Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Every creative act is a sudden cessation of stupidity." Edwin Land

"For people who live in the imagination, there is no lack of subjects. To seek for the exact moment at which inspiration comes is false. Imagination floods us with suggestions all the time, from all directions." Federico Fellini

"Creativity often consists of merely turning up what is already there. Did you know that right and left shoes were thought up only a little over a century ago?" Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

Today's image: Land, Sea and Sky by -Wink - Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

The Obvious

The obvious remains the hardest to see.

Take, for example, the goaltender mask used in ice hockey. The so-called goalie mask was created by Jacques Plante in 1959. While the goaltender mask may seem an obvious (and necessary) piece of equipment, it was not a part of the sport during hockey's first one hundred years of play.

Obvious and, for over one hundred years, hard to see until Jacques - tired of getting hit - said enough!

What problems are holding back your organization? What challenges are preventing your success? Enough! Imagine the needed and effective solution set to be the obvious.

"Perspective is worth ten IQ points."
Gary Hamel

We tend to get lost in the detail for the same reasons fish do not see water (it's an invisible part of their experience). Over time, we become fish in the water of our assumptions. It's a filter issue. We tend to lose perspective we once had when our ears, eyes and attention - our senses - were fresh, new to the market or new to the business card. The acuity at our command is influenced, our perceptions biased when we are immersed in the press of daily affairs - the problems, the personalities, the politics. The danger is we fall into the trap of no longer questioning market/company/industry dogma. This is the easy evil that is acceptance, allowing what is to continue; it's the inertia, the stasis, that deafens and blinds before it kills. It's acceptance that fuels the most creative rationale for failure. We hire on as defense counsel for the familiar, we go to work as advocates for what's smart, right about staying the course. We favor zone of comfort lock-in. In that process we too often champion the best of yesterday (optimization) when we should be competing for tomorrow (innovation).

When the new kids in school ask "Why do we do that?" or "Why do we do things this way?" it's an engine warning light coming on. Be alert, pay attention to the naive. LISTEN.

My suggestion is you rethink your situation and begin by asking...

W H Y ?

That's an important question we need to be asking way more often. In my experience, the best practice is to ask "why" daily. Test assumptions. Discuss "the rules" out loud, adopt a policy of brutal honesty.

Kevin Kelly has written a fine piece, Ratcheting Up Autonomy, on why we usually don't lose technologies. While it's current fashion to proclaim practically all media things dead (e.g., print, radio, TV), Kevin's writing offers some much needed perspective. Highly recommended, read it, here.

Closed circuit to rock radio: Ready for the fall sweep? Would you be interested in learning how to get better ratings? Want to improve fourth quarter sales? Need some unvarnished input as you begin your 2010 planning? Let me suggest you invite Lee Arnold to your market. Have him listen to your station and your market for a day then have him spend a second day with your team. On the second day share your thinking, your strategy, your plans. Programming, marketing, sales. Listen to what he has to say. Gain the competitive advantage of his perspective, let his recommendations encourage candid discussion and action. You'll benefit from this investment. Get Lee's contact info, here.

Bonus: Are you having fun? Must-see video. The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun, here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Leadership is the process of achieving a dream together, especially when that dream seems impossible to achieve." Stan Shih

"A leader has to be one of two things: he either has to be a brilliant visionary himself, a truly creative strategist, in which case he can do what he likes and get away with it; or else he has to be a true empowerer who can bring out the best in others." Henry Mintzberg

"A leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don't want to do and like it." Harry Truman

Today's image: The girl from Ipanema loves Summer by neloqua. Great image. Thank you for sharing.

Data from the latest Forrester Social Technographics Profile has dropped. Check out the widget below.

For an explanation of the groups (Creators, Critics, etc.) view the eight slide presentation, here. My thanks to Josh Bernoff and the Groundswell team. Read Josh's overview, Social technology growth marches on in 2009, led by social network sites, here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"The way out of the recession is not to wait for an uptick. The way out is to create your own uptick." Rance Crain

"Talent is the desire to practice." Malcolm Gladwell

Nothing will work, but everything might. Now’s the time for lots and lots of experiments." Clay Shirky

Today's image: shoot it!! by Mitra Mirshahidi. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Another very cool video from TED. Dan Pink makes the argument that ye olde carrot and stick management is a total waste of time. Clearly, Dan gets it. He suggests it's all about the "mismatch between what science knows and what business does." You may preorder Dan's new book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, via Amazon, here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Professionals require little direction and supervision. What they do require is protection and support." Henry Mintzberg

"To be mission-based means that those in positions of authority are not the source of authority." Peter Senge

"Administrators are cheap and easy to find and cheap to keep. Leaders - risk takers: they are in very short supply. And ones with vision are pure gold." Raymond W. Smith

Today's image: Radio Daze by Ian Hayhurst. Wonderful shot. Thanks for sharing.

