Monday, June 29, 2009

Instant Marketing - Just Add Water...Oops, Twitter.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog, since chances are that you found out about it via Twitter to begin with...

But, Twitter has and continues to show itself to be a trendsetter in marketing. Not the service itself, but the users. Thanks to the trending topics slot now in everyone's sidebar by default on the web based client, certain trends can be tracked. In recent times, obviously Michael Jackson, Iran, AT&T, and several other topics have come, stayed and gone, and maybe come again. But the major stuff isn't what I'm actually talking about.

Every once in a while, you get something completely random. Sometimes a meme will crack the list, or sometimes a pro athlete, or whatever. They don't always stay for very long, such is the nature of motion, and a fickle public.

But, if you were good enough about crafting the right kind of message with your 140 characters, imagine the number of people who would possibly see your name, your product, your whatever. Even if you were only on the list for a short time, a rediculous amount of people would possibly see your topic.

I'm definitely not calling for tweets being advertising or anything like that, NOBODY wants that. EVER. What I mean, is there are larger companies (Zappos, Ford, etc) who have enough clout to wrangle a trending topic if they do something big. What's stopping you from crafting something good enough to be picked up by Robert Scoble, or Chris Brogan, or Leo Laporte, guys who have tremendous reach in the Twitter sphere? NOTHING. You just have to do it. If you get the right people or enough people talking, just imagine the possibilities...

What do you see?

Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Follow Friday - Its A Twitter Thing

With Follow Friday becoming bigger and bigger every week, it becomes bothersome to do several posts about people who I think are awesome. Its becoming more and more popular, and more useful for that matter to do a weekly blog post going into better detail.

Sarah Robinson - Sarah is one of the people who have taken me under their wing. She is one of the reasons I am who I am on Twitter, because when I don't know who I am, she somehow does. She has a great mind for business, and is well worth the follow, if just to hear about the young turk. You'll have to follow her for an explanation - consider it an extra credit assignment of sorts.

Shelly Kramer - Every time I talk to Shelly, I learn something new. Sometimes it's about me, sometimes it's about her, sometimes it's about the randomest thing you can think of that would still make sense in your life. Shelly seems to have perfected the balance between work and fun, and it shows.

Zappos CEO Tony - Yes, the CEO of Zappos is on Twitter. You expected otherwise from a company that got its start selling shoes over the internet? This guy shares EVERYTHING, and he tweets back and retweets interesting stuff. He is pretty much the prototype for what a big business needs to do with social media.

Scott Monty - Head of Social Media for Ford Motor Company. Yep, that's right. Ford. Much like Tony above, there's almost nothing that he will not share, and conversate about. He has even been on the Adam Carolla Podcast ( talking about the role of social media in business.

John Jantsch - The author of Duct Tape Marketing. Shares great information, and is very approachable. I became more aware of just how good he is at what he does, when I had the opportunity to hear one of his Duct Tape Marketing coaches speak to a networking group that I belong to.

7/3 edition

WritingRoads - Julie is one of those people who ALWAYS has good advice to offer, and is a great, smart conversationalist. She is also behind one of my favorite blogs, Social Media 101, linked on the right side of my blog.

Nicole Harrison - Always has great info on non profit organizations, and a lot of conferences that she attends as well. One of the first people to really introduce me to the social parts of Twitter, rather than just posting links, quotes and information. She also has just founded and put together, her new blog.

Ron Miller - Another great advisor, and a great guy to boot. Ron is the other face of Social Media 101, alone with Julie.

Scott - Yeah, Scott. Its the guy who wears a nametag everywhere everyday. He is the go to guy on differentiation.

Sean Loyless - Sean is a great guy, always has great info to share, and is also involved with the Blellow project from last week

Tina - Want some awesome salsa? You in Canada? No problem. Tina's got you covered. She's cool to talk with as well.

and this last one is extra special

Meg Porter - Meg was killed in an automobile accident last week, and the entire Twitter community misses her. Take a look back at her tweets, and you will be able to see why.

