Saturday, January 29, 2022

[Deep Dive] Is Purpose Marketing Right for Your Company?

Source:  Shutterstock

Will purpose marketing (a/k/a purpose-led marketing and purpose-driven marketing) drive increased customer loyalty, improve customer acquisition and speed revenue growth? Or is it just another passing fad that will soon fade away? Or something in between?

Many marketers are trying to answer these questions, but it's not as easy as the current hype and a multitude of research studies suggest.

In this article, we'll explore how to determine whether purpose marketing is right for your company, and how to decide whether your company is ready to launch an effective purpose marketing program.

Why Purpose Marketing 

Purpose marketing is the use of content in external communications that emphasizes a company's core mission and values, i.e. its brand purpose.

A company's brand purpose essentially describes its "reason for being" beyond the basic business functions of offering products or services and earning a profit. The brand purpose encompasses how the company is making a positive contribution to society and where the company stands on important social issues.

The current popularity of purpose marketing has resulted from a growing interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR). The principle that business organizations have obligations to society isn't new, but increasing concerns about climate change, the massive disruptions caused by the pandemic, and recent social and political upheavals have made CSR a major priority in corporate boardrooms and executive suites.

Several recent developments illustrate CSR's growing importance. For example:

  • In 2019, the Business Roundtable, an association whose members include the CEO's of nearly 200 major U.S. companies, released a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. The 2019 statement departed from earlier versions and declared that in addition to serving shareholders, corporations should deliver value to customers, invest in employees, treat suppliers fairly, and support the communities in which they operate.
  • At the end of 2020, there were 392 ESG* mutual funds available to U.S. investors, according to a report by Morningstar. That was up from 303 such funds in 2019. The Morningstar analysis also found that 2020 was the fifth consecutive calendar year ESG-focused funds received record cash inflows. (*Environmental-Social-Governance)
The growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility has caused many marketers to become enamored with purpose marketing. For several years, marketers have been inundated by research studies purporting to prove that customers and potential buyers place great importance on the social responsibility track record of the companies they do business with.
The findings of these studies are - on the surface at least - exceptionally compelling. Consider, for example, a small sample of the findings from a few of the more recent studies.
2022 Edelman Trust Barometer - 58% of individuals surveyed in 27 global markets said they buy from or advocate for brands based on the brands' values, and 52% said business organizations are not doing enough to address climate change.
Havas Media Group (2021) - 73% of surveyed global consumers said brands must act now for the good of society and the planet, 64% said they preferred to buy from companies with a reputation for having a purpose other than profit, and 53% said they are ready to pay more for a brand that takes a stand on environmental and social issues.
Barkley, Inc. (2021) - 53% of surveyed U.S. consumers said ESG issues are more important or much more important than before the pandemic, and 60% said they are willing to pay a little more or much more to support environmentally and socially responsible brands.
dentsu international and Microsoft Advertising (2021) - 87% of surveyed adults (18+) from 19 countries said they want to do more to combat climate change, and the same percentage said they'd be willing to change which products and services they buy to do so.
Zeno Group (2020) - 94% of surveyed consumers in eight global markets said it is important that the companies they engage with have a strong purpose, 82% said they have taken action to support a company when they believed in its purpose, and 76% said they have taken action when a brand did something they disagreed with, including no longer buying from the brand.
As these examples illustrate, large majorities of respondents in multiple surveys have expressed high levels of concern regarding environmental and social issues, and they have also voiced strong preferences for businesses that take an active role in addressing environmental and social challenges. So the research to date suggests that many - and probably most - companies would benefit from purpose marketing.
Carefully Assess the Benefits of Purpose Marketing
In reality, the decision to use purpose marketing is more nuanced than the existing research implies. Therefore, before marketers embark on a major purpose marketing program, they should carefully assess the benefits it will potentially provide to their company.

