Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Deliberate Delays for Days and Days

I've been a baaaaaaaaaaad blogger recently, especially after I gave my boss, Sergey Dmitriev, (the ingenious creator of JetBrains' IntelliJ IDEA, and a slew of technophilic software... with more always on the horizon) a hard time about not blogging himself.

Here's the reasoning though: I'm getting ready to become an avid screencaster. Now you can get cutting commentary, complete with visual diagramatic exctasy. For less than pennies a glass.

So screencasting, via Camtasia Studio, is on it's way, hold onto your pants, but i'm not worried, nobody's reading this anyway :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Bloggers Rights and Blogosphere Data

David Stennett, of mobile bluetooth-based advertising technology fame (thanks to Jellingspot)pointed out an interesting addition to my "Power of Bloggers" and "Corporate Bloggers" posts. The article, from CNN Money, states that even though bloggers feel that their rights are protected, this may not be the case when they are blogging about their employer. The article sites a case at Delta airlines, and mentions how Apple is trying to crack down on what bloggers write, especially if information is leaked, even if they are not employees.

Joe, cites www.dijest.com/bc/ as a great reference for finding information about the blogosphere. These bloggers collect a lot of data, and describe their site like this:

Blogcount asks: How big is the blogosphere? What is its shape, color, true
nature? Blogcount catalogs efforts to answer these questions. We collect and
organize the best reports and analyses on this subject. Contact Us: tips@dijest.com

Technorati Tags: blogosphere blogger blog bluetooth blogcount marketing

Monday, February 14, 2005

Marketing Speak: Jargon Begone!

OK, i'm back from St. Pete's, Russia; the trip was great, the team-building was successful, and now I'm back to talk about marketing blunders.

Today's Topic: Marketing Jargon - who are these people talking to?

Example Number One: Overture
"With a range of products and a breadth of expertise, Overture's Partner Business & Solutions Group offers companies customized solutions that deliver unmatched monetization for their Web sites. "

Now I believe that the introductory paragraph on any of your website pages should clearly and quickly explain exactly what you can do to help your customer. Especially if you are talking about a solution you can provide. From this intro paragraph, can you tell me:
a) Who is the target market?
b) What does Overture do for the target market?
c) What do they want me to do next?

I think the answer to C is obvious: They want me to read on, in hopes that I can find out exactly how they will help me. Perhaps this intro paragraph is designed to pique my curiosity. But frankly, I don't want to read on, because even though i'm a marketer, I'm already bored.

The answer to B is perhaps in there somewhere, and i think it could sound like this:
"Overture helps your website make money. Period."

The answer to A? Yeah... uhh.... it's pretty specific: "companies". That's like Porsche's website saying something along the lines of: "We're targeting people who drive cars, trucks, and vehicles".

Now of course, I fall victim to this as well (once in a while :) And it looks something like this:

"Omea Pro is a product-class defining solution that makes it easy for professionals with a lot of information, to organize and act upon that data in ways that are difficult or impossible using traditional folder hierarchies, email software, web browsers, and RSS readers."

Let's look at the three questions I tackled earlier:
a) Who is the target market?
b) What does Omea Pro do for the target market?
c) What do they want me to do next?

Answers:
A) The target market is "Professionals with a lot of information". Yeah... not exactly the most specific. I could've done better.
B) uhhhhhhhhhhhh..
C) uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... read more?
(My personal favourite quote from this quote is "product-class defining solution"... it just says so much.... :)

So this is the question: Does sounding like a marketer help your target market identify with your product or service? What if your target audience IS marketers?

I think the answer is NO. Though it sounds "professional", i think the potency is lost, unless you are trying to build interest through confusion.

Technorati Tags: marketing communication web content design

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Power of Bloggers vs Dunkin Donuts

Alright, so I said i probably wouldn't get the chance to post, but since we're looking into the viral marketing campaign ideas again, i found some more interesting stuff, and decided to quickly post it:

First, I heard about the Dunkin Donuts scandal involving sending coffee to soldiers. Apparently they were offering a program to soldiers' families to send free cases of coffee over to their boys (and girls) in Iraq. Bloggers got ahold of it (damn you bloggers! (i love irony) You conveyors of information and freedom of speech!), and suddenly Dunkin Donuts was faced with having to send 130, 000 cases of coffee over. So they pulled the program.

This was my comment on Jeff Nolan's blog:

"Why didn't Dunkin Donuts take the offer and just run with it? OK, so they'd have to send over 130,000 cases of coffee to the soldiers.. who cares??? That's a great way to say: "Hey guys, here's some great coffee!" Interpreted conveniently by the press and information community as: "Look how nice DD is! Bush got these guys involved in a stupid war, and DD understands that it's not the soldiers' fault!"

