Monthly Archives: July 2010

Street Slide: Microsoft’s Next Killer Maps App?

At the SIGGRAPH 2010 event this week in Los Angeles, Microsoft researchers showed off a next-generation tool for browsing street-level imagery. It’s called Street Slide


The not so friendly skies…

“Just when you think they can’t give the customers any less in the airlines business…”  Brian Williams, NBC News, July 27, 2010.  He was referring to a “self-boarding” process being tested by Continental Airlines in Houston, but hasn’t it just been the year for airline revenue “segmentation.”  According to Consumer Reports: “domestic airlines raked in $7.8 billion in “ancillary” revenue last year, with baggage fees alone accounting for $2.7 billion of that total.  Although American is selling the bundle as a comprehensive collection of services, this is not completely uncharted territory. United Airlines offers Premier Line, a $19 option that provides travelers with “fast track” access through check-in and security, as well as priority boarding. And for $10 one-way, Southwest Airlines offers EarlyBird Check-in; however, Southwest does not offer assigned seating, so this option allows passengers priority boarding to select preferred seats ahead of the pack.”


Get the message out? Let me count the ways!

 The universe for marketing communication has expanded far beyond the wildest dreams of even a Dale Carnegie. If you would like a copy of my free outline please e-mail me at:  I have spent the past week networking in the collective shark tank of my local ProMatch and have added a few more poignant arrows to my bulging quiver of options. The good news is that there are no ends of ways to use social media with traditional marketing to get your message out. The bad news is that if you’re not keeping yourselves up to speed with the latest (ever-changing) techniques, life (and your competition) is passing you by. It’s really not OK to just be doing some of these things anymore; to maximize your competitive position you have to do most, if not all of them.


Are the lunatics running the asylum?

Remember the old days of Walter Cronkite and Eric Severeid?  I do.  Those were days when barefoot reporters actually had to confirm their sources to editorial boards that were held to excruciating standards by their Pulitzer prize-winning predecessors.  If one mis-represented a fact or the origin thereof they could be subjected to a personal visit from William Randolph himself, if not one of his enforcers.

Nowadays there is virtually no accountability on some parts of the net.  Anyone can post a comment, no matter how libelous, anonymously with few or no repercussions.  Whole sites blogs and discussion groups can be directed to the defamation (justified or not) of a particular product, service, corporation, or person with no practical recourse.  The “best practices” remedy for these posts by most serious e-marketers is to bury the comments down the list of search results far enough that relatively few people see them.

There are some possible solutions, but I am running out of space…   to be continued


The “Union Jack” is not the flag of England

Recent “global” events: the World Cup, Tour de France, and The Open Championship at St. Andrews have brought to my attention the relative ignorance from which many of we Yanks suffer regarding world flags.  I have had to resolve more than one “bar bet” regarding this issue as many of my self-proclaimed erudite, sophisticated, well-traveled friends were not aware of the following:

  • Great Brittain is an abbreviation for the United Kingdom of Great Brittain and Northern Ireland which we further abbreviate to U.K.
  • GB is composed of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland resulting from the Acts of Union 1707 and 1801 and has a resulting flag (the “Union Jack”) which is a combination of the flags of England and Scotland. 

 Full article and credits @ 



Now the work begins

So now I am a “master of internet marketing,” which means I have enough ideas to keep a hundred people busy and there is one of me.  I had twenty some years of experience in traditional sales and marketing under my belt when I started using the net (mostly email campaigns) a few years back.

My question now is which of the techniques I have learned in the program will best transfer to my chosen focus area:  taking small business to market.  As I said earlier, I could keep a huge staff busy doing full-time blogging, keyword searches, affiliate partnering,  public speaking, podcasts, videos, etc… but the reality is that there is only one of me.

Which tactics work best for small business where the sales and marketing staff is likely to be…me?


Take care of yourself

I finally completed my masters program in internet marketing from USF.  I still find myself waking @ 7:00 with a skull full of ideas; raging to my keyboard and looking up at 9:30 realizing that I haven’t had a cup of coffee or put anything in my stomach except water.  It’s no wonder I feel dizzy, loosing concentration, and tired again.  If I’m going to work at home I need to take care of myself.

I know its seems like a mom thing, that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” but that isn’t all of it.  I used to take the time to wake with a cup of coffee, read something inspirational or meditative, and ease into my day.  This routine usually included a long power walk at lunch and some definite downtime after work.

