Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Is Marketing becoming too easy?

I read a post titled Idiocracy in Action in the SEOBook.com Blog where Aaron Wall made a point about how easy marketing has become to implement and measure that makes everyone thinks that they can be a marketer.

One would argue that be allowing everyone the ability to be a marketer it takes the "art" out of marketing. I have to disagree with that. These are just tools that allow us to do our jobs easier and more efficient. It still takes a skilled marketer to know the best way to break through the noise. It goes back to my post on Reality Mining, with all the noise it's becoming more challenging then ever before to engage our target audience. There are just too many choices. Because of this we need to streamline our process, and that's what these tools do. Also in the corporate environment marketing teams are becoming smaller, but expectations still continue to rise. So we look to these tools to help us do more with less.

I see it like this; just because I have a hammer and some nails doesn't make me a carpenter. In turn just because you have purchased paid ads, and have a google analytics account doesn't make you a marketer. It's what you do with those tools that matter. Are you able to look at the data to determine ways to enhance the user experience, or do you just throw money at it and hopes something stick?

I think one of the main things to take away is that it levels the playing field in some cases. We have the ability now to run more targeted campaigns, which in turn cost less. This allows the smaller fish to compete with a much larger fish and come across as an equal.

Yes there are tools that make marketing easier, but do you have what it takes to use these tools to their full capacity?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dinner with Sam The Cooking Guy

Sam The Cooking Guy Hard at workYesterday my fiancée and I went to a cooking class that was put on by Sam The Cooking Guy. For those of you who don't know who he is, Sam has a cooking show that airs on CTN / SD 4 out here in San Diego along with Discovery Health. His show is really entertaining, and it's not like your average Food Network show. He calls his show a "Reality Cooking Show." The show is shot from his house, there are no scripts, and he does everything in one take (mistakes and all). The recipes are easy to make, and all the ingredients you can get from the local market. One of my newfound hobbies has been cooking, and I have to say a majority of the things that I have made have come from his show.

When I saw that he had a class on Mexican Food (One of my favorite cuisines!), I had to sign up. The class was held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, and it was an intimate crowd of about 40. It was a really fun evening. Sam went over 6 dishes and 2 cocktails. My favorite was the Chicken Enchiladas. Throughout the evening he told funny anecdotes, and at the end of the night he stayed around to chat, take photos, and sign autographs.It was refreshing to see that he was same the happy go lucky guy that you see on TV.

I think one of the things that I really admire about him is his drive and determination. When he quit his job, and decided to start a cooking show there were tons of people that criticized the idea, and said that he would never make it but he didn't let the naysayers discourage him. He was very passionate about the project, and he kept working at it till he succeeded.

Gary Ware with Sam The Cooking Guy

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Using Online Media to Mesure the Success of Offline Media

First tip of the day ALWAYS carry your camera with you, because you never know when you are going to need it.

So with that said I was driving up in LA last weekend, and I get to a stoplight and right in front of me is a white billboard with huge black letters that read "I am over you Sarah Marshall." with a link to www.ihatesarahmarshall.com Of course I was currius, so when I got home I went to the website. At first glance it looks like a typical guy who's ranting about his ex-girlfriend Sarah Marshall. If you look further you find out that it's promoting a movie called Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It's produced by Judd Apatow, those who do know him he is the guy who produced Superbad, Knocked up, and 40 Year Old Virgin. At first glance this movie looks like it's going to be just as funny, but Im getting off track...

This is a BRILLIANT way to crate buzz for a movie. It looks like some rich shmoe is pissed off at his girlfriend, and wanted to let the world know. The billboard demands attention. The billboard is simple, look handwritten, and point back to a microsite. That way the success of their offline efforts can be measured.

And for you movie buffs it even comes with a Red Band Trailer

When I look at the billboard it makes me think that this is what life would be like if the world of myspace & facebook was offline. We would see billboards promoting our favorite youtube videos, and links to our blogs.

