Posts Tagged blog

WordPress 2011 Blog Challenge

As of 2011, I’ve decided I want to blog more.  I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a week for all of 2011.  My commitment is to this blog but I also post on 8 other blogs so it will be interesting to see how this desire to discipline my time and writing will all work out.

My biggest problem has been making this a priority in 2010 to set aside the time to choose a topic and create a stream of thought that is a benefit to anyone who may stumble upon my site.  Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments (comments really do make the effort seem worthwhile) and likes, and good will along the way.

Good Hunting

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Team Collaboration Gets Better

Screenshot of the MindMeister mind map editor

Screenshot of the MindMeister mind map editor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite tools for team collaboration and idea collection is MindMeister.  I use it for organizing my thoughts on large blog posts (see Marketing Warfare: The iPad Battle and Mind Map: The iPad Battle), helping my boys organize their thoughts for their school writing assignments, and many more instances.  Because it can update the mind map in real time with many users signed into the map simultaneously, I have found it to be valuable when working on conference calls while trying to keep the team focused and not hindering the collection of tangent ideas in the middle of a thought stream that is being debated.

MindMeister 4.7 has been announced with some improved features:

  • drag and drop attachments and images directly from their desktop to a selected node
  • Google API used to view attached files rather then requiring you to download them
  • a new social sidebar
  • Auto Condensing of maps
  • iCalendar task feed has been updated
  • Team Edition will now find custom branding options

Check out MindMeister, I think it will help you organize your thoughts and projects.

Good Hunting

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5 Reasons Why Online Marketing Rules

One of the blog authors I read frequently is Matt Hames at his blog “People like to share“.  Recently he threw out a blog post that seemed to challenge my chosen profession of Internet Marketing.  The post was “5 reason why online marketing sucks“.  Now besides the title catching my eyes, some of the content was equally abrasive.  Now let me say this, if you come from the print world, his thoughts might be exactly what your are thinking and seem normal.  For someone like me that has come up the ranks in the internet only path I found his items lacking.

So rather then attack Matt’s prejudiced and bias post towards those of us in the internet space I thought I would spend some time explaining why I love the online marketing realm and why I think it is the future of our industry called marketing.

Reason 1: Speed of Feedback = Reaction Speed

I love the fact that I can put out an internet ad on Google or Yahoo and within a day I can start making adjustments.  I can test titles, graphics, copy, landing pages.  I know based on impression rates how many eyes have seen the ad.  Once they land on my ad landing page I can track what they do and where they went on my site by telling a story and adding action items at different points of the story, thus giving me valuable information about what engages the visitor.  I know how many people have clicked on the ad.  I know what phrases they used to search the internet that introduced them to my ad and land on my page for that ad.  I love the speed of feedback.  I can make changes to my world while my print counterparts are still wondering how bad their campaign was with some 0.000000000000003 conversion rate.

Reason 2: Pay Per Click

Most of my clients are small and thus are trying to compete in the world of the big boys, mostly national or regional players.  Yes, 75% of my time is building guerrilla marketing campaigns for these small businesses using internet advertising that the larger competitors don’t see as relevant or worth much to them.  I have very little buying power when it comes to the print world for my clients to compete against the larger companies.  The pay-per-click (PPC) tools provided by Google, Yahoo, and the likes, provide a low cost to entry model that when coupled with geo-targeting allows for many local and small companies to gain market share in their realm of influence.

Reason 3: Measurements mean Change

I laugh at some of the dollars spent in the print world as well as the deadlines they must meet to get in a publication’s print run.  In the non-online marketing world you have to spend a lot of money up front to generate your campaigns for print, TV, radio, billboard, wrap-around vehicle ads, etc.  Because these contracts are written for multi-year commitments you can have a real campaign STINKER like McDonald’s “I’m Love’n it” last much longer then it ever should.  You would have to find a large number of bad web sites on the internet ether floating around to compare to just that one example of a complete embarrassment of a marketing campaign built around a bad tag line.

In the online marketing space, owners of web sites can change agencies quickly and adjust at speeds the non-online marketers fear with all their souls.  Is it any wonder you see the attacks on the on-line marketing world coming from those that would love to see the status quo remain the same?

