Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Predictions - Conscious Capitalism and Vertical Learning

Making predictions is no easy business. Take this, for example:

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

— Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

But, with accurate insights and reflection and analysis of those insights, we can begin to develop a sense of what the future might hold. For 2010, many are predicting change to occur in technology, pop culture and personal life. For beyond—into the next decade, here’s what we think is next for business models, products and services:

The integration of Conscious Capitalism will spur long-term growth.

Conscious capitalism is a new way of thinking about "social responsibility," the idea that an organization (government, nonprofit, business) has an obligation to act not only in its own best interests but also in those of all its stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, investors, society).

In the developing consumer driven market, companies will no longer be responsible to only their investors—not if they want sustainable profit, anyway. Instead, companies will either adopt Conscious Capitalism or be forced to once they realize that doing good allows businesses to do beyond well.

And the proponents of this change? First of all, they will be people like John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods. Along with John Mackey, many CEOs in parallel industries have already begun implementing the integration of Conscious Capitalism.

Secondly, but more importantly, the consumers will drive this change. With the power to choose products and services created by companies who no longer see business as a machine driven by profit only, consumers will exercise this measure of control to empower companies that not only empower them, but also facilitate change for the world.

Vertical learning will be of increasingly high value.

Vertical learning is the pursuit of knowledge of our own assumptions, ways of interpreting experience and our beliefs. But, it has been long overlooked and placed secondary to Horizontal Learning—knowledge acquired through training, education and work experience—expanding our skill sets, in short.

Horizontal Learning is, of course, absolutely necessary. For instance, those who want to design products must learn the proper techniques and acquire the necessary technological information to do so. But Vertical Learning is seen as a lesser skill—introspection is not currently viewed to be equally valuable.

However, with the two working in tandem, we are less likely to think about business models, products and services in binary terms. Instead, we are encouraged to “think through” and think around the obvious obstacles to innovation and renovation—therefore building something of far higher worth.

If we take both into account, we can better see developing trends with objectivity in relation to each other and discern the implications of those relationships as opposed to seeing the individual issues and tasks involved in innovation.

Although making predictions can be tricky, there’s nothing outrageous about these and many other future trends we see developing. After all, businesses alike consumers are ready for positive change in the world—aren’t we all?

Have you seen the new Maddock Douglas homepage?

Follow Maddock Douglas on Twitter

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Future Trends: Crowdsourcing Municipal Maintenance

Let’s say you’re driving home from work when all of a sudden your front left tire drops into a massive pothole causing you to swerve right. Luckily, there are no cars in the right lane, but regardless you’ve narrowly avoided an accident, and with good reason, you’re upset.


So what?

Well, a few years ago, you might have complained to your friend in the passenger seat and just kept on driving. But now, people have the power to report local issues with the click of a few buttons and the power of GPS.

City residents can now use an app like SeeClickFix, a mobile application that allows its users to take a photo of a pothole, a burnt out street light, fresh graffiti—basically anything that needs to be fixed by the local government—and report it using a mobile GPS device. Along with a photo and GPS location, users can add notes and track progress, as well as receive and view alerts on nearby city issues. Then, users can see how many other people have reported the same issue and monitor the most reported, a.k.a “hot issues” in the selected city.



Just one app out of the many that have been dubbed “Gov 2.0” by the tech community, SeeClickFix is utilizing GPS location in an attempt to make local government more efficient and responsive—and the app supports a trend that we’ve watched develop over the last decade called “Track Me, Help Me.”

The “Track Me, Help Me” trend was sparked by recognition of not only the popularity and functionality of GPS navigational systems on-board mobile devices, but also by the recognition of consumer willingness to offer up a very valuable piece of the puzzle:

Location, location, location.

Many people with smart phones have come to depend on apps like Google Maps, but now, as demonstrated by apps like SeeClickFix, people are ready to take location to the next level. Whether it be the power to innovate local government operations or the pleasure of playing virtual put-put, consumers are receiving relevant benefits when they give this information away—more evidence of not only “Track Me, Help Me,” but also of the evolving consumer-driven market.

But the GPS centric apps currently available are just the tip of the ice burg. As app developers begin working in tighter conjunction with the government, corporations and organizations, GPS innovation will be streamlined and even more integrated into our daily lives. In fact, many industries have just now recognized this trend and are developing applications to catch up to this unmet consumer need, meaning that even more people will be saying “Track Me, Help Me” while being enabled to accomplish tasks—no matter how big—with efficiency.

Have you seen the new Maddock Douglas homepage?

Follow Maddock Douglas on Twitter

Monday, December 28, 2009

Why Companies Lack Successful Innovation - BusinessWeek

A shortage of innovation isn't always senior management's fault. Marketers deserve some blame for not having the right processes in place

It is easy to blame chief executives and senior management for not devoting enough attention to introducing new products, but that is too simplistic an explanation for why radically new products are so rare. Marketers deserve some of the blame for at least three reasons:

Successful strategic innovations need more than a great idea.

There's no shortage of new product concepts. We are willing to bet you could come up with a handful of intriguing ones before lunch if you set your mind to it.

But new ideas by themselves are worthless. You need to move from idea to execution, and that is where the majority of companies stumble. You need a new-product development process—one that is codified, efficient, and repeatable, and which allows you to turn a notion into something you can sell.

But there aren't a lot of marketers who have tried to formalize a new-product introduction. Too often, marketers see their job as simply coming up with the idea. They leave the actual development and production to someone else and then profess to be surprised when the finished product is not exactly what they had envisaged. (This is true, by the way, whether we are talking about introducing new consumer products or selling business-to-business.) It is always nice to have someone else to blame when something goes wrong—such as, the product didn't sell. But it isn't the best use of your time, or of company resources.

The takeaway point from all this is that you want to create a process that will allow you to introduce a new product the same way every time. The procedure needs to be replicable—and easily understood internally—so you can train new hires to execute it. The process should become a legacy in your organization.

There is a shortage of Renaissance men (and women).

This builds off the previous point. As we have just seen, there are two distinct components to developing a successful new product: Coming up with the idea and then putting it into practice—i.e., executing it. We must make sure that it is produced exactly as designed and that the marketing that follows is consistent with the overall message the product is supposed to communicate. Failure can arise when we look for people who possess both skills, but in reality such people are extremely hard to find in any organization. Most people are naturally better at one or the other part of the process.

