Friday Fun: Bathroom BlogFest 2011 Climbing Up!


BathroomBlogfest_2011Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain-silly.

What do you <3 ♥ most about the blogosphere? For me, friendships that often find their way to digital collaborations are high on the list.

When BBF C.B. Whittemore asked if I would particiapte in Bathroom Blogfest 2011 and the theme was  Climbing Out I knew I wanted In. Where else, but on a series of blog posts, can you combine friendships and creativity to celebrate the Bathroom? Congrats! CB on year six of a fun online event.

By the way, did you know that there is National Bathroom Reading Month? We use to tease my dad about the bathroom being his library. He's take his newspaper (who remembers those?) and disappear. With your mobile device in hand your personal library can be anywhere in the world. Sounds silly or not so much .. well this is Friday Fun!

The owners of public bathrooms like restaurants, retail stores or coffee shops may not want to turn their WCs into an away from home library for their customers. However, The Bathroom is often an aspect of a customer experience strategy that is over looked. Just for fun, which Fortune 500 company do you think claims this bathroom? 

I'll give you a couple of hints. The company's brand value is to create an "ambience based on human spirit, sense of community and need for people to come together." The customer experience strategy published in 2009 reads, "Our new design approach will allow customers to feel truly at home while visiting their local store .." 

Did you guess Starbucks? Can you say a little brand disconnect? Can you say a little customer experinece disconnet?

For more fun Bathroom Blogfest drop by Facebook and click into a few BB blog posts!

Susan Abbott

Paul Anater

Shannon Bilby

Toby Bloomberg

Laurence Borel

Bill Buyok

Jeanne Byington

Becky Carroll

Katie Clark

Nora DePalma

Nora DePalma

Paul Friederichsen

Tish Grier

Emily Hooper

Diane Kazan

Joseph Michelli

Veronika Miller

Arpi Nalbandian

David Polinchock

David Reich

Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond

Bethany Richmond

Bruce D. Sanders

Paige Smith

Stephanie Weaver

Christine B. Whittemore

Denise Lee Yohn

Chris Woelfel

Friday Fun: Along The Way I Saw More


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

If I were to ask you what you see or what you remember along the way .. what would you say? 

Last week I visited my family in Massachusetts. One of my favorite spots is the North End of Boston. If you can't afford a trip to Italy it's the next best thing. Turn a corner and you find delight. Even some thing as simple as a box of blueberries or tables in a court yard can inspire.

North End_Kaye
A small grocery's store window. I loved the way the boxes were stacked and the colors of the fruit so I pulled out my iPhone and clicked. After I took the photo I saw more .. my cousin Kaye Ellen's reflection and a brick building from the other side of the street were part of the display.

  North End _Boston Fiore_2

Tables in a court yard. In the Norh End there are more restaurants per square inch than any other place in the city. Looking through the rod iron gate into a restaurant's court yard dining area was especially charming. I felt like I was walking the streets of Firenze. After taking the photo I saw more .. the pattern of the shadows on the ground played like street art.

Sign of a restaurant. To help me remember the name of the restaurant I shot the sign. After taking the photo I saw more .. the tag line "Inspired by you" brought a nod and a smile.

If you were to ask your customers what they saw or remembered along the way what would they say? What seemingly small experience, that you might have over looked as special, help your customers see more of what sets your brand apart?

How can your customers inspire you? Simple. Unexpected. Powerful.  

Dedicated to my dad, Lou Bloomberg, who loved the North End too.

Friday Fun: Marketing Irreverence


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Recently, Fard Johmar, Path of the Blue Eye, told me he liked the sometimes quirkiness of Diva Marketing and the dash of irreverence and fun -- especially on Fridays. Since life is too serious these days .. Friday Fun is back .. at least more often than not. 

For today's Friday Fun, let's take a look as some slightly different, slightly off the wall marketing, customer loyalty (sort of..maybe..we'll see) campaigns and an in your face ad site. 

Do the airline over-booked bump! Cha Cha Cha. Delta Airlines, my home town airline, has a new approach towards appeasing customers if their flight has been over booked. No more first to run up to the gate agent with a bag full of Dunkies or Krispy Kremes donuts wins.