Despite the impressive volume of research findings indicating that people now want and expect companies to address environmental and social issues, marketers should not simply accept these findings at face value. Virtually all the existing research consists of surveys, and all surveys - no matter how well designed - have characteristics than can affect the relevance and reliability of the findings.
Respondent Demographics
Most of the published studies regarding brand purpose/purpose marketing have been national or global surveys of consumers. In some of these surveys, the researchers took steps to make the respondent pool representative of the overall target population.
The data produced by such surveys may or may not be highly relevant for marketers in a particular company depending on how the company defines its target market. For example, if a company sells "luxury" autos or fashion accessories to a target market composed primarily of high income individuals over the age of 40, the findings of a general population survey may not accurately reflect the attitudes of that target market.
National or global general population surveys will also be less useful for many B2B marketers because the demographic attributes of the relevant business decision makers are likely to be different from those of the general population, and therefore their attitudes and opinions may also differ.
In addition, B2B marketers will need to consider the potential effects of policies relating to corporate social responsibility that their customers and prospects have implemented. For example, many large enterprises have adopted sustainable procurement programs that establish goals for working with suppliers that use sound environmental practices. If your company's target market includes a significant number of such organizations, the potential benefits of purpose marketing will likely be enhanced.
Reliability of Survey Data
David Ogivly, the legendary advertising executive and founder of Ogivly & Mather, once said, "People don't think how they feel, they don't say what they think, and they don't do what they say." Ogivly's insightful quip captures two issues than can make survey results less reliable.
The Social Desirability Bias - Researchers have long been aware that survey respondents don't always answer survey questions truthfully, and social scientists have identified an important cause of this behavior. The social desirability bias is the tendency of survey respondents to answer survey questions in the manner they believe will be viewed favorably by others versus the way they actually think or feel.
This issue is more likely to exist when survey questions relate to sensitive personal topics or "hot button" social or political issues. So when a survey asks participants whether companies have a responsibility to address environmental or social issues, or whether they prefer to buy from companies that have a good track record on such issues, some respondents are likely to perceive that "yes" is the "right" answer to these questions.
The social desirability bias can lead to the over-reporting of "good" or socially acceptable attitudes and behaviors, which can cause marketers to overestimate the potential benefits of purpose marketing.
The Intention-Action Gap - Experienced researchers also know that the actual behaviors of survey respondents are often inconsistent with the answers they give to survey questions, even when those answers reflect their genuine intentions. As a result, survey data regarding what respondents say they will or won't do may not be a good predictor of their actual behaviors. Therefore, the intention-action gap can also cause marketers to overestimate the real-world impacts produced by purpose marketing.
None of this means that marketers should ignore or dismiss the evidence in the large and growing number of studies that relate to purpose marketing. What I am suggesting is that marketers should evaluate survey findings with a critical eye and carefully examine how relevant and reliable the findings are for their company.
Is Your Company "Ready" for Purpose Marketing?
Once you've determined that purpose marketing can potentially deliver significant benefits for your company, the next issue you must consider is whether your company is ready to use purpose marketing effectively.
While some aspects of purpose marketing are still controversial, there is near unanimous agreement that authenticity is the most critical determinant of purpose marketing effectiveness. If your purpose marketing is not perceived to be authentic, it will be ignored or, even worse, your company may be accused of "green washing" or "woke washing."
Authenticity has become even more important as the popularity of purpose marketing has increased. Today, people are inclined to be skeptical of the "higher purpose" claims made by companies and brands. In the survey by Havas Media Group mentioned earlier, 71% of the respondents indicated they have little faith that brands will deliver on their promises.
So, what does it mean to be authentic? Marketing academics and other social scientists have developed rather complex constructs to describe authenticity, but the essence of authenticity is that the values expressed in your purpose marketing program are consistently embodied in your company's policies and practices. In other words, being authentic means there is no disconnect between what your company says and what it does.
From a practical standpoint, this means that your company isn't ready for purpose marketing until it has defined and articulated its brand purpose and imbued that purpose in its operating activities. In short, an articulated and activated brand purpose must exist before purpose marketing can be done authentically and effectively.
The absolute need for authenticity also impacts how your company should approach purpose marketing. In general, purpose marketing is more likely to be perceived as credible and authentic when it emphasizes specific actions your company has already taken or those that are currently underway. This approach is particularly important when your company doesn't have an established reputation for addressing environmental or social issues.
Purpose Marketing Is Not Without Risks
Marketers must also recognize that purpose marketing can carry significant risks for some companies. These risks take several forms, but two are particularly noteworthy.
First, when a company takes a public position on a divisive political issue, it is likely to face a backlash. Last year, for example, Coca Cola and several other large enterprises were criticized for their actions relating to an election law enacted by the State of Georgia.
The Georgia law was criticized by many liberal political leaders and civil rights activists as amounting to "voter suppression," while many conservative leaders argued that the law was designed to ensure the integrity of elections. Coca Cola announced its opposition to the law after it was enacted.
Liberals criticized the company for not publicly and aggressively opposing the law earlier, and conservatives criticized the company for the position it ultimately took. One county in North Carolina went so far as to remove Coke machines from government facilities.
A second type of risk is even more pervasive. When your company uses purpose marketing to highlight its position or activities regarding an environmental or social issue, every aspect of your company's operations can become subject to greater scrutiny.
Gillette (a Proctor & Gamble brand) felt the effects of this risk a few years ago when it launched a #MeToo-inspired ad tackling "toxic masculinity." While the ad received a significant amount of praise, the company also faced a firestorm of criticism on social media because it charged more for some women's personal care products (razors, razor blades and shaving gel) than it did for comparable men's products.
It's unlikely that Gillette's marketing team ever considered that its anti-sexism ad would provoke criticism based on the brand's product pricing.
The Gillette example illustrates why marketers need to look for areas of potential vulnerability in all of their company's operations before they begin a purpose marketing program.
Final Thoughts
Having a company or brand purpose and engaging in purpose marketing are distinct decisions that present different considerations. Having a purpose that embodies the company's values and describes how it contributes to society can provide important benefits for any company outside of marketing. For example, an authentic purpose can be the foundation for a powerful corporate culture that invigorates both leaders and employees.
Therefore, formulating a company or brand purpose should not be treated as a "marketing" exercise. This task should be led by the CEO and should involve the company's entire senior leadership team. On the other hand, deciding whether, when and how to incorporate a company's purpose in its marketing communications involves most of the normal marketing considerations, and it's entirely appropriate for marketers to lead that decision-making process.
Lastly, it's important to remember that purpose marketing can be implemented in a variety of ways. Most of the high-profile instances of purpose marketing have involved advertising. Examples would include the Gillette ad discussed earlier, Nike's Colin Kaepernick ads, and Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty."
But purpose marketing isn't limited to advertising. For example, public relations programs can be an effective way to communicate your brand purpose in a less "out front" way that can be more credible.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

