Thursday, January 31, 2008

behavioral targeting: coordinate online and offline...

many of you know from reading my blog that i was just on a family vacation down in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. (PV, and by the way, i'm not attempting to rub this in but we had a great time.)

during the fun and sun i was lucky to be able to meet up with an old friend from high school - Andy. he and his family are doing really well down there, so well in fact, that he has decided to start a brand new business in Nuevo Vallarta, (which is a hot new development area 15 minutes north of PV.) - a water taxi/fishing charter/tour business...

over a starbucks we talked about all the opportunity that exists for this exciting new venture and that the key to success will be his ability to put tourist bums in seats on his boat on a consistent basis. the discussion progressed to tourist behaviors and how he should look to analyze and correctly target them...

now in the "offline" world, behavioral targeting means knowing things like foot traffic, preferred activities and shopping patterns once these folks step off of cruise ships. for example, Andy went to interview some customers of a rival water taxi service that morning. we talked about the fact that cruise ship tourists are just as likely to check out the destination port prior to arriving as guys like me who fly down for 2 weeks is there exists the need to coordinate his marketing efforts online as well. we also talked by the way about the fact that his being Canadian may also play a key part for some tourists on the trust front. cultural differences also affect behavior, and as a good friend of mine Lori Colborne of LSL Marketing always says, "we like to do business with people we know, like and trust."

behavioral targeting "online" means for example that Andy will want to ensure his company makes as many lists like this as he can - general targeting online also means consistently updating his soon to be developed web presence and cool content of his boat, tours and all that fun to inspire those customers who haven't left home yet.

by the way, i could get much more technical here on the subject of "behavioral targeting" regarding "amazon" type technology that provides examples of other products that you are encouraged to purchase which are based on the behavioral patterns of others who purchased the same book as you. this technology continues to be key due to the massive online media convergence that's happening but for now let's keep things at a higher level.

so when thinking of your business, consider a coordinated effort including strong positioning of not only his street corner presence and army of sales people but supporting that with better understanding the online habits of your preferred customer too.

knowing not only the habits of tourists on the ground but also those habits online will help Andy's new company better position itself to be the water excursion company of choice. in his case, this is a major advantage because for the most part the habits of his competiton include primarily beach vendors and street corner shacks to drive business...pretty two dimensional thinking - giving Andy a key early step up, at least for now.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

facebook ad play...

as of november of last year, facebook officially entered the ad game. some of you who are members of facebook may have noticed the ad's popping up on the side of your facebook page applications as well as in your news feeds. to test the waters and potential power of the facebook network i've launched a new facebook page for fusedlogic inc. further, i've also initiated an ad campaign that should run shortly once approved to be within the facebook guidelines.

the key here will be to measure response rates of this ad, (facebook has some level of analytics as part of their program) and also whether the fusedlogic facebook page will become what i hope will be a hub of communication on various business topics by all of you...

when thinking about your web 2.0 or social marketing strategy it's important to coordinate many different elements and to cross-pollinate the content your creating. sure, it takes effort to set these elements up initially and certainly to maintain these elements as well. i'm still of the opinion that these efforts on behalf of fusedlogic have paid dividends to our branding, exposure in general and also with better informed inquiries about our services.

reach out and add me as a friend on facebook, join the newly started discussion at the fusedlogic facebook page and/or here, i'd love to hear from you and what you have to say...let us know about your blogging efforts, web 2.0 and social networking experiences...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

loyal customers or an evangelist army?

i've written about customer loyalty before, specifically when referencing Kevin Roberts book lovemarks. in his book, Roberts talks about generating "loyalty beyond all reason".

never in human history has there been the ability to truly unleash the power of brand evangelism as one can today...web 2.0 has changed how the world communicates with each other about all sorts of topics - including brands.

as an organization, if you don't have a solid strategy for creating brand evangelism, well then, you're ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL my friend.

i encourage you to learn how to inspire and challenge your loyal followers (it only takes one to get things rolling) in some way to have fun explaining the virtues of your company, your brand or your products...if you are truly as i wrote yesterday the "ideal supplier", then you should have enough brand loyalty points to generate a wonderfully powerful evangelist army of one or more...

