Blog Archives

  • Market Space vs. Market Place - Marketers are endlessly inventive when it comes to creating jargon and sub-specialties. I was particularly impressed recently to find that “market space” is no longer synonymous with “market place.”  According to Wikipedia, “marketspace” is now defined as “an information and communications-based electronic exchange environment.” Can “marketspace” consultants and “marketspace” specialists be far behind? We are…
  • How to Shoot Yourself in the Foot with Social Media - I am constantly bemused by how people can’t seem to get the ground rules of social media.  They really aren’t all that difficult.  At the most basic level, they come down to good manners and courtesy.  Unfortunately, these concepts seem to be more honored in the breach than in practice.  Yet ignoring them has a…
  • Will Mechanization Replace Marketers? - This question keeps coming up:  in blogs, in tweets, in LinkedIn discussions, in so-called academic papers. I guess the answer depends on what you think marketing is. If you define marketing as a series of tasks, if you think marketing is merely the accretion of likes, connects, and follows, if you believe marketing is a…
  • CAM’s Blog’s Best of 2013 - In case you’ve missed them, here are some of CAM’s most popular blog posts of 2013: The Law of Unintended Consequences The Dark Side of Branding and Name Recognition Common Wisdom or Common Sense? Measuring Impact on Social Media Creating a Successful Slogan The Dumbing Down of Marketing Influencer Marketing Are We Asking Too Much…
  • The Weight of the Organizational Pyramid - We all know how organization charts work.  At the top is the CEO.  Below him are the C Suite officers, usually the COO, the CFO, the CIO, the CMO or VP-Marketing (or, sometimes, the VP-Sales and Marketing).  Beneath them are their staffs.  And so it goes until we get to the lowest levels in the…
  • The Devolution of Marketing - It is impossible today not to have noticed the increasing number of specialties and sub-specialties that all claim to be the key to successful marketing. Some days it seems that it is a marketer’s primary responsibility to create a new twist or term on what marketing is.  In fact, the easiest way to be seen…
  • Accidental Exceptionalism - It is a basic human need to fit in.  People are social animals, and no one enjoys being excluded from the pack. Yet, simultaneously, we all secretly like to think that we are special, that something about us is unique – and uniquely valuable. How people balance these primal needs defines who they are. And…
  • Everything Old is New Again: How Social Media Has Changed Marketing - In the past few years, the business world seems to have been increasingly inundated with new marketing specialties.  Now we have content marketing, engagement marketing, influencer marketing, customer-centric marketing, in-bound demand marketing, and on and on.  The list is seemingly endless.  In fact, just recently I was made aware that there are those in the…
  • Avoiding Marketing Malpractice - As marketers, our profession – and our professional obligation – is to help our companies and our clients attain increased market share and higher earnings.  We do this in a number of ways, some aiming for short-term results, some with a longer-term payback.  Some of our efforts show tangible results, some are harder to measure…
  • The Evolution of Social Media - For all the hoopla about social media, for all the excitement about the concept of reaching “influencers,” for all the anticipation of revenues to come now that Facebook and Twitter are pushing advertising, no one seems to be noticing several basic facts of digital life: ♦        Virtually all of the early promises…
  • CEOs: Beware the Bell-Shaped Trough - CEOs:  Beware the Bell-Shaped Trough  We all know about the bell-shaped curve.  It is the iconic visual that shows how human (and most other kinds) of variability almost always falls into a predictable overall pattern. Most people, institutions, characteristics, etc. fall into the large hump that makes up the body of the bell.  But, inevitably,…
  • Implementing is the Hard Part - Implementing is the Hard Part It’s obvious.  Creating “strategy” is sexy.  It requires thought, knowledge, sensitivity to the marketplace, and creativity. MBA courses stress strategy.  Discussions abound on strategy.  We worry about social media strategies, mobile marketing strategies, strategies for enhancing “customer engagement” or the “customer experience,” advertising strategies, SEO strategies, inbound marketing strategies, sales…
  • CMO to CEO? - I recently started a LinkedIn discussion on whether a Chief Marketing Officer should be a leader first and a marketer second.  I was quite surprised by the diversity of opinion on the question; and I was even more surprised by the number of people who thought leadership was more important because the next logical step…
  • The Mission of Marketing -  Marketing has two distinct, if overlapping, missions.  Mission #1 is to drive immediate revenue and support sales. This is the function that most people think about when they think of marketing.  And this is the function that makes far too many people think that marketing and sales are the same thing.  They are not, of…