More Evidence that Marketing to Out-of-Market Prospects Really Matters

Source:  WSJ Intelligence/B2B International

Last September, I wrote a post discussing why B2B marketers shouldn't ignore "out-of-market" prospects. In a nutshell, my argument was as follows:

  • At any time, most of a company's "good-fit" prospects are not engaged in an active buying process.
  • Many of these out-of-market prospects are likely to be "in-market" at some time in the future.
  • The conventional view is that information gathering and evaluation all occur after an intentional buying process has begun.
  • But every day, business decision makers are forming impressions of companies, brands and products from ads, content resources, news reports, conversations with business colleagues and friends, and other interactions. 
  • When something triggers an intentional buying process, these accumulated impressions exert significant influence on the purchase decision.
  • If marketers focus solely on in-market prospects, they'll miss the opportunity to influence the perceptions and preferences of future potential buyers and likely miss future revenue growth opportunities.
The WSJ/B2B International Survey
Last month, WSJ Intelligence, the research unit of The Wall Street Journal/Barron's Group, and market research firm B2B International published the findings of a survey that provide strong evidence for the argument made in my September post.
The "Trust Your Decisions Study" was a survey of 1,601 business decision makers who had recently led or participated in the selection of a new vendor for their company. All survey respondents were director-level or above, and all were affiliated with companies having at least $250 million in annual revenue.
Survey respondents were located in the United States (50%), Europe (25%) and Asia (25%). The study evaluated four purchase categories - technology, finance, professional services, and marketing/marketing services. The survey was in the field from May 21-June 29, 2021.
The study divided the customer journey into three stages - Pre-Decision, Search, Evaluation and Shortlisting, and Final Decision. The survey results provide important insights about all three of these stages, but I'll focus here on those that relate to the Pre-Decision stage.
The researchers defined the Pre-Decision stage as, ". . . the time between when they last selected a supplier for the given [purchase] category and when the 'trigger' occurred that prompted them to actively begin searching for and deciding on a new supplier." So by definition, the Pre-Decision stage covers only potential customers that are out-of-market.
This survey contained several "behavioral recall" questions about a recent purchase decision. When answering these questions, each survey respondent was asked to reflect on the vendor that was ultimately selected (the "winning vendor") and on a vendor that was considered but not selected (the "losing vendor"). Respondents were also asked about their exposure to and impressions of various types of marketing content during their purchase journey.
Major Findings
The findings of the WSJ/B2B International study clearly demonstrate that familiarity and emotional connections that exist at the Pre-Decision stage have a significant impact on purchase decisions. Survey respondents were more than twice as likely (79% vs. 33%) to report that they were very familiar with the winning vendor versus the losing vendor before their active buying process began.
The survey results also showed that at the Pre-Decision stage, respondents had a higher level of pre-existing trust (57% vs. 37%) and confidence (52% vs. 37%) in the winning vendor than in the losing vendor.
One of the more surprising findings of the WSJ/B2B International research was the small number of potential vendors that were included in the initial consideration set for most potential purchases. Eighty-three percent of the survey respondents said they usually identify only two to four potential vendors at the first stage of their active buying process.
Lastly, the WSJ/B2B International study revealed that at least one in five out-of-market buyers are consumers of various kinds of marketing content resources, including case studies (30%), videos (28%), thought leadership/research (26%) and webinars (25%).
The Takeaway
Taken together, these findings clearly demonstrate the importance of marketing to all potential buyers, including those who aren't actively in-market. They show that companies can gain significant competitive advantage by consistently running marketing programs that are designed to increase brand awareness (familiarity) and enhance buyer trust and confidence.
These types of marketing programs can impact the final purchase decision, but equally important, they increase the odds that your company will be included in the buyer's initial consideration set. And as I've written before, you have to be invited to the party before you can be asked to dance.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