Measuring the right things

Yesterday's post was all about activity, some aspects of ad selling. It failed to recognize or address a very important issue - what we measure. What gets measured gets managed. Moreover, what gets measured gets attention, gets fussed over, gets precious share of mind.

Sales is a process, not an event.

Parts of generally accepted broadcast sales management practice appear to be broken. Some would go further and say things are getting scary anachronistic in our sales operations. This includes many of the most commonly used operating metrics. If your legacy systems are not helping you they are hurting you.

"The ultimate form of learning to decide what is working
and what is not."
John Freeman

One of the first things we do when working with new clients is develop a dashboard, that project starts with an inventory of metrics. The dashboard data prompts us to ask three questions.

1. What is happening?
2. What is not happening?
3. What can we do to influence the action?

Let me suggest it's the dashboards, our scorecards and the accounting, that need serious attention. What and how we measure deserves studied work. My thought is, we need an informed, measured rethink on what favorable results look/feel like. What results will be key, what activity most productive, what solution sets most effective, as we prepare to engage in and win the new games now emerging on the ever changing mediascape (one which is, more or less, in permanent beta).

What we allow we encourage

Standards (expectations) > Activity (process) > Outcome (results) > Consequence (reward/discipline) > Learning (reflection/refinement)

In my experience, success or failure is directly related to the right beginning, setting standards. Legendary sales developer Ken Greenwood, using golf as a metaphor, recommends an early asking of the question "What is par?" It remains a question of critical importance.

Still, as ever, Drucker comes to mind, job one has never been more clear ... "Management is responsible for producing results."

Optimization absent innovation is a trap of diminishing return. Permit me to say that learning and unlearning should have prominent places on your agenda, if not you're dead.

It's adapt or die (alternatively, as Hugh MacLeod counsels, "Create or die.") Don't settle for managing decline, there's no future in it. Lucky for us all we are living in the most interesting, exciting and promising of times.

Readers are leaders: Please preorder the new Daniel H. Pink book. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us. Thank me later. Amzn info

Thank you very much: Appreciate all of you who were kind enough to get in touch about yesterday's post. Always good to hear from broadcast sellers, managers and group execs. What was totally unexpected and wonderful was hearing from so many at work on the front lines of retail. Each of you guys made my day. I promise to be in touch. Please give me some time to get back to you. Again, thanks. Your thoughts, comments are always welcome and appreciated.

On the day job we remain knee deep in the study and application of social media. Seems there's a new SocM video or ppt deck being posted almost every week, new stats continue to arrive around the clock. Behold, the velocity of change (or in the least our attempts at tracking it) continues unabated. Here's one of the better mashups, titled Socialnomics09 ...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"There are a hundred roads to Rome; the important thing is to get there, not to use the same road." Herb Kelleher

"Without some element of leadership, the many at the bottom will be paralyzed with choices." Kevin Kelly

"The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully." Walter Lippmann

Today's image: Alone After the Rain by imagonovus. Great capture. Thank you for sharing.

Adventures in Ad Sales
Dirty little secrets from the front

One of the benefits of owning a small retail business is getting an up-close and personal view of local media sales practices. During the almost five years we have been open for business it's fair to say we have just about heard it all from media sellers and their managers. Informed by our playing with live ammo situation, my sense (which continues to be confirmed) is media sales organizations are their own worst enemies.

Today a story, a few suggestions and, count them, four links you should check out.

Recently a TV seller for one of the big four affiliates stopped in to pitch a package. She left behind ten pages supporting her offer. The summary format, one we see frequently, was structured as follows:

Total Spots
Total Value
Total Cost
Total Savings

She said she needed a decision ASAP because the schedule had to begin the following week.

When asked why we were being pitched the package she explained that time was short and they were pitching local TV advertisers who were already running on WWWW (her competitor). This was important because our creative was already executed, all we needed to do was ask our WWWW rep to provide her station with a copy. We were good to go, no production required.

The "total savings" featured on option summary pages ranged from 35 to 40 percent depending on the option selected.

