Lead Generation The Marketeer

Boston meetup tomorrow

Even though I am insanely busy I am going to make time to go to this event since I’ve missed the past two. I really want to see the latest stuff they’ve rolled out with the 7 release this month (and maybe find somebody that can help me with my Google AdWords integration… Hello? Bueller? McFly?).

If you are in the area you can probably still register, I’ll report back after the meeting.

Daily Life

If my life were a movie, this would be the soundtrack

I got caught in the latest round of blog tag, Christopher Penn was kind enough to pass the baton to me on this game.

How to Play:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question below, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool …

Here were my results:

Opening Credits:
Duel of the Fates – John Williams, The Greatest Hits

First Day At School:
White Christmas – SWV, A Special Christmas

Falling In Love:
Red Rain – Peter Gabriel, Secret world Live

Breaking Up:
Step by Step (Junior Vasquez Mix) – Whitney Houston Greatest Hits

I Like to Move It – Reel to Real, Jock Jams Vol.2

Mental Breakdown:
Fiesta Pa’Los Rumberos – Albita, Dance with Me

The Christmas Song – Ray Charles, Love Affair (OST)

Getting Back Together:
Song for You Far Away – James Taylor, Greatest Hits Volume 2

Wedding Scene:
Solitude – Toshihiko Sabashi, The Big O (OST)

Final Battle:
Escape – Prince, The Hits/The B Sides

Death Scene:
Undercover Funk – Snoop Dog, Undercover Brother OST

Funeral Song:
What Time is Love – KLF, Deep Heat 8 Hand of Fate Remix

End Credits:
The Music Inside – Chuck Loeb, WSJZ Smooth Jazz

Won’t You Come Back – Breathe, All That Jazz

Obviously you’re not concerned that I was lying to be cool about this list.

Rather bizarre actually that there would be 2 Christmas songs out of my library of over 8000 tunes.

If I really had to score my own film there’d have to be some Journey in there, Waltham and Heth and Jed to show some love to the podsafe crew, some stuff from Kill Bill and, of course, Rocky. All the mushy stuff would be by Ennio Morricone (if he ever wrote something for a project of mine, that might be bigger than a house on Nantucket…). I’d also have to keep my funk the J funk with some Motown, New Jack Swing, and Coolio – cuz I’m so street.

So I get to tag some people – I choose:

Franklin McMahon, The Rumor Girls, Chris Pirillo, John Federico and I’ll take a shot at a guy who I read, but who has no idea who I am (but he loves music), Tim Sanders.

I’d also choose Ron Ploof, but I know he doesn’t have an iPod.

Daily Life Podcasting

Audiophile Weekend

This weekend was all about the sound. I upgraded the speakers in the car via Crutchfield, the stock ones had no midrange and I was starting to think that my hearing was going, the new speakers show that not to be the case.

More later this week about a test drive of the new Bose Tri-port in-ear earphones.

And I’m rebuilding my work laptop but took a break from that to roll out the latest M Show, sync it to your iPod and listen during your commute. Anybody up for recording something new this weekend?

The Marketeer

Marketing is Not Math

Will Herman led me to this post earlier this week. It’s a good read and the message is very important – the best marketers are the ones that have the most contact with the customer, they will have the greatest understanding of what motivates them. Mr. Herman is closer to the mark than the original post (which states “Marketing is Math”) when he mentions Marketing as Art.

Although you can apply mathematical analysis to marketing, that doesn’t mean that it’s a scientific pursuit. All of marketing is based on human behavior and human behavior is irrational. Marketing falls into the same category as economics – most economists can use mathematical analysis to explain the past but none of them to their chagrin can predict the future and profit from it. Can’t you just see MTV’s “Cribs of the Supply Siders” now? (Disclosure (because disclosures are all the rage right now) – I am an economist)
In marketing the math is filled with uncertainty – two campaigns are mailed, exactly the same content one happens to bog down at the USPS sectional sort facility, the first hits homes on Friday, the second on monday. The same action, different results. 2+2=4 here, but only 3 there.

(Now hardcore mathematicians could step in here and say “If you had the guts to go beyond calculus 2 and get into the funky stuff like Ring Theory, and other stuff beyond your tiny brain, you’d see that you can mathematically handle uncertainty”. If you’re that smart please get back to working on my flying car and cold fusion instead of reading this.)

