Author: John Lane

Watching TV as a kid, I used to run to the bathroom during the shows so I could make it back for the commercials. Today, as Vice President of Strategy & Creative for Centerline Digital, I craft content strategy that helps clients like IBM, GE, and ChannelAdvisor engage their target audiences. You can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn (among other social channels).

By john-lane published January 31, 2014

Think People Hate Marketing? Try the Right Content in the Right Place

boxing glove holding back others-biasI have a hypothesis that I tend to look at clocks when there is a pattern present. It always reads things like 11:11, 12:34, or 5:55. Happens all the time. I’ve told my wife this on more than one occasion. And every time I do… she tells me I am crazy. She thinks I look at the clock all the time but only remember — or point out — the times that a pattern is present. (This follows the same logic as people thinking they always choose the slowest line in the grocery store.)

Neither of these things reflects reality. These are examples of perception bias.

If you think honestly — really honestly — about how many times you are in line (at the grocery store, fast-food restaurant, gate at the ballpark, and so on) and how often your wait is actually longer than the people around you, the percentage simply isn’t that great. (This hasn’t stopped people from thinking they’re overwhelmed by Murphy’s Law and searching for pointers on how to avoid it.)

So now that I’ve seen the light on my clock theory, I have another hypothesis to share: People don’t hate marketing. Continue Reading

By john-lane published July 1, 2013

Content Marketing Strategies Based on Customer Context: 3 Examples

arrivals and departures-content marketingRecently, I’ve been thinking that airports serve as an interesting parallel to content marketing. All airports serve one main purpose, they all have similar amenities, and the flow from entry to exit is more or less standard. Yet, modern airports have also been designed to give off a particular vibe. Visiting Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport — with its spartan décor (which is contrasted by plenty of slot machines) — is a far different experience than traveling through Austin-Bergstrom — where live music and the smell of Salt Lick Bar-B-Que entices. Like content, airports attempt to create a unique experience for audiences for a period of time, knowing they will only stay there as long as they have to.

But airports have one primary focus that content marketers can take a lesson from. They all put two goals front and center: Providing information on where customers are coming from, and providing information on where they are headed. It’s this concept of arrivals and departures that many content marketing strategies often overlook. Continue Reading