IDG Next Generation Marketing 2008 - Jessica Kim, CEO Shout Communications

Picture 40.pngJessica Kim is the CEO of Shout Communications and is talking about word of mouth marketing in the Web 2.0 era. Shout is doing a large amount of business in blogger relations and building content for distribution.

Key takeaways:


  • WOM - consumers providing information to other consumers
  • WOMM - facilitating conversations between customers
  • Communities are tight knit and highly influential in Korea and beyond
  • Offline WOM is converging online, spreads faster and reaches farther
  • WOM requires content to be created for pass along
  • Creator -> Sender -> Receiver (consumer)
  • 4Ps for WOM -- 1) Product (quality of the content has to be high), 2) Place (where content is distributed blogs, Flickr, YouTube, Daum, Naver, etc. influences what content must be created), 3) People (people can see through fake viral content, need to be transparent, hire credible/knowledgeable people who have hands-on experience), 4) Public trust (
  • The question of trust is key and also is distributed in the online community
  • In Korea, influencer marketing is strong - often power bloggers or community operators
  • Social media allows influencers to strengthen their power, build power and connect
  • In Korea, Facebook and MySpace are very limited because CyWorld has such a big head start
  • Bloggers have the most influence, a small subset are power users
  • Influential bloggers (Power bloggers in Korea) (Charisma bloggers in Japan) have trust and are subject matter experts
  • Obviously, do not try to control, force or exploit bloggers, it's about relationships
  • Bloggers need to be able to write a natural review, have experience, have interest that allows them to write in line with the content on the blog
  • Respect the creativity of the bloggers to give their take
  • Overt influence backfires when the final product comes out
  • It's all about relationships, building them long term means giving bloggers a voice inside the company (beta testing, etc.), needs to be win-win
  • Not blog marketing --> Blogger relations
  • Make sure your interests are aligned with the blogs
  • Meet the bloggers in person - point of differentiation
  • Create a long-term relationship roadmap
  • Use vendor-neutral language
  • Metrics in blogger relations are different than traditional ad metrics
  • Look at pass-through from origin point to new outlets (embeds, links, etc.)
  • Measure each blog with metrics (Technorati, page rank, Yahoo blog rank, Daum widget blog ranking (Korea), BIKO ranking (Korea), etc.)
  • PR measurement trends are adapting to digital space (x3, x5, x7 depending on space) and will stabilize over time


Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

The scalability of language and conversations

iStock_000005475259XSmall.jpgThere is a game that every American kid plays in school at one point in time called telephone (also known as Chinese whispers). The idea is that all of the kids line up in a single-file line and then the person on one end of the line whispers a sentence to the person next to them like "Steve Jobs is the CEO of Apple, pass it on". What always happens though, is as the message is passed along it evolves and changes until the last person has something like "Apples are oh so good for you". (The game only works until the age when kids know what the experiment is and then they start intentionally changing it.)

Now, imagine you were playing the same game in a room where nobody spoke the same language. One of the biggest challenges for most marketers, journalists, advertisers and PR practitioners who leverage the Web to operate in the global economy is the scalability of language. This is something that I think about often as I blog, record videos and audio and I work day-to-day on global campaigns for major brands.

Machine translation is nearly useless. What I mean by machine translation is the use of automatic translation scripts (like Google Translate or Systran). This is almost 100% useless unless you only need a vague idea of what is being talked about. There is no substitute for localized translation by a native speaker.

The normal tactic for most marketers, when dealing with language, is to create multiple versions of content all translated into the local dialect under a global umbrella. This works well for written content (outside of having multiple copies of content), but you end up with divergent conversations even though the ideas overlap and each would benefit from the other's experience.

The limitations of video
One area that I feel the effects of more often than not is the limitation of video. When I create a video in English, I am almost entirely locked in to only reach English speakers. It doesn't do much good to Spanish speakers or German speakers, because so much of the value is in the spoken word.

At the same time, video is a superior tool to bridge distance and make people feel like they are together. It's also great for education purposes. So, how can we bridge the scalability of language as marketers, content creators and human beings?

The challenge of conversations
Another big challenge happens when organic customer conversations cross languages. Right now there is no real good way to combine conversations from language silos. Imagine the perspective we could have if people from around the world could have cross-language conversations. That would certainly be powerful.

Most social networks are separated as well where each language is kept separate from each other. Bi-lingual users have a very hard time crossing back and forth. The experience is certainly not fluid. Word of mouth suffers the same limitations.

Over the next couple of days I am going to feature a few of the ways that language is slowly and methodically starting to scale with content.

In the meantime, how do you deal with language? Do you ignore it for now or is it something that is always at the back of your mind? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Five questions with Rohit Bhargava; "Personality Not Included"

Blogger LunchWhen I met Rohit Bhargava at a conference in Chicago last year, I was immediately struck by how smart and approachable he is. His personality face-to-face is the same as it is on his blog. Over our subsequent lunch together he asked our group (David Armano, Herb Sawyer, Noah Brier and myself) some questions about a new book he was writing. The title and some preliminary artwork had just come across on his Blackberry and he wanted our thoughts. The title seemed right on the money and we couldn't really improve on his concept. That book is "Personality Not Included" and officially launched today.

When Rohit put out a call to bloggers to ask him five questions on the new book, I jumped at the opportunity. What follows are my questions and Rohit's thoughtful responses. I encourage you to read them and visit his listing page of over 50 other bloggers who wanted to be associated with this fantastic effort. If you're launching a book, you would be wise to watch how he's launching this.

PNI_InterviewSeries.jpgMD: What makes a corporate personality and can it be different than the
personalities of the people involved? (e.g.; look at Apple vs. Steve
Jobs/Microsoft vs. Bill Gates)

RG: I defined a personality in my book as a combination of three factors, being unique, authentic and talkable. The interesting thing about writing a book on personality is that you first need to get people away from some of the history of the term. I wasn't writing about personality in terms of individuals (think Meyers-Briggs), but instead was talking about personality as an idea that describes a quality a company would want to have.

MD: Is personality something you can change or modify? How do you become aware of your personality

RG: Great question - personality is definitely something you can change. Chapter 1 is all about how to understand what your personality is and why you need one. Chapter 3 is how to define what yours should be and then putting in a plan of action to portray it. The first part of your question is one of the main questions I set out answer. You'll have to let me know if I managed to do it.

MD: Can you measure personality or the impact of personality?

RG: Absolutely - I think the strongest measure is through customer loyalty. I can't sit here and tell you that having a personality will give you 2% sales lift, because it's not easy to measure that. To a degree, it's the same problem with branding. Companies understand there is a benefit to branding, but it is tough to equate it directly to sales.

MD: Are authenticity and personality directly related? Could a
non-authentic personality work for a company?

RG: They are definitely related. Authenticity is a principle that can be demonstrated by having a personality. On the second part of your question, I would probably change the wording a bit. If by personality, you mean an individual - then I would say we all have personalities in the right situations, the problem is that some people work in a place where they feel they need to check their personalities at the door. Whether or not this is due to some policy - the main idea is that companies need to create an environment where it is encouraged for employees to have personalities.

MD: In social media, often the personality of a company is inferred through the efforts of those doing the outreach/community evangelism. How can companies use this to their advantage?

RG: The easiest way is to make sure and embrace those evangelists. Moleskine embraced Armand Frasco and made him a voice for the brand. Microsoft didn't act quickly enough to embrace Robert Scoble and he left. The other way to use this for advantage is to find ways to identify the newer voices that could become these types of evangelists and provide them the tools they need to grow into this role.

Thanks to Rohit for taking the time to do this. Please do stop by his blog and see the other posts in the series.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Social objects as marketing

Gohome_vertical Shel Israel's new show on FastCompany.tv is now up and running. In one of his first interviews, Shel sits down with Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod. In their discussion, Hugh talks about social objects, and their subset of social markers,  as the future of marketing in a social environment.

