I’m not here to lie to you: Sheltering in place is getting pretty old. I do count my blessings, of course. My family and I are healthy. My wife and I both can work from home; our kids are pretty great; we actually enjoy each others’ company. Still. There are only so many loaves of bread you can bake, puzzles you can solve, board games you can play before the ennui sets in. If you’re like me, you could use a laugh right now. And I need to exercise my comedy muscles before they atrophy.And in a world where people are still writing articles called, “Should You Include Humor in Your B2B Content,” we need constant reminders that people like jokes. People like to laugh. Laughter brings you closer to your audience and creates a connection.Not that any of these jokes will make you laugh, of course — but I’ve heard that a smile and a groan is almost as good for you.
20 More Jokes Only a Marketer Could Love
Q: How many agile marketers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Three: A scrum master, a product owner, and a one-man development team. After a weeklong sprint, they deliver a candle, and then iterate from there.
I named my dog “Organic Reach on Facebook.”
I don’t have a dog.
We’re testing an influencer program where you can sponsor the cool kids in a high school to promote your product. We call it “pay per clique.”
Automated personalization, who?
%First_Name, we miss you! Hope things are good in %City.
I hired an ex-marketer to remodel my bathroom. But he couldn’t get the shower dimensions right, because he was only interested in vanity measurements.
I just consulted on a popular spice company’s website. My sage advice was that they needed to increase their thyme on page.
Q: Why did the salmon make a great social media marketer?
A: He had years of experience in live streams.
It’s not that I don’t have that many Twitter followers… I’m just practicing social media distancing.
No matter where I am, Google Maps only recommends businesses from a single town in Alabama. I don’t think this is how Mobile-first indexing is supposed to work.
Apparently there’s a new marketing band called SEO Speedwagon. I couldn’t find them on Google, but I heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another...
Working from home is weird. I got so sick of sitting at my desk, I wrote my last blog from my kids’ trampoline. The time-on-page was pretty good, but the bounce rate was really high.
I’m not saying he’s a clueless marketer, but I asked for more evergreen content and he wrote a blog about Christmas trees.
Indies uncertain times, our brand wants you to know that we care...
Did you hear that Instagram is finally being localized for the U.S. market? It’s rebranding as “Insta .035724 Ounces.”
The CEO at my old job was so clueless about social media…
How clueless was he?
He thought you had to be looking off to one side for your profile picture!
How many clickbait content writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
Only five, but number four will shock you!
My kids hate hearing we’re having leftovers for dinner. So now I call it “Repurposed, snackable content.”
Why did the marketer steal groceries from Whole Foods?
She knows you don’t pay for anything organic.
My buddy recently lost his job doing marketing for one of those serial-killer podcasts. He probably shouldn’t have suggested user-generated content.
Q: Why does the social media marketer keep getting off the elevator at the wrong floor?
A: He’s still trying to figure out Stories.
The Value of a Joke
Content marketers know that great content offers value to the reader. We tend to think of that value as something inspirational or educational. But let’s not overlook entertainment value. If your content provides a brief distraction from the everyday, that’s valuable. That’s something that people need... and Indies uncertain times, we need it more than ever.And if you’re in the market for 60 more jokes about marketing, we’ve got you covered:
What can marketers in 2020 learn from the low-resolution stand-up video arcade games of the 1980s? Here are five surprisingly-modern marketing lessons that we can learn from and implement today, with roots that come directly from vintage ‘80s arcade games. Slap that fire button and let's warp ahead and take a nostalgic look back at a simpler time in both video gaming and marketing, and then hyperspace ahead to today's vastly different landscape.
1 — Defender: Fire & Forget for a Constant Content Cadence
[caption id="attachment_28500" align="alignnone" width="600"] Photo by Author[/caption] Williams Electronics’ Defender is my all-time favorite stand-up video arcade game, an insidiously difficult side-scrolling spaceship-protecting-the-world shooting match juggernaut from 1981 programmed by early video game legend Eugene Jarvis. I played Defender so much that I eventually won a local video game competition, and can still almost feel where I had callouses on my hands from hour upon hour of game-play long ago. Defender teaches marketers the importance of keeping up a steady cadence of publishing content. In the case of Defender, the entire universe depended on firing off never-ending shots to protect humanoid figures from a variety of swiftly-moving alien invaders, while for marketers our success depends on keeping our content marketing fire buttons active to stave off audience abandonment and ghosting. Smart content marketing features a steady publication of relevant information and best-answer content, which may not save the universe, but when done right can hold your audience’s attention and gain new customers, fans and followers through engaging content.