Nope, when passengers electronically check in they can join an auction. People indicate how much money they'd be willing to accept to change flights. Delta, of course, will choose the lowest bidder. Question: what's the value of a "free"airline ticket and more time spent at the airport? By the way, don't bother searching details on .. no where to be found.  WSJ

Your ad will change the world .. not! It's rare to find an ad copywriter who isn't in love with his own words. Rarer to find a creative director who doesn't totally believe her concept will win the next Addy, create world peace and get Jimmy Choo to name a shoe after her. 

Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising is a cool site that looks at the ad game with humor and reminds us not to take it too seriously. Here's my fav!  Advertising what people dont day Toss of a pink diva boa to BL Ochman for link to the site.




Here I come .. ready or not! Winter + Films + Boots = Fun & Games! Seems to me that as we "mature" we often loose the sense of play. Perhaps that's why marketers turn to fun & games as a means to differentiate. The scavenger hunt, a game that is centuries old, is a favorite to morph into a experience brand campaign.

The lastest scavenger hunt is sponsored by Sorel, a company known for its beautiful boots that "take care of you." I rather like that tag line.   

Sorel logo The 2011 spin that Sorel created includes a virtual scavenger hunt through augment reality. It's complete with the social and tech stuff like QR codes and Facebook .. of course. The coolest part is the venue .. the Sundance Film Festival. Players will look for the logo bears all over the city. Maybe a photo of Robert Redford will earn extra points! 

For Sundance fans .. here's an app for you!

Sidebar: Why oh why don't brands include their cool social media campaigns on their websites? Home page presence above the fold would be a very good thing.

Friday Fun: Bathroom BlogFest 2010 Stuck in the 60's


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Bathroom fest 2010
Today's Friday Fun is dedicated to the Bathroom BlogFest 2010.

Now in it's 5th year, the Bathroom BlogFest is a fun way to call attention to the .. The Loo. This year CB Whittemore, Susan Abbott and Stephanie Weaver, the creative minds behind this week of posts, thought it would be fun to spoof the 60's a la Mad Men. By the way, don't you just Love the logo?!

I must admit I'm not really a Mad Men fan; but shhh! please don't tell anyone .. I am a fan of Doris Day. I love those old movies that she filmed in in the 60's. When CB asked me to play along the image that immediately came to mind was the classic bathroom "feet-to-feet touching" scene with Doris Day and Rock Hudson. It turns out that Pillow Talk was released 10-1959 .. but that's almost 1960.

Looking at the image with 21st century eyes it seems wistfully innocent. And it is. Can you imagine the scene with Lady Gaga?

But look a little closer and you'll see the elegance of the composition of the image. The stark, white bathtubs are set against a gray wall for Doris Day and a white tile wall for Rock Hudson. The bubbles in Doris Day's tub along with her blond hair are a perfect foil for Rock Hudson's tanned legs and dark hair. Add to that the understated sexuality (oh! I hope that doesn't attract spam bots) of simply feet-touching-feet against a wall that is really an illusion of reality.  Pillow talk bathroom scene

Since Diva Marketing is about marketing and branding in the social web, if we bring it back to that world, the bathroom scene becomes a reminder that sometimes less is actually more. How many flash graphics, splashy (oops sorry!) YouTube videos or grand Facebook tabs do you really need to connect with your customers?

Isn't that what social media is really all about? The ability to reach out and touch .. maybe not feet-to-feet .. but certainly heart-to-heart with your customers?  Sometimes I can't but think that the elegance of social media has gotten lost in the rush to add "likes" or friends or followers. The next time you want to include the latest shiny toy to your marketing plan, think for a moment about a powerful image from a 1959 .. almost 1960 .. bathroom scene that stole the show.

 Enjoy the other Bathroom Blogfest posts ..