Start working in probability and statistics – we sent out this message and it got the attention of x% of our customers. This creates 3x the splash over that. This banner kicks 2% out of their snoozing beta brain state. You need to try and guess human behavior, and that’s an art. Some people are conversationalists or public speakers and others aren’t. You can do some scientific analysis and make some improvements (in fact, that’s the essence of your job and duty), but some public figures will motivate the masses, others will have “365 stupid quote” calendars made for them. See if you can keep your calendar limited to one edition.

Ultimately you need to take Mr. May’s advice – stop looking for consultants (unless you have money for me, of course), and start testing ways to talk to your customer.

Brain Buster Geek Stuff

The New iPod

My brainbuster for the day – with all of the hype over the iPhone I kind of forgot about the iPod. Today in the car I was thinking “How long will it be before the next generation iPod?” Then it hit me – what’s holding them back from putting most of the cool UI stuff from the phone into the next gen iPod? How sweet will that be if I can watch 24 at the gym and turn the player sideways for a mini widescreen?

SEO and Paid Search The Marketeer

The Bratwurst Defense

There’s been a lot of discussion going on about The Sausage Manifesto, a great peice of writing by Jeffrey K. Rohrs that is an open letter to the major search engines about some of the problems with pay-per-click advertising. Mr. Rohrs is living right out on the cutting edge of click fraud, and talking about something even more radical – auditing.

For M Show fans that appreciate the explanation of the Inside Baseball – those paid ads in Google on the right charge the advertisers every time somebody clicks on them. The people who advertise alot (hundreds of thousands of dollars per month) are starting to wonder about the quality of those clicks – there’s an obvious incentive to support anything that generates clicks, and more importantly – there’s an economic penalty to investigate or actively prevent fraudulent clicks that make money for everyone except the advertiser.

If you’ve read the manifesto, read on, if not and you are not sure what I am talking about, click the link above to check out the whole thing. If you already understand pay-per-click and click fraud you can jump to the major points by starting here.

For the amusement of all I decided to try my hand at a rough draft response for the search providers.
1. Talk don’t lecture – it’s not that we think you are children, the problem is that there are millions of you and you have millions of questions. It’s not possible to do one-on-one, everything must be based on algorithm, that’s how this model scales. (Ronin comment – maybe they want to get the top 500 customers in a room and start there? But I almost worry more about that for the rest of the world.)

2. Unique circumstances? We’re the most powerful information system on the planet right now (until wikipedia kicks our ass to the curb), we got there first, we got the loot. We’re unique – you are ants (see #1).

3. Invest in proportion to the problem – as long as we keep the data hidden in the black box we’re all set. Shut up and enjoy your sausage.

4. Tracking alone is not the answer – Yes, but you’re willing to pay for the clicks even though I don’t even give you the number of conversions in a default view. It’s easier to make you dig for it, or better yet – get tired of digging and get back to stuffing your face with the sausage.

5. More customer service – ROFLMMFAO! Right, when in the history of the world has anyone added service without adding a premium pricing plan. Like that’s gonna happen. I have a better chance of getting good service at a retail store in the mall.

6. Click Quality Education Resource Center – Hmmm, build a marginally effective school that eats up the revenue – sorry, you’ve got us confused with Public Schools. (Ronin comment: I was educated in the public schools and I feel I was well prepared for the world.)
7. Get the IAB involved – Silence. (Ronin comment: Adding an industry association would be turning the sausage dial up to 11, but that’s just my personal bias.)

8. Click fraud firms – silent stare. subject begins to perspire. (Ronin comment – I LOVE THESE GUYS. This is the coolest field, these guys are the new Eliot Ness posse rolling into town. They are blowing on the fuse on the dynamite to get it to burn faster. You are the Jack Bauers of search. Let the questioning begin!)

9. Punish the guilty – Why waste money on litigation against someone that could be your best customer next week. Besides we know the courts are going to be behind on this for maybe even 10 years and we haven’t even been around that long. We are beyond the law.

10. SCMODS for the Perps (sorry for the oblique Blues Brothers reference) – We don’t want to punish those who know the system best (see #9). And building an offender database is pretty Big Brother don’t you think? (Ronin – I like this one a whole lot too. The auditors could do this amongst themselves and start printing money. I think I’m in the wrong industry.)

