At least the Egyptian ones were useful

So here’s the deal…I have posted my speaking demo/commercial both on Google Video and on You Tube thinking that the viral nature of the beast might result in a speaking gig somehere….or at the very least, a visit to my website.

Imagine my delight and thoughts of how the viral system works when I get a call yesterday morning…
“Saw your video on YouTube and I thought we might be able to work together”

We spoke for about 15 minutes…He seemed impressed with my credentials…He said his organization needed help with “marketing”. I asked for information about his business so I could send him a speaking proposal. He said he would send me an email with the info and a link to his website.

I get the email today.

Pyramid Scheme.

Apparently, my future lies in the world of “speaking” to people to get them to “market” the health-giving juice of this tropical plant.

Now, there are scams all over the internet. There always has been. We should all be able to retire on the Nigerian money by now.

Here’s the lesson for marketers and anyone involved in trying to make an honest buck on the internet:: As we head into this new OPEN world of “web2.0”, beware.

The innovators and early adopters who had compuserve email accounts in the early 90’s thought that email was world-changing. And it was. However, by the time the majority of people had email accounts, spam had taken hold. It made it less useful and has almost ruined the original vision.

The spammers and schemers followed us into email and they’re now following us into blogs, wikis, viral video, etc….faster than they did into email. By the time the majority of people catch up to web2.0, will the original vision we’re talking about today be distorted by the crap? Will it be as useful as we’re building it to be?

Customers. Not Patients.

As I talk to healthcare groups about the new world of healthcare marketing, I emphasize one point that’s sometimes well-received and that’s sometimes cast aside: The healthcare industry must stop thinking of terms of “patients” and need to start thinking in terms of “customers”.

These “customers” have choices: to participate in the treatment, go across the street to another healthcare provider, find alternative treatments, or not be treated at all. Healthcare marketing will influence the decision they make.

I was encouraged by this recent article in Wired magazine The article talks about a few hospitals “getting it” and taking notes from the hotel industry.

It’s a lesson that all businesses can take away. Even if you deal in a commodity that the consumer “has” to have, there’s a need for marketing. And marketing doesn’t necessarily mean more advertising and promotion. The best marketing you can do is to improve the customer experience. The dividends will come soon after that.


It’s not half

Just the other day, I was ranting about the tired old ad cliche “I know half my advertising is wasted, but I don’t know which half.”

A new book coming out next month actually says it’s 37% instead of 50%.

What Sticks looks to be a great book that will shake some long standing ad traditions in corporations. Authors Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart spent five years researching ad campaigns from 36 of the nation’s top advertisers.


Who are you marketing to?

Ah, it’s good to be the King. Or is it?

News that Burger King had a bad day on Wall Street got me thinking….What’s the relationship between marketing and Wall Street perfomance?

Crispin Porter + Bogusky have done a fabulous job with the creative side on the BK advertising. And not just the mass media ads. They have come up with some creative web memes and non-linear marketing that really has increased the TOMA for BK’s target demo.

The trouble is that there aren’t many of Burger King’s target demo working on Wall Street. “We make money the hard way…we visit Subservient Chicken” isn’t a slogan with the big brokers.

There’s a reason companies take out expensive-white-space-intense-full-page-ads in the Wall Street Journal that are full of corporate meaningless buzzwords….It’s to have TOMA with the movers and shakers on Wall Street.

“4th Quarter earnings down for InGenamon Corp, but I saw something in Tuesday’s WSJ that they’re preparing to create meaningful synergistic relationships with their core client base. I think earnings will rise for them. We’ll still recommend the buy.”

While BK’s marketing may be starting to have an effect on customers, I bet they drastically change course after this news to affect the stock. It will be a bad move in the long run.

Don’t please the stockbrokers. Please the customers. The stockbrokers will be happier in the long run.


Do you have any idea what’s going on?

It’s all big. And it’s getting bigger.

Your organization.
Your business.
Your website.
Your blog.

It’s growing. I assume that’s what you want it to do.

But with growth comes troubles. In the beginning, you had time to personally order the URL, talk to the web guy for several hours about what you wanted, and spent gads of time going through the site. In the beginning, you sat down with every new client, personally dealt with any new issues, and were still in touch with what your customers felt.

Today, you’re busy…cause it’s “big”. You’re meeting with clients, dealing with issues, etc. An issue with a client that used to mean a personal visit now gets a phone call or an email. There may be pages on the website you haven’t seen in months.

But while you come through the employee door in the back, the front customer door has a loose handle that annoys customers. There’s a redirect forward on the website that goes to a page that was deleted three months ago and leaves visitors in an online dead-end. The person who answers the phones puts people on hold for too long.

When was the last time you had an expereince with your business as a customer? I tell clients and audiences all the time that they occasionally need to do an actual physical walk-through as a customer and actually try to navigate through their website looking for something. Are there any customer barriers? If there are, get rid of them. As I have said, (even before Seth) get big, but stay small.


Dr. Z flops

I blogged a few weeks ago that the “Dr. Z” commercials featuring DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche were so bad that they were good. In reality, they were just bad.

Ad Age reports that Dr. Z is a flop. Here’s what $225 million of ads bought:
80% of consumers believed Dr. Z was a fictional character, rather than DaimlerChrysler’s living/breathing top executive.
–50% of consumers said they had trouble understanding Dr. Zetsche’s German accent.
–Most consumers didn’t notice the employee-discounting message that accompanied most of the commercials.
–Chrysler sales are expected to be down 17 percent in July compared with last year


Today’s Stupid Marketer

Here’s the text of an email I got today…(name has been changed to XXX to protect the stupid)

The Indianapolis RV Show is just around the corner and if you are going to be an exhibitor you will need something to hand out to your prospective customers. XXX Press wants to help you do that by offering great prices on quality print collateral.

Here are a few examples:
1,000 Business Cards for $55 – Full color, UV coated with 14 pt. Paper Stock
1,000 Postcards for $150 – Full color, UV coated with 14 pt. Paper Stock
1,000 Brochures for $335 – Full color, two sided 100# Gloss Text

If you are interested in any of these offers or if you are looking for something a little different please contact us through one of the methods below.
XXX’s address in Dallas TX
XXX’s phone and fax and email
Note: This is the first and last time XXX Press will ever send you an email. However, If you would like to opt out please reply to this email with REMOVE ME in the subject line.
(emphasis added)

Couple of thoughts:

1) The Indy RV Show? To be frank, it hadn’t crossed my mind to attend. In fact, I’ve never heard of it. Good job randomly picking me out of the 6 billion people on the planet to send the email to.

2) My favorite part (as evidenced by the bold) is the fact that even though this is the FIRST and the LAST email I will receive from this bright printing company….I will need to opt-out of this list I never opt-ed into.

This isn’t just spam…it showcases the entire problem of why businesses fail when it comes to e-marketing. Here is a business who has absolutely no idea how to market on the internet….but apparently does know how to buy useless lists, type an email, and hit send. In a few days, the owner of the printer will scoff and say that email marketing doesn’t work.

Mmmm…I wonder why.