Thursday, November 18, 2010

The future of this blog...

Many of you know that I started using tumblr... the future of this blog has been a question for me and I think I now have the answer for this...

Tumblr is like a my guided tour of the web/ thoughts as I go about my day...

This blog is going to be a hub for the work I think deserves a longer life span. Once a month I will grab my tumblr feed and set up reposts of the best posts. This blog is slower moving and can be more powerful as a result...

Consider this blog... Marketing Handy.. the greatest hits!

New strategy starts in December!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tumblr... Follow me

Tumblr is going to quickly become my middle ground between this blog and twitter. Personally I am loving it the speed and simplicity of the blog is awesome... I have 66 posts up there already if you want to check it out find me at

Marketing Handy's Tumblr AKA mhandy1's Tumblr

I will post more than 365 posts but most of them are going to be there. Its pretty much my thoughts on stories I see around the web. I will often post a picture with commentary on my take. Some posts will find there way over here... but that is going to be my primary real estate going forward!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tumblr is about to blow up!

If you don't use tumblr you may want to start... I will be reposting this content there ( )... Tumblr has grown leaps and bounds over the last 5 months. It has an avid user base, simple tools that help your blog go viral and the relational component of twitter. (Oh did I mention free hosting for custom URL's?) The Stats from Quantcast are pretty telling...
The growth is not in the 200 million user range of twitter. However growth is significant and solid. Global growth is strong and it seems that growth has turned a corner in the US... Now is the time to learn the ins and outs of this network, before you are late to the party. The Social network has been around a while but it is on the verge of blowing up, and let me show you why...

The network is pre-college students and most are getting ready to start sharing more substantive insights. Ignore what the data says for a moment about age... I know the network is a key demo because of 2 pieces of data...

#1: 18-34 is a large age range but we can parse this down to the young end of the spectrum based on other demographic stats *Wages and no college. The site indexes high for low wage/ no college, only up in coming Social networks tend to do this.

#2 No Kids indexes really really high... this suggest that the network is under 27 . Kids generally come into the picture around 25 to 27. The youth of the network paired with no kids indicates a college mindset. If this is your demo this is your time!

Within 2 years tumblr should be one of the fastest growing digital properties on the web.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Marketing Handy Episode #4 Geo-location

If you are doing a direct mail campaign stop it do this instead!

Also support Movember by clicking

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The State of Video Blogging

As someone that just started video blogging I found this infographic really interesting. There are a ton of reasons why this matter for business.

1: Video is going to be one of the top web activities with in the next 3 years
2: Any brand can make interesting videos..
3: Be ready... Video is big now but its going to get much much bigger... video probably becomes the only Universal medium on the web...

Monday, November 1, 2010


If you are reading this please answer of these questions in the comment section below...

Why do you click a link?
What content are you interested in?
What content would you like to see covered in blogs?
What is your passion?

Box office Social Data

Every week I do a run down of social conversations in an attempt to predict the box office results... This week I finally decided to compile the data into a slide share!

Im hooked:: Good music fun post.

I am totally hooked on this song, strongly suggest you check it out... Later I will be talking about MySpace (yes it might be relevant again)... its kind of interesting actually... and what this will mean for businesses going forward. Until then enjoy The Temper Trap and their awesomeness!

Oh and if you are running a chrome browser check out this sweetness from the Arcade fire!

P.S. This post is a tease for the next Marketing Handy episode..

Friday, October 29, 2010

Marketing Handy Episode #3 Thank You

The most important thing I can do is let people know that they matter. This video is my attempt to do that, thanks to everyone who contributed this week!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Most Americans Dont Have Smart Phones...

CNN ran a story today calling attention to the fact that most Americans don't have smart phones... (link)... more disturbing is that small business owners still haven't crossed the 50% threshold!

If you are a business owner and you don't have a smart phone what are you doing?

I just got a smart phone (finally) after just 2 days it has revolutionized how I communicate. Owning a business is not a reason to turn off! If you need a break from your work (beyond a total day off once a week) why do you do what you do?

Every project I am currently working on I love, and most aren't even live yet. I am doing the grunt work the stuff that most people think sucks and I love it! If you don't love what you do why are you doing it?... why are you putting up contact barriers?... let people get to you at all hours who cares push the limit!
Business owners smart phone ownership should be in the 80% to 90%.. range lets fix this!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Related to my last Video

Thanks to @malbonnongton on twitter for sharing this infographic from the Propagation Planning blog.

Look back a few infographics on this blog and you will see a infographic from flow town highlighting the value of retaining a customer... Statisfaction is the ROI not dollars (at least at first), if/when business gets this, they will get more Social...