if you're struggling with how to engage your customers in such a way as to motivate them to talk about your brand, i can sympathize. one thing is for certain, there isn't a single answer or silver bullet...this closest i can come to that is "emotion". we as human beings live to have our emotions rocked. we want to laugh, cry, scream, argue, be challenged, be inspired, be empowered, bedazzled... those who disrupt our lives with opportunities to either participate or at least observe emotional disruption or turmoil in some way get the most attention, and by attention, i mean "compensation".

don't be afraid to push the limits, if you don't push the limits, you don't grow and frankly people won't pay attention...that said, if you're in the commodity production business, that's a different kettle of fish altogether. most people will never really care about your shoe lace factory enough to talk about it on youtube. even if you're employing 12 yr olds to slide the cotton lace through the plastic tube end - unfortunately even then, most won't care. why do you think Seth Godin named his book Meatball Sundaes and talks about that exact issue? here's an interesting interview by Hugh Mcleod of on that subject (a bit off topic here).

take a look at a couple of videos done by evangelists for heinz and chick-fil-a

a simple contest has inspired creativity on behalf of their brands. the other important aspect to this concept is that it's a two way conversation with customers, critically important, should you want to know more about how your company is doing.

so be disruptive today, inspire and create an evangelist army for your brand, be real and for goodness sake be brave!

did you like this post? inspired? bored? let me know by commenting...

Monday, January 28, 2008

ideal supplier?

if you've been in business for any amount of time, there's no doubt been much discussion regarding "who" your ideal client is. you may have went through a long ordeal to identify this information or it may have been very obvious.

however, i believe the tougher question is "what makes you, the ideal supplier?"

you may be in a very crowded market space or you may have found a highly cool untouched niche market...regardless, how often have you turned the spot light on yourself and that of your business?

you may be familiar with the term "value proposition", this is consultant mumbo jumbo for "where's the beef?" What are you offering that's so great that your customers will fall all over themselves to get? small business owners are notorious for getting into the head down and butt up rut...spending more time on running everything operationally on a daily basis meanwhile overlooking their strategy to maintain their competitive edge.

evidence of this practice shows up when a competitor stomps onto the scene with a product or service that beats yours but that could have easily been offered by your company had you been paying attention...

matching up with your ideal client is more than being innovative and cutting edge, it's also ensuring that you deliver on promises to create the most amazing experience possible...

continually ask yourself, "Why would customers choose us?" put yourself in the moccasins of your customer and walk many many miles in them...only then will you be able to anticipate the finer details of what they expect and how you can continue to be the "ideal supplier".

too often in the tech space, software programmers are notorious for being arrogant and out of touch, resulting in programming that reflects their perspective. they truly believe they know best and end up building software that misses the usability mark, leaving you and i to curse and suffer with their crappy software...

be humble, listen, experience life through their eyes and give your customers the respect they deserve...they'll reward you by continuing to come back and if you're lucky they'll bring their friends...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

buenos dias from puerto vallarta....

well, the trip is going daughter is loving the beach and we are really enjoying ourselves thus far. this is numero dos en es locacion and we´re very happy...

i hope to get a bit of work done on a very special project, i´ll keep you in the dark on that for now however, it should be spectacular when completed...

enjoy the day everyone, we certainly will too.

adios amigos!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

off to mexico...

well the family and i are heading south to puerto vallarta for a couple of weeks, i'm back in the office on jan 28th...if i have some time i'll keep you updated while down there but ummmm don't hold your breath.....:)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Tom Peters

How to Avoid the Meatball Sundae

Dinosaurs's what they do best!!!

I just attended an online seminar by Seth Godin at and he was terrific. This was in reference to his latest book Meatball Sundae and the idea that commodity companies are screwed. In Seth's words, "they're not organized for the net". They're dinosaurs, he spoke about Gillette and how Gillette could build the flashiest website in the world and people still won't care...

