Content marketing is arguably the best long-term strategy for marketing a business. Compared to traditional marketing, content marketing costs 62% less, but produces almost 3X as many leads. By regularly publishing high-quality content that people appreciate and share, you’ll generate an abundance of inbound links, ascend Google’s rankings and cement yourself as an authority within your niche. As wonderful as this sounds, executing an effective content marketing strategy is no easy task. Most beginners use the “publish and pray” approach to content marketing – haphazardly posting articles they think will be awesome and hoping that their readers feel the same….
As the Cannes Lions Festival is wrapping up this week, we’re seeing the annual breathless, self-congratulatory statements coming out of agencies with photos of their awards and sun-tanned creative teams sipping champagne.
They should feel proud. They’ve achieved a huge accomplishment that has been the recognized stamp of credibility for advertising creativity since 1954.
How do agencies win at the Cannes Lions festival?
When I worked at the big ad agencies, I was often shocked at how they used clients’ budgets for the purpose of winning awards and self-promotion.
I’ve seen ad agency executives planning how to maximize their billings for minimal work and use their clients’ budgets to submit campaigns for awards.
I vividly remember, shortly before I walked away from my ad agency career, being part of a team that created a poster to promote a lightbulb.
It involved an elaborate set rental, professional photography shoot, intensive image editing, and ultimately cost the client $17,000. For a poster.
It did nothing to communicate the benefits of the lightbulb for consumers. And there was not a single conversation at the agency about how we should measure results, or even what the goal was for the poster.
Was it a failed poster campaign?
It certainly didn’t achieve the goals in the official creative brief.
But, it did win a prestigious award for that agency and the creative director.
It was certainly a clever (if not esoteric) concept with beautiful, subtle photography, but it was entirely useless as an ad.
I watched as the client contacts turned a blind eye to the waste, knowing that they would be repaid with lavish expense account dinners in exchange for handing over their company’s cash.
Today’s CMOs know award-seeking agencies don’t care about their clients. Much less their clients’ customers.
They know that too-clever ads often don’t achieve results. Their digital transformation is changing their priorities. Data-informed ad campaigns are now revealing how ineffective the old gut-feeling approach can be.
They are seeking alternatives, and finding them in the Zen Marketing approach that balances intuition with data, big ideas with bold experiments, inspiration with rigorous validation.
The alternative to cleverness is customer insights that are validated by robust data.
The alternative to awards for cleverness is measurable results lift.
I’m reminded again, in this Cannes Lions Festival season, of why I started WiderFunnel to be the “anti-agency.” And again, why we will never make a recommendation if we haven’t tested its ability to lift the client’s revenue.
So, the next time you’re in an agency pitch where they’re bragging about their awards, don’t walk; run away from hiring them. They’re telling you they don’t care about you.
Why we will never win a Cannes Lion award
Short answer: Because we will never submit for one.
Icons are a lot like real monuments — they can both be easily recognized. Today’s icon set consists of a set of vector icons that represent monuments across the globe, so they can be literally used anywhere. This colorful set was carefully designed by Freepik and is completely free to use for commercial as well as your personal projects, including software, online services, templates and themes.
This icon set is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.
I’ve always wondered, “What is it that makes a typeface or any other design good?” However simplistic this question may seem to typographers, it is a legitimate question many of us are trying to answer.
After several years working as a professional type designer, teaching, and running a type foundry, I pretty much gave up my attempts to find a golden set of rules. The answer is not so simple.
We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one — desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for over two years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.
The beauty of typography has no borders. While most of us work with the familiar Latin alphabet, international projects usually require quite extensive knowledge about less familiar writing systems from around the world. The aesthetics and structure of such designs can be strongly related to the shape and legibility of the letterforms, so learning about international writing systems will certainly help you create more attractive and engaging Web designs.
Progress is good, but we need to make sure that we’re progressing in the right direction. Our fundamental skills and the craft of design have started to take a back seat. Using the right tools and techniques is certainly an important part of design. But do our tools and resources make us better designers?
Taking a close look at the current state of design, we can see that sometimes modern design tools and processes do more harm than good.
Despite any financial recession and economic stress, online purchasing continues to grow. Expansion of the market and evolving technology that simplifies our daily lives help to set the pace of e-commerce design. Customers want the shopping process to be quick and easy, and merchants want to increase sales by making their stores attractive and popular.
Thus, e-commerce design tends to combine a look and usability that is at once unique and eye-catching.
Many designers and artists have a true love for vintage and retro design and share their passion when the opportunity arises. One could probably find several hundred showcases of retro designs on display today in the 21st century, but not many of actual vintage ones that were used in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s and are still in use today.
To celebrate the beauty of vintage and retro typography, we have compiled a showcase of vintage and retro signage to inspire you: a great excuse to take five minutes out to admire the styles, whether simple or complex, and the love that went into creating these gorgeous vintage signs.
Typography surrounds people daily as they move through their routines, rarely taking notice. It’s literally everywhere. In advertising, product packaging, printed publications, graphic designs, and more. Accentuating and centralizing the overall theme of the design that it inhabits, communicating the message to the masses through creative inclusions in the work.
For decades this design tool has given rise to some truly elegant type that still have impressions echoing through design today.