Marketing Handy Episode #2 ROI and Social Media

Im really passionate about Social Media... it will be a common trend in these vlogs.
Today I highlight ROI and why it might be the wrong conversation when talking Social Media.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The First Episode of Marketing Handy

This is the first Marketing Handy show so congrats you are here at the beginning. I said this is weekly but lets see how this goes it might be more often. This week I highlight how Facebook pages should be treated as a back stage pass

Marketing Handy Vlog...coming soon

Check out the intro...

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Lowdown on Linkedin

Linked in is a great business tool if you haven't heard of it here is a quick info-graphic.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Value of an Existing Customer

Social Media plays a huge role in retention. If you are looking to figure out ROI consider retention as a metric...

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Social Media Case For A Shorter MLB Season

The October classic as it is widely known may be a bad idea strategically. This season especially there has been a growing contingent of baseball fans calling for the sport to start their playoffs in August Rather than October. We have had a more than few conversations around the office about this topic, and it seems like we aren't the only ones.

After having, hearing, and engaging in these conversations I decided to do some Social Research. Using just the MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL as keywords I decided to do a comparison test. The objective was to determine weather a strategic advantage from a Social standpoint actually exists in having Playoff games start in october.

This chart represents conversations from the past 30 Days


This chart represents conversations in August


During August (a non-playoff month) MLB has a 4% edge in the percentage of Social conversations occurring. The volume of conversations are down significantly during August which suggests the ability of the MLB to grow their share of voice by generating conversations. Strategically from a Social Stand-point the shift would make sense.

(Repost of my work from Nostrum Inc.)

The New Gap logo... Was It A Stunt?

One week ago Gap pulled off either the biggest blunder in branding history or one of the most brilliant moves ever...

I agree the Gap logo needs an update but the logo to the right is clearly not the solution. The new logo barely provides a hint as to what the brand was/wants to be. The outcry against the brand was fast and furious making Gap a trending topic on twitter in recored time. The brand even trended above Brett Farves...*ahem* so needless to say the new logo created a stir.

The Problem:

Gap as a brand has been loosing relevance year after year. Brand sentiment was at a near all time low, and this problem had nothing to do with bad press. Gap stopped being remarkable, they stopped pushing the short they became the poster child for average.

Was it a stunt?

Gap an average brand that had lost their ability to be remarkable, found a way to do something pretty remarkable. The new logo pushed forward far too fast. The speed of change reminded people what they loved about this brand. Their loyal fans didn't want it to change that fast and they spoke up. This left Gap had two choices ignore the backlash which would indicate a true re-branding effort (ala Pepsi) or cave... 10 days after launch they caved... I cant say for sure it was or wasn't a stunt but this conversation timeline might tell the story...the timing on the decision to revert back is questionable at best... my guess next week they will have a new logo with a subtle update.

Gap Logo conversations

(Repost of my work from nostrum inc.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Devil is in the detail

Sure a lot of people have bad credit, but should they really be forced to drive their car over their flower beds?

No matter how great an idea is poor execution can result in a poor product. Take the time to finish the task with attention to detail behind schedule rather than submit a mistake that will live on the interwebs for all time.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Return to Normality?

I am finally returning to blogging on a regular basis. The Chicago trip was great I love that city its one of my favorite cites of all time.

I am not totally back up to speed with news but that is okay.

I guess that is really the point of this post! I took a vacation I checked out of my routine and my work is still here! I might be a little slow, I might have some work ahead to get momentum again. I needed the time off, so I took it. Now I am fresh and I am back...

Coming up::

Social Media Engagement tool Reviews (1st in a series)
What brands should learn when making a major change from Twitter
Facebook Places and why its actually helping foursquare

And Much Much More...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Ignored Crisis!

Pakistan is experiencing one of the worst natural disasters in recent history! This story has been largely ignored, buried in the news cycles... but in reality this is a nation that needs our help.
Hopefully Social Media can make a dent and start the News Cycle. For more info check out the video below...

We all have a part to play... Please share...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Going to Chicago...

Marketing handy will be a little quite for the next few days... Im going to Chicago and I don't plug in on vacations... If I can avoid it!

Rhythm and rest are very important to keep fresh. If I am working I am not relaxing. I hope you take a day (while I take a few) to rest.

Monday, August 23, 2010


How many projects succeed without direction?

Simple truth almost everyone accepts...
Even if the destination changes, every plan should have direction.

I can't figure out why so many are hesitant to apply this truth to Social Media...

If you don't know where you are going, how will you get there?

