Category Archives: social media

Liquid content – a fascinating presentation from Coca Cola

Liquid content – Fascinating on multiple levels: great to see a glimpse of how Coca-Cola, the best in the world at branding, are thinking about the future of marketing content, and it is a simply gorgeous presentation.

This is part one:

and here is part two:

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When the wiring goes wrong – a cat’s tale.

She’s intense, willful, dangerously stealthy, surprisingly clumsy, endearing, ponderous, and difficult to ignore. She’s Ally the cat – one of two that share our home. Ally is sweet and cuddly and a contender for most annoying cat of the year. But it is only because she’s nuts. Something’s wrong in her wiring. Some primordial instinct in that little feline brain gets mixed up causing her to attack her own tail. It’s probably some play-as-hunting-practice algorithm that’s gotten a bug in it. She sits, gets bored, starts swishing, then thumping her tail and then it’s swat, thump, swat, thump, swat, growl, swat, swat, bite! And then she squeals gets up and runs away from her attacker. The whole thing would be comical if it wasn’t so darn frequent – or frequently happening so darn close to my bare feet. My bare feet have this funny allergy you see to needle-sharp teeth and all manner of slashing, swiping claws. As an aside I hope that the thought of me, bare-of-foot doesn’t put you off this blog post, frankly I do some of my best writing without shoes, but my hobbit-like writing practices are not the point here. The point here isn’t even that my cat is nuts, which she is. The point is she’s stuck in a bad pattern that may have been good, useful or productive once, but isn’t anymore. Ally is saddled with these weird, stress-inducing behaviors that certainly were important survival skills for her innumerable cat ancestors. But the thing is she doesn’t know that, she’s not intending to make me scream when she misses her tail and tags my big toe instead – she’s just doing what she’s wired to do.

I don’t think cats are the only ones who do this. A company will sometimes try to operate with patterns and processes that may have been successful in the past, but haven’t adapted to changing market conditions or new technologies. “Yell and Sell” marketing tactics end up doing more to turn off buyers when once they stood as the pillars of brand awareness. A person who hasn’t job hunted in 15 years is laid-off and suddenly thrust into a world that has been forever changed by Monster, Career Builder and LinkedIn. Over-dependence on old habits of looking in the paper for listings and sending unsolicited resumes to large companies have distracted that job seeker from building new skills and a vibrant network through social media just when they need every advantage. These people and companies aren’t intending to flounder, but they may have gotten stuck in old patterns that used to be the right answers. It’s a tough trap because they feel like they are doing the right things, but they are no longer getting the old results and they often find it hard to see the problem themselves.

A cat’s gotta eat, but lightning fast reflexes and hair-trigger aggression don’t make a bit of difference when your prey is a tin of Sophist-a-Cat Supreme. The felines of the Cohen kitchen, our domestic savannah, have to rely on a whole new set of emotional and psychological skills (primarily based on cuteness) to get the big human with the fancy thumbs to open their cans for them. Believe me, if cats could work the pop-tops we’d live in a very different society. So here’s the question: Are you trying to hunt for your supper when you could be going to a supermarket? What habits are you hanging onto that are no longer getting you results? What processes and approaches should you change to acknowledge today’s market realities?

Or the question I ask Ally: Have you got a tiger by the tail or has the tiger gotten you?

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Talk, Talk, Talk, Draw, Draw, Draw

Julie stuart - Making Ideas Visible
Wow, it feels like I just started podcasting and I’m already up to episode number, now wait a second, let me get my calculator, tap… tap.. tap.., carry the one, oh yeah there it is – episode three! I know, big milestone right? But it is a big transition to go from “I’m thinking about starting a podcast” to actually have guests planned in advance – it’s exciting too! Especially when you’ve got some interesting guests on deck – and I do 😉

Tomorrow is going to be cool Julie Stuart will be joining me for episode 3 – Julie has a very cool and unique job: she is a visual facilitator, in other words she makes ideas visible. Combine the skills of a meeting facilitator, an illustrator and a mind-mapper – mix them all up with a big smile and you’re getting into Julie’s territory. When I first stumbled across her website I was wowed – I had never heard of anyone doing a job like that before! It takes talent to draw, to move ideas into images, and a lot of people with that talent would run screaming from the room if you asked them to draw while standing in the middle of a room full of people – not to mention a room full of high-powered executives. Julie’s created a brand for herself that is not only unique, but highly effective – she’s notched clients like the CDC, GE Energy, ConAgra and the National Wildlife Federation. You better believe I’m going to ask how she’s taken her talents and woven them into such an effective brand story. You don’t want to miss this one!