Instead of looking for someone who is good at both, it would seem more efficient to let people do what they do best. Since most companies have people who are fairly good at carrying out a mission once it is defined for them, it probably makes more sense to keep that capability in-house, and to look to outside resources to help you discover new ideas and fresh needs in the marketplace. Once the outside firm has unearthed those opportunities, the company can develop them.

Marketers tend to be fatalistic.

Marketers seem to go into new-product introductions with the expectation that they are going to fail. So they deal with new-product failures rather like the way an overweight person does with their problem: We periodically make half-hearted efforts to fix things…and then give up.

Just like someone who resigns himself or herself to being overweight, marketers conclude that there is nothing they can do to improve their batting average when it comes to introducing new products. Instead of throwing up their hands and saying "woe is me," they should be studying their past successes to see what they should do the next time they introduce something new.

That, of course, takes us full circle, underscoring as it does the need to have a replicable process to make new product development as painless as possible.

Blaming the CEO and others for not being more supportive about new product development is a waste of both time and mental energy. Look in the mirror and try to figure out how to make things better. Addressing the three problems we just talked about is a good start.

This article originally published in BusinessWeek

Have you seen the new Maddock Douglas homepage?

Follow Maddock Douglas on Twitter

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sportvision's Hank Adams Talks Innovation Efficiency

Does innovation that requires the complete renovation of technologies, ideas and even personnel be performed efficiently, or can a company reinvent rapidly while re-working everything?

Hank Adams, CEO of Sportvision, explains how companies can use materials that already exist to implement new products, services, and business models efficiently.


Hank is a member of the Maddock Douglas Global Expert Network, an exclusive group of thinkers that includes entrepreneurs, professionals and specialists. GEN members span the globe and are hand picked to provide insight and expertise for specific opportunities and challenges. These experts often come from a parallel industry or have a specialized skill that relates to the challenge at hand. And this cross-section of thinking creates relevant, and frequently groundbreaking, ideas. Do you have a GEN? And if not, how do you plan to infuse outside expertise into your next big challenge?

Have you seen the new Maddock Douglas homepage?

Follow Maddock Douglas on Twitter

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wall Street Journal 2009 Technology Innovation Awards: Making a Difference

From The Maddock Douglas Innovation Engine Blog

The winner of the Wall Street Journal 2009 Technology Innovation Awards is on pace to change the world. Sure, Tapulous, the maker of the hit, one million dollar per month games is changing the face of mobile gaming technology—but technology innovations that hold the promise of making everyday life better for millions of people across the world are the ones to watch.

Ibis Biosciences' T5000 sensor, which won Gold at this year’s awards, allows for the detection of unknown organisms—a viable solution for the identification of novel infectious diseases. In short, the T5000 is intended to answer the question: "What microorganisms are in my sample?

How will this apply to us? Take a virus like H1N1 as an example—immediate detection and strain identification can help protect the masses and make responding appropriately to unknown diseases faster and easier—which could mean saving lives.

Ibis Biosciences Inc. developed the sensor to fill an unmet need—rapid identification of the unknown. And the T5000, the product that meets that need, is the first in a long line of rapid detection mechanisms that will alter the way we respond to disease.

But what about the communication that connects the two?

As disintermediation begins to fundamentally change industries, consumers will start demanding bioscience and healthcare communication that’s easier to digest. People want a deeper understanding of the bioscience (and tertiary) technologies that have the ability to change their lives.

As Maria Umbach suggests for the insurance industry, the next opportunity to innovate may be in the way we speak to consumers.

Have you seen the new Maddock Douglas homepage?

Follow Maddock Douglas on Twitter

Monday, December 21, 2009

Laugh a Little, Innovate a Lot - BusinessWeek

When looking for a big idea, you don't necessarily want to hear "Eureka!" but laughter


How much fun are you having at work these days? Let's face it. Having fun isn't as easy as it used to be, even for the most courageous, creative, and curious. Today just reading the headlines can turn an optimist into a fearful pessimist. The stories all seem to make you worry the very real possibility of losing your job.


Here is a critical insight for you. It is impossible for teams to innovate effectively while they are afraid. Impossible. Nothing kills great ideas like fear.


The good news is that fun is the antidote to fear. So if you are an innovation leader in a company that has become fearful, your people are on the road to failure unless you can change your culture. Cue the music, it's time to infuse some fun into the workplace.

The place to start? With you.


Leaders know how to laugh at themselves. Show us a person that can stand up in front of his team and say, "Call me stupid, but I have no idea how to do this," and we will show you a person with great leadership potential. Humble leaders with this trait create cultures that don't take themselves too seriously; cultures willing to take risks; cultures capable of creating and supporting a greater number of ideas.

The Daily Huddle

Why not start every day with a fun meeting? The daily huddle is simple practice that jump-starts the day and sets the stage for big ideas. Verne Harnish, "growth guy" and chief executive officer of Gazelles, which is an outsourced corporate university for midsize firms, taught us about the daily huddle. He developed the practice after studying and writing about John D. Rockefeller in his book The Rockefeller Habits.

Our company meets every day at 9 a.m. for no more than nine minutes. The agenda is simple. We share good news, bad news, and how well the company is doing. We use video to connect offices so everyone can attend the meeting. We encourage everyone to take a turn at running the huddle. Most importantly, we try to make them casual, transparent, and fun

In the last year, our daily huddles have included baby pools—where everyone guesses when someone's baby will be born; whether it will be a boy or girl and what it will weigh—costume contests, music trivia, engagement announcements, love poems, and ballads to welcome new employees. Yes, there is a lot of silliness, and not surprisingly, there is a lot of laughter. Much of the laughter has led to jokes, observations, and comments that have in turn led to ideas that have directly impacted our clients and company. (See www.bringchangehome.com, a viral marketing campaign with the humble goal of simply changing the world.

Says Harnish, "Of all the practices we teach, the daily huddle is probably the simplest and most powerful way to infuse fun, accountability, and momentum. When companies embrace the huddle, we always see a positive impact to their bottom line and culture.

Loosening Up the Suits

He's right. In fact, our clients actually like to come to these huddles. That should tell you something about the experience.


We first started noticing the liberating possibilities of linking fun and work in the early '90s in a meeting with an extremely conservative, extremely large utility company. You have probably been in a similar room; think suits; think fear; think awkward silence.

During this "mandatory" brainstorm session, someone offered up an idea as a joke. "I know," he said, tongue firmly in check. "We can send customers a bill that actually explains all the charges in plain English." He meant it as a joke, of course. And one joke led to another. Then something amazing happened: At one point the most senior person in the room commented, "You know, that's really not that bad of an idea. We could actually do that." Eventually the idea that started as a joke wound up being seen by 40 million consumers as a new kind of phone bill—one that was simple to understand. Not only did consumers embrace the joke, so did other phone companies who have adopted the idea. How great is that?

