marketing Posts

BREAKING: Two Conference Handouts that won’t end up in the Trash Can.

If you’ve been to a trade show lately, you’ve seen the ‘material’ that fills most booths. The white papers and collateral hope to gain attention, while giveaways, such as Frisbees and hacky sacks, aim to attract even the most skeptical conference goer.

But what’s a vendor to do when he’s up against hundreds of vendors and attendees who’ve seen everything before?

Create something different.

cardboard1

Create something that will get people talking.

Our company @VersionOne hosted an agile learning event recently called #AgilePalooza; it featured some of the sharpest agile minds in the business. Two of our partners spoke at the show and set out a free ‘giveaway’ or informational handout at the registration table that stirred conversation.

David Hussman (@davidhussman) of DevJam brought CardBoard to the marketplace recently as a strong, yet simple entrant into the world of sometimes overly complex agile and productivity tools. And is there a better way to get attention to the CardBoard product than handing out pieces of cardboard saying, “If Google Docs and Post It Notes had a kid, it would look like CardBoard.” Who wouldn’t want to see that product?

Dave Sharrock (@davesharrock) from Agile42 was also in the spotlight at this particular event with some keen promotion. His Agile booklet, complete with ring for easy transport, was full of metrics, stories and arguments to sway even the most jaded software development executive. Seeing this in the bottom of your conference bag causes you to take a 2nd look, not throw it in the trash like most conference giveaways, handouts, collateral.

I am a firm proponent of the power of live events. You must, however, think and execute at a high level to get noticed. Don’t settle for predictable, lifeless collateral and giveaways. Keep eyes open and minds alert to see what the best are doing to stand out from the competition. You just might be able to develop something similar to CardBoard or Agile42.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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Dear Santa: Please read my Internet Marketing Christmas List

Drum roll please.

Here’s my 2013 Internet Marketing Christmas wish list.

My Internet life would sail stress-free in 2014 if these wishes came true.

santa

He’s a busy guy right now, but I have a few last-minute requests.

Less spam mail. Please deliver me more relevant, timely, targeted mail. I don’t mind opening and reading your e-mails if they mean something to me. Yes, I could unsubscribe, but I am amazed at some business, especially retailers, that keep sending me similar messages when I haven’t clicked on a link in months. Can you say round peg in a square hole? It’s it funny how I know look to my postal mail box for sometimes the most relevant, personal, long-lasting messages.

No window shade advertising: It’s been years since I’ve clicked or even acknowledged a pop-up advertisement; it’s now become a race to see how quickly I can find the CLOSE button. I know advertisers are pressed and stressed to deliver eyeballs, clicks, conversions in an ultra-competitive market, yet there must be a better way to build brand equity than force me to go X hunting.

No video auto-start: Call me old fashioned, but I visited a Web page to read an article not watch a video recap. Publishers: clearly label links that include video, and don’t auto-start videos. I know you want to get an advertiser some coveted eyeball, but my eyeballs close when the video ad starts. And with many Web surfers also mixing media by listening to television or Web radio, you’ve just created more friction.

A better way to manage Twitter: I love Twitter because of its constraints. You have 140 characters to persuade, excite, motivate, inform – no ifs, ands, or buts. My follower list, however, has become too large; I can’t see the forest amongst the trees. And the same people, some of whom are saying too much, too often, are clogging up my information stream.

And I close with an ode to my Christmas favorite: “Twas the Night Before Christmas”: (with a technology spin)

On Bezos, On Zuckerberg, On Cook, On Page
To the top of my browser! To the top of my smartphone!
Get smarter. Get leaner. Get more customer-centric.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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Part 2: M is for Marketing on the Internet in the mid-90s

 

In our first installment back into the time machine with Internet Marketing in the 90s, we cruised through letters A-M. Why stop the fun there? Here’s the rest of the alphabet.

Got a memory that you’d like to share? Make a comment.

www

The Web wouldn’t be what it is today without the work of some intrepid 90s trailblazers.

N is for Netscape – the first graphical browser. Life was much easier when you had to design for just one browser. The pulsating ‘N’ brings me back to a slower time.

O is for OMG: Not sure when this abbreviation became one of the most texted phrases/acronyms on the planet, but it must have started in the 90s!

P is for Prodigy – Can you fathom that we actually used to pay to belong to an online dial up content service? In the 90s, Prodigy was a big deal before AOL arrived on the scene.

Q is for Quicktime: Apple first released this multimedia framework in 1991. The company’s been a little busy since then with other things.

R is for Real Video – The quality wasn’t quite there, but it was amazing to think you could watch a streaming video on your computer. Today, it’s like turning on a light switch.

