Trafcom News Podcast: Product Management and Social Media

At ProductCamp Toronto a few weeks back I got a chance to sit down with Donna Papacosta of the Trafcom News Podcast.  Donna does a high quality podcast that’s a must-listen for communications, PR or Marketing folks. In our conversation we touched on the subject of how Product Managers should be using social media and talked a bit about how Product Managers should work with PR/Communications to get to “Communications Utopia”. Go ahead, click on the link to have a listen.  It’s not every day you get to hear my awe-inspiring Canadian accent in all its glory. Subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter or...

Upcoming: MeshMarketing and ProductCamp

There are a couple of interesting events coming up in Toronto that I’ll be participating in. MeshMarketing The folks that organize the excellent Mesh Conference have added a new conference this year focused on online marketing called MeshMarketing happening on Oct 22nd in Toronto.  I’ve been asked to moderate a panel discussion around the topic of how Digital, Advertising, and PR agencies differ in their approach to social media.  I’ve got my own set of opinions on this topic but I’m interested in yours – give me some quick (and anonymous) feedback on your thoughts by clicking here. No seriously, I’m only asking for 200 measly characters – DO IT NOW! Also this conference will sell out so if you are planning on going, I would buy a ticket quickly. ProductCamp The second ProductCamp Toronto is happening on Sunday and I’m looking forward to it. What I love the most about ProductCamp is it’s probably the only time you get to mix with a large group of product management people.  While there seems to be a marketing event every week (particularly with a PR/advertising/social media focus), events for product folks are few and far between. There’s still space so if you’re interested you can register here.  You can follow the Twitter stream related to this event by watching #pct2. **Update** I’m getting some pretty interesting feedback about the MeshMarketing panel.  Here are some of the comments: They differ and that’s good.  The integration of all disciplines/agencies makes the most sense because all have strengths that intersect the social media space:insights, strategy, creative, relationships. PR firms “get it” more because...

Spam is not Marketing

Yesterday I attended a marketing conference and the keynote speaker was Jason Scott, the man behind the famous Twitter account @sockington.  @sockington is an account where Jason Twitters in the voice of his cat.  He has well over 1 million followers (to give you an idea that’s more than Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake or TechCrunch).  It’s an entertaining Twitter feed to follow if you are looking for a laugh and sort of has to be seen to be fully understood. The title of his talk was “Building a Cult Brand on Twitter” which he’s certainly done.  The talk started out fine but at about the 5 minute mark Jason described how much he hates marketing.  He later qualified that statement by saying he didn’t hate all marketing, marketers and aspects of marketing, only “evil marketing, marketers and aspects of marketing.” however, it was clear that he viewed the vast majority of marketing as in the evil category.  He showed several examples of “marketing” on Twitter, all of which were basically spam.  The rest of his talk (which was pretty funny I might add) focused on demonstrating to a room full of marketers the various forms of evil marketing and imploring us to stop doing this because it’s really annoying. I can understand why Jason thinks that marketing is the same as spam and therefore evil.   He isn’t a marketer and probably doesn’t interact with marketers on a day to day basis with the exception of Twitter spammers who are understandably driving him crazy.  He likely doesn’t know any marketers that understand segmentation and positioning and know that spam...

Rocket Watcher a Top Product Management Blog

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a big fan of giving awards and I’m also a big fan of winning awards.  So I’m very pleased to announce that this blog has been selected as a “Top Product Management Blog” by the clearly very intelligent people at The Daily Reviewer.  From their site: The Daily Reviewer selects only the world’s top blogs (and RSS feeds). We sift through thousands of blogs daily to present you the world’s best writers. The blogs that we include are authoritative on their respective niche topics and are widely read. To be included in The Daily Reviewer is a mark of excellence. Did you read that?  A mark of excellence.  And I didn’t even have to get my cousins to vote for me . I also get to put this cool I-just-won-first-place-at-the-county-fair ribbon graphic thingy that you will now see proudly displayed to your right. I did notice that Rocket Watcher is not enjoying the top row position that it currently does on Alltop however I’m quite confident that once I work my marketing magic on whoever the Guy Kawasaki equivalent is over there I’ll bump those Web Ink Now / Lead on Purpose / Spatially Relevant dudes right out of their top row spots. Not that I’m competitive.  I just like winning. First time reader?  Why not subscribe or follow me on Twitter or...

Please take my Free for Free (really)

I’m back from my vacation and now that I’ve read the Chris Anderson book I can say that I thought there were some interesting examples in there but it just didn’t really come together for me as a book.  There are a lot of things about “free”-based revenue models that I’d like to see discussed in more depth.  I think my opinion of the book was also tainted by the fact that I read Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational immediately after it.  Dan’s book touches on many of the same topics from a behavioral economist’s point of view and dives into the research behind why people behave the way they do when things are free that resonated more with me.  I’m working on a couple of blog posts dealing with Ariely’s book because I think there are some really important ideas there for marketers. I’m not a book reviewer though so you should read the book and figure out for yourself what you think of it.  In fact, I’ll make it easy for you.  Because I’m still miffed that I couldn’t get the book for free after hearing over and over again that it would be available for free electronically I’m donating my copy to the first person who comments below.  It will even come wrapped in a FREE copy of the Globe and Mail’s sports section and I’ll send it to you for FREE, no strings attached.  Because friends, around here, free means...

Will PR own Customer Relationships?

Todd Defren over at PRSquared (an awesome blog for PR folks that you should read) raises an interesting question about the future of PR and poses that the role of PR is shifting.  Here’s an excerpt: When people talk about the “Death of Public Relations,” it doesn’t bother me at all.  I know what they are talking about.  They are talking about the death of MEDIA RELATIONS. That’s what PR’s been all about for the past 50-odd years.  After all, during that era, the only way to reach the masses in a reliable way was through mass media. Now that that’s changing, our approach can change.  PUBLIC RELATIONS can fulfill its mandate to improve RELATIONS with the PUBLIC. Media Relations will still have a role.  PR will not be subsumed by Customer Service.  PR has a role as an overlay; a facilitator; we serve as both a counselor and tactician  across these areas. That got me thinking – who should own customer relationships inside a company?  Aren’t product marketers (or perhaps product management) the natural folks to own that?  Why do customers want to have a relationship with you in the first place?  It certainly isn’t so that you can serve up marketing messages to them.  They want to have a dialogue with someone who can answer their questions, provide additional insight about the product or service, someone who can act on their suggestions.  Is PR equipped and mandated to do that? I posted the following comment on the blog post: In my experience, building customer relationships has been the domain of product marketing (and sometimes product management), not...
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