27 Jul

The new war for talent; people who can write

In the one corner: customers/prospects (aka people) overloaded with information and communications from an increasing and diverse number of sources. On offer is a few seconds of their attention, then a few more if you can keep them interested.

In the other corner: a fierce competition for these peoples’ time and attention. Capturing it, maintaining it, involving them.

In the middle: a person who can somehow communicate concepts, emotions, ideas in an enticing, captivating, concise manner…

Around the ring: decreasing levels of literacy in schools and colleges…

I can see a new “war for talent” looming.

20 Jul

Success defined by your goals, not someone elses

The topic of blogging is not something I spend a lot of time writing about; there are plenty of others that do that a lot better than I could.

Today I read a post by Eric Kintz, Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy & Excellence for HP that talked about something that has puzzled me for a while. The idea that to be successful in blogging you have to post every day. He doesn’t think so, and I agree.

At the heart of it is really what you define as “being successful”. For some bloggers it is to drive as many people to their website as possible so they can make money with advertising. That’s irrelevant to blogs like mine because I don’t advertise and never will.

This blog is about sharing ideas with people with similar interests who in the process either teach me something, or learn something. I believe that it will build relationships that I couldn’t build otherwise. Simple as that.

His post is insightful; I know I can only read a limited number of posts each day. I run out of time. The greater the number of media sources, bloggers, podcasts, video casts, the more selective I will need to be in what I read, hear, watch etc.

So I probably stick with the ones that give me one great insight a week, rather than five bits of fluff a day. Here is one of his ten reasons why post frequency doesn’t matter:

5: Frequent posting keeps key senior executives and thought leaders out of the blogosphere

My colleagues and industry peers cite bandwidth constraints as the number one reason for not blogging. They are absolutely right:frequent posting is not very compatible with a high pressure job. As an example,not one single blog is authored by a senior corporate marketing blogger
in the top 25 marketing blogs listed by Mack.

It raises another point that relates directly to marketing; setting goals. The strength of Eric’s insight is that it links being successful with what you set as your goals.

How often do marketing efforts fail because of unclear, poorly defined goals? How often do companies spend a small fortune on a particular type of media (say radio advertising) because the salesman could show it worked for other companies? (who had different target markets, offers, products, services etc)

I like his thinking.

12 Jul

Reality check for online advertising?

McKinsey Quarterly has conducted research (sign up for free to read the whole article) that indicates that demand for digital advertising will soon outstrip supply. Result? Higher prices.

On video ads: “Short-term mismatches between supply and demand appear greatest for the
video ads that interrupt or precede online content, such as news clips.”
McKinsey expects the demand (in the US) to grow from a current assumption of $600 million to anything between $1.4 billion to $3.2 billion…(Not sure about you, but what is the value of an estimate that ranges between 1.4 and 3.2 billion?)

Paid search: “Annual growth in the overall number of searches is slowing, from 30 percent in 2004 to 20 percent in 2005.” “but without significant changes in consumer click-through rates or in the prices advertisers are willing to pay, we estimate—using our analysis of the prevailing cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and Nielsen Media Research figures on paid search—that the maximum current value of paid-search advertising is about $7 billion. Meanwhile, our analysis of current and forecast page views, ads per page, and CPM rates suggests that advertisers will want to spend $9 billion to $12 billion on paid search in 2007, up from around $5 billion in 2005. Even without severe supply bottlenecks, there won’t be room to handle rapid near-term growth.”

This is McKinsey, and I am unworthy but there is no mention of the impact issues like click fraud might have on the reputation and desirability of paid search advertising. Shouldn’t that be taken into consideration when you make projections into the future? I am sure that some media companies will find these figures handy in a board room presentation but I question the real value. How about you?

12 Jul

“All Marketers are Liars” – Seth Godin speaks at Google

Seth Godin is the author of six bestsellers, including Permission Marketing, an Amazon Top 100 bestseller for a year and a Fortune Best Business Book. His newest book, All Marketers are Liars , has already made the Amazon Top 100 and has inspired its own blog. Seth is also a renowned speaker, and was recently chosen as one of “21 Speakers for the Next Century” by Successful Meetings Magazine and is consistently rated among the best speakers by the audiences he addresses. Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, an interactive direct marketing company, which Yahoo! acquired in late 1998. He holds an MBA from Stanford, is a contributing editor to Fast Company magazine, and was called “the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age” by Business Week.This video is part of the Authors@Google series.