Always More Complicated...

Lying with statistics is a topic that comes up all the time on Marketing Over Coffee and you’d think it would get old, but the latest crazes of dashboards, infographics and the like just continue to fuel the fire. Point #1: Statistics that show you a pie chart to make you feel better are misleading you and hiding a bunch of thorny questions. For better or worse, every time I’ve dug into the numbers I’ve found questions that are difficult to answer and force you to ask even more difficult questions. Over the 4th I found an interesting article on the fact that many flags and patriotic clothes are not made in the United States. That article claims only 2% of the apparel sold in the US is made here. Wearing clothing that celebrates America that wasn’t made here is an interesting issue, it then gets pushed much farther by talking about U.S. flags being used on caskets for our military and proposed legislation to require that they be made in the United States (the majority are made in China). This is the “digging deep gets complicated” phenomenon, clothes being made outside the U.S. seems like not a big deal on the surface, 4th of July items being imported feels strange, our tax dollars for flags for those who made the ultimate sacrifice paid to a nation that’s not that big on freedom feels like a crime. The article then cites research from Consumer Reports (a favorite publication of mine): “Given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and an identical one made abroad, 78 percent of Americans would rather buy the American product”. This brings to light three more important points: Point #2: Creating a survey question that is not biased...

Advance Campaign Management...

The reporting suite in Salesforce.com is sort of like the $100 tool kit you get at Home Depot. It has all the standard stuff (screwdrivers, sockets, wrenches, pliers in a stylish red box of some kind), and if you know what you’re doing it will work for most everything, and for more advanced stuff you could make it work, although if you are a pro you’ll want more power tools. As part of a webinar I did with Salesforce we started to discuss one of the big problems with campaign measurement – the fact that your data is only as relevant as the number of closed deals you have. I had done a presentation on this a few years back and had some requests for it and found that it was the classic “Consultant’s Powerpoint” – lots of pictures, and useless unless you know the story. So here’s the story. In a perfect world you’d measure how many closed deals came from your campaigns, have a simple dashboard showing the dollars generated and go home a hero. In reality, odds are you’re going to start tracking and measuring, right to the point of reallocating budget prior to the first deals closing – a classic “Fire, Aim, Fire.” The first thing to confirm is that you are getting a primary campaign source for every opportunity. This is one of the more recent adds to marketing tracking and it’s the closest thing you’ll get to a silver bullet. Doing an initial pass and confirming that every opportunity has a primary campaign (even if it’s “Unknown”) allows you to run some interesting reports and start to get a picture of where the deals and inbound leads are coming from. For most cleanup like this I’ve found that...

The Next Thing

For those not chronically addicted to LinkedIn, I’m no longer with Glance Networks. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what’s next and as it usually happens, things have been coming up on their own. Thanks to all of the listeners of Marketing Over Coffee I’ve been able to talk to many people, and I’m so thankful for having a great network of friends keeping an eye out for me. While catching up with everyone that I haven’t had time to talk to over the past year I’ve had a number of people ask if I’d be interested in doing some contract projects. Some consulting, some all the way through to execution, and all with companies I’m very interested in. Although I’m not thrilled about figuring out my own healthcare and payroll (at least the M Show Productions LLC that was set up for Marketing Over Coffee is already in place), I’m very excited to have a chance to work with different organizations rather than just parachuting into a single project. The big question will be if I will eventually turn all the time towards a single company if things work out, or if I find out that I can make an agency of some kind work. I’m very excited for this next step, it’s a big...

Mitch Joel on CTRL-ALT-DEL...

I had a chance to talk with Mitch about his new book for Marketing Over Coffee, if you’re an audio kind of person check it out at the website, or on iTunes or Stitcher. If you’re the kind of person that prefers to read, well, here’s the copy: Of course you can get CTRL-ALT-DEL from Amazon. John:  This is your second book. The first one ran like wildfire. Take us from when we talked to you last. The book did well. You did the speaking thing. When did you realize you needed to write something else and what did you come up with for a big idea? Mitch:  “Six Pixels” came out in 2009 (I wrote it in 2008) and I really felt it was a book where I was explaining how, as a small agency – a very small shop under a handful of people – we leveraged these ways in which we connect. I don’t want to lump it all under social media because I didn’t think “Six Pixels” was just a social media book, but how we leveraged it to really build attention, build clients, and use it as a springboard to what we can do, which is very different from the way traditionally you would think you would grow an agency and market it. I was already latched onto the blogging bug, and for sure, the podcasting bug had bit hard, too. You go through the process and wonder, “Do I need to really write another book? I’m still blogging every day. I’m podcasting every week. I write for the Harvard Business Review one week, and the opposite week I write for Huffington Post. Magazine offers and newspaper stuff.” Life is sort of good. I just came to the point...