She called to follow up. We said thank you but we were taking a pass. We again stated the objection made at the time of her in-person pitch - "our 2009 ad budget is already fully committed." We also reminded her that we were previously, for years, an annual advertiser with her station.

She said "We really need to sit down and talk about things. We are doing well in the ratings, they're much better. We have new management, the staff has changed and we are much more professional. Our customer service has improved. We need to sit down and talk about next quarter, I'm sure I can help you."

She was again told, thanks but no, thank you. We are fully committed for the remainder of 2009.

At this point in the call the line goes dead. Silence. [Cue the crickets]

We do give her credit for one thing. At that moment, she did not invoke what we have come to call the media seller's rejoinder of choice (i.e., "You're making a big mistake"). In sum, our finding is she wasted her time and ours. She was simply not adequately trained or prepared. My thought is these are symptoms of a leadership problem. Her managers are culpable.

Here are ten suggestions for sales leadership and savvy sellers. Please understand...

1. Nothing about your station is important to the retailer.

2. The important thing to the retailer is their enterprise. The one thing that every retailer cares about most, wants to talk about in depth with anyone willing to listen, is their business. Hint - no one they know seems to care about it as much as they do and/or are tired of hearing about it.

3. Retailers sell second for a living, they buy first for a living. When you attempt to sell a retailer you find yourself across the table from a highly skilled professional buyer. When calling on a business not on your air please remember that no matter what you are selling it will first be thought of as an additional, unexpected and unnecessary expense.

4. Retailers are always suspicious of whole dollar pricing. Everything they buy is priced in dollars and cents. Why do media sellers consistently round up? (Thank you to Kevin B. Sweeney for that important lesson)

5. Mind the old saw: Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.

6. Successful retailers plan their work and work their plan. The average planning horizon is expressed in months and quarters.

7. New business cold calling with fire sale packages is unlucky. See numbers 5 and 6.

8. Stop telling retailers how good your business is. They are able to see and hear how good it actually is at will. When they watch prime filled with promos or hear a morning drive without spots you have seriously jeopardized your credibility. Be modest. Tell them you're doing your best in this environment and share some client success stories.

9. Testimonials from your clients are pure gold. There is no better reference for your station than a happy local retailer. Recency is key here.

10. Under-promise, over-deliver. Consistently.

The major problems with this specific sales call may be found in its motivation and timing. Here we are witness to an example of management using competitive intel to target prospects with a package that may or may not be relevant/attractive and doing so under the last minute pressures of a ticking perishable inventory clock. My guess would be this is yet another month of things just not going well for the guys at that station. Imagine the discussion. "There's no appetite for our discounted prime inventory, oh well, it must be the economy."

Never say never, exception number 94:
Never confuse activity with progress

Please allow me to offer final thoughts on this issue. The way out for this seller and her peers, for station managers and for their owners will require courage and commitment. The first step is to stop doing what no longer produces the expected result. In the main, broadcasters must stop getting up in the morning and heading to the station with the primary mission of killing the guys across the street. Broadcasters must abandon the patently wrong pov that internecine warfare is productive best practice. This pursuit is a senseless zero sum game and clearly less and less effective. Moreover, it's a potentially dangerous dead end. Using competitive intel restricted to your direct competitors is silo thinking that blinds, it limits potential by its very design. Fighting for larger shares of a smaller and smaller pie is plainly irrational. A sustainable business model this is not, it's a flawed strategy long past its best used by date. The truth be known, local markets are rich with ad spend. It's a big market out there. You can be a victim, a captive to an industry segment gone weak or you can refuse to play that role and get busy doing something different. Have the audacity to break from the industry dogma and rote behavior. To begin getting your unfair share you'll need to do the hard work that working smart demands and you'll need to persevere. Courage is the power to let go of what's familiar.

One more word on retailers. They don't want to be sold but they love to buy. All the best to you. Game on. Please, give it a go.

P.S. We think the world of the local media sellers we work with. We believe strongly in the game-changing power of advertising. Local broadcast, print and online continue to yield excellent returns on our investment, they are helping to grow our business year after year.

Best practice: Want to read about a great, no make that an amazing promotion? Take a minute and get a lesson from one of the finest minds in American retailing history. How to make money with your promotions. A tale from my salad days with RKO Radio in Chicago, here.

Bonus: The annual Mindset List has arrived from the good folk at Beloit College as we officially welcome the Class of 2013. Always an interesting read, it's here. Kudos to team Mindset!