I tend to agree with Hugh and I love how this concept makes social media more attainable. You create something cool that benefits others and then let them know about it through social connections. If they accept your cool thing they will spread it around. If they don't like it the idea will die.

Per Hugh, a social object is:

the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else. Human beings are social animals. We like to socialize. But if think about it, there needs to be a reason for it to happen in the first place. That reason, that "node" in the social network, is what we call the Social Object.

Similarly, the social marker is an object (person, place, thing) that allows two people to put a social object into context. If, for example, you are at a charity dinner and you start talking with somebody about venture capital, you both may drop some names to let the other person know you are in the same social sphere.

Here is Shel's video with Hugh.

This idea happens all of the time and is a great bit of ethnography by Hugh to bring it to light and give it such an approachable and simple name.

What social objects do you have in your life/business? Are you doing something cool enough to get people to talk about you? What social markers do you use to identify people with similar interests and ideals?

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Faster than a speeding bullet, more trendy than a SoHo hipster; the power of search data

Picture 3.pngAre you a spotter of trends? Do you revel in knowing things before your friends and colleagues? If so I am going to share a little information that will make you a very happy person.

A couple of months ago I came across one of the coolest RSS feeds that I've ever seen. Google Hot Trends now offers an hourly feed that shows the top 100 search terms. Every hour a new item is sent to my RSS reader for my consumption.

Why is this cool you ask? Imagine the power of the collective, "crowd sourced" data of millions of Google searches aggregated into one place. It's pop culture at its best. Want to get the scoop before mainstream media? Subscribe to this feed.

The type of information is unfiltered so you will get things like:


  • Scoops on sports trades
  • Celebrity news
  • Breaking business and economic news
  • World news
  • Scandals of all sorts
  • See how powerful TV is at driving search

To me, Google Hot Trends represents the real power of collective intelligence. In the case of Google Trends this is information aggregated across the globe, but imagine if you could do this only for technology or social media. The trends that you uncover would be catalysts for innovation and change.

What are you doing with your search data?

If you are running a web site, what are you doing with your search data? Are you storing it? If you're storing it, are you looking at it? If you're looking at it, are you analyzing it for trends and insights?

Search is as key to a site as your navigation. The data is extremely powerful and can tell you what your customers are looking for, what they really want and what you need to create more of.

How are you using your search data?


Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Keeping tabs on the pulse of the Net

One of the reasons that I include different types of media in my Buzz Friday posts (which I'll post soon) is that it allows you, my readers, to see trends emerge. It also lets you see what kinds of content and what topics take off to the level of superstardom.

Take this example. A photographer named Noah Kalina took a picture of himself every day for six years and stitched them together into a video. The writers at the Simpsons were paying attention when the clip took off and created a parody in their show.

Here is the original by Noah:

And the remake on the Simpsons:

At the root of the original clips is a very personal, voyeur-esque connection seeing him through six years of his life. Trends like this emerge quickly and you have to be on top of things to spot them. How easy do you make it to parody your brand?

So, are you looking around at what's popular? Do you dismiss it or think of ways to weave it into your fabric?


Technorati Tags:
, , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Buzz Friday for December 14, 2007

more-buzz.jpgHere is a look at what is happening across social media and new marketing this week. If there is anything that you would like to see in this post or if you have something you think is Buzz-worthy please drop me an email or leave a comment on this post. I want to make this as beneficial for you as I can.

iTunes.jpgBuzz Friday is also available as part of the Techno//Marketer Podcast on iTunes. Click here to subscribe and take the Buzz to go.


[Feed readers please click through to the post if you cannot see the video.]

Inside the video:

And in other news:

Top Five Web2.0 Movers of the Week (using Alexa data)


  1. Zippy video
  2. Flixster
  3. Oodle
  4. Woot!
  5. Upcoming

More

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from Viral Garden


  1. Seth's blog
  2. Duct Tape Marketing
  3. Search Engine Guide
  4. Daily Fix
  5. Logic + Emotion
  6. Brand Autopsy
  7. The Engaging Brand
  8. Influential Marketing
  9. Drew's Marketing Minute
  10. Diva Marketing

View the top full top 25

Top 5 "Viral" Videos This Week


  1. Here comes another bubble
  2. Sex and the City Trailer
  3. Straight No Chaser - 12 days
  4. Lost Season four trailer
  5. Led Zepplin O2 Arena

Honrable mention: Tay Zonday (the "Chocolate Rain" guy, has this new Dr. Pepper commercial. Added to YouTube on November 28, 2007 and has nearly 1.3 million views. His original video is nearing 12 million views. Here is the commercial.

More


iTunes.jpgTo help you stay on top of what is happening and to filter the myriad options, you can now subscribe to the Techno//Marketer podcast on iTunes. Get updates in real time when new videos become available.

podcast-logo1.gifIf you use another podcatcher you can grab my podcast RSS feed here.


You can watch this and other Techno//Marketer videos on your video channel of choice:

bcove.gif dailymo.gif rev.gif ms.gif
blip.gif goo.gif y.gif yt.gif


Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Buzz Friday for November 16, 2007; mega edition

more-buzz.jpgHere is a look at what is happening across social media and new marketing this week. If there is anything that you would like to see in this post or if you have something you think is Buzz-worthy please drop me an email or leave a comment on this post. I want to make this as beneficial for you as I can.

iTunes.jpgBuzz Friday is also available as part of the Techno//Marketer Podcast on iTunes. Click here to subscribe and take the Buzz to go.




[Feed readers please click through to the post if you cannot see the video.]

Inside the video:


  • Google announced two huge platforms over the past couple weeks. OpenSocial aims to make app development easier across multiple networks and Android looks to be the OS for mobile devices of the future.
  • OpenSocket has created a container to allow apps developed on Google's OpenSocial platform to run in Facebook. Where there is a will there is a way.
  • Blogger Social 08 Ramping up. Are you going?

And in other news:

Top Five Web2.0 Movers of the Week (using Alexa data)


  1. StumbleUpon
  2. Geni
  3. Bloglines
  4. Upcoming
  5. Technorati

More

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from Viral Garden


  1. Seth's blog
  2. Duct Tape Marketing
  3. Search Engine Guide
  4. Daily Fix
  5. Logic + Emotion
  6. Diva Marketing
  7. What's Next
  8. The Engaging Brand
  9. Brand Autopsy
  10. Influential Marketing

View the top full top 25

Top 5 "Viral" Videos This Week


  1. Por que no te callas?
  2. Android demo
  3. Not the daily show, with some writer
  4. Why we fight
  5. Spice tesco 2007

More


iTunes.jpgTo help you stay on top of what is happening and to filter the myriad options, you can now subscribe to the Techno//Marketer podcast on iTunes. Get updates in real time when new videos become available.

podcast-logo1.gifIf you use another podcatcher you can grab my podcast RSS feed here.


You can watch this and other Techno//Marketer videos on your video channel of choice:

bcove.gif dailymo.gif rev.gif ms.gif
blip.gif goo.gif y.gif yt.gif


Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Planting the seed

iStock_000003537940XSmall.jpgOne question that I often get when speaking to groups, and in conversations at events, is how to "seed" content. Content has to originate someplace to start moving from person to person, but how they ask? Usually the agency creates it and loads it to the platform du jour (YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, etc.), but then what? You could have the funniest, most original video/photo/story, but without getting it out to your audience what good is it?

I've seen a few tactics for doing this:


  • The bait and switch seed - One video I recall that worked on this premise was the Canadian Sunsilk shampoo line. Here is the video.

    The entire video was staged by the agency and received some interesting press coverage. The video gained widespread attention and was a nice bit of PR for the brand once they were "discovered".

  • Agency seed - No matter the campaign, agencies are commonly asked to seed their content through their network of peers. This may or may not immediately reach the target.

  • Traditional PR seed - A traditional PR agency is increasingly called on to create awareness of specific content, spreading the message to the target through traditional means.

