January 25, 2007
Okay, so I'm a day early. I'm sure you won't mind.
This week, let's take a look at a video that has been making the rounds lately. Last week, AT&T made headlines with the decision to eliminate Cingular and brand everything as AT&T (oh, excuse me, at&t). Not a career-making move. Not by a long shot.
Even kids agree. According to Marc Brownstein, his 15 year-old son said of the decision:
"Dad, is that the stupidest thing thing you've ever heard? Why would anyone kill the Cingular name? It's cool! Who cares about AT&T? I don't! Whoever made that decision should be fired."
And as usual, when we find ourselves in doubt, we can turn to Stephen Colbert for certainty:
January 17, 2007
Bloggers need to get out more. That's my theory, anyway.
This whole movement of "social media" has truly taken hold, but as I look around (at the airport, in public settings, and even at myself) I see an overdependence on the keyboard. The completely mobile nature of our electronic devices, coupled with technology and software that is more user-friendly than ever, is colluding to make us - ironically - more isolated from human contact than ever.
While it's very easy to sit behind a desk and blog away every day as a connector or an influencer, I was reminded over the weekend of the importance of being social - that is, taking social media to its natural end: getting out there and meeting people. I track my blog statistics with Google Analytics, Sitemeter, Feedburner and FeedBlitz. I know my blogs are being read. But for any marketer, the real question is "what does my audience think of my brand?" If your blog isn't generating comments, it's very difficult to gauge that level.
Over the weekend, I was at a conference that a number of my readers attended. I was approached by dozens of them, who told me how much my blog meant to them, it was the first thing they read in the morning, I'm providing a valuable service, etc., etc. While it was flattering (and what artist doesn't love flattery?), I walked away greatly affected by the experience. I suddenly understood that in addition to simply knowing how many people read my blog, I now knew what they thought of my blog. Talk about great feedback - not to mention inspiration that keeps me motivated to continue the hard work of maintaining my blogs.
My advice to any blogger or podcaster in the B2B (or B2C) market: get out there! Go to conferences that are germane to your topic and where you think your audience might be. If they're local, invite your regular commenters to lunch and pick their brains. Yes, you should answer comments and emails sent through your blog. But above all, make the human connection that this revolutionary technology affords us.
Sitting with your laptop won't sustain long term relationships. You have to sit with people too.
January 10, 2007
We have a number of larger clients who have pretty successful newsletter programs - either in-house or through our agency. They have a significant amount of resources to throw at the project on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis. But what is a small business owner to do when they want to keep customers and prospects up to date, but don't have the big budget or sophisticated email systems?
Personally, as business manager for a literary publication with a subscriber base of approximately 1,000, I have experienced this dilemma. I grew my email database to nearly 700 names and every quarter, I blasted out a PDF of a 4-page newsletter. It was time-consuming, cumbersome, and it froze up my email system. Then I had to manually deal with opt-outs, bounces and the like. I got so fed up, I started a blog - which can be thought of as a type of newsletter, just one with two-way conversation that's updated much more frequently.
Well, I'm happy to say I've just discovered Letterpop, which makes newsletter creation a snap. I haven't tried it out yet, so I can't comment on all of the features, but from what I understand, it takes the hassle out of design and directly handles all email issues, including opt-out language that will allow your customers to easily unsubscribe if they wish. This really bears some deeper exploration.
We're still on the cutting edge of RSS - despite the integration into the latest browsers, it still hasn't caught on. There's promise there, though. In the meantime, FeedBlitz or other email-based notification programs serve the very same purpose as an e-newsletter program, and give credence to some claims that email is on the rise as a marketing tool in 2007.
January 2, 2007
So, it looks like Sony has some company. Although I wouldn't necessarily categorize this misstep as blatantly egregious as the PSP flog.
Microsoft has given away Acer Ferrari laptops loaded with Windows Vista to a number of influential bloggers. Now, I see no inherent problem in giving samples to bloggers to review. It's done all the time, and when blogger clearly discloses that he or she has received goods or services in exchange for a review - good or bad - there's nothing to complain about.
Complicit in the scheme are their advisors in this space - none other than (drum roll, please) Edelman. Yes, that's right. The same Edelman that was embroiled with the Wal-Mart flog. The same Edelman that reportedly helped craft WOMMA's ethical guidelines has a WOMMA page dedicated to Edelman Blog Disclosure - albeit from the Wal-Mart flap.
I think my friend Todd Defren had it right when he stated it simply: Don't lie.
At Ford, Scott heads up the social media function and holds the title Global Digital &
Multimedia Communications Manager. He is a strategic advisor on all social media activities across the company, from blogger
relations to marketing support, customer service to internal communications and more, as social media is being integrated into many
facets of Ford business.
Prior to joining Ford, Scott served as Consigliere for crayon
and spent a number of years with PJA Advertising + Marketing, a
boutique BtoB agency specializing in health sciences & high tech.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Scott is an active blogger and podcaster. He writes about the intersection of
advertising, marketing and PR at ScottMonty.com and
also writes The Baker Street Blog and cohosts I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, two literary undertakings. Scott
has been featured in hundreds of news and business publications in print and on the web, in nearly dozens of books, and on a variety of
mainstream media, including NBC, NPR, CNN and The Wall Street Journal. Scott is a recognized thought leader in the social media industry and
frequently speaks at industry events.
Scott received his Master's in Medical Science from Boston University's School of Medicine concurrently with his MBA from BU's
Graduate School of Management. He lives in the greater Detroit area with his wife and two young sons, golfs all too infrequently, and
has a hidden talent for voice over work.
Scott speaks on social media at events, seminars and conferences around the world. His topic generally focuses on corporate use of social media, becoming an online spokesperson, and specifically on the progress that Ford has made in the recent past. If you're interested in booking Scott to speak at your event, please click here to submit a speaking request for Ford-related purposes or email me at speaking [AT] this site's URL (if you know what I mean) to send a general email request.. Scott's bio and headshot can be found in the "About Scott" tab above.
I'm Scott. I'm the global head of social media for Ford Motor Company. This is my personal blog, where I share my perspectives on business, technology, communications, marketing and the vast changes in the industry that impact leadership. This blog contains my personal views. My bio is available here and my headshots can be found here.