Thursday, December 16, 2010

10 Surefire Marketing Shortcuts

Life may be a journey, but we're talking about business now, where the shortest distance between two points is universally recognized as a straight line. We're talking shortcuts.

So as we wrap up 2010 and head into the new decade, I'd like to offer 10 surefire marketing shortcuts... for those who disagree with Chaucer's observation in the Canterbury Tales: "In wikked haste is not profit."

10. Skip the research. Surely your C-level executives have their fingers on the pulse of the marketplace; research would only muddy the waters.

9. Marketing plans are a huge waste of resources. You know what you want to do, so just get to it.

8. To paraphrase a quote from the novel The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, "Budgets? We ain't got no budgets. We don't need no budgets! I don't have to show you any stinkin' budgets!"

7. Traditional media is dead, long live social media. Open a Facebook page and a Twitter account and everything else will take care of itself.

6. Don't over think your marketing staff. This isn't rocket science; hell, it isn't even accounting. It's all about hiring attractive people who like working with people.

5. Never ever hire a branding consultant. Remember that the Nike logo was created by a graphic design student at Portland State University... for only $2/hour.

4. Publicity is a great and easy way to get FREE media coverage, and you don't need an agency to make media lists and draft copy and conduct media follow-up. Just write up your own news release and send it out over the free wire services... and watch the media clips come flooding in.

3. Thanks to fast and easy website builder programs, virtually anyone can create a great site in a matter of hours – even an e-commerce site. So skip the web developers, designers, programmers and SEO experts... it's just a lot of excess baggage.

2. Yeah, even in this electronic age, you still need literature, but you don't need to pay for overpriced services. Write it, design it and print it yourself. Branding is for suckers.

1. To be completely honest, marketing is the greatest boondoggle of the past century... well, next to banking (but that's a whole other list). Consider eliminating marketing altogether.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What am I Missing?

On the one hand, we are told that social media is the great equalizer, allowing citizens of the planet to reach out to one another and form new relationships and even networks and communities where truth, justice and the American way can prevail.

On the other hand, we are also told that "marketers" are grappling daily with ways to make money from social media.

And all these "social" citizens we read about? We are also told lots of them are wasting company time posting notes on Facebook and Twitter. Lots of them are watching YouTube and porn. Many of them are illegally downloading movies and music and video games.

Meanwhile, advertisers are popping up everywhere – breaking up the social media conversation as it were.

And it occurs to me that the social world on the Internet is a lot like the real world, except that it is easier to sneak around and hide your true identity online than it is offline. Everyone has funny names and uses image icons that are nowhere near reality. So what is going on here?

According to Merriam-Webster, "social" is marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with friends or associates. But that doesn't explain the high percentage of consumers (56% according to a Harris study) who said they had "avoided a particular vendor after reading negative comments about it via social networks." That doesn't sound very pleasant for the vendor.

Anyway, how do you know if the comments are true when they are attributed to NastyGuy792?

I guess what I am saying or wondering is this: Is the Internet and social media a great accomplishment or a great experiment? And if it's the latter, when will we know for sure if it was a success or a failure?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lebrons and Tigers and Favres... Oh My!

This is not what you think it is. It's not a post about sexual predators. It's not a post about out-of-control egotists. It's not a post about traitors. It's not even a post about society's need to idolize athletes then throw them under the bus.

How lucky are we to be witnessing the likes of three of the greatest athletes of all time... all at the same time? Think about it.

Brett Favre is arguably the greatest football player to ever live. The combination of skill and fearlessness have allowed him to play more games, make more passes, complete more touchdowns and win more games than one can imagine. Love him or hate him, Brett Favre is, has been and continues to be a thing of beauty.

Tiger Woods is arguably the greatest golfer to ever live. His focus, determination and physical strength have allowed him to hit the ball farther, close in on the green more accurately, putt more consistently and win more regularly than is even remotely reasonable considering the size and scope of the field today. Even now as he drags himself out of the downward spiral he created a year ago, he remains one of the most feared (and successful) competitors in the game.

Lebron is arguably the greatest young basketball player in the game today, and has the potential to be the greatest who ever played. His natural talent, physical strength and willingness to share the spotlight (and the orange ball) have allowed him to rise up to the highest level of greatness on the court – rebounds, assists, field goals, free throws. At 6'-8" and 250 pounds, he looks more like a ballerina than the towering brute that he is. And despite his recent "decision", he has proven to the world he is neither a fool nor a quitter.

And here they all are, performing their unique feats of magic, all at the same time. Even the non-sports enthusiast has to agree: "Oh my."