Category Archives: Marketing

Marketing Is . . . .

Seth Godin has been on a roll lately (which is a big deal, relatively speaking). But his recent revisit of a list he wrote 3 years ago that lists quick snippets that encapture marketing is a must-read.

Here’s a to-do for all of us marketers: Set an appointment each month to read this list and write down at least 20 things that come to mind in response specific to what you do. It’s bound to make a difference.

Words, Links, Innovations and Giant Leaps in Wine Labeling

A few noteworthy posts I’ve stumbled on over the past few weeks . . . .

  1. Yes, Words Matter: So when do you use “more than” instead of “over?” Better yet, when does it matter? CommonSense PR has a take on it.
  2. Link/Comment Baiting: Ed’s listed his favorite marketing-ish blogs. I’ve hit a few links, but plan on digging in over the next couple weeks.
  3. 5 Steps to Becoming a Buff: You just can’t go wrong with the ‘Seinfeld on Marketing’ series, but this is one of my favorites. I wanna be a buff!
  4. What Corporations Need from PR in a Web 2.0 world: Lee summarizes a keynote by Mike Moran that makes me feel better about not knowing everything that’s going on in the Web 2.0 world. My favorite Moran quote: “You have permission to sip from the new web 2.0 world, rather than drink from it like a fire hose.
  5. 10 Signs You Should Be Charging More as a Freelancer: A lighthearted but practical guide into making more out of making it on your own.
  6. 7 Things Innovators Do That You Don’t: My favorite one is that innovators aren’t afraid to communicate their crazy ideas.
  7. Peel-off Wine Label: Now this is too simple to be as smart as it is. Why hasn’t this been thought of before?
  8. Why Does Big Mean Bad?: Paul Williams details the process of moving from small to big, and that parts that may be inevitable. Why are people shifting away from Whole Foods now?

Making It Harder

Spike Jones clarifies an often timidly believed principle in marketing: to get someone to want what you’ve got, it helps to make them think they might not get it. It creates a sense of urgency.

In his post, Spike has this to say about barriers of entry:

Barriers bring with them a sense of exclusivity. Everyone wants in the party that hardly anyone gets into. I’m not saying this is right for all social networks, but before you throw open the doors to the entire world, why not invite those true kindred spirits – those biggest fans – to the party first. Hell, let them be the gatekeepers even. And then watch how the barriers can become assets.

In reading through this, I started thinking through random situations where this works. Please add your own ideas in the comments:

  1. Traffic going in and out of a sports arena or concert.
  2. The ride with the longest line at the fair.
  3. Blogging consistently for more than a year (or more) before the studs of the blogosphere acknowledge you as legit.
  4. Sam’s Club and Costco – becoming a member before you can take advantage of their discounts.
  5. Waiting a little longer for the sou flee to cook at a top restaurant.
  6. A doctor who’s first opening for an appointment is in 5 weeks.
  7. The Red Sox having to pay $51 mil. just to make an offer to Daisuke Matsuzaka.
  8. Waiting 3 months for your Nintendo Wii to arrive.
  9. Paying high annual fees to the home owner’s association of your ritzy neighborhood.
  10. Getting asked to a friend’s poker game.

Making it harder sometimes makes it better.

Creative Marketing Ideas x 193

I haven’t even begun to sift through all of this, but when you need some ideas with a certain project, this is definitely a great first resource to get the brain juices percolating.

Thanks to John for bird-dogging this one.

NFL Draft: Lessons in Strategy

Watching the NFL Draft can be a rather fascinating process, as it was this past weekend. There’s so much excitement in the thought of grabbing that amazing talent and seeing your favorite team add to their roster, not knowing if they’re going to pan out in the end. Over the past few years, the draft has become quite a complex event, with trades up, and trades down, and trades for players, etc.

Unlike the days at the playground when two captains were picked to choose who they wanted on their kickball team, today’s NFL team management can’t simply pick the best players available. There’s a lot more to consider, and each consideration is something we as entrepreneurs must also take into account on a regular basis.