  • Social network seed - If placed correctly, and given to key influencers in a community, social networks are great at spreading the content through a specific audience. Facebook is a great example where content spreads through the network from group to group as more and more people engage with it.

These are just some of the ways I've seen content seeding and there are many more. What is your take on the methods I've mentioned? What else have you seen out there? What's been most effective for you?



Technorati Tags:
, , , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

So you want to go viral eh?

iStock_000003282061XSmall.jpgSo I was going through the Q&A over on Gooruze (where I am a founding Gooru) yesterday and came across a question by a member wanting to know what to do when a client asks for something "viral". I've seen this question a lot and I've weighed in on it before, but I have refined my thinking over time and wanted to share where I am right now.

The very first thing you have to do is collectively work to define viral. Viral is a goal, not a tactic. Asking the client what their campaign goals are is crucial. You can even ask them "what would be viral success for you?". Get as detailed as possible (400 pass alongs, 50 comments, etc.). As an agency, you have to decide if their expectations are realistic and make a go/no-go decision.

People have delusional dreams that millions of people clamoring for their content. The part that really matters is the engagement that a piece of content creates with your brand. So if something is watched 1,000,000 times and only 10 of those people know who you are and act on it, you have to ask if it's worth it. Alternatively, if something is seen 10 times and the same number know/learn who you are and act on it, your outcome is better. Which is viral to you?

Picture 3.pngContent that has the goal of becoming viral needs to hit a few key requirements no matter what.


  • Uniqueness - viral usually only happens once. Subservient chicken was great, but tell me one of the copycats who followed it up. You can't. Viral happens once and it's done. You have to be the first.
  • Resonance - things that go viral resonate with their audience so much that they feel a need to share. Could be comedic, cool or dumb, but it has to resonate.
  • Easy, multi-modal pass-along - should be email-friendly, embeddable, hooked into social networks, IM-friendly, etc. I've seen people make things hard to forward and that kills the idea in its tracks.

If a client still doesn't get it, doesn't have goals or won't listen then you should run the other way. They'll never be satisfied, the product will suffer and they'll take you down with them.

Also, check out Seth Godin's take on viral vs. word-of-mouth. Yes, there is a difference and it's important to know.

Are there any other requirements that you set when creating a new campaign? Have you ever walked away from a project or later realized that you should have? What successes have you had and what made people see the value and pass it along?


Technorati Tags:
, , , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

The Radiohead experiment; a fan's view

Picture 16.pngI am sure that if you read this blog, or other blogs with a similar focus, you've doubtlessly heard about British band Radiohead's new, open pricing experiment. If you have not, here is the overview. There is no price for their new album "In Rainbows". You as a user choose the price that you are willing to pay for the album and there are no limits. If you want it for free, it's yours. If you want to pay $100, they'll take your money.

While this has been covered by every newspaper and blogger from here to Timbiktu, I want to add a slightly different take on things. I want to tell you about my viewpoint as a FAN. I love Radiohead. I've seen them in concert 5+ times (they don't tour a lot) and I own every album they have produced. When this situation came up, I immediately thought about my valuation of their album using past experience and emotional connection to the band.

Radiohead_wallpaper.jpgSo what am I going to pay? $25 (USD). That's more than I've ever payed for a single release album. Why am I paying so much? Here is my thinking. The band has provided me countless hours of enjoyment over the years, set memories to music and given it their all from the CD to the stage. I also know that in the past when I purchase one of their albums, the band gets completely hosed. I remember reading at one point that only about $.50 from each album sale goes to the band members, so this is a chance to make sure they get what they deserve.

I think there are a number of loyal fans that will pay top dollar for this release, but I know there are many who will pay less or take the album for free. (Not sure how it will pan out financially for the band or how they'll be tracked on the charts.) Free isn't necessarily bad though. I guarantee the next time they come to town a lot more people will know who they are and will attend the show, because they'll have their music on their iPod.

Radiohead is a fairly broad-reaching band, but they're not in the mainstream like a U2 or Dave Matthews Band. That would be the ultimate social experiment...can this open pricing model work on a mass, global scale?

This could signal a fundamental shift in the music industry where the content will be the giveaway/promotion as bands make their money touring? What's more profitable, making $.50 a copy or introducing millions of people to your brand?

[UPDATE:] Check out Mack's post with some results and more thinking on this topic.


Technorati Tags:
, , , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Starbucks song of the day and physical artifacts

Starbucks giveawayIf you haven't been to a Starbucks in the last week or so, you may have missed a cool new promotion their doing with iTunes. Each day for a month, Starbucks is giving customers a small card (business card size) away with a new artist on it. On the back of the card is a code to redeem the song in the iTunes Music Store.

This is not only a good continuation of the Apple + Starbucks relationship, but a way to simultaneously drive traffic to the physical store (you can only get them in person) and to iTunes. This plays well with the iPhone and iPod Touch relationship that's already been formed between the two companies and shows Starbucks' continued move into the music retail space.

I love this idea on a couple of levels. Not only is there a big benefit to the end user (around $30 in free music), but it most likely will drive the incremental revenue to Starbucks to cover the expense a number of times over. The program also solidifies the music push to Starbucks customers who (most of which) have not ever purchases a CD or other DVD inside the store and it reinforces the position to people who have. Starbucks is also promoting new artists on a national level, the majority of whom I have not heard of.

The other piece of this that I think has hooks into MANY marketing plans is the idea of a physical artifact that ties the offline to the online. This physical card is easy to hand out at the register, easy to shove into a pocket or purse and just as easy to redeem online. These physical ties to the online world are powerful physical reminders and bridges to take offline customers into the online experience.

microsoftbizcard219border.jpgThis strategy is one of the reasons that I love what Hugh MacLeod does, taking artwork on the back of business cards and using them as digital and physical artifacts (or "social objects" as Hugh calls them). Hugh has grown this into work with Stormhoek winery and Microsoft (pictured here), creating elements that drive users to engage with the brands on- and off-line.

I am not talking about tchotchke. These items have intrinsic value, they are not throw-aways with a web URL.

What could you create today that could take your current customers or visitors to your website or location on the social network? Is it art on the back of your business card? Is it a USB drive with cool content on it? The possibilities are endless.


Technorati Tags:
, , , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Real time marketing; listen, watch and react

Smart marketers know that the web offers the unprecedented ability to be timely and relevant. When an event happens, content can shift in real-time, ads can go up and offers can be made.

I love the Nokia team's response to the iPhone price drop and subsequent buyer revolt. The Nokia team used the news to their advantage and started running search ads inviting Apple's early adopters to enjoy their new Mosh service and some free content. It's timely, super relevant and took advantage of a one-time situation to capitalize on consumer emotions.

Here is a screenshot of the ad based on the phrase 'iphone price drop':
iphonemosh.jpg
[Screenshot via TechCrunch]

Apple eventually posted a retaliatory search ad and Nokia has since removed their ad from rotation (the window is closed). Nokia only had to be there in the moment and it could have very easily passed them by. How many situations just like this could companies use to capture the interest of consumers? Relevance is key in getting people to engage with you online and this type of marketing is right on the money

Here are some questions to ask and thoughts to ponder:


  • Are you listening to the web? Are you listening to social media?
  • Where are you listening?
  • Do you have Google alerts on keywords? Search Technorati? Keep an eye on the news? Do you do this in real-time?
  • What events trigger consumer purchases in your industry? Weather, seasons, the stock market, etc?
  • How do those things impact consumers? What behaviors change?
  • If you knew what to look for, how would you react to take advantage of it before your competition?

Search ads are nice because they're quick to implement and highly targeted? RSS display ads (where you control dynamic messaging in real time) are another option. Would video have more impact? Do you have a camera at the ready just in case?

How have you taken advantage of real time marketing to increase sales or gain new customers?