Top 7 Confessions

This month I’ll be talking about some of the info in B2B Marketing Confessions in a webinar with MarketingProfs! Reg info to follow… Of course you could free yourself from the calendar and just get a copy of the book for yourself! Lastly, this week’s edition of Marketing Over Coffee is now available. Bonus: As mentioned in the session, here’s the chapter on Email for free!...

Prayer for Martin Richard...

Martin Richard, 8 years old, was taken from his family and friends at the Boston Marathon on Monday. I was crushed when I heard about him. He came to celebrate the race, the place where we stop for a day and a huge crowd of over 15,000 take a bold leap. Courage, fear and heart on display for all to see. His loss hits me personally because of my love for this race, and here’s why: I’ve already written at length about running the Boston Marathon, and what it meant to me. I can’t stop thinking about the tragedy there this week. As I went through my 20’s sources of inspiration began drying up. The church, mired in scandal, and a symbol of pain. Fictional characters were recognized as just that, people that weren’t real. I began to run more often just because it was too difficult to try and find anyone left that played tennis, and there were no trails for rollerblading like there were back in the Bay Area (does anyone rollerblade anymore?) The first race I ran was a 5k in Cambridge and I won first place in my division (Fat Bastard) by cracking 7:30 miles, a pace I haven’t seen in years. In the finish chute a guy behind me was lamenting how he was in better shape when he had run the marathon. This was a spark – I had outrun somebody that was able to run the marathon. The next step was to go to the finish to see what it’s all about. The first time I went late in the day. The winners tear across the line in a split second. The true drama is to see the people coming in as the clock climbs to 4,...

New Supreme Headphones...

All the way back in 2007 I started writing about various headphones that I had been trying out (Shure vs. Bose vs. Sony). Somewhere around 2010 I did the same for headphones and other technology (GPS, Heartrate Monitor) I’ve been using for running, most recently this post. The latest updates: My Shure E500’s were traded in when the cable broke on one of them, a common occurrence which they have resolved by now having screw mount cables that are easily replaced. I was able to exchange my 500’s for 530’s, basically an upgrade (but still one model earlier than the replaceable cable). The same thing happened with the Bose QC 2’s that the rest of the family uses, a break at the swivel above the ear, another common problem that was resolved with the QC15 design. So the good news with going higher end is that if they break you can replace them at a discount. On the running front all the gear has changed – I unloaded the Sennheisers and was using some old school Sony’s until Glance gave us all a set of Bose SIE2i sport earphones. At $150 I never would have bought them for myself, my track record is to ruin sports headphones in about a year or so. The surprise is that they are worth every penny and sound incredible. With the soft rubber loops that retain the ear bud you get great sound but still can hear what’s going on around you. The iPhone and Runkeeper has crushed all competitors on the GPS front, with the ability to serve up music, record data as a heartrate monitor and track your route via GPS it’s the runner’s holy trinity on one device. And, all this was kicked off by...

Marketing Over Coffee Live...

I forgot to mention that as part of my relocation I’m no longer able to meet up with Chris on Wednesday mornings at the Dunkin’ Donuts to record Marketing Over Coffee. We’ve settled on Google Hangouts, which actually works pretty well for two reasons – first, it dumps the recording straight over to YouTube so now you can watch the video, and second, if it’s a normal week you can watch it live on Thursday mornings at 7am! Chris posted the show on his blog this week and I realized I should be doing the same! In this week’s Marketing Over Coffee, we discuss all things Pinterest analytics, Google Reader getting killed off, and much more. Watch it...

Seth Godin on The Icarus Deception...

