Heard about YikYak? It’s a Glimpse into What Your Kid is Really Thinking. Hint: It’s Not You

December 2nd, 2014

Good news, parents. You know all those deep, conflicted feelings that high schoolers and college kids have? They’re not holding them in. But they are sharing them–anonymously–on one of the hottest social media apps: Yik Yak.

I first heard about the app this summer from a Yik Yak user who happens to be my son. I [...]

“SHUT UP AND LISTEN!” (To your customers.)

October 9th, 2014

Sorry for the all caps headline, but we have a problem: Many of us (business owners, marketers, salespeople, business development folks) have a tendency to talk. And talk. And tweet. And post. And talk some more.
All of this talking, tweeting and posting comes at the expense of LISTENING!
The marketing establishment has created so many tools [...]

“Free” social channels means no gatekeepers which fuels noise which is bad for everyone

October 7th, 2014

The advent of “free” social channels, low cost of email distribution and other factors have taken away the gatekeepers (reporters, editors, costly paid media outlets); now, for the first time, the marketer can directly control the channel of communication and distribution–in addition to creating the message.
And we’ve royally abused the privilege. Flooded our audiences [...]

The best content marketing has code in it. (Remember HubSpot’s Web Site Grader?)

October 6th, 2014

Marketers don’t tend to like the hard stuff like strategy and execution. That’s why Content Marketing has become so popular.  It is too easy–to write and to distribute. Lowering those bars lets all of the crap in. I can tell–and I bet you can too–after just 1 paragraph if a piece was written by a [...]

DRIVETIME MARKETING: “Mindless Marketing” – Don’t spend your budget just because it’s there.

August 27th, 2014

A Noah Kagan (founder of AppSumo and blogger at OKDork) email not long ago touted “18 books that changed my life.”  I thought, “right.” But since I’ve gotten value out of other Noah Kagan stuff, I opened it, scrolled and found “Mindless Eating” by Brian Wansink. I read it and loved it.
The book’s principle is that [...]

Why should I ask my customers what they need? Henry Ford and Steve Jobs didn’t.

July 23rd, 2014

Many of my clients have had breakthrough successes by investing in the most important type of marketing–which incidentally is free.  It’s called listening.  To your customers.
By asking their customers (and prospects) the right questions from the right (outside) perspective, they can better understand their customers’ Elevator Rants–what they are complaining about on the elevator when [...]

The 45-Day Tweet: A Lesson in (In)authenticity and Customer (Dis)connection

July 18th, 2014

In May of this year, a BusinessInsider article titled, We Got A Look Inside The 45-Day Planning Process That Goes Into Creating A Single Corporate Tweet, went ripping around the web. It chronicled the 45-day process during which a company called President Cheese and its digital design and advertising agency, Huge, generated a single tweet:
Sharing a [...]

DRIVETIME MARKETING: Gen Z Nails the Elevator Rant of High Schoolers’ Parents

March 8th, 2014

I’m always on the lookout for companies that seem to really understand their customers’ Elevator Rant–what their customers are bitching and moaning about on the elevator when we (the marketers and salespeople) aren’t around.  This week I ran across a new venture called Gen Z from the folks at Bisnow which really nails one of [...]

DRIVETIME MARKETING: Hey Vendor, stop saying you’re my partner, and just do your job.

October 29th, 2013

As our era of “reality marketing” advances and customers have less and less tolerance for opaque marketing-speak, hyper-spin and general bullshit, the ridiculous overuse of the word “partner” is becoming more obvious–the sore thumb of web site copy.
“We act as your partners to achieve your goals.”
“We partner with you to understand your unique requirements.”
“Our partnering [...]

DRIVETIME MARKETING: Snowflakes, cicadas and LinkedIn endorsements

October 28th, 2013

Remember the rush of validation you felt when you got your first LinkedIn endorsement from a colleague? And remember a few weeks or months later when a brand new LinkedIn connection — someone who you only recently met and have never worked with — endorsed you as an expert on (insert skill here)?
It was then [...]