Showing posts from 2012

What I love most about iOS6 (in six sentences)

There has been so much press about the bad sides of Apple's new operating software (maps anyone?), but I love it. Here are the three things making me happiest about the upgrade:

Less logins: This may not be technically true at all but it seems like iTunes and the App Store are remembering my login more often, so I don't have to enter a password just to update my apps.

Easier sharing: I LOVE the new share screen with all of the options easily laid out and accessible.

Siri is useful: The promise of Siri was always great but now it's closer to meeting it by finding me restaurants on Yelp and getting sports scores.

What are your favorite parts of iOS 6?

Three signs that your great idea is not working (in six sentences)

Perhaps the hardest thing for any business to admit - regardless of size - is that something just isn't working. It is easy to tell someone else to pull the plug on their idea, but doing it yourself is never quote as easy as it should be.

Here are three signs that now is the time to stop investing time and money in your project and consider moving on to your next great idea:

1) When you try to explain the value proposition of your idea to friends and family you can't make it simple enough for them to "get it."

2) You are working harder than before and getting less in return than you used to.

3) You are losing your passion for the idea.

Three Sales Lessons from My Two Year Old

I’ve been selling a lot lately…  not software or services but things like getting in the car, going to bed, or eating a vegetable.  Clearly I have a two year old. And in thinking about what works three universally applicable lessons have come to the top: Think about your audience:  Tell people why it’s good for them, not why it’s good for you… they don’t care.Speak clearly: There’s no faster way to have a bad interaction than by not being clear about what you are offering and what is expected in return.Once the deal is done, stop talking:  There is no faster way to derail a decision than by introducing another option, take the victory and move on.Are you making things harder by being unclear?

Why Employees Need Direction (In six sentences)

Throughout my career I have never really had anyone telling me exactly what to do, so I have paved my own way and set goals that I thought were important. And at times I have valued my work more than others for one reason: I was never told what I should try to achieve and never forced an answer to the question.

As a brash young marketer I always felt like I knew the best way and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. But now I know that I needed to fight for more clear direction from my managers… and with direction I would have been happier and more effective.

Simply put, good management provides direction that creates:
- Alignment between your activities and the company’s goals
- Agreed upon, clear check in points to measure success and determine if you are on the right path
- Clear value of your work to the organization if/when you want to be promoted or need other people’s time
- Room to breathe and be creative within a larger framework for success; and
- A sense of …

Five signs of professional maturity (in six sentences)

Sometimes I feel like I am just getting old. Sometimes I think I am just getting smarter. The truth is that when it comes to work work, I think I am actually maturing. Sure, I'll make the occasional sophomoric joke and get really excited for our Friday afternoon beer cart but I'm not a kid anymore.

Here are five signs of professional maturity I've been noticing:

- I recognize that there are lots of "right" ways to solve a problem, and they aren't all mine

- I am proud when employees move on to a better job, even if it hurts

- I proudly admit that there are things I don't know (and don't need to)

- I'm willing to criticize and happy to be criticized

- I'm okay with silence in a meeting and waiting the person on the other side of the table to speak first

Maybe I'm delusional, but it feels like progress... what do you think?

How to manage your weekly facebook marketing campaigns in just 20 minutes of computer time

Facebook takes a lot of heat in the blogosphere but they have made on the fly page management much easier in the last few weeks and should be applauded for it. With the ability to schedule posts and see/respond to comments quickly from their new mobile Pages app they've made the life of an admin who is not paid to be a community manager much easier.

Here's how I'd do it spending just twenty minutes a week on the computer:

1) Set up a like-gated exclusive offer using a tool like Constant Contact's Social Campaigns;

2) Schedule a series of related promotional posts for the week (3-5 should do it);

3) Keep an eye on any comments using the pages app and respond on the fly (turn your notifications on!);

4) At the end of the week log on to Facebook and/or Constant Contact, see your results using campaign stats and facebook insights, and build your next week of activity

That's it!

How the Beastie Boys Changed My Life (My MCA Tribute in 6 sentences)

“If you can feel what I feel than it’s a musical masterpiece" – MCA (Adam Yauch) on “Pass the Mic”
When Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys died a few weeks ago it hit me hard, harder than I would have expected.  So I have been thinking a lot about why, and what it really boils down to is that the Beastie Boys helped define my musical taste and my personality in way that was encapsulated by the album “Check Your Head,” one of my four or five favorite albums of all time.  Check Your Head was a distinct evolution from earlier pieces that were very sampling/party anthem based and stuck almost exclusive within the hip hop genre. 
With Check Your Head the Beastie Boys stretched themselves.  They did something almost unheard of at the time by playing their own instruments and winding through a bunch of genres to create an album that showed off their own diverse interests and helped create mine – hard hitting rock, jazz/funk, and more all weaved together with both humor and intensity.  In s…

Why I believe in Facebook for B2B (in six sentences)

As someone who talks and writes and thinks about social media a lot nothing makes my blood boil quite like people saying that Facebook doesn't work for B2Bs. I know people talk about Linkedin being better but I really haven't seen it myself (send me any successes if you have them - I'm willing to be convinced).

The thing is that social media is blurring the lines between personal and professional and people buy from people regardless of the industry. So unless your are selling on price alone you can use Facebook to showcas your expertise, capture leads, and give people a sense of what it's like to business with you.

