620 N McKnight Rd. Unit 2E St. Louis, MO 63124


Content Marketing

Many marketers for years have wasted the time of other marketers and cost businesses countless dollars from unproductive time spent on tasks that won’t produce results.

This isn’t some in-depth piece on the details of how this happens.

This is a Public Service Announcement to all business and marketing professionals to stop letting under performing marketers waste your time.  Demand efficiency and demand results.

We don’t waste time, We get work Done!

Have you struggled to figure out how to brand / re-brand your company?  Or even wondered if doing it is a waste of time?

We don’t consider ourselves a Branding Agency but we are experts at knowing where your company lands in the spectrum of branding needs.

Here’s a Fact!

If you were to talk to a creative / branding agency today they will tell you that…

  • You need to do research
  • Create a messaging & positioning strategy
  • Build the creative

Makes sense right? It sure does, but wow, that’s generic!

Then they’ll speak to the success of big brands.  They will always reference Apple, then talk about other huge brands like Nike and others.

Here’s another Fact!

Apple didn’t become how it is today overnight.  Neither did Nike or any other huge brand.


This is a typical journey of a company from startup to mature leading brand.

  1. Company starts – No one knows you who are or how good your product / service is
  2. Company gets sales – The company has the ability to keep going
  3. Company grows – Now more sales are achieved and needed to get bigger
  4. Company is bigger – More people know about the company through sales and word or mouth
  5. Company matures – Refines processes, products and services in a consistent way
  6. Company is defined – People now know the company by it’s name, logo, products, services, etc.

Most companies hang out at stages 2, 3 and 4.

You get very little benefit from Apple-level branding until your ready to move into stage 5 of maturing the company.

Of course you need to differentiate your company, define your goals and have a clean & consistent visual identity.

But to over focus on your message and position in early stages can only help so much.

If you’re company is in stage 3 or 4 then you need to focus on strategic deployment of your company, products and services.

Sales focused messages that are put directly in front of the people that best fit your ideal customer profile and those searching for the products & services you provide.

There’s a Branding for that!

And it’s not the overthinking of which adjectives to use when describing how you provide the best services and deliver the best products.

*As a side note that’s pretty much every branding agency’s process. Figure out a way to say how you’re different, provide the best service and have the best products in a way that makes you feel good about the process you just went through and paid for.


By researching online what customers pain points are, how they search for the products & services you sell and what other industry authorities are saying on these topics you can create a content strategy that answers their questions, get’s you found and “brands” you as a go to resource and provider of exactly what your customers are looking for.

This will grow your sales, your brand and your reputation (which ultimately is a part of your brand).


Contact us to learn more about how we can Brand you into more sales!

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Specifics You Would Like Us to Know?

Apple’s iOS 11 will now have a native installation of a QR Code reader built into the camera.

QR code usage was never really that strong due to the need for using a 3rd party app to scan them.

The journey went something like this:  A company adds a QR code to some information or engagement piece, the user has to find and download a QR reader, then has to scan the code and finally land on the piece.

Now all the user has to do is open their camera and click!

This is huge for Commercial Printing Company Marketing because now it makes sense to add QR to direct mail, brochures, flyers, posters, etc.

What are your thoughts?

B2B marketing has evolved from its meager origins of sales support materials to a highly nuanced complicated field. The following B2B executives express views which not only provide clarity to navigating the current climate, but are also of immediate and timeless value to other areas of your business.

1. John Hayes, CEO of Com

“…there is going to be a staggering volume of content coming from industrial marketers in 2017.  Even the ones who are doing it poorly plan to keep on spending money to churn out more and more content. And that content is all targeting the same audience.”

Hayes’s advice to stand out from the crowd is to spend more time developing high-quality content rather than publish as much as possible. Quality over quaintly, always.


2. Bob Bechek, Worldwide Managing Director of Bain & Company

“…don’t be afraid necessarily to stay in one place and build something significant.”

Wise words from the consulting giant Bechek, which certainly applies to our current marketing atmosphere; rather than jump from one trendy platform to the next without thought, build a cohesive strategy and stick with it before making a decision to discard.


