News from HQ
Aaaaaaand we're back. Hello from NYC, where we're busy wondering where spring went and more importantly: who is the DEA's graphic designer, and how can we get them to redesign our logo. Au revoir, lighthouse photo and lowercase Helvetica; helloooo glow sticks, pacifier, and Grim Reaper.
In other news, excitement continues apace here at LHC global HQ, where our wonderful landlords at Codeword have upgraded us to the sunny part of the office. Our view is basically a back alley next to Penn Station, but it's a view nonetheless.
And finally, we'd like to introduce everyone to our amazing intern Ayelet Abitbul. A few things about Aya: she's a native of Strong Island, a senior at NYU, and her first email address was firstname.lastname@example.org (she enjoys a nice tagliatelle, thanks for asking). She's also a genius at way more things than any 21-year-old has a right to be, and will be helping out on content strategy, running our social accounts, reaching out to people on Linkedin, and generally being a G.
But enough about us; here's the news of the week:
Forrester 2 brands: ur doing it wrong
Forrester analysts Ryan Skinner and Jennifer Liu are out with an excellent report around the state of the content marketing industry, and while it costs $349 if you're not a Forrester client, it's well worth it. (If you can't get your company to expense a copy, shoot us an email and we'll hook you up.) "Content" has become one of those things thats means everything and nothing, and so it's good to see the leading lights of the analyst universe attempt to bring some clarity. Among their takeaways that will surprise probably no one reading this: content governance is a major challenge for both B2C and B2B companies; brands that succeed almost always have alignment and executive buy-in; and a personal favorite -- brands who create content without a thoughtful strategy behind it are almost certainly doing themselves more harm than good.
Some other stuff we're reading
Our comrades at Velocity Partners built an amazing interactive with an even more amazing name: A Stakeholder Through the Heart. It's about how to manage that scourge of all creative work, executive stakeholders. Which got us thinking about the origin of the term"stakeholder". Google tells us it was originally part of gambling culture but we'd much prefer to think of it as somehow related to actual steak, or even better, to vampires. Can't have dinner unless you have buy-in from the key steakholder. And can't go ahead with killing that vampire unless you literally have all your stakeholders aligned. We could go on but let's be honest, you've already stopped reading.
LHC's absolute favorite chessmaster/revenue marketer, John Fernandez, made his editorial debut(!) with a story, naturally, about gambling. Err... data. It's definitely about data. In any case it's a great read from a great guy.
Thanks to Friend of Lighthouse Steve Bryant for pointing us towards the weird world of brutalist websites. (If this kind of stuff floats your boat, you should run not walk and sign up for Steve's newsletter.)
In self-congratulatory news (our favorite kind of news), major props go out to LHC client IBM, nominated as a finalist in the Digiday Content Marketing Awards for Best Branded Content Site, B2B. IBM Originals continues to do amazing work, and their Creative Director, Rebecca Bauer, is one of the best in the business.
Our favorite non-industry article of the week was probably this NYT story about how the mayor of Albuquerque is super into metal.
And finally, shouts to Shannon Pruitt, who was one of the founders of The Story Lab and just became the Chief Creative Officer at Carat. Another win for people who believe great content is the best way to make connections with consumers.
What we're listening to
We went to a Nets game a couple weeks ago and sat near someone called Young M.A., who we had never heard of but is a rapper in Brooklyn. So we put on some of her jams at the office this week and... she's kinda great! It's not for everyone, but if you like lesbian gangsta rap (and who doesn't), give her a listen.