April 30, 2008

Follow Up

Filed under: Personal Branding — Robert John Ed @ 12:35 am

It surprises me how few people care to follow up. I try to make it a point to network with people and more importantly, learn from them. So if I get someone’s contact information, I usually shoot them a short message expressing my gratitude. If I work with a customer, I will send them an email to make sure everything went well. But I can say that of the many times I give my business card or personal information away, it’s rarely followed up on.

It goes beyond just people though. Businesses don’t follow up. The statistics for following up with leads from a trade show is abysmal. If I get scanned 100 times at a show, I’d expect maybe 10 follow ups. The B2B companies that I pay for whatever their service seldom call me back on the first try (especially if I have a problem). Now the way I see it, this is bad. Bad for businesses because they aren’t taking care of potential partners, or bad for me because no one wants to speak with me outside of my mother. Either way I’m not happy.

And it’s no good. At the end of the day when you are looking to get paid for your services, are trying to meet your quota or build a network, how likely are these people you neglected initially to pick up the phone?

Because it makes it seem like you don’t care; chances are that you do actually care. You’re just busy. Still, perception is reality. And if you don’t care, then honestly, why should anyone?


Moving Forward

Filed under: Marketing Philosophy — Robert John Ed @ 12:17 am

Another takeaway from the CATFOA event last night was marketing as a service. This is a pretty straight forward concept with such examples as Zappos making it priority to treat their customers incredibly well regardless of the situation. Because these kinds of companies choose to be remarkable with their products and the services that surround them, it becomes the noteworthy aspect of the company.

It travels. All of a sudden, it is the marketing of your company. Techno//Marketer had a very good corollary post on this recently.

Just as a burrito from Chipotle or a donut from Krispy (OK old example) is noteworthy; your service, if truly exceptional can serve the same utility. Can you not see how much more powerful than an advertising campaign this is? Or at the very least the potential to spread. I’m not trying to pick on advertising.

This is why it’s so important to access what marketing really is more so than how it is done. Finding out “how it is done” is actually the antithesis of the real value in it all.

April 29, 2008

To the Power of Suck?

Filed under: Blog Explanations, Lexicon (Vocab) — Robert John Ed @ 1:37 am

OK that was a CATFOA takeaway from tonight. But I did want to point out that my writing isn’t near as descriptive or rhythmical as I’d like. It’s actually been hard. Finding the time is something I figured would be easier to do being that I have little to no life. So it feels as though this blog is crap, to the power of suck.

So the respect is adding up for all those writers that find the time every day. It’s impressive.

Additionally, this bachelor is fitting in two posts between checking on my Tuna Helper that I put hamburger into, washing the dishes and an NBA playoff game. Is this paradise? Shine on you crazy diamond.

Every day at work I write on post it notes about things that I should write about in marketing, advertising, business and whatever else seems pertinent. My desk is starting to look like a faded school bus. I’ll try to catch up soon.

CATFOA Part Deux

Filed under: Meeting Marketers — Robert John Ed @ 1:27 am

Actually, this was the fifth and tentatively final installment of the CATFOA events. I was just clued in a bit late and so I’ve only saw the last few. Both fun and worth while. Tim says that there may well be additional events, so keep your fingers crossed.

The subject of tonight’s fun was none other than Brian Morrissey, who works for Adweek and even writes a blog; though unlike the rest of us unimaginative dissidents, his blog is about his hobby and not his career. He is the “digital” guy and gave quite a few interpretations of the space.

I enjoyed the event, and as much the conversation afterward. Though I think that these events truly have a saturation of people that already have a very good understanding of what is going on in interactive. It made me think that I’d really like to go and learn about traditional advertising a bit more. It’s because you can learn about the interactive space so easily. After all, most of the marketers and advertisers that are truly knowledgeable on the subject are subjecting us to their subject. Speaking objectively of course.

Seriously though, this was good and I strongly recommend going. I would really like to see more events in similitude where marketers can network in Minneapolis. It seems like most people really want to talk about monetizing social sites like FB or Myspace.

