That’s Not Funny...

In September it will be two years since the release of B2B Marketing Confessions. I spent the year after it was published on promotion and working on the audio version of the book, and then it was time to start the next big thing. After writing about one of the most boring business topics of all time I was excited to get working on a concept that came to me before Confessions was done – the intersection of business and humor. The big ideas were clear – the question of why things are funny is a fertile topic, and the mirage of the “viral video” that every marketing department chases at at least once (if not dozens of times) is often ridden towards on the camel of humor. After over a year of research I bring you… nothing. Or, maybe this is a true gift, a blog post with a few good points as opposed to a 200 page book with 195 pages of filler. What I have learned that is important, but not enough for a book: There is no formula for funny. Like chess, there are some proven openings, but you have to do the hard work of filling in the details and there’s no guarantee you’ll get it right (in fact you won’t most of the time as you start). And get this – comedy case studies are useless, once the joke is out copycats are viewed with disdain. At the heart of comedy is the irony of us being woefully unable to deal with everyday life. For more on this, Steve Kaplan’s “The Hidden Tools of Comedy” is worth reading. Brute force does work. As a young person I thought Johnny Carson was just an amazingly funny guy, then I...

Recent Marketing Resources...

I caught up with a friend for lunch at The Merchant yesterday, which is a hot lunch spot right now. It’s always fun to watch the responses people give when the host informs them that unless they have a reservation they are out of luck. I’m able to get advice from both a seasoned entrepreneur and parent, and he gets the benefit what’s come out of Marketing Over Coffee, distilled down to what tools or tech might be useful for specifically his business. And, when I start writing long winded emails full of links I figure I might as well take the general stuff and share it with the whole world. Google Analytics is changing so fast it makes my head hurt. That’s disconcerting considering number of years I’ve worked with web analytics. I feel bad for someone digging in for the first time. The good news is there’s Training and Certification here, and some good ongoing stuff published here. I haven’t gotten around to posting the transcript of my talk with Simon Sinek on his new book, Leaders Eat Last. That link goes to his book, and here’s one to his first book, Start With Why, which is fantastic. If you want to get an overview on both of them you can listen here on Leaders Eat Last, and here for Start With Why. We’ve also been using Slack at Qrious and it’s great. Sort of like having your own private Facebook for work. If you know Salesforce.com it’s like Chatter. Anything new and interesting in your toolkit?...

Why People Hate You for Talking Politics Online...

This post has been in my draft bin since the last Presidential election. I was trapped in the loop of having to publish a post on politics about why it’s bad for your reputation to post about politics. In theory all voters would make a rational decision and the best candidate would win. If all Americans applied the same logic, one candidate would get all the votes. Of course this never happens. Voters apply a value to each of the characteristics of a candidate and then ultimately choose a single candidate. These characteristics fall into 3 major categories based on significant research I did while driving home yesterday listening to a boring audiobook: The candidate’s stand on issues (taxation, abortion, medicare, welfare, ad infinitum) The candidate’s party (that has it’s own stance on both issues and ideology (how the Constitution should be interpreted, the role of Government itself, ad nauseam) The candidate’s personality (values, appearance, ability to look good on TV, if they’ve been caught as an outright cheat and liar, [#LatinPhrase]) Every voter does their own calculus to determine how to cast a vote. Some consider party affiliation most important and don’t have to think much. Others get wrapped up in mental gymnastics such as struggling with the relative value of a candidate being pro-choice being as positive, versus allegedly claiming to be Native American for preferential treatment when applying for jobs (especially when I didn’t have the stones to try that stunt on my own college applications).  Every person assigns different values to these factors, giving us an infinite spectrum of possible reasons why to vote for a candidate. Another factor is the two party system – many polarizing opinions end up getting adopted by one party, with the counterpoint on the other. This gives you interesting...