3. Diana O’Brien, Chief Marketing Officer of Deloitte

“…thought leadership is an anchor not just to marketing, positioning and content, but it also serves as the fundamental source for our professionals because our people are our greatest asset.”

If you are struggling to develop high quality content, chances are that the people working for you are already capable of producing excellent marketing materials. Enable them to use their voice!


4. Pierre Duprat, Vice-President, Corporate Communications of VINCI

“One can speak of the emergence of social media, 2.0 world. It is a vision software.”

VINCI is the world’s largest construction company, and their marketing gurus recognize that the best strategy is investment in future technologies, which will not resemble the world today. And Duprat makes an important point – as we move closer to fully utilizing resources like virtual reality headsets, marketing in the B2B space will be driven by visuals.


5. Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO of Quad/Graphics

“We constantly dare ourselves to think differently … to ask “what if” and “why not?” … to experiment. The worst that can happen is we fail trying. The best is we champion the next breakaway idea that catapults us to the next level of success.”

Hopefully you’ve noticed the theme! B2B execs believe in a willingness to try new strategies and technologies in order to develop the best marketing campaign possible, which can be an important differentiator amongst competition in fields like commercial printing.


6. Leon Black, Chairman of Apollo Global Management

“Doing something that is worthwhile in terms of helping others is important.”

Marketing is more than trying to close a sale. In the digital age where there is noise coming from every direction, it is imperative for your marketing to be of actual value for your potential clients or customers.


For more B2B Digital Marketing strategies and tactics check out the rest of our site!

Marin recently pulled together information as a report on the State of Digital Marketing for 2017.

From their site:
“Marin Software interviewed top digital marketing managers around the world to discover the trends, opportunities, and challenges they face in 2017. Read the report to learn the current state of the digital marketing industry, plus expert tips and recommendations for success.

Highlights include:
Digital Marketers’ top priorities for 2017
The ROI potential of different mobile marketing strategies
The main reasons marketers miss out on revenue opportunities
How marketers can increase advertising performance by 70% or more
The hottest marketing technologies industry leaders are looking to invest in next”

We grabbed some of the highlights and shared them here:

  • 43% of marketers expect their mobile budgets on search marketing investment to increase between 10% and 30% in 2017
  • On the social side, 70% of respondents plan to increase their advertising budget
  • Marketers on search and social face an ongoing learning curve due to the constant influx of new features and ad products. As a result, many struggle to keep up with the fast pace of innovation *We at Acumen don’t struggle with this by the way

You can download the full PDF report here: http://downloads.digitalmarketingdepot.com/rs/727-ZQE-044/images/MAR_1706_StateDigAd.pdf

It’s important for everyone to understand what WE DON’T DO.

We ARE NOT a design / creative agency.
We ARE NOT a PR agency.
We ARE NOT a copy writing house.

What WE ARE is a strategic content marketing agency that uses search engine and social media data to identify market demand, how that demand is sought, how the channels which deliver answers to that demand present options / solutions and then turn that research into a plan which we execute on.

We ONLY CARE about meeting the goals set.
If you want 30 leads each month, then we’ll get it for you.
If you want to understand what channels have the highest opportunity for new sales, then we’ll figure it out.
If you want us to build the assets and infrastructure to distribution, collect and close new business, then we’ll create it.

We DO NOT CARE about Facebook. We care that Facebook can deliver a sales outcome for you.
We DO NOT CARE about LinkedIn. We care that LinkedIn can deliver a sales outcome for you.
We DO NOT CARE about Email. We care that Email can deliver a sales outcome for you.

Get what we’re saying?!

It’s not about the channel, it’s about what the channel can do for you.
The market tells us if it’s working by engaging and converting with content.
We focus on the goal, what the market is asking, where they are asking it and how the channels choose to present content.

Channels come and go.
Trends in design and copy writing come and go.

Our process focuses on capitalizing on the channels and the tactical trends that will move you towards your goals.

So if you are most concerned with creating a strategy to ensure your business is seen online, drives more leads and closes more business then talk to us.

If you are more interested in the shade of red in your email footer not looking the same on your desktop screen and your iPhone DO NOT talk to us!

All We Do Is Win.

Our friends at Everplans provided this great research into why it is so important to keep the all relationships in the families you advise strong.