Technorati Tags:
, , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Buzz Friday for August 31, 2007

more-buzz.jpgHere is a look at what is happening across social media and new marketing this week. If there is anything that you would like to see in this post or if you have something you think is Buzz-worthy please drop me an email or leave a comment on this post. I want to make this as beneficial for you as I can.

iTunes.jpgBuzz Friday is also available as part of the Techno//Marketer Podcast on iTunes. Click here to subscribe and take the Buzz to go.



[Feed readers please click through to the post if you cannot see the video.]

Here are all of the items that I think are interesting this week:


  • Jeremiah Owyang of Podtech has decided to take a job with Forrester as an Analyst. Congrats to him, seems like a great fit.
  • A group of college students on Facebook threatened bank HSBC with a boycott over its plans to change their formerly free overdraft policy.
  • There is a rumor floating around that Microsoft could buy Blackberry. We'll see where this goes.
  • Karl at Experience Curve wants to save Technorati and offers some insights for the service including a pro plan. What do you think? Is it salvageable?
  • iTunes and NBC are parting ways. NBC wanted to charge $4.99 for their shows. That's $3.00 more than Apple charges. Thomas Hawk thinks this is as stupid as I do.
  • An interesting move by Google will allow Gadgets to talk to each other on people's iGoogle home page.
  • Apple is expected to unveil a new line of iPods and a new wireless iTunes service next Wednesday. P.S. if you are going to buy an iPod this weekend WAIT!
  • I particularly like this interview that David Armano did with his colleague David Stallsmith. Great insights into design.
  • I found this hilarious. A guy running for school board creates an ad and posts it to YouTube. Viacom's VH1 show "Web Junk 2.0" took it and used it on their show. The guy who created it posted the VH1 version on his site and Viacom ordered him to take it down. Right hand, meet left hand.
  • Great post by Greg Verdino on video. Greg shows the craziness that happens when a study is done by somebody who's business hinges on the results looking a certain way. Interruption is on the way out.
  • Jaiku has added instant messenger to its offering. Definitely a more robust platform than Twitter, but the people are still on Twitter.
  • Iain points to a huge QR poster in London to promote the DVD release of 28 Days Later. Would have been even more cool had the message not said the same thing.
  • Hulu, NBC's newly formed network, translates to "cease" and "desist" in Swahili. Gotta love the irony.
  • I was talking about the possibilities of using the iPhone's tilt sensor to do some cool things. Check out this post on Engadget.
  • Heineken will release a new beer for women. This has been done is other countries in Europe to some success.
  • Nokia introduced a new music store to compete with iTunes. Could take off in Europe, but will be slow to roll in the US.
  • CNN made the move away from Yahoo to Google for search.
  • If you have a bad impression of the airline industry in this country, you have obviously not been on a United flight when Denny Flanagan was at the helm.
  • Ever hear the question "if advertising is so great, why don't ad agencies use it"? Strawberry Frog took out this ad in Fortune and I'd love to see what the reaction was.
  • Digg gets a makeover...yawn...next story!
  • Good to see bloggers who tell it how it is. Check out this honest and fair review of a book by David Berkowitz. This is a possibility for anybody doing a blogger outreach campaign. I hope the author takes David's advice.
  • Colorado University got its first use of a new emergency text messaging system last week.
  • Yahoo's new mail service offers free text messaging right from the mail interface.
  • Have you ever been in a "strategy" meeting that felt like you were in a "tactegy" meeting (yes I just made that up)? Idris feels the same way and explains why it happens.


Top Five Web2.0 Movers of the Week (using Alexa data)


  1. 9rules
  2. slide
  3. Fotolog
  4. My Heritage
  5. TechMeme

More

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from Viral Garden


  1. Seth's blog
  2. Gaping Void
  3. Duct Tape Marketing
  4. Logic + Emotion
  5. Search Engine Guide
  6. Diva Marketing
  7. What's Next
  8. Daily Fix
  9. Drew's Marketing Minute
  10. Influential Marketing

View the top full top 25

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from the AdAge Power 150


  1. Seth Godin
  2. Micro Persuasion
  3. Pronet Advertising
  4. Search Engine Land
  5. Search Engine Watch
  6. Adrants
  7. Online Marketing Blog
  8. Adverblog
  9. Marketing Pilgrim
  10. Publishing 2.0

View the full list here

Top 5 "Viral" Videos This Week


  1. Miss Teen USA 2007
  2. Gmail Behind the Scenes
  3. Content-Aware image sizing
  4. Zunephone
  5. Common - Drivin me wild

More


iTunes.jpgTo help you stay on top of what is happening and to filter the myriad options, you can now subscribe to the Techno//Marketer podcast on iTunes. Get updates in real time when new videos become available.

podcast-logo1.gifIf you use another podcatcher you can grab my podcast RSS feed here.


You can watch this and other Techno//Marketer videos on your video channel of choice:

bcove.gif dailymo.gif rev.gif ms.gif
blip.gif goo.gif y.gif yt.gif


Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Google's community-powered video

A while back I wrote about Google's call for submissions for a short video promoting their GMail product. Each person had to submit a clip where the GMail icon travelled from one side of the screen to the other in order to patch them all together into one continuous handoff. The concept is old, but the community-powered nature makes it intriguing at the very least.


Technorati Tags:
, , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Buzz Friday for August 17, 2007 (double issue)

more-buzz.jpgHere is a look at what is happening across a couple of sites I keep an eye on. I am refining this post over time, so if there is anything you would like me to add just email me or leave a comment. Similarly, if you have something you think is Buzz Friday worthy let me know and I'll look it over for inclusion.

iTunes.jpgBuzz Friday is also available as part of the Techno//Marketer Podcast on iTunes. Click here to subscribe and take the Buzz to go.



[Feed readers please click through to the post if you cannot see the video.]

Here are all of the items that I think are interesting this week:


  • Skype, the popular VoIP service owned by eBay, suffered a major outage yesterday. The outage even coincided with a dip in eBay's stock price. Connection? Oddly I heard about this from Twitter then blogs then Skype in that order with about 10 hours between the Tweet and Skype's response.
  • If you're thinking about buying a new iPod, hold off says Engadget. I would agree with this.
  • Bebo is the king of social networks in the UK. Keep an eye out for an Inside//Out post on Bebo next week.
  • It's my bill in a box. It seems AT&T is sending physical paper bills that detail all of the text messages their customers send and receive. This has resulted in many forests being chopped down as iJustine found out.
  • David Reich has a humorous look at a new move to regulate PR through a certificate. His point, there are bigger fish to fry.
  • Faris Yakob points to a funny clip around the Sony Bravia campaign. You have to have seen the previous ad to get it, but if you did you know just what this guy is talking about.
  • Looking to build your own social network? Check out this list of 34 options.
  • A recent NPD study shows that mobile phone sales have increase 14% in the US. Are you thinking about your mobile strategy?
  • Ever wonder why your Feedburner stats fluctuate from day to day? Check out the explanation straight from the source. Via ProBlogger.
  • Saatchi's starting a new agency called 'one word equity', check out Karl Long's take.
  • The iPhone's popularity has led one mobile advertising company to create a new ad unit just for it.
  • Adobe's rumored to be creating a new suite of office apps to compete with Microsoft using their AIR framework. Office Live needs to pick up the pace.
  • The best way to learn to design websites is by copying others. Jimdo makes that process super easy.
  • Yahoo is FINALLY starting to leverage their unique properties to compete with Google. The new Yahoo Local uses Flickr and Upcoming.org information to paint a better picture.
  • Mario Sundar offers a new model for social media. Just follow the LAMP.
  • iPhone and Facebook combine for a smooth, refined version of what the future of mobile sites should be. I tried this on a friend's phone and it's really cool.
  • Looking for ways to network more effectively at conferences? Check out the SEOmoz recommendations.
  • Seth has some interesting insights on opposites. Very thought provoking.
  • David Berkowitz gets his LinkedIn questions answered and LinkedIn shows how to recover from an initially poor service contact. (Still no comments from them on my Inside//Out post.)
  • Some pundits claim Facebook is opening up, but Justin Smith of the blog Inside Facebook disagrees. I tend to agree with him.
  • Greg Verdino reminds us that branding is what our fans say, not what we say. Check out his insightful post here.
  • AOL is making a move in mobile with a relaunched search.
  • Jeremiah notes a Lewis PR survey in which 90% of marketing departments are planning to launch a social media campaign in 2008.
  • New social network Yappd launched recently and claims to be a Twitter/Flickr mix. Look for a lot more of this kind of integration in the next quarter.
  • The status of virtual worlds are, as I've said before, like the web was in the mid-90's. Nick Wilson agrees. Tangerine Toad thinks they're mostly a waste right now for marketing, but notes there are other uses that are powerful. Doug Meacham has a well thought out post on why marketers are failing in some cases. This debate will rage on.
  • Via Amber MacArthur, check out this fun video of Connected Ventures letting off some steam.
  • If you're going to create a mobile site, it's important to develop mobile-only content. Discovery networks gets it.
  • TechCrunch reports that NBC's ClownCo received a $1 billion valuation and it still doesn't have a name. Seems pretty silly to me.
  • The NY Times is the latest publication to jump on the user-generated content bandwagon and let people submit photos.
  • Google released an API for their Docs utility.
  • PSFK has a look at what businesses think of consumer reviews using Yelp as an example.
  • Check out Luc's excellent post on what impact the Age of Conversation ebook has on reality.


