What you missed at the Charlotte American Marketing Association in August.

This is just a bit of what you missed in August at CAMA.  Be sure to check out upcoming events at http://www.charlotteama.com/.  Make sure you check out the credit at the end!


Data Optimization, Brad Pitt And Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Moneyball, the book, is a business parable.   Moneyball, the movie opens in September.

Moneyball book cover

Moneyball, by Michael Lewis (2003) is about what happened when some unknown computer  geeks managed to put a century’s worth of major league baseball statistics into a coherent data base.

These nerd-geek-baseball lovers, armed with huge amounts of statistically relevant data, started to tell people that some of baseball’s long held wisdom was… well… uh…statistically wrong.

Now remember, we are talking about the ritual and teachings of a century of the American pastime.  Adults taught kids these things as a matter of faith.  Major League Dogma.

Of course, in the traditional hide bound culture of baseball, they were seen as heretics.

Eventually, Billy Beane, the GM of the Oakland Athletics decided to systematically use the “new ideas” in the data, to run a major league team.    To make a long and really interesting story short, the result was that the Oakland A’s won as many games as the Yankees did, while spending half the payroll money.

Moneyball is really a great business book.

It’s about finding new meaning in hard data.

It’s about working smarter than the competition.

It’s about trying to do more with less.

It’s about knowing what your key performance indicators really are, and hiring employees who seem ordinary, but are really stars at playing their role.

And the book is ultimately about the risks you have to take to introduce new ideas into old cultures.  (…uh…PPC, SEM, SEO, and social media data in internet marketing comes to mind!)

In September the movie opens.  It stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Robin Wright.

I guess Hollywood thought it was a pretty good story too.

We’ll see about the movie.

But if you like business, baseball, and the bottom line, you’ll love the book.

Social Media and Business Model

Here’s another example where social media, inbound marketing, the web, and face to face meetings, are directly integrated into the business model and brand:

The Moxie Exchange Movement:

Image of The Moxie Exchange Movement site.

Founder Maureen Berkner Boyt says the Moxie Exchange Movement satisfies these questions:

You want to be around businesswomen with Moxie? Great.

You want to trade business ideas, inspiration and resources with those women? Better.

You want to pay your Moxie forward to the girls who make up the future generation of business leaders? Best.

Started less than a year ago, The Moxie Exchange Movement already has groups in 8 states.  Mary Coombs is the “marketing moxie”, working to expand the brand with social media, traditional marketing, business strategies and best practices.

Full disclosure: I share the office with Mary, and while I am more comfortable designing for multi-media, she does occasionally ask me to design for print.  I designed the sticker for the “shot of moxie” tin.


A Shot of Moxie




5 Things Social Media Marketers Should Stop Saying

Social Media Marketing is one marketing channel.  I read much of what social media people say about their profession.  It’s useful. Usually informed.  And sometimes naive.

Lately, I’ve seen some strident criticism in the channel and I think it is warranted.   One blogger said that saying you are a social media marketing expert, by itself, is like saying you are expert at getting the bread out of the freezer,  when the point is to make a sandwich.

I think he makes a good point.  Here’s my unvarnished take on why “the backlash” is good feedback.

Some of the social media echo chamber dogma originates from people who don’t have sophisticated business or marketing experience.  They are discovering VERY basic tenets of business and marketing through the prism of their otherwise sophisticated social marketing skills.

Lots of us gray hairs, who think social media marketing does matter, cringe when we read parts of their breathlessly enthusiastic posts.  So here’s 1 caveat and 5 things to help (typically young) social media marketing practitioners avoid a career backlash.


Remember that you didn’t discover or invent marketing, sales, relationships, human nature and/or trust. (Or the business model of your company.)  When you discover a basic broad marketing or relationship tenet, check to see if maybe you aren’t just the last person to arrive at the party.

5 Things Smart Social Media People should stop saying right now.

Stop saying…

1.    It’s about relationships.

All of marketing and sales has always been about relationships.

When Og, the Caveman, was putting together his “hunting buffalo cave wall” campaign, he was quoted as saying “It’s about relationships”.

For me, hearing “It’s about relationships” is like hearing those 40 year old classic rock songs that I once was breathlessly enthusiastic about.


Marketing is about relationships.  We know that song very, very well. When you say “It’s about relationships”, experienced people take a deep breath and pray you will follow it with stats, measures, customer data and relevance to our bottom line. Do it.

Stop saying…

2.  It’s about relationships.  You can’t measure my ROI.

And stop saying this corollary often offered:

“What’s the value of a handshake?’

See? It can’t be quantified.”

Wrong.  Bold type wrong.

Get me a million handshakes.  I’ll quantify it.