If THAT MANY people were interested in getting DD to send coffee to soldiers, then there could have been press releases and serious ad campaigns, even mentioning that DD does not want to get into the debate on the war, but believes that good people deserve good coffee.

Instead, they'll likely create a large group of boycotters. Good work."

Saturday, February 05, 2005

To St. Petersburg

I'm going to be in St. Petersburg, Russia all next week, so these blogs may become erratic (but only for the week, then back to the avg 5-6 per week schedule). Though the number of comments being left on this blog haven't really come up, the number of hits i'm getting daily has!

However encouraging that may be, frankly I don't really care how many people read this. It's good just to get myself organized, and think through the marketing that's going on out there!

So, until my return, check out these cool sites:

Deceptive Marketing at blogcritics.org
Tech Info from around the World courtesy of JB (look in Recent posts)
And for those who haven't seen it yet: The ClueTrain Manifesto

Here's a quote from The CTM:
A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Lead Generation using Webinars

Brian Carroll's B2B Lead Generation Blog has consistently useful articles for the active salesperson, marketer, or Marketing VP. In the link above, Brian talks about how Webinars can fit into your marketing mix. Even though you may be afraid of low registration numbers, and even lower turnout for the actual performance (he says that only about 30% of registrants actually show up on avg anyway), if you can be recognized as a source of valuable information, your attendance numbers will steadily climb. He also provides this Lead-Generation Model that shows where Webinars can fit, and who is most likely to benefit from them.. moving them closer to becoming a customer.
see a larger image here
Now you're thinking: "Hey, maybe a webinar will really help me!" But I caution you to really look at the information that you want to present to your audience. Is it valuable to them? Truly Valuable? Are they going to want to watch it for 10-30 mins? Is your presentation entertaining? What do you want the viewer to do after seeing it?

Form an orderly line with their credit card information ready?

Webinars help your audience to see you as
a) a person
b) a respectable source of information

They don't want to see a salesperson giving them a 30 minute pitch, so make sure your goals are in-line with their needs. If you're interested in some webinar software, check out: Webex and Infinite Conferencing.
(I'm not biased towards or against these product like I am for Omea Pro so reviews and comments are always welcome!)

[Technorati Tags: Marketing Webinar Sales Lead Generation]

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Paying People To Blog

It looks like this is the theory:
1) You pay well respected bloggers to put up posts about your product.
2) You get mentioned more, and linked to more, so your site ranking goes up.
3) Since those people are well respected, other people mention it, further increasing the number of hits to your blog/company site.
4) More hits = more interest = more sales

Some problems:
1) If someone is paid, whether or not they are allowed to say whatever they want to, will anyone believe that they are being honest?
2) Google separates the "Sponsored Links" from links that it found using its spiders. This way consumers know that people are paying to be seen first. Will blogging search engines like Technorati begin doing this too? How would they monitor who's referring to a site that pays people to blog about them?
3) Will people lose respect for someone who is directly paid to blog? I guess this ties to number one, with the association of honesty and respect kind of going hand in hand.

I believe that Marqui is the first company to try this idea, and I applaud them for trying it. It's damn gutsy. This debate is the actual reason that I found out about Marqui at all, and it did in fact get me to take a look at their software demo (which targets Marketers). I even sent them an email!

But of course, I'm relatively evil when it comes to getting attention and trying new things. Just ask my team. :)

[Technorati Tags: Blog Marqui Marketing Paid Blogging]

Corporate Bloggers, Honesty Problems, Bloggers vs Traditional Media

Firstly, A post by David Sifry, (the founder and CEO of Technorati) entitled Oct 2004 State of the Blogosphere: Corporate Bloggers states that there are only about 5000 corporate bloggers, and provides a nice neat pie chart (very eye-catching). I'm curious to know about how many corporate bloggers there are now, a mere 3 months later. I'm under the impression that blogging is on the rise. Dramatically. Anyone with evidence?

Combine this with A Blog Survey from MIT describing how 76% of bloggers do not limit access to their blogs in any way, 36% of bloggers have gotten into trouble because of their blog, and 12% of bloggers surveyed either got into legal or professional problems (or know someone who did) because of what they wrote on their blog.

So more corporate people are blogging, and about 12% of bloggers get into legal trouble. There are going to be some fireworks in the future.

Now this either means that corporate bloggers are going to produce the most positively-spun dribble about their company, or they're going to be like more of the blogging community and stick with the whole honesty thing, and risk putting their foot in it. Personally, I'm going with honesty. And it looks like Jay Rosen (on the Harvard Cyber Law site) is too: especially when it comes to the topic of bloggers triumphing over the traditional News Media. Now this is a pretty heated debate: will the world begin to trust bloggers like "Coldfury" more than a site like CNN?

[Technorati Tags: Technorati Harvard Law CNN MIT Corporate Bloggers]