I think this is a big problem. It’s not about monetizing a site (OK maybe for FB it is). It’s about different forms of communication and figuring out how we can leverage these new forms to create loyal friends, partners, consumer and customers. Whatever you want to call them. We are far too intelligent and aware of marketing to simply see a banner and start drooling. I need to expound on consumer intelligence/awareness soon.

But the Celtics are playing, not tonight. KG is my boy.

April 26, 2008

Your Money = Your Vote

Filed under: Marketing Philosophy — Robert John Ed @ 5:02 pm

I grew up listening to mostly punk music. One of my favorite bands then was Propagandhi. These guys are from Canada and have some pretty intense thoughts on the state of affairs today. If I had to sum up their ideals, the most concise word would be humanitarianism.

They really were very forward thinking. And back in 9th grade I picked up this little gem and it opened my eyes on a lot of issues. There was a pamphlet inside that went over some serious stuff; sexuality, vegans, religion, feminism, capitalism as well as an overarching hatred for the system. All of this stuff can be read here. It might not all be your cup of tea, but it’s worth a look.

The main thing that is relevant to consumers is that you actually control what corporations will do. Every time you choose to spend a dollar on a company, you are giving them reason to continue their practices. When people realize this and act accordingly, it’s a lot easier for companies to understand that they aren’t doing the things they should. When everyone makes it a priority to buy from companies that support the issues and ideals they themselves harbor, the world will see a big difference.

Every dollar is a vote. Vote for what you think is right.

Green with envy? So green as to be jaded?

Filed under: Green MKTG — Robert John Ed @ 4:43 pm

I’m jaded. Toward a lot of things, but especially marketing. The way that we can treat people can be shabby; and I’d like to see that change. So a lot of things that I see done I’m not a big fan of. Spam is number one. I hate spam. But there are a few other things that rub me the wrong way. One is that companies and brands often align themselves in culture movements, not necessarily out of an affinity toward that end, but as a way to correlate themselves to the movement and influence those that actually do care to buy their products.

So lately I’ve been thinking about the green movement, have you heard of it? Yeah. Of course you have. It has been stamped on everything in business lately. And it genuinely angers me that every company on the earth is attempting put their own slant on environmentally friendly progression. Do it because you really want to change the way we are doing things (BTW go to Treehugger for eco-friendly life hacking). Not because the affluent demographic of 40-60 is especially concerned.

And I love Earth. Earth is my favorite.

Then yesterday it came to me. This is one situation where I should be happy about the overzealous display of eco-friendly concern. Only good can come from this. Whereas before people didn’t talk about it much, now every company in the world has to have some concern about keeping everything safe and biodegradable for the simple fact that the public cares about it.

C’est magnifique. Bonne soir.

It’s only a matter of time before the world bends to my will. Long headline? Maybe.

Filed under: Blog Explanations — Robert John Ed @ 4:22 pm


I have been ranked on Technorati. Yep. Officially ranked number 5,137,428. Got to start somewhere I guess. I’m making April 26th my official day to look at blog progression (it’s an easy day for me to remember).

For the record, it really doesn’t matter if this blog is ranked high or at all, just so long as I meet other marketers and people with interesting ideas. It’s all about the knowledge procurement. I really need to address attempting to build a community and getting interaction from readers in the next few months. Your participation is very much wanted.

Thanks for reading.

April 25, 2008

What Is Reality? Perception.

Filed under: Marketing Philosophy — Robert John Ed @ 12:01 am

In marketing, it’s somewhat common to hear the term “perception is reality.” There is a good reason for this.

It’s true.

When someone comes into your store, buys your product, receives a service call, calls your phone operating system, sends you an email or checks out your web page (amongst a thousand other dalliances) what they perceive is their reality. It doesn’t matter that they don’t understand the phone queque always ten people deep and outsourced to China in order to save a nickel a call. All they know is that you didn’t pick up within five minutes. You inattentive ass.

