digital strategy

Thank Ten Customers Today

About a month ago, some of my customers got upset that they were ineligible (US sweeps rules being what they are) for a promotion I designed around an event they planned to attend.  They complained on Facebook, and I thought they had a good point.

I looked them up in our database and sent them a handwritten note and some brand swag, just thanking them for being a Facebook fans and customers.

The couple hours I spent on that was 100% worth it. One of them even posted an Instagram photo of my note on our brand page.

Every marketing manager, VP, or exec should try this.  But don't wait for a reason to apologize.

Sit down and thank 10 customers.  They'll love it.  Reflect on why you do your job, whether you really value their business,  and keep that moment close to you.  

Relatisonhips matter, and having a great relationship with every customer should be your goal.

Monetizing the Point of Sweat

I went on a nice little bike ride this weekend.  It was memorable, because it was my first with a road bike. You know, the ones with the thin tires, and the potentiaal to cost many thousands?  I rented a Felt Z85, and was pretty happy with it. I took my iPhone along for the ride.

I mapped my ride with the MapMyRide iPhone app.  After the ride, something crazy happened - I became a marketing opportunity. Hey, I just wanted to map my bike run! A women's antiperspirant had other ideas! 

Interesting- why in the lord's name would I tweet their hastag?  I'm dripping with sweat!  My legs are shaking!  I am a man, BTW, and I have never heard of your product!

I tapped "Close" on the ad  - and started looing at some of the details. I tapped "Route Details" and up came another ad.  Well, at least this one was for men...


As an athlete, I would never have wanted to see these ads. What could they be offering? However, being in marketing, I am accustomed to trying to find out. As my wife set about cleaning her bike, I lingered on the driveway, still dripping in sweat from an agonizing final climb. I tapped the Gilette ad.

Interesting. I signed up for a half marathon Training program...we'll see how they take it from there. Nice setting of my expectations on when the plan will arrive.

As an athlete, I can't think of anything I wanted less than those ads. The targeting for the first ad was hopelessly off, the second execution mystified me because I had to interact with what looked like an ad in order to egt what I want: content.

 The utility and content of MMF is what keeps people engaged - but what happens when all you see is ads?  When monetizing the "point of sweat" - content goes further than interruption.

Do Consumers want to Keep Ads?

I'm glad that brand sare on borad with the idea that there can be a "not right now" relationship with a consumer- many marketers may only care about their explicit conversion metrcis.  That's encouraging.  But our real task is this: identifying the entertainment and information consumers want, and instead of standing in the way, creating the opportuntuiy for dialogue about what they might need, on their schedule.

AdKeeper Button Lets Viewers Keep, Share Ads 03/04/2011:

Volvo plans to become one of the first brands to launch an online display ad campaign with an AdKeeper button. Clicking on the "K" in the ad will allow consumers to keep the ad for future viewing when convenient, as well as share with others through social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, or email.


TalkingPointsMemo funded- promises to whiten teeth of influencers?

Funding for news outlet TalkingPointsMemo. I'm interested in the bsuiness of online journalism, indeed, in proving that there even is one. So to hear "between $500k and $1 million" in angel funding going to TPM, with the niche outlet interested in monetizing its audience of savvy professional news junkies with high incomes. They're hiring, and have had 200 applicants for 7 positions. Founder Joshua Micah Marshall noted, "They are the best group of applicants I have ever seen...when I see some of their applications, I think I should be applying to them.”

So what business besides invetsing that angel cash in commodities is going to pay these 7 lucky hires? I ventured over to the site for the first time in while (I think during the presidential election I mostly visited the TPMuckraker Youtube channel) to find out.

doodle.png on AviaryI've never seen a stronger argument for micropayments. I took this screen shot of the TPM home page using Aviary, and have highlighted in red the ads for THE SAME teeth whitening or work at home garbage in FIVE different configurations and placements on the home page. Really TPM? Is that the ad that's going to engage your audience of "affluent, educated ...influentials" in your audience of 1.6million monthly visitors?

I think not.  These ads are the same ignorable garbage that the internet is filled with.  Scary.

Get thee to a subscription model, or something close to it, and FAST.  While we may all contribute our comments, our stories, our attention, and even our dollars via paypal, we of the online influence probably won't do much for TPM's business seeing those kinds of ads all together.  Sigh.