Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’


Performance Marketing

November 28, 2007


A recent commentary about Performance Marketing.

My colleague Mark Taylor gives it some context and link love here.

I feel obliged to write more HERE now that I have been writing more here.


Clicking to the Oldies

February 26, 2007

At my previous employer I once suggested to a senior executive that the company should form a team (which I wanted to head) to target the 50+ age group specifically to move technology from “tool” to “essential” in their lives. His response was “why”? He meant “no”.

 If you are not following the 50+ Marketing trend (The 50Plus Market is a good place to start; the 50+ Digitalagency looks interesting also) then it is time to open your eyes to one of the biggest waves coming (and get in ahead of the crowd). The boomers and post-boomers graying around us are spending more and more time online; it is not just the MySpace crowd that is going to define the future. There are vast sums of money to be spent by this generation and far too much online activity seems to forget they even exist.

I have been thinking about this opportunity for some time and am slowly deriving my own set of rules and priorities. Here are two that seem solid in my mind so far:

  • The 50+ market watches online youth-focused trends (e.g., MySpace) with more interest than we believe.
  • The 50+ market is eager to have something to call their own.

I will drill into these a bit more in my next post.


Blogs and marketing

February 11, 2007

Some pointers to a good discussion:

Jon Udell at Microsoft comments on his discussion with Marty Collins, also of Microsoft.

I will circle back in the future for some of my thoughts on this. For now, click the links above.


More blogging

February 8, 2007

If you have not seen the Forrester report on ROI of Blogging I recommend you take a look. Very thought provoking.

 Charlene Li has an interesting blog here. Even better is the work she and Josh Bernoff are doing on social networking.

I think we are entering Blogging 2.0 — now it actually has to show some value. It feels like the power of the analytics mindset has come to social networking.



January 31, 2007

Got a few people coming in to the blog recently from this link on the blog of my former colleague at Microsoft Gianpaolo Carraro (known as GP). We had been discussing the use of the term “consumption” as a way to describe how services are “used” in a Software as a Service (SaaS) architecture. I suggested that the negative connotations of the word “consumption” outweighed the correctness of its usage.

GP and I had a good back and forth over that, and his perspective was illuminating. Given that fact that he is not a native English speaker (but is an outstanding one) and speaks at least two other languages he attacked the problem from a different place than I did. I suspect my extreme sensitivity to the subtleties of the word was driving my argument.

The fact is that I think paying careful attention to the words we use in product naming, marketing, etc. is critical and an often overlooked aspect of positioning. Although many people today might not known the various historical and linguistic underpinnings of a word like “consumption” there is still something ingrained into the fabric of our language that can cause a bit of delay in comprehension or a bit of lingering affect that we really don’t want.

Please consume my blog at your own risk.


Measurement makes it real

January 30, 2007

If marketing is dead because we are all marketers, then what is left?

The new definition of marketing has to include measurement. If you can’t measure it then you can’t justify it. There will always be exceptions to this rule, but marketing 2.0 has to start somewhere.

Now that the tools to produce campaigns are everyone and the social networking/user generated content wave can’t be stopped (nor should it), the last bastion of hope for the professional marketer lies in measurement. ROI. Proof that the dollars were well spent.

You can build social networking sites all day long and claim miracle cures for your brand, but if you can’t give me some cold hard facts then it is a waste of time. Viral campaigns are a great example of riding the new wave but insisting that the rigor of traditional measurement remain intact.

Marketers need to put on their measurement caps.


A marketing conversation

January 29, 2007

Marketing has been my job for so long that I sometimes forget what it looks like from the outside. To me, the role and mission and practice of market are all very clear. I consider marketing fundamental to the way in which businesses operate and increasingly essential to the way in which society as a whole operates. Marketing is fundamental (as is reading).

For many years in the 1980s and 90s there was a degree of backlash against marketing. People did not want to be “marketed to”. This reaction to marketing sins laid the foundation for the current wave of social networking and participatory marketing. The solution, ultimately, was not the end of marketing but the eventual triumph of marketing over everything else. Everyone today is a marketer. We just might not all want that title.