I was fortunate enough to have a chance to interview Seth Godin about his new book, The Icarus Deception, last month. I’ve had the interview transcribed, check it out below. Note: I’m trying out a new transcription service so if you notice anything out of order below please leave me a comment (I’ll send you a copy of my new book)! If you’d rather listen you can hear it at Marketing Over Coffee. JOHN: Welcome to Marketing Over Coffee. I’m John Wall. We have a special holiday gift for you today, a guest we’ve had on the past. He’s written over a dozen books, many of them best sellers, spoken at TED, and is here today to talk about his new book, The Icarus Deception. I’m very happy to welcome Seth Godin. Seth, thanks for coming on today. SETH: Thank you, sir. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you, John. JOHN: Great. So, the new book is The Icarus Deception. Give us the elevator pitch. What’s the big idea? SETH: I think it’s a pretty big idea, which is that we all grew up during the Industrial Age. Everyone knows about the Industrial Revolution. It revolutionized the world, invented jobs, created productivity, made us all rich, and now it’s over. And there’s a Post-Industrial Age here now and growing every day. I’m calling it the connection economy. The connection economy is coming to us via the connection revolution. The important thing to understand is this: we have been brainwashed by eight generations of propaganda into believing things about the world that don’t have to be true. When we start keeping score of things like permission and trust and reputation and connection, many of the things that used to be part of our life—like...

Comanche 3

Before we get started, both hardcover and Kindle versions of my new book are available on Amazon.com. Go buy one and maybe 30 or 40 for your friends family, and even people you don’t know and/or like. In my Kickstarter newsletter I learned of the Saturn 5 Relaunch Project and it got me thinking of the long lost days where all I had to worry about was stupid stuff like model rockets. I think anyone that built more than one rocket has a story of catastrophic failure. Hell, it’s like NASCAR, the crashes are the true spectacle. Even more surprising is that you can check out the back catalogs over at the Estes site. I was able to track down my very own Comanche 3. I laughed out loud at the catalogs from the Eighties, many rockets being dead ringers for military munitions, the RPG looking like you could scare the crap out of anyone with it. I had repaired a Big Boy that had a missle paint job and still remember everyone running like hell away from the launch pad as it only went up about 15 feet and then started to do circles towards the rest of the Boy Scout Troop. The real big dog though was the Comanche 3.This rocket is absurd. Most of the rockets of the time were single stage, and there were some 2 stage. A “D” engine would get rolled out now and then for some of the huge models (engines are rated A-D (or at least were as I remember) with the A being about 2 inches long and about as wide as an extra fat pencil. The D was like a toilet paper roll). This is yet again one of the joys of pre-litigation society,...

The Book!

B2B Marketing Confessions is now available on Amazon! From the promotional material: What’s the Truth About Marketing? Contrary to the popular belief that marketing is advertising, listen to the confessions of an insider to learn how marketing affects every step of the customer life-cycle. From product design, to building awareness, selling, and keeping customers happy, this book covers all the basic principles and gives you tactics, tips and tricks to succeed (including best practices for Salesforce.com)! With over 20 years in business I’ve seen many things: successes, failures, tragedies and flawless execution. The marketing profession changes so rapidly that every day is an adventure. Having learned many lessons from painful first hand experience I wanted to create something that would help those who are putting together their marketing strategy and tactics. My hope is that by confessing everything I’ve seen you’ll have a guidebook that can help you navigate the ever-changing seas, and increase your odds of success. This book covers 4 key points: The first 12 pages give you a basic understanding of Product Marketing The next 115 cover demand generation including: blogs, email, lead scoring, search engine marketing, trade shows, direct mail, and basic PR The intersection of sales and marketing covers 35 pages including how to eliminate cold calling and optimizing the sales cycles The last 20 include customer retention and closing the loop on the customer lifecycle to improve demand generation and the sales process. If you are tasked with leading the marketing efforts at a growing business or just want to understand how marketing has changed in the past 10 years, this guide is for you! 2016 Update: Samson, a listener of the audiobook edition, asked about the diagrams so I’ve added them here! Some predictions on tactics agencies...

Compliance by Design

While doing some product marketing research about 3 years ago I came across the idea of compliance by design. Instead of creating tasks for your users as part of your product (fill out the activity report at the end of the week) you build the product or process so that there’s no way the user can avoid it. In the activity report example a solution would be sending out all assignments via Salesforce.com and then you could monitor and report on activities without the user having to do anything beyond the job itself. This can be even more useful in products, having parts that only fit together in the correct configuration, making it impossible to assemble incorrectly. Superior design means no errors during assembly, no expense from failure due to improperly assembled products, and no support costs during assembly or during use of an improperly assembled...