2 — Robotron: Find Marketing Order in a Sea of Content Chaos
Officially Robotron: 2084, this 1982 Williams 2D multi-directional shooting game also primarily developed by Eugene Jarvis is my second-favorite video game, another intensely challenging dive into a strange alien world populated by a colorful array of 8-bit digital baddies. Robotron teaches marketers the importance of perseverance in what can at first seem like a stormy sea of digital content chaos. Robotron’s game-play involves protecting the last humans in the universe as an intimidating collection of serious alien killing machines try to do away with the humans and — especially — you. Marketers similarly can easily feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of social media platforms, digital asset creation apps, and the vast amount of data surrounding the content being published. Making sense of it all takes time and a concerted effort to learn what can at first seem to be an alien landscape, which can be done when you:
3 — Donkey Kong: Take Your Marketing to “Triple Elevators” Success
via GIPHY An entirely different flavor of ‘80s arcade game is Nintendo’s 1981 hit Donkey Kong, a deceptively simple multi-level platform game with such staying power in our culture that it is still making news in 2020, as the game’s previous world record high-score holder Billy Mitchell — who featured prominently in the cult indie hit King of Kong documentary — has filed a defamation lawsuit. In Donkey Kong, an angry gorilla hurls barrels of death and other colorful impediments in the path of your player Mario — a character who debuted here, originally called Mr. Video and later Jumpman. Screen after screen bring newfound challenges in the game, culminating with a stage featuring intricately-timed elevators and then a diabolical conveyor belt challenge. Donkey Kong teaches marketers that successfully avoiding obstacles can take a brand from the humblest beginning to the loftiest heights, especially when it comes to social media marketing. Unlike Defender and Robotron, which each have many random and free-form movement elements and options, Donkey Kong instead can teach marketers the value of learning a particular industry’s unique facts to drive success in a known social media environment. Educate your marketing Mario by dedicating the time to learn the details of each social media platform your brand is using or plans to have a presence on. We’ve written a number of recent articles exploring the latest social media firm marketing features and platform maneuvers, including these:
Atari’s 1983 arcade game Crystal Castles is another favorite filled with its own marketing lessons even all these years later. Controlled by a trackball and jump buttons, Crystal Castles sees the player maneuvering a bear around towering castles while picking up enticing gems and avoiding evil trees and dangerous bees. When released, its bright, colorful graphics and catchy sounds and music — along with level graphics that flew onto and off of the screen accompanied by a tune based on Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite in a way never seen or heard before — enticed many including myself to repeatedly insert quarters and learn the peculiarities of each castle level. Crystal Castles teaches content marketers to walk that fine and arduous line between picking up a trail of brand success gems and becoming overly confident and getting ensnared by nasty trees or dancing skeletons in the form of tone deaf marketing. A while back for Content Marketing World we even published a retro game themed Ultimate Guide to Conquering Content Marketing.
5 — Black Widow: A Vector-Based Web of Influencer Marketing
Atari’s Black Widow hit the video arcade scene in 1982, and was among the first vector-graphic stand-up arcade cabinets. Players control a black widow spider on its colorful web and during the game must ward off certain insects including mosquitoes, hornets, and beetles, while attracting others using the help of other insects, all the while working to prevent foes from laying eggs. In 1982 a vector-graphics game stood out at the arcade due to the vast contrast between the darkest black pixels and the fine line-based graphics, offering a welcome escape from the standard bitmap imagery in the majority of arcade games. Black Widow teaches marketers the importance of working together with others to achieve success beyond what can be attained alone, such as when implementing an always-on influencer marketing program. Always-on influencer marketing is the practice of ongoing relationship-building, engagement and activation of a specified group of influencers to build community, content and brand advocacy. In Black Widow the spider works with other insects to rid its web of enemies, and in marketing brands can find great success working with industry influencers on the web of 2020 to gain reach and engagement that can far exceed what a single marketer or team can achieve. B2B influencer marketing is a specialty of TopRank Marketing, with several recent articles looking at this growing practice including these:
Going From Game Over To Setting Marketing High Scores
via GIPHY The challenges today’s marketers face are vastly different from those when Defender, Robotron, Donkey Kong, Crystal Castles and Black Widow came out in the early ‘80s, however despite these difficulties there’s also never been a more opportunity-filled playing field, thanks to the vast online publishing possibilities of 2020. Implementing a successful marketing program takes time, effort, and dedicated strategy, which leads many brands to use a top B2B influencer marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing, which was the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in Forrester’s “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America” report.
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Like many other digital experiences, the webinar has traditionally been viewed as a means to an end: Create something that seems valuable to your audience, and use it as a vehicle to acquire contact information for lead generation purposes. But marketers like Mark Bornstein take a different angle: What if we view the webinar itself as an end — an extremely valuable marketing tool on its own? What if we’re just muddying it up with all these mandatory form-fills and sales-y follow-ups? “You need the name once, you need the demographic information one time,” he observes. “But why do we keep putting forms together again and again? What matters is the experience.” [bctt tweet="“Why do we keep putting lead gen forms together again and again? What matters is the experience.” — @4markb on #BreakFreeB2B #DigitalExperiences" username="toprank"] Mark elaborates: “It's the experience you give, it's the way you're able to connect and interact with audiences that matters. Because that's where you're going to get the real data. That's where you're going to learn a lot about them.” Although he is a proud marketer, and VP of Marketing for the webinar solution provider ON24, this self-professed “webinerd,” Mark urges his fellow practitioners to develop a new mindset by moving away from traditional terminologies: “It's not about marketing anymore. It's about connecting people to your brand. It's relationship-building.” The days of dry, facelessly narrated slide presentations are gone, he argues. We need to dial in and focus on human connections through authenticity, empathy, and compassion. We need to learn more about our customers than how we can contact them with follow-up promotional materials. At a time where physical events and meetings are off the table, achieving these connections in the digital space via experiential marketing has never been more vital. In his 25-minute conversation with TopRank Marketing’s Susan Misukanis at B2B Marketing Exchange in February, Mark shared a wealth of insights, which have only become more useful and valuable in the weeks and months since.