Susan Abbott - Customer Experience Crossroads
Paul Anater - Kitchen and Residential Design
Shannon Bilby - From The Floors Up
Toby Bloomberg - Diva Marketing
Laurence Borel - Blog Till You Drop
Bill Buyok - Avente Tile Talk Blog
Jeanne Byington - The Importance of Earnest Service
Becky Carroll - Customers Rock!
Marianna Chapman - Results Revolution
Katie Clark - Practical Katie
Valerie Fritz - The Awarepoint Blog
Nora DePalma - American Standard’s Professor Toilet
O’Reilly/DePalma: The Blog
Leigh Durst - LivePath Experience Architect Weblog
Iris Garrott - Checking In and Checking Out
Tish Grier - The Constant Observer
Renee LeCroy - Your Fifth Wall
Joseph Michelli - Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog
Veronika Miller - Modenus Blog
Arpi Nalbandian - TILE Magazine Editor Blog
Maria Palma - People 2 People Service
Reshm Bachwani Paritosh - The Qualitative Research Blog
David Polinchock - Polinchock’s Ponderings
David Reich -My 2 Cents
Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond - Scarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy Renshaw - Purple Wren
Bethany Richmond - The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog
Bruce Sanders - RIMtailing
Steve Tokar - Please Be Seated
Carolyn Townes - Becoming a Woman of Purpose
Stephanie Weaver - Experienceology
Christine B. Whittemore - Flooring The Consumer
Simple Marketing Blog
Ted & Christine B. Whittemore - Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog
Linda Wright - LindaLoo Build Business With Better Bathrooms










Top Ten Reasons Why Not To Use Social Media


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Top 10 Reason Why Not To Use Social Media

With apologies to Mister Letterman .. 

Top10 10. Social media is just a fad.

9. Social media is a kid thing.

8. None of my customers are using social media or those network things.

7. Why would I want to know what you had for breakfast?

6. Twitter twits tweets. How you take something that sounds like bird seed as a serious marketing tactic?

5. We don't have the time.

4. No way to determine ROI.

3. Our brand could get blown up.

2. People who use social networks or those blog things just want to rant about things they know nothing about.

and the number one reason not to use social media

1. Social media will break down the carefully built silos in our company and we really don't trust each other enough for that to happen.

Friday Fun: Top 13 Reasons to Halloween "Toilet Paper" A Social Media Strategy


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Max halloween 09In the spirit of David Letterman's Top Ten ...

13. A zillion landing page blogs are pretending to be social media .. take off the mask and you find a search strategy built on a blog platform

12. A comment that lists a company name instead of a person is likely looking for link treats not a relationship.

11. Facebook "fan" pages with posts lifted from corporate brochures and press releases is just another tricky search strategy.

10. Nondisclosure of paid posts or reviews of comp'ed products services comes with tricks of its own .. a big fat FTC fine  Make sure you are up to date on the law or your compensation treat will pay for your legal fees.

9. The trick is on the Twitter automatic followers .. no one cares about you - BOO!

8. No @s in your Tweet stream is a sign that you 1. have few friends to play with or 2. don't know how to share treats with others.

7. Not linking to sources sites or including RT (re-tweet @s) is another signal that you don't know how to play well with others.

6. Barbs on the "Back Channel" that don't help move the conversation along in a win-win for the audience and speaker is a clue that you want all the candy for yourself.

5.  Not listening to your customers' who take time to express their pleasure and concerns in the social world is a sad trick for both customer and company. 

4. Not building social enterprise processes to ensure the impact of social media lessons are shared across multiple departments is like not sharing your Halloween candy.

3. Emphasizing measurements that don't align with your objectives and goals are like getting socks instead of candy.

2. Discounting the relationships you build and networks that you (and your customers) participate in are as real and valuable as any offline is like wearing the same costume year after year after year.

And the Number One Reason To Halloween Toilet Paper A Social Media Strategy ...

1. Forgetting to say "thank you" to your customers, employees, fans and friends who shared their Halloween candy with you.

Max and I wish you a Halloween filled with lots of treats and few tricks!

Friday Fun: #Bring Back The Blog


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

 In the world of social media Facebook, Twitter and other social networks have taken center stage. Our old friend .. the Dandelion_seeds_being_blownblog .. seems to be relegated to a role in the chorus. Of course social networks can play an important part in social media marketing, however, the platform is not Yours. It will never be Yours. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and every community on Ning could go away tomorrow. All of your contacts, all of your content could blow away like dandelion seeds in the wind.

Blogs, (that you serve yourself) are always Yours (at least until the server crashes or a hacker blows up your site). #BringBackTheBlog is an occasional series on Diva Marketing that highlights some of the great work in the blogosphere.

Blogs do take more time and care than a 140 character tweet or a Facebook wall post. The challenge becomes updating with relevant, interesting content. According to Nettie Harsock, "Conversational content is the base ingredient to any blog truly thriving and engaging a community long-term." Nettie offers 5 Tips For Conversational Content.