::Questions for direction::

Why do you have a website?
Why do you have a twitter account?
Why do you have a facebook page?
What community do you want your community manager to manage?
Do you have a plan for you content?
Do you even have an objective?
What are your goals?

Once you answer those questions you can ask...

How do we get traction?
How do we reach our goals?
How does social media fit our objectives?

Social media isn't something you can just do, it requires thought planning and understanding. A plan with direction isn't we need to get followers. Direction is planning that provides guidance...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thats A Lot of Cell Phones...

The future of the web is mobile and this graphic tells the story.

Advertising: Crazy Old School AD!

The image above is *not a real Ad. Apparently the "Soda Pop Board of America" wanted kids to drink soda at really young ages. Clearly the board was concerned about the self-image of the kids (if the ad were real).

This Ad got me thinking about the nature of advertising (the industry I work in). I view advertising as a service that adds value to a product. My objective is to honestly communicate the benefits for various features of certain products, services or brands. The Ad above is about taking advantage of the public to sell products. Advertisers have the power to use and abuse, like using maternal fear for kids to sell soda pop. Many advertisers still do stuff like this and its wrong.

However there is light... Advertisers have the ability to foster emotional connections that motivate a public to action. Like this Ad from Feeding America... Its not manipulation its honest connection.

These two ads provide a huge contrast.. one ad is using dishonesty for greed, the other is about connecting people to give. Both use emotion to draw a response... one is a crazy response, one is a call to do good... If you own a business or work in advertising, you are the one that must make these choices. Don't make these choices lightly!

This ad for the Pepsi refresh product falls under the honest category in my book. They don't twist facts they just draw a connection. (I figured an Apples to Apples comparison was needed)

Update... Apparently that old Soda Ad is a hoax... I leave it because its an exaggerated trick and makes a point. The ad below is real though... its not a far cry.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Worthy Wednesday:: 3 Non-profits Worth Talking About

This week for Worthy Wednesday I am going to highlight 3 Non-Profits started by folks under 35. All of which are doing amazing work...s.

1. 31 bits: I have blogged about them before but I think they are worthy of making this list twice! They help women in Uganda by selling necklaces in the U.S.

2. Give Global: This organization recycles old clothes and re-sales them to support an orphanage in Thailand. The blog is pretty new but posts will be coming.

3. Toms Shoes : Blake the founder is the oldest on this list at 33. I dont think this list would do justice without Toms on the list.

I know I missed a ton ... So do me a favor and list out your Top 3 below (with links) in the comment section below...

Hopefully I can do a reprise next week with yours!

8 Success Criteria For Facebook Pages

Altimeter created a slide share a little while back highlighting 8 Success Criteria for Facebook Page Marketing.

-The 8 criteria highlighted in the document...
1. Set Community Expectations: What is expected of your fans?
2. Provide Cohesive Branding: Have you customized everything
3. Be Up To Date: Is your Facebook page ignored?
4. Live Authentically: Are you afraid to be human?
5. Participate in Dialog: Do you ignore your customers when they talk to you?
6. Enable Peer-to-Peer interactions: Can your fans talk to each other?
7. Foster Advocacy: Do you let your customers speak well about you?
8. Solicit a Call To Action: Do you give your customers a chance to act?

The slideshare below has more in depth content..

How To Make a Big Change.

Everyone wants to make an impact, leave the world a little better (more artistic) than they found it. Business owners have high hopes of sales, parents want their kids to be the best, Non-profits want to make a community better, some people just want to loose weight...

The question so many get stuck on...

How do you make a big change?

I think the answer is simple--> Think Small

The amazing folks over at Brass Tack Thinking created the following slideshow...

What is your small change...
Maybe it is making one more sales call every day...
Maybe it is eating one less desert or taking the stairs instead of the elevator...
Maybe it is sharing your mission with 3 extra people per week...
Maybe it is allowing your team the ability to make small changes...
Maybe it is sending one less tweet, maybe its sending one more...
Maybe it is reading 10 extra minutes to your kids...

My Advice
Start with a big insane goal ... take the smallest step toward that goal you can and tomorrow take another step.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Google Grave Yard...

The google grave yard... Even Google fails... and they often fail big!

If you aren't failing you aren't trying hard enough. Failing even a Kin sized fail is ok, so long as you learn from it. So fail big and fail hard.

 Google Failures and Google Flops - A list of Google Mistakes

Infographic by WordStream Internet Marketing Software

Non-Profits: Can Advocates Play A Part

Non-profits are a dime a dozen (they matter)... The ones that stay top of mind allow me play a part.

For example Charity water lets fans add a banner to their website...

