Friday, October 24, 2014

Change, like candy corn, is only good up to a point

In my recent post about changing your mind, I discussed how to address failure by changing your mind about what you want to achieve and then following accordingly with action.

One thing, though: too much change can do as much damage as not changing at all.

Think of it like the candy corn that we, OK I, enjoy this time of year.  A little is good.  A little more is better.  Too much is kinda gross.

Part of using change in marketing hinges on when to stop changing

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sometimes, the only thing you can change is your mind

So, you failed.

OK, let's not be too hard on ourselves.  Instead, let's say your marketing program didn't live up to the expectations you set.  What now?

No marketing program ever improves on its own.  We all know the expression "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results," even if we really don't know who first said it.  Unfortunately, we can't change all of the elements of a marketing problem as easily as we can change, say, our socks.  After all, marketing teams have limited budgets and limited time which, in turn, mean that they may not have the wherewithal to change process, message or technology.

Sometimes, the only thing a marketer can change is her or her mind.

More often than not, however, changing one's mind will work just fine.  Here's how it works.  To make the approach more clear, I'll use the example of a consumer credit monitoring company for whom I had designed an unsuccessful program.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The How-Tos of Phone Research

In my last post, I discussed the benefits of conducting telephone research in the Internet age.  Today, I'd like to discuss how it works.  Basically, first you need to find phone numbers and then pick one of two approaches: white hat or black hat.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Reach out and research someone

Is that an extremely powerful research tool in your pocket, or are just happy to see me?

Back then, we had phone cords, and we LIKED it

We've all become so accustomed to the concept of all the world's information at our fingertips via the Internet that we can joke about wasting that power to argue with strangers and look at pictures of cats.  You want the GDP of Botswana?  Duh. $34 billion.  Ever wonder why you never see baby pigeons?  Here you go.  Why does God allow evil to exist?  Yawn.  Take your pick.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

China and Russia

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Still a "wow"

China, as is their wont, has censored the event--and its anniversary--extensively.  Meanwhile, at this very moment, Vladimir V. Putin has put forth less than zero effort to hide his country's incursion into Ukraine.

While these events sit firmly in the political sphere rather than my paltry marketing sphere, they do illustrate something about branding.  China, perhaps in some cockeyed nod to Confucianism, has employed broad censorship to enforce a kind of harmony.  They pretend that Tiananmen Square never happened, kind of like an uncle in prison.

Russia, or at least Mr. Putin, wants you to know what they're capable of.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Data's Dirty Little Secret

If you ride New York City subways, you have probably come across Poetry in Motion, a noble attempt by the MTA to deliver us from Dr. Z.  One of these missives really stuck with me:

“Out of the crooked timber of humanity, nothing entirely straight can be built.

This quote came from Immanuel Kant.  I had no idea what  Kant meant when I read "The Critique of Pure Reason" in college, and I understand why I didn't know why then.  Herr Kant was warning me about marketing data.
I know, again with the data.  Stick with me.  You might learn something.  If not, you can at least tell people you read an impassioned exegesis of Kant today without really lying.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Citibike: A Marketing Opportunity Revisited

Now that we New Yorkers have lived with Citibike for nearly a year, it seems like the time to revisit two posts I wrote nearly two and a half years ago about how brands could use the service as a marketing channel.  One post was serious, the other...not so much.

To recap the Citibike saga, the service launched in May of 2013 after some delays stemming from teething problems and Superstorm Sandy.  New Yorkers and visitors quickly embraced the service, which allows members to borrow bikes for up to 45 minutes at a time from over 300 stations in Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn.  However, Citibike has faced adversity as well, including losing money at an alarming rate.  Some called it winter.  Disclosure: I am one of those nuts who rode on chilly days.

The Wall Street Journal said "Finding additional sponsors has proved challenging because the program has become so closely associated with its eponymous supporter."  So, what could Citibike do to engage marketers?  Or, put another way, what opportunities could marketers exploit with Citibike?