Fard Johnmar HealthCareVox has been writing smart posts about healthcare in social media  since 2006. His recent post is a great example of building content from other sources, In his post about media consumption habits of e-patients he incorporates findings from the Pew Social Life of Health Information study. By the way did you know that although people are looking for medical information online, including peer reviews, less than 40% use social networks like Facebook and only only 12% are currently taking advantage of Twitter?

Unlike an article written in main stream media, social media provides an opportunity to tell your stories when you want, how you want, without the filter of a reporter or editor. While business story telling follows a similar format to those you read as a kid, there are a few differences. Katya Andresen Getting To The Point, provides us how-to direction including a story telling check list.

When it comes to story telling blog posts that end in marketing lessons no one does it better than Ann Handley - Annarchy. Ann's talent for creating stories about simple every day happenings in her life not only engages us but endears us to her. Word of caution .. don't enter the world of Annarchy unless you have a few spare moments.

When we think of blog posts we usually think of T-E-X-T. However, since blogs are websites and anything you can include in a website you can incorporate into a blog post think photos and videos. Paul Chaney's, The Social Media Handyman, use of video interviews is an excellent example of the versatility of blog content. Paul does one - two minute interviews at the 140 Twitter Conference.

Read more in the all tweet book - Social Media Marketing GPS #smgps - Chapter 6 Tactics Second interviews with Yvonne DiVita and Julie Squires about blogs

Friday Fun: #BringBackTheBlog


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Blog read blog This post was inspired by Mark Story, Where Online Intersects With Offline. Mark is running a series on Mondays he's calling #blogmonday. With all the chatter about social networks and widgets and videos and podcasts and apps and tweets and gizmos (oh that's the next Big thing) the traditional blog has gotten lost in the digital maze. So I thought I'd use Friday Fun from time to time to #BringBackTheBlog by highlighting some of the great work that continues to be done in the blogosphere.

Seems only fitting that the first up should be Mark Story's post - Help Doug Haslam Ride. Blogs are wonderful social vehicles to tell from the heart stories and also to raise awareness for causes. In this post we learn about Dougn Haslam who is riding in the Pan Mass Challenge to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. Through his post Mark gives us a peak into his life as a dad and shows us some of the values that are important to him -helping others.  Follow the Jimmy Fund on Twitter.

Sidebar: The Jimmy Fund is a Boston-based nonproft supporting the Dana Farber Cancer Institute that helps children and adults.

Mary Schmidt's posts on Marketing Troubleshooter always make me think. She's smart, witty and quick to the draw proving that blog posts don't always have to be long to position yourself as a thought leader. In her post The price is a surprising happiness to you Mary combines two complex marketing topics - price and email marketing .. and makes her point about both.

It has always amused me and confused me that marketers think no Believe that marketing is vastly different from business-to-business, business-to-consumer, products and services.  While there are of course challenges within verticals and sectors the principles of marketing and relating to people's needs remains the same. Francois Gossieaux, Emergence Marketing, addresses that issue in his post about social media communities - B2B and B2C communities - no difference, it’s all about h2h. Francois uses his blog post to present his point of view including a few examples.

I'm going to let you in on my new secret. Shh! If you tell anyone Max might have to howl at you .. he never bites. Mommy blogs. (I'm not a mom so I don't frequently hang out in that blogosphere village though I do pop by to visit friends like Geek Mommy, Mom-101, MomInTheCity.) Remember this is #bringbacktheblog post so I'm talking blogs not necessarily "influencers" .. thought a great mom blog will often be home to a women who is sought after by marketers. Some of the best designed blogs are coming from this 'village' of the blogopshere.

My new favorite is Cool Mom Picks - a multiple author blog led by Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase. The branding is clean and consistent and the writing fun and engaging. Take a look at the side nav bars that are used not just for sponsorship ads but for value content. You'll find links to guides and internal content pages .. brilliant!

Sidebar: If you do want to know more about Moms Influencers catch the Diva Marketing Talks podcast where Liz Gumbinner and Susan Getgood join me to dish about Blogger Relations. It's a fun show with lots of great information.

Friday Fun: For the Heart, Head & Soul


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Too many wonderful things happening in the virtual world not to pass along from fun contests to help non profit causes to quirky ways to grow your business.