[Research Round-Up] Content Marketing, Thought Leadership and Customer Experience

(Our January Research Round-Up features the annual content marketing survey by CMI and MarketingProfs, a survey by Edelman and LinkedIn examining the impact of B2B thought leadership, and a customer experience update by The Harris Poll and Redpoint Global.)

12th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends:  Insights for 2022 by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs

  • Source:  CMI and MarketingProfs
    An online survey of marketers who are affiliated with B2B or B2B/B2C for-profit companies and who are involved in the content marketing function of their organization or are someone to whom the function reports.
  • 810 respondents globally (78% in North America)
  • Survey fielded in July 2021 - report published in October 2021
The annual content marketing survey by CMI and MarketingProfs has been conducted since 2010, and it's become a vital source of insight about the state of content marketing.
The latest survey covers many of the same issues that were addressed in previous editions. It includes findings about how companies are structuring their content marketing operations, the types of content assets that produce the best results, budget expectations for 2022, and a variety of other topics.
As might be expected, the new survey asked participants about the impact of COVID-19 on their marketing strategy. Over three-fourths (77%) of the respondents whose organization has a content marketing strategy said it is different than prior to the pandemic.
Many of the findings in the latest survey won't be surprising to marketers who are actively involved in content marketing, but this research provides a useful tool for benchmarking content marketing efforts.
  • Source:  Edelman and LinkedIn
    An online survey of business executives (LinkedIn members) across a wide range of industries and company sizes
  • 3,593 respondents from the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, and India
  • Survey fielded in June-July 2021 - report published in September 2021
The 2021 survey is the fourth edition of Edelman/LinkedIn's research examining the impact of thought leadership content on the perceptions and buying behaviors of business decision-makers. The new survey - like the previous versions - found that business buyers spend significant time consuming thought leadership content, and that it has a major impact on purchase decisions.
COVID-19 caused many B2B companies to substantially increase the amount of thought leadership content they produce. In this study, 66% of the survey respondents said the pandemic had spawned a huge increase in the amount of thought leadership content in the marketplace.
Unfortunately, the increased emphasis on thought leadership content did not result in improved quality. Seventy-one percent of the survey respondents said that less than half of the thought leadership content they consume provides valuable insights.
The 2021 survey also contains several findings relating to what makes for good and bad thought leadership content. So it's a valuable resource for anyone involved in thought leadership marketing.
Revisiting the Gaps in Customer Experience by The Harris Poll (commissioned by Redpoint Global Inc.)
  • Source:  The Harris Poll and Redpoint Global
    Based on two surveys
    • A survey of senior marketing/customer experience leaders based in the United States
    • A survey of adult (18+) consumers residing in the United States who made a purchase in the year preceding the survey
  • 150 marketers surveyed - 1,500 consumers surveyed
  • Both surveys fielded in July 2021 - report published in September 2021
This survey was designed to take a current look at many of the same issues that were addressed in a 2019 survey also conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by Redpoint Global
The core finding in both surveys is that a gap exists between marketers and consumers regarding the quality of the customer experiences that companies provide. The good news is, the gap appears to be narrowing.
In the 2021 survey, 51% of the surveyed marketers said their company is doing an excellent job at delivering exceptional customer experiences, but only 26% of the surveyed consumers said the brands they interact with are doing an excellent job with customer experience. That gap of 25 percentage points compares to a gap of 30 percentage points in the 2019 survey.
The 2021 survey also revealed gaps between marketers and consumers regarding what aspects of customer experience are most important and what the biggest challenges to great customer experiences are. The new survey also examines the strategies, tools and tactics marketers are using to improve the quality of the customer experiences they provide.
If you're involved in customer experience design and delivery - and today, most marketers are - this survey is a valuable resource.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

