Tag Archives: marketing

Technology, Marketing, Ethics & Movies

Technology Paul Heinz wrote a thoughtful essay on Lost Arts.  It is a riff on all of those things that we used to be able to do. Now, technology has changed things, mostly for the better, but it is fun to wax nostalgic.

Marketing: Mental Floss has a good article on the marketing of the movie Coraline.  Lots of good tidbits here, but what hit me most was the viral marketing campaign around the alphabet cards.

Ethics: Freakonomics looks at the law of unintended consequences in two articles and how it affects the disabled.

Behind the Scenes: On my list of all time favorite movies is Raiders of the Lost Ark.  A transcript of the story conference between George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Lawrence Kasdan (the writer) has been posted to the web.  Lots of interesting examples on how creative people think and then execute in the film.

HELP, Marketing, Security and Entrepreneurship

Marketing: A friend and I were talking marketing recently and the question came up… What is the minimum offer that a coupon has to offer to get your attention?  Has it changed recently due to the economy?  What will it take for you to try a new place versus a coupon from a regular vendor? Please reply through the comments and I will tally the answers for a summary post next week.  Thanks

Security: Bruce Schneier has written a thoughtful essay on the role of data in our lives.  Almost everything we do today, leaves a trail and these trails can be analyzed.  The toothpaste is already out of the tube.  We as a society need to determine how to manage our collective toothbrushes.

Entrepreneurship: Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, asked an interesting question.  How does the rate of entrepreneurial activity change with the age of marriage?  One could expect that single people would be able to take more risks, a point I made in my young entrepreneurs column last week. Can you name three vibrant entrepreneurial countries where the average age at time of marriage is low?

Help: The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul University is near and dear to my heart. The students at the Center are hard working, giving and smart. One of these former students is Jessica Cowin, a 25-year old recent DePaul alum who after battling health issues her whole life, is now being faced with a new challenge: a need for a new kidney.

Her sister is a match and will donate one of her kidneys, but there is a catch. Their health insurance will only cover up to $30K, and Northwestern Hospital will only perform the transplant if they are able to pay the full amount of over $100K. She will need to have the surgery within the next 3 months.

I’ve heard a lot of people this week talk about what they should give up for Lent. Catholic or not, here is an opportunity to be part of something that will have an immediate impact on this family, which could easily be any of our families, sisters, friends, etc.

So what can you do to help? Visit: www.giveforward.org/helpjess/. Make a donation. Forward this blog to your network, family and friends. Share the url on your Facebook status. Nearly $10,000 has already been raised in the past couple of days alone – clearly there’s power in numbers, and everything and anything will help.

Marketing, Technology & Talent

Marketing: Seth Godin today talks about a pet peeve of mine.  I too, was that rational marketer, back in the day who couldn’t figure out why someone wouldn’t buy from me.  We had the best service, we were competitively priced, we had the most competent staff… Seth urges us to figure out a way to meet the irrational client where she is, rather than continue to foist our advantages at her which isn’t going to work.

Technology: Finally, another pet peeve squashed.  Consensus within the cell phone marketplace.  The manufacturers and carriers have agreed on a single cell phone charger standard.

Talent: I posted about talent and the need for repetition to create “talent” last week.  Kevin Kelly has reviewed a book called Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.  While there were a lot of interesting excerpts, the one that caught my eye talked about an art professor who graded some students on quantity and others on quality.  Guess which group created the highest quality pots?


n,v: a public promotion of some good or service

This time of year, we are all forced to pay more attention to advertising.  The nation’s attention to the Super Bowl (excuse me, The Big Game) is half about the game and half about the commercials that are presented.  After the game, the media spends more time going over the picks and pans than the picks and points. This year, for some reason, lots of people enjoyed seeing a glass paperweight hit a man in the groin.  Others went for more prosaic fare like the love story between a Clydesdale horse and a circus horse.

I understand that there are a lot of reasons for advertising.  Brand awareness, new product announcement, to create industry buzz and to help employee morale are just some.  What I don’t get, is annoying a potential customer to get attention. I guess part of it is that advertising execs are being pushed ever harder to come up with creative campaigns.

There is one commercial running in the Chicago radio markets that just makes me crazy.  Mark my words, I will never buy a Sunsetter Retractable Awning.  If I even hear the beginning 5 seconds of the ad, I will change the station.  The pitch is that there is a reasonable guy telling the audience about the benefits of the aforementioned awning system.  Every 10 seconds, a woman’s screeching voice comes on and orders “Harry, tell them about the discount”.  Finally, at the end, the man gives in and tells us all about the discount. Perhaps the ad exec in charge of this account is a henpecked guy who is just expressing his life story.  Perhaps the company thinks that the discount is so critical that they can devalue the experience of listening to the whole case for an awning system.

On one hand, the company has won.  I certainly know the company and the ad, and can put them together.  But I can guarantee that if I ever have the opportunity to purchase an awning system, I will find another solution.  In fact, if I am ever in a conversation with anybody about remodeling, I might just go out of my way to help them find another solution.

What are the ads that make you crazy enough to boycott the product?

Marketing, Food, Politics, Video, IQ, Credit, Project Management, Job Search

Marketing: I am not a big fan of Hugh Macleod‘s (Updated 2/6/09 since I found this one) cartoons, but he has an interesting post today on futility marketing.  The point here is that some of the world’s most interesting successes (not just business) were started as futile projects.  Everything from the British defeating the Nazi menace with Spitfires (WWII) to getting people to buy software apart from hardware (Microsoft).

Food: Count me in on those who think that barbeque should be a separate food group.  A competitive BBQ team in Kansas City has created an Internet sensation with the Bacon Explosion.  Please note that friends who keep kosher or are vegetarians need not flock to this link.

Politics: An angel in Washington?

Video: Stop action videography is not dead.  Check out this music video by Oren Lavie for a fantastic journey.

Intelligence: Ever wonder about those IQ tests?  Here is a short description of what the IQ Test really tests.

Credit: Did you know that FICO is changing the way they calculate your scores today?

Project Management: Is running a project anything like rowing?  My friend, David Kelly, seems to think so.

Marketing: I have been thinking about this one all day.  Could you define yourself with 5 brands?  Right now, I am leaning towards Blackberry, Famous Dave’s, Lands’ End, Google and Lexus.

Job Search: As the economic conditions worsen, many more of my friends are looking for new places to call work.  Here is a consise list of top web based job sites. While this is interesting information, my advice is to not waste too much time on the web, but keep your networks alive via personal contact.  A personal reference from someone who knows you well will push your application to the top of the pile, in many cases.