Author: Clare McDermott

Clare McDermott is the co-founder and head of strategy at Mantis Research. Follow her @clare_mcd.

By clare-mcdermott published March 15, 2019

Rant Alert: Content Marketers Must Up Their Data Game

Over the last decade, organizations have invested heavily in marketing analytics engines – from predictive analytics to performance management and data visualization tools. These tools help users surface insights from massive quantities of data, but perhaps more compelling, they bill themselves as “self-service” or accessible to marketers who may not have advanced quantitative skills.

Are those who are not data scientists or analysts equipped to make sense of the output from these powerful engines? Plenty of research points to the contrary.

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By clare-mcdermott published November 26, 2018

5 Research Options You May Never Have Considered for Your Content

If you’re like most content marketers I speak to, the strategies and tactics you use to grow an audience and get attention just aren’t working as they once were.

A BuzzSumo study, Content Trends 2018, confirms it; in a review of 100 million articles published in 2017, the company found social sharing was half what it was three years earlier.

It’s time to look around for new ideas. One successful but often overlooked approach is publishing original research. I’m not referring to market research, customer research, or competitive research, I’m talking about how marketers host an original research project and publish the results of that effort. In other words, research as content marketing.

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By clare-mcdermott published August 9, 2018

Are You Really Smart About How AI Works in Marketing?


In its widely talked about State of Marketing Report, Salesforce reports that just over half (51%) of marketers are using AI in one form or another, while another quarter plan to test it over the next two years.

A smaller study of over 500 search, content, and digital marketers by BrightEdge found that just 4% have implemented AI (that’s not a typo).

Who’s right? Salesforce, which reports one in two marketers is using AI, or BrightEdge, which puts the number at one in 25?

The answer may be “neither.” That’s because many marketers (and business leaders as a whole) are confused about which technologies are genuinely AI-powered and which simply rely on advanced algorithms and analytics.

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By clare-mcdermott published May 9, 2018

Why Brands Need to Take the Plunge Into Virtual Reality Today


In late 2016, pundits declared 2017 whould be the year virtual reality won mass adoption. And yet here we are, well into 2018, still waiting for it to fully materialize.

Are we kind of, nearly, almost there? John Bucher, virtual reality producer and consultant, makes the case for trying the medium even if it’s not fully ready for prime time, with examples of brands actively experimenting
with virtual and augmented reality.

But before we begin, let’s get a couple definitions out of the way.

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By clare-mcdermott published May 2, 2018

Reddit for Marketing? Hell No, Except in This One Case


A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post about Reddit for this very site. Before it published, I was sure it was going to be my Best Post Ever. I cleared my morning to handle the massive influx of comments.


Netting just over 400 shares, it was – by CMI’s standards – a dud.

I’ve since learned that confessing my undying love of Reddit to non-redditors creeps people out. Reddit has a strange and even repellant interface, though its engineers are working on a friendlier site redesign now. And when Reddit makes the news, it’s usually a story about the site’s trolls or less attractive underbelly (such as when redditors harassed innocent bystanders after the Boston Marathon bombing, implying they might be the bomber based on appearance alone).

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By clare-mcdermott published April 4, 2018

Dataviz: A Critical Skill for Modern Marketers

dataviz-critical-skill-modern-marketers (1)A decade ago a friend bought me a copy of Edward Tufte’s iconic book Beautiful Evidence.

The professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University has spent his career teaching others how to turn information and data into elegantly crafted drawings and graphics – and even more, doing so in a way that illuminates in interesting and unexpected ways.

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By clare-mcdermott published March 22, 2018

A Step-by-Step Guide to Audience Development


In 2016, when Intel iQ boasted 2 million monthly readers who averaged more than two minutes per visit, the iQ team wondered what is the additional value of a returning reader versus a first timer?

A lot, it turns out.

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By clare-mcdermott published February 12, 2018

16 Apps and Tools to Keep You Productive and Sane


A few months ago, I committed to evaluating my personal tech stack (yeah, I know that’s an odd collection of words, but you’ll see what I mean). My workload felt out of control. My goal was to be more intentional about finding worthwhile shortcuts and work-arounds, as well as trying to make life simpler – an undertaking I jokingly call Clare 2.0.

How do super-creative and productive people get through the daily grind of meetings, deadlines, and emails, yet still manage to preserve their creative energy? They, in part, optimize technology. This post focuses on the tools I’ve tested on my journey toward a more productive life.

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By clare-mcdermott published February 9, 2018

Go Behind the Scenes of Coca-Cola’s Storytelling


Kate Santore took the stage at Content Marketing World to share Coca-Cola’s storytelling ethos – and in the process inspired marketers to ask, “What if?”

“Sharing our strategies and approach to marketing has been a tradition at Coca-Cola to open the door for other brands to learn from our 130 years of marketing experience,” Kate says. “Sharing this ‘thought-ware’ collectively raises the bar for every brand and therefore makes us strive for bigger, better, bolder.”

Read on for the Chief Content Officer magazine interview with the senior integrated marketing content manager at The Coca-Cola Company.

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By clare-mcdermott published January 19, 2018

Perfecting the Art of the One-on-One Interview


From a young age, I was told I had an odd voice. It was a little too low for a girl and I tended to whisper a lot. I blame the whispering on the house I grew up in, which was big and echoey. If you didn’t want mom to hear you talking about inane things on the phone, whispering was a necessity.

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