So even though I wasn't able to snap a picture I was able to find this pic on the ihatesarahmarshall.com website

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I have the SEO Blues

My Buddy Ray Catfish Comstock, from Business Online just wrote a new song The SEO Blues if you deal with SEO on a daily basis you could relate. I spent a good portion of this week working on our SEO, and I know most of the points in the song hit home.

Wow I must be in a promoting mood, but that should tell you something about good content it begs to be spread. You feel like you are doing a disservice to your fellow man if you keep it to yourself.

When it comes to viral marketing you can't fake the funk. If you want your message to spread it has to be something that your audience can relate to, and would want to share without you asking them to.

With that said make sure to pass this to all your friends regardless if they like SEO, post it on your twitter, myspace, facebook, linkedin, Wiki, and blog ;o) hahaha!

I guess that makes me a New Media Douchebag LOL

Happy Spring!

Are you a New Media Douchebag?

Do you use facebook, myspace, twitter, blogger to rant and rave when you should be working? I guess you too are a New Media Douchebag. Big thanks to my Friend Larry Van Doren for sharing this funny video with me.

While you are watching the video think of this... What should we call new "New Media" since it's not really new anymore?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reality Mining: The future of marketing, or a privacy nightmare

I read an article the Marketing Profs Daily Fix Blog Titled: What’s Next for Marketing? Reality Mining, where Paul Barsch talked about how with the advances that have made in the cellular industry with GPS and internet enabled phones they have the potential to be able to mine more than just your calling info. MIT professor Sandy Pentland calls it "Reality Mining". He believes that they have to ability to record everything from your physical activity to your conversational cadences. With all this information at their disposal they have the ability to proivde customized plans based on all of these traits. As a marketer I feel that this is exciting news. We will have more advanced tools at our disposal to take behavioral targeting to the next level. We can further segment our audience and provide them with a more personalized marketing experience. But on the flip side of the coin one will argue that this is borderline invasion of privacy, and have the potential to compromise our personal information. Maybe cause I'm on the marketing side, but I don't really see any problem with this as long as the user is aware that this is going on, and have the ability to opt-out if they choose to. With the decline of mass media, its tools like this that will allow us to scope out that niche market that will actually find value in our message.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The "Secret" to Marketing Success is Gaining Momentum

For those of you who don't know me personally, you may not know that I over the last year I have lost a good deal of weight. The other day ago a friend ask what my "secret" was. I said that I didn't have a secret. Then they said, "Then how did you do it, what was the formula to your success?" I then went on to explain that I didn't have one thing that led to my success. I tried a bit of everything some things worked and somethings didn't. Just like everyone I had good days and bad, and at times it seemed like it would be impossible. When I found out what worked, and started gaining momentum i just got easier. Then it just felt like I was on autopilot.

You are probably thinking what does this have to do with online marketing. Just like in the scenario with my friend a lot of people wants to know the "secret" to success with online marketing. I look at it like climbing up an over a big hill on roller skates. When you are at the bottom looking up it may seem like an impossible task. As you start up the hill your progress is slow. There may be times when you feel like you may loose control at any minute and slide all the way to the bottom. As you continue on you may slide back a bit, but you keep pushing. Once you get the hang of and you start to build momentum it gets easier and easier. By the time you are up and over the hill it requires very little effort on your part, and you just coast along.

In The Wizard of Ads, Roy Williams used the analogy of pushing a car and inertia. When you first start you use every ounce of strength that you have to get it going, then as you get going you find strength that you didn't know you had. It gets easier, but you still have doubts. Once you get some distance behind you get confidence and push even harder. Before you know it are trotting behind the car barely having to push at all. He goes on to state that the law of inertia is your enemy at first, but becomes your ally in the end.

When it comes to online marketing there I don't think that there is a "secret recipe" or "formula" for success. Just because it worked for one person doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. What you have to do is take a little bit from here, and a little bit from there. Some things will work and others will require a little tweaking. But once you start gaining momentum you can glide along and bask in the glory of your success.