Categories
Great Marketing

The Final Stunt

The Last Jump

I can’t draw worth a damn, but when I thought of this it made me laugh so much that I had to put it on paper.

He was crazy, and every one my age loved him. I didn’t need to believe a man could fly, I saw it.

The guy was a Natural Born Marketeer too, think about it – he took antics normally reserved for drunken rednecks and made them into a national spectacle. This man could put on THE SHOW!

Some artists notes: Although the gates are locked you can clearly see St. Pete giving him the thumbs up that he’s in. Motorcycles are hard to draw, I’ve never seen Dilbert on a Motorcycle so I could still have a career in cartoons.

Get The Evel Story Here

Categories
The Marketeer

Over the Wire

So a friend of mine was talking about press release strategies and some shrinky dink was giving him a hard time saying that PRWeb is not a news service. He asked me for some clarification and I decided to kill two birds with one stone by posting about it.

Disclaimer: All of the below is my opinion and bias, I probably have 50% or less of the facts – ha, like that’s ever stopped me from complaining about stuff… If I have something totally wrong perhaps somebody like David Meerman Scott might chime in. His opinion may be much like mine, but I’m sure he would have the real facts.

OK, weasel words behind us, here’s what I’ve been told, true or not…

Back in the days before the trucks of the interwebs were delivering all this information through the tubes to The Google, it was a lot harder to get Press Releases in front of reporters and news organizations. Before the web there was a network that would publish news, a private service that people would pay to get their message into, and organizations who needed news would subscribe to it. They had a great network and it was the only one in town. The sales managers looked down and said “It is good.”
This is tied into Associated Press in some way but I’m too lazy to wikipedia it now (and as Chris Penn said this week in Marketing Over Coffee, I can’t be sure that the wikipedia page wasn’t written “by a chimp”, or maybe it was monkey…). I don’t know much beyond the fact that people paid to subscribe to it to get news out of it, and others subscribed and paid to put their news into it.

By the time I was beyond a Rookie there were only two news services – BusinessWire and PRNewswire. As far as I know they are still the big guys. You have to pay an annual membership for the right to send them your press release and push it out (put it “Over the Wire”). I haven’t done this in years but I remember it being less than 10k for the subscription and then there’s a huge menu of pricing for who you want to send it out to. You could pay over a grand and send it to the world, or all kinds of slices from as grand as “High Tech” which is basically East and West Coast, all the way down to paying less than $200 to hit only radio stations in Cleveland.

Enter the Internet. PRWeb springs up and says we don’t need all that crap we’ll just push it out to the web and it will go everywhere, screw you and your private network too (my words, not copy taken from the “About Us” page on their website). In comparison it’s dirt cheap, the last one I did was a one-time flat price of $75.Yes, these are flight attendants, they used to call them stewardesses

So from my perspective, if you are old school and believe video games are the downfall of American society and you still have your Secretary print your email for you to read, then you can say that PRWeb is not a news service because they are not charging you 10x the cash for the same Google juice, and to use a private network that is vastly inferior to the internet (actually that’s just me being obnoxious, I know they both utilize the web extensively now). You could also make the case that these wire services get more attention from the press, but the articles I see in the NY Times and the Journal are just as often getting tips from blogs and websites.

Somebody stop me if I’m being stupid…

Categories
Podcasting

Marketing Tips for Non-Profits

This week’s Marketing Over Coffee has a great list from Christopher Penn on 12 Marketing Tips for Non-Profits. If that’s not enough to get you I talk about how the average marketer can save their soul from eternal damnation.

Categories
Brain Buster

Screw Your Customers

Any time I’ve seen Sprint advertising the Centro Palm smartphone it is with a $99 price. I have a Sprint plan with 4 phones on it that is running me over $100 a month. I called to get the Centro and the best price they could do was $250. The rep that I talked to on the phone said that the $99 price was only for new customers.