Clues from a cool kid: When it comes to any discussion concerning brands and branding, the go to guy is Tom Asacker. He's simply one of the best and brightest. You'll find his latest thought piece, A Brand is Not a Separate Thing, available via PDF, here. Tom's blog, a clear eye, is a gem and may be found here. Bravos, Tom. Well said.

Riddle me this, Batman: Who Are The Trust Agents for Your Station? Tom Webster, the digital-dean-in-residence at Edison Media Research provides some thoughts and along the way suggests a killer must-read, here. Thanks, Tom.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Leadership is about a sense of direction. It's knowing what the next step is." John Adair

"Leaders walk their talk; in true leaders there is no gap between the theories they espouse and their practice." Warren Bennis

"The art of leadership is to mobilize people to care about the tasks ahead." Doris Kearns Goodwin

Today's image: The Sun Sets on Chateau de Chillon by Pear Biter. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Art & Copy, a film by Doug Pray. It's about advertising. I am not able to get enough of George Lois. George is, truly, one of the very best Mad Men, evah. The film's site is here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"If your business plan depends on suddenly being 'discovered' by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain." Hugh MacLeod

"Google has become a verb." David Weinberger

"The world today is full of MLOTT (money left on the table)." Doc Searls

Today's image: IMG_3884 by Max Lieberwirth. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Bonus: 6 Essential Skills for Exponential Times by Michelle Tripp via The BrandForward Blog, here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevancy even less." General Eric Shinseki

"Mark my words, folks: we're all being seduced by a dangerous and sexy online mistress named Social. If you haven't fallen for her yet, you will." Dave McClure

"Markets are conversations." Doc Searls

Today's image: Untitled by Medeia. Amazing shot. Thank you for sharing.

Three books for your consideration. Each is highly recommended, especially for broadcasters and media folk.

The Chaos Scenario
. Amid the Ruins of Mass Media, The Choice for Business is Stark: Listen or Perish. - Bob Garfield [TheChaosScenario] Amzn info

The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. - Tamar Weinberg [Techipedia] Amzn info

The Cluetrain Manifesto. 10th Anniversary Edition. - Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger [Cluetrain] Amzn info

Bonus: The ever engaging Marta Kagan and gang at the integrated marketing agency Expresso have updated their popular presentation What the F**k Is Social Media. View the deck (via slideshare) here. Bravos to Marta!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"It would be a great mistake to confine your imagination to the way things have always been done. In fact, it would consign you to the mediocrity of the marketplace." Harold Geneen

"The moment a person forms a theory his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory." Thomas Jefferson

"I dream for a living." Steven Spielberg

Today's image: If The Key Fits by pareeerica. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Again, chasing those three tenets of new media for broadcasters. Ensure your assets are digital, discoverable and ready to share.

Today, we'll unpack discoverable.

Like it or don't Google is your home page (as previously suggested). Increasingly, your home page is becoming less relevant. Attention must be focused on making each web page stand out and stand alone. This is a shift in the conventional strategy, from optimization of the home page to the landing page.

Incoming! Analytics are your friend, they are very important to you. No matter what you are now running, please do add Google Analytics to your mix. Using this blog as an example, a consistent 50% of traffic is being directed via search engine to a specific post, rather than the main page. This seems to be, generally, a good representative average provided the available evidence including the metrics of our clients worldwide. Your mileage may vary - so do check it. Now, back to the countdown. Google is driving the largest share of SE traffic to this blog, followed by (a distant second) Yahoo!, then,,,,,,, well, all those other Googles, you get the idea. To be fair,, and others do direct traffic this way but they are, at present, driving combined contributions that register a single digit percentage in total SE referrals. Now, and in the near future, it's safe to wager we are playing a game of Google.

So Google your brand. Google your talent. Google your key attributes. Google those words and combination of words that are important to you. Start with "I'm Feeling Lucky" and only then move to the SERP. Then, only the first page counts. Study. Take notes. Take action to improve your performance. Test, test, test. Measure. When "Lucky" produces your pages, you win (in that moment). Please do remember, the equation is dynamic. This is some new form of chess we are all playing and what it clearly is not is any simple game of checkers. In the brave new world of real-time, walk away time is collapsing. As a practical matter, incumbency is meaningless.

As the gifted Count Basie said "One more once."

