Geek Stuff

Nike Running Watch

So tonight the Boston Niketown Running Club is having a special event for the 10th Anniversary of the store. The running club has been around for almost as long, and I’ve logged close to 400 miles with them, even though I’ve only been 2 or 3 times in the past 3 years.

The running club is another example of excellent marketing. Wednesdays just before 7 people meet and go out in groups for a run around Boston, a great town to run in with pathways around the river Charles. Runners get snacks and water when they return. It’s free and you get to meet like minded runners and of course, you are hanging out in the store every week.

There’s no sales activity going on at all, yet when I go to the gym now I notice I have Nike shoes, shirt and shorts, all in this high tech stuff that is lighter and more comfortable than cotton.

I’m also addicted to the Nike+ system, and would like to invite an runners that would be interested in doing a marketing race (or perhaps a fatblogging challenge?). My only complaint about Nike+ is that there were some photos leaked back in the spring about some new watches that would be able to control the Nano. This is a desperately needed feature,  the clothes with integrated pockets are cool but it makes it difficult to skip tracks, change volume, etc. The instruction manual has been updated to talk about remotes, but no devices yet. Engadget said maybe by summer, I’ll be in line outside the store as soon as I hear about it.

Of course if it had integrated GPS, and heart rate monitor I’d pay $500 for that, but if I was marketing that I’d do it as a multi-year roll out.

Brain Buster Daily Life The Marketeer

Breaking Rocks

My first “pure” marketing job was with a company called DCI, they ran a number of very successful tech trade shows such as Data Warehouse World, and one of the biggest SFA (Sales Force Automation) shows out there. It was a good business model, young people came in at entry level pay grades and followed a proven system to develop, promote and run the conferences.

Everyone started with some time over in customer service and then moved to a show team where you worked on the marketing and then handed off to the operations team at showtime. I learned about graphic design, direct mail and printing. There are 3 people in my life that taught me how to write, and the third one, Carol Meinhart, worked there. The first two taught me how to get everything out of my head and on the page, she showed me how to trim away all the excess garbage to become persuasive.

This was around ’98 when there was some hot new technology called email which a few crazy people thought might be good to market with. Even though I majored in Economics by then I was a hardcore geek, and had even gone through Microsoft’s network admin program. The geek pen was on the same floor as the CEO and I’d get called over once and a while if there was some kind of stubborn tech problem (usually something really funky because he was very tech savvy, especially compared to previous execs I had dealt with prior to crossing over into tech).

So here’s the punchline – the company was eventually sold after I left (after a life-altering session with Christopher Lochhead, but that’s another story), and then a few years later the IRS was on the place like stink on a monkey. The investigation and trials went on for a long time, and it looks like it may come to an end (although I would imagine now the appeals could begin). The former CEO was sentenced for conspiracy and tax evasion. I would have to believe that almost everyone in an executive position gets the night sweats about this now and then, but for most I’d think that driving $8 million through Bermuda is not the kind of thing that sneaks up on you.

Daily Life

Virtual Yard Sale Continues

As the move gets closer I continue to unload stuff. If you need a cafe table or a corner bookcase, I can hook you up. I’m also getting rid of a Coach 3×5 card jotter for all you old school moleskein types.

And don’t forget to listen to America’s Favorite Podcast – The New M Show

Graphic Design The Marketeer

Some Great Marketing – QOOP

I took a bunch of pictures over the 4th and uploaded them to Flickr and noticed a button that said “Make Stuff” when I looked at my photoset. This took me to a site called QOOP (no idea how the hell to pronounce it). That let me put together a book of 49 shots for around $25.
My QOOP BookI really like the way it came out, the book is 5×7 and the pages are full bleed (there’s no border on the pages, the ink goes right to the edge like a magazine).

What impressed me the most was some marketing thought behind it. Even though they have a terrible name – I tend to come from the “cup of soup” school of marketing, (how about mymagazine, myphotobook, anything besides a word that doesn’t mean anything) they did make a fantastic move: After I wrapped up the sale I was offered a second copy of the book for only about $5, I couldn’t refuse it at that price and of course I’m going to pass it off to another possible customer (and now write about it). It’s difficult to get pass along to work with every product, but with photos it’s incredibly easy.
Inside my QOOP bookThey also do posters and a bunch of other stuff, I may check out some of the other services.

Daily Life

Hell week continues

For the first time ever (in more than 2 years) I actually lost a podcast. I’ve never had my batteries run out on my digital recorder and rather than let it do its own shutdown I interrupted it and lost the file. To make the disaster story even better, it was a solo fill-in Marketing Over Coffee, b/c Christopher Penn’s flights were screwed up.

I need to go to bed so I am bailing – entertain yourself with some great haiku/cartoons and another tale of disaster, and yet another.

Daily Life

JWall’s Run

Just not enough time in the day…

Lots of cool stuff going on, not the least of which was WebInno 13 which was a packed house. More on that tomorrow after I’ve had some sleep, but some of the non-tech highlights included getting some microphone wisdom from David Tames, finally getting to meet Bahlactus (aka Clarence) in person (and forgetting to mention that I laid the smackdown on Galactus last week, finally finishing Marvel Ultimate Alliance), seeing Brogan, and learning about Chip’s new thing. Not to mention another clash of the titans with a supervillian.
The lovely Carin has a broken toe so I had to bail on the dinner afterwords and didn’t get a chance to say my farewell’s but the group was well on the way to taking over the Cheesecake Factory.

Since this post is totally lacking any real content, let me direct you to Mr. Godin, who has a great post that has had me thinking all week. I now have some reusable bags in my car for the grocery store, I never realized how many places will give you credit if you bring your own bag (and a million less bags is a good thing).

Daily Life

Bitching about MS Word, among other things

The problem is that for some reason, just because MS-Word is so central to most business writing, I have this feeling that it should be immune to code bloat and feature creep. The latest version is what, something like Word 14.0? Why did it take me a half hour to get bullets that would show up properly when I output to a PDF?

It just strikes me as not possible that I would have to layout my resume on pagemaker (or whatever it’s called in CS3), for the love of god, I sound like a 95 year old man bitching about the price of bread.

Just to make things more fun it’s the beginning of the dead zone. Everywhere I’ve worked July and August are the crappiest possible months to work – and yet I actually wonder why people scratch their heads wondering where the business is, while at the same time ignoring emails and calls from salespeople because of vacations, sales kickoffs, trade shows, etc…

I almost saw a pedestrian get killed today in Wellesley of all places (a tony Boston Suburb), I’m getting a little creeped out about seeing so many accidents and other violence… maybe it’s just telling me to go see The Transformers (I hope).

Off to edit the latest Marketing Over Coffee for release tonight!

Daily Life

Vacation until the 4th

Taking it easy through Thursday but you can still check out today’s M Show, and I’ll have some Flickr Pics up later today.