What I Learned as a Judge of a Marketing Award

Last week I was on the jury for the 2008 Broadridge Canadian Investment Marketing Awards.  This is the marketing prize that is part of the Canadian Investment Awards which recognize leading investment products and firms illustrating an enduring commitment to excellence within the Canadian financial services industry overall.  I got invited to be on the jury by the folks at Kaleidoscope Marketing an Communications who I had met at an American Marketing Association function and are all-around great folks. Did I mention that I get to attend their big crazy party?  I figure it’s going to be fun because if there’s a group of people on the planet that are in need of a few drinks right now, it’s people whose job it is to care about the stock market. The submissions were generally good (ok, ok, there was one stinker but at least it made the other ones look better) but there was a real separation between the good submissions and the great ones.  Here is what I took away: Objective Setting and Results Measurement Doesn’t Happen Enough – A number of campaigns only had soft goals (increased awareness was the most common) and then never made any attempt to measure if they had met those goals.  These campaigns also tended to be not focused on a particular segment.  One juror referred to this technique as “Spray and Pray Marketing” which I thought summed it up.  This is marketing 101 stuff in my mind.  If you don’t have a goal and don’t measure results you might as well just hand out money on the street. If Your Product...

Guy Kawasaki, Alltop and Why Twitter Makes me Cooler than You

Today Alltop launched productmanagement.alltop.com and Rocket Watcher made the cut of the 25 or so blogs listed there.  In addition to getting some traffic driven to this site, I get to put this nifty little red badge on my site that you see below my photo over on the right. Whoop-dee-doo!  How did this happen!? In a word – Twitter. So here is how it started.  I’m a big fan of Alltop (click over there and have a look.  Go ahead, I’ll wait for you to get back) Guy Kawasaki’s “online magazine rack” of blogs sorted by topic, and I’ve used it to find a lot of the bloggers that I follow.  I find doing searches and trolling through the blogrolls of bloggers that I read is OK, but in general the Alltop lists of blogs with the last few posts were a big time saver for me. So then I got to thinking – Hey, I want to be listed there too!  So I clicked around on the site and noticed that anyone could submit to be listed.  So I did.  By email.  It was even a funny email which I was sure would get Guy’s attention.  Here it is in all its original glory for your entertainment: Hi Guy, I launched a new marketing blog called Rocket Watcher a few weeks back focused on Marketing and Launching New Innovative Technologies and it kicks ass.  Please add it to marketing.alltop! Top 5 reasons Rocket Watcher belongs on Alltop Marketing: 1/ My posts are smart because I’m Director of Marketing for XXXX’s Incubation Program so I’m actually doing this...

Working with Analysts is a Pain (but you Should do it Anyway)

Ever wanted to make a startup founder curse?  Try saying these 2 magic words – Gartner Group.  In big companies the reaction is usually about the same (with more politically correct vocabulary).  Why?  I believe it’s a case of each side having their own (very different) priorities and each not understanding the other’s point of view.  I summarize the opposing views like this: What Vendors Want Analysts that can understand their products after 1 briefing Analysts that will write positive things about their product and recommend them to customers Analysts that do not criticize their product, their marketing, their business model, etc. What Analysts Want Vendors that will brief them regularly and often Vendors that will pay them for advice, not coverage Vendors that value their feedback on their product, marketing, business model, etc. You can see how we might get into trouble here.  My personal experience has been that working with a few key analysts as you are in the design/development phases for a new product can be extremely valuable if you get it right. Here’s April’s Handy Dandy Analyst Do’s (and 1 Don’t) list: Do: Pick a Couple of the Right Analysts – you don’t have time to build a relationship with more than a couple.  Pick ones that focus on your market obviously but don’t be shy about leaving someone off the list if you think he/she might be too hard to deal with (ask around, read their blogs, check them out on Twitter – jerky-ness is easy to spot). Invest Time – schedule regular calls and don’t expect them to get what you do after...

Under the Influence

I once had “CIO Influencer Marketing” in my title and people used to ask me “What’s that?” and my cheeky response was usually “Buying CIO’s a few drinks at the bar.”  The conversation then always went down the path of talking about who actually influences a CIO. I recently had a series of conversations with the members of a CIO Advisory Council I run.  We had a discussion around who (besides the obvious members of the decision making unit and other C-level folk) they turned to for advice.  Did they listen to industry analysts?  The said yes, but mainly for context or to back-up a decision they had already made.  What about industry pundits, journalists, experts, did they go to them for advice?  Again, the answer was that they would use them if needed to support a decision they had already made.  “So who do you talk to?”, I asked one of them.  “Those guys over there” was his response as he pointed to the other CIO’s on the council. OK, it’s hardly a scientific study but I did read a great post by Don Bulmer at SAP on how Influencers rank by size of company that backs this up.  For larger companies, peers have the most influence. As a person who’s getting new technology out to market, I took away a key point about how this applies to getting a meeting with a CIO.  CIO’s don’t want to talk to you but they might talk to another CIO.  If you’re at a big company, get your own CIO on board and have him or her get you some...

The World Doesn’t Need Another Marketing Blog

I don’t really believe that’s true or this wouldn’t be here but there certainly are lots of great marketing blogs out there. Here’s what I’m hoping to contribute that’s at least different from the majority of marketing blogs I read regularly. I’m more of a Business to Business marketer than a Business to Consumer one. And yeah, I think BtoB is often different. I love social media but there’s more to marketing that just that. In my world (software sold to large enterprises), social media is part of a mix that shouldn’t be served straight from the bottle. My bag is bringing new software solutions to market and I’ve done that at big companies like IBM and Nortel as well as small startups.   I am interested in what makes one great idea successful and another not. I’m not going to be one of those post everyday people.  Subscribe and you’ll know when there is something new. First time reader?  Why not subscribe or follow me on...
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