Monday, December 20, 2010

Ok, That's Enough.

This afternoon, on my way home from work, I officially have heard the end of the buzzword "Rockstar". Flat out, 100 percent, that word is now dead to me, and it should be to you now too, and here's why.

I listen to a lot of ESPN Radio - its good drive time listening, and heck, I drive by the place most of it is broadcast from on my way to work. I was on my way home, listening to the Scott Van Pelt show. There was a discussion on the terrible state of the head coaching position as a whole in the NFL these days - I agree, its terrible, but that's not the point of this all here.

I bring to you, the end of the word "Rockstar", as it has now been used to describe A TYPE OF FOOTBALL COACH!! Are you serious? The quote was something like "We don't need to hire another Parcells, or Gruden, one of those rockstar type football coaches"

That's it, its done. That word is officially dead. End. Of. Story. Of course, its been on life support for a while now, but the plug has been pulled, the beep is sounding, and the doctor is declaring the time of death.

Rockstar is gone. Good riddance, too. It's about time. You will not be missed...

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Want You Back

Hey you! Yeah, you. Remember when you used to read my blog? You even left a comment or two, which was awesome. Thank you.

The thing is, because I didn't post for a long while, you all left, and I understand. I would do the same if I was you. I'd like you to come back. I just wanna ask you a question or two.

What do I have to do to bring you back to my blog? Other than post, of course. What was it that brought you here back in the day? What didn't you like?

Id love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


So. About not posting in forever. Sorry about that, but I was busy with a new job with crazy hours, and taking care of my pregnant wife. It's a girl, by the way, born on August 5th. Thanks, and you're welcome for all the "aww" and "congrats" and such that are undoubtedly in your mind at the moment.

Anyhow, I got to thinkin'. Dangerous, I and thinking have a volatile relationship.

I've already started to see MANY things change in the past five days, I wonder what else might change. One big thing that I'm sure will change with the addition of a child to my life is my perspective. I'm no longer 31 year old married guy only looking for things for ME, I'm gonna have to start watching baby tv and listening to music for kids and such. Its undoubtedly going to change the way I see MANY things.

I'm okay with it. Marketing and its surroundings are ever changing, and so is life. It kinda fits together, in its own way.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Adventures In Unexpected Customer Service

This past week or so has been wildly interesting, it has probably been the single most emotionally draining period of time I have gone through in quite some time.

But even through it all, marketing and business and such is still on my mind. So, I have a story I would like to share with you all.

The morning of April 16th my wife and I were taking our cat to the vet to be put to rest. She'd rather quickly developed stomach and kidney cancer, and she was pretty old, and would probably not have survived any procedures, and just wasn't handling it very well, so we did what we had to do. Anyways, our vet is/was very nice, and that's what we'd expected. They sent us a berevement card with her footprint in it and such, it was very appreciated.

But that's not the story, even though it fits with the post. We chose to have the cat cremated so that we may spread her ashes in a couple different places, as well as plant something as a memorial and put the remaining ashes under it. Our vet said that private cremation usually will take a couple weeks, which is understandable, because it's a process, and who knows how often they deliver, and so on.

Skip ahead to yesterday (April 23rd) - we got a phone call from our veterinarian, there is a "package" waiting for us at the office. Needless to say it's obvious what that is, of course.

Of all the places to have good customer service, and to make due on a promise better than the promise, I would have NEVER expected an animal crematorium to be such a place. In the wake of a truly horrible situation, you don't think to hope that promises will be kept, and things like that.

I would like to thank the staff at Chippens Hill Veterinarian in Bristol, CT for being so awesome in general, especially at this time. I have no idea where you sent the cat, but they're cool too, in my book.

This was my cat, Abby. She was awesome, I will miss her.

What kind of unexpected experiences have you had with customer service, good or bad? Please share...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Free Advertising For Your Blog! Plug Away!

Alright, here it goes. Several of my friends have done posts that are specifically for their readers to share their blog, or a favorite blog that they read quite often. I have decided to do the same.

First, a non exclusive list of some of my most read blogs:

Shelly Kramer/V3im
Sarah Robinson/Escaping Mediocrity
Scott Stratten/UnMarketing
Random Shelly/I'm Not So Random
Julie Roads/Writing Roads
Social Media 101

I don't want to describe them, because the owners of the blog can do a much better job of it, and I do hope they decide to do so.

Now that you have a partial list of my favorites, lets see what you've got!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Chance To Market Myself

I have been given a relatively unique opportunity. Last Wednesday, I was laid off from the retail sales job I had held for nine months. Its unfortunate, and it sucks, but they laid off almost half of my coworkers instate as well, so its not like I was the only one, and it wasn't my fault.

So. The opportunity...I should probably get to that, because getting laid off sure isn't what I was talking about.

