The Secret Ingredient in Content Marketing

I love and am always reading up on content marketing (or pretty much anything else to do with marketing) and I started to notice a common theme. There is a common theme for which all of your content should be based on and that is:

EMPATHY

Yup, that’s it.  What is it? Empathy is about vicariously understanding your audience and working hard to serve their needs.

“Seeing the world through the eyes of others gives you a competitive advantage because so few businesses have a disciplined method for doing so.” – Brian Solis

Ain’t that the truth! Preach on Brian!

So the next time you revise your customer journey map make sure its based on empathy journey mapping and I believe you will start seeing the results within a couple of months. Empathy isn’t cheap in this age of content shock. If you provide it to your audience in an honest way you will become more valuable that you ever thought.

Manpreet Jassal (@mjassal)

 

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What Really is Customer Experience?

Finally started my own podcast after contemplating it for a long time. I hope to add value to everyone that listens to it. My fist conversation is with Jake Sorofman, VP of Research at Gartner. Hope you enjoy it! This is my first one so it can only get better from here.

We talk about Customer Experience and Why You Should Care!

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Are you taking the stairs?

Came across this on my phone while I was on the Zedge app looking for backgrounds for my iPhone. Loved it:

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“There is No Elevator to Success. You have to Take the Stairs” 

Nothing can beat hard work, hustle and long term thinking. Pretty much in anything in life. These days with social media many people think its easy and it happens overnight. It doesn’t, nothing does.

You have to take the STAIRS!

Manpreet Jassal

@mjassal

(Thank you Seth Godin!)

 

Loving Marketing Podcasts

I commute to work everyday which takes me a total of 2 hours (1 hr each way) on the road a day. What to do with the time? I used to listen to music and talk radio until I realized I have to start doing something productive with this time. The podcast resurgence started happening about the same time (3-4 years ago) which was perfect. I discovered so many marketing podcasts at that time which was AWESOME.

I made sure I listen to them religiously everyday I was in my car. Here is a quick snapshot from my phone of just of some of them:

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What has this helped me do?

  • Stay on top of the current marketing trends

  • Think outside the box

  • Find influencers in the marketing world

  • Polish my digital marketing skills

  • Make me wiser

I am even thinking of starting my own soon since I work at one of the most prestigious analyst firms in the world and can talk to some great marketing analysts. Might be time for me to start adding value to this craft as well.

So what are your favorites?

Manpreet Jassal

@mjassal

(Thank you Seth Godin!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which is a better investment: Real Estate vs. Stocks

What is a better investment, buying real estate or investing in stocks?  

I grew up in a family and culture where getting a house is the best thing you can do for yourself. I used to think that to until recently. I decided to crunch the numbers on this and share with you what I learned. I live in NY so I will be using NY real estate numbers. I used calculators from mortgagecalculator.org and bankrate.com (which I think are the best ones out there).  Lets start with the house.

House – $500,000

20% Down payment: 100,000

Interest rate:  4.25% (25 yr loan)

Loan: $400,000

Monthly Payment: $2,687.79

Total Interest Paid: $250,085.72

Total Tax Paid: $156,250.00 (1.25%)

Total cost after 25 yrs of owning a house: $806,335 + $100,000 (down payment) = $906,335

Remember this is just straight cost of the house with no maintenance, repairs, etc. Now you fully own your house and it just kept up with inflation or maybe not. You have to ask yourself house worth $906k after all of this time? Depends on the housing market at that time. Now lets take a look at putting your money in the S&P 500 index fund. I will be using the same numbers.

Vanguard S&P 500 index fund – $100,000

Compound interest rate: 11% (since 1976 this is what the fund has returned, on vanguard.com)

Total Expense ratio: .05% (very very low cost and low turnover)

Total fund value after 25 yrs: $1,342,666 

Now lets say that you start with $100,000 and put in only $600 a month. If you think 11% is too high I have showed you other %’s as well.

At 11%: you will have: $2,272,937

At 10%: you will have: $1,862,379

At 9%: you will have: $1,527,040

At 8%: you will have: $1,253,319

At 7%: you will have: $1,030,013

At 6%: you will have: $847,913

At 5%: you will have: $699,452.