[Book Review] A Behavioral Economics Primer for Marketers

(In 2022, book reviews will be a regular monthly feature here at B2B Marketing Directions. In some cases, you really need a book to cover a topic in a meaningful way, and that's certainly true when it comes to behavioral economics, the subject of the book I'm reviewing in this post.)

For decades, economists assumed that humans make economic decisions rationally. Standard economic theory held that people weigh the economic costs and benefits of their decisions and usually act to maximize their economic self interest.

In the late 1970's, psychologists Daniel Kahneman (who later won the Nobel Prize for economics) and Amos Tversky published several papers that challenged the rational view of human decision-making used by mainstream economists.

The work of Kahneman and Tversky pioneered a new discipline that later came to be called behavioral economics. In 2008, two books - Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely and Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein - raised popular awareness of behavioral economics and put it on the radar screens of business and marketing professionals.

A Useful Introduction to Behavioral Economics

The reality is, marketers have been using some of the principles of behavioral economics for years, albeit largely unwittingly. But many marketers still don't have a sound working knowledge of the discipline, which makes a new book by Melina Palmer an important and valuable resource.

What Your Customer Wants and Can't Tell You (Mango Publishing Group, 2021) provides a much-needed introduction to the basics of behavioral economics for marketers and other business professionals who are responsible for growing revenue.

Melina Palmer is the founder and CEO of The Brainy Business, a behavioral economics consulting firm, and the host of The Brainy Business podcast. She holds a master's degree in behavioral economics from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and she teaches applied behavioral economics through the Texas A & M Human Behavior Lab.

What Your Customer Wants and Can't Tell You is divided into four parts. In Part 1, Palmer briefly describes the two "systems" that determine how the human brain functions, and she discusses the importance of brand "memories." Palmer also explains the roles that brain chemicals and cognitive biases play in influencing how humans think and behave.

The real heart of What Your Customer Wants and Can't Tell You is found in Part 2 of the book where Palmer discusses sixteen of the core concepts of behavioral economics including framing, priming, anchoring, loss aversion, scarcity, social proof, choice architecture and the pain of paying.

She devotes a short chapter to each concept, and she ends each chapter with an exercise designed to help readers apply the concept. Each chapter also includes references to relevant episodes of The Brainy Business podcast where readers can access a more in-depth discussion of each concept.

In Part 3, of the book, Palmer shows how the principles and concepts of behavioral economics can be combined to address a variety of business issues. For example, she includes a chapter explaining now behavioral economics can be used to optimize pricing.

Palmer concludes her book with advice on how marketers and other business leaders can combat the "brain tricks" that can cause them to "get stuck" when attempting to implement behavioral economics.

My Thoughts

What Your Customer Wants and Can't Tell You provides a solid introduction to the use of behavioral economics in business and marketing. Melina Palmer's writing is informal and engaging, which makes it easy for readers who aren't formally trained in the behavioral sciences to grasp the material she discusses. Therefore, marketers and other business professionals in customer-facing functions will find this book to be particularly useful.