The Equation

There are two lessons here. First, it is not difficult to stage events that create this type of result, and leaders should be intentional about creating them. More important, we must learn to pay attention to laughter. Where there is laughter, there is an idea that holds people's interest. The pleasant by-product of all this: Work becomes more enjoyable, and that, too, increases the chance that you will be able to innovate successfully. It turns out that if you are having fun, you are more creative.

Here is an equation for you to consider the next time you are wondering why nobody is coming up with big ideas: I = F + H.

Ideas equal fun plus humility on the part of leadership to support the idea—and embrace those ideas that may come out of it.

This article originally published in BusinessWeek

Have you seen the new Maddock Douglas homepage?

Follow Maddock Douglas on Twitter

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Future of Mobility - Jeannie Weaver on Clearwire's 4G Service

There’s been a lot of buzz around 4G and what it means for innovation. Maddock Douglas recently interviewed Jeannie Weaver, Regional General Manager at Clearwire, the first 4G network already up and running, to talk about the future of mobility.

Innovation is defined as the synchronized intersection of an unmet need or insight, the idea (business model, product, or service) that meets that need and the communication that connects the two. Let's uncover the innovation behind Clearwire and what it means for the future of mobility.

What was the unmet need or insight that Clearwire is responding to?

Consumers want and need to be able to access data at broadband speeds on the go—and we don’t think that experience should be painful.

What was the idea that inspired Clearwire - how are you filling the unmet need?

The current 3G network is provided by voice-centric cell phone companies who are accommodating the data needs of consumers. Clearwire is just the opposite—we are a data centric network. The reason AT&T is having trouble bringing quality data service to market right now can be attributed to building a network based on voice and having to retrofit for mass data use thanks to the iPhone. Clearwire is built for data volume from day one.

And the communication—what has Clearwire been doing to make yourselves known to your target consumer audience?

We want people thinking about Clear—we want to intrigue them. We are currently implementing multiple layers that include grassroots salespeople, partnering with local businesses and street teams. We are talking to people the way they want to be communicated to.

With 400 million people already using 3G (HSDPA/WCDMA) technologies today, what is Clearwire’s plan to increase mobile usership?

We ideally want to take marketshare and entice those customers on an inferior network to utilize our faster 4G network.

Clearwire has been extraordinarily helpful in industries with location challenges, construction for example, where people are working in remote areas—Clearwire is plug and play and the pricepoint is very attractive for small and medium sized businesses.

What roles do you see big investors, Sprint, Google and Intel playing in Clearwire’s future?

Sprint holds 51% of Clearwire and they have provided the funding that is allowing us to build out our network. Intel is creating laptops and other hardware with built in WiMAX capabilities, and Google will continue to assist Clearwire strategically.

Comcast is currently reselling our service under their brand, and advantage to Clearwire because we benefit when network usage increases.

What does the future of mobility look like and how do you see Clearwire affecting that future?

I think we already are. Having the capability to accomplish things on the go, but have an experience like a home broadband connection is amazing. Clearwire will effectively support and drive a better mobile experience while helping to feed the cloud.

Also, imagine if the 4G network were implemented in, for instance, Chicago’s parking meter system—there’s a huge lag time when a customer uses a card to pay, resulting in a long wait. The ability to speed things up can make so many day-to-day things easier—and safer. For public safety purposes, the ability to live stream video could bring surveillance to a higher level of efficiency. Devices with built in WiMAX capabilities will become more common as manufacturers rush to provide consumers with the ability to lifestream rich content to their personal and social networks on the go.

How do you see the future playing out between LTE (Long Term Evolution) and Clearwire 4G?

Both technologies are sound and in the future, 4G will seem like a commodity. Yet, we have the advantage of speed to market. We'll see how the rest plays out in 8-12 months as LTE goes online in major metropolitan areas.

Have you seen the new Maddock Douglas homepage?

Follow Maddock Douglas on Twitter

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Life Is A Video Game: Technological and Social Innovations from Maddock Douglas

Let's start with some numbers: in the first 24 hours of it’s release, Modern Warfare 2 sold 4.7 units, or 310 million dollars in the US, Canada and the UK. Within the first 5 days, MW2 took in US$550 million worldwide. And yes, these numbers beat out music, book and movie releases during the same period. For some people, this shift in popular media might seem ludicrous. But for Maddock Douglas, it’s an event among many that continues to confirm a future innovation trend:

My Life is a Video Game.

Today, video games are becoming less ancillary and more integrated within our daily lives. As Mike Maddock said at Future Trends 2009 (video link) we use a Wii fit to get in shape—and to build on his point, we already are using video games to:

Test and improve our logic

Delve deeper into history and war.
Build our vocabularies

Train for jobs


And the list goes on.

As Maddock Douglas thinks about the future of many industries, we understand that consumers are becoming less and less passive. They want to be immersed and involved.

As the definition of “video game” becomes broader, individuals continue to utilize gaming for not just entertainment, but also for functional purposes.

Consider foursquare, the mobile app that allows you to “check-in”, tells your friends where they can find you, and recommends places to go & things to do near your current location. Foursquare openly credits a gaming component to their success, as every foursquare check-in (when users find new places—i.e. restaurants, stores, bars etc. in their neighborhoods) earns them points. And, after accumulating a certain amount of points, they’re awarded badges or even made “Mayor” of that location, which may qualify them to earn freebies.

It might seem silly to some, but to foursquare’s investors—the likes of Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter, Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, and SV Angels LLC, The angel group founded and backed by Ron Conway, it’s a seriously fun way to “make your city easier to use.”

As demonstrated by many forward thinking companies like foursquare, where function and gaming mesh together, the chance to innovate is far beyond maps or joysticks.

Have you seen the new Maddock Douglas homepage?

Follow Maddock Douglas on Twitter

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Future of Agent-Based Industries: Disintermediation

Orbitz.com has been doing it for years. And, so has Ebay. In this digitally inclined age of emerging e-commerce in which demand for evolved/innovative business models has risen dramatically, cutting out the middleman (or agent, dealer, distributor, etc…) sounds obvious and easy enough. After all, taking steps out of the picture always leads to lower prices for the end consumer and results in higher margins for the company- therefore it is the best thing to do, right? You might have guessed this was coming:

Wrong.

