Is the bubble bursting…

Those of you who followed my inane social media journey will recall my predictions about the fate of many of the Web 2.0 bubble companies.  Well, it seems that day of reckoning may be nearing.  You don’t have to look far to find articles about venture capitalists reducing investments or layoffs in the start-up world.  I’m sure we’ll see some high-profile acquisitions over the next quarter or two but I imagine they will be dwarfed by the number of fire sales. Is it time for F’edcompany.com to make its big...

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Reflections from Social Media Breakfast 9 in Boston

Here are a couple of things that stuck in my head a day after the event. It seems like mainstream corporate types (ie enterprise customers like EMC) are taking it slow with social media.  Like other new technologies, they are carefully evaluating it (in this case inside the firewall first) as another tool to help them improve their business. Absent a  a clearly articulated ROI, there will still be alot of testing with social media before acceptance in the enterprise C-suite. I heard my first fear-based argument for social media engagement.  David Alston of Radian6 used an analogy of someone standing in front of your company shout bad things about you at the top of his lungs.  If this were about your company would your PR team ignore them?  I enjoyed the demo of his their platform but it probably makes him nuts when people say “why can’t you just use a Google alert to track these things”. As Peter Kim reminded us, CMOs are general managers typically with short tenure.  They need to think about ROI first and coolness second. There are still more vendors and consultants at these events than prospective clients or end user types.  The irony is that I’m a potential customer looking for solutions and no one even tried to sell to me. For more from SMB9 Boston, check out Twitter with hashtag #smb9.  Twitter may have jumped the shark but it is still the medium of choice for real-time sharing.  And you can still follow me at...

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Agile Branding?

My desire to treat all things in an agile way is creating internal discomfort.  Over the weekend I was reflecting on how to develop a new or refreshed brand using an agile approach.  Given the need for consistency and repetition in building a brand, it seems that this may be one part of the marketing universe that that truly needs a waterfall approach. So how can we make the brand development process more agile?  Here are some ideas. Start with a straw list of ideas to test Dedicate one wall in your office to post these ideas and your competitive landscape Use less expensive, faster-to-deploy exploratory research techniques like online focus groups to supplement your traditional customer outreach Continuously adapt, test and kill concepts as you acquire data from the market Get your team to use Digg or Delicious to share competitive marketing Brainstorm frequently to make sure you are innovating and expanding your list Share the ideas with your team on a regular basis Concept test final idea using email surveys as a sanity check And last but not least, trust your gut as this a creative process not a geometric proof Did I miss anything?  I would welcome your thoughts and...

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Can you trust anyone?

The issue of trust seems to be everywhere today. Can we trust our politicians when they say we need a massive bank bailout? Can I trust that this charity will spend my money wisely? Can I trust this online business is not some elaborate phishing scheme to clean out my bank account? Over the years, some of the brightest marketing minds have explored ways to build trust between a customer and business. In 2003, Glen Urban, former Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management (and my grad school research adviser) published a paper titled “The Trust Imperative” which shares things you can do to build trust. It highlights specific ideas like “being transparent in all you do” and “helping customers help themselves”. Even though this research was performed almost 10 years ago, I marvel at how the key points of it are still relevant today for online businesses. You can find the full paper...

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Monday Morning Musings

1. I found this interesting post last week by Peter Kim about a framework to measure social media.  It is a step in the right direction but it still makes we wonder about when we will see industry standard metrics emerge for social media (ie cost per action, cost per click, etc). 2. I’ve seen a couple of recent articles about Twitter jumping the shark.  I can’t quantify it but it feels like oversharing is down within my cohort. 3. Are we starting to see signs of the social media bubble bursting on the west coast? 4. Don’t forget about Myspace.  With all the buzz surrounding Facebook these days it is easy to forget who has more search...

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