Analytics and Metrics, Content + Media, Strategy, Writing

5 Key Strategies to Making Good Content Great

Standing out in a sea of content is the charge—and challenge—for B2B writers in today’s digital business environment. Writing well isn’t enough, nor is an outcome of purchase transactions. Instead, measuring great writing means delivering value to readers who, ultimately, act to extend their relationship with your brand.

Community, News

Black Lives Matter

After the May 25 killing of George Floyd, CMD came together and started having some hard conversations about what we believe in, and what we’re doing about it. We made a big statement and a big commitment.

Community, Content + Media, Strategy

Marketing During Crisis: Pivot to Content

Welcome to the new normal. The novel coronavirus has turned our world upside down. We are all in crisis mode. At our homes, in our communities, and at work, it seems like everything is changing daily.

Digital

The Big Brother Bias: Balancing Consequences and Benefits in AI

Data access and privacy issues are throwing a shadow over the technology sector, as the data explosion threatens to become an ethics implosion.

Content + Media, User Experience (UX)

Improving User Experience with UX Audit

Most companies know there are tasks they could do to improve their site’s user experience, but it is easy to get stuck on how to best prioritize updates. A handy tool that we often use with clients is a “usability audit” — a formal evaluation to examine your site for user friendliness, content efficacy and ability to drive traffic to conversion goals.

Client Service, Strategy

New Research: What Clients Expect from Agencies

At CMD, we learn a lot when we listen to the various target audiences of our clients, so we decided to use that philosophy to better understand our clients’ mindsets. We partnered with Riley Research to hear from Portland-area marketers about their challenges, and how they are utilizing agencies, to ensure we can be the best agency partner — one that can help marketers rest a bit easier.

Content + Media, User Experience (UX)

The Action Cam View of Your User Experince

I was recently called upon to attend a client’s executive meeting. Since I spend most of my time deep in project work, the rarity of this invitation was stressful enough to conjure an image of a 1950s movie, with a company president yelling down to the manager who in turn yells down to the line worker: “Smithers! Report to the top floor at once!”

Content + Media, Creative, Strategy

Red-Hot Project? Take a Breath and Review the Basics

From time to time, hot, quick-turn projects come in. A client needs us to create something for them right away — preferably sooner. Many times, I’ve seen CMD deliver exceptional work under time frames and conditions I didn’t think possible. This was often feasible only because of the heroic efforts of key individuals to get it to the finish line.

Digital

Designing Your Marketing Stack

Gartner’s 2018 CMO Survey reports that the average CMO is spending 29 percent of their budget on marketing technology. That’s as much as 3 percent of overall company revenue. Whether or not your overall marketing budget is on par with industry leaders, marketing technology is a line item with a constant upward trend, and you need to understand the best ways to spend that money for your organization.

Community

Think You Don't Need a Mentor?

You do. And let me tell you why.

Branding, Creative, Strategy

No Risk, No Reward: Brands That Take a Stand

When was the last time you bought a product because you agreed with that company’s stance on a political or social issue? If this is normal purchasing behavior for you, you’re in the majority. In fact, a new study says that 88% of surveyed consumers are more likely to be loyal to companies that support social or environmental issues aligned with their own beliefs, and 66% said they’d pay more for a product from a socially responsible company.

Creative, Writing

Wrangling the Words for the Biggest Impact

There’s a great story about the Irish writer James Joyce and how after a day’s writing his brother Stanislaus found him prostrate on his desk and utterly despondent.

Content + Media, Creative, Digital, Quality

Do We Need Proofreading in the World of Digital Advertising?

In a culture where ROFL does not bring to mind the piano-playing dog from The Muppets, where entire sentences are not only abbreviated to initialisms, but we have actually learned to interpret such shorthand and extract meaning from it, what role do accuracy and correctness play in written communication?

Digital, Quality

Many Ways to Ensure Quality Work

At CMD, every digital product we release is subject to quality assurance (QA) testing. Why? We are committed to creating great work for our clients. Our specialists even have quality in their titles!

Creative, Design, Digital

Don't Let Data Driven Design Go to the Dogs

Every few years there is a new study claiming that putting a dog on a wine label or beer label results in new customer sales anywhere from 4% to 11% over the dogless competition. But do we really need more dogs on labels?  Are there other ways to use data and keep a designer’s integrity intact?

Client Service, Project Management

Project Manager: Tank or Healer?

There are days and projects where I wonder which character type a good project manager should emulate. In video games and gaming culture there are specific roles for each character on a team; a well-balanced team can be pretty successful because responsibilities are split to leverage each member’s specific skills.

Digital

The Tech Thing

Whether for good or bad, technology is one of the most powerful forces shaping our world. We all experience it daily, and if industry analysts are on track — and they agree 100% on this — the pervasiveness of digital is set to dramatically increase in our homes, cars, offices, medical clinics, groceries, and pretty much everywhere else we work and play. Artificial intelligence has the potential to be as radical a disruption as the rise of personal computing and the internet combined.

Creative, Design, Digital

Design in the Age of Data and AI

There is no shortage of data. User behavior, research and A/B testing are easily at hand — or could be easily at hand with a little effort. Additionally, AI and machine learning are a reality thanks to the abundance of data.

Content + Media, Public Speaking

Public Speaking: "Right?" is the New "Umm"

About two months ago I was sitting in a seminar listening to a guest speaker. She had good, solid information to share, but I began to notice something odd about how she was presenting her insight. I became totally distracted and found myself tuning out her knowledge and just listening for this one public-speaking faux pas that kept coming at me over and over again.

Digital, Email

How to Level Up Your Email Marketing and Communications Using Outlook File Templates

Are you looking to level up your email marketing and communications tactics? If so, I’ve got some tips for you, on a subject dear to my heart nonetheless, Outlook File Templates (aka “OFT” or .oft)!

Content + Media, Digital

Get on the Dam Bandwagon and Get Organized!

As a creative agency that produces a plethora of assets—including video and audio files, PDFs, photos and graphics, print pieces, and many others—CMD needs to stay organized. We’ve been using digital asset management, or DAM, tools at CMD for about 15 years. A few years ago, we started investigating enterprise-level DAM platforms.

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