Even if I cant afford to give, I can link. Social Media provides an opportunity for advocates to play a part! Too many organizations dont allow advocates to step in and silence their voices as a result...
Who are your advocates?
What do they do?
Can you let them share in your mission?

If you would like to add a charity water banner to your site it can be done here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Now Revolution - Social Fresh Charlotte

Simplistic Slideshare that highlights everything from Strategy to Social Media Job functions... not crazy detailed but informative.

Social Media and Sales..

**Repost from company blog Nostrum Inc.

Old spice did a brilliant Social Media campaign about a month ago. The campaign ended on a Thursday and by Friday there was a large contingent declaring the campaign a failure... These naysayers were touting that sales were down 7%... The data these naysayers were using did not even measure the Social Media push. The period measured in the report ended a full month before the Campaign even started. (*There is some dispute over the numbers which didn't include walmarts sales)

The way I read it, is that some critics wanted the Social Media push to actually go back and change sales history to be a success which brings me to the question of this post...

Is sales really "the matrix" of success in Social Media or is it a matrix of success?

I am not saying that sales should be discounted as a (possibly the most) important matrix when measuring Social Media. What I am suggesting is that sales should be measured in relation to several other factors... Sales isn't the only reason to have a social media presence and therefore isn't the only measurement that counts!

::Other measurement matrixes to consider::

1. Brand sentiment: Does your Social Media presence help your brand sentiment?

2. Influence: Is your brand more influential? Are you able to direct consumers to click a link more or less often?

3. Engagement: Are your consumers asking more questions, providing innovation, wanting to know your brand's position on certain issues?

4. Followers and Fans: This is a favorite of Social Media folks because its simple to quantify. It also counts because there is an effect on impressions.

5. Share of voice: How are you doing compared to your competitors? How many brand conversations are going on?

Social Media analytics requires reporting talent not many understand or can produce.

Plug:: At Nostrum we have years of experience providing reports and monitoring services containing actual insight.

My Favorite Twitter Tools

Twitter has so much more potential than just what you see on the web... I use a ton of different tools but these are 3 I come back to over and over again.

1. Klout : Klout is a tool to measure the influence of Twitter users. The tool tracks reach amplification and influence. The Klout score is on a 0 to 100 scale. The tool provides great insights when trying to identify key users.

2. Twitter counter : Is my tool of choice to track the growth of accounts. The tool also lets me track the volume, growth and hints towards influence that users have.

3. Refollow : Refollow is a follower management tool. I use it to clear out inactive users and to follow interesting people that are following me. I personally follow people because the user adds value to my stream, if an account is inactive it cannot do not add value.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Painting by the numbers

Are you an artist or are you just painting by the numbers?

Art is war
Art is unexpected
Art is generous
Art is difficult
Art is work
Art is risky
Art follows the rules
Art breaks the rules
Art surpasses expectation

Some advertisers create art, some baristas are artists, some accounts create art. In general some workers are artists!!!

Artists are the exception.

Most people move through the motions hoping someone will give them a guide so they can paint by the numbers. Painting by the numbers is easy everyone can see the steps and follow the rules. Expectations are clear the path has been made and almost no one provides push back.

Art on the other hand requires an understanding about how to paint by the numbers & how to improve it! When you paint the sky 6 shades of orange instead of blue, loyalists might get a little nervous. When you decide that the small piece you have a guide for is only a small portion of what you do... co-workers will raise an eyebrow. When a brand decides that profit is a happy by-product of quality work short sighted investors will run. In short Art is War....

So is Art worth the war?

Suggested Reads

2 down 363 to go!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Can I do 1 Blog a day?

Goal: Post Once a day for the next year!

Some posts my just be an image snapped on my cell phone, some may be great ads, some posts will rock, some posts will suck... I think I can do this and still be interesting in a year from now.

If you want to join me on this journey feel free to add me to an RSS feed, comment often and let me know if you want my take on something!

1 down 364 posts to go!

Oh and when the year finishes I will probably just adjust the frequency...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Worthy Wednesday:: 5 Blogs Worth Reading

We live in a world loaded with noise... Blogs are no different so I thought I would share 5 Blogs I think are worth your time.
Add these to your RSS!

#1 Run by a teacher... she offers really good info on how to use technology in the classroom. (On twitter @ktenkely)

Gary is an Iconoclast.. He breaks the rules, provides great insights, and works harder than any person I have ever met. If you like business or wine he should be a staple (on Twitter @garyvee)

#3 Groundswell A forester Collaboration... If you want to stay relevant in the digital space for business this blog is a must!