7/10 edition

Chris Brogan - One of the most known and quoted people in social media today. President of New Marketing Labs, and has many projects ongoing at any time. Engages with many many people despite having over eighty thousand followers

Amber Naslund - Another one of my social media allstars. Never fails to educate, and loves to connect personally with her followers.

Carrie Wilkerson - Full of great information that can help you in life as well as in business. Another one of those people who makes you smile when you see her icon pop up.

You Gotta Call - Tim runs a reccomendation engine for nonprofit organizations and other small businesses in the Connecticut area.

The Return, 11/5 edition

I got burned out on Follow Friday, and I wasn't meeting as many new people as I should, so I stopped doing it for quite some time, but I'm back at it.

Tekee - Ted rocks. I met him through an earlier recommendation I made, and I'm glad I did. Need a laugh? He's got it. Need some kind of geekery? He's got it. Need anything? He's got it.

Morriss Partee - Met him during a discussion at Social Media 101, also an earlier recommendation. Always manages to say the right thing at the right time. Writes a great blog, too.

Susan Boggs - I've been retweeting her and stealing random tweets from her more often than anyone else lately, and there's good reason for it.

Cousin Slowpoke - No, not MY cousin, that's her twitter handle. Jemma rocks. She's an inspiration just by being herself, and everyone needs to know that.

Kevin Smith - yeah, that Kevin Smith. Clerks. Mallrats, Dogma, etc. He's like the friend everyone has that is always sharing too much information...but in a funny way. Seriously, he's just as candid on Twitter as he is anywhere else. Plus, unlike most celebs, he interacts with followers.

11/27 post Thanksgiving edition

Calvin Lee - I have been following Calvin for a long time, and only recently really started talking to him, and he is as gracious and fun as he seems to be by reading his tweets. Great information, and he loves to talk about what he posts.

April Baird - a freelancer I met through @Blellow, and a great one at that. Wonderful artist, full of good things to say and to show.

Dave Van de Walle - a great new friend, and a great social media contact to have. Leaves comments on my blog, and for that, he's a permanent favorite

Lolly Daskal - one of the most motivational people I have ever met. A well placed quote here, and a nice word there, and some great friendly conversation.

12/18 edition

Scott Hokunson and Kathy Hokunson - These two go together. Appropriate, because they ARE together. Two great people who always have good stuff to share, whether it be marketing or landscaping, and sometimes both and neither.

Amanda Mueller - by happy accident, I discovered my employer is a client of the company she works for, and we had a great conversation about it. She also has lots of good things to say about social media and marketing in general.

Weird Al Yankovic - Do I really need to explain it? I hope not. As engaging as he is talented, a great follow.

Pocket Wireless - my employer. Still an emerging presence in the social media world, and a massive hit in the prepaid cellular market.

2/12/2010 Edition

Ahh, the first edition of the new year - I've been lazy and not doing follow friday.

Elizabeth Potts-Weinstein and Allison Nazarian - two of a growing group introducted to me by Sarah Robinson. They are who they are, and they will always be. Two amazing women I am glad to just be getting to watch. Great minds, great writers, amazing people.

Reverend Run - Yeah, that guy. Run from Run DMC. As you should also know, he's a minister, and a great mind. Always has great, inspiring things to say and talk about.

Marketing Douchebag - Don't let the name fool ya, actually a great guy. Lots of good tweets about marketing.

Mark Sherrick - Me, dangit! I'm cool, follow me! Just kidding, but I would love it if you would follow me, I'm always looking for good people with good info and who like to interact.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Is There Anything Left? there any real world space left untouched by now?

As advertising companies and their clients are getting more and more creative, or perhaps desperate, more and more physical, and even intangible areas are being mined for advertising space. I can't say that I blame either one of them, to be honest. I love the look of a minor league ballpark outfield wall covered in advertisements. Some of the major league parks were able to do it and still keep the integrity of the park intact, as well.

Even NASCAR now, its not enough to have one car with one paint scheme, you have several, more than likely each with a different major sponsor. Plus, I know most of the sponsors that have the business card size ads on the cars are actually NASCAR sponsors, but are they even worth it? They're impossible to read.