Top Five Web2.0 Movers of the Week (using Alexa data)


  1. Kaboodle
  2. Vimeo
  3. PageFlakes
  4. Instructables
  5. Revver

More

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from Viral Garden


  1. Seth's blog
  2. Gaping Void
  3. Duct Tape Marketing
  4. Logic + Emotion
  5. Search Engine Guide
  6. What's Next
  7. Daily Fix
  8. Diva Marketing
  9. Converstations
  10. Drew's Marketing Minute

View the top full top 25

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from the AdAge Power 150


  1. Seth Godin
  2. Copyblogger
  3. Micro Persuasion
  4. Adrants
  5. Pronet Advertising
  6. Search Engine Land
  7. Online Marketing Blog
  8. Marketing Pilgrim
  9. tompeters!
  10. PSFK

View the full list here

Top 5 "Viral" Videos This Week


  1. Cheney '94
  2. Battle at Kruger
  3. Post Secret
  4. UFO Haiti
  5. Thriller

More


iTunes.jpgTo help you stay on top of what is happening and to filter the myriad options, you can now subscribe to the Techno//Marketer podcast on iTunes. Get updates in real time when new videos become available.

podcast-logo1.gifIf you use another podcatcher you can grab my podcast RSS feed here.


You can watch this and other Techno//Marketer videos on your video channel of choice:

bcove.gif dailymo.gif rev.gif ms.gif
blip.gif goo.gif y.gif yt.gif


Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Eight things about me you probably didn't know

eight.jpgI was tagged by a number of people as I procrastinated on writing this post. They include Valeria Maltoni (sorry for leaving you off originally), Nick Rice, Lasandra Brill, Ryan Barrett, Luc Debaisieux and Roger Anderson. A huge thanks to each of those people for including me in their lists. So without further ado, here are eight things you probably didn't know about me.

  1. I've never lived in one house for more than four years and have lived in Louisville, KY, New York City, Dallas, St. Louis, Columbus, OH, Cleveland, OH and Athens, OH.
  2. My dream job/s would be as a documentary photographer or as a Formula 1 driver.
  3. My wife and I have two golden retrievers (Copeland and Crawford) who are our kids for the time being.
  4. When I was growing up I constantly was playing sports including soccer (indoor and outdoor), basketball, hockey, baseball, football, tennis and golf. Don't know how my parents kept up.
  5. I've never watched an episode of Lost and I've never missed an episode of House.
  6. I got my first computer when I was 8 and quickly took to it. I've never been without one since that point. I work on a Macbook Pro and will not go back to a PC.
  7. I've known I wanted to be a marketer as long as I can remember. I took classes Junior Achievement classes in grade school, joined DECA in high-school and was accepted into Ohio University's marketing program directly. I started my own web design firm while at school and ran online marketing programs for their Club Sports program and the American Marketing Association chapter. I took a job with the company I am still with (DigiKnow) while still in school.
  8. I love ice cream. I have ever since I was very little and it continues to this day.

I hope you feel like you know a bit more about me now. I was actually going to ask you, my readers, to comment with eight things about yourself with this post, but David Armano and I have BSP and he beat me to it. I love the idea on his post, so head over there and jump in. Leave a comment and join in. He won't bite (at least I don't think he will).


Technorati Tags:
, , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Buzz Friday for June 29, 2007

more-buzz.jpgHere is a look at what is happening across a couple of sites I keep an eye on. I am refining this post over time, so if there is anything you would like me to add just email me or leave a comment. Similarly, if you have something you think is Buzz Friday worthy let me know and I'll look it over for inclusion.

[Audio should be good this week. You can subscribe via RSS to receive an update when I post a new video here.]


[Feed readers please click through to the post to see the video.]

Here are all of the items that I think are interesting this week:


  • The iPhone launches at 6pm tonight at Apple and at&t stores nationwide. It will be interesting to see if they sell out or if the stores are just busy. By my calculations the phone plus one year of service is around $1500. People have been camped out for days to get the first couple units. To tell you the truth, I would be out there too, but I have Verizon.
  • Greg Verdino has a great piece about loving your haters. Jason Calacanis proved this strategy successful the other day on his Calacanis Cast show when he invited four SEO critics and Jason stole the show.
  • MySpace launched its MySpaceTV site and pretty much copied YouTube verbatim. Why mess with a good thing eh?
  • Speaking of YouTube, traffic to the site is 50% greater than any other video site according to HitWise. I wonder if CBS still thinks going on their own is a good idea?
  • CK has a great post on trust. How to lose it and how to win it.
  • Google will now allow you to alter your driving directions through Google Maps. You can drag the routes to avoid construction and get where you're going with greater ease.

  • Mentos has an interesting new site featuring their intern Trevor. Think Subservient Chicken in human form and real time.
  • Buzz follows Kevin Rose (of Digg) wherever he goes in whatever he does. Marion Sundar covers his new venture Pownce combines IM, file transfer and Twitter-like presence and group push functionality. It's in limited beta so anybody with an invite to spare shoot it over.
  • Dell has released some pretty new colors on their Inspiron laptops. Drew McLellan has a nice post about what happens when a product shifts categories. I do think, however, putting new colors on the same old hardware running MS Vista isn't a real shift. Apple was a radical shift because it combined the OS with the design.
  • TMobile is creating cellular phones that can work on WiFi networks.
  • Jeremiah Owyang at PodTech shares a brilliant idea from his trip to Singapore. A company provides a camera and printer for customers to take a picture. They're encouraged to take one home and leave one for their wall. It's become a tourist attraction and business driver.
  • I attended a great virtual branding event at crayon's Second Life HQ the other day. I thought it was a great way to liven up what would be a mediocre phone conference. It allowed for the personal interactions that we take for granted about attending in real life.
  • Flickr photos are now being indexed in Yahoo's search engine. This is a big boost for Yahoo.
  • New DIY Twitter network service Frengo launches. This could be a big trend for branded uses of the technology.
  • Apple quietly passed Amazon.com to become the third largest music retailer. This plus the iPhone are really giving Apple some momentum to try bigger, better things. Look out Best Buy and WalMart.
  • Facebook's new open platform has put some fear into other networks including professional network LinkedIn. They've announced the plan to open up in a similar way.

