Great Marketing

Social Media Roast of Scott Monty

At a recent conference I was discussing a party for Scott Monty to celebrate his new position at Ford. A flash of creativity created the first ever Social Media Roast.

You are cordially invited to attend dinner on Friday, July 11th at the luxurious Ken’s Steak House (Home of the Famous Salad Dressings), in scenic Framingham, Massachusetts. Your $50 ticket gets you a steak and all the drinks we can afford, and the right to mount the podium and insult Scott in any way you think will be amusing.

If the idea of a roast is new to you, check out this classic, though dated clip from Dean Martin’s series:


To attend you must purchase a ticket from eventbrite.


Fresh Audio

The M Show is back this week with some discussion about Grand Theft Auto being too violent and dangerous.

Direct link to file

And I was a guest on The Beancast this week talking about Cannes, social network ownership, direct mail, and other stuff:

Direct link to file

If you have an iPod, consider subscribing to this stuff direct through iTunes (ask me if you haven’t done it before).

Great Marketing SEO and Paid Search

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

It’s not Spy vs. Spy. It’s different.

I’ve only been to one SEO Event, as it’s much easier (faster, cheaper…) to do my research online. Recently there’s been a lot of chatter about one of Danny Sullivan’s events that some felt went too far into Black Hat Territory. I found a response that said “Guess what suckas! There is no White Hat!” of course I paraphrase.

For n00bs (new people, to you n00bs), most believe there are two ways to do better in search engine results: White Hat – being “honest” and not doing Black Hat – making changes to your site, or getting links that have nothing to do with the user experience, and are done solely to score higher in the engines.

Jason Calacanis deployed some f’ing astonishing Ju-Jitsu a little more than a year ago, stating that SEO was all BS. He issued a challenge made a lot of important points and said that SEO is “pissing in the community’s well”, based on his image of what the future would be (and I think he’s on the mark). The beauty of it all though is that it both validates the business model and drives traffic for his new venture Mahalo. A beautiful example of participating in social media and leveraging community. It’s not possible to buy or fake that kind of hype – but kids, don’t try this at home, you’re watching a professional stuntman here.

Ok, so all that said… What to do? From what I’ve seen I think the wild west days are over. The web has become a communtity and the search engines are the law enforcement professionals. Black Hat has become like any other life of crime – it can provide benefit, but the downside is that you are always at risk of being found out and crushed. The truth is that you have your business on the line and the law enforcement people have no emotional involvement whatsoever. The guys that tweak the search algorithms come to work every day and think about how to tighten it up.

This will continue for years, people going to work and the corporate bureaucracy, patching holes at a slow pace, but crushing everything in their path. And it’s just like these cold case shows on TV, you may get away with it today, but 3 years from now they come up with a new way to examine the evidence and you get the cuffs.

Don’t take on the risk of Black Hat until you’ve exhausted everything possible from White Hat. Building an easy to navigate site with lots of great resources that the rest of the world can’t help but link to is a great way to build traffic that you can work on and never have to worry about waking up one morning and finding your site banished and traffic wiped out. This is becoming less and less of a technical function (making sure your html tags are properly formatted) and more of a copywriting one.

Wear the black hat if you have no long term plans for the domain. There’s a reason why PPC (Pills, Porn, Casinos) excel at black hat – if they have to close down that’s not a big deal, if you have a legitmate URL with your company name the stakes are much higher.

There are many people who can make money off of exploiting weaknesses in the search engines, but like most neighborhoods where the exploitation gets the attention of law enforcement, you probably don’t want to hang out there.


Weekend Coffee

This week’s Marketing Over Coffee is now available:

Direct Link to File

And if you haven’t checked it out before, this week’s Media Artist Secrets is also very good:

Direct Link to File

And don’t forget that you can subscribe to any cool audio programs that I find by adding the gigadial channel to your subscriptions.

Productivity Buster

A Robot Renegade Cop

It’s Friday, and my chance to score -10 to your productivity with some Vids. Scott Monty tipped me off to both of these as a fan of voice-over artists.

Robot Renegade Cop


Five Guys in a Limo


Have a good weekend!

Great Marketing

One-to-One Marketing

I had an interesting example this week where the concept of One-to-One marketing crossed with some of the reading I have been doing on preferences. In one-to-one marketing the goal is that your database is so rich that every single person can get a message tailored to them specifically. I first came across this term in ’98 or so, and Peppers and Rodgers were doing a lot with it.