Disintermediation, the removal of intermediaries from traditional distribution channels, is never such a cut and dried issue. For a company like amazon.com, disintermediation is a part of their business model—not just a marketing plan ; yes it works, for them. But for other companies that have jumped on the disintermediation trend in an attempt to innovate, stay relevant and generate more revenue; confusion and failure can follow. Just ask PeaPod (who at one point was expected to put grocery retail chains on their heels, but now remains an ancillary service). In every case, there is a delicate strategic balance of dancing with the one that brought ya and “working the room.”

So how do you decide whether or not disintermediation is the right path to travel down? What indicators signal the future of your industry lies in disintermediation?

1. Tune in & Evaluate.

Take an intensive, analytical look into not only your company’s channel strategy, that of your direct and indirect competitors and also at your industry as a whole. Is it slow to change? Ripe for change? Time for a challenger to shake it up? Most importantly, do your customers see value in the intermediate? Can you specify and quantify that value? Sometimes the consumer’s need can only be met by the intermediate – in homeowners insurance for example, the complex nature of the buying cycle can best be met by the agent (and only the agent), in other cases the best way to meet the need is to get the intermediate out of the way. Do segments of your customer base work around your middle man and flock to your competitors’ sites in droves to make purchases -(e.g., auto insurance : Geico, Progressive)?

Pay very close attention to your channels. Are they growing around you or with you? What is your channel strategy? Are they appropriately integrated? (From your customer’s perspective – not yours). Do they converge with your web strategy in the right places to add value—or not? By examining the foundation on which your distribution rests, as well as the channels of parallel industries, you’ll find even more insight that will be extremely useful in developing and executing industry & brand-specific strategies.

The answers to these among many other questions will allow you to assess whether or not there is a strong unmet need that may be fulfilled by disintermediation.

2. Diverge.

Compare your market’s trends and challenges with other parallel industries that may be sharing the same issues. By observing and learning from the strategies that thought and business leaders have executed under similar conditions, you’ll have a wider solution set and a helpful frame of reference.


3. Shift your perspective.

Consider looking at your channel as a stakeholder model, in which the elements are interdependent. This perspective demands that all strategies and upper level decisions are created based on their interwoven relationships and on solutions that deliver a win-win-win. And since removing the intermediary will affect the other interdependent components of the channel, you’ll have a leg-up on deciding if disintermediation is the best choice for your business, and your customers.

So should you disintermediate? Or not? The answer is simply relative.

Have you seen the new Maddock Douglas homepage?

Follow Maddock Douglas on Twitter

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An Agency of Inno-face-tion

November – a month of dropping temperatures, turkey consumption and… mustaches? Yes, Maddock Douglas is proudly participating in the internationally awkward yet best-intentioned movement known as Movember.

Simply put, Movember is an annual charity event to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancers. But instead of wearing ribbons or wristbands, participants wear “hairy ribbons,” AKA, mustaches. Since its inception six years ago in Australia, Movember has grown (zzzing!) worldwide and raised more than $47 million in donations.

The Agency of Innovation is doing it’s part with our team, Mustache Douglas. With Raff Viton leading the charge, 15 employees (click here to see the roster) have joined the cause and our offices are full of mustaches, almostaches and good intentions.

As the month draws to a close and the giving spirit of the holidays is in full swing, we’re looking to make a final push for some “stache cash.” If you’d like to donate to our team, visit our donation page on the Movember website. All donations go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Lance Armstrong Foundation (LiveSTRONG).

Thanks to all those who have supported this warm-hearted and warm-lipped cause. And stay tuned for Decembeard – just kidding.


Have you seen the new Maddock Douglas homepage?

Follow Maddock Douglas on Twitter

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Future Trends 2009

Future Trends 2009, November 2-4, Miami, FL

future trends banner

Maddock Douglas will be represented at Future Trends 2009 by:

Greg DePalma, Senior Vice President of Innovation

Nick Kinports, Digital Integration Manager (@ADMAVEN)

G. Michael Maddock, Founding Partner

Michelle Oldham, Vice President of Innovation (@mahdlo1)

If you are attending, be sure to join us in Salon B (Track 1) on Tuesday, November 2, 2009 from 1:45-2:30PM for Michael Maddock's presentation on Trends from the Trenches: Tapping Networks to Find the Next Blockbusters.

For those of you unable to attend, get exclusive information on Future Trends 2009 by following Maddock Douglas on Twitter. We will post video of the full presentation on The Maddock Douglas Innovation Engine Blog as it becomes available.

About Future Trends 2009:

FT'09 is your opportunity to join industry experts, corporate visionaries, trendsetters and other revolutionaries to uncover and action the trends that matter most to your business, brand and service. Look not only into the immediate future and way ahead- where will we be in 50 years or more? And focus on making it relevant for your business - before others do. Lead your team to relate trends to make decisions, engage in real conversations, and create meaningful change.

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Microsoft LookingGlass Sets Stage for Next Generation of Monitoring Services

>Auto-Tune My Voice and Put the Money Right in My Hand: Technorati

> As Facebook Grows, Privacy Issues Exposed: Technorati

Monday, October 26, 2009

Microsoft LookingGlass Sets Stage for Next Generation of Monitoring Services

Microsoft recently announced the development of LookingGlass, a platform for brand monitoring and action in social media outlets. We had a chance to get a live demo of the software at the Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising group and was impressed. Found this video from AdWeek NYC 2009 and wanted to share. Keep in mind LookingGlass is still in development and may never see the light of day, but we think it's pretty cool.



Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

>Auto-Tune My Voice and Put the Money Right in My Hand: Technorati

> As Facebook Grows, Privacy Issues Exposed: Technorati

> FTC Regulates Bloggers: How to Comply

Monday, October 19, 2009

Auto-Tune My Voice and Put the Money Right in My Hand: Technorati

This article originally published in Technorati October 16, 2009.

In an industry with ever-dwindling sales and unmet consumer needs, major record labels still don’t get it.


It’s a sad state of affairs these days at the Big Four music groups (Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, EMI, and Warner Music Group). The music industry as a whole has been hurt by the American recession, and there is little doubt consumers are spending less on everything from physical albums and their digital counterparts to merchandise and concert tickets.

But why does an industry suffering from year after year of shrinking sales refuse to innovate?

The answer: major record labels have failed to learn and practice modern marketing skills.

Example: Warner Music Group’s recent attempt to modernize their marketing efforts by selling advertising space before and after music videos.

Really, Warner? That’s the best you could come up with for your so-called "Web Strategy 2.0"?

