Friday, December 7, 2007

From the "Are you kidding me?" File

So, I peeked in my work in box this afternoon and found the following well-meaning but *poorly* executed email. (All identifying information about the company has been blacked out to protect the clueless.)

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Why on earth would I see them as an authority when they can't even send out a decent personalized email? ("Dear NULL" and "[not provided]" don't make me feel warm and fuzzy.) Please, please, please--if you are going to send out a personalized email, make sure you have your list and email set up to use generic information if you don't have specifics available.

P.S. You'll notice on the image that I forwarded this message within 10 minutes of receiving it. That's from when I forwarded it to our Web Marketing Manager so she could have a laugh, too. I'm sure that's not the kind of word-of-mouth this company is looking for.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Great Microsite

I recently discovered NFL Network's campaign for Joe's Diner. Very nicely done! I LOVE the commercials that they've aired on TV (and not just because they feature a character named Matt, who reminds me of my husband--another Pats fan from the Worcester area, also named Matt!). The site allows you to view the entire campaign, up through the most recent one that they've aired, plus has a fake video bio of the diner's owner (played by Joe Montana). There's even a link to Matt's Patriots blog, to encourage comments from the community.

Overall, I think it's very cool and nicely done, but I do have a few suggestions for the NFL Network to improve the site.
  • The commercials are hilarious. They're so funny that I want to share them with my friends. Why not include a link at the end of the video to make that easy for me? You do it at the end of the video bio for Joe, so I know you know how! You have great content--encourage viral behavior!
  • What's up with the fact that the posts on Matt's blog all have the same date? After taking so much care with everything else, that just seems sloppy.
  • I actually didn't notice the blog the first time I cruised through the site. I only noticed it after I decided I wanted to post here about the microsite and went back to take another look. Again, you've taken so much care with everything, but you should make it easier for visitors to find aspects of the site that encourage them to hang around and stay engaged!

Microsoft is SO helpful

This is slightly gratuitous, but I had to post about something that seems like overzealous marketing, or perhaps just marketing gone awry. The other day, a Windows update notification came up.

Am I the only one who finds the wording here to be ludicrous? Microsoft is so thoughtful to provide this "tool" to help me know whether my copy of Windows is genuine, and to offer their assistance with finding another copy if mine isn't genuine.

I fully support Microsoft's right to protect themselves from software piracy, but why cloak it in this false helpfulness? Is it any wonder that marketers sometimes earn such disdain for their spin tactics? It seems like sometimes you'll earn more trust if you just call it what it is. Why not just say it's a check to ensure the copy is genuine, but include some kind of benefit for the customer? I'm assuming there is some benefit for the customer, otherwise why include "advantage" in the name??

Friday, November 30, 2007

Facebook Redux

Aha! Finally the pieces are starting to come together regarding how Facebook can be used for marketing purposes. The possibilities with advertising via Facebook's Social Ads are fairly obvious (though intriguing due to the ability to highly target those ads based on demographics, interests, etc.).

The Wall Street Journal ran an article this week with examples of how small businesses have used their profiles and group pages to build awareness and share products and services. Now Facebook has made another type of page available--company pages. I find this idea fascinating, and the wheels are already turning in my head to see how this could be used on a bigger scale. I think that the biggest challenge will be in how to speak to and connect with people ("fans" on Facebook) in an engaging and personalized way, rather than as a company to a group of customers and prospects (i.e., how to leverage the conversational aspects that are so strong and almost inherent in social media space, rather than falling back on the one-sided relationship found in traditional marketing).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Psychology and Marketing

My degree is in Psychology, and many people I speak with (outside of Marketing) have the tendency to think that I'm not using my degree because I don't spend all day listening to somebody tell me their problems. However, I'm constantly finding things about my job that are aided by my background in Psychology--understanding the triggers that make people act; how memory works, so I can make my campaigns more memorable; how the human eye reads and the brain responds to stimuli, so I know that the design of a piece is really going to achieve our objectives.

I just read a great article about leveraging human behavior in Marketing from Target Marketing Magazine called "Live From DMA 07: Four Ways to Leverage Human Behavior" and has some really great tips for incorporating psychology research findings into your marketing.

While I'm on the subject, one of my all-time favorite books is a *fascinating* one by Paco Underhill called Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. It's not too helpful to me in my current job because I don't deal with retail, but it's still a truly interesting study into the intersection of human behavior and business.

Monday, October 1, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about leadership lately. Not just because it's an important aspect of good management, but also because the company I work for isn't doing well right now. Our parent company has put us up for sale, and we've been told by management that layoffs are on the way (the rumor is that they'll happen this week). At a time like this, there's always finger-pointing, and I've done enough talking about this offline that there's no need to do it online as well.

Although there are many facets to effective leadership, one that is especially good for worker morale is the ability to make employees feel known and valued. This ties in nicely to the ideas in a book that came out recently, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) by Patrick Lencioni. The first of the three signs is what he calls "anonymity." I still remember my first day as a Marketing Assistant at my current company. The then-president of the company stopped by my cubicle to greet me and actually commented on where I'd worked previously. It meant an enormous amount to me that somebody that high up took an effort to check into my background and welcome me to the company. I don't think that happens nearly often enough.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Many people in the business blogging/podcasting world have been talking a lot about Facebook recently, so I decided to join and give it a try. So far I've been able to connect with a bunch of old friends, which has been FANTASTIC. But, I'm even more excited to see how Facebook grows and changes as all these business people play around and experiment!

Getting Started

So, here I am with my first post! I've started this blog as a way to document my personal journey through the business world. I've worked in Marketing for 6+ years (all at the same company) and over time I've come to realize that I need to grow and expand my knowledge of Marketing and business in general if I'm ever going to get anywhere.

I started listening to lots and lots of podcasts and reading more and more blogs over the past few months, but never really take the time to reflect on what I've heard and read. Hence this blog--my hope is that I can use it to formulate my thoughts and process the information more deeply.

Is possible that I'll be talking only to myself? Yes, it might even be a certainty. But only time will tell!