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17 posts from November 2011

You can't have a conversation with people who aren't paying attention. #li

Today's post connects back to Rob May's comment that innovation has moved from product to marketing. The biggest challenge facing business today is getting and keeping attention.

Blog: When minimal-viable-product doesn't work, 2011-Nov-5, by Seth Godin

Inherent in the process of minimal viable product, then, is a trusting, large permission base that will eagerly listen to you, try your new work and let you know what they think. And you don't have the option of building that audience once the product is ready--that's too late.

Treating privacy as a chance to strengthen your relationships #li

Privacy means different things to different people. Instead of publishing a privacy statement, you could ask your customer what it means to have their privacy honored.

New Rules: Privacy is a type of conversation, by Kevin Kelly

Firms should view privacy not as some inconvenient obsession of customers that must be snuck around but more as a way to cultivate a genuine relationship.

Enjoyed Art Car movie last night


Last night we parked our car at the New Place and walked across the street to Miller Outdoor Theater to see the world premiere of Art Car: The Movie. The musicians of the soundtrack, Thunderado (pictured above), rocked a wonderful jazzy set before the movie. The weather was perfect. 

The movie is full of the most amazing images and stories. I learned that most of the artists are really determined to shake up the way we see both cars and art. When people first encounter the Art Car Parade, they are fascinated with the cars, but after you've been around it awhile, you realize that it's the people who are truly exceptional. 

Also, the title sequences are wonderful. 

Art Car: The

Qv-111114-tpThe Movie follows a handful of local artists as they prepare their entries for the granddaddy of them all, the 2010 Houston Art Car Parade. With almost 300 entrants and more than 300,000 spectators, the Art Car Parade is the biggest in the world, and attracts talent from across the globe.

Against the hectic race to finish on time — not only for the artists but also for the parade's organizer, the Orange Show For Visionary Art and the City of Houston — the film follows closely two renowned Houston artists and art car veterans as they scratch and claw in very different ways to achieve the same goal.

Why the evolution of marketing is accelerating. #li

Rob May outlines a fascinating hypothesis that product innovation has become relatively easy and now the competitive edge lies in marketing innovation. 

Coconut Headsets: Innovation is dead--it was killed by innovation, 2011-Oct-30, by Rob May

Innovation happens when it gets rewarded, and the rewards for product innovation are smaller than they used to be. It’s easy to get stuff built and it’s easy to copy new product innovations and be a fast follower, so your returns to product innovation are dropping.

But marketing… returns to marketing innovation are climbing. In a crowded world, getting your message out matters more, and is more difficult, than before. If you can figure it out, the gains can be huge. Look at Dropbox. I don’t buy this BS that the key was a great product. Why? Because there are LOTS of great products out there that don’t gain users as fast as Dropbox. A great product is necessary but not sufficient for good marketing in this day and age. Dropbox’s real innovation was in their marketing.

Reminding myself to find the goal and stick to it. Especially when composing email. #li

Email spammers know exactly what they’re trying to get the reader to do. It’s not an esoteric goal, like giving the reader a better understanding of product offerings. How the hell can you measure success with that goal? Spammers want an email open so they can infect you with malware. Or they want a click to collect your banking information.

Approach your email marketing goals with the same precision. Identify the goal of the email, and draft your call-to-action accordingly -- to achieve that goal.


How to use stories strategically #li

This article echoes something I recently learned about using stories in public speeches. You have to stay focused on the point, NOT the narrative, and you have to let your audience fill in the emotions.

Knowing what your audience wants to know is also very good advice. These days, when I think someone is covering something I already know, I automatically tune them out. 

Loyalty 360: Social Storytelling for Business, 2011-Oct-27, by Todd Wilms

1. Know the point of the story.

2. Know what your audience is looking to discover.

3. Know when to quit.