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John Bell
I am an eternally curious father, husband, and creative marketer
Interests: Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, Peter Carey, Social Distortion, J.M. Coetzee, graphic design, sign-painting, design magazines, short story writing, Matt Dillon, Martin Scorcese, Wim Wenders
Recent Activity
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Established businesses struggle with maintaining organic innovation. They inevitably gravitate to the ‘operational’ side of their business looking to squeeze efficiency to meet important numbers. Innovation is messy and counter to those operational priorities. (see Roger Martin's The Design of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2016 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Marketers once created brand value propositions that claimed the benefits of a particular brand. Advertising was then created to telegraph that brand position in the hopes that repeated exposures would establish that brand position in people’s minds. But times have... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2016 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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The ANA held its annual ANA Digital & Social Media Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado this past week. I continue to be impressed with the quality of the content and programming from this organization. The staff is smart and energetic.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2016 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Some brands embrace a higher purpose than shareholder value or simply making good widgets. Unilever has their Sustainable Living Plan which among other things aims to “Help more than a billion people to improve their health and well-being.” Purpose does... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2016 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Tons of advice tell brand marketers how to hijack the skills of great content publishers on behalf of their product or service. “Make it share-worthy” by studying how Buzzfeed does it; tell authentic stories; choose pictures worth clicking on; and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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We have a healthy debate inside our group about the intersection of content and marketing. Is the discipline of creating useful content or “content marketing” bigger and broader than “marketing?” Sam Slaughter of Contently (@samslaughter215) makes that case in a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2016 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Content marketing remains fairly new for many marketers. The (appropriately) loud voices in the marketplace like The Content Marketing Institute make it feel like the trend of using valuable content to engage customers to action or to progress along the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2016 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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I have been re-reading A.G.Lafley and Roger Martin’s Playing to Win. Okay, I have been noodling through it via my Kindle Reader for some months now. I gobbled up the first chapters quickly convinced that I found my peeps. Then... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2016 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Google recently announced support for programmatic native ad buying and delivery in mobile. It is a hard nut to crack as it will require coordination between the ad networks with sophisticated programmatic buying capabilities like Google’s DoubleClick and standardization across... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Reading the marketing trades online, one would get the sense that every brand has gotten wise to the value of content marketing and is busy shifting budget dollars from ineffective display or interruptive advertising to juicy content. But attend a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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No big mystery that Xerox CMO John Kennedy would embrace content as a way to achieve commercial and brand goals. After all, he was part of IBM’s golden years of Smarter Planet. That initiative famously created a bigger, purpose-driven platform... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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I love Native Advertising. When it’s done well, it is user-centered and delivering value to the reader/user. Valuable content allows a brand to demonstrate rather than claim its strengths. It’s one thing to say you are an expert in supply... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Marketing automation and intelligence aims to make marketing and, potentially, sales more efficient. They can become the high performance engine that marketing never had. Investments in marketing technology continue to rise in many large companies making the CMO a primary... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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I just got back from my first BMA event, BMA15. This is the association of B2B marketing professionals. (TirelessMC Gary Slack pictured above) The hall held more than a thousand people from brands, agencies and technology providers. Informative, thought-provoking sessions... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Simple, open stories with a clear hierarchy that is easy to follow. That’s all I want. I still have my RSS reader to scan the hundreds of stories I track daily. That approach works perfectly well on smart phone as... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Marketing and sales should be closer disciplines. Too many organizations manage them separately and end up engaging prospects in very different ways. There is a lot of wisdom in using very similar content in integrated marketing programs as in your... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Like any brand marketer, I went through the 3 phases of Facebook algorithm grief in 2014: outrage, sadness, and finally, sanguinity. The changes to the Facebook algorithm that may ultimately limit the organic exposure to 1-2% of your fan base... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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One of the biggest changes for marketers over the next 10 years will be to become more and more data-driven. Think about what that actually means. If you are a direct marketer, that’s all about more precise performance measurement. If... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Being ‘modern’ sounds quaint. It’s one of those baffling descriptors used for architecture and even art that more often than not describes something created a long time ago. But the simple definition of modern means “of, relating to, or characteristic... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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First things first. I have to actually get to CES 2015. Last year, record snowfall grounded me. Since it’s almost 50 degrees about a week in advance, I am pretty sure I’ll make it this year. If you are there,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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I am always learning. While I have accrued expertise in many areas, my knowledge is never static, never authoritative, always subject to improvement. I learn from doing. I learn from interaction and I learn from reading just a ton of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
Brands who want to get the most out of a content marketing program ought to embrace a user-centered approach to developing and delivering that content. The content and the channels that deliver that content should be designed around prospect and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2014 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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I love reading fiction. Trouble is, I just don’t have that much time to read. I squeak in a bit each day but I am too embarrassed to admit how many pages (paragraphs?) I manage before I fall asleep. I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2014 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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Hack the Solution Watching the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in London this past weekend, I was reminded about all of the live collaborative creative sessions that I have been a part of over the last several years. (BTW Infected Flight -... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2014 at Digital Influence Mapping Project
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As marketers, we are paid to get people to take an action, usually one that improves the financial or mission performance of an organization (sales, money-donated, customer retention, etc…). We are trying to get people to buy, buy often, support... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at Digital Influence Mapping Project