Influencer Marketing Strategy and Social Media

The enthusiastic, entertaining and energetic Gordon Glenister brings a fresh eye to influencer marketing for B2B companies in his book “Influencer Marketing Strategy.” Listen here https://strand-uk.com/strand-reviews/ The Strand Reviews series is already revealing a common theme: while traditional marketing principles remain, the method of delivery is changing fast. Paper billboards have become digital interactive screens;…


Account-Based Marketing

Interview with author Jessica Fewless Buy the book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Account-Based-Marketing-Target-Companies-Revenue/dp/1119572002/


The Customer Catalyst

Interview with author Daniel Bausor Buy the book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Customer-Catalyst-Sustainable-Business-Economy/dp/1119575087/


The Laws of Brand Storytelling

Interview with author Ekaterina Walter Buy her book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Laws-Brand-Storytelling-Keep_Your-Customers/dp/1260440192/


What makes writing readable?

You may have come across software solutions that score text for readability. Often, the scores are based on the Flesch-Kincaid (F-K) system. Yet at an F-K of 65.88, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix rates close to Moby Dick at 57.9, which seems peculiar. Whatever happened to engagement, emotion, peril, revelation, surprise…? In…


What’s happening with ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a classic case of garbage-in-garbage-out. For one client, we trialled ChatGPT to write blog posts, which produced well-phrased outpourings of a lunatic. In that example, we asked ChatGPT to write posts based on prompts concerning industrial chemistry. But ChatGPT is not an expert; it generates content based on its training model’s sources, regardless…


ChatGPT is conscious

Consciousness appears to be the experience of an internal dialogue. As I think about what to write, my unspoken voice-in-my-head suggests the next thoughts; as I taste pineapple, it provokes a (very personal) revulsion. You, of course, do not hear my internal voice, or know why I find pineapple revolting. You take it on trust…


Account-Based Marketing

Nothing helps kick-start my New Year’s planning like a little holiday reading! If you’re searching for inspiration, I recommend “Account-Based Marketing: Unlocking Sustainable Value Through Extraordinary Customer Focus” by Bev Burgess and Tim Shercliff (Amazon). Many of the examples and case studies in the book refer principally to the enterprise technology world, including Fujitsu, IBM,…


Quick intro, if I may…

Quick intro: Strand helps B2B technology companies sell the business benefits of their solutions, principally by writing case studies and thought leadership papers. “When I brief Strand, I have total confidence that the final job will be done exactly as we want. I find your service invaluable and unique, and see Strand as an extension…


The Nike swoosh is nothing without “Just Do It”

Let’s face it, you’re not reading this because of the typeface. You’re reading this because the words might convey a useful thought. How to get free stuff. How to make money. Find a partner. Dump a partner. Whatever. Many marketing managers start by looking for design, marketing, or branding agencies. Sooner or later, they discover…


If you hide how hard you work, people think you do not work hard

In March 2019 (aaaages ago), Harvard Business Review published an article on operational transparency (https://hbr.org/2019/03/operational-transparency). The summary is: If you hide how hard you work, people think you do not work hard. Yet in sales and marketing materials we constantly strive to make things look and sound easy. How many times do we say “smooth deployment” and “streamlined…


Marketing barometer 2022

Here’s a marketing stat that might be of interest to you: year-to-date, Strand has already handled around 10% more writing and design projects than in 2021. In fact, the 2022 year-end project numbers might be 15% higher than last year – though not necessarily more budget! Perhaps the figures above provide you with a barometer…


AI or Security?

For some time, a sure-fire way to gain media attention has been to write about Artificial Intelligence. No matter how obscure or tenuous the connection, AI was marketing pixie-dust, to be sprinkled liberally on blog posts, white papers, and solution briefs. However, here at Strand we think security may be emerging as the new hot…


Information security

Strand recently reviewed and renewed its ISO 27001 Information Security Management Systems certification. If you would like to know more, please drop me a line. Toby Chapman-Dawe toby.chapman-dawe@strand-uk.com


White Papers

Outside the technology bubble, the term “white paper” means a government policy document that sets out proposals for legislation. In the enterprise technology sector, “white paper” means a long-form (2,500 words or so) piece that describes an industry or marketplace, and its likely future. Strand is writing waaaaay more white papers than in the past…