#4 This is a project run by a guy named Mike Foster, brillant guy great posts. He has a book coming out called Graceonmics which should be amazing! (On Twitter @mikefoster)

#5 This is one of the most insightful and interesting collaboration blogs I read! Full of great advice for anyone who needs to communicate anything from marketing to parenting. Started as the result of a Seth Godin experiment they are brilliant!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Twitter+ Fast Follow = Huge Change!

Twitter just made a major change to their network which is going to effect businesses substantially. I am not sure how many brands are going to appreciate the shift (to start with), but if you read this blog I will try to give you a head start.

::The Basics::
What is Fast Follow: Fast follow lest you follow any twitter account (even if you dont have one) via SMS.
How it works: Send an SMS message to 40404 in the message text enter "follow @[username]"
What Happens: You then will receive SMS updates from that twitter feed when the status is updated.

Fast Follow will likely follow the same rules that filter out messages starting with @[username] already in place.

Why it matters:: Fast follow gives businesses the ability to offer customers discounts, features, and news via text. For Free! If brands are smart they should leverage this feature with Fast Follow accounts. On all print they can provide Fast follow sign-up steps and offer a discount in store. Suddenly you have a follower and a broadcasting platform. Fast Follow accounts would give smart brands the ability to quickly reach mobile users. However it should change their behavior on twitter so they don't annoy fast followers.

In my opinion Re-tweets, Linking to blogs, links to news, and late night/early morning tweets should all be off limits for these accounts.

Your thoughts??

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mad Men Dove Ad... not so popular

The first ever Marketing Handy Monday Poll... came in with 100% in the way of lame votes. Say what you will about Dove...

But you can't honestly tell me that the Ad below is anything less than awesomeness!

1940's Twitter... who knew?

Dove Mad Men Ad...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Motorola Makes Awesome Dig on Iphone 4

I love this ad! Motorola takes it straight to a competitor that has gotten far too arrogant. Apple knew about their reception problem but decided to move forward with the product. Apple shipped 2 things rather than one at expense of quality. Shipping is important, and shouldn't be undervalued, but Apple already had the new iphone OS ready to go. Getting the iphone 4 right would have saved them and their fans a major embarrassment. Apple's only advantage has been quality!

Someone can (and will) do it faster and cheaper (thats the microsoft market position), but quality and creativity can't be touched. Make the best and never back down from being the best. Learn from Apple rework the product to stay the best... work harder and faster to meet the deadline... don't Settle. Being the best isn't a position without risks quality is expensive, and time consuming... but the safe alternative is boring!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Is Safe Smart Business?

This week Gap created a small buzz with the in store advertisement above. The ad is risky and has offended some. However the Ad is being noticed... The Huffington Post ran
an article asking users if the Ad was offensive or cleaver. Only 20% of respondents indicated that the Ad was offensive.

Is this a bad thing?

I am not calling for full scale offensive/classless advertising, but I dont think safe is smart. The Golden age of advertising when bland safe messages were able to generate sales is probably dead and gone forever. The average american consumer see far too many ads in one day. In a small
Starbucks in Signal Hill CA, I counted 85 different brand messages IN the store. Everything from Apple laptops to Tazo tea, to Nike Logos is in this one little place.

With this much visual saturation how on earth do you make a message stick out? I think one way is to do something unexpected. Only unexpected has a tendency to offend 20%... but isn't that old news the classic flipped 80/20 rule?

-->In case you dont know the 80/20 rule says 80% of revenue comes from 20% of your client base. The flipped 80/20 rule says that 20% of consumers will hate your brand no matter what you do. These numbers are always pretty consistant. For some reason (probably fear) many brands give power to the 20% that hate them, and try to win them over. Lets look a little closer...

There are 20% of consumers who will never by a Foreign car.
Should foreign manufactures produce cars in the US?
(Some brands are trying but they still aren't winning that 20% over)

There are 20% of consumers that will never by a domestic car.
Should domestic automakers produce cars overseas?

Why dont companies ignore the 20% that hate them? Why don't more brands do what Gap is doing?
Its smart to focus on the 20% that generate revenue and the 40% that havent made up their mind about you yet. If safe is reaching that group than safe maybe smart! If safe isn't reaching that 60% than maybe its time to make a little noise... just expect to offend the 20% of consumers that are going to hate you!

This rule probably applies to interpersonal relationships as well...

Do you ever meet people with the expectation that roughly 20% will not like you?
Have you ever just decided to accept it, and be who you are regardless?

