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Friday Fun: Happy 2005!


Peach_drop From the Peach Drop in Atlanta to the crystal ball in Times Square, Father Time will soon make way for Baby New Year. What's new year's eve without some fire works and a chorus or two of Auld Lang Syne?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to min'?Timessquare_new_years_eve_1
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne?

For auld syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne...

...and one of my favorites from the film When Harry Met Sally.

Harry: What does this song mean? For my whole life I don't know what this song means. I mean, "Should old acquaintance be forgot". Does that mean we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happen to forget them we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot them?
Sally: Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it's about old friends. 

For this diva, 2004 was about new friends as well as old. Thank you divas and divos for joining me in the adventure of exploring the blogosphere. Thank you for the lively exchanges, for your kindnesses and for challenging me to step beyond my comfort zone. You have truly enriched my life.

Wishing you the very best for 2005!

Looking Back and Looking Forward


In retrospect ... eMarketer's 2004 eBusiness Trends

1. Paid Search Advertising - 51% growth to $3.9 billion in the US.

[Sidebar: I assume this accounts for website ads only and not blog ads. Visit Blogads and Pheedo to learn more about blog ads.]

2. Cross Channel Shopping - Multi-channel shoppers tend to spend more than single-channel shoppers.

[Sidebar: Diva marketers know that Integrated -traditional and new media- strategies produce strongest results.]

3. Blogs and RSS - Corporate blogging became popular.

[Sidebar: Delighted that blogs and RSS were acknowleged as a business strategy. However, corporate blogging still has a few miles to go before it hits mainstream popularity.]

[Sidebar: Take note of Robert Scobel's #14 2005 predicition: There will be a couple of major marketing misteps because marketing directors will have thought all they needed to do was a blog and everything would fall into place. As we are learning, there is much more to a successful corporate blog than a few posts. More later.]

4. Strong Broadband Adoption in China, Japan, UK and France - As broadband decreases in cost (less than $30/month) "take-up is rapid." Making our world just a little smaller.

5. Mobile Service - Wireless phone and services are being used for more than just talking. Picutres. Videos. Ads.

[Sidebar: The word is moblogging!]

6. IT Overseas Outsourcing - IT is the most commonly out sourced business function.

[Sidebar: Please, please, please if outsourcing is part of your business model invest some of those saved $ in customer service training.]

7. Healthcare and IT - Watch for healthcare providers electronically sharing information.

8. VoIP Service Offerings - Anticipated faster growth in 2005.

9. Linux - Tech firms made long-term commitment to Linux.

10. China Major IT Consumer - Projected IT spending for 2004 - $25 billion.

Looking forward. Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, Church of the Customer, give their top 10 strategies to ensure our customers are center stage in 2005.

1. Gather more customer feedback

2. Be more transparent

3. Be more authentic and personnal

4. Napsterize your knowledge

5. Give up rewards programs

6. Communicate with customers more often

7. Be more visible

8. Divide at least one product or service into bite size chunks

9. Get customers involed

10. Some how change the world

Blogs Are Communication


Blogs mean different things to different people. However, at their heart blogs are immediate communication vehicles.

Yvonne DiVita reminds us that passionate people are on the other side of the keyboard. People who generously share their worlds with others. They open the doors of our own worlds a little wider. Yvonne is one amazing diva who writes two blogs Business Blogging Bootcamp and Lip-Sticking.

Evelyn Rodriguez, who pens the beautifully written blog, Crossroads, is doing just that for her readers. What began as a happy holiday on the island of Phi Phi Don off the Andaman coast of Thailand turned into a nightmare when Evelyn found herself in the middle of the tsunami. Travel home safely Evelyn.

A little help from a friend...CNN provides an extensive list of links to non profit organizations providing aid to the victims of the tsunamis including: UNICEF/Red Cross/Doctors Without Borders

Adding one more link for tsunamis aid from Command Post.