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.” — King Charles III


Emotion vs Cold, Hard, Cash

The latest advertising, sales and marketing techniques borrow heavily from the B2C marketplace: emotional engagement and impact. For example, knowing that a logistics management solution helps to deliver humanitarian aid will engage potential buyers more deeply than ROI. But now you have their attention, what criteria will buyers use to assess the solution? My instinct…


John Donne

Read this book! Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne, by K. Rundell. Toby Chapman-Dawe toby.chapman-dawe@strand-uk.com


Summer: the perfect opportunity to relax, refresh and renew

…and to create new content for September onwards, such as eBooks, white papers, videos, and written case studies. Strand offers: Fixed fees per project No limits on amendments No retainer, no monthly fees Not-happy no-fee guarantee “When I brief Strand, I have total confidence that the final job will be done exactly as we want….


Best-practice mailshot

One of the most effective – in terms of response – mailshots from Strand… announced a change of phone number. No sales message, no Carefully Crafted Content™, just a new phone number. Toby Chapman-Dawe toby.chapman-dawe@strand-uk.com


Strand offers…

In brief, Strand offers case-study writing and related editorial services, specifically and exclusively for enterprise technology companies. We help explain the business benefits of sophisticated technologies to your prospect customers, by writing your case studies, white papers, blog posts and more. Who at your company would find Strand’s content-writing capabilities useful? Send them an email…



Here’s what one client thinks of Strand’s services: “When I brief Strand, I have total confidence that the final job will be done exactly as we want. I find your service invaluable and unique, and see Strand as an extension of the team, not a supplier. I am really happy to recommend Strand to any…


Yes It Could

My favourite technology test is whether the same outcome could be achieved by other means. If the answer is “Yes It Could,” then the real benefit has nothing to do with technology, but the outcome that the solution delivers. And the answer, by the way, is *always* “Yes It Could.” Toby Chapman-Dawe toby.chapman-dawe@strand-uk.com


It’s not about the technology

Yeeeeears ago, a Large Financial Institution launched web-based loan application solution. Punters entered their application details, which were processed by the bank’s back-end system and the results returned two hours later. Usually the in-branch paper-based process took weeks to return an answer. The slight hitch was that in those days nobody could get the web…


Combined written/video projects

As the year accelerates away from us, you may be interested to hear about the growth of combined video and written case study projects. In essence, the idea is to promote the business benefits of your solutions by asking your customers to go on-camera. We have found that today’s customers are very comfortable with being…



All our flags are Ukranian. To know the outcome, look no further than The Art Of War, by Niccolò Machiavelli.


Feed the Marketo-Mailchimp machine

Marketo, Mailchimp and the many, many similar solutions have transformed marketing. Sophisticated automation now powers the marketing machines of almost every large enterprise. Consequently, the appetite for compelling reasons-to-write has expanded, almost beyond comprehension. Some email nurture campaigns contain thirty steps, each with possible downloads or story hooks or new animations and images. The demand…


Welcome to 2022!

Prediction for the year: the first AI will be considered ‘conscious,’ and it will pass all tests designed to prove otherwise.


Strand moves

Strand has moved office, from 165 The Broadway SW19 1NE to 165 The Broadway SW19 1NE – two floors up!


Life-giving water

  Here’s to the generous, the visionaries, the world-changers – to you! Your generous donation of $2,500.00 will make lasting safe water and sanitation solutions possible for people in need. Here’s to you and here’s to changing lives with safe water! To learn more, visit Water.org.


In praise of nuance

Marketing = ensuring your prospective customers know of your sales proposition. Enablement = ensuring your prospective customers have sufficient information to make a purchasing decision. Generally, marketing is proactive, outbound, and designed to generate attention and interest. Enablement responds to incoming enquiries (created by marketing) with nuture sequences, assets, and calls to action. The assets…


In praise of middle management

History is written by triumphant leaders and their acolytes. Lost in the miasma, middle management tends to get bad press, along the lines of “You can’t manage your way out of a crisis.” I’d argue that success arises from the capture marginal gains, and that’s where middle managers are at their strongest. Let’s take two…


Strand launches the Customer Catalyst Conference online

Are you ready for the New Customer Economy? It’s a world where *everything* is available as a service. The peril is that you can sign customers up quick, and in the next breath they quit for the competition. How do you respond, how do you drive growth?