So the truth is that some terrorist looking for a throwaway phone, who has no intention of ever paying a bill, is getting a better deal than I am. Am I wrong to think that I’m getting treated like the new prisoner on the cellblock? Is there any reason besides the PITA factor (pain in the a$$) that I shouldn’t just get us all iPhones so that I can get the new customer deal from Sprint 2 years from now (if they have some less crappy phones)?
I’ve always had a problem with companies that give better deals to new customers than their existing ones, but that is life in the commodity market – too bad iPhones aren’t a commodity. Many will defend this point saying that one time offers are a good tactic for new customer acquisition, I say it’s at the cost of the resentment factor. Existing customers that are smart understand that they are subsidizing somebody else’s better deal.

For relationships like this we need a term more accurate than customer, for business models like this the customer is just another commodity in the equation, not really a human.

Merry Christmas!

Update: Sprint completely turned this around with some exemplary service at one of their stores. Why sit on hold, I’m going to hang out at the store if I have issues.

Categories
The Marketeer

The Case for The Holidays

JaegerAs much as I want this blog to be a dignified treatise on Marketing, I was astonished at the runaway success of The Case for Drinking, a post which, in summary, covers Marketeers as social alcoholics. As much as it pains me to drag this blog down, Thanksgiving is hell for the monthly numbers so your faithful servant is here to deliver.

Drinking and the holidays go hand-in-bottle, and that’s because, in one of my brother’s greatest quotes: “I drink until the pain goes away”. Between shopping, business, social and family functions, end of quarter, and worse yet, end of year (you haven’t moved your calendar so Q4 ends in Jan? You poor bastard….) you’ve got a stress headache that delivers more pressure than a tray of Ex-Lax brownies (Post on World’s Greatest Holiday Pranks coming soon in the Ronin Marketeer riding the bicycle to hell series).

The best part of blogging is I can leave these absurd run-on sentences in. I just pray you understand whatever I’m typing.

Where was I?

Oh yes, the most venerable of holiday traditions – The Company Party. Success at the holiday party is actually incredibly simple – here’s the 6 steps:

  1. Always introduce spouses.
  2. Make the normal conversation with guests same as at the office.
  3. Thank the hosts (the organizers and the C-Level people or owners, principals, whatever you call the big kahunas.)
  4. Don’t Eat
  5. Don’t Drink
  6. And for the love of all that is holy, don’t dance.

Of course you won’t follow this list and that’s why we have HR departments. If you must drink, here are some tips. If you must eat, Jos. A. Bank makes a wonderful line of stain resistant clothing, that is all my wife allows me to wear.

If you have to dance at a corporate function it better be your job, otherwise I’ve got two words to describe your future career path: fry station.

In summary, sit back and enjoy a drink as you reflect on how much of your soul you traded this year. Remember that you can always buy chunks back with charitable donations, or better yet just doing some good.

Did I mention how much I like the holidays?

Categories
Podcasting

Too Busy

A little bit too much going on yesterday and today. A great Thanksgiving though… If you are are up for some Audio content check out the Latest M Show – complete with Hollywood Steve!

Categories
Geek Stuff

Thanksgiving Cheer

If you are a fan of the TV show 24 and are old enough to remember the Goonies, here’s a special treat for you:

YouTube Preview Image

Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories
Daily Life Productivity Booster

Get This

If you don’t have a GPS for your car you should buy one today. Imagine never printing Google maps or getting lost again. Drive around cities that you have no knowledge of with no problem. Buy.com has an insane deal of $124 after rebate.

Categories
Brain Buster Email Marketing Productivity Booster SEO and Paid Search

Ron’s Predictions

My Inbox is also my To-Do list. If there’s a message that is part of an important project it stays in the box until it gets done. This can be a great productivity booster – many times if I am unsure about the importance of a project I leave it in the inbox. If I don’t remember what it was about by the time it hits the bottom of the box (or if the original requestor hasn’t asked about it in the 4 months it took to get to the bottom of the inbox) that’s an alert that perhaps that TPS report (re: Office Space) wasn’t that urgent, or it’s time for me to get to something I have been putting off.

I had started kicking a project around in the Summer that is moving again. As part of the first attempt to start this project I had asked some social media luminaries to give their opinions on some marketing techniques and whether they are gaining ground or dying.

As most social media consultants are full of crap and/or have an aversion to real work, I only received a response from Ron. His response has made it to the bottom of the inbox, and as he had the courtesy to respond I cannot let decent content go unused (and Ron – if this is still your opinion you could cross-post to this and skip writing on Thanksgiving day!).