Top 10 Technorati Searches


  1. youtube
  2. noelia
  3. iphone
  4. ron paul
  5. myspace
  6. facebook
  7. video de noelia
  8. video noelia
  9. descargar
  10. paris hilton

Top Five Web2.0 Movers of the Week (using Alexa data)


  1. Plaxo
  2. Bolt
  3. Geni
  4. Vimeo
  5. Stickam

More

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from Viral Garden - No changes this week


  1. Seth's Blog
  2. Creating Passionate Users
  3. Gaping Void
  4. Duct Tape Marketing
  5. Logic + Emotion
  6. Diva Marketing (Go Toby!)
  7. What's Next
  8. Daily Fix
  9. Converstations
  10. Drew's Marketing Minute

View the top full top 25

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from Todd And - New to Buzz Friday


  1. Seth Godin
  2. Copyblogger
  3. Micro Persuasion
  4. tompeters!
  5. Adrants
  6. Pronet Advertising
  7. SEOMoz Blog
  8. Online Marketing Blog
  9. Duct Tape Marketing
  10. Marketing Pilgrim

View the full list here

Top 5 "Viral" Videos This Week


  1. Dramatic chipmunk
  2. Mika Brzezinski rips Paris Hilton
  3. My iPhone Diary
  4. Microsoft Surface Parody
  5. Paul sings opera

More


Technorati Tags:
, , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Inside//Out: Bud.tv

budtv_logo.jpgInside//Out is a new series where I will take you on a video tour of what companies are doing in the online and social media spaces. First up is Bud.tv.

Undoubtedly by now you've heard (or read) about the issues that Bud.tv has faced. From low audience numbers to the CEO claiming the site would "probably fade", it hasn't been an easy road for Budweiser.

Here is episode 1 of Inside//Out:


[Feed readers please click through to the post to see the video.]

The Problems:
Looking at the site as it stands right now I can tell you a number of reasons for the lack of traffic and the bad press the site has received.


  • Poor architecture and design. From the main landing page through the rest of the site, it lacks the dynamic, engaging feel of many other social media sites. There is no preview of content, no photography or even a welcome message. On top of that, somebody got drunk on the Web2.0, shiny button Kool-Aid, but forgot about the user experience. Menus have some issues once inside as well. All in all it ads up to a frustrating experience.
  • What is there for female viewers? This site is 100% geared towards men. If I were a woman coming to this site I would probably jump ship pretty quick (any women out there want to comment on this?). I know men are the primary Bud target, but come on. Half of the world is female and women control the majority of the spending money in this country so why not balance out the content and try to reach as many people as possible?
  • Social media is locked out. The only real interaction possible on this site is emailing a clip to a friend, rating a video and downloading clips. That's it. I can't embed them in my blog or share with anybody who doesn't have an account. The main problem is that Bud isn't making it easy for me to engage with their content in the networks I already belong to. They're making me join another network. That's not going to fly for much longer as people find the places their friends are and settle in.

The Opportunities:
For as many problems as Bud.tv has, there are some bright spots here.


  • (Mostly) good content. The content on the site is well produced, funny and lends itself perfectly to being passed along. One problem is the lack of content for women, the other is the mechanism to pass it along in other networks.
  • Proactive marketing. I understand and agree with Budweiser's take on drinking responsibility, but it's not a reason to limit content. Instead, use the opportunity to push the drink responsibly message or partner with M.A.D.D. for the messaging. Bud content is already getting to sites like YouTube. Why not be proactive and add value to the community?

Picture 10.pngWhat should they do?


  • Scrap the Bud.tv site. Yes, scrap the entire site. It's a lost effort now. Instead, partner with video networks like YouTube and Joost to create Budweiser-branded channels. Add drinking responsibility messages at the start and end of each clip and really engage with and educate the audience. Both video systems have ways to authenticate age so why not use it? These sites make it easy to share content and let people spread the ideas in email and through social media outlets like blogs.
  • Use the power of the networks to communicate. People will be able to respond to videos with their own videos. Respond back to them. Be proactive. Reply to comments. Make somebody fully responsible for monitoring the site during business hours.
  • Engage in other networks. Create and engage on services like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. to promote responsible drinking and engage in those micro-conversations. I think a blog focused on the brewers would be fascinating as a behind-the-scenes look at Anheuser Busch. The company has a great history and has good product. Use it, leverage sponsorships in auto racing to build momentum with unique content.

Get out there Budweiser and go to where the people are. Don't create "one more place" for people to have to go. Make it easy for them to pull you in to their lives.

I'd love to get feedback on this new video series as well as on Bud.tv. You can leave a comment or email me.

[Note:] The idea for this post came from a conversation I had with Phil Gillman and Doug Meacham last week on Twitter. It started as I thought about how this idea of original content went wrong for Bud.


























MattDickman Is wondering why budweiser didn't create a channel on Joost or YouTube instead of doing Bud.tv  (12:52 PM June 22, 2007)
PhilGillman @mattdickman they seem to be really stressed about the whole age restricted access... not that they couldnt have done that on joost   (10:02 AM June 22, 2007)
MattDickman @PhilGillman I thought about the age restriction too, but they could definitely do that on Joost. In fact, Joost probably already has it.   (01:45 PM June 22, 2007)
DougMeacham @MattDickman: That is a great question! Perhaps I've missed their strategy, but Isn't the point to get brand engagement vs channel traffic?  (02:36 PM June 22, 2007)
MattDickman @DougMeacham Precisely! With a market so broad, why not go to the users instead of creating one more place? Silly.   (03:08 PM June 22, 2007)
PhilGillman @mattdickman yeah - they ask for your age in the joost setup, and also have age recommendations on channels   (12:54 PM June 22, 2007)

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Buzz Friday for June 22, 2007

more-buzz.jpgHere is a look at what is happening across a couple of sites I keep an eye on. I am refining this post over time, so if there is anything you would like me to add just email me or leave a comment. Similarly, if you have something you think is Buzz Friday worthy let me know and I'll look it over for inclusion.

[Note: The audio this week should be noticeably better for you. Let me know if anybody has trouble hearing it.]


Feed readers can see the video here.

Here are all of the items that I think are interesting this week:


  • One week until iPhone drops. Prepare for the madness and get in line now.
  • YouTube will launch on the iPhone. Like to see their data plan rates before I get too excited about this one.
  • Yahoo had a leadership change this week as they keep falling further behind Google. Will it help?
  • I love this post from Seth Godin. He shifts our thinking of most people about blogging. What if you had just one post, but refined it until you were the expert on your subject?
  • Microsoft is paying attention to social media. A Zune fan got two tattoos promoting the device and MS is having him out to Redmond to meet the Zune team. Nice job MS.


  • Pier 1 is dropping e-commerce from its site to turn it into a corporate marketing piece. WHAT?! They were doing around $18.9 million, but managed to lose money. Sounds like bad implementation to me.
  • Steve Rubel has a great piece about the future of PR. It's participating, not pitching.
  • Mark Goren has a great post about what we make. The video he uses is a must see if you are or know of a teacher of anything.
  • Cool things always happen in London. Here are a couple of shopping examples. Ralph Lauren has a touch-sensitive window and the music group The Chemical Brothers took over a storefront to promote a new album.
  • More Yahoo rumors in the wake of the CEO switch. Will they buy Bebo? Somebody will and the other major viable option seems to be cost-prohibitive.
  • Want to know how big YouTube is getting? They're about to pass the BBC in visits in the UK. That's huge!
  • crayon is hosting a virtual branding summit in Second Life. Check out this post if you are interested.
  • Person-to-person lending is taking off as the user base of sites like MySpace and Facebook grow. Prosper and Lending Club are getting investment dollars and having some success.
  • Vodaphone created a media roadblock the other day in the UK as it took over web, cable, satellite and terrestrial channels to run their ad. That had to cost a pretty penny.
  • Patrick at Lonely Marketer has a great look at what analytics you should be looking at and why. This is a great post as it clarifies what you need to know.
  • Ning lets you embed a social network in another social network. There is lots of potential here and you can expect to see this happen more and more.