Good-bye sales teams?

If buyers have better-than 75% decided on what to buy *before* they engage with a company, is there any room for the sales team? Some while back, the sales director of a large software company admitted to me that the customer support team brought in more revenue than the sales team. The support agents would…


The True Foundation of Business is Trust

Thoroughly modern management is focused, for the large part, on the definition, automation and industrialization of business processes. For example, today’s sales process is seen as a function of pipeline, qualification, and deal-closure, all to be measured and managed. And note the use of the word ‘process’ next to ‘sales.’ The true foundation of business…


Top Ten Technology Analysts 2020

Found this on the Apollo Research site, here: https://www.apolloresearch.com/blog/the-top-10-technology-analysts-2020/ “In total, we at Apollo Research recorded 3,960 different technology analysts quoted over the last year. With that much competition for coverage, Patrick Moorhead’s achievement in 2020 is quite exceptional.”


The content flywheel

Came across this: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/becoming-inbound-business-what-does-mean-fundamental-steps-maurice/ Worth five minutes of your time, perhaps.


The True Foundation of Business is Trust

Thoroughly modern management is focused, for the large part, on the definition, automation and industrialization of business processes. For example, today’s sales process is seen as a function of pipeline, qualification, and deal-closure, all to be measured and managed. And note the use of the word ‘process’ next to ‘sales.’ The true foundation of business…


The Customer Catalyst Conference

WOWSERS! Just finished the world-first Customer Catalyst Online Conference with speakers from Zoom, Cisco, Advanced, Slack, Ritz-Carlton, ServiceNow and many more. FOMO? If you are hungry for great content but short on time, ON DEMAND is the way to go. Pick and choose from TED-length presentations on a grab-and-go basis. REGISTER! To watch these world leaders, register…


The Customer Catalyst Conference

WHO? If you sell or market enterprise IT solutions, or are engaged in customer advocacy or reference programmes, then The Customer Catalyst Online Conference is specifically and exclusively for you. ONLINE? If you are hungry for great content but short on time, online is the way to go. Pick and choose from TED-length presentations on a…


Technology Marketing Managers’ Index, June 2020

Welcome to the survey results from the Technology Marketing Managers’ Index, June 2020. I invite you to compare the results with your own views. Should you be reining in, or trying to out-market your competitors? On that topic, the Budget Barometer hints that people may be increasing their marketing activity: Confidence has declined slightly, from…


Technology Marketing Managers’ Index, May 2020

Welcome to the survey results from the Marketing Managers’ Index, May 2020. Scroll/swipe down for the interesting bits! The results may give you some insight into current industry sentiment. I have not commented on the data, and leave you to draw your own conclusions. If you have any questions, please let me know and I…


Four Kinds of Value

How do we assign value to what we hear? How about this: 1 Zero Value: Me telling me how great I am 2 Some Value: Me telling someone else how great I am 3 Fair Value: Someone else telling me how great I am  4 High Value: Someone else telling someone else how great I…


K.I.S.S. my Content

Every day I try to think of new, gripping, ripping yarns to post: Five-Point-Plans, Fascinating Facts, Illustrative Alliteration for the Amusement of Muddled Marketers. You get the picture. But today I gotta tell ya about the Most Successful Marketing Campaign Ever – and it wasn’t even intended as a marketing campaign. We changed our switchboard…


B2B vs SEO

The internet is a land of numbers: hits, conversions, dwell, rankings & more. It is now possible to measure almost every aspect of our web interactions, holding out the prospect of validated ‘performance marketing.’ And, as we all we know, “What gets measured gets managed.” (Peter Drucker never said or wrote this, but thanks to…


Marketing Managers’ Index

Foreground The Marketing Managers’ Index is based on a four-question survey of execs in the enterprise technology sector. The aim is to build a picture of confidence and future prospects. The questionnaire link changes each month. Mail surveys@strand-uk to find out more. Background You may have heard of the Purchasing Managers’ Index, which surveys the…



