Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2007

Quick Update: Donut PR Guy Gets Hired

PR guru Greg Hoffman, who taped his resume to a box of Dunkin Donuts in order to get the attention of the hiring manager at Think Partnership, has landed the job. The news was actually broken earlier today by Shawn Collins at the Affiliate Tip Blog. I'm not sure if he got the job more as a result of the donuts ploy or his publicity blitz across the blogosphere, but either way—congrats, Greg.


The affiliate Internet marketing portal:

Contact Tom Pick:

Book Review: The Black Swan

Most business and marketing books are written for the broadest possible audience, have the tone of a motivational speaker, and offer specific, concrete guidance on topics such as drawing more web traffic, better organizing your time, or closing the big sale.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is none of those things. First, it's an intellectually challenging book, so it's not for everyone (particularly economists, social scientists and government planners, who would benefit from reading it, but take quite a beating from Mr. Taleb here). Second, the tone is engaging, but certainly not cheerleading, and ranges from dryly academic in spots (e.g. discursions on competing schools of philosophy) to positively engrossing (e.g. first-hand accounts of the Lebanese civil war). Finally, the author's advice, while highly practical, deals with nothing as mundane as B2B lead generation or podcasting, and will require considerable thought on the…

WMC Interviews: Alan Douglas

Last week I caught up with Alan Douglas, president of Douglas Publications and the Briefings Publishing Group. Briefings offers newsletters, videos, reports and tip books to help professionals sharpen their workplace skills, improve productivity and become a more effective team player and leader. Their Corporate Writer Resource newsletter provides corporate communicators in PR and marketing with concise, practical advice about writing, editing, format, design and writing for the web.

Here's our (rather concise) conversation:

WebMarketCentral (WMC): What did you do before Briefings Publishing Group / Douglas Publications?

Alan Douglas (AD): An eclectic background with experience as a business executive, attorney and college professor.

WMC: How, when and why did you get started in this business?

AD: Business to business publications allow for both creative and financial rewards.

WMC: Who is your ideal or typical client?

AD: Someone who wants to be better, happier and appreciates “cool.”


Greg Hoffman, PR Guru for Hire

I don't normally do this here, but PR expert Greg Hoffman of the Internet Marketing Gorilla blog is an extraordinarily talented PR guy seeking employment. I've been in his shoes and know how frustrating and painful that can be. Greg isn't letting his situation affect either his creativity or sense of humor, however: check out his post on "The old resume taped to a box of Dunkin Donuts trick."

Greg gave me some great feedback for an upcoming post I'm working on addressing interactive PR. He knows how to develop highly effective PR programs on a tight budget. Hopefully the company he's pursuing is smart enough to hire him. If not, someone else certainly will be.


The web marketing strategy site:

Contact Tom Pick:

4 Ways to Build B2B Customer Loyalty and Generate Referrals

As B2B buyers become increasingly immune to traditional marketing and more reliant on word-of-mouth vendor referrals, sellers need to become more sophisticated in building customer loyalty through relationship marketing, and converting this loyalty into referral business. Here are four tactics to enhance loyalty and positive word-of-mouth advertising from your best customers.

Low-Involvement B2B Products and Services

For low-cost products and services, or infrequently-purchased higher cost offerings, one frequently used method is offering discounts. While this tactic can be effective, bear in mind that repeat customers are often less price-sensitive than new ones (which is how cable and phone companies get away with offering super-cheap "switcher" offers while screwing their existing customers -- an exasperating practice for consumers, but apparently successful), so you may be leaving money on the table.

Another tactic is to use a third-party tool such as, which en…

Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 4: B2B Traffic Building

Does Web 2.0 social tagging help drive B2B web traffic? There is a general sense that the answer is "yes" due to both direct referral and its impact on SEO, according to sources such as Profitimo, Anything Goes Marketing, WebProNews, Digital Telepathy and others (even Larry Chase recommended social tagging to improve SEO in a recent newsletter). However, there's been a shortage of quantifiable data. Blogger extraordinaire Paul Dunay is working on a survey of Web 2.0 lead generation tools, but the results haven't been released yet. So, I started an experiment last month to provide some metrics.

First, anecdotal evidence from two clients. Client #1 created a glossary of terms specific to its industry niche. The day the glossary web page was launched, I tagged it on 40 social bookmarking sites. There was no other promotion or announcement, and we all know that search engines don't pick up new pages immediately. The result? By the end of the first week, the glossary w…

Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 3: Special-Purpose Sites

Here are eight special-purpose social tagging sites that aren't applicable for general purpose use, but fill specific niches.

A place to share links to style and fashion-related sites and pages: great buys, cool items and shopping sites. Interesting to the right demographic, but not applicable for general business use.

I didn't evaluate this site as a general-purpose social tagging tool for two reasons. 1) The site states that " indiamarks is a social bookmarking service for the global Indian community," which is attractive to members of that community as well perhaps as businesses that market to it, but not relevant for more general use, and 2) the top links displayed on the day I checked it out contained tags like "topless," "voyeur," "steriods," "dating" and a few I can't print here; presumably not tags that many marketers would like their brands associated with.

A useful tool for tracking and s…

Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 2: The Worst

Although I generally try to keep the tone of this blog positive and avoid disparagement, it's important to expose what doesn't work as well as what does. Saves you the time and trouble. With that in mind, here are 11 Web 2.0 social tagging sites to avoid.

If the owner of any of these sites cares to fix their problems and contact me, I'll be happy to post an update.
On my first attempt at registration, I tried five different email addresses; the service kept saying "email address already in use. Please use another or click 'password forgotten.'" There was no link to "password forgotten" on the page. My second attempt at registration went more smoothly until I reached the account activation page from their activation email, at which point I copied the activation code they had sent and got an error stating "Could not activate your account! Please insert a valid activation ticket to activate your new account." After the third attemp…

Web 2.0 and the Evolution of Marketing

Hot on the heels of my last post came several news announcements on the growing influence of Web 2.0 social tagging and its impact on marketing practices.

First, there was Use Web 2.0 Tools to Drive Loyalty from iMedia Connection. Author Joe Lichtenberg contends that "Customer engagement drives loyalty, and effective (and judicious) use of Web 2.0 drives customer engagement. Marketers that embrace these technologies and integrate the new brand/customer dynamic into their strategies will engender the loyalty of the customers." How? He recommends that marketers reward their best customers with valuable information (something I've said before) and use Web 2.0 tools to drive customer community participation.

Next, MarketingVOX reported that Web 2.0 Websites Account for 12% of U.S. Web Traffic. The article notes that Wikipedia has already become the dominant reference website -- outdrawing Encarta by a 3400 to 1 ratio -- and quotes Bill Tancer of Hitwise as saying, ""…