-Side note if substantially more than 20% hate you... you are probably doing something wrong. From an interpersonal level its realistic for that number to be much much lower over time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blogging is Shallow..I could be wrong

I recently read a book titled Flickering Pixels (a really great book). The book highlights how technology has shaped our culture from the invention of written word through the digital age. In the book Shane Hipps (the author) made one note in particular that struck a cord (from a marketing perspective)... Blogging is Shallow. As much as I wanted to disagree with him I dont think I can. I read over 1000 blogs a day, and most of them provide 0 unique insight or depth... its just data streaming through at a rate too fast to digest. As a medium for communication a blog is much more robust than a 30 Second TV spot, but it does't hold nearly the depth that a book has. Blogs are commentary... but commentary about what?

From a branding point of view I don't think this is bad, at least not intrinsically. I can't help but wonder what this means for our world/brands going forward...
What happens when our consumers stop asking questions?

What if the competition says something inaccurate?
OR worse what if the a customer is misinformed and blogs about it?

Are we listening and able to respond?

Is it possible that in a new media age a lack of depth means brands must always play offense?

I think these are things that should be considered... Consumers are going to blog, tweet, post status updates, and talk... It's not safe to assume that an accurate message is being represented... Tools like Radian 6 are not only nice to have, but a requirement going forward.

But I could be wrong

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Creating Concrete Objectives

Seth Godin Recently posted a short blog about
The Problem With Unlimited. I think he explained the problem perfectly. By nature unlimited is not quantified, it is not concrete... Or in other words unlimited is abstract!

The abstract problem can be seen all over the business landscape. Too many Businesses want results but do not quantify what success looks like. In essence they leave the success line in unlimited territory. Clients of unlimited success feel underserved, Vendors of unlimited success are shocked when the relationship doesn't work out, and consumers look at giving initiatives unattached.

I prefer to work with jointly defined objectives for success, but this is scary. If I have an objective it means I can (and will) fail (from time to time). However it also means I will succeed/ exceed expectations.

Creating concrete objectives

#1 Define Success:: this seems simple but often the simple steps are the ones that get ignored!
How much money do you want to donate, how many units do you want to ship, How many followers, how many posts

This is step 1... if you cant do this dont waste your time reading anything else.

#2 Can "success" be made more concrete?
If its a dollar amount can that be translated to meals, if its units can you name them, if its followers are they customers

The brillance of Toms Shoes is the simple concrete message of "Give a pair get a pair". Consumers know when they buy a pair of toms they are giving a pair of shoes away... you can't get more concrete than that! Can you get that concrete? Can you get close? It is something worth your time!

#3 Establish benchmarks
Do you know how much you need to give per week, do you know how many units you need to ship per day, do you know how many customers you need to reach per hour

Look at step one... my guess is that there is a big goal (maybe 400 calls a week or 1600 calls a month) this is not a bad thing. If you want to be great that goal has to be big! But can you make your goal smaller? Breaking an objective down into sizable chunks helps make an objective less scary! If I need to make 400 calls a week that can be a frightening number to look at... If I cut that down to 10 calls an hour its suddenly easy.. 5 calls every half an hour becomes doable!

We want the big win...but big wins come from small steps!

#4 Be accountable
Does your boss know the goal, do your consumers understand the purpose, do your line works know the goal

Just because there is goal doesn't mean its worth your time! You client might decide its not a worthy goal (let them), your line workers might tell you that they can't push that much harder (evaluate that) your market study might indicate your consumers just dont care (accept it). Accountability requires flexibility because it is bringing in other voices. Once the other voices arrive walk through the process again
(not for the first time)... Look at the results and stick to them!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Enterprise 2.0:: Engineers Use Social Media

From my company blog post

If "Web 2.0" was the next iteration of the web, is "Enterprise 2.0" the next iteration of business? There seems to be some evidence to support this as not only a viable theory but a hugely important one. Under its current trajectory social media is going to lower internal corporate barriers and walls. This is largely because Social media provides a window into the customer's life. The shift poses a huge marketing opportunity that has been widely documented. In much of the chatter something (important) has been ignored, what social media means to product designers. The problem Apple encountered with the iphone 4 wasn't found by the media, it was found on the Social Web. Look at the data this 1 user provides, highlights the problem, explains how to recreate the problem and even how to avoid it.

As a designer you would be able to see the issue, test it yourself and save time on the fix just by watching what 1 guy figured out. It appears Apple knew about the problem when the product was lunched but if they didn't the Social web had some answers. This week I came across and interesting study (thanks to.. @MikeDemler for pointing it out and @SAEintl for creating it) about how engineers are using social media. I don't know the confidence intervals of this study but it is a sample of 1,153 completed surveys, with a 12.6% completion rate so it should be fairly representative of the class. Drilling down into the data there are some very interesting trends amongst engineers when it comes to social media...