NonProfit - For The Heart

Alex brown_2 Alex Brown is no stranger to social media. In 2005, he created one the first higher ed blogs, Wharton MBA Admissions Blog, He was one of the first to incorporate student blogs as a support tactic when he taught marketing at University of Delaware. But it was his beyond successful blog for Barbaro the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who was put to rest too soon. One could say that blog changed Alex's life and let to a mission to create awareness about the slaughter horse issue.

Alex Brown Racing is sponsoring a YouTube contest. Videos will be accepted from Tuesday, February 10 to Noon Friday April 10. The grand prize is $1,000 to be donated to the horse rescue organization of choice of the winning entry. Even if you don't enter, stop by and view the entries .. some wonderful videos have been submitted.

The Animal Rescue Site is challenged to sustain its click campaign. A click will help provide food and care to sick pets.  And then because you're feeling so good to have done good go to PawFun and design a t-shirt to show off your own pet. If you hurry you can save 30%!

Small Business Success - For The Head

Ideablob is one of the most innovative uses of combining social media with small business. There are two parts. One:  Within the public forum entrepreneurs ask the business community at-large for advice. Two: The community votes on the best business concept. The $10,000 prize is no small accomplishment to win with stiff competion. The current contest closes on 3-31-09. I had the honor of being one of the featured guest advisors. The site is sponsored, very discreetly, by Advanta.

When if comes to helping small business owners Heidi Richards Mooney is one of the champions. Her online publication and community WE magazine for women, has influenced thousands of women (and men) with its rich content, online conferences and networking support. Heidi recently released the eBook Quirky Marketing Calendar 2009 as a resouce for ways to create fun, innovativemarketing  strategies.

So you've got an idea for a light web-based business and didn't win the $10K Ideablob contest. My pal Dave Williams is involved in a new angel fund venture that might be right for you if you are a small business owners in the Atlanta area. Want to learn more? Shotput Ventures is holding an open house 3-3-9.  If nothing else their Facebook invite page sure looks like it will be good networking!

Looking for a couple more social media and marketing tips ? Check my guest post, in Tsufit's Step Into The Spotlight series.

In today’s world where clutter is the norm and marketing managers are scrambling to get their brands noticed stepping to the side of the lime light just might be the way to get into the spot light. By that I mean before you take center stage understand the basics:

1. Who are your customers and prospects?

2. What makes your brand unique to your customers?

3. Where do your customers hang out?

The answers, to what may first appear as simple questions, become the cornerstone of your successful marketing strategy. Traditionally organizations discovered those elusive secrets through marketing research studies or mining internal data sources. However, social media research or listening to the raw conversations of your customers provides marketers with an additional resource.  Read more at - Step into the Spotlight post

The Arts - For The Soul

The arts are recognizing that social media is a wonderful way to engage and build an audience. By letting patrons glimpse a view from behind the curtain they can but buts in the seats. Broadway is catching on too! Sure have come a long way from when Elisa Camahort, the fonder of BlogHer, launch the blog for 42nd Street Moon (Theatre) in 2004. Jane Fonda is sharing her backstage and onstage experiences on her blog and in tweets. The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta often runs contests on their blogs. Ford's Theatre is on YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter!

Sl shakespeare twelfth night When it comes to theatre and innovation the (Second Life) SL Shakespeare Company must win the Virtual Tony for innovation. The mission of this troupe of professional actors is to make Shakespeare cool again! The performances take place "in-world" at SL Globe Theatre wich is a virtual reconstruction of the Original Globe Theatre.

The SL Shakespeare Company’s long-awaited open-ended run premiers Sunday, March 1 at 1 PM PST, and will continue indefinitely every Sunday at 1 PM PST and every Tuesday at 6 PM PST at the SL Globe Theatre. Read more at the SL Shakespeare blog.

.. and so we'll let Shakespeare have the final word.

No profit grows where no pleasure is ta'en;
In brief, sir, study what you most affect.

William Shakespeare The Taming of the Shrew

Friday Fun: Candy Voting Halloween Costume


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Candy_vote_08 Nine year old Moey from Decatur, GA found a way to combine Halloween trick or treating with reminding his neighbors to vote. People voted with their candy. Of course in keeping with web 2.0 politics there is a Candy Vote website complete with videos and the opportunity to drop your comment. 

Ballots will be eaten; however, results were carefully counted prior to consumption. 'Happy Halloween and don't forget to vote.

AJC article