In an era with social technologies, pull marketing, and word of mouth marketing taking center stage, revenue from physical album sales (the primary revenue stream of the major labels) is plummeting. The desperation amongst industry insiders is palpable as they realize a fundamental business model change is going to have to happen if the major labels are to survive another two to three years.

Labels need to focus on producing a product that their customers view as high quality at a price point that is fair, and then delivering that product to the channels consumers prefer (digital). That may seem like common sense, but it reflects the way the marketing and advertising industries have dramatically restructured to leverage emerging technology and trends in consumer behavior. Returning to the adage of building a high quality digital product with a good story backing it up is essential for anyone working the business to consumer angle in 2009.

As Nancy Jeffries, head of Creative Development and Licensing at MPL Music Publishing recently shared with me, "Great music, undiscovered, filtered and at great prices is what’s called for now."

Digital Rights Management issues aside, unless major labels get their acts together by hiring in fresh, talented marketers - and taking them seriously - we don’t have much to look forward to from Hollywood in the coming years, nor can we expect to have any kind of say in the low brow, Auto-Tuned, airy music dominating Billboard’s top lists.

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> As Facebook Grows, Privacy Issues Exposed: Technorati

> FTC Regulates Bloggers: How to Comply

> ADMAVEN's 5 Minute Music Survey: Consumption Habits and More

Thursday, October 15, 2009

As Facebook Grows, Privacy Issues Exposed: Technorati

This article originally published in Technorati October 14, 2009.

Let’s face it: Facebook has done a masterful job of flipping the social networking script on rival MySpace over the past three years. Holding nearly sixty percent of all social network traffic in the United States, Facebook has become the undisputed heavyweight of social technology. Twitter remains the media darling, but has proven difficult to quantify from a traffic standpoint (those of us who use the service regularly have noticed a sharp drop-off in quality content, and rumors abound of a plateau in the near future).

The public recently received an interesting bit of data from the folks over at Facebook: “The Gross National Happiness Index”. Compiling the data was a relatively simple process: the Facebook team conducted a search for recurring words or phrases in status updates and attached indicators.

The moral of the story?

Intellectual property content uploaded to Facebook – even content blocked using privacy filters – is licensed by Facebook. Images, videos, and private messages are all categorized and indexed in massive databases freely searchable by the Facebook team, and presumably available for sale to advertisers.

From the Facebook Terms of Service:

“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook ("IP License"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

Keep this in mind as advertisers and revenue streams for social networks become more sophisticated. As an advertiser, I would gladly pay Facebook a tidy sum to tell me at a microsegmentation level the behaviors and preferences of my target consumer audience.

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> FTC Regulates Bloggers: How to Comply

> ADMAVEN's 5 Minute Music Survey: Consumption Habits and More

> Innovation In Music: New Opportunities For Advertisers From MPL Music Publishing Part 3

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ADMAVEN's 5 Minute Music Survey: Consumption Habits and More

In light of recent articles covering changes in the music industry and integration of social technologies I have constructed a brief poll to ask you some simple questions about how you consume music.

I will publish the results of the poll at the end of the week - it only takes 5 minutes so please participate; the more responses we collect the more valuable insights we will have to share!

>> Click Here to take survey (opens in new window)


Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Innovation In Music: New Opportunities For Advertisers From MPL Music Publishing Part 3

> The Economist Brings You Another "Shift Happens"

> Innovation In Music: New Opportunities For Advertisers From MPL Music Publishing Part 2

Monday, October 5, 2009

Innovation In Music: New Opportunities For Advertisers From MPL Music Publishing Part 3

I recently had the opportunity to speak with MPL Music Publishing. The value proposition of the label is an iTunes like interface that allows individuals to search and download fully licensed music. I found their business model unique and offered to let Nancy Jeffries, MPL’s head of Creative Development and Licensing, tell ADMAVEN a little more about how technology is constantly evolving the business of interactive advertising.

Read Part 1 of this article
Read Part 2 of this article

What kind of response have you seen from the online community? Has utilizing social technology worked for you?
The response from the music community was really great and we now feature tracks by all kinds of artists from the great blues guitarist Sonny Landreth playing with Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler to Philip Glass protégé Trevor Gureckis; from Edie Brickell’s “Heavy Circles” to Pokey LaFarge, a young man carrying on the country blues tradition. Dance music, film cues, you name it, they all came along instantly revitalizing a catalog and adding interest to the site.

How does this compare to life in the old (and currently volatile) record label model?
It’s actually a lot more fun to do this kind of thing outside of the confines of a record label. There you’re looking for hits, you’re constrained by the promotional gatekeepers, here you’re looking for anything that might strike someone’s fancy. It’s much less limited and crazy creative.

We’re a music company developing our online business as opposed to a tech company exploiting the killer app. It may seem a bit backwards, but we think the time is right to focus on content and affordable quality.

What about the artists? How do they feel about reaching out via social media channels and servicing fans more directly?
We never want to forget that the people making the music are artists, and so are the people making the commercials and the films. We think that by taking a position that services the artist we are doing something fairly unique.

At this point we’re just getting into social networking and ways to reach out to let the wider community know this is available (this piece is part of that). We feel it would be good at this point to go beyond our core clients to include smaller agencies, people working on spec, film students etc. Having gathered the music now and set up the site we’ve just begun getting the word out. We’re working with a consultant who comes from Topspin, the company that’s developed a platform for artists to distribute their own music online directly from their sites. It’s an exciting time for us.

What is your response to those who say the music business is doomed in the current business climate?
The heart of this initiative addresses the current creative and economic climates directly. Great music, undiscovered, filtered and at great prices is what’s called for now.

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> The Economist Brings You Another "Shift Happens"

> Innovation In Music: New Opportunities For Advertisers From MPL Music Publishing Part 2

> Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising September Meetup at Aquent

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Innovation In Music: New Opportunities For Advertisers From MPL Music Publishing Part 2

I recently had the opportunity to speak with MPL Music Publishing. The value proposition of the label is an iTunes like interface that allows individuals to search and download fully licensed music. I found their business model unique and offered to let Nancy Jeffries, MPL’s head of Creative Development and Licensing, tell ADMAVEN a little more about how technology is constantly evolving the business of interactive advertising.

Read Part 1 of this article

How does the current market affect your business model and what tools are you leveraging to take advantage of the new way consumers purchase music?

We decided to approach the new climate in the music business in two ways, using the web site as a lynch pin for both. One was to increase the use of the lesser-known songs from the catalog and the other was to get back in the new music business in a way that makes sense today.