I was fine with still shot ads at my movie theatre, but who's idea was it to put actual moving commercials before movies a few years back? Again, did anyone join the National Guard because they saw the commercial before watching the latest fart and dick joke masterpiece? Doubt it.

As for the intangible, you've got stadium and concert hall names, tour names, bowl games, golf tournaments and such. Sporting events themselves, I can understand, because more often than not, that particular company has something to do with the actual presence of said event. But can anyone honestly say they bought a F150 because they went to a Detroit Lions game at Ford Field? Were you unaware of Ford before going there? Kind of useless, but understandable.

What's next, actual commercials spoken between songs by artists onstage? Infomercials between sets at Phish concerts? They've already got football and baseball announcers doing plugs at just about any moment, what's stopping Herbal Essences from paying Trey Anastasio to tell the unwashed masses about shampoo?

I think they're actually getting advertising RIGHT on the internet. There's been a fairly good paced evolution in what we've been seeing, and the annoying crap like popups or those flash game "kick the guy in the face/shoot the thingy" ads, do go away relatively quickly. Most social media sites have been able to monetize without tremendously affect the site as a whole.

Will offline advertising ever take a cue from online advertising and actually improve itself? I dunno. I hope it will, although the internet will probably take over everything at some point in the near future anyhow.

Thanks for reading....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Planned Obsolescense Is Not A Marketing Technique!

I've never really been inspired to write a blog entry so quickly after I hear something, but the newly released info on the new iPhone has inspired the heck out of me.

When I was in computer sales, I really was at a disadvantage - I knew too much. I knew that the printer that I sold that customer wouldn't be around in a couple years and stuff would have changed so much they would need to buy another one. I knew that the laptop that I sold the other customer would be in need of several upgrades, both internal and external within the next year or so. Mind you, I'm not stupid, I didn't turn any customers away, but I was honest with them, and many of them appreciated it.

What's that got to do with the iPhone? Technically, nothing. But a lot, at the same time. Its nothing in relation to the products themselves, even though an iphone is pretty much a computer in itself.

I hate that companies will make a product, knowing full well that within 6 months to a year or so, they'll be putting out another one that's bigger, smaller, faster, lighter, whatever, as long as its better. I hate that they'll make a huge deal out of it, like they made some sort of gigantor discovery that made the new one necessary. Its like you're calling your current customers suckers for daring to buy your product. "hey, remember that cool thingy you paid $499 for six months ago? You can now get it for $99, and this new one that's so much better than yours is now $399!!!! Don't you want to buy it? You know you do! Come buy it!!"

And people do. Just like people pay all the overcharges for concert tickets, and every other thing that the market will put out.

Look - I'm all for making money, shit, its what I do, I'm in sales. But the joy over making something new so quickly after making it in the first place has got to go. I'm all for letting me know that this or that product now does something else, or does what it did but better. But its not worth a major event.

I'm not going to tell you not to buy anything new, because that's not my point, and I'm not here to tell you what to do. Unless I end up working for AT&T, Cingular, or Apple, I'm not gonna fall for it. If you want to buy the new one, cool, do that. If you want to buy the new one and you just got the last one, just think about it, that's all.


Comment, too...I like comments.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Know When Not To

I'm definitely not breaking any new ground here...but this is something that needs to be said every so often.

Everything you're taught when you are learning ANYTHING, not just marketing or advertising, is to help you figure out what and when things need to be done.

What you aren't taught is NOT doing. These days too much emphasis is placed on putting out as much as possible as often as possible, no matter what.

Sometimes its better to not do something. I've been living that idea with this blog lately, because I've been trying to post something for weeks now, and I hate almost everything I come up with - therefore I don't post it, because I know not to - I have standards and a quality level in mind in regards to this blog, and I haven't been meeting it lately.

If you don't hear from me as often as you should - its because I know when NOT to talk. I do know when TO talk, but knowing NOT to talk is just as important.