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Vol. 6 , No. 18     May 1, 2007


In this Newsletter:

  1. Overlooked Brand Components—Every Touchpoint Counts, Especially These
  2. The Dark Side of Blogging: Warnings From Leading Bloggers
  3. The Bigness of Smallness: How Businesses Can Get Bigger by Acting Smaller
  4. Branding Is for Cattle: What Really Matters to CEOs
  5. The Green Market Niche, Part 2: Who Killed the Electric Car (or How to Be a Good Greenwasher)
  6. What Every CEO Dashboard Should Be Tracking
  7. Ethical Search Engine Optimization Meets the Consistent Value Proposition


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Elaine Fogel
Overlooked Brand Components—Every Touchpoint Counts, Especially These

As marketers, we often spend considerable time on developing creative logos and brand identities for our companies or organizations. We may ensure our Web site is well designed and easy to navigate, and our marketing collateral is top-notch. We may have sales manuals and charts or graphs to measure our ROI. We may conduct customer satisfaction surveys to see whether our products or services do what we say they will.

But, it's also important not to overlook your physical space and the people who occupy it. The way your office looks, the way your staff conducts themselves and how they appear are important components of your brand. Every touchpoint counts, especially those detailed here.

Get the full story.

Please note: This article is available for paid subscribers only. Get more information or sign up here.


Webcast: Top 5 Online Marketing Mistakes

All online marketing campaigns are not created equal. Attend our Webinar to learn about the most common mistakes made when using online solutions for marketing.

Michael A. Stelzner
The Dark Side of Blogging: Warnings From Leading Bloggers

Many businesses and individuals have leaped blindly into the blog pool. Countless bloggers have found the water a bit too chilly and have abandoned blogging altogether. Still others are barely keeping their heads above water as they grapple with the challenges of blogging.

Perhaps you are contemplating blogging? Leading bloggers have some important warnings for you.

Get the full story.

John Moore
The Bigness of Smallness: How Businesses Can Get Bigger by Acting Smaller

When you think about it, nearly every big business began as a small business. Nike's first sale came from the trunk of a car, and Starbucks began its life as a mom-and-pop coffee shop. But a bigger business doesn't always equate to a better business. At some point, big becomes bad. Big becomes a matter of being convenient rather than being unique (McDonald's). Big becomes a game of market share, not customer care (Wal-Mart).

It seems that by the time a small business gets big, it's time for it to act small again. Paradoxical? Yes. Impractical? No.

Get the full story.

This Week's Case Study
How a Long-Running Tool Infomercial Has Kept Sales and ROI Strong for Six Years

A Note to Readers

Marketing: Is It a Science or an Art?

I was getting some errors on the MarketingProfs content management system yesterday. So I did what any proper technophobe would do—I sent up a panicked flair to our patient and attentive Chief Information Officer, Aaron Lorentz. As always, Aaron diagnosed the problem. But this time he did something a little different, in that he offered a quick explanation email:

"'Script timed out' or Error Line Number 0 on pages that normally run fine mean something prevented the server from processing the page as usual, e.g. IIS is hung up, or there was a file/data accessing conflict. These are very vague Microsoft errors...and difficult to drill-down on. So, I basically have to guess what happened based on logs and server performance.... Not exact science by any means... ."

Aaron's words were a bit of a revelation to me, sort of like those uttered by my next-seat neighbor after a leg of last Thursday's flight from Santa Barbara to Boston. After spending most of the ride listening to air traffic control via the plane's passenger audio system, she commented, wide-eyed, "Wow! Flying a plane isn't the science you think it would be!"

With my limited comfort with technology, I assumed that tech diagnostics—like flying an airplane across the country—is all science, not art. But as Aaron later said, "Sometimes it's a best-guess based on previous experience."

But what about marketing? Is it an art, or is it a science? The debate often pits those who preach ROI against those in the squishier "creative" end of the business. The ROI camp says that numbers are the path to marketing's seat at the management table, while the artists counter that decisions based on scientific results alone fail to capture the nuances and dynamics of a market that, fundamentally, is made up of people.

But here I'll take an admittedly more anecdotal view, which is to say that marketing, like some aspects of technology and flying a jet, is often both. I like what the guys at Orbis wrote in Marketing Magazine a few years ago: "Just because marketers today want (and need) to express outcomes numerically doesn't mean intuition, savvy, experience, and self-criticality are abandoned."

In my view, the "art vs. science" debate isn't really much of a match at all. It's less of a cage-match and more of a partnership, because marketing as a business is both—art and science.

What's your take? Let me know your thoughts—either via email or on the MarketingProfs blog, the Daily Fix.

Until next week,

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. Virtual World Transition: What Second Life Business Model Works Best?
  2. Job Market Secrets: Seven Tips for Acing the Million-Dollar Interview Question
  3. Humor in Marketing: Six Serious Tips
  4. The CEO's New Role: Head of Sales
  5. Email Marketing: Shortchanged by Resource-to-ROI Imbalance (Part 1)
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What can YOU learn in 90 minutes?

Thursday, May 3rd
Delivering Presentations That Make the Sale
Jeff Krawitz explains how to create a message that drives your audience to action, in less time than you imagine.

Thursday, May 10th
Reaching Your Prospect's Inbox: Better Email Deliverability
Craig Spiezle goes beyond CAN-SPAM and helps you keep up with the constantly changing rules of the email game.

Want BOTH seminars?
Become a Premium Plus member to have access to EVERYTHING.


David Meerman Scott
Branding Is for Cattle: What Really Matters to CEOs

Many CEOs say that the way marketing happens in their organizations is ineffective. What's more, many CEOs believe that within the management teams and employees at companies they have worked in, marketers are focused on the wrong things.

So what really matters to CEOs?

Get the full story.

Need practical branding advice that will get the customer's attention? Get this template now:
Branding and Brand Equity: A Marketing Guide

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John Rooks
The Green Market Niche, Part 2: Who Killed the Electric Car (or How to Be a Good Greenwasher)

Reflecting on past green products that were moving toward mainstream but failed, illustrates some of the challenges of legitimacy that innovation can face.

On the other hand, monitoring those who have been notoriously self-serving and successful reveals marketing efforts to exemplify emotion, evade rationalization and drive profits.

Get the full story.

Premium Benefit

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E-Newsletter How-To Guide

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Michelangelo Celli
What Every CEO Dashboard Should Be Tracking

CEO "dashboards" can be a great way to shed light on customers and sales process performance and get feedback on how you as the CEO are performing your role.

CEOs who want to know sooner what will be coming down the pike later will design a dashboard to track the following.

Get the full story.

Do your metrics need a spring tune-up or even a major overhaul? Get this template now.
Marketing Metrics How-To Guide

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Brian Ortiz
Ethical Search Engine Optimization Meets the Consistent Value Proposition

We all know the basics of the consistent value proposition: When involved in providing a service or selling a product, every aspect of the customer experience must be consistent within the mindset of the prospect—from pricing to packaging, from customer support and billing to email and even company letterhead. If all these variables of the business equation remain consistent, you will be on the road to satisfying the psychological need of consistency.

So what exactly does the consistent value proposition have to do with ethical search engine optimization?

Get the full story.


Publisher:Allen Weiss

Content: Ann Handley

Strategy and Development:
Roy Young

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