Archive for 'love'

Twitter Ignorance to Twitter Love

For the longest time, I’d hear others opine about how much they loved Twitter and how it has enabled them to get to know others relatively quickly, but I’ve been on the outside looking in because I just didn’t “get it.”  I’d curl my lip and say “what’s the point with that service?” or “who would want to share what they’re doing all the time so stalkers could easily stalk them?”

That all changed about two weeks ago when I decided to really invest of myself into Twitter to see what all the buzz was about and try to figure out how business clients could benefit from the service.  It was as much self-education and mind expansion as it was figuring out the why behind all the buzz.  It’s not like I HAD to like the experience, but I wanted to give it a shot instead of dismissing it at every turn out of ignorance.

Well, my education has grown into great affection for the service, and I’m regularly “tweeting” to those that follow me and vice versa.  It really is a great way to get a glimpse into someone’s life without being nosy or prying into their space.  Since you can control what you share with others, it’s not like you’re opening your diary for the whole world to see or compromising your own safety by sharing what you’re up to.  Sharing just enough doesn’t equate to sharing intricate details.  For instance, let’s say I’m heading to eat at Jersey Mike’s (one of my favorites)–I could share that I’m heading there, but I don’t have to share which Jersey Mike’s that might be.

On the flip side, I could see how this might benefit those interested in developing stronger relationships with their local following, and that has business implications worth pursuing.  A lot of today’s business is conducted across great distances so this represents an opportunity to deepen relationships with people you may never physically encounter yet you can know as much about their lives, if not more, than their friends at home.  It works equally well for local contacts, too.  It’s much easier to “tweet” the entire following and encourage them to join you somewhere than it is to call or e-mail each person.  If they’re open to meeting with you, they have the option of showing up without having to make a big to do about it.  Hooray for that!  As someone who hates the telephone, this is a very easy way for me to spread a brief message without requiring a lot of legwork and coordination.  I’m all for minimizing hand holding opportunities.

You can also ask quick questions of your following and get short responses in fairly quick fashion.  This can be especially helpful if your group is a particularly savvy one–good advice for free is never a bad thing.

Anyway, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter if you’re so inclined and jump into the fun when the mood hits you.  The more you involve yourself, the more the service may appeal to you.  Then again, you may be like me a month ago and think it’s a gigantic waste of time.  I’ve been transformed since and see several benefits of being involved, but that doesn’t mean everyone will follow the same path as me.

Random Business Musings and Ponderings

Ever had one of those days where you question whether you’ve made wise business choices lately? Today has been one of those days, but I’m afraid the answers I uncover over the next few weeks aren’t going to be to my liking. I know I violated my own gut instincts with one decision in particular, and I’m kicking myself for it pretty hard right now.

If you’re in a business venture with others, is it clear to everyone involved whether the business could succeed without you or not? If the business could succeed without you, why do you continue to hang around in a decision making capacity? Why should your partners listen to you if the organization could survive without you?

If you bring nothing unique to the mix, and someone else is primarily responsible for the success of the organization, why not do the right thing and get out of the way by taking on a diminished role? It doesn’t mean you have to leave completely, but move aside to let the others grow the business. Chances are you’re not helping; you’re in the way! I’m just sayin’.

Is the generation gap between Boomers and Generation X THAT wide?

Is new media good for business or bad?

How much do you engage in social media for your business? How’s it working out for you?

Are there any business “secrets” anymore? What about new ideas?

Why is there such reluctance from the older generations to embrace new media and accept the fact that the new rules of journalism are vastly different from the good old days? There are newspapers and television outlets that struggle with this mightily, and my suspicion is those outlets are run by elder statesmen. Time to wake up, people! Or get out of the way to let the younger generation take the organization to the next level. I’m just pointing out the elephant in the room that everyone wants to ignore. Don’t shoot the messenger!

If you could start any new business today, what would it be? What would be your first step?

Am I crazy to think $1 million isn’t that much money and shouldn’t be that hard for a business to generate?

Do you know of a sharp Internet marketer that is looking to be a part of a startup? How about a copywriter? If you do, please send them my way.

When starting a new venture, what’s the first hire you make?