Sure, lots of B2Bs struggle with Facebook, but that is because they aren't doing it well. And that's user error, not platform failure.

Why Brands Should Act More Like Elmo (in Six Sentences)

I have two year old son, so I hear about Elmo a lot.  And I just watched the wonderful documentary about Kevin Clash, the man behind the muppet, in which they talk about how Elmo relates to kids by doing one simple thing: loving them.  
Elmo and his puppeteer show an incredible sense of compassion and understanding for the people they are trying to reach with a consistent goal of creating joy.  And the honesty with which they speak and listen to their audience is something all marketers can learn from.  As brands we are often so caught up in trying to sell something or manufacture an emotion that we lose the true humanness that all of us possess.  
Knowing that people buy from people, as brands we should all act a little more like Elmo and speak with the honesty, pure emotion, and humanity that connect us to each other and the shared experiences we create. 

What Patriot’s Day is Really About (in Six Sentences)


Why Directional Data is Still Good Data (In Six Sentences)

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am a believer in good old fashioned market research and testing. But I am also fan of moving (and winning or failing) fast. Often times we as marketers let the perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to testing. There is unquestionably a place for scientific rigor but how do we get the list of things that make it to that stage.

To me, it's simply putting things in market and seeing what happens, even if the results are only directional. Because directional is certainly better than directionless.

Why the Facebook Timeline Conversion Was a Non-Event (in 6 Sentences)

Remember 6 weeks ago when everyone was up in arms about Facebook’s Timeline being forced on brand pages?  Well, the conversion date came and went and anyone not obsessed with social media marketing didn’t seem to notice.   That’s because even with Timeline  in place (which I like), the average Facebook user doesn’t go to Pages, they spend their time in their own newsfeed.  In the end, all that matters is the content you are posting and whether it is relevant and engaging for your audience.  Which of course is nothing new and has nothing to do with Timeline.  
Check out some recent research I helped out with below to see why people like your Page in the first place.

Why TV Networks Love Twitter (In 6 Sentences)

I watch a lot of tv - and I mostly love Twitter - but I often wonder why the networks are so focused on making sure everyone loves Twitter. I think the answer is actually very simple.  Twitter is one of the last bastions of the group, live experience with information and commentary being shared in real-time. That means it is also one of the few ways that the networks can really drive live, measurable engagement  with their viewers.

So, shows like American Idol and The Voice are forcing all of their contestants and judges to tweet and pushing hashtags to show advertisers that they matter while they are happening (although the lack of social authenticity can be jarring.)

In a DVR world, you have to admire that networks are at least making a valiant effort to give people a reason to watch together, whether they are in the same room or just sharing the online space.

Why Headlines and Small Sample Sizes Don't Mix (in 6 sentences)

Late last week Simply Measured  put out a widely covered storytalking about how engagement was 46% for brands on Facebook since converting to Timeline.  A timely (and very tweet-able) headline for sure as brand pages were being forced into Timeline. 

Being a researcher at heart I felt it was my duty to read beyond the headline and check out the sample used for the study.  And what I found was an examination of a handful of brands, most of whom were of Fortune 500 size. 

So, while the headline was great,  the data was misleading and of minimal relevance to most readers. In a blurb centric world this kind of reporting can be dangerous and highlights why headlines and small sample sizes don't mix well.

The Six Sentence Experiment

Inspired by Martin Lieberman's blog ( post about change, I decided to try something new. Other than hitting the gym, the thing I have been most frustrated about lately is not getting to write more on the personal blog.

So, while I fully realize its harder to write short than to write long I'll be shifting this blog (at least for a few months) to do posts that are six sentences long. I'll still write about market research, marketing, and social media... just shorter and more often.

What do you think of the six sentence experiment? I'm looking forward to it!

Three quick takeaways from sxsw 2012

Liiterally three quick takeaways as we start Sunday at SxSwi.1. I think it's funny how often I travel thousands of miles to hang out with people who are also from Boston, but it's great to see so many people who are excited abut embracing and driving changes in the way the world runs.2. There are no rules. We all talk a lot about best practices but the people making great changes are the news who gnome the best practices and take risk, or at least take chances.3. Texas BBQ is delicious.

I love you Twitter, but I am worried about you

Hey Twitter, I'm not sure I get you any more. I thought we had a good thing going but I am concerned.

First of all, I love you Twitter. Even if I understand why others don't. I use you for work to keep up with the marketing, tech, and research industries. I follow companies I like, brands and people I find interesting, and those that I compete against. If knowledge is a gift, than Twitter for me is Christmas 365 days/year.

But with brand pages and other enhanced features I am starting to worry about you. I feel like you are trying to be everything to everyone. You want what Facebook has and what Google is trying to take away. I get it. Facebook is printing money and all the cool kids love G+, but they don't have what you have Twitter. They don't have the constant influx of valuable content and the connections with like minded strangers. They don't have the beautiful simplicity of many mobile apps that make tweeting and reading tweets easy n any devic…

Dare I Say, This Could Use a QR code

I often talk about the unnecessary use of QR codes... On planes, subways, computer screens, but this is a prime example where one would make sense.

The picture below is on a coaster at the Yard House and promotes their mobile app. While the app itself isn't great there is no doubt that the promo could use a more direct route to downloading it and there is no shorter route than the much maligned QR code. Where else should people be using QR's that aren't?