connect clearly, easily, and naturally.
Before you mail your next sales letter, print a new brochure, or click send on your latest email blast, give it a “biscuit test.” If anything is unclear (based on feedback from native regional English experts), consider creating separate communications for each target region. It may take some extra effort, but the returns will be worth it.
Posted in Social Media on May 31, 2010 by Ann-Christin Lindstedt
As a business-to-business (B2B) professional in Europe, does the pervasive use of Twitter in North America mystify you? Do you think of it solely as the domain of bored American teenagers and Hollywood stars? I understand. I did, too, until I tried it — and now it's a vital component of my marketing strategy and business development.
After reading the smart discussion on Twitter's #B2Bchat last week about best practices for professional and corporate Twitter (transcript), I was inspired to share what I've learned from great minds like theirs as well as my own experiences.
I hope this will convince some of you who are wavering about Twitter to give it a try — and to do it with the right mindset.*
1. Twitter is a Good Investment of Your Time. Really.
2. Don't Worry if You Don't Find Your Clients on Twitter. Focus on Industry Influencers & Thought-Leaders.
3. Realize It's Social: Follow and Interact.
4. Twitter Success is About Consistency of Value and Interaction.
5. Don't Feel Pressured to Perform or Conform. Find Your Voice. Be Yourself.
6. Have a Plan or You'll Get Sucked into a Twitter Time Warp.
7. If You Want Global Reach, You Will Need to Use English — at Least Part of the Time.
8. To Interact with an International Audience, Use Scheduled Tweets.
9. Give it at Least 3 Months of Concerted Effort before Forming an Opinion.
► If you're an experienced Twitterer, what other advice would you give someone who isn't convinced Twitter is good for business?
► If you're in B2B, what questions do you have about Twitter's usefulness for your business?
► If you're ready to create a Twitter profile, be sure to follow me @useglobalreach. I'd love to hear from you.
- In Plain English, Please (Writing for an International Audience) Posted in International Communication
- Why Translating Your Website into English is a Bad Idea Posted in International Communication
- Content Utility: What Batman Can Teach You About Content Marketing Posted in Content Marketing (Content Utility)
- 4 Flaws That Weaken Your International Business Writing Posted in International Communication
- What a Swedish Heat Wave Can Teach You about Marketing Perspective Posted in Marketing
- 9 Things European B2B Professionals Should Know About Twitter Posted in Social Media
- Loose Lips Sink Ships (and Brands): a friendly reminder to watch what you say on social media Posted in Social Media
- Choosing the Right Digital Notebook: A Quick Note on OneNote v. Evernote Posted in Useful Tools, Publications, and Reviews
- How Weak International Business Writing Can Destroy Your Brand Posted in International Communication
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