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Showing posts from May, 2006

Everybody's Watching...You

This is still a marketing blog, not a political one, but topics where the two areas intersect are fair game. So it is with the recent flap over the NSA searching for suspicious patterns in the phone records of Americans, which is even less shocking than the revelation that professional athletes sometimes chemically enhance their performance.

The fact is, we have very little privacy left, from either the public or private sector. Ever checked your credit report? (You may not want to.) What's in there may surprise you. And it isn't just the big three credit reporting agencies who have this information; almost anyone with a checkbook and a lick of creativity can get the information, including your insurance company.

Got any vices? Alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate almond fudge ice cream? Unless you exclusively pay with cash, your favorite retailer knows exactly what you buy and how often you buy it, and RFID technology will soon provide them with even more information. Once again, if …

Marketing Wisdom for 2006

Marketing Sherpa recently published Marketing Wisdom for 2006: 110 Marketers and Agencies Share Real-Life Tips, its annual compendium of practical marketing knowledge. As always, the report features a mix of the off-beat and on-target, but provides enough creative and useful ideas to keep marketing practicians busy until next year's report is published.

One item that immediately caught my eye was a paragraph in the introduction by editor Anne Holland: "The more broad the copy was, in a misguided effort to appeal to more people, the less it appealed to write great targeted copy, you need a pile of market research to base wording and focus on. And, in trying to get campaigns off the ground quickly, we all sometimes skip that essential step."

I shared that lesson in a company I was doing some work for a while back. They brought me in at the 11th hour on an email campaign for a new product launch. The copy was watered-down mush designed to appeal to the broad array…

More on Blogging for Business

George Dixon of the Minneapolis-based virtual marketing agency KC Associates recently put together a concise but helpful summary of the pros and cons of business blogging titled To Blog, or Not to Blog. The conclusion is "yes," despite the fact that, as George points out, "there’s no real business model for turning corporate blogging into a tangible return on investment."

The article points out that business blogs can help build your brand, drive traffic to your Web site, and establish your company as a thought leader. Blogs may show up well in search engines, though I remain unconvinced at this point. (For a quick and easy check of how well your blog shows up on all of the most popular search engines, try a few key key phrases from your blog in this handy search position check tool from Mike's Marketing Tools.)

George also provides a number of sensible recommendations for business blogging success, including having a plan before you start; promoting your blog; e…

Forrester on Blogging

Charlene Li at Forrester Research has put together a nice report on how businesses can effectively utilize blogging (free, but registration is required for non-clients), titled "Blogging: Bubble or Big Deal?." The report describes the growing popularity of blogs; why companies should consider blogging; how companies can take advantage of blogs; and best practices in corporate blogging.

A few of Charlene's key findings:

- Although overall blog readership is still a small percentage of the total population, blog readers and bloggers themselves are highly influential.

- "Blogs...entered the common mainstream this summer during the political conventions." While there's no reason to doubt the accuracy of Forrester's consumer research, this statement is somwhat misleading. Blogs have been highly popular and widely read within specific communities (for example, IT, marketing, and politics) for considerably longer.

- Companies, particularly public companies, should…