For those of you not familiar with Blog Talk Radio, the show is presented live and you can call in with questions. Shortly after the show is done the recording is available to download or stream at your convenience. My show is live Mondays at 10:30am EST and the Call-in Number if you want to ask a question is (347) 989-8132. I hope you’ll chime in!

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Stepping up to the mic. Well, the headset, actually.

I’ve taken the plunge and quietly launched a podcast. This is my first time as host of my own show on I’ve been fortunate to be a guest on several podcasts in the past, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely so I figured why not?

For this first time out I discuss two of my staples: the Awful-to-Awesome scale and The Everest Question. For future shows I hope to do less monologues and more interviews. I’ll be foraging for interesting entrepreneurs who have built personal brands based on …unusual blends of skills, unique visions, driving passions and more. I hope you’ll check out this and future shows.

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Well I suppose this is either apropos or ironic coming on the heels of my screed about divas, but I am just tickled and flattered that the fabulous Laurie Foley asked me to be her guest – her first guest, mind you – for her new podcast series called Conversations with Smart People. Perhaps that means I’m the mold that ought to be broken, but I’m going to take it as a huge compliment. One thing I know for sure is that conversations with Laurie are always fun, engaging and thought provoking. So who’s the smartie-pants now?

Keep shining!

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I4U Newsletter Ends – Sign of Things to Come or a Last Gasp?

Like many of you out there, I have a bit of technolust. I like gadgets. I own a modest collection of tech gear, and I have a drawer full of retired power cords and adapters, but more to the point, I like to be in the know about the new stuff. The gizmos and thingamajigs that push the envelope or hint at cool features that might just become mainstream. Of course most don’t, but that is part of what makes it interesting. So for these reasons one of the few newsletter that I used to look forward to appearing in my email inbox was the eye-jolting green missive put together by Luigi Lugmayr & company over at I4U. It was a newsletter that did a great job of sticking to their mission – they brought you the new stuff. It felt more informative than sales-y. Like I might actually have the jump on other nerdy friends when it came to discussion of cool new laptops or innovative portable electronics. Well imagine my surprise when instead of their usual array of thumbnails of interesting gadgets I received this note:

Hello I4U News Readers,

This is our last weekly I4U Newsletter. We feel that email newsletters have had there time and are not the preferred way anymore to receive our news.
Thank you for being a subscriber and I hope you will continue to read I4U News for you daily technology news and shopping tips.

Please consider to follow us on Twitter and subscribing to our RSS feed.

I mean what’s going on here? The company is continuing on, but the newsletter is going away? Is this a sign of new marketing truths from a progressive company that has always had it’s eye on the future? Or is this a last gasp of a failed campaign? Perhaps they got the reach, but couldn’t convert the readers, or maybe the readers simply stopped opening it because we’re all so flooded these days with a zillion more newsletters than ever before.

So why do I care, and why should you? It’s not because I thought that this newsletter was cool – that’s too subjective. It’s the mystery that gets me. It doesn’t cost much to put out an e-newsletter, especially if you’re already aggregating the content for other purposes, which is exactly what I4U does. So it’s cheap to produce, and VERY measurable. That’s something we like in the marketing department. That’s why there is such a glut of newsletters heading your way everyday. We get to measure what happens: we know what gets opened, we know if you click, and if we’ve planned our landing pages right we know if that click led to a conversion. These things make a marketer get up early in the morning with a big smile, because what you measure you can tune.

But I4U is throwing in the towel on its newsletter contender. How low does the threshold of response have to dip to make the superior measurement ability not worth the effort? Have they found equal or better measurement through Twitter and RSS? I want to know and unless you’ve got unlimited time and resources for your marketing department, you should want to know too.

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