Tag Archives: marketing

Jun 28, 2011

I Am Done Talking About “Marketing”

I am done talking about “marketing.” From now on, I’m going to ask you about your “awareness and visibility” strategy.

Companies need to stop treating social media like:

  • a campaign (with an end date)
  • a way to let everyone know about their products
  • a way to treat the world to the awesomeness of their organization

That sounds like marketing to me. I want to know about your awareness and visibility strategy. Remember, as we learned in my Waterfall of Goals blog post, neither your traditional advertising nor your social media activities move product off the shelves. They increase awareness and visibility, creating leads. Those leads then need to be converted into sales by good salespeople, a good waiter, an airtight product seamlessly delivered. Marketing is not your sales machine, but rather your leads machine. And leads can be generated by both traditional and social methods. And social is not marketing in the traditional sense. Therefore, I am going to start making this distinction with semantics.

So, what is your awareness and visibility strategy?

Apr 21, 2010

Link Roundup on Rizzo Tees – What I’m Reading 4/21/10

Playing the part of Internet DJ, here’s a sampling of what I’ve been reading the past few days.

1.) 50 minutes of Peter Shankman – how can you go wrong?  Peter talks about self-promotion, and it just so happens that his Help a Reporter service allows us to easily do just that.  If you’re not using HARO, start today!  I have used it several times with great success.  Every single opportunity doesn’t result in a “hit,” but you will respond to enough chances that you’ll start getting press attention.

2.) Can the Care Bears really teach us about being a successful entrepreneur?  Entrepreneurship is about hard work, good product, good timing, and confidence. I have low points in my own entrepreneurial life… times when I wonder if its all going to work… times of true stomach-churning self-doubt.  If you can’t handle watching the 5+ minutes of Care Bears, just know that you have to believe in yourself in order to make your own luck, and eventually succeed.

3.) The difference between salad and garbage is….. timing!  Sonia Simone at Copyblogger reminds us that direct marketing can completely flop if not truly targeted.  Additionally, becoming an expert in a very specific niche can turn into successful inbound marketing, which I’m finding is a much superior way to market my product than outbound marketing.

4.) Chris Brogan implores you to stop adding him to your email newsletter.  Bottom line – spamming people is bad. I am certain that I have, at one time or another, marketed myself in a way that could be construed as spammy.  Maybe it’s one extra tweet about one of my products, or a Facebook wall post about my bacon t-shirts on a bacon fan page.  Brogan talks about the rash of email newsletters he receives that he’s relatively certain he didn’t subscribe to.  Marketers of Earth: you are just pissing people off with this!  Maybe there’s an argument that for every 10 people you piss off, you’re reaching 1 person with your MLM message…. volume = $$$.  It’s the v1agra spam email mantra – carpet bomb the Internet with your wares and sales will come.  It’s a sucky life to live – don’t market your product in this way!

Apr 12, 2010

Why I Don't Like The New Tiger Woods TV Ad From Nike

Thanksgiving 2009 was not your ordinary Thanksgiving weekend! It was around that time that we found out that formerly bulletproof, always laser-focused, all-time-best golfing luminary Tiger Woods was actually leading a double life.  And the description “double life” is positively limp when trying to convey the depth and breadth of his dalliances. He was on a somehow-secret Olympic-caliber raging sex bender that blew TMZ’s site metrics out of the water, disappointed his fans, and probably left a few guys secretly just a wee bit jealous.

Here’s the problem from a consumer perspective. We’re already fast-forwarding over TV commercials, using Firefox ad-blocker plug-ins to crush banner ads, and squinting to read all those tiny ads on the very bottom of the front quarter panels of NASCAR vehicles (unrelated in-post mini-rant: don’t roll up on me and question the ROI of Social Media engagement, because the use of Social Media is infinitely more measurable than those clusters of tiny ads all over race cars. Even if you could read one of them as the car is approaching 200mph, they’re all bunched together worse than a website’s tag cloud.  What a waste of money!).

Consumers are weary of advertising. At least we’re trying to come up with new ways to advertise (Facebook targeted ads instead of crappy banner ads).  I believe this is where Tiger actually does owe us all an apology. For years, we’ve been consuming his ads, and consuming the products he endorses.  Companies are convincing us with highly-paid spokespeople and beautifully constructed ad campaigns that they are the go-to solution for shoes, razors, sports drinks, etc. When the branding tool turns out to be a 12x philanderer, we all feel a little betrayed. I don’t feel the least bit guilty for feeling that way.

Granted, I think the general public has an unhealthy appetite for trash news like this. But The Basement Entrepreneur and a bunch of experts positing this theory is not going to change a damn thing. Hence, Tiger cheated with 12+ woman, and The National Enquirer and TMZ made sure that all 12 were extensively reported on. (people hate on The National Enquirer, but they rocked the John Edwards story, and now Tiger too.)

Post-scandal, we heard nothing from Tiger. Not a damn word. How did the guy avoid being photographed for 3-4 months?  How in the hell did he pull that off?  He was the #1 paparazzi target (Paris who?), and not a single shot of him? He would have had to keep every shade of every window in every room he was in drawn shut for 3 months straight.  Simply amazing. This was a herculean effort to keep him out of sight.  Then, his robotic performance back in February (uhhhh, I could not have done much better).  Then his two 5-minute interviews, where he refused to answer some questions. And then his Masters news conference, where he was maybe 50% candid, but still pretty scripted – he was “on.”  While he did admit to doing “horrible” things, he still wouldn’t say, “I was in sex rehab.”  Throw us a bone!