Digging Out

Today I finally had a chance to look at the big picture. For regular readers, the last time I did a progress check was the end of Q3. Unfortunately, I’ve been in a “Just survive the day” mode since then. Q4 was a tough time for the family, Q1 was the start of a new job and packing the house and putting it on the market so we could sell and move in Q2. Of course this will be short lived with the lovely Carin about 1 month from her due date now, but at least there are a few minutes to catch my breath and look back at the past 3 quarters, and see if we can’t at least see where we are on the big map. For new readers, I break down the year on four fronts – Family, Personal, Professional and Financial. On the family front we’re moving along and although we’re still dealing with some grief and illness, things are doing well. Professionally I have been incredibly fortunate, over the past 6 years I’ve worked with fantastic people and been able to move up to higher profile projects. My first book, B2B Marketing Confessions, is completed and being formatted for release and I’m very excited about that. Financially, the home sale went very well, so what used to be a boat anchor has now jumpstarted the woefully underfunded college fund. Strangely, the only gap I have is on the personal front. Last year I had 3 goals: lose some weight, get some running coaching, and see some live music. I lost about half the weight I wanted to and have kept it off so that wasn’t all bad. In running my switch to mid-foot strike has truly been life changing...

Where’s the Register...

While enjoying a beer in the shadow of the Museum of Fine Arts while Tim Street was in town, he pointed to the cash register and said (I’m paraphrasing) “That’s the problem with “New Media”. There’s none of those.” I see this problem becoming more common. Seth Godin has written at length about today’s worker being an artist. While I believe this to be true there’s the problem that many artists fail (and/or have no interest) in setting up a cash register. This weekend the lovely Carin took me to see the almost equally lovely Diana Krall at Tanglewood. It was a great show and we were impressed with the opening act, a singer named Denzal Sinclaire. The best way I can describe it is that if R. Kelly were to produce an album for Nat King Cole, it would probably sound a lot like him. I was digging deep and I don’t think I’ve ever heard another man with a better voice in concert, and may never since there’s no way to hear Luther Vandross. As he wrapped up I immediately took down his name so I could buy some music after the show. There was nothing at the merch tent, which wasn’t much of a surprise, but what killed me is that there’s really nothing online either. DenzalSinclaire.com is just a place holder, Amazon has a single track and then you can import CDs, it actually looks easier to get the CDs on eBay. iTunes has a few single tracks and that’s it. This is the kind of stuff that hits me hard. I spend the majority of my hours trying to connect buyers and sellers. To be standing around waving cash and saying “I want to give you this money” is...

Weekend with Paul

My Dad and I are both big music fans and over the past couple of months we’ve gotten into watching concerts on Blu-Ray. Watching a show on the big TV in surround sound in HD is not the same as being at a show, but between perfect sound, really seeing what’s happening on stage and not having to spend an hour getting out of the parking lot, you are getting a lot of value for the $20 or so you pay. This weekend I watched two concert documentaries – one on the 25th Anniversary of Paul Simon’s Graceland, and the other on Paul McCartney’s Concert for New York that was done right after 9/11. I was surprised to find that I had the same opinion of both of them. While it was great to see behind the scenes I found that I got tired of that quickly and I thought both of them would have hit harder if they were not as long. I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed watching the shows more than the making behind them. There were some interesting moments though, you get a taste of what it must be like for a former Beatle not to be able to go anywhere without drawing attention, and I hadn’t paid much attention to the controversy that was created when Paul Simon went to South Africa. Unfortunately while looking with a marketing eye I tend to cynically wonder about the line between doing art and taking advantage of political events to sell more music. Paul Simon makes some interesting points on that from the artists view. As the music industry continues to be blown to bits I also find myself hoping that with the big data that comes out of things like...

Radical Departure

Hello loyal readers, I’m glad you are still around considering the lack of posts. I’ve decided that this site will be getting a makeover soon. Since there’s marketing content every week over at Marketing Over Coffee I end up posting over here about more personal items so I’ll probably start using the JW5150 link to this site. The big question is: What has been going on? Where are the quarterly goals? Why is there a picture from a barn here? We’ve rebooted for 2012. With 2011 ending on a very sad note January became interesting quickly as I was recruited over to Glance Networks. By this point we were already beginning the process of moving out of the Boston area. All of this came to bear in the first half of this year. I’ve been traveling with the new job, our house went on the market and sold in 3 days over asking price, we have moved to the farthest reaches of Western Massachusetts and did I mention that we have a baby on the way? Like most plans, ours for 2012 did not survive the first contact with the enemy, but we are doing well overall. We are now a short distance to both sets of parents and they are excited to spend time with their grandson, we’ve jettisoned the life-sucking mortgage making college education a possibility, and there are horses in our back yard. I’ve completed another round of edits on the book and am dying to kick it out the door for the last time. So that’s why you haven’t seen me around the virtual water cooler, the insanity of the past six months has paved the way for me to actually begin writing again on the weekends so I hope...