TV Blogs


Movie Over Sex in the City...you've got company in the blogosphere. Oxygen's Women & The Badge launched a blog to promote the show. The blog looks at a cop's life through the eyes of Officer Jan Dubina who by the way is featured on the show. (Yeah I know Carrie's not real but hey...don't sweat the small stuff...it's a blog promoting a TV show.)

Wonder which TV show or perhaps film or perhaps author will discover that blogs are indeed a powerful marketing promotional tactic.

Officer Dubina need a few tips on blogging? Take a look at the blog of Police Chief Dan Carlson of Eden Prairie.

Heard it from: Adrants

Friday Fun: Holiday Blogging Songs


Xmas_blogBloggers get a creative the night before Christmas. Badlands's 12 Days of Blogging is making its rounds throught the blog world. Brad Graham wrote this in 1999.

At Solonar you'll find the Blogger's Night before Christmas. Solonar wrote this one in 2002.

If you still want more Christmas stuff check out Eric's Blogcritics post.

Since I couldn't find anything more current, I thought...how hard can this be? Just for a giggle, to the tune of The Christmas Song here is a very bad, and I do mean bad...tribute to the blogs and bloggers who write them! Works best with a holiday adult beverage.

Bloggers sitting by a hot spot
Spammers nipping at your posts
Blogs being read by A-list bloggers
And readers subscribed by RSS .

Everybody knows links and graphics (more graphics)
Help to make the trackbacks soar.
Bloggers with Technorati listings
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that visitors are on their way
With high search rankings yet to come.
And ev'ry blogger is gonna to see if
Blogs really are that much fun.

And so, I'm offering this

Simple phrase to bloggers new (and new) and old,
Altho' it's been said many times
Many ways; "Happy blogging to you!"

Sidebar: Wonderful xmas angel drawing from Scoble who found it on unmediated. Extra holiday treat...more children's blog drawings.

Eden Praire - Brand New


Eden_prairie_new_logoScott Neal, divo city manager for Eden Prairie, MN lets us in on the behind the scenes work that led to the city's new identify program including spiffy new logo and tag line - "Live.Work.Dream." Hats off to Eden Prairie for basing strategies on research!

Divas, as 2005 fast approaches, now is a good time to schedule a marketing audit for your company or brand.

ClickZ Today Needs A Blog


Been reading ClickZ Today for ages but a multi person blog a la Worthwhile would be pretty cool. Or at least an RSS feed. 

Think someone would take a look at parent company Jupiter's analysts' blogs for an ah ha moment.

Sidebar: Worthwhile is well worth a visit.

eMarketing Miracles


Christmas 1947. Before blogs, buzz marketing and building communities strategies.

The CEO of a major retail organization briefs the company's ad department. "No high pressuring and forcing the customer to take something he doesn't want. We'll be known as the helpful store. The friendly store. The store with a heart. The store that places public service ahead of profit. The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before."

With those words Macy's Department Store launched the most innovative sales program ever viewed...on the silver screen. It was a Miracle on 34th StreetMiracle_on_34th_street

Fast forward 57 years. The use of the internet is one of the most exciting sales and marketing strategies we've seen in the last 57 years. However, in this model there is no room for high-pressure sales techniques. The customer is in control of the sales experience.

Include a blog strategy to an internet marketing mix and yet another dimension is added. The company steps out from behind the shadows of traditional PR, customer service and research (all valid in their own right) and declares it's ready to listen and learn from prospects and customers...on the their terms.

It's not afraid (ok. perhaps there are a few wobbles) to show the world that there might be a few warts. That's a giant step from old world marketing to open communication new world marketing.

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible... consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

As the year 2005 approaches, high-tech developments spin even faster taking the possibilities of internet marketing into areas that were impossible in '47 or '57 or even '04.

Imagine a site that holds current inventory and pricing, allows for on-line financing and results in better, faster cheaper processing.

Imagine a site that allows for product customization.