Here are some quick considerations on the draft and strategy that I hope you can easily translate into your own planning:

  1. Consider your needs. More than anything, a team’s specific needs influences the draft pick more than anything. Sure, there might be a stud quarterback waiting to get picked up, but if you’ve already got your QB of the future, then you don’t need another one. Address other needs, or support your QB by getting him a better wide receiver. Each team goes into the draft with certain positional needs they want to meet, which narrows their picks down significantly. By focusing on your area of needs, you can easily wade through the murky waters to find the types of players/opportunities that will help out the most.
  2. Consider the market. This year was not a good draft for wide receivers, so you didn’t see any picked in the first round. There are plenty of teams that need a wide receiver, but since the market for them is low, there’s no need wasting a first round pick on something you can easily get in the second or third round. Knowing the market – or better, the opportunities that the current market is providing – has significant bearing on your decisions. It doesn’t make since to invest too heavily in the best choice from a sub-par group. Either go for value (later rounds) or put it off (next year’s draft).
  3. Consider the timing. The funny thing with the NFL Draft is that no team can get everything they need to make an immediate impact. You have to choose filling certain needs and leaving other needs still empty. It becomes a question of timing: will picking up the linebacker this year have a significant impact on the team over the next three years, or will getting that cornerback? Can I put off getting the linebacker until next year and still be ok? Again, the ability to focus and plan becomes huge in the draft. The Dolphins definitely can’t fix their team in just a single year’s draft, so they picked up lots of foundational positions they know can help over the long haul. However, the Giants, having already won a Super Bowl, attached their need for secondary defense to make their team even stronger, and it will directly, positively affect their success next year. That’s just where there team is at this point.
  4. Consider your reality. Speaking of the Dolphins, you gotta know when you suck and have lots to work on, or when you are only one small fix away from making great things happen. Look at the Chiefs this year: they are clearly rebuilding, so they got rid of some of their current talent (Jared Allend) and managed to pick up additional picks in the draft. The players they picked up this year will exercise huge influence on the team for years to come, but it took admitting that you’re not winning the Super Bowl in the next couple years to make that happen. We often times hang on to our strategies for too long, not willing to define reality. The sooner you can accurately pinpoint where your business is, the sooner you can pinpoint the areas you need to address to get better.
  5. Consider your customers. Or in this case, your customers. The Atlanta Falcons picked up Matt Ryan, a quaterback from Boston College. Some people think Ryan will be great, others not so much. But the key for the Falcons has more to do with giving their fans, who’ve had a horrible year (Michael Vick, Bobby Petrino), something to hold onto. Yes, you could probably add a nice offensive lineman here, but fans don’t get excited about the offensive line. Fans like quarterbacks, and that’s what the Falcons are giving their fans. Always consider your customers – they mean too much to your business to simply overlook. Yes, they may occassionally sway you from making smart decisions, and you have to know when and where to draw the line, but often the simplest acts of good will and open communication can do wonders.

A Boring Meal is Like Beating Your Wife

You’ve got to read this, for a good laugh and a little perspective. Who knew that a decline in spousal abuse would lead to the new dawn of advertising (and soups).

The sad thing is that the ad clearly communicates that it’s the wife’s fault that the husband is yawning at the dinner table. It’s probably cuz he’s so out of shape now since he’s not spending so much time smacking his wife around.

This was only 60 years ago . . . .

The Most Dramatic Rose Ceremony Yet?

Rose Ceremony on The BachelorYes, I watch The Bachelor. That’s not the point here . . .

The point is that every single teaser before the last segment of The Bachelor is concluded with, “Coming up, the most dramatic rose ceremony yet.”

This has been going on for about six years. It rarely lives up to the billing, and now it’s a joke.

The real point is that you need to be realistic with what you communicate. If it’s really the best and most ever, then say it. If it’s not, don’t. Like the little boy crying wolf, promising “the most exciting product extension since the iPod Nano” will get old and wreak of distrust. You’ll become a joke.