Spam is not Marketing

At a marketing conference this week Jason Scott of @sockington told a room full of marketers that he thinks we are all a bunch of spammers. I disagree.

The Elevator Rant: A Prelude to a Value Proposition

An elevator rant is similar to an elevator pitch but it’s how the customer would briefly describe her problem. Constructing an elevator rant is a good precursor to developing a value proposition. This post describes what the elevator rant is and proposes a structure for building one.

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...

Market Sizing for Startups – Get Real!

Estimating the size of an addressable market for a startup is hard but not impossible. The key is to start with what you know, extrapolate in a reasonable way and then test your assumptions on customers.

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...

When “Free” Doesn’t Work: Anderson made me mad. Godin didn’t.

Marketing folks understand the importance of expectation setting.  Marketing text books are filled with cautionary tales of companies that promised more than they could deliver and were punished by customers for it.  “Under-promise and over-deliver” is a worn out phrase around my office. Let’s take the matter of pricing for example.  If your customer expects to get something for $X and late in the buying cycle – i.e. after she’s done thinking and evaluating options and is ready to buy – she suddenly finds out that it actually costs $2X, she’s going to be peeved.  In fact, she’s likely to go back to her list of alternatives and purchase something else, even if they also cost $2X. This brings me to Chris Anderson and Seth Godin. Every year I take a couple of weeks vacation at the lake and I read a bunch of books.  This year Chris Anderson’s book Free made it onto my list.  Folks were talking about it and I loved The Long Tail.  I had heard it was available electronically for free so this week I set about getting a copy of it.  Only I discovered it wasn’t available for free at all.  At least not for me.  First I checked out his blog where I found I could download an audiobook (it’s difficult to hear my children drowning in the lake with headphones on so this wasn’t an option for me) or online via a service called Scribd but the content is unavailable for folks in Canada.  Strangely enough I could read the book on the Scribd version that is embedded in Chris’s blog,...
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