« April 2005 | Main | June 2005 »

Quick Thoughts: Permalinks


Just found a great post I was about to send to a friend when I realized there wasn't a permalink. The page was long with posts so I didn't forward; seemed like too much trouble to copy and past the post or even the title and then explain to scroll the page to find the post.

Why oh why are some bloggers turning permalinks off their blog posts? We've been round the block about comments on and off but I just don't get the permalink thing.

-Permalink is a powerful viral marketing tactic.
-Permalink sets each post as a unique page with the opportunity for those creepy search spiders to index. More pages more search options. More visitors. Maybe more business.

Permalinks off seems like a missed opportunity. Am I missing something here?

Humana & Virgin Group Develop Innovative Loyalty Program


Rewards programs, sometimes called loyalty programs, are old hat to marketers. However, here's a new twist to that game...a program for staying healthy that gives you lower health insurance premiums and airline tickets as incentives. Divas this gives exercise a whole new meaning and as a small biz owner, whose health insurance takes a huge bite from the ole budget, I could get into this one!

Humana, one of the big guns in healthcare, is teaming up with the wild and crazy but brilliant Sir Richard Branson, CEO of UK's Virgin Group. Virgin Life Care, a new health insurance product, that will be Virgin-branded and Humana administered, is scheduled to launch in 2006.

According to Mike McCallister, President & CEO of Humana, it's not the docs nor the government that will change healthcare. "Consumers are the key to transforming health care in the U.S. ...we're giving cash for healthiness."  Wouldn't it be a hoot if a marketing reward program turned the tide of rising healthcare costs in the States when the docs and government could not?

Mister McCallister and Sir Richard here's a Diva Marketing idea for your health clubs...how about giving patron access to the internet and MP3 players for downloading podcasts or walk abouts to listen to while they're exercising?

Diva Challenges
1. Explore unconventional partnerships
2. Add a new twist to a traditional strategy
3. Think Big. Think BIGGER. Think Way Far Out of The Box.

Check out the interview with Mike McCallister and Sir Richard Branson about their new venture. And more about Virgin Life Care. Hmmm, wonder why a hip dude like Sir Richard isn't blogging...


Marketing Benefits of Blogs


Blogger extraordinaire, Paul Chaney, at Radiant Marketing Group, lists 10 benefits of business/marketing blogging.

1. Search Engine Marketing
2. Direct Communication
3. Brand Building
4. Competitive Differentiation
5. Relational Marketing
6. Exploit the Niches
7. Media & Public Relations
8. Reputation Management
9. Position You as Expert
10. Intranet & Project Management

And here's #11 - An opportunity to profile your work. Divo Alex Geana's new blog is a nice demonstration of how a writer can use blogs to his (or her) advantage. Hope you find that publisher soon Alex!

Sidebar: How can you make your blog work harder for you?
-Will you add a podcast about interesting happenings in your industry?
-Will you include more about trends in  your market?
-Will you find a way to open the window a little wider to let people see how your brand is different from others in your space? 
-Or will you take your cue from Divo Alex and show more of your work like DigitalGrit and Debbie Weil are doing by offering downloads of white papers ?

Friday Fun: Sounds of Music


Fridays are waiting for the weekend to start days. This is our space to create a virtual Happy Hour...from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A time to be sophisticated-silly. Or perhaps just plain silly.

Still listening to music the old fashion way - like on your radio instead of podcasts on your MP3 players?  Here's one for us...actually this is pretty cool.

FM 4411 is a free service that tells radio stations what you want to hear and then notifies you (IM, email or cell phone text) when the tunes are about to hit the airwaves. Sort of a new twist on the old juke box.

Downside - it's only available in Boston. Hey! Maybe I'll try it when I'm in Boston next month.

Sidebar: Seems they're a client of CooperKatz & Company. Hey Steve, why no blog?

Heard it from: Scobleizer

Surprise Marketing Sherpa Nomination


Will wonders never cease! Diva Marketing Blog has been nominated Marketing_sherpa_logo_1for MarketingSherpa's 2005 2nd Annual Reader's Choice Blog Awards in the Best of an Individual's Weblogs On General Marketing And Advertising Topics category.

We (I'm including you dahling divas and divos in the "we") are the dark horse in this race. How can one wee blog under the radar compete with the likes of AdRants, AdverBlog, Cup of Java, Decent Marketing, NotBillable and Seth Godin's Blog? 

So let's celebrate right now! How do Divas celebrate? Shopping and drinking! Shake your piggy banks for some pennies (well okay dollars) for a pair of jazzy new Manolo Blahniks (perhaps The Manolo will find us a pair on sale)and join me in cosmo or appletini as we toast the crazed -but lovely-  diva or divo who nominated us for this very prestigous award.

Oh by the way, take a look at the ballot.http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=333931095143 Lots of great blogs to discover and if you'd like to check the box for Diva Marketing ...thanks! TiaraWinner gets a cool mug...if Diva Marketing were running the contest winners would get a pink boa and a tiara. Voting ends June 8th.