Imagine a site where you can start a conversation with a real person about what matters to you regarding a product or service.

Imagine a site where you can talk to a real person who doesn't respond with an FAQ list.

Imagine a site where you can actually help change the direction of a product or service before it's even launched.

Imagine a company that doesn't close the door (or comment section) to you or your ideas.

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

It's interesting to compare a 1940's film, where finding solutions to customers' problems was perceived as unique, to 2004 where finding solutions to customers' problems is considered ingenious.

The techniques may have changed. New buzz words may be added to the mix. Bells and whistles may be a little louder. However, after all is said and done, the premise remains the the:



-Add value

-Do what it takes to go the extra mile to delight your customer

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible...consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

And with that I wish you a very merry holiday!

Sidebar: Based on an article written for Marketing News

AMA - Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website - Seattle


Thoughts and a Few Snippetts from the Workshop

-Highlights were meeting blog buddies (without a doubt they all qualify for Divo status) talking blogs with participants & speakers, and of course, Ben's Marketing Wonk dinner.

-Diva Deb Franke, e-Marketing Manager, Emerson, felt the speakers were real and passionate about sharing knowledge and experiences e.g., no sales pitches here. [Sidebar: AMA would never allow that to happen anyway.]


- Kicked off by asking what 3 words describe blogs. Most words fell into two categories: communication and expertise.  What 3 words would you use?

Robert Scoble

-Robert's easy, down-to-earth manner immediately engaged the attendees. He was slotted for 45-minutes but generously stayed for over an hour and a half. We were impressed by his kindness and sense of joy about life.

-Want to blog? First read blogs. Read 20 blogs.

-Blogs are rapid fire conversations.

-It's about creating conversational marketing - new world vs. old world

Bill Fitter

-Consumers control the marketing message filter. You need be relevant and on target to even get noticed.

-RSS helps consume a lot of information quickly.

-Watch for more blog ads and ads within RSS feeds.

Ben McConnell

-Great information about blogging basics from what is a blog to tools to use to create a blog.

-Blog Must Haves: a name, a description, an about me (yes!), a full feed

-Consumers are shaping products. King Kong movie site; producers are taking direction from prospective audience members. Though not a blog it's still an interesting example of social marketing.

Sidebar: If a man gets points for the toys he has, Ben wins the prize!

Dana VanDen Heuvel

-5 P's of Blogging: Personal, Peramlink, Publish, Ping, Participate. Move over Professor Kotler this is new world marketing.

-Blogs are promotions of ideas and less about a particular product or pricing strategy.

-Bloggers become the voice of the company. [Sidebar: Deb asked if that holds true, do companies need an exit strategy when a blogger leaves? Which lead us to wonder what Microsoft would do if Robert left. He *is* Microsoft for many people.]

Dave Williams

-WIth a new blog created every 5.76 seconds using blogs to pull high search rankings is getting more competitive.

-Blogs should be optimized for search similar to website search strategy.

-Use key words in content to increase rankngs on relevant pages.

Dana has some wonderful overviews of the sessions. He's much better at note taking than me...guess that's why we'll soon be calling him Doc.

Next Stops: Manhattan January 21 and Chicago February 18. Find Out More About the AMA Hot Topic Blog Workshop

Friday Fun - Walking Down a (virtual) Winter Wonderland


Macy_2004_holiday_window_polar_express Window shopping in Manhattan during the holidays is a favorite tradition. If you're not going to by in NYC stop by Fred Flare for a virtual tour of some of the city's best dressed windows.

Check out Bloomies Phamton of the Ophra, Bergdorf's Vaudeville and Macy's Polar Express. Don't forget to stop by Rockerfeller Center for a spin on the ice!

Sidbar: Went to add Fred Flare to my favs...check this marketing savvy bookmark - fredflare.com  718-599-9221. I have never seen any one add a telephone number. Very smart.

Heard it from: design*sponge

Read More About NYC Holiday Windows