The site, developed and maintained by MPL’s Dan Sokol, increased its capability to include online licensing. This is true online licensing; you can pick a song, pay with your credit card and download the song and contract without ever lifting the phone or negotiating with anyone. You can do this on some other sites as well, but we pride ourselves on the quality of what we’re presenting. This is music that is filtered and vetted, made by serious musicians, both indie and well known, priced within reach of just about everyone.

So - ideally - you are providing better access to an existing catalog of content via web 2.0 tools, right?

To increase the use of the songs from the catalog, we’ve been creating our own masters, some of them less well known and some of them classics, allowing some room in a music supervisors budget to be able to afford a better-known song. Some of the versions are true to the original styles and some a new takes altogether.

Here’s a link to just a few of the new versions of classic songs:

How do you deal with acquiring fresh and compelling content for the site at a financially feasible price point?

That left the new music challenge. MPL, like most publishers, had a very record company focused policy as far as new artist signings were concerned, signing writers who could write hits for other recording artists. This was a model that no longer made financial sense and so using the site as the key we made an effort to try to expand the talent base in a new way. Using our collective connections in the music world, we reached out to interesting artists who control both their master rights and their publishing rights. We offered to use their music, on a non-exclusive basis, to populate our site. We keep a percentage (lower than the other sites) and if we win, they win. No one has to sign his or her life away on either side.

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising September Meetup at Aquent

> Social Media Contests: Benefits Beyond Traditional Campaigns

> Marketers Love Facebook and Twitter, But At What Expense?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising September Meetup at Aquent

Join the Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising Group organizers and members Monday, September 14, 2009 at 6:30 PM for an evening of networking and discussion within the media, marketing, advertising, and public relations industries. Food will be provided.

Be sure to visit the Meetup.com page to RSVP and get complete details as well as updates about future CMM&A events.

Our guest speakers will be Tim Courtney of KeyLimeTie and Hugh Park Jedwill of Mobile Anthem. They will be discussing the latest trends in mobile, what that means for your brand, what you can do to reach new and existing customers, and how to develop a mobile marketing strategy based on your unique target audience.

The event is sponsored by the "Search Guys" Be Found Online and will be held at the Aquent's Chicago offices at 500 W. Madison.

We look forward to seeing you all!

We ask $3.00 at the door to help with expenses.
September 14th, 2009
6:30PM to 9:00PM
Aquent
500 W Madison St., Suite 2600
Chicago, IL 60661

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Innovon In Music: New Opportunities For Advertisers From MPL Music Publishing


> Social Media Contests: Benefits Beyond Traditional Campaigns

> Marketers Love Facebook and Twitter, But At What Expense?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Innovation In Music: New Opportunities For Advertisers From MPL Music Publishing

I recently had the opportunity to speak with MPL Music Publishing. The value proposition of the label is an iTunes like interface that allows individuals to search and download fully licensed music. I found their business model unique and offered to let Nancy Jeffries, MPL’s head of Creative Development and Licensing, tell ADMAVEN a little more about how technology is constantly evolving the business of interactive advertising.

Tell us how MPL got started Nancy.

First, let me say what MPL Music Publishing is. The company was actually started in 1971 by Paul McCartney - yes, that Paul McCartney - as a place to care for his own work and to invest in some of the great music of the 20th century. To that end MPL administers the works of Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Bessie Smith and Frank Loesser along with McCartney’s post Beatles songs. Some familiar titles are “Autumn Leaves”, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, “Unchained Melody”, “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting…)”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, “It’s So Easy”, and “Real Wild Child” and from the McCartney side “Band on the Run”, “Jet”, and “My Love".


Positioning MPL to compete with other labels must be a challenge; how does the company achieve that?

It’s an interesting company in that it has a wealth of assets but is still small enough to pay attention to individual songs and projects. Major music publishers in today’s world represent hundreds of thousands of copyrights and are constantly changing priorities. We’re a boutique; we like to think of ourselves as the Manolo Blahnik shop next door to Macy’s (actually, Manolo’s is next door to our office!).

A lot of ad agency music people know us and what we represent. We work extensively in film and TV as well; we’ve had songs in many movies including “Funny People”, “Public Enemies” and “Julie and Julia” this summer. Paul McCartney has written an original song for the closing credits of a new Robert deNiro film “Everybody’s Fine” opening in November.

What is the value proposition behind MPL for advertisers?

The world is changing and we wanted to address that. My own background is in A&R for record labels and as head of A&R for Elektra in the 90’s I had a front row seat at the comedy of errors that followed the discovery of music as the “killer app”. It was like watching the proverbial train wreck in slow motion and has been documented in many places, so no need to go through that again in this piece.

Here is a link to some of our songs that are in the DNA of the culture:

List of MPL Sample Tracks

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Social Media Contests: Benefits Beyond Traditional Campaigns

> Marketers Love Facebook and Twitter, But At What Expense?

> Advertising Week DC 2009: The Capital of Making Big Things Happen

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Social Media Contests: Benefits Beyond Traditional Campaigns

Big brands have been leveraging social technologies to encourage community and individual participation in contests for quite some time. The last half of 2009, however, has seen an explosion of innovative social media contests across the most popular outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Benefits for brands (aside from the obvious exposure, awareness, etc...) include:
  • Content Collection - content that is submitted by participants is owned by the brand, therefore a successful contest can generate a stock of creative images, videos, or stories that can be re-purposed for future promotions.
  • User Experience/Message Testing - by exposing participants to a set of messages, site content, or other creative work brands that are listening to the chatter can make informed tweaks to an ongoing campaign.
  • Advocacy Building - a smart social media contest disburses smaller, yet still valuable, prizes among more participants. An ongoing contest from Lexli International, for example, offers one grand prize and ten runners up. By reaching out to a broader pool of winners and soliciting them for further participation in the brand, a company can create its own group of influential online advocates.
Other innovative social media contests in market today:

Champion's What's Your Everest Contest

Know of other ongoing contests? Let me know by commenting below.

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Marketers Love Facebook and Twitter, But At What Expense?
> Advertising Week DC 2009: The Capital of Making Big Things Happen
> Developing Social Strategy: Choose Wisely

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ad:tech Chicago September 1-2, 2009

A little late on the draw, but ad:tech Chicago is going on right now! Lots of great Tweets using the #adtech hash tag.

If you are attending - please leave your favorite speaker, event, or overheard conversations in the comments below!