This is how much cash you will have that is liquid at your disposal. There is a big difference here of about 400k and that is just stopping at 25 yrs. If you let your investment grow and live after 25 yrs without putting a dime into it it will skyrocket.  If you left it in for just another 5 years your total in the index fund will be $2,255,139. I highly doubt the house will be worth that much. That said, I do think buying a house at the right price is great since its yours forever and you can leverage it as well for a loan, etc. But as an investment it does not compare to the value of stocks at all. If you want to invest in real estate without being a landlord because you think its better than stocks you can just invest in a REIT index fund. Remember, all these numbers are just math not an opinion! 

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Manpreet Jassal

@mjassal

Marketing with Peter Drucker

I was listening to Jack Trout this weekend and he quoted Peter Drucker ( who is hailed by BusinessWeek as “the man who invented management”)

I really liked what he said and I am a little bias since I am a marketer but its true.  Right now marketing and innovation seems to be number 5 or 6 right after sales, finance, production, and technology.  I hope organizations start realizing this simple concept once again.

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

– Peter Drucker

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Manpreet Jassal

@MJASSAL

Communication is key

Communication is key to success.  The richest and most successful people in the world know how to communicate. Even Warren Buffet said the one of the best things he ever did was take a Dale Carnegie speaking course which helped him out a lot. I totally agree.

For me, I joined a local toastmasters club at my work.  Great environment to learn, practice, network and nourish your speaking skills.

Here are two that I came across…

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Manpreet Jassal

@MJASSAL

How Vanguard does “social media” better than most companies @Vanguard_Group

I started investing last year after doing many months of research on where I should put my money. I ended up going with Vanguard and could not be happier. I am a big fan of indexing and fortunate enough to have Vanguard index funds in my 401k at work. (BTW, I recommended that everyone have index funds in their 401k – you can thank me after 25 yrs)

Being a marketer, I definitely follow Vanguard on Twitter and Facebook to see how a financial powerhouse like them use social media.  To my surprise, they are awesome. Social media is all about customer engagement but most companies use it as just another distribution channel. Social is all about engaging with your user base.  Getting feedback, answering questions and thanking your users from time to time is what its all about! Of course you want to push your content through social channels but it should only be about 20% of what you should do.  Vanguard has it all right.  I have asked questions through twitter, commented on Facebook, asked for some SWAG through these channels and received a response within 24 hours (and also my swag within a week). They always end the conversation with saying thank you to me for engaging with them.  They do A LOT more but I would encourage you to engage with them to find out for yourself.

The best surprise so far:  I received a thank you card from them for engaging on Facebook. Which is a great idea and was shocked to see it in the mail.  Even more shocking they gave me an extra blank thank you card with a note saying:

“Pay it forward! Use this extra note to thank someone who has inspired you to be a better investor!”

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How cool is that?  I would of never expected to get anything from them but it was cool to get a handwritten note mentioning my Facebook interaction signed by the person who I was connecting with at Vanguard. 

Vanguard my hat goes off to you for making me a better marketer. Keep on doing your thing.. I will always be a customer and a fan.

Thank you for doing social right! #Vanguarding

@MJASSAL

The Future of Marketing is bright! (and some factoids)

The future of marketing is bright, very bright!

I am fortunate enough to work for the largest technology research company in the world: Gartner

The biggest Symposium in the company’s history happened last week and I got to be a part of it. Met the worlds most insightful and sought after analysts. Attended some amazing sessions on future tech/marketing progress. Very cool week.

Marketing is going to be ruling technology. Its fascinating. Marketing is leading the way and technology has not other choice but to follow and keep up.

New emerging role: Chief Marketing Technologist 

Some of my favorite factoids of the week from the Symposium: 

  • Google’s ad revenue surpasses the entire U.S. print industry
  • Amazon’s warehouse space would fill over 700 Madison Square Gardens
  • 55% of consumers share their purchases on a social site
  • Truth in advertising: only 14% trust advertising
  • Google pockets half of all mobile ad spending
  • Greatest obstacle to digital transformation: lack of vision to define corporate strategy

@MJASSAL

Meeting Keith Ferrazzi

Had to share this..

One of the books I really recommend is to read is “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. You can look at it as a masterful book on networking or you can look at it as a career changing book. I had a career change after I read that book on building relationships and actually doing what I want to do in life. Working for Gartner I am very fortunate in meeting authors and great entrepreneurs.

This past week I actually got to meet Keith Ferrazzi. He is definitely the way he wants you to be. Very generous, humble and smart. He has a new book out called “Who’s got your back.” Just started reading it and its amazing.. Hope you will too.

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@MJASSAL