30 years ago today Apple launched the very first computer under the Macintosh brand.
Having been along for the ride, we salute Apple, especially the memory of Steve Jobs and the vision of the Woz!
Bring on the next 30.
Marketing Advice & Reflections
Somewhere... probably now happily retired, is the marketer who came up with the idea of Black Friday.
But what started out as a simple marketing idea has grown - as these things will, into an uncontrollable monster of a day for marketers.
Here's what you've got... one day. One day during which you slash your margins and hike up your ad spend to try and to beat your competitors to be the trader making the least money on every sale. He who makes the least wins. And the more of the less you make the better... somehow.
Well played Burger King.
In case you missed it, Burger King sent an open invitation to McDonalds to join forces on World Peace Day to put aside their differences and sell a combined burger - the McWhopper in a pop up restaurant that would combine elements of the two brands.
They even built a website to present the invitation. It's impressive...
... and McDonalds turned them down.
On the one hand this seems a shame. It would have been good to see them do this together. But on the other it seems like a very, very clever marketing move by Burger King.
So what do you do if you are in charge of attracting tourism to a tiny country in the Pyrenees known for it's skiing... in the summer months?
This is the problem faced by the Andorran tourist board. Great in winter - empty in the summer.
Their brilliant solution? Host a show by the Cirque du Soleil and give away free tickets.
Free? Yes - free. Standing. If you want a seat you can buy a pack that includes your hotel... unless you live close to Andorra you're going to need a hotel - and, let's face it, not that many people live that close to Andorra.
It probably costs a lot to host the Cirque du Soleil for a month. But as toursim budgets go - this is probably going to net the region a significant surplus in their quietest time. Someting toursim budgets generally don't manage to do.
So to the person who developed this brilliant campaign - we salute you - you are a marketing genius!
Fancy a trip to Andorra? Go see the Cirque du Soleil for free!
I got a new follower on Twitter this week.
Actually, I got a few, but there's one guy that has made an impact above and beyond the others. Here's the story....
And I love the fact that Spain is considered among the leading powers in the western World.
But I am also a marketer. And, moreover, an English marketer who has had to deal with a number of situations over the years where Spanish clients have been upset that I have prevented them from publishing or printing something that does not meet my English standards. With marketing you have to get things right.
Take note: these are smart people. They are well educated and, well, let's just say they are as long on the tooth as I. And yet both were asking me to verify the emails they had received about having won some kind of cash prize in an online lottery (click on the image to see the entire letter).
I like Billy Connolly. He's a funny man. He can also be offensive at times and enjoys a special breed of black humour. He also understands human nature as is reflected in this quote:
"The desire to be a politician should bar you for life from ever becoming one."
We should tell that to Jeb Bush, or Donald, and, perhaps to Guillermo Zapata. If you live anywhere but Spain you'll have never heard of Guillermo Zapata, but the news has been filled with nothing but details of his twitter account for the past week.
Go back in time... it's 1980 and you're working for an advertising agency on an account for a new line of high heeled women's shoes. They are classy - and expensive.
You've got some very cool photos and some awesome creative form your art department and they are ready to run out the color separations (remember those?)
They just need to you to tell them which titles you are booking.
Me : So why are you thinking of starting an online advertising campaign?
Potential New Client : To get more visits to my website.
Me : How many are you currently getting?
Potential New Client : About 100 a week.
Me : And how is that working for you?
Potential New Client : It's not - that's why I need more...
I don't know how close to deja-vu this might sound to some of you - but it's all too familiar to me.
The Institute of Directors have published this collection of online marketing reports as an overview to online marketing.
There are some very sensible points made and for those of you looking to move into the online marketplace in a more committed manner, it's a great resource.
Download your copy here: iod-guidemarketingonline.pdf
UPDATED - AFTER RESPONSE FROM FACEBOOK - SEE BOTTOM OF POST
Caveat Emptor - Buyer Beware.
If you're buying clicks online it pays (literally) to make sure you know what you are buying.
And when it comes to facebook, I thought that I needed to pay most attention to those companies looking to sell me hundreds of devoted followers for pennies... but it turns out, I have to worry more about facebook themselves.
We recently launched a small campaign for a client using the "video" option rather than a photograph. It's an option facebook offer and it whilst it is more of an animated slideshow than a video, it seemed like a nice way to present the client's product range.
Alongside the text and images we chose to pay for "website clicks". And then we sat back to watch the traffic.
Sometimes I worry about facebook....
We have a couple of advertisers who have been finding it really (really!) difficult to advertise on the platform.
And yet others don't seem to have a problem at all.......
There have been a lot of comments around the blogosphere recently about the way in which facebook have been treating posts from brands (pages) in their follower's timelines.
There is a tricky algorithm that has given brands the feeling that their posts were being "throttled" to only appear to a fraction (10 - 15%) of followers.
facebook explained this in terms of how engaged the follower had been with the brand.
Facebook has introduced the new graph search feature which is currently being rolled out to the US facebook users.
Essentially, graph search will make it easier to make sense of all the information (masses and masses of it) that you have access to through your friends on facebook. This is what facebook have to say about graph search - this is the important video - not the candy floss main video writ large at the top of the page:
If you have visited our facebook page recently you will have seen an image which is bigger than is actually permitted on facebook. What? Yes - read that again - it's bigger than the permitted maximum size of 843 x 403 pixels - but our image is 843 x 521 pixels... so how was it done?
Remember "The Birds"?
As a child I loved and hated that film. It scared me. It almost scarred me.
Flocks of birds attacking people. Sounds innocent enough, really. But there were lots of them and they would peck you to death. In black and white.
Twitter's flock is growing by the day and I'm thankful, and sometimes a little surprised, to see how many people follow my occasional ramblings in 140 characters or less. And, as the gesture invites, I often follow people back. It seems like the polite thing to do. But I'm often wary of the people that have either no profile or a very limited one.
Last week I was followed by Evie Johnson. Evie describes herself as a Freelancer & Social Media Manager. But her last active tweet was back in June.
Back in February I wrote about @Cellla_ and @Robertwaple - a girl (Cellla) who sent out a tweet about the job she was about to start, and the pizza restaurant manager (Robert) who sacked her before she even started.
At the time I called it a Lose Lose in 140 Characters or less.
Now that the dust has had time to settle it felt like the right time to go back and see what the aftermath looked like - and it's interesting.
In a world where we share and like almost anything on a whim, we forget that once we "put it out there" it may, like some strange new mutation, suddenly have a heartbeat, and then a whole life of its own which is out of our control like an unruly teenager.
@Cella_ was probably ill advised to post this tweet just a day before she started a new job at Jet Pizza "Ew I start this f*ck *ss job tomorrow" with a row of thumbs down..... Let's think for a moment why she might have tweeted this is the first place. Let's face it, working at a pizza joint is not a particularly glamorous job. I get that. Maybe she was putting the job down so as not to be thought as someone who might apsire to working on a pizza joint. Who knows. In any event, I'm sure she did not expect the reaction from the Jet Pizza manager.