Book – Make It Stick

Make-it-Stick.pngThis very enjoyable book gave me a different perspective than its primary purpose.

As I was educated in the former Soviet Union, study techniques were taught early, and the educational system was based on frequent concept tests.  Mnemonic rules were also known, but not used as much, as concepts rather than memorization was a base of education.  Math was considered easy and foreign languages were considered hard (can you imagine just sitting and memorizing words rather than learning a concept and applying it…?)  🙂   Re-reading text multiple times was not recommended and highlighting in a book was strictly prohibited.

What I did not realize,  is that I was lucky to go through that system (admittedly, kicking and screaming as a child), which allowed me to take a rational approach to learning later. However, I was very surprised when my colleagues seem to struggle more.

Once I hired a very curious person, who needed to learn one of the company’s systems.  I assumed that after reading the manual, this person would come up with a few little test projects to practice the knowledge in different aspects of the system.  It did not happen..  The person was waiting for a task to be assigned.

Now I understand why.  I gave the practice tasks and the person achieved mastery of the system very fast, but why I needed to give the practice tasks was a mystery to me…  Wouldn’t it be more fun to work on little tests of your own choice?  This person just did not know how.  I need to remember that and structure presentation of educational materials in the most reasonable form.

Another interesting concept: frequent switching between different jobs involved in the integrated process helps employees understand the entire process.  As we might assume that employees would try to understand “the large picture” intuitively, this type of training needs to be built into the overall function of the organization.

Excellent book!  It gave me more appreciation of little bothersome tests I disliked as a child decades ago 😉

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BMA – Content Strategy For B-to-B Web Site Transformation

Excellent event!  Though web content and content marketing seem to be a cozy and familiar topic, the presentation was packed with new perspectives and explanation of familiar concepts.

pic.pngInteresting: Sirius Decisions observe a tendency to re-silo within marketing organizations (due to technical complexity) after some time of integration efforts.  

Marketing content lives in different “places.”  Some organizations try to do “too much” – have content for each persona for each stage of the sales cycle.

Sometimes web sites is a place of “asset chaos – no cohesive understanding of what content assets are on the site, how they are performing, and how they are supporting audiences and objectives.”

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Web content strategy is part of your content in general and it is completely dependent on other aspects of the business – embrace the dependency!

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Audience prioritization: one company had literally 5,000 independent web sites to address virtually the same audience (IT), because business stakeholders could not agree.

Messaging framework: sometimes, getting the web site right is the forcing function to create messaging framework, as it does not exist.

Content: “Smaller amount better”  – how much content do you need?  Probably less than you have today.

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Note – the impactful content asset types are considered in different stages of the sales cycle – sales presentation is the most impactful, but is is used at a very specific time.

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Two best slides separating formats and channels, what is often confused in the industry.

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Targeting: tricky to do, and even trickier to do with too many personas. “Where is the most important place to start?”

Interesting: when companies do technology audit, they are more likely not to add, but to remove technologies.

Excellent presentation!