Articles Posted in Marketing Management

This video spoofs the phony voice of marketers and advertising. It is “office safe” so don’t worry about the volume. Enjoy.

Does your marketing sound like this? You might have been able to get away with this 15 years ago but since social media has allowed people to opt out this kind of insincere over-dramatization you need to be careful.

For education publishers you also need to remember that many teachers teach critical thinking skills – if you are talking down to them they won’t react well.

NECC08_logoISTE’s NECC 2008 was a success by any measure. The sibilant susurration of schmoozing and selling suffused the show space. Attendance was high (12,250), sessions were well attended (over 924), and the show floor was constantly busy. Even the San Antonio weather cooperated by being a bit cooler than usual.

If you landed on the planet on Sunday and came straight to NECC you would have no sense of the pressure on education budgets that the economic downturn is creating.

Some of this is attributable to Texas, which as an oil producing state is having a milder downturn that many parts of the country. Typically 50% of attendees at national trade shows are from within in 200 miles (double that for Texas). But that doesn’t explain all of it since according to the official numbers Texas attendees only made up 25% of the total.

Old Texas MapISTE’s National Education Computing Conference (NECC) 2008 is in full swing in San Antonio.

The Education Technology maven’s tribal gathering is bigger than ever. A sign over the entrance reads “The Worlds Largest Education Technology Exhibit.” That’s a Texas sized ambition.

Here are a few impressions from day one. I’ll write a more detailed analysis after the show closes.

Bad marketing comes in two flavors. There is poorly executed marketing that no one notices. Then there is insincere, dishonest, and misleading marketing that everyone notices. The first kind is a waste of your money, the second kind gives marketers a bad name.

I’ve written elsewhere on finding a good target market, selecting a winning brand promise, and engaging in conversational Web 2.0 marketing. If you do those things well you can largely avoid execution error.

Today we focus on an example of the second kind that was so breathtakingly awful I had to backtrack and take a picture of it.

How are education publishers reacting to the economic downturn? Guest blogger and PR maven Charlene Blohm shares some concrete examples of steps companies are taking to trim expenses.

Part 1 – Education Spending & The Economy – Survey Results

Part 2 – Education Funding Market Dynamics – By Doug Stein

550832_alone_in_the_rain“A Cranky, Skeptical, Loudmouth looks at Social Media Marketing” is a little rain on the “Conversation Economy” parade. It was written by Bob Hoffman over at Copyblogger. The 55 comments are as good or better than the article itself (alert the Irony Police).

“You and I are web geeks. We spend way more time than we should looking at computer screens. We are not normal. Especially you. The biggest mistake any marketer can make is marketing to himself, i.e. assuming his customer is just like him. They’re not and they never will be.”

I can’t disagree with that.

I like his definition of interaction as well.

DSC00106.jpgBlog years and dog years have a lot in common. They go fast, take constant care and feeding, and bring companionship and warmth into your life. Dogs force you to get up and move your body, blogs force you to get out and work your mind.

Social media are reshaping the business landscape and I’ve never found a better way of learning something than just wading in and messing with it. Under the tutelage of my blogfather Richard Carey and the folks at Justia I launched this site last May.

So what have I learned?

Information Overload and Education Publishing Marketing penned (keyed?) by yours truly was published today on the AEP blog. This is a summary of the longer series I did last year on information overload. If you want a quick introduction or need a refresher hop over and take a look.

While you are there bookmark the blog or better yet drop it into your RSS reader – on a regular basis senior people from the publishing industry will be writing about the business.


Advertising isn’t working as well as it used to. In an age of information overload people are tuning out distractions as a matter of survival.

Here are two visuals to help make this point.

1. It is far more important to be found when someone is looking these days than to be visible when they are just scanning. To visualize this look at the graphic below

BS-DetectorMarketing departments have tried to control brand identity with years of research and oceans of ink (and pixels). But the concept that a company can control its brand is a myth and it always has been. At best a company can contribute to its brand identity, but in reality that identity is created by the market. That identity includes not just the nice polished stories pumped out by Marketing, but all the crappy and in between stuff that happens when product meets customer.

This topic was brought home in a lively discussion at the Austin Social Media Club breakfast this morning. Bryan Person led a conversation about how to lead people to Web 2.0 who are outside of the technology bubble. One theme that surfaced was marketers’ reluctance to give up controlling the message. That “control” is a total conceit on their part.

With Web 2.0 customers can talk to each other about the things they always talked about, but now Marketers can see it. This is hugely disorienting for a tribe that thought they “controlled” and “managed” their brand identity. But all of us as consumers are gravitating to this new way of interacting with each other. For companies that can adapt it will result in much more authentic conversations with their customers. We need more focus on contribution and less on control.