All the while, I think many people are wondering if he and Elin are going to stay together. We worry about his kids. Everyone has problems – we want to see if Tiger and Elin can work out this huge problem, because if they did, it would give all of us married people a little hope.  However, we’re not getting that side of the story from Tiger. That would be fine, except for……..

This ad, as read by Tiger’s deceased father Earl:

“Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. Did you learn anything?”


It’s a well-made ad.  I am impressed.  Looks good, sounds good, makes you think. Nike always has great ads.


1. Nike and Tiger are raising Earl Woods from the dead to help them out of a jam. This isn’t a dead Fred Astaire dancing with a Hoover vacuum (1997 Super Bowl ad).  This is ten times worse!  Dead Earl Woods has no say in the matter!  He can’t not participate, because he’s dead!  No choice, old man, my marketing buds at Wieden and Kennedy need to “re-engage” my audience, so start talking.

2. “Did you learn anything?”  Tell me if I’m nuts, but Earl Woods is asking Tiger the question, but we are left to answer it.  And the implicit answer is “yes.”  We are not left to think, “We’ll see how the next few months go”  Or “Nope, didn’t learn a thing, I’m going to Hooters.”  We silently in our heads answer “yes” as the Nike symbol hits the screen, commercial over.  And that leaves us feeling 10% better about Tiger.  The ad worked!  At least Tiger didn’t nod “yes” to the question!  I’ll give him that.  I don’t want to answer this question for you, Tiger. You need to answer it by being faithful over time, and if you want to use this stuff as a marketing tool, then Elin is fair game – let’s hear her side of the story.

3. Remember why we brand, why we market – to sell more stuff. That is what it comes down to. That is always what it comes down to.  Nike, Tiger, and Wieden and Kennedy are throwing Tiger & Elin’s problems directly in the mix here to, in the end, sell more stuff.  Is that OK with Elin Woods?  From Tiger’s wife’s perspective, she’s in one of four places:  1.) She wants more money upon divorce, so go get back with Nike and get to work, and go win the Masters too, 2.) Elin is privately in anguish over Nike’s ad and everything else too, 3.) she’s already resolved to divorce him, but is still working out the details, so none of this really matters, or 4.) She has forgiven him and they’re moving on.  Wouldn’t it really, really help Nike if the answer was #4?  Yes it would. And isn’t Tiger clearly willing to help Nike?  Yes, and airing this ad now proves it.  Therefore, if the answer truly was #4, we would know about it. That awesome bit of information would be made public, because it would be good business.  However, we are hearing nothing about this from Tiger Inc.  Therefore, the answer is not #4, so they still have problems (not a stretch to think).  That makes this a really distasteful time to air an ad that alludes to his hyper-infidelity. (I made up a new word!)

4.  “Well, that ad…… people are talking about it.” I can go on a multi-state shooting spree and get talked about. Why is this the measure of success here? We’re talking about a man’s marriage – one in which husband and wife are ostensibly in the throes of trying to save.  Is it really time to “re-engage” and “reposition?”  I guess this is how marketing people have to think. You’re paying Tiger Woods so much money – if you’re not featuring him in ads, he’s dead weight. I just feel the timing is off here – too soon.

So in a nutshell, using a dead father to reposition a philandering son during an extremely tumultuous time in the man’s marriage is just weird and creepy.  What do you guys think? Does the general public just not understand marketing well enough to see the genius here, or are Nike and Tiger pushing this repositioning and re-engagement on us a little too soon?

Mar 22, 2010

Make Your Marketing Personal

After visiting Penn Station Subs for lunch last week, and having been bizarrely said “hi” to by an employee who was 25 feet away with his back to me……. I was compelled to record this short podcast on Making Your Marketing Personal.  Enjoy!

Mar 17, 2010

It's OK To Be A Business On Twitter

I recorded this video back in December 2009 in response to some hating I was witnessing on Twitter.  I saw people reacting negatively to the presence of businesses on Twitter, and not just the MLM teeth-whitening jerks.  As a business, it is true that poor marketing in any form can and should backfire on you – this includes Twitter.  If you yap yap yap about your business, never join the community, never help others…. you will meet with adverse results, and you might even have a few people tell you how they feel about your business.

That aside, my point in the video is that there are many small business entrepreneurs out there that live their business – the business is them, and they are their business.  This is their life’s passion.  So if you’re on Twitter and you’re passionate about the TV show Lost, and someone else is passionate about their startup business, there really is no difference there – it’s just two people rapping about their passions in life.  Respect the entrepreneur!

Mar 3, 2010

Rory Sutherland's TED Talk on Perceived Value

I stumbled across this TED Talk featuring Rory Sutherland, ad man from Ogilvy.  Above all, Rory is a gifted public speaker. The guy is just awesome to listen to!  I especially appreciate his use of humor – I like to employ funnies whenever I can, and he’s got great material and even greater delivery.

If you’re an entrepreneur with a product to market, listen to what he says about the Eurostar – did anyone think to use supermodels instead of faster trains to improve the journey from London to Paris? Aside from whether or not you agree with this wild notion, the takeaway is to dive deep inside your product and find imaginative ways to show people that it’s worth buying.

Personally, I took an even more important message from his talk – your life, your problems, your challenges …. they are what you perceive them to be, and often nothing more.  If you can change people’s perceptions, you can literally make their problems go away! If you think your flat tire is a bummer, at least you’re not in the crossfire of a civil war. If you think you’re hungry, at least you ate a few hours ago (and not a few days ago).  If you think your kids are insufferable brats, at least your kids are still alive.  Everything is relative in this world – your entrepreneurial challenges are tough for you, but they’re not nearly as tough as trying to start a business in Kabul or Baghdad.  If we can change perceptions, we can change the world.

Best line from the video: “Saving money is just consumerism needlessly postponed.”