Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"There is no such thing as a pretty good omelet." French proverb

"In the long run, men only hit what they aim at." Henry David Thoreau

"We will either find a way, or make one." Hannibal

Today's image: Cherry* by imapix. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

They do exactly what you ask
Then you tell them they're wrong

One of my goals in 2008 is to meet the person that first decided it was a good idea to ask users to do something and then, when they do it more than expected, you tell them that they've broken "the rules" and that they're wrong. Bad user!

One call per month. One winner per household every thirty days. One "major prize" winner per household per year.

What is happening here is the reverse of any effective heavy user program. The heavy user is being punished rather than rewarded for expressing your brand as a preference. We catch them behaving exactly as instructed and then we tell them that they're wrong. "How dare you show up again at another of our on location broadcasts!"

Can you imagine?

"Excuse me Miss, you have already taken a ride on our airline earlier this week, you'll need to take your business to another airline. So you know, you are flying this airline way too much."

The call-in programs suffer from poor screening. They have not learned how to recognize and play (reward) the hit callers.

The promotion departments suffer from poor judgment. They have not learned how to champion frequent winners and cast them into the role of spokesperson and advocate - recruiting, teaching, encouraging other players.

What we have here is a failure of imagination. Should this be some kind of corporate policy have the courage to tell them they're wrong and make them aware that it's costing you business. Tell them abusing heavy users is bad luck.

Your heavy users cannot call enough, win enough, participate enough, talk to others favorably about you often enough.

Those that consistently dismiss that big left hand side of their long tail, those that have no respect for the attention and devotion of fans do so at their own peril.

Keep the words of Jack Welch in mind..."If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near."

The sign post up ahead - Chrome: While you were away enjoying the holiday there was a significant development in the tech world. There's a new question this morning. What's your Chrome strategy? What could turn out to be the browser, if not the OS, battle of 2009 could be a great moment of potential opportunity for your team. Get Chrome on your agenda and into your planning discussions, especially if you work in media. [Related: The soon to be famous Scott McCloud comic book for Google here]. Kudos to Google.

Bonus: Gin, Television and Cognitive Surplus. A talk by Web 2.0 rock star Clay Shirky via video @ Edge here. Outstanding, highly recommended. The lesson here is about the change to consuming, producing and sharing. As engaging, the Nicholas Carr response to Clay here.

Grant McCracken is an anthropologist, author and blogger. He offers two great posts that are worth your bandwidth. Brands Behaving Well. Brands Behaving Badly. The smart kids are putting his blog into their readers. My thanks to marketing maven Tom Asacker for the tip. Should you not have Tom in your reader, you're missing one of the best marketing reads out there. Highly recommended, check out Tom here.

The game of the name: Edward Dolnick writing an Op-Ed in the Times this morning, Fish or Foul?, tells us "Until a few decades ago, Patagonian toothfish was a trash fish not worth trying to give away. Renamed Chilean sea bass, it sold so fast that it nearly disappeared from the sea."

Video @ work? Perhaps Google Video for business is a good solution for your company. Think YouTube for enterprise. Info here.

Trade secret: Email subject lines using 60 or fewer characters increase open rate.

Congrats & cheers: ESPN on their brilliant full-page ad paying tribute to Michael Phelps' run for the gold without any mention of NBC..."For 9 nights, we weren't watching us either." Olympics boost NBC Today Show to best ratings since 2000.

The great voice silenced: The King of Voiceovers has died. Don LaFontaine was an amazing performer gifted like no other. He will be missed. [Related ET story]

Have a great week. Make something amazing happen!

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