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 http://ilearntechnology.com/ Run by a teacher... she offers really good info on how to use technology in the classroom. (On twitter @ktenkely)

#2 http://garyvaynerchuk.com/
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 http://www.potsc.com/ 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 http://www.sixmonthmba.com/ 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.