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Manipulating Social Media: A Losing Proposition

> Marketers Love Facebook and Twitter, But At What Expense?

> Advertising Week DC 2009: The Capital of Making Big Things Happen

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Manipulating Social Media: A Losing Proposition

Several days ago TechCrunch featured a rather embarrassing article alleging deceptive practices by a reputable public relations firm. Andy Sernovitz, word of mouth marketing ethics expert, also analyzed the situation, albeit assuming guilt based on the article from TechCrunch.

Although I will not name the company involved nor comment on the validity of the claims, I will discuss my feelings on the bigger picture.

As companies rush to enter the social space, the temptation to use old media techniques will be great. It seems to follow that if the success of a product is influenced by the number of positive reviews on a particular website, increasing the number of positive reviews will result in greater sales.

Sounds familiar doesn't it?

Neat, clean, methodical, and formulaic. It's an old-school media/public relations attempt at quantifying ROI in a new and uncertain era for advertising. I won't even touch the ethical issues involved - individuals like Andy Sernovitz are better able to articulate those points.

Let's talk about money and media spending. Social technologies allow us to spend money on a rolling basis, but get more and more return from that spending as time goes on. Unlike traditional campaigns where media is purchased, used, and exhausted, social media allows you to create a living, breathing community around a brand that lasts (as long as the product or service is of quality and the company continues to care what consumers say).

My smartest clients understand that their brands are now in the hands of consumers. Those consumers can be won over one at a time using social technology. They refuse to be tricked, bartered with, or swindled into impulse buying. They feel very secure in the knowledge that buying something that has been vetted by their peers will result in satisfaction. When a company tries to manipulate the systems that vet these products and services (reviews) by injecting biased content it places itself in a very bad position.

Don't let your clients or your brand fall victim to the short term solution. There are no simple formulas to calculate the ROI of social media efforts. Each system is unique and must be carefully reviewed to quantify success. It isn't about cold hard numbers, its about relationships and people.

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:


> Marketers Love Facebook and Twitter, But At What Expense?

> Advertising Week DC 2009: The Capital of Making Big Things Happen

> Developing Social Strategy: Choose Wisely

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Marketers Love Facebook and Twitter, But At What Expense?

New data (and common sense) points to Facebook as the best place for brands to have a social presence. This goes in line with the concept of providing valuable information to your target consumer audience in outlets those consumers prefer to access. The question I am faced with - as an individual responsible for large scale social strategy implementation - is the old adage of putting all your eggs in one basket.

Our best quantitative research reveals that Facebook is not only top of mind across a variety of segments, but that it is used on a daily basis by more people than any other social media outlet. These findings cannot be ignored - in fact they must be acted upon. But where do we draw the line? The combination of Twitter and Facebook cannot be the fit for all companies seeking to engage in social media, yet these two outlets are the most common topics of discussion when beginning a project.

Stripping away the Facebook top layer reveals a rich ecosystem of other social media outlets. Marketers in general are ignoring these outlets in favor of the Facebook and Twitter combination.

Moving into the last half of 2009 will see many changes for Facebook and especially Twitter (as it moves to implement a revenue model). As a marketer you should always ask yourself this question, "If X was gone tomorrow, would my brand be okay?"

If the answer is anything but a resounding, "Yes!" you may have some work to do.

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Advertising Week DC 2009: The Capital of Making Big Things Happen

> Developing Social Strategy: Choose Wisely

> Marcus Sakey: Social Media Marketing in the New World of Publishing Part 3

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Advertising Week DC 2009: The Capital of Making Big Things Happen


I received an email from Advertising Week DC 2009 requesting to post this information; ADWKDC should be a great event!

When?
Monday, September 14th - Friday, September 18th 2009

Got any big names?
You bet! Advertising Week 2009 will feature influential speakers from companies such as
Verizon, Discovery Communications, Inc., Mixx, The National Guard, Interface Media, Blue Pixel, Brunner Digital, RP3 Agency, White & Partners, Williams Whittle, LM&O Advertising, MDB Communications & Arnold DC.

·Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
·Liz Dolan, Chief Marketing Officer, The Oprah Winfrey Network
·Robb High, Principal, Robb High Consulting
·Tiffany Warren, Chief Diversity Officer, Omnicom Group, Inc.
·Stuart Elliott, Advertising Columnist, The New York Times
·Mark Whitaker, Washington D.C. Bureau Chief and Senior Vice President, NBC News
·Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent, NBC News Political Director, Contributing Editor, ‘Meet the Press’
·David Gregory, Moderator, ‘Meet the Press’
·Nick Moore, Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman New York
·Ted Eyes, Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director, Draft FCB NY
·Speakers from Verizon, Discovery Communications, Inc., Mixx, The National Guard, Interface Media, Blue Pixel, Brunner Digital, RP3 Agency, White & Partners, Williams Whittle, LM&O Advertising, MDB Communications, Arnold Worldwide

How can I get updates?
Text ADWKDC to 56333 to receive updates to the program as they become available. Standardmessage rates apply. You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogger and YouTube. To link to us and find more information go to: www.ADWKDC.com.

How do I register?
Easy. Visit our website: www.ADWKDC.com

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Developing Social Strategy: Choose Wisely

> Marcus Sakey: Social Media Marketing in the New World of Publishing Part 3

> Controlling Google Search Results Essential For Job Seekers

Monday, August 17, 2009

Developing Social Strategy: Choose Wisely

As marketers grope to communicate with consumers using relatively new and exciting tools, agencies are trying to sell the story of social media products and services to marketers. These social media products and services come in a variety of forms - methodologies, software packages, websites, and plain old elbow grease.

Most of them are a complete waste of time.

As I survey the social landscape sprinkled with a light coating of "solutions" I get a sinking feeling that the noise is drowning out a very important point: the reason social technology has become so prevalent is the human desire to communicate. When coupled with technological innovations people can now exchange information with greater efficiency. That can't be quantified in a buzz word, a trademark, or a fancy looking online package. It's a simple - yet incredibly deep - notion that now permeates our daily lives.

Smart companies understand the secret to moving forward lies in activities that work with consumer behavior rather than against it. That isn't really a secret at all - it's just good business. Marketers who understand the unmet needs of their consumers and seek to fill those needs with transparency and forward thinking communications across all channels will become powerhouses of efficiency within the next two years.

Selecting the right partner to develop social strategy is the first step; choose wisely. Dig deeper and look beyond the buzz words and slogans - what makes a social agency or consultant tick? Is it the passion for a more meaningful marketing future in which brands and consumers get along, or is it a selection of tips, tricks, and disparate tactics to eke by?

