Listening Is Just The Start

Jeff Howe writes: idea jams “allow people to discover the fringe question (or idea, or solution), then tweak it, discuss it and bring the community’s attention to it.”

“Idea management is really a three-part process,” says Bob Pearson, who as Dell’s former chief of communities and conversation rode heard on IdeaStorm. “The first is listening. That’s obvious.” The second part, Pearson says, was integration, “actually disseminating the best ideas throughout our organization. We had engineers studying IdeaStorm posts and debating how they could be implemented.”

The last part is the trickiest and most important: “It involves not just enacting the ideas, but going back into your community and telling them what you’ve done.” Starbucks, which maintains its own version of IdeaStorm, employs 48 full-time moderators whose only job is to engage the online community. In other words, Starbucks is investing the vast share of its resources in the second and third parts of the idea management cycle.

Listen, evolve, report. Sounds like good advice to me.

I’m a carnie huckster, you know it and I know it, but that’s OK

The title is a quote from Seth Stevenson piece on pitchman Vince Offer, where he explains that Vince’s “smooth-talking condescension” is the most appropriate sales tactic in today’s cynical world. “Jaded consumers expect to get snowed and almost distrust the very pretense of trustworthiness.” The Rap Chop remix of Vince’s Slap Chop actually ran […] » about 100 words

Rock Out With A Cardboard Record Player

The physical, analog nature of vinyl has long appealed to the DIY crowd. This cardboard record player capitalizes on that to create a direct mail marketing campaign that people appear to actually enjoy receiving. From the description at Agency News: Grey Vancouver created a portable record player from corrugated cardboard that folds into an envelope. […] » about 200 words

Jeeves Is Back! Does Your Organization Need Its Own Avatar/Personality?

If you remember, you probably remember Jeeves. Now he’s back on the UK site. It turns out that people liked the old chap, and in this age of social media, it’s probably prudent to have a corporate avatar (it looks a lot better on Facebook, anyway). There’s more about the resurrection at Search Engine […] » about 100 words

OSS Saves Marketing Costs, Protects Business

VA Linux founder Larry Augustin on OSS

In Augustin’s view open source development became a necessity in the 1990s when the cost of marketing a program came to exceed the cost of creating it. “My favorite is In 1995 they spent under $10 million in R&D and over $100 million in sales and marketing. That doesn’t work.”

“Open source enables people to reach all those customers. It’s a distribution model. The people who create great software can now reach the rest of the world.”

Businesses get the most protection from the GPL, he insisted. “They get protection from competition.” The license’s insistence on reciprocity means no one can take the code you wrote, tweak it, then compete with you.

Business Marketing Babble Makes Me Laugh

Found on Jeff Nolan’s blog:

Competitive Intelligence: “a large fuzzy animal may be a bear.”

Marketing: “SAP can help you understand your fuzzy animals. With over 30 years in the fuzzy animal industry, we know if you are looking at a bear, a guy in a coat, or a large dog.”

Communications: “In today’s world of increasing challenges, It’s obvious fuzzy animals are what our customers care about.”

Sales: “Who cares what it is. Let’s kill it and eat it.”

Wyoming Libraries Marketing Campaign

| I have mixed feelings about the value of advertising -- it's worth pointing out that <a href="">according to John Battelle</a>, Google never ran an ad anywhere prior to going public -- but I still enjoy seeing things like this <a href="">Wyoming Libraries campaign</a>. <a href="">Jill Stover quotes</a> Wyoming Libraries' Tina Lackey with the news that “Wyoming's libraries are as expansive as the state, and as close as down the street.” I'm just hoping that A, the horse is real; and B, they auction it off. See, I have these silly ideas about doing a cross-country road trip with it. » about 100 words

Six Weapons of Influence

Ken forwarded me this podcast of Robert Cialdini speaking on his Six Weapons of Influence, which he lists as

  • Reciprocation
  • Commitment and consistency
  • Social proof
  • Authority
  • Liking
  • Scarcity

Cialdini’s book is in its fourth edition, and has apparently been adopted as a text for more than a few classes and the concepts have worked their way into everybody’s marketing seminars. Motivation speaker and marketing yakyak Patricia Fripp summarizes those six weapons like this:

  • The Old Give and Take–and Take
  • Hobgoblins of the Mind
  • Truths Are Us
  • The Friendly Thief
  • Directed Deference
  • The Rule of the Few

Academics often feel uncomfortable mixing marketing in their fields, but isn’t it worth a look?

The Language Of Your Website

Lynne Puckett on the Web4Lib list pointed me to Web Pages That Suck and highlighted this quote from the site:

Nobody cares about you or your site. Really. What visitors care about is getting their problems solved. Most people visit a web site to solve one or more of the following three problems.

  • They want/need information
  • They want/need to make a purchase / donation.
  • They want/need to be entertained.

Too many organizations believe that a web site is about opening a new marketing channel or getting donations or to promote a brand. No. It’s about solving your customers’ problems. Have I said that phrase enough?

Then, while Googling for something else I ran across a post in Branding Blog

If you’ve heard me speak publicly, you’ve heard me say, “Talk to the customer in the language of the customer about what matters to the customer. Bad advertising is about you, your company, your product or your service. Good advertising is about the customer, and how your product or service will change their world.” Do you know the language of your customers?

Connected, no?

The Potential Of Political Campaigning in Online Games

Matt and I have been talking about online role playing games lately. He’s more than interested in the new challenges they pose to our legal system, the new media opportunities they offer, the ways they’re altering culture. We got into a conversation about how companies are taking advantage of them in marketing campaigns, so I […] » about 300 words

Improvised Anti-Telemarketing Device

The Telecrapper 2000 is an improvised, homemade system that identifies telemarketing calls and leads the marketer through an artificial conversation that wastes the company’s time and money. The idea is to drive down productivity, and like so many other productivity sapping things, it can be quite funny. Check this Flash-animated recording: My Hip Hurts (mirror) […] » about 100 words

Marketing And Search Engine Optimization

I don’t want to admit to being interested in marketing, but I am. Here’s a few links…



DRM: Bad For Customers, Bad For Publishers

The news came out last week that the biggest music consumers — the ones throwing down cash for music — are also the biggest music sharers. Alan Wexblat at Copyfight says simply: “those who share, care” (BBC link via TeleRead). Rather than taking legal action against downloaders, the music industry needs to entice them to […] » about 600 words