I agree. They build razors...a commodity or "meatballs"...and no matter how many batteries, blades and cool words they use to describe they're meatballs, no amount of whip cream is going to fix that reality...would you really spend more than 3 seconds at this site??? The fact that I'm talking about it at moment notwithstanding, who cares? My question is not the 3 seconds at the question is who do they expect will go there and for what count blades...more likely this is a tired marketing team trying to validate their existence along with their flash guru buddies...waste of time and money! AND precisely what dino's do...don't get me started on Sears, GM, Ford...oh the list is long and notorious...

In fact, Dell was on this path too. A "new economy"company fell into a pit of dinosaur goo and today, right as we speak, is still struggling to find it's way their credit they have begun to trudge out of this sticky mess by adopting things like crowdsourcing at ideastorm and blogging like crazy, but most importantly ideastorm provides a place for connecting people and not just any people, their admirers and haters. i myself had a Dell staffer comment here the last time I mentioned them...the first thing is "they're aware" and for a big company that's the place to start. They used to be fast, slippery, slick and mobile, hip and happin...then Michael and team got too big for their expensive britches and forget what got them there...awesome customer service, great prices on great computers built to order REALLY REALLY they over charge for memory and upgrades and are struggling to maintain or in most cases re-ignite relationships with their customers...

Remember what happened to Microsoft when Bill didn't buy into the net??? Even the richest man in the world missed the he's all about connecting people anytime anywhere on any device...

Someone from Rogers asked Seth the question, "how should broadcasters respond to youtube?"

I jumped in and offered that "rogers should look to participate very creatively rather than look to push a traditional marketing tactic on the community..." Rogers may be slightly better organized to respond to this current business revolution than the average dinosaur but marginally in my opinion. They're slightly sexier because of phones that download music for kids but that said, behind the scenes, services, response times things that matter beyond the whip cream on the meatball etc marginally better...this by the way is really where Telus has truly sucked for years and it's why i will never do business with them ever again. Big is usually NOT better.

Here are some really cool examples of guys who get it and I've mentioned them before and Seth mentioned them today.

37signals - brought to my attention sometime ago by my good friend Jeff Ward - his product by the way is cool too. yikesite. threadless is another really cool company that has changed with way people design and buy t-shirts.

So the overarching message of today's presentation from Seth was fairly simple:

Organize for communication
Organize for communication at breakneck speeds...
and don't ask people to call you for example if you can't handle the call volume...
lead creatively by telling great stories rather than pushing tired old last century (TV ad's) marketing tactics via the web with flashy graphics...gillette.

Lead by finding ways to connect people with each other, having them tell a great story, preferably yours...the power has shifted drastically into the hands of the community, what Web2.0 is all about really. The really successful companies today are doing just that.

If you're in the commodity business, i and many others much smarter than me have been saying for awhile're in trouble unless you wake up and reorganize.

For example, newspapers are dead, the old way of waiting for the ink to dry before you find out what's going on in the world.....DEAD and has been for awhile some of them just don't know it yet. Sometime ago i had the opportunity to speak with the owner of a small local in scope type publication and commented about the fact that she was missing a massive opportunity online...she replied that her tech advisor, a writer for the publication didn't see it that way, that he had traveled all over the world and interviewed many people. His conclusion, "there was no money to be made online for this type of business", REALLY, REALLY, (DINOSAUR LEADING A DINOSAUR COMPANY) REALLY WRONG...recently this publication has lost a substantial amount of its key distribution points and now her many decades old business unfortunately is in a tail spin. Unfortunately, this reporter was applying the old school "gutenberg" business model to the online space, of course, he came up short.

I hate to say I told you so...

Dinosaurs die, it's what they do....

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Welcome to 2008!

Well, 2007 was tremendous in many ways and challenging in others...this year i fully expect to be massive and even better.

Here's how i intend to make it so:

  • More speaking engagements abroad, in fact, I'm really looking forward to working with an agent of sorts regarding this.
  • Follow-up on the constant evolution of the Internet and how that relates to small business.
  • Launching of unique business courses related to the above topic available for all.
  • Continuing to serve our clients with the highest level of intensity and professionalism possible.
What are your plans for 2008?