Working at home can be a great thing, but I had more time for myself when I had a half hour commute each way.  The drive time forced me to listen to a podcast, or radio show or something not marketing related.  Now I can interact, tweet, FB, and work almost 24/7 (and 6 days a week) and there is always someone online to talk to.  Take the time to reset or it becomes one frightening blur of search algorithms and keywords.


Integrated Marketing – How do you work it?

It makes most sense for small business to employ an integrated approach to marketing their products.  Take the best traditional marketing and combine it with interactive marketing and you reach the greatest number with the best message, right?  The only question is, are they really compatible?

In an established business entity it poses some unique challenges.  The traditional marketers know the press, the print media, mass mailing, cold calling, and maybe shotgun email.  Push marketing to the max.  The messages are generally interruptive and are not well segmented or focused.  There is generally no empirical way to track the results. 

The interactive marketers are all about search marketing, optimization, targeting, testing, and metrics. 
Generally a younger crowd that spends more time on Facebook and twitter than on the telephone, they concentrate on marketing the awareness, not the need.  By blogging, webcasting , and providing tons of free content they establish a “top of mind” presence and rely on the fact that when you finally need something they provide, you will buy from them. 

It’s rare when the two camps go out for beers together.  The paradigm shift is forced when, say in a start-up, they end up being the same (one) person.  Due to limited budget and band-width the modern-day evangelist is forced to take what little they can do or get done from both disciplines and run like the wind.  The need for consulting and outsourcing is fostering a huge community of specialists available on retainer or contract.  The CMO in many cases is becoming more of a facilitator than a producer. 

In any case there are still advantages to an integrated approach.   How do you work it?


Push or pull?

More flags, more fun.

Be careful what you pray for, you might get it.  We all wanted to take the ads off tv, so we invented TiVo and Comcast cable and poof, we can now fast forward through anything and get back to the  program.  Well where did all the ads go?  They didn’t go away, that’s for sure.  I just visited a “theme” park in Vallejo with my kids and some other family members.  Hadn’t been there for years.  Didn’t realize what a perfect venue it has become for saturation advertising.

I thought we had seen everything when Candlestick Park became Monster Park at candlestick point and the Cotton Bowl became the Tostitos first quarter followed by the Victoria Secret second half.  Oh no.  This was the tip of the iceberg.  We now have the Hawaiian Airlines dolphin show (after we have shelled out $40 to get in and $15 to park) and the Johnny Rockets chicken parts stand at the front gate. 

“Marketing takeaway”  Since we have a captive audience we have installed 700 speakers and 150 big screen monitors throughout the park (including in the toilets) so there is literally no place you can go to hide from my message.  And the message targeting?  Not what I would have thought.  It’s not aimed just at the throngs of teens that ooze through the turnstiles like buttermilk through a cheesecloth, oh no!  We have ads for television shows, land rovers, and Hawaiian vacations.  By the way, if you take one of those vacations you might just find a TV monitor barking marketing propaganda at you while you wait in line.

Push marketing is not limited to pop-ups on mobile phones.  The question I pose is one of balance:  How much push can the marketplace take before it starts to push back?


It’s still a grand old flag

Last night I found myself overcome with an odd sense of patriotism.  Albeit the third glass of wine at the neighbors BBQ might have been a factor, I found myself in an oddly reflective mood regarding the events of the day and my life in America.  Here I sit having watched my good buddy Reba McIntyre singing up a storm of “beautiful for spacious skies” followed by an amazing display of fireworks on the capitol mall, masterfully orchestrated to the 1812 Overture.

Ah yes, this great land of opportunity “from sea to shining sea.”  Where else can the downtrodden find such tasteful pop-ups offering male enhancement and glorious offers of affection from Ukrainian pen pals who “have not in long time talked with the e-mail for you.”

I eagerly await my next offer of millions from an unknown person in Hong Kong who has died and left these monies for me to spend at my philanthropic discretion. 

Predatory marketing practices aside, to the rest of us who try to provide an honest value at an honest price and pride themselves in presenting decent content and service, I raise my glass.  Obama didn’t poke his head out of the White House for the expected photo-op, but he didn’t need to.  It still is after all a grand old flag, and this slightly hung over porcine protagonist is proud to be an American.

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