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Marcus Sakey: Social Media Marketing in the New World of Publishing Part 3

> Controlling Google Search Results Essential For Job Seekers

> Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising August Meetup Conclusion and Pictures

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Marcus Sakey: Social Media Marketing in the New World of Publishing Part 3

Marcus Sakey was an award-winning copywriter on brands ranging from JCPenney to World Championship Wrestling until he left the business to write novels. His books have been translated into a dozen languages, labeled “nothing short of brilliant” by the Chicago Tribune, and chosen among Esquire Magazine’s Top 5 of the Year. His latest, THE AMATEURS, will be released on August 6th. Marcus approached ADMAVEN to tell his story and detail how he uses social media marketing to go above and beyond traditional publisher driven advertising. I found his story compelling, and I am not receiving compensation for allowing Marcus to guest post. With that being said, Marcus will detail his story in three posts that will appear on ADMAVEN weekly.

This is the final installment of my guest editorials at ADMAVEN, and I’d like to thank Nick for the opportunity, and all of you for reading—very much appreciated!

Last week I wrote about how even novelists need to build and maintain a brand. Today I’d like to talk about one specific way I did that, taking advantage of social networking.

Twitter is today’s buzz topic, and a lot of agencies and clients are trying to find ways to maximize the value it offers. To my mind, the most important thing is to remember that Twitter was created so that people could keep up with one another, not so they could be marketed to. The worst thing you can do on Twitter is treat your followers like a passive crowd that you talk at—or worse, sell at.

Okay, fine. But what does that mean?

Well, for me it meant that first, I waited to leap to Twitter until I had an idea of what I wanted to say. I didn’t want to just shout about my books. Also—and this is important—I didn’t want to be an early adopter. Unless you’re Ashton Kutcher, the benefit to being first to something like Twitter is outweighed by the cost in time and message. Remember that before Twitter there was Facebook and before Facebook there was MySpace and before MySpace there was Friendster and before Friendster there was AIM and before AIM…you get the picture.

The next thing you want to do is maintain a direct connection. That means replying to people. It means re-tweeting interesting posts. It means shooting thank you messages to people who follow you. It means spending some time being a real live person.

Beyond general interaction, I wanted to do something that would A) increase the number of people subscribing to my posts, and B) promote my new novel to a large group, while C) not being annoying.

All of which added up to a contest. A carefully planned contest.

My new novel, THE AMATEURS, is about four friends in their early thirties who are dissatisfied with their lives, and who make a risky plan to try to take what they think they deserve. Along the way, the meet every week or so to chat and drink and play games, one of which is called “Ready, Go.” It’s essentially a question game:

“If your best friend killed someone, how far would you go to help them cover it up? Ready, go.”

So for my contest, I decided to host a two-week round of Ready, Go. Every day I would tweet a question. To enter, all you had to do was re-tweet your answer, and tag it with @MarcusSakey and #TheAmateurs. Every answer counted as an entry. My publisher, Dutton, generously provided a prize package, about $1000 in hardcover books (A significant prize is important—small prizes feel small, and no brand wants that).

The idea was simple. At this point, being relatively new to Twitter, I didn’t have a huge network. But this contest took advantage of the networks of everyone who entered. Every time someone responded with:

“I’d help bury the body. @MarcusSakey #TheAmateurs”

it flashed out to their entire network. Thus my name, and the title of my new book, appeared on thousands of screens everyday for two weeks. Not only that, but because the questions led to intriguing answers, a lot of people in those networks checked out what had prompted the reply—and ended up subscribing to my posts.

Of course, at the heart of this is that personal connection. This wouldn’t have worked if it wasn’t a real person putting it together, maintaining it, responding to some of the juicier answers—in other words, interacting. Which is what social networking is all about.

Anyway, I’d like to thank ADMAVEN again for the opportunity. If you liked what I had to say—or if you hated it—please let me know on Twitter or Facebook.

Better yet, if you like to read, check out my new book, THE AMATEURS. I think you’ll like it.

Cheers!

-Marcus Sakey

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Controlling Google Search Results Essential For Job Seekers

> Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising August Meetup Conclusion and Pictures

> Chicago Tonight Hosts ADMAVEN on Social Media in the Job Hunt

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Controlling Google Search Results Essential For Job Seekers

In a world where recruiters are increasingly relying on social media to vet candidates early in the selection process it is critical that a job seeker understand and apply principles of branding to his or her life. This morning I received an email from a friend seeking help:

"My friend is [name removed] and he has a slight problem. He was involved in a negative situation in his past job and is now clear of the incident with one exception: if you Google his name you will find several undesirable results which he is very adamant about removing or lowering in rank.
Can you think of a way to help him with this issue?"

A common problem among modern job seekers are inconsistencies between information easily accessible to recruiters on search engines, social networks, and other social media outlets and their resume or in-person presentation.

The best way to take control of your personal brand and publicly available information is to generate consistent content making use of your name in outlets that matter to your industry. This takes time and daily effort; there is no quick fix. Outlets with particularly high PageRank - the system by which Google categorizes relevancy and importance in search results - are LinkedIn, Google Profiles, Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo, Meetup, and BlogCatalog. Use these sites to create consistent profiles and begin taking search ownership of your name.

Generating relevant content such as blog posts, leaving comments on industry publications, and regularly updating social network profiles will help maintain and increase the search ranking of desirable content.

The lesson to be learned and applied to brands is simple: do not wait until you have an immediate need to understand your online perception. Regardless of whether you represent yourself (personal brand) or a client's brand, you must create consistency in visibility between experience offline and information seekers online.

Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising August Meetup Conclusion and Pictures

> Chicago Tonight Hosts ADMAVEN on Social Media in the Job Hunt

> Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising August Meetup at Saper Law

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising August Meetup Conclusion and Pictures

The Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising Group had another great meet up last night - the founders of ChirpUp spoke about blogging and their experiences, as well as engaged the audience in a lively discussion about how to make blogging work for clients.

Here are some select photos from the event - over 70 of Chicago's media, marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals attended! Thanks to Saper Law for providing the space for a wonderful evening.



Interact With ADMAVEN on Twitter

PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARTICLE ALSO READ:

> Chicago Tonight Hosts ADMAVEN on Social Media in the Job Hunt

> Chicago Media Marketing & Advertising August Meetup at Saper Law

> Marcus Sakey: Social Media Marketing in the New World of Publishing