My Mantra

Helping brands and leaders be more influential
by embracing their humanity and personality.

Archive for February, 2007

Canon And The Easiest Blog Marketing Opportunity Ever

I2m_thomashawk_canonpost Photography has been a passion of mine for a very long time.  When I was younger, I had considered having a career as a photojournalist, but over time that slowly morphed into just a passionate hobby.  Now I consider myself among the category of "prosumers" that are willing to spend money, time and effort on the photography, but will probably never do it professionally.  I have had my Portfolio Gallery linked on my blog for some time (though it’s well hidden at the bottom of my sidebar) and have published photos and sold several stock images in the past. As part of my passion for photography, I am an big fan of Thomas Hawk’s photoblog – one that many would consider the leading photoblog out there.  I have corresponded with him in the past – but it was particularly interesting to read his post last week about the upcoming Canon Mark III Digital SLR.  He’s exactly the kind of consumer evangelist that companies should die for.  He uses Canon products, is loyal to them, and talks about their product range with passion.  His blog has thousands of readers a day, he has a high degree of influence and even stated in his post about the Mark III that he would love to try it out.

As a marketer, if I worked for Canon – I would put all these pieces together, recognize the opportunity and ship him a new Mark III to try out as soon as I could.  I might even hand deliver it.  This is a perfect authentic word of mouth marketing opportunity just waiting to be tapped and the only barrier is the right person at Canon finding out about it and deciding to do something about it.  So much of successful blog "outreach" and marketing is about this … uncovering a brand enthusiast and giving them an opportunity to share their affinity for you with their readers.  This is what Briggs & Riley managed to do by contacting me after I posted about their luggage on my blog.  So the real question is, do you know how to find the highly influential enthusiasts like Thomas Hawk that are talking about your brand right now?  Do you have a plan for building a relationship with them?  In many ways, this could be the easiest marketing opportunity ever, and nearly every brand has it.  All you have to do is find a better way of listening for it, and identify the right way to do something about it.  Canon, are you listening? 

Understanding The 12 Main Sources of Blog Traffic

Something odd happened about ten days ago, and it got me thinking about hidden blog traffic.  As many of you who read this content directly on my blog might have noticed, I publish my Feedburner RSS subscriber count on the right hand sidebar of my blog.  For those of you reading this on one of the sites that syndicates my…Read More >>

Learning from Blackberry's Social Media Marketing Mistakes

Learning from Blackberry's Social Media Marketing Mistakes

Blackberry’s recent "Share Your Stories" campaign was inspiring for me, though probably not in the way they intended.  I actually love my Blackberry, but their entire "Share your Story" campaign just struck me as lacking in any of the lessons many other marketers have learned about Web 2.0 marketing and what works in social media.  The mistakes were so basic,…Read More >>

3 Big Reasons I'm Not An Apple Enthusiast

3 Big Reasons I'm Not An Apple Enthusiast

As a marketer, I should be in love with Apple.  After all, I have an iPod and a Mac at home – and Apple’s marketing success offers lessons for anyone wanting a great case study on how to position products, launch them into the market, and use distinctive product design to connect with consumers.  Getting underneath this polished exterior of…Read More >>

Jaman and The New Global Niche

Jaman and The New Global Niche

Ethnicity has always been an appealing niche for foreign language newspapers and magazines to local cable television programs.  Restaurants, churches and temples are all centers for exploring global cultures in the real world.  Yet on the Internet, the most successful ethnically focused sites seem to be the online dating sites such as Shaadi.com, JDate and Corazones.com – as well as…Read More >>

Blockbuster Poaches Netflix Customers with "President's Day Pardon"

Blockbuster Poaches Netflix Customers with "President's Day Pardon"

Netflix has always focused on innovation with everything from their award winning user interface to the longstanding Netflix Prize.  Aside from technical innovation, they have also pioneered a new business model for online on-demand movie downloading by charging consumers based on the hours they watch, streaming movies without actually downloading them and letting users switch instantly from film to film…Read More >>

IdeaBar: The Secret Menu Item

IdeaBar: The Secret Menu Item

There is a restaurant at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas called Mr. Lucky’s 24/7.  As the name suggests, it’s open all the time every day – but that’s hardly unique in Las Vegas.  Their menu is like most other menus at cafe restaurants in hotels … serving the usual entrees coupled with the typical Las Vegas style buffets…Read More >>

Read This Before Sending Free Stuff to Bloggers …

Read This Before Sending Free Stuff to Bloggers …

Karl over at ExperienceCurve posted an interesting question for bloggers yesterday about how you would react to getting free products as a blogger and what sense of obligation you might feel.  Nokia is experimenting with this, and just about every consumer products brand I work with is considering it and trying to find the right way to do it as…Read More >>

The Ultimate Social Network You Haven't Heard Of

The Ultimate Social Network You Haven't Heard Of

Ok, maybe you have … and it just might be Flixster, a social network dedicated to film, actors, Hollywood and movie fans.  The obvious question you could be wondering is how it can be "the ultimate" when there are so many other social networks that have been around longer, pull more traffic, have more users and generate more buzz?  The…Read More >>

10 Secrets of Successful Online Community

This past weekend I was moderating a panel at CommunityNext, a smart event focused on everything about online communities coordinated by Noah Kagan.  The event was a fun gathering of extremely smart folks from some of the hottest online communities today – and panelists/speakers shared many great thoughts on topics ranging from how to be more awesome, to the genesis…Read More >>