Reason 4:  Multiple Tools in the Toolbox

I can agree with Matt that certain online tools are used for the wrong reasons.  I for one don’ t use email marketing for prospecting new leads.  I use email marketing for retention marketing and increasing the “share of wallet”.  I explain to my clients that all the different things you can do on the internet are but tools in the toolbox.  We listen to the desires of the client, build the measurement expectations, then implement the plan based on the best tools for the job.

I often explain that a client demanding a web site as the solution to all their problem is the same as demanding that your home builder only use a hammer to build your entire home.  No tape measures, no ladders, no saws, no plumb lines.  Just a hammer.  They quickly realize that they would never demand this limitation on their builder and often then come to the conclusion that they should allow me to quote the job based on the tools I think I’ll need to complete their request.

Reason 5: Competition for Customers drive Innovation

Matt brings up a great ‘one click away’ discussion but online marketers tend to look at it differently.  We understand that we only have a few seconds (most will say 3 seconds) to engage with a prospect or client or they are ‘one click away’ from going to a competitor site.  This often drives more ‘creative’ tactics to come to the marketplace at faster rates then some would like.  It does tend to cause us to look at impulse and emotions more then someone who has the time to tell a story. We assume our web site landing pages will continue the interaction and tell the story.  It does also allow for some poor choices to be made but go back to Reason 1 to understand why I don’t care.  If I’m not making the numbers I expect within the first 48 hours of a new text or banner ad, I’m already working on an A/B test to see what I can do differently.  The next 48 hours will be better then the first 48 hours, I guarantee.    Let’s see … how long does it take to change a billboard, magazine ad, TV commercial, etc?

In conclusion

With all the advancements on the internet, I’m surprised the print marketing world is even around.  As more and more people drop their magazine, newspaper, and newsletter subscriptions and reduce their TV consumption, they begin to use their electronic readers  and on-demand viewing devices.   I would think that the print and TV world would be worried about their business models ….. oh, wait, THEY ARE!

Good Hunting.

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Motrin, Social Media, and the Brand Manager’s Bad Day

Brand Managers have a new world to live in. No longer can they sit back and decide such things as when, to whom, where, and what information they will deliver to the world. They must now worry about how quickly they may need to respond if something goes terribly bad. Social media has reduced the feedback cycle time to seconds, not weeks or months. Reaction time is so short that any misstep will cause brand value to plummet faster then the price the rare spiders at an arachnophobia convention.

Blog Social Media Buzz

I ran across a marketing blog post (Motrin Babywearing Ad/PR Debacle) and it referenced Motrin ad and baby carriers. I was curious. Normally I would not go hunting down this type of discussion but for some reason this caught my eye. I viewed the YouTube ad and posted a comment on the blog.

TweetDeck Global Search

Continuing my curiosity, I used my TweetDeck (Twitter Interface) to set up some global searches for hashtags and phrases I thought relevant, and wow, did I get flooded with feedback. I specifically searched “#motrin OR #babycarrier OR #motrinmoms” for the hashtags. I also searched for “motrin OR babycarrier OR motrinmoms” thinking I would also capture all the people not using hashtags.

Firestorm an Understatement

My TweetDeck makes a sound each time it updates the deck, in this case my two searches. Those two columns of information have not stopped updating all day. There are some very angry moms out there and they are using Twitter to express their rage. There are also a bunch of folks that are very apathetic to this ad that can’t seem to understand why everyone is so upset.

Either way, there is a brand manager out there that is eating Motrin like candy right now …. wishing this firestorm would pass.

Good Hunting,

Post Post Update

Since I originoally put out this post there have been some interesting videos that have surfaced that I thought would be of interest.

Motrin Ad Parody: The entire Motrin Mom (motrinmom) episode could have been avoided if this ad would have been released because the negative and positive responses would have done nothing but improve the brand standing ….. and make a bunch of people laugh themselves wet.

Mad Motrin Mom Tweet Video: Here is a 9 minute YouTube video showing some of the responses posted by #motrinmoms moms on Twitter!

Outraged Baby-Wearing Mama: First of all, if this is outrage, then I don’t want people showing up and my house because I’m afraid how they’d label me! This is actually one of the best responses I saw given the firestorm on Twtiter.

Noise To Signal Cartoon

Found this great cartoon about the brand manager’s bad day!

