A Couple Terrible Webinar Headlines For You

February 16, 2007

I’ll break my blogging silence with a couple headlines that really rub me wrong.

Velocity, Agility, Complexity, and Flexibility: The Four Key Drivers for Competitive Advantage

Apparently this well known company thought that maybe by piling on all the most popular buzzwords in tech marketing they would actually communicate something.

However, in trying to be everything to everyone, they became nothing to everyone.

I won’t wager, mostly because I’m not a betting type of guy, but I’m going to guess the registration for that event is well below benchmarks.

And then from a professional organization to which I belong, the American Marketing Association:

AMA Webcast – The Blog Revolution: Get On Board or Get Run Over

It would appear that we’ve now recycled the hype of the late nineties to scare everyone into coming to our events.


First scare them into attending and then let them know that “we’re really all still trying to figure out how to best use blogs in business.”

That will leave the attendees satisfied, I’m sure. Or scared.

Sorry, that kind of hype just makes me cranky.

ps. I’ve softened this since my first draft. I originally entitled this post “Quite Possibly the Worst Webinar Headlines I’ve Ever Read.”


Integrated Viral Campaign by Opel Makes Impact

December 20, 2006

I liked this viral campaign implemented in Belgium and the Netherlands by Opel (European GM division).

It’s from MarketingSherpa. Read the MarketingSherpa study here.

What do I like about it?

Short, seeminly entertaining, and with a number of unique aspects:

  • It worked off of an opt-in list (so these people already had a favorable attitude toward the Opel brand)
  • It included a dynamic personalization aspect (the viewer’s name would actually appear in the viral video)
  • It integrated a telemarketing call into the experience, that should happen, if I understand the program correctly, while the viewer is experiencing the video.

That’s both impressive and impactful.

Based on the study, it was also wildly successful and led to much viral buzz, stemming from the group that had opted in. Which, btw, makes sense, as those people are likely to be your brand advocates.

It’s good to see GM making some smart moves somewhere in the world!


Branding Impacts the Brain – Apparently

November 29, 2006

My friend Thomas has been trying to steal my job of pointing out hype of late, so I thought I better write a quick post to try and reclaim my title. (although this has less to do with hype. . .)

My co-worker, Becky, at Morsekode sent me a link to this BBC article, Brains buzz at well-known brands. This should give Thomas something new to rant about. And the research even comes from Germany!

Basically, the article is saying that

. . .popular brands activated parts of the brain linked to self-identity and reward.

In other words, the research may be getting closer to showing the real impact of branding efforts by companies.

So, we’ll see what my friend Thomas has to say about that. He’s been a little down on the branding in some of his past posts. . .


Changing a Brand Position Takes Time

November 14, 2006

This morning, at another American Marketing Association event, I listened to Jay Gillespie, Vice President of Marketing at Famous Footwear (USD 2.3 billion company, division of Brown Shoe), give a presentation on Repositioning from the Inside Out.

He talked about the process they undertook to stop the negative impact of

  • Declining visits
  • Lack of differentiation
  • Not listening to customers

A couple things were really interesting from the presentation.

  1. In their extensive studying of the customer, they came to a point where the target was more “attitudinal” than demographic. Their target turned out to be “people who love shoes” (or something similar).
  2. After massive research and sweeping changes to reposition their brand, it took Famous Footwear 1-2 years to see results.

That second point is worth comment. If you think a couple band-aid changes to your brand will reap massive overnight results, more often than not you will be wrong. Turning around brands takes time.

In fact, Jay said that the 18 months after initiating the changes were the hardest period of his career because they continued to lose market share for the first while and his management was full of naysayers. It takes time for your brand to gain or regain creditability.

Just something to chew on. And, if you need help, contact me, John Pollard, at Morsekode.


Quick Wisdom from Art Fry, 3M, Inventor of Post-It Notes

November 11, 2006

Mark Morse and I were hanging out at an American Marketing Association event in Minneapolis this last Thursday – actually, I shouldn’t put it that way, but I’ll post about what we were doing later – Anyway, as the event wore down, we found ourselves sharing a beer with Art Fry (he may have been drinking wine, but I digress). Art Fry is the guy that invented the wildly successful Post-It Notes for 3M. If you’re interested, this link will give you more about Fry and the history of the Post-It Note.

We had a really interesting chat with Art about his long tenure with 3M, the history of 3M, and also about some of the leaders that influenced him while at 3M.

As we were all preparing to leave, he said something that I think we all need to hear. This is my rough paraphrase:

“None of us were really geniuses. We were just normal people who were willing to give something new a try.”

Have you been avoiding giving something new a try? It seems like Art’s attempt(s) turned out pretty well. Maybe yours would too?


Receive Funky Uncle Marketing via Email

October 26, 2006

Some of you out there know what a “feed reader” is, or “feed aggregator” is, but many don’t. I’ve been subscribing to some blogs via email now, and I enjoy the convenience of it. I can see quickly whether the post (or posts) are of interest and dig deeper if I want or simply delete the email. And, I have the posts with me on my laptop when I’m not online.

I decided I’d offer that same convenience to those of you who regularly stop by here.

If you would like to receive an email containing new posts from Funky Uncle Marketing, just subscribe via this link below – I won’t spam you or sell your name. It’s free and secure. Give it a try and let me know if you like it.



WSJ gives biz props to the podcast (or at least the iPod)

October 25, 2006

I’m not really sure what has taken so long for an article like this, but today’s Wall Street Journal has some nice evidence of the business value of podcasting (or at least of portable delivery of multimedia information) in The Boss puts the iPod to Work by Anjali Athavaley.

In my discussions over the last year or so with clients and prospects, this concept of using audio or video on an iPod or similiar device just hasn’t seemed to compute. They wonder if employees would use them – I mean, heck, who would want to absorb information in the convenience of their drive, travels, gym, etc.? 🙂

The article mentions a number of large organizations that are leveraging iPods – not just for podcasts, but also loading with other training material. Companies like Capital One Financial, National Semiconductor, IHOP, and Siemens Medical Solutions.

Here are a couple quotes worth your consdieration (especially if you are toying with this idea for your company):

Siemens AG. . .purchased about 100 iPods for its molecular-imaging group last year for training and sales support. Other divisions within Siemens are now considering giving iPods to employees.

Apple offers bulk discounts.

. . .employers say the device enables them to cut down on training costs.

Sales executive. . . uses his iPod to familiarize himself with product information before he meets with customers.

Now, to be clear, I’m showing you things I find interesting in the article. There is a lot more in the article about the blurred line between work and leisure time that technologies like this and the Blackberry have caused. That is interesting as well, but less so if you are just curious about whether using iPods could benefit your business. I think they can.