Archives: April 2005

Corporate Blogging Redux

I wrote about the next big thing in corporate blogging today. It’s not about bloggers inside your corporation, but rather about bloggers outside your company, who create corporate fan blogs since they are passionate about your product and want to tell the world about it.

The tricky part is that these great word-of-mouth fan blogs are often created without the blessing of the corporation. There’s a lack of control of brand and “message” many marketing and PR people are very unhappy about. Just ask Apple. Managing your fans can be a delicate business. Take a peek at my blog post at worthwhilemag.com for more details.

We'll Say It Again

This is from Marti Barletta, marketing-to-women guru, and one of our Cool Friends:

My thanks to Steve Yastrow for his mention last week of the Marketing to Women—M2W—Conference in Chicago, hosted by PME Events and chaired by yours truly. As we all know, marketing to women is one of Tom’s hot topics, so although he wasn’t able to join us this time, he was gracious enough to send along some remarks to open and close the conference for us. To keep the ball rolling, I thought I’d share five key themes that resonated for everyone who attended the conference.

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Event Slides: IASB

In San Antonio, Texas, Tom is speaking to IASB. Download the slides here.

The Future of Unions?

John O’Leary, long-time facilitator for Tom Peters Company, has provided the offering below. It looks likely to stir up some discussion. Thank you, John, for this post:

The Future of Unions?

If you haven’t heard much about Andy Stern, the upstart president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), that will soon change. The introduction to him this month at the Human Resoures Outsourcing (HRO) World Conference in New York was reminiscent of Jon Landau’s I-have-seen-the-future-of-rock-and-roll introduction of Bruce Springsteen in the 1970s: “I have seen the future of unions—and its name is Andy Stern.”

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New Cool Friend: Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson is coauthor of Don’t Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy—And How to Increase Your Share of This Crucial Market. She’s also co-founder and CEO of ReachWomen, a marketing consultancy focused on women 18-44 years old. A quote from the interview:

We looked at a lot of different ways to capture women’s attention and make a brand more compelling by considering how she’s seeing the world.

Lisa, welcome to the ranks of the Cool Friends!

Event Slides: MASCPA

Tom speaks to MASCPA in York, Pennsylvania. Get the slides here.

The Met School

One of Tom’s coolest friends, Dennis Littky, is an education innovator. NPR’s All Things Considered broadcast a story about one of his schools yesterday(4/25). If you’re interested in finding out more about what Dennis and his cohorts are up to, visit the Big Picture website.

Selling (Out) Broadway

Today’s (4/23) New York Times carried an editorial describing the latest venue in which advertising product placements have shown up—the Broadway musical. The musical Sweet Charity carries plugs for a brand of tequila, Grand Centanario.

There is a sign showing the product in one scene, and the product name has been inserted into dialogue. The original script from the 1966 musical has a waiter ask a customer, “a double Scotch again, sir?” The line has been changed to “Grand Centario, the tequila?” The Times bemoans this development, acknowledging the commercial nature of Broadway theater, but wishing the stage itself could remain ad free.

What do you all think? Is this bad?

One thing that’s on my mind—Most discussions of product placement focus on the advertiser’s strategy and on the transaction between the advertiser and the provider of media placement. What about the viewer/customer? Is it just assumed that if they see it they will buy? Will they? These discussions are just variations on old-time advertising discussions, which assume that customers will but your product if you interrupt them enough times. Relating back to the Times story, will any more Grand Centario be sold due to selling-out of Sweet Charity?

Internal Marketing

Recent recommendation to a client: “We need to start marketing to ourselves with as much care as we market to our outside customers.”

Does your organization focus any of its marketing efforts within the company, helping people who work for the company to understand how to “Be the Brand?” What is the relative balance of resources devoted to internal vs. external marketing? If you do any internal marketing, how is it received by the employee population?

Freakonomics

freakonomics.jpgDid you follow Tom’s advice and take a freak to lunch today? No? Fear not. If you’re looking for a fresh perspective, a way of shifting your perceptions, check out Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden State of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (also, check out their blog). There has been some heavy buzz on this book over the past few weeks. Read it, then tell us if you think schoolteachers really are like sumo wrestlers.