Archive for October, 2006

Career Milestone: 3 Million and Counting!

Forgive me but I felt the urge to pat myself on the back.

When I first began my marketing career in April 2004, I was excited that the email newsletter I was producing for my then employer was being seen by 25,000 subscribers across the world. Later, when I began creating web content for the same company, I was thrilled that my marketing efforts were being seen by over 45,000 customers a day.

I have now graduated to a higher level of marketing… Beginning next week, my copy and marketing efforts will be heard by 3 million people a day!

My current employer is a national celebrity and has his own radio talk show devoted to money management. Next week his voice will carry the words I wrote for him to the ears of 3 million people! This is certainly exciting as it gives me another bragging point on my resume.

Say What?!? Gobbledygook Words Don’t Sale

David Meerman Scott published an insightful article at MarketingProfs.com. His article highlights the top goobledygook phrases, otherwise known as buzz words, used in marketing and PR today.

What’s the number one phrase? The answer: “next generation.”

While David and I might disagree on how to use a press release (not the results, just the actual use), I must say I am in total agreement with his distaste for gobbledygook.

David highlights a key point in his article,

Here’s how the usual dysfunctional process works and why these phrases are so overused: Marketers don’t understand buyers, the problems buyers face, or how their product helps solve these problems. That’s where the gobbledygook happens.

First, the marketing person bugs the product managers and others in the organization to provide a set of the product’s features. Then the marketing person reverse-engineers the language that they think the buyer wants to hear based not on buyer input but on what the product does. A favorite trick that some ineffective marketers use is to take the language that the product manager provides, go into Microsoft Word’s find-and-replace mode, substitute the word “solution” for “product,” and then slather the whole thing with superlative-laden, jargon-sprinkled hype.

By just decreeing, through an electronic word substitution, that “our product” is “your solution,” these companies effectively deprive themselves of the opportunity to convince people that this is the case.

Marketers who simply use the find-and-replace function of their word processor in the manner mentioned above are lame and unimaginative! However, I believe that many marketers, me included, have in the past been guilty of writing copy based on what the product does and not on buyer input.

We should all follow the advice given by Mr. Scott.

Friendster’s Mistake: Not Using Commonsense

Why do some companies succeed and others fail? Does the blame fall on the CEO, the Board Members, the employees, the product, bad timing, terrible product positioning, or all of the above? This is the same question that many investors, employees, and users of the Friendster social networking service are asking themselves.

The New York Times published a great article highlighting the explosive rise and calamitous fall of Friendster. The article gives tremendous incite as to why you think of MySpace and not Friendster whenever someone mentions social networking.

Let us begin with a scenario…

Let’s say you’re the CEO of a startup vacuum cleaner company. Your product is a vacuum cleaner that becomes popular because it cleans using a new, more effective system. Word gets out of your amazing vacuum and pretty soon you have over a million orders. Meanwhile, you have an executive board that’s brainstorming how the company can become the next Hoover. Now due to the influx of orders, the factory has increased production. However only the production rate has increase, quality control has not. Before long you get employees and eventually customers complaining that your new, amazing vacuum stops functioning after 30 hours of use. The executive board’s response to the problem is to add more features to the vacuum, like an eight foot extender nozzle.

How would you solve the problem of your short-lived vacuums?

If your response is to postpone the added features and increase quality control, congratulations… you just used commonsense!

Let’s get one thing straight, a business is only as profitable as the product is effective. The best marketing and the most productive brainstorming sessions will not help the bottom line if your product is faulty. Sounds like commonsense, right? Well, it is. It’s just too bad that sometimes corporate executives focus on the “next big thing” and forget commonsense practices.

I’m baaack!

Well, I’m finally back.

I apologize for the month-long hiateous. As you can imagine, moving to a new city and starting a new job can be very time consuming. But this post is just the beginning and I will be back posting regularly very soon.

On a side note, I have been keeping up with the PR blogosphere and I must say that I am let down by Edelman. I will not publish a post about the fake blog but visit PR Squared if you would like to know my thoughts because I agree with everything that Todd has to say about the situation. He’s a very insightful individual.


Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

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