Unintended Consequences...

In the mornings I listen to This American Life. I’ve been commuting again after a year off so I’ve had a stack of them to go through and it’s great to be listening to podcasts again. I’m only about 3 weeks behind and this morning I heard a story about Colorado Springs and the fact that a tax increase was shot down and so they started turning off street lights. When residents would call the would actually be told “Remember the $200 increase that got shot down? Yeah, that’s why. If you want your light back on it will be $150.” Oh, you want us to landscape the park again? $2,500. And yet that wasn’t the part that got me thinking, it was the next call – a man just coughed up$300 to get the lights on his street back on and a city councilor said “You know if you had just voted for the increase you only would have had to pay $200 and you would have your lights, your park, snowplowing and other services.” the man responded something to the effect of “No, this way is better”. As the Councillor then summarized – the citizen was willing to pay a premium because he didn’t trust his elected officials enough to use the funds to his satisfaction. In our town, you pay for your trash bags. I like this model – if you recycle and don’t buy a lot of crap you have less trash and you pay less. You could argue that this penalizes large families and the poor since larger families generate more trash and the price of the bags are a higher percentage of a poorer family’s income. You could also counter that the constitution says nothing about your right...

Gamification

Over the last 3 weeks I’ve had 2 trips to San Francisco, one for Cloudforce and the other for Sales 2.0. At both of these events I heard the hype surrounding Gamification – adding game play elements to your business process. At Cloudforce Mark Benioff was talking about their acquisition of Rypple. In addition to whatever employee review/feedback  system you have you give employees the ability to award badges to each other that show up in the user’s profile (in this case in Salesforce.com). The central idea to gamification is that people will spend hours on end chasing digital trinkets, and this seems obvious based on the success of things like Farmville, Foursquare, or sticker chasing on Get Glue. While researching yesterday I came across a great post (worth the read) claiming that gamification is BS, and while the argument has merit, that doesn’t mean it won’t work. As a friend of mine experienced in motivating sales people has said regarding their competitive nature: “I’ve seen them get in a fist fight over a bag of M&M’s” After hearing about Rypple I came across a wide assortment of companies providing game functionality to the sales cycle such as ePrize, Bunchball, Badgeville and Hoopla (I have to admit, their ESPN style leaderboard eye candy is very cool). It will be interesting to see how many of these companies show up at Dreamforce this year. I’d go on about how well these tools can shape behavior, but the fact that I spend time checking in to 5 Guys Burgers and Fries so that I can continue to be the Foursquare Mayor is proof...

Hi, I’m Worthless...

As much as we’d like our products do not work for everyone. In fact, for many businesses you need laser-like focus to separate yourself from the rest of the pack and find a market where you can survive. I saw this clearly this week as I was checking out a blog that had mentioned Glance. I’m always excited to find marketing and communications people that are interested in content to tell them about the Marketing Over Coffee library. This time was a bit different, Anne mentioned that she can’t hear. Suddenly the value of that back library of audio content was approaching zero. The lesson learned is the same one we came to a few years back with the podcast – you need to test other channels to confirm you have the right fit. We got here when we saw that Podcast IPO was a phrase probably never to be heard. We’ve been testing transcripts of more popular interviews (like the one with Seth Godin), eBooks like Chris’ On Heroes Project, and the Marketing Over Coffee Quarterly Report. (Now only 99 cents!) If you have any interesting stories about channel testing, please...

HyperViral Video

After my litany of depressing news, here’s something interesting and fun: It started almost a year ago with a video of a boy who just learned to ride his bike. It was honest and had a funny punchline so it went viral (4 million views as of this post): About 2 months later it went beyond viral with an autotune remix: Here’s my favorite, it was remixed, covered, karaoke’d, and finally mashed up: “If you believe in yourself you can ride a...