It’s unimportant that your APR is lower than any other bank and that the credit card is pre-approved. It comes in the same packaging as every other credit company and misspells my name Bob Head. Dammit.

I could care less that your six sigma processes have eliminated 99.96% of product defects.  The speakers you told me would last forever bottomed out during my first play of Funky Cold Medina.

It doesn’t matter that your store had two employees quit and there is no one to cover a rush during Holiday season. It doesn’t matter that your web application has officially scaled from a few thousand users to a few million; it crashed, and as such it is obvious your infrastructure is garbage.

It doesn’t matter.

Because this is the only reality I know.

April 24, 2008

I Failed. Thank God.

Filed under: Marketing Philosophy, Personal Branding — Robert John Ed @ 2:37 am


Pretty big word to most people. A word which will hold back some people from ever even trying to achieve anything worth a damn. Failure is what holds most of us back from trying almost everything that could be valuable to us.

And it seems like we become good at following the same patterns of what we do and don’t. We become great at taking risks within certain areas of our lives, and in others we simply continue in our same rut. And everyone is partial to this little humane trait. Some of us excel in certain areas, some of us don’t.

The key is that we have to be willing to fail. We have to work at failure. Not intentionally dropping the ball, but going out on a limb on purpose, after all that’s where all the fruit is. The bottom line is that if we don’t attempt new experiences, we won’t succeed or fail. We’ll stagnate. Today, being different is necessary. And that means taking risks; and occasionally failing. Take the other road.

Despite knowing this, there are certain areas in my life where I fail to to fail enough, and I’m currently trying to figure out ways to get out there and change my ways. Maybe some of you out there suffer from similar afflictions.

PS Rough Day? Go to the Fail Blog for some quick laughs. K Thx Bai.

Definitively Speaking

Filed under: Information Supernova — Robert John Ed @ 2:19 am

The norm for my posts is to detail things that the reader may not be completely familiar with through a Wikipedia citation. It’s fast, it’s easy, and good enough for most situations. I probably need to do a more thorough explanation of Wikis and what I know about the process, but I can tell you that it’s a pretty reliable source,

The Long Tail has a great explanation of Wikipedia in contrast to a set of encyclopedias. It includes a comparison to actual encyclopedia entries. This is actually a pretty big debate…allowing Wikipedia (or any Wikis) to be used as reference, because they are user generated content, it could be inaccurate. The statistical variance in incorrect entries was low, and the update time for creating a Wikipedia page was incredibly fast for incorrect information. I may some day do a more proper review of that book, I read it some time ago, but until then I can say it’s a great introduction to ecommerce, amongst other things.

So what’s gives with the extended explanation of citation? It’s changing.

Visit this Techcrunch post on Encyclopedia Britannica for a primer on what EB is doing. The short story is that Wikipedia is essentially strangling their business. It turns out that no one is that anxious to pay exorbitant amounts of cash for book sets when the information is at their fingertips on line. So what is their next move? Build a business online. So they do that. Now all they have to do is wait for everyone to line up and pay them. Oh. Wait. You guys? Um, no one is lining up? Oh that’s right. The content is free everywhere else online.

Stop. How do we market this? Position it as a higher end service. Give away to sneezers and see if numbers pick up.

So I signed up. And now I have a year’s subscription to Enycylopedia Britannica Online. Why would I do this? Do I think that Wikipedia isn’t good enough? No. I think it does the job well. The reason I’m doing this is to understand the marketing behind what EB is attempting to do. They are behind. They are likely not going to catch up with a campaign such as this. People will take free most of the time. So let’s wait and see.

But to be fair, I’m going to try and use the new service as much as possible and weigh the value compared to free searches. Should be fun. I’ll detail this in a few months. So the first official EB definition I’ll use is….what else…. MARKETING!

UPDATE:  I attempted to link to the Brittanica definition of marketing through my RSS, and when attempting to view the article, it continually had a pop up interrupt.  Very annoying.  If you go through the my actual URL ( you can read continuously.  So if the definition is important to you I’d advise that for now.  I’m sending EB an email about it.

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