  • Marketing’s Collateral Damage - Marketers like to talk to each other about the importance of marketing.  We discuss branding and name recognition, channel marketing, social media tactics, market research techniques, etc.  We work hard to keep up with the ever-exploding proliferation of buzz words.  And along side these satisfying discussions and neologisms, we bemoan how misunderstood we are; how…
  • The Pick of the Litter and Market Success - When I was getting my dog, I asked for the puppy that was the most mischievous and got into the most trouble.  Everyone laughed.  But my thinking was that she’d be the smartest and healthiest of the bunch.  Certainly training her was, at best, an arduous experience.  In the end, however, I got an exceptionally…
  • Hadoop Marketing? - Hadoop is the latest tool and technique in the never-ending quest to mine the best and most subtle information from the astonishing amount of data a digitally-based economy and society generate daily.  Stripped to its essentials, it puts dozens (or hundreds) of computers on finite tasks of data mining (and, occasionally, data visualization) simultaneously.  This…
  • What Really Happens When Influence Increases - This blog was previously published by Eric on June 6, 2013.  I think you will find that it is well worth the read. Joe Fernandez of Klout recently said Klout’s goal is to help every person maximize their individual influence. It is no secret, as a marketer you want to influence purchases. You use advertising,…
  • Are We Asking Too Much of the Customer? - There is a tremendous amount of noise in the marketplace.  And it is difficult to find someone who doesn’t feel over-burdened with the stresses of day-to-day living, and earning a living.  There is no doubt about it.  It is hard – and getting harder – to get, and keep, anyone’s attention. Every businessperson knows this. …
  • Why Six Sigma Doesn’t Work for Marketing - Six Sigma is an increasingly popular approach to measuring and managing quality.  Its ultimate aim is “perfection,” the concept being that with continuing incremental improvement, there can be a reduction in variation approaching zero. Six Sigma is a process quality control tool, created by Motorola in 1985.  It was designed as a manufacturing process tool. …
  • In Praise of Pedestrian Marketing - Pedestrian marketing – marketing that fits squarely into the norms of your market space and carefully adheres to the guidelines and rules of what everyone knows are the currently right ways to do things – offers some real and tangible benefits to marketers and business. ♦        When you do what everyone knows…
  • Influencer Marketing - Well, it’s upon us.  The latest, greatest magical technique to sharpen our marketing efforts and bring customers to our doors in droves. No more worrying about “the marketplace.”  Now we can focus on specific individuals or specific groups of individuals.  These people “influence” – i.e., help determine – what and why everyone else buys.  So,…
  • Marketing By the Numbers - At its core, marketing is a numbers oriented profession. We segment the market and size it.  We worry about demographics and demographic trends.  We do statistically significant market research (or, at least, we should).  Marketers are given to counting the number of hits, likes, connects, and follows.  We are constantly looking for new and more…
  • How to Improve Your Web Site’s ROI - What is your Web site’s ROI?  When was the last time you heard anyone ask that question? CFOs are demanding (and marketers are scrambling for) a clear definition of social media return on investment.  But Web sites have become so much an assumed part of doing business today that the question never seems to come…
  • Marketing Is Not A Game - I recently published a blog wondering how someone could consider himself a professional marketer if all he knows is how to post on social media – or worse, doesn’t understand digital marketing at all. I got some interesting responses  And one in particular, I think, points out a fatal flaw in too much of what…
  • Where Have All the Marketers Gone? - We all know that there are far too many people out there who call themselves marketers who only know how to tweet or post to Facebook or Instagram. But recently I had a conversation with several people who claim to be high-powered, senior level marketing executives who didn’t have a clue about what a digital…
  • 7 Simple Tips for Social Media Success - 1.  Remember these platforms are called social media.  Your tweets, your posts, your comments, etc. should not all be about you.  Be generous with your re-tweets and re-posts.  Flagrant ego-thumping and blatant sales pitches may get you attention; but it will not be the kind of attention you want.  2.  Understand what the various social…
  • Start-Ups: Bringing Up Baby - Entrepreneurs often liken the process of bringing a new product/company to market as giving birth.  And the analogy is not far off the mark. Months, often years, are involved in defining a vision and giving it tangible substance.  Blood, sweat, tears, and (quite often) most of the money an entrepreneur has or can borrow have…
  • The Dumbing Down of Marketing - Here’s the dirty little secret that’s not being talked about in public:  Marketing is dumbing itself down. I’m sure you’ve all noticed.  LinkedIn is becoming overwhelmed with “discussions” about issues that were either settled decades ago (e.g, “Can Women Manage as Well as Men?”  Really?  This is what we need to spend our time discussing?).…
