February 2009

How to save the Auto, Housing, and Credit industry in 4 easy phases

Here is how we are going to fix the housing, auto and credit crisis in 4 phases:

1. Phase I – “The Boot”

All of the people that bought houses they couldn’t afford get thrown out and forced somewhere else. Apartments, affordable housing, shelters, or cardboard boxes.

(Note to clowns: Next time you go shopping make sure you check your wallets.)

2. Phase II – “Stimulate This”

The government should take some of that stimulus money, pay GM $10 Billion to create new, energy efficient vehicles, help broker a deal between GM and U-Haul, and than offer free “get outta your house” moving services to those clowns that payed too much for a house. The old and outdated GM vehicles can also be used as new living quarters for the clowns mentioned in Phase I.

3. Phase III – “Affordable Housing – Premium Cardboard boxes”

All of those houses that foreclosed should be absorbed by the government and turned into affordable housing and gradually sold back to people with money, while in the short term, made available as premium, 5-star rated, cardboard boxes.

4. Phase IV – “Green U-Hauls”

Those new energy efficient moving trucks should move all of the people who were booted in Phase I and move them into the affordable housing created in Phase III. (Note to Green U-Hauls: You probably don’t need a lot of space in your trucks because there probably isn’t much to move)

Now look where we are? The homeless have homes, we have energy efficient cars, and I’m not stuck paying the bills for the clowns….

O ya…Wall Street i-Bankers have to drive the Green U-Hauls.

It all works out..

This video is probably the best visual representation I’ve seen of the current credit crisis.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

Thanks to Eric at Marketing.fm for making me aware of this video.

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Spend Smart Money with the Smartest Companies in Social Media

(Disclaimer: I currently work for Lotame Solutions).

Let’s face it, the “Social Media” buzz word has been used a bit much these days doing two things:

  1. Validating its importance and relevance in an evolving communications landscape. As the usage statistics for these social sites and platforms continue to grow, the constant referencing of the term “social media” or “social web” will only continue to rise (Warning: The web is becoming social).
  2. Making it extremely difficult for marketers to navigate through the hundreds of “Social Media” marketing solutions. It’s not that there are not too many “social media sites/platforms”, but too many social media marketing solutions. For example, Facebook is a social media site with, as of now, a relatively weak marketing solution given their decision to remain extremely focused on increasing the overall user experience. Lotame and the other companies mentioned in this list do not have social media sites (most mentioned), they have social media marketing solutions. Until the Facebooks and Twitters of the world figure out a coherent marketing solution for advertisers, marketers will continue to need help.

After being immersed in the “Social Media” industry for over a year now and speaking to a wide variety of industry professionals, I’d like to present my list of who I think are the Kings of Social Media marketing (not to be confused with social media sites or platforms). These are companies that have established a necessary product or service capable of delivering cost effective and successful marketing campaigns within “Social Media”, regardless of company size, revenue, public visibility or public relations, funding and support.

(In no particular order…after 1)


Lotame‘s technology called Crowd Control gives marketers, agencies and advertisers the ability to not only reach users that fit their target profile, but also arms marketers with the ability to reach the Influencers. These are the users that are most engaged with the social media platform or website. Additionally, Crowd Control allows agencies to build their own custom audience around specific brands or products, and expose those users to a campaign based on a set amount of time (think 30 second tv commercial) instead of traditional ad serving impressions.


Buddy Media builds custom branded applications that can be integrated within social media platforms. Instead of trying to monetize the space around a social media site, buddy media creates an environment where users engage with the brand itself. Using their technology called BuddyBrain, Buddy Media can track usage statistics for their clients demonstrating how valuable it is to integrate a brand with a social media application.


AdNectar takes the viral approach to a new level by building light, integrated social campaigns. AdNectar enables marketers with the ability to create their own e-gifts that can be inserted directly into the conversation. Once the brand becomes a part of the conversation, brand awareness increases exponentially as users spread the word by sharing the gifts among their friends.


BzzAgent takes on the word-of-mouth marketing approach. Users voluntarily sign up as BzzAgents in their Frogpond and get first access to new products they demonstrate an interest in.  Since the product is meaningful and relevant to the individual, they are inclined to spread the word amongst their friends. In exchange for getting a first look at new products, the marketers get completed surveys around the product or brand.


LinkedIn POLLS:  LinkedIn has a feature called LinkedIn Polls. This feature is powerful as it enables marketers to ask, in real time, survey questions to a very specific type of audience either based on occupation or their social graph. Since users very specifically declare attributes about their professional life, marketers looking to reach decision makers or executives can do so in an easy interface.


Spongecell takes the traditional IAB ad unit and turns it into a social asset. By integrating social components such as “add to calendar”, “email to friend”, “add to Facebook”, Spongecell helps marketers take a standard creative asset and turn it into a potentially viral element.


OggifFinogi makes User Generated Content available within standard, but flashy and engaging ad units. By dynamically inserting videos into the ad unit, marketers can easily and cost effectively build rich media creatives that can be served as standard IAB ad units. Furthermore, these ad units can open up whereas the user is exposed to a marketer’s micro site or video commercial without having to leave the publishing site.


Clearspring enables marketers to build and virally spread their lightweight widgets across the internet. Marketers can build their widgets through their program called WidgetMedia, and additionally spread and track distribution with their program/product called LaunchPad.


Amplify provides a way for marketers to track the buzz and conversation between users across social media. Although there are many solutions out there that look at keywords and context, Amplify takes it a step further offering sentiment around a particular product or brand.

There are many other great social media marketing solutions out there. What kind of experiences have you had with social media marketing in general?

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Cardboard Box Lane

An empty corrugated box, made of corrugated fi...
Image via Wikipedia

Time to be creative, risky and bold.
If you don’t act now you’ll be left in the cold.
Step out of the box and step up your game,
Otherwise you’ll be living on Cardboard Box Lane.

Now is the time to be bold. Dare to be great. This is definitely not the time to play it safe. If you are trying to get a job you must do something different. Something that will make you stand out above everyone else.

I will not be living on Cardboard Box Lane.

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Sales People: How much time do you spend with your clients discussing numbers, data or research?

Analytics & Quant People: How much time do you spend interfacing with clients?

The line between being a sales person and being an analytics/quant person is fading and fading fast.

Technology has enabled anyone and everyone with access to huge amounts of information at any given point of time and more importantly, has allowed them to access this information in real time. As a sales person, this makes differentiation that much more important especially in these tough economic times. How are you different from your competitors? What data can you not only show me, but what does that data mean?

In these situations, the tendency has typically been to rope in analytical individuals that are best suited to answer these questions. These are the individuals that are experts on the data and interpretation relevant to clients and their organizations.

Even so, can these individuals convey the data in the capacity needed to maintain, build and grow relationships? Furthermore, can the “relationship” people convey the data needed to grow business and establish meaningful credibility with a client?

I recently had conversations with a close friend of mine who works in the finance industry. His description of the sales-quant/analytics relationship relates directly to my experiences in the digital media industry. Numbers and sales are becoming one and it is becoming increasingly important to have skill sets in each discipline.

This begs the question…Is it better to be an expert in sales with the ability to understand data and analysis? Or, is it better to be an expert in data analysis, interpretation, and reporting with the ability to convey an overall, hierarching theme?

Both are critical and both are necessary in today’s environment. Today, you must become a salanalytic (Sales + Analytics = Salanalytics) but if you had to choose one skill set, which one would it be?

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