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Community Marketing Tactic

While out to dinner with the family, we ran across a ‘boat map’ which suggested we find the 30 boats in the city of St. Joseph. It’s a beautiful little town, trying it’s best to bring in tourists considering the rather large number of Lake Michigan harbor towns along Michigan’s west coast.

We decided it would be a great photo hunt for the boys and planned a day trip. I took my family for the afternoon and preceeded to located the boats marked on the map of downtown St. Joseph Michigan. I have included the photo link to

Boats 'n Beaches Hunt

Not Bad – Could be better

As I was traversing the 8 block area the street art had been placed in this picturesque downtown, it occurred to me that this could have been planned out better. I’m sure the “Mommy, Mommy, we need to go to St. Joe and find all the boats” drove some families into the heart of the tourist town and thus into stores located near the displayed boats. But with a little more thought, we believe we could come up with some better ways to drive people into the stores.

Some Possible Variations:

  • Photo Scavenger Hunt – images would need to be posted on a campaign blog. No worries, a local photo store would help those that didn’t have the computer handy (in the photo store next to all the impulse items of course)
  • Best Community Fact – Each street art piece would require the contestant to find an interesting artifact or piece of knowledge about the art work or author or sponsor. Of course, there would be plenty of material in the shops near the street art work. Entries would be placed on the campaign BLOG.
  • Best Costume – contestants would dress up in something which complements the street art work and have their photos taken. The entries would be posted on the campaign BLOG. Bonus if you are using something purchased from the stores nearby. (not sure I like this one, but didn’t want to lose the thought)
  • Crossword Puzzle Drawing – Each week of the campaign, the contestants would be asked to find words on the street art plaques or displays and posters within the stores nearby the street art work to fill in a crossword puzzle. Persons submitting a correctly completed crossword would be entered into a drawing. A new drawing with a new set of words could be created each week, possibly around a theme or set of stores.
  • Stamp Collecting – contestants would collect a clue sheet and a stamp card from the city welcome center and search for street art based on the clues. Once found, they would enter the nearby shops to get stamped, thus showing they found the correct art item based on the stamp. Each week could be a different set of clues when a different set of winners.

We like the idea of using BLOGS in this case. People can post their submissions. The contest rules would state the ‘right to use’ of the city conducting the contest, which is important for future marketing materials. Who doesn’t have a digital camera, or who wouldn’t love to sell some cheap digitals in a tourist town.

Guerrilla Marketing at it’s best

Since the goal is to drive more visitors to your tourist town from the other nearby tourist towns, you are conducting a guerrilla campaign. Your ability to start or stop the campaigns are very flexible and have little or no overhead because the street art work is already being sponsored by local organizations or companies. With some minor adjustments to prizes and reach, you could push your campaigns into the other nearby towns with little or no cost.

It was a great time for our family and we actually did visit some stores. With a little more campaign effort, I bet we would have visited many more stores.

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Fortunately, Storage is Cheap

The ROI Hunters hate to see wasted time in any fashion. Nor do we like to be the judge of anyone’s actions (unless we are paid for it), especially when reviewing waste since it is a subjective matter when it is tied to emotions or ignorance. Blogging straddle the fence of wasted time in a marketing sense when the blogging has no function or purpose as it relates to the client’s marketing plan. After all, Hunting ROI successfully never occurs when you are simply following a pack of other hunters.

18.6 Blog Entries

These are the number of blog entries Technorati reported occurred PER SECOND in the month of July 2006. We have reviewed some of these other blogs and found ourselves waking up, face planted on the keyboard, and drooling. If we could bottle this stuff, we could cure insomnia!

You Are What You Measure

This is a common phrase repeated in our client meetings. When our clients ask us “if we should be blogging”, we direct them to measurement discussions in the context of marketing goals. We try to provide examples of competitors that use blogs as daily ramblings from their president. Then we show them successfully executed attacks by competitors or comparable industries using blogs purposefully and with premeditation in marketing campaigns to defeat (or at least attempt to defeat) a competitor or brand (or possibly a search phrase if we are taking about search marketing.)

Blogging Is Cheap

The low cost of entry into this environment brings out all types. We try to make our clients and prospects understand that it is simply a tool, and not the silver bullet that some would have you believe. In the same way while building a house you would not use a hammer to measure the length of a board, you would not use a blog to complete certain (or all) tasks of your marketing plan. Good Hunting.


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