It’s time to start remembering kids birthdays and maybe sending a gift!

93% of advisors think that they will continue to manage the assets of a client that dies.
Fact: 85% of children Fire the financial advisor their parents used!
Only 7% of children know / knew who their parents financial advisor was.

Read more in the infographic below.

Infographic financial advisor and family marketing

What is Content Marketing really? And is a Content Marketing Strategy different than a Content Strategy?

To the second question, NO, there is no difference.

Let us explain our answer to the first question.

There are many definitions given for content marketing, but ours is pretty simple.
The use of any consciously consumed piece of content created to enhance relationships, education and convince with the goal of getting someone to make a decision or take action.
For us this applies to visibility, awareness, lead generation and conversion or sale.

Content Marketing Strategy vs. Content Strategy

We say there isn’t a difference.
But what do others say?

Some say that content marketing strategy is understanding who your audience is, creating your message, have a brand guide and implementing it.
Some say that content strategy is more about channel strategy and the types of content that goes on those channels.

While we agree that both should exist, we also believe they are one in the same and that it goes beyond the content.

What is Content?

Content is a tool to communicate.
That’s it.

We dare you to argue with us on this. We always win!

Content Marketing Strategy

When we create a content marketing strategy we do these things:

  • Ask you questions about your business
  • Ask you questions about your customers
  • Look at your customer data & behavior
  • Research the market using search engines
  • Research your customers using search engines
  • Research the market using social media
  • Research your customers using social media
  • Identify how your targets consume online
  • Develop a channel strategy
  • Develop content for each channel
  • Optimize content with each channel
  • Track, measure and monitor behavior
  • Continuously optimize

This is how we think content marketing should be done and we’ve seen it work again and again.

Contact us if you want to learn more or contact us if you want to debate our ideas.

Adobe is currently developing a program that can sample your voice and recreate the sound with undetectable accuracy!

What is Adobe VoCo? (Project VoCo)

“When recording voiceovers, dialogue, and narration, wouldn’t you love the option to edit or insert a few words without the hassle of recreating the recording environment or bringing the voiceover artist in for another session? #VoCo allows you to change words in a voiceover simply by typing new words.”

Adobe states it pretty clearly in their statement above.

Whatch the video below to see how Adobe Project VoCo works.

Adobe VoCo

Concerns About This Platform

Some journalism, risk and ethical experts are concerned with the development of this voice reproduction and manipulation product.

  • Faking statements to draw more journalistic attention.
  • Tricking people into taking action. Think the Nigerian email scams on a much more realistic scale with spoofed phone numbers and someone on the other end that sounds exactly like your mom!
  • Financial Security. Some firms use voice print technology as a security screen.

These are just a few of the concerns they have with Adobe’s Project VoCo.

But Adobe states that they are taking measures to allow for validation within the files that would detect if something was real or not at a commercial level. *but this still leaves it open against the average Joe / Jane

Competitors to Adobe VoCo

While audio manipulation is nothing new. Making it easy / simple is. And making it “Good” is as well.

Google’s Deepmind has a product titled WaveNet that is also constructing and simulating speech constructs.
You can view more of that here: https://deepmind.com/blog/wavenet-generative-model-raw-audio/

While Google isn’t recreating the voice of a specific user, they are certainly constructing a highly intelligent speech modeler that if coupled with mimicking technology could be indistinguishable as being computer generated or human to the typical ear.

Project VoCo & Voice Mimicking Use Cases

As Adobe points out, it can easily be used for audio books, podcasts, and voice over talent.
For us this is extremely valuable as a customer service application.

Imagine an intelligent system that knows what you purchased, what your issue is, collects your personal profile information, can detect your emotion from your voice pattern and engages with you in an efficient and emotionally connected way.
And the whole time the person on the phone thinks they are speaking with an actual human being.

This takes the workflows we create today to a whole new level!
Coding in emotional triggers, PII (personally identifiable information) gets tied to your emotional profile.
I have to admit this is pretty exciting stuff.

While not available for use yet, we are working on projects like this to make how we interact across business applications more efficient and profitable.

Check out some of the comprehensive ways we are working in content marketing by Clicking Here –> http://acumenstudio.com/content-marketing-agency/