Enough ramblings and ponderings for now . . . would love to get your take on any or all of this.

Posted by Michael Cage on Friday, May 18, 2007

Just because marketing advice is repeated often … doesn’t make it true.

“Find a need and fill it … that is the key to successfully marketing a business.”Someone who needs to be slapped around a little bit.

Truth is, follow this “find a need and fill it” advice and you are inviting commodity pricing.

Think about it…

People NEED to get their roof repaired … but they WANT on-time, courteous service, clean workers and a guarantee their roof won’t leak again.

People NEED a computer network set up … but they WANT someone who understands their business, will suggest things to make it run smoother before a breakdown prompts it, and won’t make them feel stupid by talking geek to them.

People NEED to have a cavity filled … but they WANT to look good and have a pain-free experience in a friendly office with warm people.

People price shop for what they need, and even that makes them grumpy.

People pay premium prices for what they want, and they love it.

Go to an Apple Store. Play marketing anthropologist. Really observe the people. You’ll “get it” in less than an hour.

Service business, retail business, business-to-business, whatever your business…

…if your business struggles with commodity pricing or if you have to “justify” your price more than once in a blue moon … betcha an iPhone (ahem, another example) you are focusing on what your customers or clients need, and aren’t paying attention to what they want. And that makes them begin to not want you.

Forget find a need and fill it.

Find a want, touch your market … and lead a movement.

I talked about this in today’s Aggressive Marketing & Entrepreneurship Daily Podcast (along with a discussion about when to release version 1 of your product or service, true entrepreneurial competencies, and how to stay passionate and energized in your business). If you haven’t listened yet … what are you waiting for? … I’m on Episode #4. (Subscribe in iTunes.)

Another great post over at by Scott. This discusses how political candidates need SEO. I couldn’t agree more, and I was contacted by a couple of candidates just before the KY gubernatorial primaries went to the polls. It was too late (one or two months isn’t enough time for a good SEO Campaign in a political race), but I would strongly suggest the survivors consider SEO as part of their marketing campaign if they haven’t incorporated it already.

Whether DNC or RNC, Political Candidates need SEO


Posted by great scott!

Due to the first round of Presidential Candidate pre-primary debates occuring recently, I decided to have a poke around and see what the State of the SERPs is like for the major 2008 Presidential hopefuls. I was surprised to find that, despite Howard Dean’s major success with online fundraising in 2004, and the vast popularity of political blogs and web-centric PACs like, many of the 2008 Candidates are committing huge SEO blunders.

I know SEO is a fairly young industry and not everyone is hip to optimization techniques, but considering the reach and importance of the internet to young, vocal, passionate voters, writers and opinion leaders, one would think the masterminds behind these multi-million dollar marketing schemes campaigns would know of and appreciate the importance of search marketing.

Take the mind-boggling case of John McCain, a likely GOP front-runner: McCain’s active campaign site currently ranks #68 at Google for “john mccain” and just as abysmally for other terms and iterations of his name. How could this be? Well, behind his profile page (which he can’t use for campaigning) and his Wikipedia entry, we find, Mr. McCain’s campaign site from the 2000 primary.

As you’ll notice, the Title Tag directs us to go to his new site, but, since it doesn’t rank, we can’t click through to it from the same SERP. If we go to his old site, we’re not 301’d, but rather instructed to click through to his new site. If ever (EVER!) there was a case for 301-ing a domain, this is it. Granted, McCain’s new site has its own problems, most glaring is that every single page uses the same title and meta description tags, and navigation is primarily via drop-down java script menus. As such, most of his pages are likely ending up in the Supplemental Index making his internal links worthless. Let me also point out that even the search “john mccain 2008” puts his new site #3 behind and his Wikipedia page. He does, however, have AdWords for his new site on the SERPs for every imaginable incarnation of his name.