I asked:

Is eMail dying?

1)email is not dying — yet. Email is something that is very popular for
people over a certain age. The younger folks don’t use email. They
text message, instant message, send bulletins, etc. I don’t know what
these folks are going to do when they need to get a job and the job
requires email. Perhaps that’s the only place that they’ll use it.
Or perhaps, they’ll be the catalyst for bringing in the email
replacement technology.

I agree, email is starting to slide from peak profitability, but will be profitable for a long time.

Is corporate blogging on the rise?

2)Blogging = Transparency — and so far, most companies still do not
have the intestinal fortitude for such openness. And it’ll get worse
before it gets better. Just wait for the first lawsuit where
Sarbanes-Oxley is invoked against a blog posting:-)

It’s interesting to me how blogging is growing from smaller companies and working it’s way up. The fewer layers of bureaucracy, the easier it is for blogs to grow. If your company has a culture of red tape, your bloggers can’t grow through the concrete sidewalk.
The growth of marketing departments as publishing companies:

3) Every Organization is a publishing Organization: always has been.
It’s just that the company’s customers became publishers too!

Always has been, but now every company has the infrastructure to spread further than only where trade magazines used to tread.

Online Video:

4)Online Video — The big news this year in Online Video is that
AppleTV, while not a perfect device, is a wormhole hole in the
Cable/Satellite space-time-continuumJ I can now get video podcasts
and YouTube videos into my livingroom. This is a major Crossing The
Chasm requirement.

My head hurts and I feel pity for Network TV execs. Between iTunes, Apple TV, Slingboxes, DVRs, etc. Things are only going to get messier. Can I have Heroes back on iTunes please?

Snack Media:

5) Online Video Attention Span. Back to the younger generation.
These kids have the attention span of a gnat. They want their
content quick and brief. What’s interesting, with YouTube, is that us
older folks may be being retrained. I no longer have the patience to
sit down and watch a 1 hour show”

Feeds:

6) RSS Feeds — Syndicate everything! RSS feeds are just starting to
show up in not traditional publishing areas like corporate websites
who syndicate the MOST OBVIOUS yet LEAST IMPACTFUL piece: their press
releases. More companies will start to experiment with RSS Feeds next
year.

I think this area needs a quantum leap – Feeds alone can’t cross the chasm. Maybe Google Reader will continue to spread. Why’s this stuff not in Office?

Mashups:

7) RSS Feeds + Mashups. The release of Yahoo Pipes, Microsoft Popfly,
and Google Mashup (plus apps from Intel and IBM) offer great
opportunities for companies that are looking to take advantage of the
growth of RSS Feeds. If companies decide to “Syndicate Everything,”
these fledgling tools may become more of a necessity to help filter
the information torrent.

Wow, I’d forgotten all about Pipes. If only there were more hours in the day.

8) SEO isn’t Dying…it’s Already dead! “Black Hat” SEO is dead.  Never bet against the
House and never bet against Google.  Their business is predicated on
matching search results to good content.  Produce good content,
frequently, on a site that stays around for a while and Google will
reward you handsomely.
I think SEO is becoming more respectable as it’s evolving into copywriting.

Thanks Ron!

Categories
Brain Buster The Marketeer

The Wrong Ladder

For the life of me I can’t remember if I first read of it in Covey’s 7 Habits, or the Covey Time Management book “First Things First“, but I’ve always loved the analogy of The Wrong Ladder.

So many times in life you are working as hard as you can but eventually you start to go off track in regards to your ultimate goal. You are climbing the ladder as fast as you can, faster than the competition, only to realize the ladder is up against the wrong building. This ties into beginning with the end in mind, one of Covey’s habits – you have to start from your ultimate goal and work backwards. Otherwise you might find yourself at the top of the wrong ladder.

The ladder has many implications. If you can convince your competition to climb the wrong ladder you may not have to climb at a pace that will cost you your marriage, children, whatever.

The holiday break is a great time for a strategy check. If you have not read 7 Habits, that’s the best advice I can give you. Otherwise, stop worrying about the next rung and make sure your ladder is leaning on the right building.