Native Advertising. Holy Grail? Or Holy Sh@t…!

holy grailMuch has been written about native advertising recently. Some are predicting a $10B+ market. Others, like the Atlantic Monthly, are scrambling to save face after poor execution of a native advertising campaign for The Church of Scientology. To quote Homer (Simpson), Doh!

So what is native advertising? And is it the holy grail? Or will it cause customers to say holy sh@t!

Continue reading

3 Rules for Great Push Marketing (Yes, PUSH)

FZF_walking-into-glass-door-72L8rU72L8rUFor years the battle of ‘Push’ vs. ‘Pull’ was fought on the front doors of restaurants, bars, and retail stores around the world. Ignore the warnings of ‘Pull’ or ‘Push’ and get rewarded with a face-plant against a glass door. Broken noses and humiliation (the silent killer) were all too common casualties.

More recently, marketers have adopted these terms to differentiate between outbound and inbound marketing.

Few marketers that remain gainfully employed ignore the transformation of pull marketing. The hyper-connected consumer has been the catalyst. He’s now in control. His options to access information are limitless; television, laptop, tablet, phone, game console, his car and soon, even his glasses. He decides what to tune in and tune out, and when to engage.

But too often, marketers are staking their flags squarely on the side of pull marketing, and gearing up to do battle with their perceived ‘push’ opponents.

Put down the six-shooters, boys. This isn’t a war. It’s a dance where each partner alternates the ‘lead’ and ‘follow’ roles depending on the rhythm of the maestro’s music. Continue reading

3 Post-Apocalyptic Marketing Strategies

Mayan-CalendarSilly Mayans and your pre-iPhone calendars…

December 21st came and went, and we’re all still here. I, for one, have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, not sure I want to live in a world without the Twinkie. On the other hand, all that time shopping for Christmas gifts would have been in vain…and that would have really pissed me off. I’d have died a poor (literally and figuratively), miserable, frustrated soul.

Nonetheless, I am still here. And it got me to thinking…what if I did know for sure the world was going to end on December 21st? What crazy marketing ideas might I have tried? Continue reading

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

motivation2This isn’t a post about Christmas. Or about Office Space, as the picture to the left would suggest. It’s about incentives.

By my fourth Psychology 101 class in university, I was convinced I wanted to be a psychologist. At the end of that class the professor turned to us all and said, “About this time in the curriculum, some of you might be considering becoming a psychologist [WHOA!]. Psychology is about people. If you don’t find people interesting, you’re a zombie, and please don’t eat the student next to you. Just because you find this stuff interesting doesn’t mean you want to make a career out of psychology.” Continue reading

3 Direct Marketing Principles, Recast.

Hi. My name is Adriel, and I’m a recovering direct marketer.

I’ve been a direct marketer for 15 years. It started in college, writing letters and running online campaigns at The Direct Marketing Association. Soon I was direct-marketing my way through the dot-com wave and in and out of banking, non-profit, and technology companies.

“Segment your audience.”
“Put time-limits on your offers.”  Continue reading

Building the B2B Social Media Machine

A couple of days ago I found myself in Chicago. I went there to do my part in finally settling the age-long debate over dry-aged vs. wet-aged steaks. On Wednesday night at the Chicago Chop House, over two identical cuts of wonderfully cooked ribeye, only varying in their aging process, the jury was in.

90-day dry aged. All the way.

Since I was already in town for this ground-breaking research, I decided to stop by the Search Engine Strategies show to share what my team and I at SAP have been up to in social media. The interaction level at my session on Building the B2B Social Media Machine was fantastic, and a few people approached me after the show to thank me for the practical advice. Most impressively, I got through the entire thing without comparing the purchase funnel to dating or marriage once.

For those of you that weren’t able to join us in the windy city, below is a recap from my presentation. Continue reading

When you hear hoofbeats, don’t think zebras.

My wife said that to me the other day as I described a situation at work. If you’re in the medical field like she is, you’d know exactly what she meant. If you’re just a marketing guy like me, the exchange might have been closer to ours:

“When you hear hoofbeats, don’t think zebras.
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses, not zebras.”
“Repeating it isn’t going to help me understand it any better, honey.”

So I did what any dumb marketing guy would do. I went to Wikipedia. Continue reading

Did Mobile Kill the Website Star?

If video killed the radio star, did mobile kill the website star?

I saw you on the Netscape back in ninety- two
At my desk intent on tuning in on you
Sixty mega-hertz didn’t stop you coming through…
Oh-a Oh

I’ll leave the rest of the spoof to the experts at, and get back to my point. Continue reading

Does Marketing Today Start with a J?

One of my favorite books is The J-Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall by Ian Bremmer.

Bremmer uses a simple J-shaped curve to show the relationship between a country’s economic and political openness and its relative stability as a nation.

The theory is genius in its simplicity. Continue reading

Is There a Social Media Double Standard?

“When people can count something, they usually want to.”

That’s the response I got from a panelist at a recent social media conference. Yes, marketers get together at expensive hotels and talk about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Slideshare, even Pinterest. Yes, even Pinterest.  Continue reading