McKinsey, Opioids, and Philip K. Dick

News from LHC HQ
Greetings! We've returned from our various far-flung travels just in time for rooftop BBQ season in NY (just don't tell the NYPD / our landlords). While our grilling game may be a little bit suspect, our content chops remain unparalleled. This week finds us rolling up our sleeves and getting into the weeds with some exciting new clients, whose names we can't share just yet (but who we promise are real, and not just the summer camp girlfriends of the agency world). In the meantime, enjoy this photo of our social media manager relaxing in his natural desert habitat: 

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As you probably tell, said social media manager is in need of some grooming. That too, is on the docket for the week. 

On to the #content! 

Stories Matter More than Ever
Those who've know us for a while know something about our fondness for quarterly magazines of various shapessizes, and topics. There's nothing like a thoughtfully-written, well-designed, serif-fonted, somewhat sporadic print magazine to convey the kind of authority and intelligence that B2B brands strive for. One of the best in the game unsurprisingly comes from McKinsey, and if you're not checking it out you're really missing an opportunity to sound smart in meetings (and also to be better at your job, natch). 

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We were particularly struck by a recent feature examining the new battlegrounds for marketing-led growth.  McKinsey's research shows what our consumer selves already understand: that buyers are much more likely to shop around; that consideration is the name of the game; and that marketers need to rebalance their budgets to reflect this new reality. Which means, interestingly enough, that content is becoming an even more key marketing channel -- a steady stream of stories that keep you top of mind is absolutely essential in a world where brands need to be engaging with customers even when they're not actively shopping.

Key quote :

"You'll need an innovative approach for translating traffic beyond simple awareness to real brand consideration... (and you need) to convey a fuller picture of your brands value through creative interactions." 

Which roughly translate to: tell better stories.  

Other stuff

Our good friends at NewsWhip have a great new report out about the state of influencer marketing. The whole thing is very comprehensive and full of good tactical advice, and you should definitely read it if. Our favorite takeaway is that brands who use micro-influencers -- ie, people who don't have quite Kardashian-level followings -- get 20x the engagement than a typical brand social post. Someone put some ads on @charlesthedog already!!!     

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For those of you who like your content in list form, enjoy this comprehensive
catalogue of 59 female marketing and growth experts you should be following. We'd be following more of them if we weren't currently trying to wean ourselves off Twitter. 

In the department of amazing news (non-content marketing edition) comes this story of shellfish off the coast of Seattle testing positive for opioids, a headline which caused Hill Holliday SVP of editorial strategy, LHC 4-star subscriber, and peak dad Mike Grimes to quip "Is it safe to label them mussel relaxers?"

We're marginally late to this party but our homie Shane Snow has a new book out, and it includes lots of Raekwon-related content so buy it, duh. 

Speaking of books, we just finished reading Philip K. Dick's Now Wait for Last Year, and it's great. As with much of PKD's work there are weird drugs, temporal abnormalities, and characters with absurd names (hello, Dr. Eric Sweetscent). Also, you can read this book in about the same amount of time as it takes to read that McKinsey article.

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And finally, if you managed to catch our speech about building a loyal audience at last week's Vermont/New Hampshire Marketing Group conference, welcome to the newsletter! And if not (and if you're interested), give us a shout and we'll happily send over our presentation complete with speaker notes and a signed portrain of LHC co-founder John Hazard to the email address of your choice.

What we're listening to
The Sea and Cake have a new album out! Post-rock! Chicago! What's not to love (seriously it's great). 

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Listen to it here. 

Have a great week everyone.