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:


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)


why Marketing matters all the Time! (Apple vs @SamsungMobile)

I wanted to get back to my roots and write about marketing today. So everyone knows by now that Apple came out with a new phone called “iphone 6” and a payment system called “Apple Pay”. Fanboys love it and all Android users say its lame. One of my friends on facebook posted this image:

iphone vs samsung

So this is where marketing comes to play and why it matters all the time.  Yes, the Android might have all the features in 2012 what the iphone 6 now has in 2014. So I am here to tell you all of that stuff doesn’t matter. It’s all about marketing.  Marketing is NOT a product features game (like the list in the image). If it was so many companies would be out of business right now.

MARKETING is all about conveying the FEELING of your product. That’s why beer commercials don’t tell you whats in the beer, they just show everyone having a great time with the hottest girls. Apple makes sure they point out all of their features but they also make sure that you know this is going to change your life forever. (It might not, but it just might)

Also, Apple has BRAND equity and a lifestyle attached to it. Samsung makes phones, tv’s, refrigerators, watches, laptops, speakers, cameras, washers, dryers, etc. A brand that has these many line extensions will not succeed in the cell phone war for the long term. They might do well but they will never surpass Apple in brand equity. I am not saying anything new here, this is just marketing 101. This is why amazon’s phone did not work.

Think about branding and culture, Tim Cook, Steve Jobs, Woz, “geniuses” are synonymous with Apple. Who does Samsung have?

Manpreet Jassal


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



Manpreet Jassal


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…

1-27-2014 9-20-55 AM 1-8-2014 4-28-53 PM


Manpreet Jassal


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!”


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


@Jetblue is my friend



I wanted to write this post a while ago but it slipped my mind.  So the story goes: I was coming back from Gartner Symposium and got to the airport (pre-checked online) to stand at the bag drop line for Jetblue. The line was long and slow. I saw a Manager (checking his phone every 30 secs, looking like he was texting) stand there looking like he does not care that the line is getting longer and only 2 people are helping at the bag drop counters.  

So I did what everyone should do, but they don’t.  I took a picture of the manager texting and sent it to @jetblue via twitter.  My message: Line is getting longer @jetblue and the manager does not care! 

The first response I got was from another person online saying that they “feel my pain.” I love that. But Jetblue got back to me in 2-3 mins saying asking me what airport I was at, I told them “MCO.”  They told me they will check whats happening and that the manager is only using his phone for work related stuff.   

Another 2-3 mins passed by more people came at the counter and the line started to move faster.  THAT’S THE POWER OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA! Jetblue wrote back to me that we asked and the manager was using his phone for work related issues and that the line is moving along well now. This was awesome. A regular passenger like me had power to make a difference! 

I have to commend and praise Jetblue on getting back to me in a timely manner, treating me like a human and not a number. Will I use Jetblue for a long time even though it might cost me a little more? You betcha!  

(I also love how they are helping out NY now after Sandy, which is why I posted their image) 



Seth Godin Today

When I first got into marketing, I started to read Seth Godin.  He spreads ideas like viruses and inspires people to Poke the Box.  I am lucky enough to work for a company now that invites him to talk and share his insights!

I just read a post of his this morning and it ended with this:

The goal of a marketing interaction isn’t to close the sale, any more than the goal of a first date is to get married. No, the opportunity is to move forward, to earn attention and trust and curiosity and conversation. – Seth Godin

Could not say it better myself!

Manpreet Jassal

Why do I need a twitter account?

I feel like every time I sit down with my friends either at a restaurant or at a bar nobody understands the power of social media. Everyone thinks it’s a photo sharing site where you just talk to your friends and you follow famous people.

So this past Friday I sat down with my friends and one of them was an ENT specialist. He asked me why would I ever need a twitter account? I told him you really don’t need one. If you want to be a regular ENT specialist and just go by with what every other specialist is doing then you don’t need a Twitter account. But unless you want to build a personal brand then you cannot do that without a twitter account. It’s not about following people it’s about educating people and interacting with them. Basically humanizing your brand!

You might be the best ENT specialist in the state but if nobody knows who you are or can reach you easily, How will you then reach the people you want to reach?

I told him to just educate and answer peoples questions and before you know it, you will have a following and a brand. Needless to say he opened his Twitter account the next day. I will update you year from now on what’s happening with him!

Manpreet Jassal