LinkedIn is one of my favourite business tools right now. Yet with the sheer volume of traffic, how do you cut through the cr** and have your messages seen by the right folk? First, if you’re posting or advertising on LinkedIn, have a look at the scale of the challenge: https://blog.hootsuite.com/linkedin-statistics-business/ https://www.oberlo.co.uk/blog/linkedin-statistics https://kinsta.com/blog/linkedin-statistics/ How about…


Shoot a video without leaving your desk

Sorry to jump on the coronavirus bandwagon, but it’s on everyone’s mind…  These days, if you find customers are reluctant to host a visit from your video team (and their dirty germs), then all is not lost!  Create the video from stock, b-roll, animations and graphics.  You may be surprised at what can be done…


The power of a microphone

What’s the most-prized profile photo on Linked In? Yep, the one with the microphone. Why is that? A photo or video of yourself striding the stage, microphone in hand (or better yet, with a performer’s wearable set) sends a powerful message. And boy-oh-boy, that sure feeds the ego! Look at all those fawning acolytes, just…


A sense of purpose

Whatever you might think and whatever the customer might say, a good technology case study is *never* about the software – or the hardware, or even the services & support. A great case study is *always* about the outcome, and the outcome is *always* about something personal that somebody wanted to achieve. Why? Companies –…


Top Ten Tips for creating a great case study

Normally I avoid ‘top ten’ and ‘tips’ articles. It’s all too easy to say how *someone else* should write a case study; the only real test is to write the darn thing. On the shaky ground that two negatives make a positive, I am adding ‘top ten’ to ‘tips’ for my Top Ten Tips for…


How do you solve writer’s block?

Without question, Strand’s clients are among the brightest and best, easily capable of writing their own blogs, papers, case studies and clerihews. So why do clients, every single one of them an IT marketing leader, hire Strand? In economics terms, it’s down to the rules of comparative advantage, defined by David Ricardo in 1817. In…


How do you write a great case study?

Recently I read an article focused on the value of storytelling, couched in terms of a coherent, compelling, persuasive piece of writing. The author recommends that you create a connection, provoke the audience, offer evidence and empower action, etc etc. In one section, the author writes “implement these steps to craft your own stories and…


Case study writing: make a choice

Faced with case study writing, it’s all too tempting to report what the customer said. But is the customer always right? Take a case study sparked off by an ‘enforced upgrade,’ moving from out-of-support software (which works perfectly well) to a new version. The typical customer (often the CIO) will say “We needed to upgrade.”…


Nobody has to do anything

Here’s a story. Often we are commissioned to create case studies on your clients who are upgrading their software. You know, Version 2 to Version 4. SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA. That kind of thing. And the upgrade is a big sale, and the team wants a case study to help push along the next sale….


Agreement, approval

Writing for clients can be a revealing exercise, especially when it comes to what we clumsily call ‘approval.’ When we send draft text to clients, we so often find ourselves drowning in a sea of feedback from multiple individuals, all with their equally valid opions. I realized that we usually invite clients to *approve* the…


Flash in the pan (and tilt and zoom…)

Does ‘digital marketing agency’ or ‘video marketing agency’ sound worrying? When faxes were new, new ‘fax marketing’ agencies sprang up, possessed with the immediacy and urgency of faxes. When email arrived, new ’email marketing’ agencies sprang up, determined that email was the way to grab people’s attention. Right now, video is a hot medium –…


Re-position yourself

A new client has asked to re-position the [perfectly good] brand. The fundamental point, though, is that while we can create video, written, infographic, press and social pieces until they come out of your ears, we believe that the first step is to re-position yourself. What on earth does that mean, ‘re-position yourself’? Here’s a…


Events, dear boy, events

Events, whether technical, sales or marketing, are huge opportunities to beef up your customer testimonials output – and yet so rarely are the opportunities truly siezed. We have found that even at the busiest events, your clients are surprisingly willing to find 30 minutes for a conversation that can lead to a reference either on…