I need to find a new job. NEED. There is no other solution right now. The house needs some things done to it, I'm going to have a baby living with me come August, and there are bills to pay. Here I go again, getting away from myself. The opportunity.

I referenced it in the title to this post, I have a chance to market myself. I am my own marketing project, and the end result is not sales, or customer service, or PR, it's a big fat case of brand awareness.

But the question is, does my brand need to change? How much, if at all?

Update: The company that laid me off apparently kept my application for a promotion on file after I was laid off. I filed in the week before, and they're just now doing interviews for the position. Wish me luck.

UPDATE # 2 Had an interview on Monday that went really well. I was very happy with it, and was convinced I'd nailed it. They said they would call me Tuesday with their decision.

They didn't. So I freaked a little, but was ok.

They called this morning, instead. I'm back among the employed. With the same company that laid me off. In a corporate position. For more money. So I got a short vacation for a little less pay and I got to work on my yard and start prepping for baby's arrival. An interesting couple weeks for sure.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sponsors Gone Wild??

No, it's not a variation on Girls Gone Wild...sorry about that.

I've written about my old jobs before, specifically the time I spent working for an ampitheatre where concerts are held. I worked for the head of advertising and corporate sales, and one of her jobs, and by proxy mine, was to come up with new and/or different places to utilize as advertising space. Among the things we did were sticker the garbage bins, wrap the fences, and even sticker the seat backs.

People would jump at the chance to have their name and logo in a different place that they hadn't thought of, or to sponsor sonething you wouldn't think they would, in order to get their name out there.

But in all my mind, I never would have come up with this one. The olympics have an official car, the NBA has an official drink...

...and the NCAA basketball tournament has an official LADDER. That's right, an official ladder. Genious or insanity? I say both. The name gets said every time espn talks about the tournament, which is about a million times a day. I'm sure when the winners are cutting down the nets, there will be a nice long logo shot, too.

I ask you, have they gone too far? When do you think that was? If you don't, what IS too far?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Down With Social Automation

UnMarketing has talked about it.

Shelly Kramer is constantly speaking out about it.

Twitter-Fail has a whole separate CATEGORY about it.

Remarkablogger talks about it.

Dozens of websites talk about it, both in favor and against it. Generally the ones in favor of it are the ones providing or selling automation services.

Now, since you won't listen to anyone above me...maybe you'll listen to me. I can dream, can't I?

Stop it already with the automated Twitter messages. We know. You cannot disguise them. You've tried personalization. We figured it out. You tried automating public messages. We fell for it for about five minutes, then we looked at your stream and saw the same message sent out to many, many people. You're NOT fooling everyone...let alone anyone.

There's a reason it's called SOCIAL media...its about socialization. If I wanted to talk to a robot, I'd fire up IRC or some other old chat client. I'm not the first to admit it, but anyone who sends me an auto DM with an ad or a blog link in it before even saying hello or anything is immediately blocked. Surprisingly, there are several big names I don't follow because of this, and I'm no worse off for it.

If you want followers...just talk to people. Do what honest, social people do. Follow some heavy hitters in your industry, and mine their follower lists. See who they talk to, and so on. Before you know it, you've got a good list of legitimate follows and followers, and you're engaging with them happily, all without having to automate anything, and without pissing everyone off. It's really not that hard. Just try it, I promise we won't bite....unless you auto DM us.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Choose My Adventure

Alright, I'm going to try something I've never done on The Marketing Mark before. I have a bunch of ideas for entries, and I'm having a hard time deciding what order I should do them in. So, I look to you, dear reader, to help me out.

I'm going to spend a while writing about what YOU want, not what I want. Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet HERE and I will write a few articles from the list of appropriate topics that I get.

Sound cool? OK, go!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Google Buzz = Windows 7

and Google Wave = Windows Vista.

But the final word is still to be said, since Buzz is still being released. However, the comparison can be made. Both Vista and Wave were great ideas in theory, huge upgrades from what was currently available. But they were both bloated overcoded messes with more problems than benefits for most of its users.

But they were both reletively quickly followed up by a much cleaner, much less overcoded version. Google went quicker, more along the lines of a Windows Milenium reaction speed, but the less we can speak of that mess, the better.

Google Buzz has potential to be a easy way to keep your contacts up on what you're doing all at once, but it's hardly your only option, even within Google itself. The advantage it has over Google Reader, is that you can share from a multitude of formats, not just rss. You can share Twitter, Picasa, and a bunch of other sites, those are just the most likely suspects at this point. There are even some enterprising ciders out there that have already created "buzz this" buttons, so be on the lookout for those to begin popping up.

