As always, this penultimate post highlighting the most valuable content of the past year is dedicated to interesting marketing and social media content that didn’t fit neatly into any other category.

Are QR codes an intriguing technology that never lived up to the hype, or is widespread adoption still just around the corner? Is social media worth the effort for online retailers? How can B2B companies improve customer service using social media? How can you deliver dazzling presentations by avoiding common mistakes? How can someone with no artistic talent create inspiring and informative infographics?

Find the answers to those questions and more here in eight of the best hard-to-categorize-but-worth-a-read marketing posts and articles of the past year.

12 Most Important Things We All Can Control by Straight Talk

Noting that “There are so many things in life that we simply cannot control, but what about the things we CAN control? As human beings, we have the power of reasoning and choice, both of which give us substantial control over our own life situations. We just need to be reminded of this from time to time,” Ted Rubin provides just such a reminder in these dozen aspects of life that are under our control, from our actions and attitudes to friendships and learning.

Marketing with QR Codes by Smart Insights

For those curious about QR codes but don’t know a lot about them, Danyl Bosomworth explains what QR codes are, marketing considerations when deciding whether or not to use them, seven of the top applications for QR codes (e.g., maps, coupons, how-to advice), and two illustrative case studies.

Ten ways marketers can use QR Codes by eConsultancy

If Danyl’s post above got you interested in exploring QR codes, Lee Carpenter-Johnson presents 10 ways to use them in business, from placing them on cash register receipts (particularly if you have a mobile-savvy clientele) and product labels to business cards and print ads.

E-tail Marketing: Is Social Media Worth the Cost? by MarketingProfs

The short answer is—yes and no. Among the research results presented here, “Only 5% of online shoppers surveyed say they are primarily influenced by social media to visit a top retailer’s website. Most (38%) cite existing familiarity with a brand, followed by promotional emails (19%) and search engine results (8%)…however, customers who visit retail sites because of a social media interaction are highly likely to purchase.”

7 Ways to Improve B2B Customer Service with Social Media by Social Media B2B

Writing that “If you have not yet brought your customer service reps into the realm of social media, it is time. They are the most qualified to respond via social media, as they are the ones responding by phone and email,” Jeffrey L. Cohen details the process and key considerations for getting a customer service department up to speed and effectively using social media for customer interaction.

5 Ways to Ruin Your Next Presentation by CIO Magazine

Thomas Wailgum shares five tips from Carmine Gallo, author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audienceon how to avoid common presentation mistakes, from talking too long (“Nobody is as interested in you as you think they are”) to failing to rehearse to (ugh)—reading from your slides.

How To Create An Infographic – With No Discernible Talent Whatsoever by DIY Blogger NET

Dino Dogan presents a seven-step guide to creating an infographic, though despite the title, at least a bit of talent is needed. The guide is designed for Mac users (and the Pixelmator tool he recommends is an Apple iOS app), though several of the steps are universal.

Inbound Marketing Partnerships and Pricing by Impact Branding & Design

Finally, benchmark pricing/costs can be hard to come by, but this detailed price and service list is one helpful data point for inbound marketing costs, whether you’re agency thinking about how to price these services or a corporate marketer wondering what you should expect, roughly, to pay for them.