Blockchain for a greener planet

Like lasers, blockchain started as a solution looking for a problem – and of course lasers are now ubiquitous (theodolites, DVD players, display pointers, scalpels, optical tweezers…). Practical blockchain applications are emerging – for example, blockchain technologies will enable automated, secure micro-trading of energy generation and consumption. What does it actually mean, though? It’s easy…


Robin Sieger, success, and customer satisfaction

World-renowned speaker and thinker Robin Sieger (https://siegerinternational.com/) asks “Would you go to a film if someone said it was satisfactory?” and “Would you go to a restaurant if someone said the food was satisfactory?” Why do we use customer satisfaction scores to measure success? By the way, if you’re looking for a conference keynote speaker,…


Social video

There is no question that video is hot, but the big debate is short- or long-form? Budweiser might spend millions on a 30sec ad to air at the Superbowl, and yet so many companies insist on four-minute product-focused, feature-led talking heads. Aaargh! My Ridiculous Video Rules: Shorter Cut out the intro Shorter, please It is…


Tell Mum (and the dog)

As a rookie journalist I learned the Iron Rule: get the punter’s name right. Why? Because in print, the first thing anyone checks is their name. Katherine not Catherine. Thompson not Thomson. MacDonald not McDonald. (I could go on…) Today, we’re more visual. When you see holiday snaps or video, who do you look for?…


Sheep dip

It’s an old theme of mine, but it comes up time and time again: the customer sheep dip. Creating a written or video customer reference, case study or testimonial takes time and effort, and that translates into love, care and attention. For a relatively short period, the customer is treated with super-soft kid gloves, encouraged…


The Entrepreneurs’ Marketing Manual

If you fancy a refreshingly direct view of marketing, I recommend The Enterpreneurs’ Marketing Manual by Chris Willman. Visit the site, too.


Testimonials: real proof

From: Susan Date: 26/06/2019 18:11 Subject: Re: Year to Date Report: Case Studies and Videos June 2019 ________________________________________ Wonderful work!!! Thank you so much for all you do and to your extended team of writers/designers etc. -Susan Global Product Marketing Manager


Sales psychology & relationships

In the past, perpetual licenses and support contracts were handled exclusively by sales teams, and the company Sales Director was responsible for near-100% of revenue. Speaking with many software companies, I now know that the effect of cloud and saas is dawning on many software companies. For them, more than 80% of revenue comes from…


Video vs Written

There’s a good deal of talk about video taking over the world, displacing the written word. Here’s my take on it: Yeeeaaars ago, when faxes (remember them?) were new, ‘fax marketing,’ blossomed. The idea was that faxes commanded immediate attention, and fax marketing was a way to cut through the clutter. Ring any bells? The…


Unpopular social media

In a recent client meeting, their social media guru reported in tones of breathless excitement – how hits, posts and tweets were soaring. Not only that, the rate of soar was itself soaring. Bearing in mind that I’m a miserable curmudgeon, the presenter – an enthusiastic, personable West Coaster – really had me interested. Gee,…


Writers never ‘need to’

Nobody ever needs to do anything. What about if I hold a gun to your head and demand you give me access to your super-secret codes? Even then, you have a choice – give the codes or be shot. There is no ‘need to.’ People want to avoid a consequence or achieve an ambition, and…


Nobody ever has ‘requirements’

It’s a commonplace to talk about ‘requirements,’ as in “to meet your business requirements.” Well, Yes and No. Using ‘requirements’ like this is lazy shorthand, which covers up the underlying decision points and motivations. It is far more powerful to spell out what is actually going on: maybe the company is drowning in costs or…


Get Shorty!

Brevity can be the heart and soul of clarity, for both video and written pieces. Here’s a thing: a 30-second TV ad lasts an aaaaage. You can grow a spare head watching a John Lewis ad (two minutes, twenty seconds). And even though the advertisers spend a TON of money on these efforts, they are…


Advocacy, trust, referrals and testimonials

Advocacy is somewhat like loyalty: if you have to ask for it, then you probably won’t get it – and you might even create the opposite effect. The next-best-things to advocacy are probably referrals and testimonials, because you can certainly ask for those. If the answer is positive, you may incidentally create advocates. If the…