Cross this with recently reading Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational and Barry Schwartz’s the Paradox of Choice last year and I found an interesting thing:

I get a daily email from a local lunch place. It has the specials for the day that everyone gets. I noticed that I look at the specials and if I don’t like any of them I go somewhere else. If I do see something that looks good I’m more likely to go there. Here’s the crazy part – every time I go there I see something I like better, or I hit the salad bar. I never actually buy the specials. So even though the email about the specials influences my choice to go there, it has nothing to do with my purchases.

The solution is to patch the disconnect – if they could get to my purchase records they would see that they could send me the same email every day: “Hey John, the seafood salad is fresh and cold on the salad bar and your Nantucket Nectars Half and Half is waiting for you” and that email would never discourage me from going there.

Something to think about as you craft your copy.

photo courtesy of Consumatron

Great Marketing

The Secret

This weekend I finished a couple of photography books I had been trying to get through, and even got to take some night shots:

The Secret was lying around and I thought I would check it out to see what all the hype was about. The first thing that struck me is that it is a very slick piece of marketing. Everything from matching some proven tactics to make it a best seller (very short and easy to read, lots of images), plugs for the DVD, and even the glossy pages and graphics to make it look like it’s an ancient book on parchment that was pulled from some tomb, rather than bought at Wal-Mart last week.

I agree with the content, I think that a positive attitude is the biggest difference between those who succeed and those who fail, so I can’t argue with the book. If you need this book, it will probably help you. It reminded me a lot of some of Tony Robbins stuff without all of the “boring” research and study that proves his material on improving performance.

Basically you ask the universe for stuff, maintain a grateful state of mind and you’ll get what you ask for. There’s also some great points about not being against things, always work for things (don’t be a Yankee hater, be a Red Sox fan). This is a subtle change but it does make a difference, the classic example is the caddie planting the seed of negativity in the golfer (it’s an easy putt as long as you don’t leave it short). We see this all the time and we know that subconsciously it makes us feel better. Everyone will choose to be pro-life or pro-choice, but nobody would want to work with the pro-death, or pro-totalitarians. Another key reason why marketing is as much art as science – based upon our irrational behavior of our opinions from the name of the group, not who they are or what they stand for.

One thing that struck me was that this material crosses over readily to religion. Many religions ask (pray) and are thankful (reverent), but religion was not mentioned at all and I could only come up with three reasons why this would be the case:

  1. Marketing – by not including religion there’s no book buyers that would be offended
  2. Competition – with many Americans appalled at the antics of the clergy or used to church shopping, this is the market they want
  3. The Secret as “The Truth” – what if the core of the secret is actually the key to religion and everything else in the church is bureaucratic cruft that’s built up around it? As much as everyone doesn’t want to think about it, in every religion there are those who need things not to change in order to protect the lifestyle they are accustomed to.

There are a lot of discussions that could spin out of number 3, but a key for me is that a church involves a community, while The Secret is content to leave you home alone asking the universe for money. Something about that doesn’t strike me as the best course of action.

I also liked the closing line “May the Joy Be With You”, there was no mention of Yoda as a source…

Lead Generation The Marketeer

B2B Lead Generation

A special deal for all the Ronin Marketeers out there – get MarketingSherpa’s brand new B2B Lead Generation Handbook and save $200 off the rack rate.


Marketing Update

This week I was fortunate enough to be able to go to both the PRSA’s conference this week in New York City and MarketingProf’s event in Boston. Aside from the obvious benefit of being able to get cheese popcorn from Garrett’s (the greatest cheesecorn on earth, I challenge any to suggest better).

Some recurring themes:

Marketing as Sales – New technologies allow the marketeer to automate and remove manual labor from the sales cycle.

Privacy  – I was surprised to hear this topic come up a few times. I fear there is trouble on the horizon here.

Video – Obviously Video is gaining momentum because everyone seems to be sick of it.

Produce Content – Nothing new to you, you savvy blog reader.

I was able to meet a bunch of interesting people and catch up with some folks I haven’t seen in a while. Hopefully there won’t be a pile of work a mile high when I get back to my desk tomorrow.

SEO and Paid Search

Microsoft Live

Just a data point – I’m getting a lot of inbound traffic from Microsoft Live. That’s a huge surprise to me. The good news is that it’s from keywords I really like. I may give them a 7 day test to see how I like it.