It's not a game of getting better but one of getting different. The key for broadcasters, those in search of the most effective solution set, is to focus less on the numerator and more on the denominator. Game on.

Misc data: Month after month, the number one most-viewed page on this blog continues to be the amazing original writing of 2004 by the brilliant Bob Henabery, my creative godfather and mentor. Bob writes about media legends Bill Drake and Rick Sklar...Top 40, The Fox and the Hedgehog, it's a great read, here. The second most-viewed is my 2004 update of an earlier monograph on leadership, A Great General Manager, here.

Sidebar: Following Brent D Payne, SEO of Tribune, on Twitter I noticed his tweet about his new boss. Brent had been reporting to the CTO, and tweeted that his new boss was Trib's COO. When I asked him about it he said via email "It was mainly done to focus me more on monetization an (sic) product versus technical changes to the CMS." My take is this is one very savvy move. Tribune groks the notion, the true business value of search. My congrats to Brent who is doing a wonderful job for team Trib. They are lucky to have him and would be wise to ensure his continued contribution. Closed circuit to Randy: lock in this gentleman and thank me later.

Congrats and cheers: Regular readers of this humble blog are aware of my great love for FriendFeed. It remains my feeling that FriendFeed is one of the great killer apps in social media. It's not only a killer app but it is, as well, a wonderful community of folk like no other. While many in the community are suggesting that FriendFeed being acquired by Facebook will be the end of an era, my thought is we're gonna be just fine thank you very much. Facebook will be better as will FriendFeed. That's my story and I'm sticking to it until proven wrong. Congrats, cheers, bravos and kudos to the FriendFeed and Facebook gangs. Here's hoping you guys knock the cover clean off the ball.

Extra credit: The Flow Past Web: even better than the RealTime thing, here.

Bonus: Steven Wright killed on Letterman last night. He threw a bunch of classic stuff including...A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. - Enjoy, pages of some of his best, here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"You know you've got a good piece of software when people use it for purposes for which the designers never intended or designed for." Clay Shirky

"Doing anything worthwhile takes forever. Ninety percent of what separates successful people and failed people is time, effort and stamina." Hugh MacLeod

Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." George S. Patton, Jr.

Today's image: The Passage of Time by ToniVC. Amazing shot. Thanks for sharing.

Three tenets of new media for broadcasters: Your assets must be digital, discoverable and ready to share.

Today, more on ready to share.

The great broadcast pioneer Gordon McLendon famously said to his managers "Get people to talk about your radio station." Few in media have understood and employed the power of "word of mouth" marketing more effectively than did McLendon. Moreover, he developed and practiced the radio stunt as performance art. I learned a bunch about McLendon thanks to the legendary Texas radio man Dickie Rosenfeld. Dickie once worked for The Old Scotchman as a seller, sales manager and general manager at KILT in Houston. As Dickie told me "Everything we did was designed to get people talking about KILT. Our goal was to be the talk of the town."

"Content isn't king. If I sent you to a desert island and gave you the choice of taking your friends or your movies, you'd choose your friends -- if you chose the movies, we'd call you a sociopath. Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about." Cory Doctorow

The italics above are mine. Cory's observation is spot on. Getting into (and staying a credible part of) the conversation is the ball game. This is what McLendon and his managers had down cold.

Today we have the advantages of the web to help us spread the news, get the word out. As Hugh MacLeod writes...

..."Great Content" is only half the story. The other half is just as important, though a little more subtle. And what is that?

Short Answer: "Sociality".

It's not just that Boing Boing's content is fun to READ. It is. It's also that Boing Boing's content is fun to SHARE...Boing Boing has a lot of "Sociality" baked-in, i.e. its content makes for great "Social Objects" i.e. their blog posts are great "Sharing Devices". We are primates. We are social creatures. We like to socialize. And we socialize around objects. Boing Boing cranks out "social objects" by the ton, that we can effortlessly pass along to our friends.

Read Hugh's entire post, Boing Boing and baked-in sociality etc, here. Bravos to Hugh. He well makes this very important point.

Get into the conversation, ensure that your content is ready (and easy) to share. Think export.

Bonus: The (Not So) Final Word by Doug Zanger. Doug offers his take on the state of broadcast radio and the creative business, here. The Advertising Life podcast hosted by Doug Zanger...he invited me to guest on Episode 5, the audio is here. My thanks to Doug. It was fun getting to play on his stage.