Google Buzz has potential, I just hope it doesn't end up just another bothersome link on the left side menu of gmail.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Scarlet Begonias

No, I haven't lost my mind and changed this to a blog about flowers. Scarlet Beginias is a song by the Grateful Dead. This post is named what it is for a line in the song:

Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Holy crap is that an amazing line. It's saying that you can find inspiration anywhere you look as long as you're looking for it.

That's right, inspiration isn't always sitting around going "HEY!! OVER HERE!!!! INSPIRATION UP FOR GRABS!!"

That would be pretty cool, but that's not how it works. Most of the time you have to find it on your own. Sometimes it's right there and you can grab it. Sometimes it's under your pillow, or behind a tree, or in your desk drawer at the office. You just have to look. It can be almost anywhere. Really, I swear.

Where was the most interesting place you were able to find inspiration? For that matter, how about the most obvious? Please share...thanks.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Experience Is Overrated

One of my more popular posts is about the self perpetuating circle of being "The Little Guy" in a world of big fish. It hasn't drawn any public comments, but I get tweets and emails about it all the time.

Yesterday was Day 19 of Sarah Robinson's "30 Days To Changing Your Game" blog series. The day's entry, written by Marie Forleo, was about what not to do. I'll wait for you to read it, its worth it. Done? Ok. Good.

Did you see the part where she talked about taking a job she had no experience in just because she knew she could do it? THAT is amazing. Its also why experience is overrated. Someone thought enough of her to offer her a job that she'd never done before.

You hear about that kind of thing every so often, but you almost never hear about the inverse. Someone with no experience in a particular field can rarely go up to a professional ANYTHING and say "Hey, I bet I can do that. Gimme a shot." and get away with it. There is a misguided assumption that you need experience along with education to do anything these days. That's bullshit. Just because you have experience, doesn't mean you're any good. You could have experience in doing it WRONG. The guy without the experience is coming in with no preconceived notions on how he's going to do things based on what he's done before. He'll take chances, he'll learn, and he'll get it done.

If you need experience to get a job, how can you get it if you can't get a job? You need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job. Lovely fucking circle, isn't it? Do what you have to do to break that circle - if you know you can do something, do it. Tell people who try to tell you that you need experience to do something that they're wrong.

If you think you can do it, you can. Go do it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why Hide It?

Why is it that sometimes a major change goes unnoticed? Is it on purpose?

I know that some people don't mention when they get a new haircut, or have a new significant other - sometimes that IS on purpose, to make sure it's going to work.

But if a business goes through something that changes that business down to the core of its very existance - how can they possibly think that hiding that change is a good thing?

Most companies go on the offensive if they change even the smallest thing possible. Massive publicity campaigns, new marketing, new logos, new colors, new anything that would let it be known that there has been a change.

But some companies seem like making changes known is an afterthought. Why hide it? Why not let people know that something is different? Why not be prepared to be able to do so?

Perhaps its my mindset that's clouding my understanding - my marketing brain cannot understand why a change for the better isn't plastered all over the world, why someone isn't standing on top of a building screaming the news.

Am I that messed up? I don't get it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Marketing Year

So...its 2010. Does anyone really care? I don't. Did anything change when the date went from 12/31/2009 to 1/1/2010? Other than the date, not really. I'm still a thirty year old married male with a degree in marketing and a retail job. My wife is still my wife, and so on. I woke up the morning of 1/1/10 and went right back to work, I didn't have the day off.

So if you're expecting a retrospective on 2009 based on the title of this post, you'll be dissapointed, because that's not what this is. 2009 was good to me, and that's all there is to it.

I don't really understand the whole restarting everything on New Years Eve/Day bit. Why do we do that? Most fiscal years aren't calendar years. Most birthdays are not on those two days - IMHO, a year begins and ends on your birth date. There is an actual marked transition there, as tied into the calendar as it is.

So what the hell is a marketing year? Its nothing, its an arbitrary term I just made up. There really is no marketing year. Marketing is measured by projects, campaigns, promotions, and a whole host of other things, many only loosely tied into date of any sort.

That's the way I choose to live my life. Birthdays and anniversaries are important dates to remember, because they actually symbolize passage of time in a relevant way to that person.

What's marketing got to do with it? Everything and nothing, both at once. Marketing is what I do, so its obviously tied into my life and its evolution and creation. But marketing has nothing to do with what date it is, or what time it is.

If you get all excited by the new year thing, good for you, that's great. But if you see me celebrating wildly on some other day, I may have just made a useful or realistic transition, on my own terms, and with my own skills and abilities. I didn't do it because everyone else did, I did it because it was time for it, and it felt right.

So go ahead, be one of those people who tries through February, and fails in March. Come see me in April, or July, September or December, I'll still be at it and kicking ass...because I want to be, not because of some weird tradition nobody really knows anything about.

So why'd you make your resolutions? What do you want to accomplish? Why didn't you do it before? Why now?