Monthly Archives: November 2009

A Friend of Mine……

I, along with 1199 others, attended Internet Summit 09 in Raleigh two weeks ago.  I spent an entire day roaming dimly-lit, cold rooms filled with information-hungry (and for some of us just plain hungry) audience members listening to panel after panel discussion on relevant, hip, state-of-the-moment current events.  

I have been writing MarketingSmack now for almost a year and can count on a couple hundred reads each time around.  Secretly, and I guess now not so secretly, I have been wondering how to reach a larger audience.  Towards the end of a session on blogging, I raised the question.  Why not?  Here was a sofa full of the likes of Andy Beal and Rick Klau

“If someone had a blog and wanted to generate a larger readership, what would you recommend?” I asked from the front table.  Immediately someone retorted “Who is this blogger—you?”  “Ahhh, a friend” was my not-so-quick-witted reply.  Well, they were very generous to my ‘friend’ with advice –

1. blog MUCH more frequently

2. the audience might just be the right size

3. become more involved and participatory in fellow blogger’s worlds.

So, here it is a couple of weeks later and I can’t seem to muster the nerve to bombard my audience with more than a weekly blog.  I know I’m witty and clever but geez what could I possibly have to impart that requires blogging MULTIPLE times – dare I say someone suggested 10 to 20 times per week?  Is it a black and white situation?  If you don’t blog that prolifically you won’t gain a significant audience? 

Then there’s the idea that my audience size is Goldilocks ‘just right’.  Again, I am confused.  Don’t I want my brand in front of as many as possible?  Yes, I do understand that it needs to be the right people but there is something to be said about critical mass and finding atypical, out of the ordinary applications for your product or services.

And, finally the concept of gaining exposure by participating in the world of other’s online adventure.  In a short five minutes I became a believer of this one.  Reading Marketing Pilgrim, I stumbled upon an excerpt of an interesting paper on “US Interactive Marketing Forecast by Industry, 2009-2014″ by Forrester and retweeted it – within five minutes (and I am not exaggerating) I received an email from Forrester letting me know they were ‘Following Me’. 

Thanks Guys.

So, here I sit mulling over the numerous strands of advice and wonder what has legs – what is relevant beyond the pushing of Smack?  Out of the three, I think genuine interest in what other’s are espousing and lending a hand in spreading their message resonates – in a ‘pay it forward’ type way.

While it never hurts to have expert advice, what really matters is what you all think.  Let me have it – never too late.  MarketingSmack can be found at or visit us at

Loin Cloth Found Inside a Bun

The day after my ‘The Emperor’s Naked’ blog I was having breakfast with Paul Domanico from Innovalyst and his first words to me were:  “Blues may come and go – it’s what you’re going to do about it – that’s what I want to know.”  So, I’ve thought about that – I also found myself Googling those words and combinations of those words to see what song he ‘borrowed’ that from. The closest I got was Gregg Allman’s ‘Come and Go Blues’.  Apparently, it’s an original.

Paul wasn’t the only chimer-in-er.  Several people sent back emails or made comments on my post.  From what I can tell, and mind you I am not vouching for its statistical significance, there are many out there who are shivering from exposure.

So, to answer Paul’s question, “What are you going to do about it?”  If we all agree there is a problem and that the current state of affairs is not working – then how do we do it differently?  There’s the personal aspect of the equation – figuring out what we can live without and doing so.  While that may impact the ‘demand’ part, I doubt enough changes can be made to balance the equation.  That ‘supply’ side still needs attention. 

Maybe it’s time to address strategy.  Is your focus too wide or too narrow?  Is there an audience or use for your product or service that you haven’t explored?  Do you need to change your tactics in the short-term? 

I just read a Business Week article ‘The Accidental Hero’ about an obscure Miami Subway franchisee that in response to scarily decreased weekend traffic came up with a $5 Footlong offer.  Stuart Frankel relentlessly pushed his idea to Subway’s corporate leadership, finally got approval, and well, the fact that it became a nationwide, profitable campaign says it all.  It’s not rocket science but the somewhat obvious “more-product-less-price” concept had generated $3.8 billion by the end of August 2009.  You can get crazy and make some fancy pants and shirt to go with your loin cloth for that kinda money.

I would love to hear from you.  Have you been brainstorming your version of the $5 Footlong?  Let me know – but beware it may end up in some MarketingSmack.

Still a little chilly from the nakedness?  Well at least you can fill your tummy with an inexpensive healthy sandwich while you consume MarketingSmack.  Get it at or visit us at

The Emperor is Naked

So, my son is at the age now where the barrage of more difficult, nuance-filled, questions is popping up.  Curiosity of the subtle is beginning to tax my creative capacity to deliver explanations.  It’s innocent enough, a fairy tale – one of Andersen’s most popular about an emperor who unwittingly hires two swindlers to create a new suit of clothes for him.  And, while my son is still too young to truly ‘get’ the full power of the metaphor, he is starting to question and wonder why no one was brave enough to save the duped, exposed emperor.

The recession is over, according to the experts – (i.e. economists).  In a recent Newsweek article, the New York University economist Nouriel Roubini predicts the recovery will feel like a recession at about 1 percent growth over the next few years.  The real sting – where most of us our ‘taking it’ – the unemployment rate, now at 9.8%, continues to rise.  The supposed stimulus period has had little effect on actual job creation and I think that the grand ‘good-news-only’ marketing claims of over one million jobs created or saved are actually going to tick people off.  While clearly high on the Disruptive ConversationTM scale of impact not quite meeting the evidence-based marketing criteria, if you ask me. 

As the Market Builder for Summit, I spend a great deal of time networking and making connections.  I am not exaggerating when I say that a –what I deem to be significant percentage of my network – has at some point in time in the last year to year and a half sent me an email requesting my assistance in their new job search.  Sad to report I have had a couple of those people send out more than one of those types of emails over the course of that same time period. 

Are we, as a collective unconscious, allowing the emperor to run around indecently?  I have orchestrated several networking lunches.  These fabulous opportunities to sit across the table from five other professionals over lunch and in an informal, more intimate setting, get to know one another.  Everyone is looking for the same thing—the addition of a client, a new job, a contracting opportunity—but at the same time smiling optimistically and not acknowledging the cold breeze that pierces through the magical threadless suit.

What are your thoughts? What are you looking for?

Don’t ignore the big elephant in the room pushing that MarketingSmack at you.  Get it at or visit us at