Take Off

16 04 2009

I’m was hopscotching across the US these last couple weeks (so I’m knocking the dust off my blog). This morning I was moved by the whole concept of air travel. It was solidified by this pic I took at 20 something thousand feet. Actually the pic will insert at the bottom of the blog…thank you WordPress iPhone App.

I could make this into a blog series with the life analogies that fit air travel. The simple components of air travel I want to draw from are the connection, departure, take-off, flight, and arrival.

When I examine how the best brands…the best strategies…the best marketing plans function, I see them all like an adventure in air travel.

It all starts with a connection to the audience…the community…the person who was formerly seen as just another customer. Once you have this established, which takes work, the
you are ready to go somewhere.

You really need everyone on board before you can go anywhere. Departures will eventually cease if there isn’t anyone on the plane to support it.

Take off is the fun part right. When a company gets all the elements right, it’s a beautiful thing. Like an airplane, the complex variables working together on a proper runway…will give you everything needed to take off.

The flight is the map. It’s the place where you also get the best views. Where a layer of dark clouds fall below and an awesome vista awaits. Much like a roadmap for a product, brand, or company… The flight takes you there, through all the milestones..all the successes.

It all leads to a destination right? You can’t fly for ever. We all want the brand / product to take us to that place. Eventually, through natural development…we want to go to that next place. Thus the business cycle. Where you are taken to that next “big thing.”

It all takes careful planning, precise execution, and flexibility to adapt. The flight path you start on, may not be the one that takes you to that destination. The aircraft may change, the methods may evolve, but the people and end goal remain. Real connection with a real destination in mind.

Breathe In & Smile Out,

Rise Above

7 01 2009

I ran across a great blog today…that I unfortunately can’t link here since I’m blogging off my iPhone (thanks for leaving off the copy & paste function Steve Jobs!)

The quote essentially said maeketers and companies need to approach social networks like you would real social environments. Where you have a conversation. You listen and talk. You don’t walk up to a social group setting a d whip out all of your photos, journals, products for sale. The bloggers great quote was, “marketers need to take a ‘let’s sit down and have a cup of coffee and get to know each other’ approach.”. (I’ll add trackback and links when i’m at the computer)

I would add there is a layer of marketers and companies who are in the business of pushing content through these networks. They are creating clouds of noise in the networks that users navigate through or just plain ignore. In the words of my wife, “how much flair requests do we really need on Facebook?!?”

I think this shot of Mt Rainer on my way into Seattle illustrates my point. The clouds are the noise from marketers and companies peddling their stuff. The large mountain peak is where I want to be as a marketer. I want to create an engaging atmosphere that is above the noise. A place where content is relevant and engaging…and above all else a place where I can get to know the people at the “social.”

Relationships, feedback, interaction, engagement, real friendships, valid networks, communities, and tribes (hats off to Seth Godin for a great book) is what I want to cultivate from social media marketing. I want to rise above the noise so I can have a relaxing cup of coffee with new friends.

My goal this year is a picture of this…Rise Above.

Breathe In & Smile Out,

I’m A Knock Off Without Original Thought…

11 11 2008

That’s my translation for the unbelievable attempt from Microsoft to counter the infamous Mac commercials. They’ve even launched the life without walls site. To try some new marketing methods…hoping their community will support the site with content that will spin up numbers like YouTube.

Microsoft broke the rule number one in marketing, don’t run a counter attack ad campaign against your competition. It ultimately paints a picture that says your company’s best platform is to counter attack. Focus on who you are, not who the compreition says you are.

Where’s the focus on new features/functionality with Vista? How about trying to cross brand some other products that could use the boost…like Zune.

I could spend 2 minutes right now and probably come up with 25 ideas that would advertise valuable features of the product. Instead, Microsoft came with an ad campaign that screams “I’m a knock-off without any original though!”

Leave the knock-off campaigns to guys like this on YouTube who can get 1 million plus hits (versus 600k+ on Windows YouTube channel) …because it’s FUNNY…NOT A REAL AD CAMPAIGN 🙂

Be Original This Week,



30 07 2008

In my pursuit to build and execute the best marketing plans, I have realized it all really depends on relationships at the end of the day.

Relatioships with the community you are speaking to. Relationship with the gatekeepers in those communities. Relationship with the vendors you are using to send the message. Relationships with the artist you are marketing. Relationship with marketing elememts, technologies and channels. Relationship with the team who will execute the plans.

We are strenghtened by our relationship…we were created for relationship..our focus and time should be poured into them.

And they all fall down…

24 06 2008

Up in the big Apple this week, NYC is always a fun time…you’d have to be near death not to enjoy everything this city brings.  Although, it’s pretty sad to see The Virgin Music Store in Times Square on it’s last legs trying to compete with the digital revolution.  Who ever is selling $10 stickers is making some money with Virgin.  If i didn’t know the name of the place, I would swear we walked in the Ten Dollar Store.  Who would have thought Steve’s decision to sell albums at $9.99 would eventually bring retail to it’s knees begging the world to still buy physical.

Now if Virgin was smart they would embrace the digital revolution, and created a lifestyle center destination…instead they embraced a dead vehicle and look at their future. Seriously, every person I saw yesterday was engaged in some device that was a digital platform for music.  Between ipods, mp3 players, and cell phones, everyone has something they can use to engage music.  Would it be that difficult to take a majority share of the floor space at Virgin to open the doors for people to come in, discover music, engage samples, and download what they want?

If Starbucks could do it with a floor space not much larger than this macked out room at the Best Western “The President” hotel that Brewster are livin large at…then why wouldn’t someone think forward a bit and make a deal with all the major DSPs, or the at least the big Gorilla iTunes.  I believe it you make the access easy, and content available, then it could feed a market who is ready to discover and download tracks, tones, videos, you name it.

Or you could just hold on to the deflating life boat until the sharks come to liquidate…and let iTunes remain the number one retailer of music period.