On the flip side of this equation is Barack Obama’s site which is a redesign of his domain from his 2004 Senate bid. Nicely designed and fairly well optimized, he is the only candidate that ranks for such lofty keywords as “ending iraq war” (#10 on Google) and “2008 election” (#11) [Update: as of this morning, 5/10, Google is showing Dennis Kucinich at #8 for “ending iraq war”]. However, for these and other campaign specific keywords such as “candidate,” “2008 election,” “united states presidential election,” and “democratic candidates” or “republican candidates,” none of the current contenders are even in the top 50 at Google. Two notable exceptions are Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich (possibly carrying links and domain strength from his ’04 run) who both rank in the top 15 for the term “president“.

Fine, it’s early, maybe people are still looking for candidates by name only. After all, dark horse candidate Ron Paul (R) and Mike Gravel (D) have gotten tons of attention on the social media sites lately. Unfortunately, the data just doesn’t back it up. Despite 12 stories on Digg featuring Ron Paul in the headline, each receiving more than 1000 diggs, since he announced his candidacy on March 12, 2007–Mike Gravel’s been featured in nine 1000+ digg stories since announcing on March 9th–the search queries for his name pale in comparison to the big players who, oddly enough, get almost no love from Digg (Obama’s headlined in only two 1000+ digg stories since March 9th, same with Clinton).

While “Hillary Clinton” and “Barack Obama” get significant daily numbers as search terms (Clinton currently getting about 50% more volume than Obama), the rest of the candidates don’t get much love at all. John Edwards gets about 1/3rd of Clinton’s search volume, as does McCain. Even social media darlings Paul and Gravel are averaging only a relative handful of name searches daily. As far as traffic goes, things are pretty much the same, with the exception of a distinct inversion between Obama and Clinton. The chart below shows the relative search volumes for the names of the major candidates (data from Keyword Discovery) as well as their relative Alexa Traffic Rank (3 mos. avg.) to their official campaign sites.

Granted, the search numbers aren’t huge for the more general, campaign-related terms, but in most cases they’re more popular than candidate names and have a much longer tail.

So what’s it come down to? It seems the vast majority of candidates have little
to no idea of the importance of keyword research, keyword targeting or even basic, on-page SEO practices. I strongly believe that the Internet is going to play a huge role in the 2008 election. I also believe, after examining the current offerings by the major players, that the candidate that attacks the SERPs now, and positions themselves to rank for campaign-related and issue-related keywords will have a huge advantage in disseminating their beliefs and dominating the conversation.

UPDATE: Jonah Stein has published a great follow-up to this article, Political Search Marketing: Electronic Grass Roots, over at Alchemist Media. He offers an excellent analysis of how political campaigns and operatives could and should use the power of SEO/SEM to market their campaigns, marshal grassroots support and inform voters. Perhaps more importantly, he discusses how the campaigns, the engines, and the public need to be vigilant to avoid the potential for unscrupulous use that could make the internet the most effective catapult for political mudslinging and disinformation.

Branding Trivia

By Derrick Daye on Sam Gale

We don’t have extra time, but we’ll always make some for branding trivia…

•Coca-Cola was originally green.
•Iceland consumes more Coca-Cola per capita than any other nation.
•A can of Diet Coke will float in water while a can of regular Coke sinks.
•7% of Americans eat McDonalds each day.
•Colgate faced a significant obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command “go hang yourself.”
•All hospitals in Singapore use Pampers diapers.
•Levi Strauss first intended to sell his denim material to the miners who were searching for gold in 1850, in order to make tents and covers for their wagons.
•The wristwatch was invented in 1904 by Louis Cartier
•Ben and Jerry’s send the waste from making ice cream to local pig farmers to use as feed. Pigs love the stuff, except for one flavor: Mint Oreo.
•The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.
•American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each
salad served in first-class.
•When KFC first translated its advertising slogan “finger lickin’ good” into Chinese, it came out as “eat your fingers off.”
•In 1921 advertising manager Sam Gale of General Mills created fictional spokeswoman Betty Crocker so that correspondence to housewives could be sent with her signature.
•Pepsi spent a lot of money on an advertising campaign in China with the slogan “Pepsi gives you life” – unfortunately, it was translated as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.”
•Over 275 different PEZ heads have been designed, with some 48 models on the market at any one time. The most popular dispensers of all-time are the Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus models.
•Inventor Joshua L. Cowen, created the first battery, which spawned American Eveready. He also created Lionel trains.

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