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Throwback Thursday: Changing Seasons, Changing Playlists—Music to Inspire Marketing Communications Magic in the Months Ahead

Thursday, September 29th, 2016 by Eric

Depending on where you live, it’s now either the end of summer, the prelude to the end of summer, or the buildup to the prelude to the end of summer.

We hear the pitter-pat of little feet returning to school. We’ll soon see the changing of the leaves. We have a vague sense that it’s time to get more accomplished at work (there are actually people in those previously empty cubicles, you know).

If you’re like me, you use music to stay energized and productive during certain stretches of the workday. Have you considered incorporating some classical into the mix? It’s a great way to engage the ear without distracting the mind.

But don’t just pop any old classical CD into your optical drive. Just as you probably wouldn’t cook a pot roast in July, you’ll want to consider the weather when you select a classical album.

Here are some ideas on good classical composers and pieces for summer:

  • Aaron Copland: Copland is definitely summer music because it’s mostly cowboy music, and I’m pretty sure the cowboys hibernated in winter. Try listening to the “Saturday Night Waltz” from Rodeo on the last day of summer as you sip mojitos and sob.
  • George Gershwin: This may be unfair, but when you write a song as famous as “Summertime,” you’re going to get labeled a summer guy.
  • Samuel Barber’s Summer MusicThis one is kind of a gimme.
  • Johann Strauss, Jr.: Poor Johann. He’s constantly getting programmed on summer pops concerts. But at least he still gets played, which is more than one can say for his contemporaries, the Schrammel brothers.
  • Darius Milhaud: If you’re looking for “tastes great, less filling” classical, Milhaud is your guy. You’ll experience some hummable tunes that don’t ask too much of you—which is perfect when it’s 102 degrees.
  • Olivier Messiaen: Messiaen had a real thing for birdsongs, and birds don’t sing much in winter.
  • Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Michael Tippett: I include them because they were English, and you wouldn’t want to visit England in any season but summer.

And here are some suggestions for winter:

  • The Symphonies of Anton Bruckner: Classical music doesn’t get much wintrier than this. If you insist on listening to Bruckner in the summer, please wait 30 minutes after the end of a symphony before attempting to swim.
  • Anything by Maurice Ravel: Ravel isn’t winter music as such, but rather, rainy day music. If you live in Seattle, and it’s August, but it’s drizzly and 68 for the high, you’re well within your rights to listen to Ravel. You also have great coffee constantly at your disposal. (And I sort of hate you for that.)
  • Jean Sibelius: He was a Finn.
  • Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 (“Winter Dreams”): I can’t believe I’m recommending early Tchaikovsky. But it may just get you into a wintry mood.
  • Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations: Elgar wrote this piece in tribute to a bunch of his weird friends. What better piece to prepare you for those holiday gatherings?

Fall is fast approaching, so start swapping out those CDs and iPod playlists now. Trust me, there’s nothing more embarrassing than getting caught listening to Ferde Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite in December (or any other time). And don’t all marketing professionals need a little inspiration to keep the creativity flowing on all marketing projects during the inevitably-insanely-busy final months of the calendar year?

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Building Brand Loyalty with Content Marketing

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 by Eric

Amazon. Apple. Facebook. The brands with the most loyal customers are, more often than not, the most successful in their market. And it’s no wonder: loyal customers are repeat customers. They’re easier to upsell and cross-sell, and they’re less price-sensitive. They drive down the cost of selling and have higher customer lifetime values. Often, they’re […]

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How to Design a Co-Branded Data Sheet

Thursday, September 15th, 2016 by Todd

Co-branded data sheets are exceptionally popular marketing assets, and it’s easy to see why. These one-pagers not only make it super easy for partners to sell your products, they also make for a great leave-behind with prospective customers. But it can be tricky to co-brand a piece that conveys your core messages—summarizing your product’s features […]

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How to Create a Co-Branded Case Study

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 by Lisa S.

You’d love your partners to put their all into marketing your shared offering, but the truth is that they’re as busy as you are. Add to that the possibility that they’re less than well equipped to produce professional marketing collateral—and your path is clear. To help partners sell your products, we suggest creating co-branded case […]

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How to Create a Partner-Facing PowerPoint Pitch Deck

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 by Allison

To make it ultra easy for partners to sell your products, we suggest giving them a ready-to-use, co-branded sales deck. This asset includes logos from both of your companies, as well as customized information about how your products work together to benefit your target customers. Objective: Generate interest in your joint solution, and spark a […]

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Play Nice: Write the Perfect B2B Sales Playbook for Partners

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 by Lauren

If you sell B2B products through partner channels, a sales playbook just might become the most effective marketing asset in your arsenal. That’s because a good playbook gets partners talking about your products directly with their customers. Some playbooks are massive tomes focused on product details and corresponding messaging. Chances are, your partners will find […]

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How to Create Great Partner Marketing Messaging

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 by Ruth

You’ve got partners eager to sell your latest offering. Before they head out the door to talk to their customers on your behalf, make sure you arm them with the foundation to speak intelligently (and on message!) about your solution. The best way to accomplish this? Give your partner some purpose-built, clear, and concise partner […]

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The Five Most Useful Partner Marketing Assets

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 by Allison

Partner marketing is smart. Selling products through distributors allows you to reach many more customers, and grow your business exponentially. But partners need the right tools—different tools than those you’d share with your customers—to successfully sell your services and maintain the integrity of your brand. The Content Bureau has helped numerous clients develop core partner […]

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Throwback Thursday—How to Create a Great Customer Video, Part I: The Case Study Interview

Thursday, July 7th, 2016 by Dan

Compelling customer video testimonials are an important part of any modern marketing campaign. Yet superior case study video interviews require equal parts planning and magic. In a YouTube world, how do you capture the best customer sound bites on camera? Before I learned to interview customers on camera, I hired experts. I watched and learned. After working […]

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Digital Storytelling as a Way to Build Corporate Communities

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 by Reka

Have you heard of the International Day for Sharing Life Stories? It’s May 16th, the day that Pulitzer Prize-winning Studs Terkel—known best for his oral histories of everyday Americans—was born. It’s a day to celebrate the power of telling personal stories as a way to build community—any community, from rural to corporate. Personal stories—first-person stories […]

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