Break Free B2B Interview with Mark Bornstein
If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.
0:45 - Mark's experience making webinars, and his view on lead gen
2:00 - Have we reached the end of MQLs?
3:15 - What is an experience and what makes a good one?
5:00 - Examples of companies that are getting digital experiences right
7:45 - What role will technology play in experiences going forward?
10:00 - Are brands becoming more open to moving outside the box?
12:00 - Finding and positioning your brand's narrative
13:30 - Getting back to opt-in marketing fundamentals
16:00 - Where Mark sees the industry going in 2-3 years
17:30 - Who is poised to win in the short-term (SMB/verticals vs. enterprise)?
20:15 - The value of compassion, empathy and connection
24:15 - How can B2B marketers break free?
Susan: So you talk about an experience ... Can you take it a level deeper? What is an experience? Mark: Well, let me tell you about my world. So in the world of webinars, if you think about what a webinar was even a few years ago — and maybe in some cases still now — the webinar was a talking PowerPoint. Just a headless voice, you didn't see anybody. You just heard somebody going through the slides in a droll way and it wasn't branded and it was just boring. And maybe a lot of webinars still are kind of boring. But the fact of the matter is, what we see companies doing now is they're creating serialized programming. They're creating these really cool almost TV-like viewing experiences, where it's a show and there's hosts and the formats are changing. There's panel discussions and coffee talks and chat shows and new style formats. So companies that are trying to own thought leadership, to establish a voice, to be the company that people go to — they’re not going to do that through giving a webinar on, you know, here's our content. Here's our slide presentation. They're doing it by building experiences. And I think a really great experience has a few of the following qualities: It should be completely branded. It should be interactive. I always say give yourself the “what can they do?” test. When somebody is experiencing your content, is this all they can do? They’re reading your ebook or watching your video … is that it? An experience is a place where people can ask questions, or they can chat, or they can tweet, or they can download content. They can click on CTAs. You want to create an environment where people are doing stuff, and it's a multi-touch content experience. And so it's a different thing today. [bctt tweet="“Companies that are trying to own thought leadership, they’re not going to do that through giving a webinar that’s a slide presentation. They're doing it by building experiences.” — @4markb on #BreakFreeB2B #DigitalExperiences" username="toprank"] Susan: We keep hearing that marketing is moving toward AI and tech — in a few years, it'll all be bot-driven. How do you reconcile that with your vision? Mark: One of the things that drives me crazy about marketing in general is that we as marketers are very interesting creatures, in the sense that we're always willing to try new things. But we also get into habits we can't break. And a lot of the technologies — whether it's automation, or artificial intelligence, predictive analytics — all these amazing technologies that have been created to scale our marketing in ways like never before? Well, we are acting like this technology that was created to get people to our marketing has now become our marketing. So you need to look at, you know, artificial intelligence tells us out of this vast infinite number of people who we should be targeting, and maybe some of the topics we should be talking about. We can get a lot of great information. Automation allows us to scale that up in a lot of different ways. But ultimately, there is a moment of engagement. There still is that human engagement. And so all of that technology can inform, but ultimately, what really has to drive that engagement is the conversation that you have with them and the experience that you can deliver.” [bctt tweet="“We are acting like this technology that was created to get people to our marketing has now become our marketing.” — @4markb on #BreakFreeB2B #DigitalExperiences" username="toprank"] Susan: You tweet a lot about marketers not asking for proper permission to opt in. So maybe our prospective buyer has a need, but getting that opt-in and going about it the right way, that’s a big hurdle. Mark: It is. I mean, if you're a marketer in the U.K., you know what this pain feels like. I think especially in the U.S., but really around the globe, marketers are not ready. I don't think they're taking this seriously enough. You know, privacy legislation is in the U.S. now, but it's mostly based on privacy protections. It's not based on opt-ins and that sort of thing yet. It is coming. It is going to happen very soon, people. And so we need to prepare for this, which means we need to build our marketing around this idea of people opting in. So how do we do this? We have to be able to produce streams of programming that people will want to subscribe to, right? It's no longer about nurtures, it's no longer about ‘can you come to my event’ or ‘will you come to this one-off virtual experience or webinar,’ whatever it is. We need to find ways to get people who want our marketing to opt into our marketing. At a time when all of this digital noise is scaring them away. We need to bring them back in through more authentic, more human, more experiential marketing. We're going to get them there.” Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:
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