Let’s begin a marketing conversation. My opening point is that the entire social networking, user-generated content, participatory marketing model has made traditional marketers work harder (everyone seems to agree on that) but has also given them far greater clout in the marketplace as a whole. If you do this for a living you now have to raise your game, but the rewards seem to be much bigger if you can do it right.

More on that next time.


Now hiring evil marketers

January 22, 2007

Just because stuff like this really tickles me. I want to hire people like this to be part of the marketing team (if I ran Satan Corp.).


Admissions of mortality

November 7, 2005

This blog is ostensibly about marketing, branding, technology, and my various (liberal) views on a variety of topics. It is a forum for me to speak my mind, but I usually put some significant filters between what goes on in my head/life and what appears here.

The reasons for that are the obvious — filters make sense for most everything — and the less than obvious. Some of it relates to my employer and ensuring that I don’t say anything that is in violation of my explicit and implicit agreements with them. Frankly, I like my employer as a company (if not always as an employer) and wish them only success. Some of it relates to other people in my life and my desire to respect their privacy and anonymity. Some of it is just plain common sense.

However, maintaining a sufficient distance between the things that drive me and consume me day to day and the things I write here can sometimes be a real struggle. Like the thin screen that separates one dimension from the next in the best (and worst) science fiction, it can be easy to cross over. Sometimes things just seep through.

That is a long-winded way of saying that I am frustrated with many things and that frustration is likely to show through here. I shall do all I can to smile and say nice things, but no promises.

Marketing is not an easy profession. I could go on here about how everything thinks they know how to do marketing. Easy for the surgeon to tell me how to do a demand generation campaign, but heaven forbid I should tell him how to close a particular incision. Outside of other marketers, marketing gets very little respect. It is not something that the average non-marketing professional sees as requiring any real training, skills, or experience. Marketing is just common sense and logic, as I have been told on a number of occasions.

Managing is not easy either. After 10+ years as a professional manager I still find myself in situations that are absolutely “no-win” more often than I would like. Managing is not logical and in many ways robs us of a certain degree of humanity and dignity. There is no satisfaction in doing it wrong, and little reward in doing it right. Like most necessary evils, however, better I do it than someone worse than me.

Marketing and managing are getting me down. Running uphill again and again in both arenas has left me feeling the years on my back and seeing a merciless fog of failure ahead. Marketing and managing are things I have always thought I was good at doing. Lately I question that assumption regularly.

This is an aimless and ultimately self-pitying blog entry.

Perhaps next time I will write something more sunny and scandalous.

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When a project is starting to come together, we al…

May 10, 2005

When a project is starting to come together, we all experience a few mixed emotions. Will it succeed? Did I think of everything? What will my audience think? What will my management think? Is my resume up to date?

Natural feelings to be had. They contribute to what I think of as the marketing high and the marketing low. The high really is a giddy feeling, a sense of joy and enlightenment. It means that you walk through a crowded airport and (a) see your ad on the wall, (b) here someone talking to someone else about your product, (c) see your product on the cover of a magazine, and (d) get the phone call from your boss congratulating you on the big win. Unlike so many other endeavors, a marketing win is very visible to the world at large. If you are the guy who launched the iPod, you are feeling pretty good. If you are the guy that launched the Newton, you are hiding your head.

The marketing low, interestingly enough, has many of the same events with a very different outcome. You walk through the crowded airport and see your ad on the wall and realize the product is not available at all in the color shown. Everyone is talking about it because of the news coverage over the lawsuits against you for illegally sampling music for the ad. The magazine cover includes the headline “10 Biggest Marketing Mistakes”. That phone call from the boss begins with “You are fired” and goes downhill from there.

Either way, sometimes I think that marketing people just can’t win. The tide can turn against us so fast that it makes the head spin. Today’s hero is tomorrow’s consultant.

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