  • Sales is From Mars, and Marketing’s From Venus - For as long as I can remember, there has been a quiet, consistent, and apparently immutable lack of understanding and appreciation between sales and marketing. Oh, we like to pretend that this tension is much ado about nothing.  We talk about the partnership between the two areas.  We talk about collaboration between them and develop…
  • Creating a Successful Slogan - Slogans abound. Large companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to create slogans and impress them  on the public consciousness:  “I’m lovin’ it.”  “It’s the real thing.”  “We try harder.” Unfortunately, most companies don’t have that kind of money to invest.  So what’s a small- or medium-sized company to do? Actually, there are only…
  • Measuring Impact on Social Media - Measuring Impact on Social Media Marketers spend a good deal of their time segmenting markets, parsing demographics, and searching for niches.  Marketing, in some ways more than most fields, lives and dies by the numbers. It’s not surprising, then, that we focus on numbers with social media.  We count likes, connects, and follows.  We measure…
  • Is Marketing Setting Itself Up for a Fall? - Is Marketing Setting Itself Up for a Fall? We all agree that today’s prospects and customers – both on the consumer side and on the B2B side – are getting more sophisticated and demanding.  Simultaneously, of course, the tools, techniques, and mechanisms for reaching them are growing exponentially. The result is an explosion of marketing…
  • The Fantasy of Marketing Magic - The Fantasy of Marketing Magic I was talking with a friend the other day about how the ease of use of the Internet seems to have replaced the need to work at marketing in some people’s minds. For example, one fellow I know (and I’m quite sure he is not alone) has proudly built his…
  • 7 Simple Rules for an Effective Marketing Program - Marketing seems to be getting more and more complicated.  There is an ever-expanding universe of ways to try to reach out to prospects.  Segmenting the marketplace now includes categorization by means of communication on top of the traditional demographic profiles.  Marketing specialties are multiplying. What’s an entrepreneur or small- to medium-sized business to do?  There…
  • User-Friendly Marketing - User-Friendly Marketing We all know that a key to technology success is user-friendliness.  Consumer hardware is “plug and play.”  And software – both consumer and B2B – should require no particular expertise from the end-user.  Gone are the days when you needed a 500 page manual on your desk in order to be able to…
  • Why CFOs are Dubious about Marketing - We all know the problem.  Those accounting types are driving us crazy, constantly demanding that we measure our success and justify our expenses.  We tie ourselves in knots trying to come up with metrics that will satisfy them. Well, with all due respect, I’d like to suggest that a large part of the problem is…
  • Marketing: Parental Guidance Recommended - For generations, parents have been telling their kids the same things.  As kids, we swear that we’ll never say those things to our kids.  Then, one day, we are shocked to hear them coming out of our mouths. So one wonders if there aren’t some elemental truths in these nostrums – and if they might…
  • Common Wisdom or Common Sense? - I don’t know about you, but I am getting very tired of the platitudes, nostrums, assumptions, and just plain silliness that passes for wisdom in marketing and business. For example: ♦       Everyone needs to be on social media. ♦       The more likes, connects, and follows, the better. ♦       Every…
  • The Dark Side of Branding and Name Recognition - The Dark Side of Branding and Name Recognition Once upon a time, we were told “Call me anything you want; just spell my name right.”  Or “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” Arrant nonsense, of course, although it has seeped into everyone’s consciousness.  If that was true, companies wouldn’t spend untold millions on…
  • Aiming for Mediocrity - Aiming for Mediocrity A key element in business in general, and in marketing in particular, is differentiation. Differentiation is what tells the world what sets you apart from others in your space and tells the marketplace why people should spend their money with you.  It doesn’t matter whether you are in a consumer industry or…
  • Openness – The Key to Monetizing Mobile - Openness – The Key to Monetizing Mobile  (Or Why I think 3P-Based Infrastructure and Value-Add Channels are Sexy) Over the past decade, rapid advancements in mobile technology and mobility in general, have changed how we live and how we do business.  It has changed us from an “on-demand” world to an “always connected” world.  No…
  • For the Love of Bureaucracy - For the Love of Bureaucracy It is hard to find someone who doesn’t bemoan the problems of dealing with bureaucracy:  The endless paperwork.  The cumbersome processes seemingly designed to frustrate anyone daring to want something done.  The daunting number of people who stand between you and your objective.  The amount of time necessary to grind…
  • Prizes and Profits - Prizes and Profits I was talking to a friend recently whose company won an award from its industry association for its marketing campaign.  The company was thrilled.  They did a press release (which they sent to everyone on their email list); tweeted about it; and put it on their Facebook page. Impressive. So I asked…