#1 61% of engineers are using social media

#2 Of that group 55% are using Social Media for business purposes (at least some of the time)

This group represents a mindset that generally would not fit the classic techno-graphic profile of heavy social media users. This can be seen in the classes derived from the study. Look closely at the youngest group in the study they are under 35.


The question that this leads me to is "how is social media being used by this group of respondents?"...

Again there is something else shocking in these numbers (kind of)... 11% are using social media to solve problems, 10% are using social media to find new suppliers, and 20% use it to get technical information. To this (likely growing) group social media is a resource that actually drives real results.

Social media is a tool for use far beyond promotional marketing. Demonstratively it is a tool that can be used in product design, understanding distribution issues, and price point analysis. Social Media when listened to correctly can provide substantive insights into why products aren't selling, and what the public thinks about them. That is just 1 area of Social Media and it has nothing to do with promoting everything to do with marketing!


The official ages from the study are listed below::

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This week in Social Media.. so Far

**repost from company blog

This week has been interesting in Social media.. I think it already deserves a bullet point blog (its only Wednesday!?!)...

Old spice Started having their spokesman respond to tweets via Youtube its working

Just one 1 of the many Videos

Twitter followers as of 12:30pm PST

Ben and Jerrys decided to kill E-mail marketing and step into Social Media instead. Don't get me wrong I love Social Media but this seems a little extreme to me. Its almost as if they have decided to stop doing print ads for TV... maybe budget issues were a concern.

Facebook is extending their open graph to the mobile world. It looks like facebook is going to get into the Geolocation war at some point.

Studies show that teens have Facebook fatigue but the site still experienced the highest traffic ever... This probably means that Grandmas are joining the site at alarming rates... or it was just par for the course.

Twitter has decided it is going to make even more money with @earlybird. It is now apparent that while Facebook may have the users Twitter seems to have the dollars!

Monday, July 12, 2010

One Fail Two Fail:: Microsoft Kin

Last week Microsoft pulled the plug on the Kin experiment. Leaving 503 users worried about the future of their service. Yes you read that correctly Microsoft sold 503 units in just a little over a month, I think that works out to 1 Prime Time ad per unit sold. What I find interesting about the Kin is every metric of success indicated people were interested in the product. Kin's Facebook Page had over 200,000 fans! The ads were edgy, creative, and many even commented saying how cool they were.
Kin went wrong in a very simple way, it made life (seem) complicated. When I first saw the Ad I couldn't sleep, the concept was that scary. Do I really want a total mashup of my Facebook feed, Twitter feed, my E-mail and my RSS? That thought which still gives me nightmares was at least one contributing factor.

The KIN probably suffered a bit because of the Microsoft brand (which has less street cred than a grandma) and the ambiguous concept of the Kin Suite (whatever that was). In case you think this phone may have been a good idea, watch this product demo and tell me you still want it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

B2B's rise in Social Media

Before coming to Nostrum I worked for 3 years in the B2B sector as a buyer. When I started working there it was the height of Myspace, most people thought a Facebook involved an actual book, YouTube was just starting to take off, and twitter was a word for birdwatchers. Even in those early social days my industry was already social. There were (are) industry forums, blogs, videos, and even Myspace pages that were in wide use (albeit often subversive use). The challenge for many was getting around internal site blocking software to get to the information which was so badly needed. Everyone had tips and tricks to get around a system. You might say we had a subversive network of buyers. This wasn't the best system (obviously) but management didn't see the value in having an open ("dangerous") web. Management also didn't see the value in using social media... The statistics in the following video should not be shocking. Think about that subversive group of buyers, 4 years later many of them are finally getting into the management ranks. They understand the tools and they understand the potential, and now they have the power to make changes. It stands to reason that B2B will expand the lead over B2C in Social Media over the next 5 years. Lead in part by a subversive group of buyers...

Some Facts and Figures To Consider For B2B Social Media Marketing

  1. 81 % of B2B companies have accounts on social media sites compared to 67% of B2C

  2. 75% of B2B brands participate in Twitter versus 49% of B2C

  3. 54% of Chief Information Officers ban the use of social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at the workplace

  4. 93% of all business buyers believe all companies should be on social media platforms

  5. 85% of of those buyers should use social media to engage and interact with them

  6. 9 out of 10 buyers say that when they are ready to buy, they will come looking for you

  7. Eight out of Ten IT decision makers said word of mouth is the most important source when making buying decisions

  8. 37% of B2B buyers asked questions on social media sites when looking for suggestions

  9. 93% of B2B buyers use a search engine such as Google to begin the buying process

  10. 74% of C- Level executives say that the internet is a very valuable source of information

  11. Six out of Ten C-Suite executives conduct more than six online searches a day

  12. Managers in information technology are the top ranked users of the Web for information gathering

  13. 49% of B2B marketers do not measure return on investment

  14. 90% of marketing deliverables not used by sales

  15. Sales generate 53% of their own leads and the marketing department provides only 24%

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


So often in business we are talking to bigger issues than our products.