This book was obviously written for practitioners - it is not an academic treatment of behavioral economics. But Palmer provides substantial supporting evidence for her material in the form of extensive end notes. Many of these notes cite academic publications, so readers who want a more academic discussion of behavioral economics can easily find relevant resources.

Palmer includes several examples in the book to illustrate how various concepts of behavioral economics can be used, but most of these examples are very brief. I wish the book included a few more detailed "case studies," but readers who want to dig deeper into a specific topic can get more information via The Brainy Business podcast.

To Learn More . . .

Behavioral economics is a topic that's impossible to cover comprehensively in one book. If you want to learn more about the idiosyncrasies and biases in human thinking that underlie behavioral economics, I strongly recommend you read Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

I can also recommend the two books I mentioned earlier - Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely and Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. A new edition of Nudge was published in August of last year. I haven't read it yet, but I suspect it's as good as the original.

Lastly, is a good - if somewhat more technical - source of information and research about behavioral economics.

Image source:  The Brainy Business ( 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

The (Not Completely) New B2B Marketing Directions for 2022

Like many marketers, I used the last couple of months of 2021 to reflect on what happened during the year and to plan for 2022. Because of the unprecedented events of 2020 and 2021, I spent more time than usual taking stock of the state of B2B marketing and assessing what the focus of my content should be in 2022 and beyond.

The COVID-19 pandemic turned 2020 into a nine-month-long exercise in crisis management for many companies. Business shutdowns and work-from-home policies forced many B2B marketers to pivot their go-to-market strategy and to make quick and substantial changes to their marketing plans and tactics.

2021 was a mixed year in several ways. The US economy experienced a robust recovery, and COVID-related fears and concerns eased somewhat with the rollout of vaccines, the approval of vaccine boosters and the development of effective antiviral therapeutics. 

Then, near the end of last year, the Omicron variant appeared, and the world faced the prospect of another major surge of COVID-19.  In the US, that surge is now well underway, but there is evidence the Omicron variant may produce proportionately fewer severe cases of COVID-19, and there is hope that this surge will be shorter than previous ones. So 2021 demonstrated that COVID isn't likely to disappear any time soon.

There's little doubt the pandemic changed the expectations and behaviors of consumers and business buyers, and it's also clear that some of these changes will persist after COVID-related concerns recede. The current challenge for marketers is to determine which of those changes will be longer-lasting and how their marketing strategies will need to evolve to be successful.

Over the past several weeks, I've been thinking through whether or to what extent the events of the past two years should affect the content I publish here. My objective for this blog has always been to provide content that readers will find informative, thought-provoking and useful. I've been gratified by the engagement this blog has received, and I believe it's largely achieving its primary goal.

But there's always room for improvement, and therefore, I'll be making a few changes here beginning next week. During each calendar month, I plan to publish three new types of posts.

Book Reviews - Many important topics can only be addressed adequately in a full-length book, so I'll be writing a book review post on a monthly basis. Most of these reviews will discuss books that have been recently published (usually within the past 1-2 years). Occasionally, however, I may review an older book that is particularly relevant for marketers in the current business environment.

Research Round-Ups - Regular readers of this blog will know that I frequently discuss the findings of marketing-related research studies. Over the past several years, the volume of such studies has increased dramatically, as companies have realized they can be effective for building thought leadership.

These Research Round-Up posts will briefly summarize the results of recently published research studies. Each post will usually cover 2 - 4 studies, although I may occasionally focus on a single study when I believe it's particularly valuable for marketers.

Deep Dives - Research indicates that business professionals value content resources that provide trustworthy and in-depth information and insights. Until recently, blog posts were not typically seen as a good vehicle for addressing a topic in an in-depth way, simply because the conventional view was that blog posts should be relatively short.

This is changing, and I now frequently see longer blog posts that are more like feature articles in a periodical. For example, the Harvard Business Review website and the Sloan Management Review website regularly publish longer online articles.

So this year, I'm planning to publish one post each month that provides a more in-depth treatment of an important topic. This will enable me to address certain topics in a more cohesive and comprehensive manner.

The remaining one or two posts each month will be similar to those I've been writing since I launched this blog more than ten years ago. I'm hoping to include a few posts based on interviews with leading marketing and business thinkers, and I plan to publish several posts providing practical, "how-to" guidance that readers can put to immediate use.

Let's have a great 2022!

Image courtesy of Amanda Slater via Flickr (CC).