A DJ speaks out: Guest Commentary: An Open Letter to Radio Programmers By Tara Dublin via Oregon Media Central, here

Today's big buzz is Facebook buying FriendFeed. More by Jason Kincaid via TechCrunch, here. I <3 FriendFeed.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem." G.K. Chesterton

"By definition, risk-takers often fail. So do morons. In practice it's difficult to sort them out." Scott Adams

"Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of values." Michael Porter

Today's image: To Miss You by michelleBlack. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Today, more lessons learned from the ongoing development, presentation, discussion and refinement of my social media brief.

"If the news is that important, it will find me."

Those are the oft quoted words of an unknown college student. The student threw out that insightful gem while participating in a focus group conducted by researcher Jane Buckingham. The quotation itself became widely known thanks, in large measure, to an article by Timesman Brian Stelter (Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On, NYT 3/27/08)

The attitude, the expectation, inherent in that quotation signals a significant shift in relationships and responsibilities. What is really at work here represents a profound sea change in media behaviors. The definitions, patterns and rule sets of consumption are in various stages of transition or disruption as some have suggested.

As a practical matter, consumption (the economic activity of purchase) is being redefined. My sense is we are moving from generations of media built on businesses premised on attraction (i.e., importing readers, listeners and viewers) to a wholly new generation of media, a nascent mediascape, in which business models are fundamentally different. Success is a moving target predicated on issues of multi-channel distribution (exporting). A world of one-to-many is adding another layer or two, new constructs, many-to-one and many-to-many and all the while one-to-one connecting is experiencing nothing less than a renaissance. Thank you, Facebook.

Import + Export

It is still important but no longer good enough for a successful media company to simply attract readers, listeners and viewers to a single specific newspaper, radio/TV station, cable channel or web site. The concept of reach, critical to the measured media enterprise, is moving beyond a single definition, it's embracing multiple interpretations. It's a new and different game; like going from the 2D chess we know and understand to that 3D chess of Star Trek. From readers, listeners and viewers reaching for our content to an audience also being reached by our content. Continuing to invite and direct attention to our place while also working to become a part of their places. Now in play...a new sense of place. Moreover, recent anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that while consumers are continuing to elect one or more traditional channels (soliloquies) they are adding to their media mix, they are participating (if only by observation) in one or more related conversations.

The entire notion of how consumer media transactions are conducted is changing. Dan Gillmor first referred to consumers as, "the people formerly known as the audience." Increasingly, these folks are in the game. What makes this difficult for some to grok is the so-called old media are not just going away. The new media, the emerging forms, are additive and sometimes appear to be the old media in the throes of some evolutionary process. Print = text, radio = audio, TV = video. The biggest issue for media managers is one of legacy, it's a matter of an accepted tradition of control. Jeff Jarvis, a former dead tree exec turned digital evangelist, has proffered a law, to wit: "Give the people control of media, they will use it. The corollary: Don’t give the people control of media, and you will lose. Whenever citizens can exercise control, they will." (Read more: The People Formerly Known as the Audience by Jay Rosen. June 2006)

For decades research was tasked with measuring media (s)elections, preferences of consumption after the fact. What ad did you notice? What station did you listen to? What program did you watch? As we move deeper into the new reality, the brave new world of hyper-connected real-time, the heads-up display, the dashboard, trumps looking in the rear view mirror.

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
R. Buckminster Fuller

Going forward, the significant matters that deserve the considered attention of media management include mobile (the new black) and ensuring that all assets are...



Ready to share

Next time: Why Tribune made a very smart move in changing their SEO's supervisor from the CTO to the COO. Plus, my thesis of Ready to share benefits from a practical illustration in the Hugh MacLeod concept of Sociality.

Bonus: Quotetrain #1 The new normal is that we expect businesses to listen to us. The companies that don’t are now perceived as Dinosaurs. - David Weinberger.

Spinning in the Grave. The three biggest reasons music magazines are dying. Jonah Weiner writes all about it in Slate, here.

Monday, August 03, 2009

"In the technology industry, change is a constant so it feels like there is always a gun to your head...You quickly learn you have to either adapt or die." Marc Andreessen

"A handful of men have become very rich by paying attention to details most others ignored." Henry Ford

As we get older and more experienced, we overestimate the accuracy of our judgments..." Malcolm Gladwell

Today's image: drama queen 2 by ash.g Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Word on the tweet
(It smells like money)

Social media: some lessons learned over the months of presenting my brief. Big and small ventures are making money using creative social media strategies. Today we note two firms using Twitter to generate business.