It may be hard to see with balance sheets, profit margins, ROI, corporate politics, etc. but the reality for anyone in business is that people are always our customers.

When crafting a message for a campaign we all have an option of using trickery taping emotion to sell our products. It is something that can be very good for our consumer, it also can sack consumers with products they dont need or want.

When people get sacked with products that turn out to be junk they feel betrayed. This is using people in the worst way. Another more subtle way this is often done is by short sighted marketers with a flair for the dramatic. Ofender's perpetuate this with the use of charity... something like "we will give 10,000 to cancer research if you buy our product"... This often provides a net profit of over $1,000,000 and often its for products people would have never purchased otherwise. Our worldview tells us we should be doing good, and many get used because of it.

There are 3 companies I know that are being honest to this worldview in its entirety...

They sell recycled clothing for new futures for children in Thailand.
If you dont know Thailand is the capital of the sex trade
This company is both green and good... which is very very cool!

Jewelry made out of 100% recycled paper by women in Northern Uganda
If you don't know Uganda is a war torn country in desperate need of hope.
This company is both green and good... which is very very cool!

"Get a pair, Give a pair"
Shoes save lives, and provide opportunities for education in the developing world... this company produces shoes with minimal material and is constantly reducing it's environmental impact.

Honest stories... great people... fits a generous worldview.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why my twitter rules are right!

I love twitter, its one of my favorite places to hang out online. It's quick, simple, grammar rules don't always apply, and I have almost 900 friends... not just followers but people I actually like and respect. Honestly my friends on twitter in some ways are better than many of my real life friends. I honestly think a lot of it has to do with rules I follow in the way I communicate. I think it is high time I extend these rules into my every day life!

Here they are...
1. People matter and have interesting stories to tell:: This rule means I don't have to spit my thoughts out all the time. It forces me to ask more questions and to get to know people. It's less about being right and more about enjoying there content. (Jesus is all about this I have never seen a gospel story where he has written someone off as not counting)

Arguing is off limits:: I read a lot... I really do ..but I on twitter I try not to engage in discussion if I have a strongly differing opinion. This means I give up my right to be right. Political arguing just isn't something I let my self do. I often see stuff go by want to comment but leave it. I don't have control over major policy issues, so it isn't worth my energy to debate this stuff. There are rare occasions I break this rule (outside of hockey which is just fun banter IMO) but it is always done with respect and a genuine desire to understand someone else's point of view. (Jesus gives up this right so much he goes to the cross in part because of it)

Attackers get space:: In life we have people that will send us into a tale spin. They are hard people to deal with and know how to press our buttons. On twitter I give these people space. It isn't in my best interest to give them air time on my feed. Sometimes I mute people for a few days sometimes I just let people go away from my feed altogether. (Jesus uses this mentality a lot he doesn't keep people that want to rip him apart very close)

4. Look for their interests::
This goes back to my first point, however I do try to share relevant information around people's interests. The other thing I try to do is get information from them. I follow people because they are the expert in what they know... I get 10 inputs for every 1 input I offer. I listen more often than I talk. This is a hard rule for me in real life but its something I need to do. (James says "be quick to listen, slow to anger and slow to speak" I think God is on to something)

5. Help people::
I often search the word help on twitter just to see how I can help people... its pretty obvious but my generosity earns respect and helps establish a very positive tone. I don't think I need to break out the biblical rule for this one... Generosity is good!

To my twitter peeps you guys rock! And you have helped me be a better communicator in everyday life!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pampers Ad? Wait Huggies Ad...

This is a little weird but I would like to break this out a little bit... If you havent seen the Ad below yet check it out...

When I first saw this ad i thought it was brilliant creative, cuts through the noise, and communicates a clear message via story. However the creators forgot about their target market when it came to selling the product (really busy moms and dads). For some reason they decide to name Pampers by name 1st... WHY?
This is a classic case of paying too much attention to the wrong details. When a buyer goes to the store they now have to balance two brands in their head. This balancing act complicates a simple transaction. This is a fail and my hunch is Pampers will also see a bump in sales. Who ever made the ad should take note, the public isn't paying that much attention to Ads.