Yesterday I downloaded yet another book on my iPad and posted on Twitter that I may never buy another bound book again. Don't get me wrong - I love books, love bookstores (my office is two blocks from the famous Powells [www.powells.com] in Portland which is a daily temptation) and I have a constant battle with overstuffed bookshelves at home and my office.
The book I downloaded was on Web content strategy, Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson, http://www.contentstrategy.com/ and it seemed only appropriate to get this title as a digital book. Within this e-book are links to useful additional resources. With a printed book, I would need both my laptop and the book to fully get the benefit of all this great content. No longer. This book will always be fresh because the links can be updated without buying another copy. Brilliant.
Books will always have the power to take us to new places. Books on my iPad can do so much more.
An acquaintance contacted me a few weeks ago, anxious to get together. The urgency for the meeting seemed odd. We have many connections in common and these related folks urged us to meet, so we did.
This person – accomplished and very lovely – wanted to know if I was aware of issues related to her business. She wanted to know if I was watching her channel.
Maybe she was relieved when I told her that I was not aware of the issues she mentioned. We had a nice chat and that was that. When I left our meeting, I could not help but wonder why she thought her firm’s channel was on my radar. If I am in a position of influence, then her firm had done nothing to get me to tune into their message – or listen to her channel.
Too many companies assume that customers, prospects and influencers are watching their channel. Identifying the right audience – through extensive market research – and fine-tuning the message so that it will create market leadership is what gets people to pay attention to your channel. Most importantly, it takes diligence and consistency to create a channel worth watching.
We get bombarded with invitations to watch far too many channels. Audience targeting, focused messaging, and diligence is the key factor in getting the right audience for your channel.
I started Twittering – along with the rest of the MMG team – last year. It was still fairly new and I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Now I am addicted.
It’s sort of like being a voyeur – I get a glimpse into what people are thinking. It’s also my best news channel. I get great links to blog posts I may never find on my own. Twitter is also a wonderful re-connector. I follow people that I’ve know for years but haven’t seen in ages.
Like all social media, it has a big downside. There is too much of it. I can’t following thousands of people and get anything out of the relationship. And the technology is not perfect. Scalability is a big issues and users have to be very patient.
Lessons learned from Twitter? Like all good communications, it is best when it is focused.
You can follow me on Twitter and see what I am up to.
I used to think that awards were silly – the only way I thought we needed to be judged was by our clients’ success. I still think that is true, but not completely. Being judged by a panel of our peers is important. It keeps us on our toes.
Getting another award this week – a Communicator Award for our Ad campaign for Vigilan – is a big reason to celebrate. We knew it was a winner well before this because our client told us. Vigilan’s business has really taken off and we’re pretty happy to be a part of that success.
Big Kudos go to Jeni Cantley and Haley Lewis for the great design and concept. Another statue is on its way to join the others on the table!
Seth Godin – marketing consultant and author – just blogged todayabout the art of the putting on a show. In marketing he says, “…even if you're a professional marketer, if your show is cynical or manipulative, it's going to fall apart on you. Even Marlon Brando couldn't live the show all the time if he didn't believe it.”
Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary, now author, is a perfect example of the marketer whose show fell apart. By taking the job as White House press secretary, he took on the role of communicating public policy. He didn’t believe in the message that he was delivering. It fell apart on him.
Godin further explains that “The difference between a professional and a naive marketer is that the professional can put on a different show in her next job, or for her next brand. Al Yageneh (The Soup Nazi), on the other hand, can only sell soup.”
I’ve sold software to consumers and professionals, consumer electronics, professional services, politicians and non-profits and most recently trail running shoes. Scott, on the other hand, has sold policy and I’m not sure he can sell any of that now.
“The business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business."
This Peter Drucker quote has been well distributed and certainly is a favorite of most marketers. It is especially poignant as we all face what is certainly an economic slow down and quite possible a recession. All marketers worry that budgets will be sliced, jobs will be eliminated and more will be expected.
If this statement by Drucker is true – and embraced – then what do we have to worry about? Plenty. Most companies and CEOs don’t see marketing as their primary strategic weapon in a down economy. They typically add more sales people and decrease marketing.
I’ve worked through plenty of slow economies and recessions. Next time I have that anticipated meeting with the CEO regarding budget, I am bringing my friend Drucker with me.
It seems that I have hit the point of giving up on resolutions. Personally and professionally, resolutions are just a good opportunity for disappointment.
That said, I am a big fan of an ongoing commitment to improvement. So this year, my list is:
I am reading more thanks to my new passion for Twitter, which is leading me to interesting new sites and blogs.
As for running, I am trying despite my lousy stamina and learning to be a trail runner.
But mostly, I am grateful for our clients that are leading us into 2008. They are creating products that will change the footwear industry, improve our Web experience, protect our identities, benefit the Oregon economy, and shape the assisted living industry.
We're off to a great 2008 and I can't wait to see what is still ahead.
I have a lot of pet peeves. The small ones are the random use of bullets and lack of parallel structure. Marketing is all about communication and if you can’t frame your point, then what is the point?
But there is a bigger issue. My biggest pet peeve is lack of leadership. In my book, this is the leading cause of company failure.
I have the pleasure of being the spokesperson for one of our long time clients, The Career Exposure Network. This role is a blast and I am so grateful to have the confidence of this client to talk about them and the career landscape with publications ranging from the New York Times, to the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily and even Glamour.
All of us will be posting our thoughts and perspectives on marketing.
I have been blogging – in my head – for years. Every time I read the New York Times, or any other publication or marketing book or marketing blog, I get inspired to share my thoughts.
Curious about our experience and how we have created market leadership for our clients?