Good marketing and business people quantify this stuff.  They measure and create models that predict outcomes.  Business people know the value of a qualified lead, the net present value of a customer, what it costs to get a new customer, vrs. what it costs to retain customers (a strength of SM).  Brand advocates and fanatics were being cultivated before this year’s version of social media marketing was conceived.

Marketing, and especially sales, measure all those hypothetical “handshakes”.   Someone in your company is going to measure your ROI.  It should be you.

…and Ok, now I’m just piling on but it matters

Stop saying…

It’s about relationships. You can’t measure my ROI… 

3.  …because I don’t have a direct effect on sales.

This is career advice.

Never say any version of that if you believe you are a marketer.  Never.

You must have, at least a plausible theory and specific measures of how you support and increase sales inside of the specific business model you are supporting.

Investment, expense, revenue,  profit, and cash on hand, are  “the score” in the great game of business. (Are you only expense?) To say you don’t affect sales is to say you provide a poor return on investment.  You wouldn’t want to say that.

Figure out your positive benefits and measure them.

And finally… stop saying…

5.  Social media is not sales.

This is also bad for your career.  Change your mind set on this.

First, own up that YOU (we!) are selling.  Everyone is selling at some level. So what are you selling?  Do everything you can to make your efforts directly support sales.  Period.  We understand how building brand equity (not a new concept)  supports sales.  CRM is another old business term. That’s customer relationship management.  If that’s what you do, fine.  Measure it. Brag about it. Get more of it.  Even occasionally MAKE a sale!

Hug a sales person today.  He/she will probably buy you lunch.

Marketing and sales understands the prospect funnel and sales process.  Social media should live in the sales process in your organizations business model.   Quantify it. Brag about it if the numbers are good.  Then make them better.

Social Media is about having good authentic relationships, where trust and mutual benefit is exchanged and value is created for all the parties.  Right?

That’s exactly what good sales people have always done.

Business executives understand social media.  They are waiting, not always patiently, for SM practitioners to understand business.

Optimize YouTube

I have been optimizing my own value by doing some home improvement projects on my “investments”.  One of these days I’ll post the time-lapse video I made of myself painting a large room.  I work fast!

I needed to patch some dry wall.  I searched Google and tutorials came up 4th. These videos were low production cost but all the information and coaching I needed to be successful.  And they come up 4th!    4th for generic terms in Google could be a goldmine.

There is no secret.  It’s basic keyword optimizing,  just like your web site.  The name you give the video is like a page title tag, and the “description” you write up, should be as keyword smart as any meta description you have ever written.

The guys at Blog Success have a good basic tutorial (But watch the spelling guys!)

Video Online

Video continues to be a powerful tool for marketing.  Studies show that online video increases time on site, and internet marketing professionals indicate that online video is a top priority.  You Tube is an enormous and powerful beast!

Film, video, and multi-camera television are the first marketing crafts that I learned well.  I  produce  “hands on”,  from creative to shoot, edit, format, and stream or download.  Of course, bigger budgets allow me to hire better specialists, but my point is: I know and like the craft of video and sound… and online.

Moving pictures and sound are undeniably powerful.  And the cost of “making a video”, at the low end, is only your time.  Viewers are “video literate”.   They don’t expect your widget “how to” video, to look like The Kings Speech.

But like all powerful things, it is possible to go wrong (at any level!) , and waste time,  money and  reputation.

Here are my notes of issues and articles to write and expand on in the future.  Please come back.  What should I write about?

Sticky Video-Time on Site

People will watch a relevant video.  What exactly do we know about those figures?  How do we think about time on site, with video?


What’s going on with naming and tagging video files?  What is up with posting to a service (You Tube, etc) and embedding in your site.  What about  hosting the file on your own server?  What are the SEO best practices?  What does You Tube “prefer” from pro video?

Purpose, content, storytelling

What “works” in influencing people with video.  Which approach formats are tried and true?  There are some things to be careful about.  Be careful with “funny”.

Viral video

What will viewers pass around?  A link? A file?  How small (or big)  does that file have to be?

Video Formats

Compression/codecs formats,  players,  and the crazy corporate intrigue around supported formats.

You Tube

How do we best feed this monster?  Other sites.


It matters more than you might think.


Do it Yourself tips.


How to hire a vendor.

What else?

Found Facebook Friend

Neil Diamond: Feb. 26, 2011 Vector Arena, Auckland.

Marty Duda is a friend and co-worker from when we were both…. younger.  Marty  is a prolific and accomplished media producer, as well as being incredibly knowledgeable and insightful about the music and culture scene.

Anyway, he moved off to New Zealand many years ago, and we lost track.

This link is to his wonderful blog on the New Zealand (and English speaking world) music scene.  Though we are both old enough to have experienced Neil Diamond,  Marty deals with much hipper, much younger subject matter most of the time!

Every company… everyone… can go global on the web.

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