On Twitter, Dell Outlet has 967,871 followers (@DellOutlet). Naked Pizza has 5,329 followers (@NAKEDpizza). Dell does business worldwide. Naked Pizza is a one-location enterprise in New Orleans. Both have developed approaches to effectively monetize Twitter.

As reported in Ad Age (Twitter Proves Its Worth as a Killer App for Local Business by Abbey Klaassen), in a test run on April 23rd, "an exclusive-to-Twitter promotion brought in 15% of the day's business."

Naked Pizza is micro-targeting. They're marketing to people within a three-mile radius of their shop. As shown in the photo at left, they have put up a billboard featuring the Twitter logo with the line "Follow us for specials" and their Twitter handle. This new creative replaced their previous, more conventional, "call for delivery" message.

A second Twitter-only promotion ran on May 29th asking customers to mention Twitter when ordering. That promotion set an overall one-day sales record. "68.6% of total dollar sales came from customers who said 'I'm calling from Twitter.' (Pizza by tweet by Richard Slawsky)

Stay tuned. The little outfit that promises the "World's Healthiest Pizza" and is devoted to creating "Pizza 2.0" may be going national. They enjoy the good fortune of having net savvy Mark Cuban as one of their investors.

We go from the single DMA Mom-and-Pop to the successful global brand that is Dell Computers. The cool kids at Dell Outlet are making millions on Twitter. By offering Twitter-exclusive deals and deep linking to coupons, Dell is able to track traffic and sales originating via Twitter. As of this writing, Dell has attributed over three million dollars in sales to their DellOutlet Twitter channel. (See this earlier article on Mashable, Making Millions via Twitter by Ben Parr)

There's no good reason why you should not be using your digital assets, including social media, to generate business. A media client we work with is in the process of a major site makeover. They have replaced their web site with a single splash page containing a link to their Twitter page. Twitter has become their primary web communications channel. Not surprisingly they are gaining followers daily. Most important, they have conducted several very successful Twitter-only promotions that are leading them to wonder "Why didn't our expensive web site produce these kind of results?" Good question. What exactly are you doing to build your business on Twitter?

Extra credit: 62 Ways to Use Twitter for Business by Meryl Evans, Web Worker Daily.

Good stuff: Direct from the Twitter gang - Twitter 101 for Business - A Special Guide.


Getting truly serious about your Twitter (and any of the other social media) starts with getting totally serious about that four letter word.

Mind the words of John Cleese "If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play."

Read about the amazing power of play: play. How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown, M.D. (Amzn info)

We're all making this stuff up as we go forward

(What's important is you're in the game, your team is playing. As Woody Allen famously said "Eighty percent of success is showing up.")

P.S. for broadcasters. Helping your clients get the best return from their social media initiatives begins with leading by example(s).

P.S.S. Please read this, study this, share this, discuss this > I now pronounce you monetized: A YouTube video case study, here. Related parody: JK Divorce Entrance Dance (natch).

Bonus: The Malcolm Gladwell quote used at the top of today's post was taken from his recent writing in The New Yorker - Cocksure. Banks, battles, and the psychology of overconfidence. It's a good read which you may find here.

Wayback bonus: Remembering Milwaukee rock radio in the 1980s. Sometimes floods are good by radio programming and marketing ace Lee Arnold. (July 2006), here.

Danna Walker, Ph.D. The Seven Laws of Journalism - This Semester 1. Journalism isn't dead 2. Money counts 3. Grow a pair 4. Life is hard (so deal with it) 5. You're a story factory 6. Use technology as a means to an end 7. Ok, the whole democracy thing (sorry).

Detritus: Number of times my talk on social media has been given - 26. Average rating (1-5) = 4.84 Average rating (1-10) = 9.23 Best comment (five scale) - "Can I give this a ten? WOW!!!...killer content...lots of solid very practical take away" Worst comment (five scale) - "Deserves a zero or maybe a minus media sucks way too much time and attention...the worst kind of fad media crap. Facebook will be gone by next year. Hello, Friendster, DUH...Next!...this was total waste of time." My favorite so far "The station kicking our butt at 11 could give a rats ass about Twitter or Facebook...110% of their energy is laser focused on crushing nightside not wasting time on stupid web junk or mobile app trash" (FYI - the station leading at 11 dominates both Facebook and Twitter among broadcasters in their metro, they also happen to have a pretty cool site given they are using an O&O template)