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Puppies, Practice & Performance Incentives: Our Most Shared Blog Posts of 2014

Running a blog is a lot of work.

There's the sometimes-grueling task of generating ideas and managing the editorial calendar. There's the constant workload juggling that needs to occur to find time to write. And then there's the actual writing itself -- sometimes effortless, sometimes an absolute battle.

But I think, in an honest moment, we'd all admit that working on the Nebo blog is one of our favorite tasks. It's one of the few times we get to sit down and put our own thoughts to paper (or pixels) with little thought to ROI, CTAs, or SEO. We pride ourselves on our blog being a place to explore interesting, authentic topics and to generate discussion among our whip-smart industry peers.

Here are the posts that resonated most deeply this year, with us and you.

Thanks for reading.

15. Human Centered B2B

 

As marketers, we've come a long way in how we market consumer goods and services. We've learned how to tell stories. How to speak to people authentically. But in B2B? We're lightyears behind. In this post, we outline how to market B2B solutions with a B2C approach. {read it here}

14. Social Media Is Not a Skill

 

So many young people coming out of college hold a deadly misconception -- that knowing how to Like and Retweet things is a marketable skill. Here's the truth. Social media is merely a platform where your communication skills can shine. Learning the Facebook interface is easy. Becoming a great writer, designer, or community manager is not. {read it here}

13. Redefining SEO

 

Search Engine Optimization is so early 2000s. Today, we live in a world where Google is only the beginning -- you can search music on Spotify, video on YouTube, and soon you'll be able to search your own fridge for ingredients and order them online. In this call to action, we suggest a new meaning for SEO; one that can take us into 2015 and beyond. {read it here}

12. Performance Incentives

 

Have you ever stopped to think about why dealing with salespeople is so frustrating? It's because they care about making the sale over helping you find the right solution. But it's not their fault -- they're incented and measured by things like sales and profit margin. And that's exactly the problem. {read it here}

11. False Thought Leadership

 

"Thought leadership" has to be one of the biggest buzzwords of the 2010s. But now that every VP, CEO, and Director is writing industry articles and op-eds, it's going to take more than just hiring a copywriter to churn them out on your behalf. Which means copywriters are in for a big change. {read it here}

10. Practice, Practiced

 

Peyton Manning. Michael Jordan. Wayne Gretzky. They became the best not purely through skill, but through rigorous and dedicated practice. But what about us? We're so overwhelmed by deliverables we can't make time to actually purposefully hone our skills. That's a problem. {read it here}

9. Anti-Collaboration?

 

Having a cohesive team is great, but it shouldn't be a green light to turn every project into a democracy. Great marketing, like great art, reflects a singular and well-executed vision. {read it here}

8. The Fallacy of the Funnel

 

Did you know the buyer journey as we know it today has been around since 1898? While a good starting point for understanding consumer behavior, it's hopeless out of touch with the way that people in 2014 enter, exit, backtrack, and jump ahead of the decision cycle at will. Here's what we can do about it. {read it here}

7. Empathy as a Skill

 

Without empathy, you can never be a great marketer. You need to understand more than just demographics and unique selling points; you need to understand your audience and their hopes, dreams, and fears. The good news is that empathy can be learned. It can be practiced. And it can become your secret weapon. {read it here}

6. The Equal Pay Debate

 

Equal Pay is one of the great issues of our time. Or is it? In this post, our CEO argues that the matter of salary will work itself out over time as women begin to occupy more and more leadership positions. It's the deeper, uglier cultural gender biases that we need to work together to change. {read it here}

5. Firing First, Finishing Last

 

The sad truth of the business world is that our first reaction to failure is to fire someone. It covers our asses. It makes us look proactive. But does it really solve the problem? Here's what we can learn about this odd ritual from the NFL and its infamous Black Monday. {read it here}

4. A Visual History of Santa

 

Santa Claus is fascinating, not only for all the songs and stories written about him, but because he's a near perfect reflection of American religion, history, culture, and marketing trends. Here's how Santa has evolved over the years, and what it tells us about our own past. {read it here}

3. How to Change the World

 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton is one of the most influential women in American history, but her story is rarely told. In this post we explored what made Stanton such a powerhouse of change even though she didn't have the celebrity or exposure of many of her peers, and how we can learn from it. {read it here}

2. A Simple Smile

 

Our ode to the power of positivity. We all know that we smile when we're happy, but did you know that forcing a smile can actually MAKE us happier? Injecting a little cheer, even when things are tough, can go a long way. {read it here}

1. Atlanta: The Next Great City

 

Our most shared post of 2014 (by a wide margin) had a simple message: The Renaissance was largely fueled by the city of Florence, a place brimming with talent and passion. The next great period in human history, the digital revolution, will be led by Atlanta. The proof is all around us. {read it here}

Written by Evan Porter on December 30, 2014

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Written by
Evan Porter