Is Consumer Generated Marketing A Credible Research Tool?


Professor Jim Heskett posed an intriguing question on HBS Working Knowledge - "Where is consumer generated marketing taking us?"  Here's a clip from his post -

Tens of thousands or newsgroups and discussion boards on the Internet have spawned millions of bloggers who speak in both whispers and shouts. [Sidebar: I love that "who speak in both whispers and shouts"]  Combined with the low cost of Web site and even crude advertising design,inhabitants of the Web can achieve wonders in creating and broadcasting a wide range of messages. These range from campaigns for or against public figures to ads highlighting the high cost of replacing iPod batteries (since corrected). The newsgroups, discussion groups and blogs may contain the seeds of ideas and notions about cutting-edge behaviors suggesting everything from future business opportunities to social and political trends.

The good professor then asked some hard questions that we as marketers sometimes overlook in our zeal to use blogs, boards and listservs as cost effective research tools.

-Is it time to ask ourselves if these trends are always in our best interest as marketers and customers?
-Is it possible to be too well connected with one segment of customers?
-Is there a danger among marketers and more generally the media in paying too much attention to the Internet-savvy early adopters and activists and too little to other early adopters that tend to keep their behavior and ideas to themselves?
-Might marketers be too sensitive to Internet prompts, responding too rapidly on the basis of noise as opposed to truly developing trends?

Feedback from these new "always on communication" channels can't be dismissed but we would be smart to keep the good professor's questions top-of-mind when developing new products/services and brand strategy.

The article "Where is consumer generated marketing taking us?" and the comments are well worth a read and a few moments thought. 

National Geographic Channel - Extraterrestrial Blog


When was the last time you talked to a famous scientist about alien creatures or life on other planets? Gallery_bluemoonDr. Seth Shostak, a highly respected, scientist with SETI, is writing  The National Geographic Channel's 2nd blog. This blog supports the special program, "Extraterrestrial", which airs May 30th. 

Congrats! to The National Geographic Channel for its innovative blog strategy. Tracy Williams, Marketing Manager for New Media, says the blog will run through May 30th. Keep a watch - as other organizations incorporate "short-term blogs" into more complex marketing strategies.

So, what's your vision of life on other worlds?  Cute ETs  beaming around the galaxy or Star War battles? Or do you think the blogosphere is it? Check out what Dr. Shostak has to say and join in a what promises to be very unique conversation. Yes! comments are opened.

Snippets From The Blogosphere


Great information and tips on the hows-whys-whats and where fors of blogging that Susan Getgood Marketing Roadmaps, developed for Camp WorldWIT.

Divas if blogging is becoming too time consuming and you're missing out on shoe sales (Memorial Day Sales are days away) and GNOs ... there's always Auto Blogger.  Check out the TV ads. Check out the entire site.  Proof that some people have way too much time on their hands - but are darn creative.

Blogging Outside of the Blogosphere


Went to Robert's high school graduation on Saturday. A remark from the class president's speech turned on a blog light bulb. Seems a very smart teacher had included this question in a test: "Name one of the people in the cafeteria who serve you." The kids thought the teacher was joking. Nope. It was definitely a "for credit" question. Don't know how many got that one right but what a great lesson.

Got to thinking...in the blogosphere people are intense about sharing themselves with the virtual word at-large. But how many bloggers know the names of the people who they come into contact with on a regular basis? Do you know the name of your mail person? Your gardener? Your cleaner? Or the kid who  bags your groceries?

If the blogoshere's goal is to connect with people, shouldn't bloggers be setting examples by knowing the names of the people who "serve" them in the real-world (vs. the virtual world)?
: What do  bloggers call the world outside the blogosphere?

The flip side...how about equal emphasis on blogging with in-person customers? Do  bloggers engage in people-talk conversations with customers more frequently than others? If not, shame on us for being virtual elitists! Hmmm...perhaps we can call that customer care or customer service blog-style! Watch out Shel, I might have another business blog idea ;-)



A Year To Remember


Divas and divos, indulge me a moment while I blow out the candBirthday_cupcake_1le to celebrate the first anniversary of Diva Marketing Blog. I had not a clue that writing that first post would be the start of the professional adventure of my life!

From wonderful, new friends from all around the world to amazing clients to a coast-coast road tour, complements of the AMA, with some of the blogosphere's best to podcasts and interviews and even a bit of blogosphere controversy it has been an exciting year.

Yesterday I opened a virtual "present" ... my interview for Shel and Robert's blog book, Naked Conversations posted.Who woulda thought a year ago that this diva would be included in book that will help new bloggers understand how to use this medium?  How cool is that? !

Very special thanks to the divas and divos who have been following Diva Marketing Blog. Might sound sapping, but each post is written with y'all in mind.