S is for Splash Pages – The annoying persistent interruption that is the Splash Page started taking over computer screens in the 90s. Where’s the ‘Close’ button when you need it?

T is for the theGlobe.com: Prior to Facebook, my space, Twitter becoming the glue of our lives, there was theglobe.com, an IPO high flier that never scaled audience or profits.

U is for Under Construction. Before the Web became the iterative, fluid, dynamic, organic community that it is today, we felt compelled to post hideously ugly ‘Under Construction’ graphics.

V is for Video. Yes, you could watch Web videos in the mid-90s. The quality though was mediocre at best. A 28.8 modem could only do so much; it was like trying to suck an elephant through a straw.

W is for What’s New at Yahoo: In 1994, I was able to review every new Web site that launched. Today, I’d have to hire hundreds of people to keep up with the volume.

X is for Text. Hey, there an ‘x’ in the word. The Web in the mid-90s was highly text-based because bandwidth was very scarce.

Y is for Young. The Web was VERY young in the mid-90s; a toddler just working to find his way. Today’s Web is mature, confident, and many-layered. It’s hard to picture the Internet of 2023.

Z is for Zine: Webzines were HUGE in the 90s, and we started to see niches. Webzines have now morphed into blogs, communities, and sites on anything and everything your heart desires.

Have a favorite 90’s digital memory that isn’t listed here? Let me know and I’ll gladly share it.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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M is for Marketing on the Internet in the mid-90s

Here’s a fun alphabetical look at the terms you’d be familiar with as a digital marketer in the mid-90s. I lived and breathed this world and it was an entirely different place compared to today’s always-on, always-connected world.

Imagine how different your digital marketing job would be if it were 1995.

A is for Advertising. Banner advertising first appeared online in the mid-90s. We’ve now grown accustomed to video pop-ups, ad takeovers, ad wallpaper, text ads – you name it.

"There used to be only one way onto the Information Superhighway. SCREECH"

“There used to be only one way onto the Information Superhighway. SCREECH”

B is for…Baud as in 14.4 or 28.8 modem. Remember the screech as your modem attempted to make a connecting, sending you down the information superhighway. Ride the wave!

C is for CitySearch, one of the first forays into local, niche communities. Amazingly, it’s still alive and kicking.

D is for Directories: Remember when many popular search engines were organized like a digital card catalog with many layered directories? Today, powerful, personal, relevant algorithms serve you accurate search results.

E is for Excite: Surprisingly, this site still looks as if it could have been on your browser in 1995. The founders of Excite rejected an offer to buy Google in the late 90’s. Bad decision.

F is for Free: Most everything was free on the Internet in 1994. Perhaps this was because of its widespread use on university campuses, or the critical mass wasn’t there quite yet.

G is for .gif, especially the animated kind. If you were a Web designer, you had to animate everything, no matter how tacky it looked.

H is for Hits: Hits have been and will always be a useless Web metric. No one cares how many individual files were downloaded on your Web site, yet Web publishers large and small in 1995 boasted loudly about how their Web site got 1,000,000 hits last month.

I is for IRC: Remember Internet Relay Chat? Before texting and IM became our 2nd language, IRC was your path to IMHO, LOL.

J is for Java: There was a time when you’d wait for 2 minutes to have your computer download a digital clock powered by Java. Today, 2 seconds seems too long.

K is for Kewl: The world was a better place when I stopped receiving e-mails with cool spelled: K E W L.

L is for Looksmart: This ‘vertical’ search engine was supposed to give Yahoo some competition. History revealed a different story.

M is for the <marquee> tag: When this tag arrived on the scene, every Web site presented something in ticker tape fashion. It was celebration time on every domain name.

The full alphabet might be too much to digest in one post. Stay tuned for the second half. Got something that wasn’t covered here? Let me know.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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eBook: How Do Brands Win Business

Friends, Product marketers, business owners, customer service reps, product managers, marketers:

It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to publish a book. I am thrilled to announce: I did it!!

Here’s my first of what will hopefully be many e-books and books.

The journey is just beginning.

The journey is just beginning. Let’s get there together.

This book is titled: How Do Brands Win Business

In this book, you’ll learn what brands such as Subway, Walt Disney, Hertz, Cirque Du Soleil, CBS did and didn’t do to connect with their customers.

I’ve collected some of my stories and lessons in hopes that you can do more of the good things and fewer of the less desirable things that push us further from our goals.

Enjoy this book and help spread the word.

Note: The book can be yours for only $2.99. That’s less than the price of your extra caffeinated treat this morning.

Until next time,

Dan Naden
Publisher
Naden’s Corner
How Do Brands Win Business’ – eBook

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