Quick look at iPhone blog buzz

iPhone has taken over the buzz from most other mobile devices. Here is a graph tracking blog mentions between iPhone, Razr and Blackberry.
iphonebuzz.png

Top 10 Technorati Searches


  1. youtube
  2. ron paul
  3. myspace
  4. noelia
  5. dailymotion
  6. bebo
  7. iphone
  8. paris hilton
  9. facebook
  10. videos

Top Five Web2.0 Movers of the Week (using Alexa data)


  1. Kaboodle
  2. Fotolia
  3. Wikia
  4. Snap
  5. CrazyEgg

More

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from Viral Garden - No changes this week


  1. Seth's Blog
  2. Creating Passionate Users
  3. Gaping Void
  4. Logic + Emotion
  5. Duct Tape Marketing
  6. Daily Fix
  7. Converstations
  8. Drew's Marketing Minute
  9. The Viral Garden
  10. Jaffe Juice

View the top full top 25

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from Todd And - New to Buzz Friday


  1. Seth Godin
  2. tompeters!
  3. Micro Persuasion
  4. Online Marketing Blog
  5. Adrants
  6. Pronet Advertising
  7. SEOMoz Blog
  8. Duct Tape Marketing
  9. Marketing Pilgrim
  10. adgoodness

View the full list here

Top 5 "Viral" Videos This Week


  1. Paul singing opera
  2. Prometeus - the media revolution
  3. Britain's got talent - Conny
  4. Microsoft surface parody
  5. Dramatic look

More


Technorati Tags:
, , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Caught in a meme cross-fire

thinkingblogger2ql6_2.jpgBoy oh boy was I delighted to be nominated for the Thinking Blogger Award by two bloggers I highly respect. Mark Goren and David Reich both nominated this blog (memes are hard to track). First off, if you have not read their blogs you need to. These guys not only get it, but they are both great marketing storytellers.

The origin of this award goes back to Ilka Yoldas' "Five blogs that make me think" post. Since then it's criss-crossed the web and finally landed here.

To hold up my part of the bargain, here are five blogs that make me think every day. (Note that I may catch somebody here in the cross-fire as well.)

  • David Arnamo - Logic + Emotion - David has quickly risen to blog stardom through excellent writing and thinking. His use of diagrams and illustrations make difficult concepts easy to understand.
  • Iain Tait - CrackUnit - I've mentioned Iain before, but I really love how he writes and how he tells the story.
  • David Berkowitz - Inside the Marketing Studio - David writes an amazing blog and has a unique take on the search industry and how it impacts marketing.
  • Becky Carroll - Customers Rock! - Becky's posts are always engaging and informative. She's a must read for marketing folks.
  • Paul McEnany - HeeHaw Marketing - Paul has a very authentic voice and he tells it how it is. If you're looking for somebody nods along with the same-old-same-old this blog is not for you.

Those are my five. There are many other blogs that I follow that make me think, but as far as I can tell they've been nominated before. Check em out.


Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Buzz Friday for June 15, 2007

more-buzz.jpgHere is a look at what is happening across a couple of sites I keep an eye on. Let me know if there is anything you would like me to add on.

I am refining this post over time, so if there is anything you would like me to add just email me or leave a comment. Similarly, if you have something you think is Buzz Friday worthy let me know and I'll look it over for inclusion. (Would anybody be interested in seeing this become a video podcast feed?)



Feed readers can see the video here.

Here are all of the items I think are interesting this week:


  • Apple iPhone comes out next week and demand is expected to be high. If you're looking for one, you better be ready to camp out.
  • Apple also had their WWDC conference this week where Jobs gave a keynote. Most notably out of that came Apple's Safari for the PC. Exploits ensued, but I sense a need for the browser for iPhone integration. We'll see. 1 million people have already downloaded it.
  • Second Life's voice integration is expected soon where people can chat with each other through micropohones. This will greatly enhance the level of interactivity.
  • Boston launched a SMS crime stoppers hotline. People can send a message to their shortcode from their phones when 911 is too hard to dial. Good idea though.
  • Google was going to hold a competing social get together for eBay merchants during eBay's big conference to try to lure people to Google's Checkout. eBay threatened to pull all of their keyword advertising on Google and the event was cancelled. Ah the strongarm.
  • Flickr in the news twice. They launched the service in seven languages first. Second they have had more complaints of photo censorship. Read more about that here.
  • Looking for tips on public speaking? See this marvelous post by Guy Kawasaki for some hints.
  • Jason Calacanis' Mahalo human-powered search engine launched Greenhouse. The service offers to pay people to find and submit content.
  • YouTube has a new look in beta that offers new layouts and larger video windows. Google account integration coming soon too.
  • Do you ever think you feel your phone vibrate and it's not ringing? It's called phantom ring syndrome and it's real.
  • Bebo is integrating iTunes into accounts so you can go to a band's site and buy on the spot. Look for a LOT more of this to come soon.
  • Another move toward Google Office. Gmail now offers integrated PowerPoint viewing.
  • Can blogging work as a marketing tool? Heck yes it can. Just ask Lewis Green.
  • Mack Collier covers Sony's launch of their Playstation blog.
  • Branding Wire has launched. Check out their first branding challenge here.
  • Google blogger Matt Cutts responds to Privacy International's claims that Google isn't doing enought to keep information private.
  • If you disagreed with Seth Godin, would you say something? I hope you would. Check out Drew's blog for a great discussion about this. I think too many people use Seth and Guy as traffic building tools tracking back to them with irrelevant mentions and links. Discussion about an idea is good, but tracking back to every post is just dumb.

Top 10 Technorati Searches


  1. authority
  2. ron paul
  3. education
  4. myspace
  5. bicycling
  6. bebo
  7. youtube
  8. flickr
  9. angelina jolie
  10. dell

Top Five Web2.0 Movers of the Week (using Alexa data)


  1. Bolt
  2. Ning
  3. Kaboodle
  4. Zaadz
  5. Plaxo

More

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from Viral Garden


  1. Seth's Blog
  2. Creating Passionate Users
  3. Gaping Void
  4. Logic + Emotion
  5. Duct Tape Marketing
  6. Daily Fix
  7. Converstations
  8. Drew's Marketing Minute
  9. The Viral Garden
  10. Jaffe Juice

Note that this list is now running off of Technorati rankings and not Alexa.
View the top full top 25

Top 5 "Viral" Videos This Week


  1. Sarkozy au G8
  2. Paul singing opera **Please watch this clip**
  3. Britain's got talent - Conny
  4. Paris in Jail: The music video
  5. Japanese TV Tetris game

More


Technorati Tags:
, , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

A tale of two expectations

One of the most important things a company can do for current and potential customers is set great expectations and then deliver on them. Expectation levels are driven in a couple of ways. Word-of-mouth from other customers (bad and good), social media (blogs, podcasts, reviews, ratings) and prior personal interactions.

I want to tell you a couple of stories about two notable companies who I recently dealt with and how they, in one case exceeded and in another disappointed my expectations.

wholefoods.jpgWhole Foods is a nationally known, high-end, organic grocery store. In Cleveland, where I live, we have a shortage of great grocers. We have some good ones, but I've seen the greats. Wegman's is phenomenal and Central Market in Texas is also outstanding. Both of those chains have personal attention, awesome store setups, great prepared foods and everything else you need to get in and go home.

I was really stoked a year or so ago when Whole Foods started building a new store a couple of miles away from my house. I'd heard tons of praise heaped on them. Great stores, best revenue per foot of shelf space, yada yada yada. Well, let me tell you that my expectations were through the freaking roof. When that store opened I half expected Jesus himself to be pushing a cart down the aisle (I'm only half kidding). I had already prepared a model of the store based on my past experiences at great grocers.

grocery_shop.jpgOpening day came and my wife and I fought the HUGE crowd. We started in produce. Produce looked great, lots of selection, nice colors and just a little more pricey than my local options. As me moved on, however, I became at first irritated and then enraged. Not only do they mostly stock mostly "indi" products that cost 2-3 times what they should, but they don't stock everything you need. The store here is very small, the aisles are crowded, there is nobody around to help you out and the prepared foods area was a disaster.