11. Give me data or give me death! – There’s no defense for this one, something will have to be done. But maybe we’ll only listen to a class action suit – I’m sure there are no attorneys out there looking for a deep pocket with only $152B in market cap out there. Or better yet, we’ll just wait for the federal regulation.

That’s it folks, I’m done channeling. In case you couldn’t tell, today is the first real day of winter cold here in the northeast. That’s why we get cranky.

Why can’t an engine with volume just switch to a pay per conversion? I’d pay 10x for that…

Thanks to Mr. Rohrs for starting a great discussion.

Lead Generation Productivity Booster The Marketeer

Rock the Webinar 12 Ways

So I run these webinars. I have to admit it’s kind of cool doing a virtual classroom. A lot of pubs are charging 10-40k to do these events, I’ve managed to get a GoToMeeting account and a conference call line and do it for a fraction of the price. Although GoToMeeting is kind of in the doghouse with me right now (we were upgraded to GoToWebinar and it’s missing some of the functionality we used to have). C.C. Chapman ran a crazy event over in Second Life recently, anybody else doing anything interesting on the meeting front, or have questions about it?

After some thought, here are some tips on how to run a webinar (How about “J-Funk’s Webinar Best Practices”):

  1. A good webinar has 4 emails – thank for registering, 24 hour prior notice (exactly 24 hours), 1 hour prior notice, day after thank you with a link to the recording.
  2. If you are playing a recorded presentation get a patch so you can run the sound from the source directly out to the line.
  3. No speakerphones. Polycoms rock, but not here.
  4. 45% Attendance is good.
  5. Cough up the cash for a good conference call line, the freebie services fall short.
  6. If possible automate the entire registration process (put your leads in salesforce and set up your emails for #1 as automated processes.
  7. If your presenter is new, or this is the first time the pitch is being done, record it rather than running live.
  8. Have a second system in your control room so you can always see and hear what attendees see.
  9. This second system should have all the same software and content on it as the first so it also serves as your disaster plan.
  10. Even if you have a complete disaster it’s not that big a deal. Apologize to everyone, and send them the link to the recording (unless they are paid attendees, then you have to do a little more to make good).
  11. Always do a follow up survey (I’ve found surveymonkey useful), you never know when you’ll need data on performance.
  12. In the survey as about the quality of the content, the entire user experience, including the phone and meeting software.
Daily Life

DVD Mania

As my lunch break winds to a close I couldn’t help gushing about scoring DVDs at Newbury Comics. On the playlist:

  1. Doctor Who – Season 2 – I will boldly claim this goes toe-to-toe with Galactica because it’s family friendly (but if I had to choose, of course it would be Galactica). Please don’t tell my wife – it was $75.
  2. 24 Season 6 Premier – the first 4 are available on DVD (yes, the ones that aired yesterday and the day before) for $9.99
  3. The had some special coupons that got me The Eagles, 2DVD live from Melbourne for $6.99
  4. Same deal, U2 Live from Slane Castle, $5.99

I almost picked up Ricky Gervais’ latest but I’ve got more than enough to watch with that…

SEO and Paid Search The Marketeer

Google Content Network

Twice now we’ve experimented with the Google Content Network and it’s been the same story both times. As soon as you activate it the clicks come pouring in, and they are mostly garbage. There are two problems with this – the economic and google juice cost (I use google juice for any stat that affects googles black box ranking that you are given when you play the game).

So many clicks get expensive quickly, our campaigns easily jump 4x in cost. More disappointing is the impact on clickthrough rates. Based on feedback from SES in Chicago I’m shooting for half a percent and when the content network is on we often drop down to one one hundredth. As soon as we switch it off it pops right back up to the .4-.5 range. I’d like to think that Google is taking this into account in the scoring, but no guarantees of that. It’s not a tough decision though, as long as the network makes the cost per lead 3 times what I’m willing to pay, it’s a no brainer.

I’d love to hear if anyone else out there has seen similar numbers.

Daily Life

Sunday Football, Editing and The M Show

So I’ve spent the entire weekend doing the final mix on a project I’ve been working on for David Scott. I’m very excited about it and looking forward to the roll out. All day editing audio and most of today getting the CDs master.

More to follow on that, but I’m off to enjoy some football, and I may still have enough in me to crank out the latest M Show. Addendum – this week’s show is terrible – if you are new to the show wait until next week…
In closing, and in fairness, I must say that this is the greatest ad ever done by a tech company.