Author: Clare McDermott

Clare McDermott is the founder of Ravn Research, a research consultancy that helps brands produce original research and C-level content. Connect with her on LinkedIn. Follow her on Twitter clare_mcd.

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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By clare-mcdermott published January 9, 2018

Video Storytelling Secrets From an Award-Winning Series


Visa commissioned research in 2015 that uncovered an idea so wholly new that it gained widespread attention, even landing a front-page spot in The New York Times. It showed women were choosing to travel solo in historic numbers. Higher spending power, a feeling of greater safety abroad, and the popularity of Instagram travel diaries created the right conditions for a boon in solo travel.

Visa corporate communications brought the findings to its agency, Click2View, and the parties immediately got to work figuring out how to relay the story of solo women travelers in an engaging way.

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By clare-mcdermott published January 2, 2018

Community Management: A Social Media Expert Spills Her Secrets


Christin Kardos leads social media for Convince and Convert, an organization that teaches marketers how to be socially savvy. We wanted to know: How does the expert’s expert build and manage communities?

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By clare-mcdermott published December 25, 2017

A Year Full of ‘No Way!?’ Moments for CCO Magazine


2017 will go down as the year contributors to the magazine repeatedly blew my mind.

Most editors like to think they have at least a modest (if not better) grasp of the industry they cover. After all, to be a good editor you must be able to tease out the ideas that will educate or delight your readers most – and identifying those requires a baseline of subject matter expertise.

This year was different. At least a half dozen CCO articles in 2017 inspired an exclamation I can only describe as “No sh*t?!,” but for the purposes of this article, I’ll refer to as “No way?!”

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By clare-mcdermott published December 15, 2017

How Tom’s of Maine Found Success in Micro-Influencer Marketing


Influencer marketing is about growing your audience and leveraging the voice of well-connected people … but using influencers with the biggest audiences isn’t always the answer.

Tom’s of Maine uses a micro-influencer model to get the word out about its line of natural products. Bridget Burns, community manager for Tom’s of Maine, explains in this Q&A how micro-influencer marketing works for a brand that values substance over sizzle. (Bridget left Tom’s of Maine in September 2017 after this interview was complete.)

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By clare-mcdermott published October 30, 2017

How Brands Use Pop-Up Experiences to Make a Lasting Impression


A couple of months ago, my daughter sent me a link to a place in San Francisco that I just didn’t have a name to describe. Some might call it a museum. Or maybe it was a pop-up experience? To me it looked like attending a toddler birthday party while on ’shrooms.

I’m talking about the Color Factory – an appointment-only museum. If you’re not familiar with it, spend a few minutes browsing #colorfactory on Instagram. (Or check out the Color Factory account @colorfactoryco.)

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By clare-mcdermott published October 10, 2017

How 3 Serious Brands Engage Humanly on Social Media


Leaf through a portfolio of social media award winners, and you’re likely to see entrants from the tourism, cooking, and fashion industries. Putting together an Instagram or Snapchat plan for these companies may not be easy, but then again, emerald beaches and platefuls of poké make for great social sharing. 

What about those less-than-obvious brands? I chose three Content Marketing Awards finalists that prove even serious brands can be human and entertaining.

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