I thought, ok...this is opening day, I'll wait a month. I waited a month and went on a weekday. Same issues. Poor selection, lots of things out of stock, messy displays, lack of help, prepared foods a mess. Then once I left I had to go to another place to finish my list. *sigh*

So, when people ask me about Whole Foods now, I tell them about my experience and send them to a, in my opinion, better grocer that still carries the indi stuff as well as the organic, but who has everything else too. Where are the expectations now? In the basement, possibly even below that. I may never give them a chance for my business again.


nordstrom_logo.gifMy other experience was quite the opposite. A couple of weeks ago friends of ours got married in a small town outside Columbus, Ohio. As we were driving to Columbus on Thursday night my wife turned and asked me, "So what are you wearing to the rehearsal dinner tomorrow?". I said, "The usual, nice jeans, buttondown shirt and a jacket." Well...you would have thought I said I was going naked. "You can't wear that, people will be in suits!" she said (mind you there was somebody in shorts and my outfit would have looked very nice).

Needless to say on Friday morning I was driving to Columbus to try to get a nice dress outfit for that night's dinner. If you were in the same situation where would you go? Immediately Nordstrom came to mind. I've heard the stories about gift wrapping, taking returns that people bought other places and I've had good personal interactions there before.

iStock_000002574851XSmall.jpgI walked into the men's section and was greeted by three sales clerks. I told them my problem and they leapt into action. One started pulling pants for me to try and the others began pulling shirts. I told them my timeframe and my concern that everything they sell needs to be hemmed. "No problem, I'll call the tailor now" he said. I found the pants I liked and the tailor was there before I left the dressing room. She measured me and told me "I'll have this back in half-an-hour." I was amazed. Usually places make you come back DAYS later and here she said 30 minutes.

I went back to the floor and picked the shirt I wanted and he told me to check back in about 20 minutes. I walked around the mall for 20 and when I returned the shirt and pants were in a garment bag, both pressed out and ready to go. That's what I call service. I got a lot of compliments that night on my ensemble and I owe it to the Nordies. There is even a book about Norstrom's customer service.

Here are a couple of takeaways. Setting high expectations is great, but you better be able to back them up. One single bad experience can lead to a single lost sale. Multiple bad experiences can lead to exponential lost sales. The power of social media, like this blog, is being able to publish opinion quickly. So quickly, in fact, that companies who are not constantly monitoring the space can be done in. Here is what is already being said about each company in blogs, Nordstrom | Whole Foods.

How do you as a company make sure that your experience is at or above your customer's expectations? This applies to the web as well. Is your web experience in line with your offline?


Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Buzz Friday for June 8, 2007

more-buzz.jpgHere is a look at what is happening across a couple of sites I keep an eye on. Let me know if there is anything you would like me to add on.

I am refining this post over time, so if there is anything you would like me to add just email me or leave a comment. Similarly, if you have something you think is Buzz Friday worthy let me know and I'll look it over for inclusion. (Would anybody be interested in seeing this become a video podcast feed?)



Feed readers can see the video here.

Here are all of the items I think are interesting this week:


  • Book Club @ MarketingProfs kicks off their new book next week with Made to Stick by the Heath brothers Dan and Chip. This is one of my top all-time favorite business books. If you're interested and want to get in on the action, head on over there and sign up.
  • The hype surrounding the iPhone is reaching deafening levels now. Apple has an estimated 3 million units ready to ship and there is still a shortage projected. The big question for me is the Apple touch screen as an input device. I think there could be a major potential problem there.
  • Steve Woodruff of StickyFigure has launched a new blog called BrandingWire. A group of 12 experts will discuss branding in the age of technology and provide valuable insights to marketers everywhere.
  • Facebook apps are launching quickly on the new F8 platform. Properties include Flickr, Digg and Google Reader.
  • Facebook is picking up steam big time and Yahoo is rumored to be in talks for an estimated $2 billion.
  • Jeremiah Owyang has some great tips on measuring a social media program.
  • David Armano had a great diagram titled the 'Experience Map'. Check out his update and note the three learning points at the bottom. Great summary.
  • Coke and NBC are both capitalizing on Second Life to promote musicians by offering virtual concerts. SL is a great way to let people get close and build an experience around them.
  • Jackie Huba at Church of the Customer Blog has a great summary post on what a customer complaint can become in social media if not addressed.
  • Google Maps is becoming even more robust by adding public transit information in to the service.
  • Feedburner officially announced their acquisition by Google. I'm looking forward to getting my feed stats in the same location as my site stats. Lots of potential here for ad revenue in RSS feeds via Feedburner.
  • Guy Kawasaki's newest venture, Truemors, has received mixed review. Despite what you think of the site, he has proven what I've said for a long time. Technology allows people to built rapid concepts, launch them and tweak over time easier than ever before. He launched the site for $12,107.09.
  • Mario Sundar looks at how Facebook's new polling feature could be used for market research.
  • Bebo, one of Europes hottest social networks, recently launched a new look. It seems they're taking a mixed model approach to this and hovering between MySpace and Facebook.
  • If you use, or are looking at e-coupons for your company, check out this option to see what the future may hold.
  • Two takes on brainstorming. Pro and Con. Which do you agree with?

Top 10 Technorati Searches


  1. youtube
  2. ron paul
  3. myspace
  4. paris hilton
  5. galilea montijo
  6. bebo
  7. facebook
  8. nextstudent
  9. akon
  10. dailymotion

Top Five Web2.0 Movers of the Week (using Alexa data)


  1. 9Rules Network
  2. Etsy
  3. Feedster
  4. V Social
  5. Ze Frank

More

Top Ten Marketing Blogs from Viral Garden


  1. Seth's Blog
  2. Creating Passionate Users
  3. Gaping Void
  4. Logic + Emotion
  5. Daily Fix
  6. Converstations
  7. Drew's Marketing Minute
  8. The Viral Garden
  9. Jaffe Juice
  10. Duct Tape Marketing

Note that this list is now running off of Technorati rankings and not Alexa.
View the top full top 25

Top 5 "Viral" Videos This Week


  1. Women in art
  2. Sarah Silverman blasts Paris Hilton
  3. Battle at Kruger
  4. The Zimmers "My Generation"
  5. iPhone ad

More


Technorati Tags:
, , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.

Conversations in social media spread like wildfire

london2012.gifWhen I first saw the controversial London Olympics 2012 logo, I had a reaction. I am not a designer (although I think I have a pretty good eye) so I left that conversation to people with a lot more experience. However, the debate that has resulted and the other movements circling the net are being done online using social media. That's right up my alley so let's get a short overview.

The logo was unveiled on June 4th as a press conference. It cost about $800,000 US and people are greatly polarized on it. There were multiple options to choose from and this won out. (Personally I see this logo as more art than story teller, but who am I?)

Read these posts for more information and great insights:

I think the interesting thing in this situation is the way in which the conversation and opinions spread. Think back a couple years ago. Olympic logo unveilings consisted of a press conference, pre-packaged TV and radio sound-bytes and a press kit. News outlets covered it, but the opinion was all offline. You may have talked about it for a day at the coffee shop or maybe a bit longer if it was your home country.

But today, the animal is different. You can pre-package clips and media kits all you want, but the Internet works faster than the wire does. Somebody attends the event, snaps a pic and some video, uploads it to YouTube and Flickr, creates a blog post (see above), pings the search engines and viola. The conversation is born while the press is still rewinding their tape recorders and PR people scramble.

Opinion spreads virally through blogs, comments, parody, etc. That's what happened here. There is even a petition to revoke the logo (see it here) with 50,000 names attached. All of that in TWO days.

The technology is driving this conversation. It's allowing people from around the world to share ideas in near real time and it's making the job of PR folks much more difficult. There are a lot more conversations happening in more places than ever. How are you monitoring what people are saying about you and your brand? They are talking you know. Go take a look.

What should the London committee do in this case? Should they allow people to vote or should they stick to their guns?


Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , ,


If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates FREE by email.