Thursday, May 19, 2011

7 Radical Energy Solutions, Made Interactive: Scientific American

This is one of the most compelling examples I've seen [in ages] of multimedia and design enhancing information and communications.  Crazy-brilliant innovation, gorgeously communicated. 


If you only read/view one science-related thin this week, do yourself a favor and make it this one!

7 Radical Energy Solutions, Made Interactive: Scientific American

Monday, May 16, 2011

Annuitizing Returns on Marketing Investment

Tom Fishburne's latest cartoon, "Still on Facebook," bemoans the all-too-frequent assumption by some execs that social media programs have short-term durations. The gray-haired senior exec in his cartoon is shown asking, "Why are we still on Facebook? I thought that Social Media was last month's campaign." Great capture of another iconic moment in marketing.

But, then Tom contrasts social media with advertising in the accompanying blog posting. Hold on there cowboy ... ! Here's where we diverge experientially.

The fact is, the same thing is true of any marketing program — even advertising. PR, direct, event marketing, and advertising all require ubiquitous and consistent implementation over time.

Think of it simply as "Out of sight -- out of mind." Markets have short memories, so hit and run campaigns will yield equally fleeting results.

On the other hand -- and this is important -- a sustained strategy that keeps your name and value prop in front of your market via well-targeted tactics/programs will begin to earn annuitizing returns before long. When this happens, each ensuing touch point carries greater and greater impact. Because your market has been sensitized to recognize your brand and register its characteristics by all the previous touch points.

We're not talking immediate gratification. But we are talking about strong, powerful brand development. The kind that significantly increase your valuation multipliers.

Tom suggests we stop thinking in terms of "campaigns" and start thinking of "commitments." This is good, but I like to take it one step further. Instead of talking about of Marketing budgets as "Expense," it is more accurate to refer to it as Investment.

Then, don't be surprised when you see your Investment earning Returns. That's the key indicator that you and your team have your heads around effective marketing, and are executing well.

Check out Tim's blog and cartoons here, and have a great day.

still on facebook | Tom Fishburne: Marketoonist

... just thinking out loud.
Melissa

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weston-Morse Announces 2011 Earth Day Killer Company: TerraCycle

Check out TerraCycle at http://www.terracycle.net and in this video segment from CNBC. You'll like what you see, you'll love the company.

How I Made My Millions: TerraCycle

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Spellcheck urself b4 u wreck urself" (or "How to Shoot Yourself in the Foot Using Social Media Without Really Trying")

Ah, social media. A green marketer's dream come true, an English teacher's worst nightmare.

The writer/editor side of me shudders at these "bloopers," but the irreverent Student-of-Human-Behavior side of me delights in the absurdity.


The lesson for the marketing practitioner is simple: Diligent proofreading is de rigeur for all media.

Why? Because more people are likely to see your firm's Facebook and Twitter postings than your data sheets, so making the mistake of dashing off a Tweet on the fly can potentially cost you more than reprinting those brochures. Treat your posts with the same care you do your sales presentations. After all, you don't want to end up featured in a rogues' gallery like "Best Obnoxious Responses ..."

Right? Right.

... just thinking out loud.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Outsourcing Social Media | Tom Fishburne: Marketoonist

(God, I wish I was this clever!)

In the waining hours of SXSW, Tom created this pitch perfect cartoon and drafted his always-entertaining perspective in the following. Nine times out of ten, Tom is my hero -- for his candor, wit and sense of humor about all the comically misguided stuff we say and do in the name of Marketing.

The point is, outsourcing in the name of focus on core competencies is Lean Business 101, Social Media in the name of reaching your actual market with relevant content, offers, and messages is both Green Marketing 101 and Marketing Communications 101.  But, when the two are combined and handed off blindly to a third party . . . well, all you get is this cartoon -- and, of course, a waste of budget.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

outsourcing social media | Tom Fishburne: Marketoonist

... just thinkin' out loud,
Melissa

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Imitation With Innovation Reduces Risk in Startups - Martin Zwilling - Startup Professionals Musings - Forbes

Tough to fault the logic in this brief discussion -- despite the purist's urge to rail against it.

A critical aspect to taking an existing idea and making it better, more viable, more commercial, more available, etc. is the benefits to the industry at large and the markets served.

I can think or scores of "Imitation Innovations" that have provided endless benefits -- ranging from more jobs to better quality of life: Wang word processors and computers evolved PCs and Apples; Magellan evolved Windows and Mac OS. And don't get me started on biotech and pharma developments.

In Cleantech, early evolution is still happening in real time, before our very eyes: the evolution of solar panels to today's photovoltaic cells; LED lighting; Syngas; algal fuel processes -- even food packaging.

And have you tried to secure funding for a truly innovative product/ service/business model during the past four years ... !? Let's just say, "Imitation Innovations" are far more appealing to the overwhelming number of risk-averse (i.e., zero risk) funding sources out there.

I guess my purist side is at peace with this.

Imitation With Innovation Reduces Risk in Startups - Martin Zwilling - Startup Professionals Musings - Forbes

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ad Age's Guide to Marketing Recruiters | TalentWorks - Advertising Age

If only this were not so broadly needed.  But the economy is what it is, and those of us who have weathered more than one downturn/recession/bubble have had opportunity to meet and work with a cadre of  executive recruiters.  (Let's face it, at the hands of risk-averse management, marketing is one of the first areas to take the hit).

I must get this question a dozen times a week: "Who are the best recruiters in the Marketing arena?" I've worked with several over the years, but this article from Ad Age provides so much more than I could hope to.

My very best wishes for every success to the many, many brilliant and talented folks looking for this info -- use it to your best advantage, and stay tuned for more tips, etc.

Ad Age's Guide to Marketing Recruiters | TalentWorks - Advertising Age

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"This is our generation’s Sputnik moment ..."


Yup. I am old enough to [vaguely] recall Sputnik in real time.  Don't tell anybody.


In addition to verifying that I am older than I ever thought I'd be, this also means that I've been "hangin' out" in the technology sector since before there was a Microsoft, Windows, fax machines -- and, yes, even an Internet.


But, do you know the one thing that's never, ever changed -- what has propelled and sustained us -- over the decades?


The sheer joy, exhilaration and rewards of INNOVATION.


So, what did I find the high point (and least covered segment) of last night's State of the Union address?  President Obama's eloquent remarks on you-guessed-it:


"What we can do -- what America does better than anyone -- is spark the creativity and imagination of our people.  We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook.  In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives.  It's how we make a living."


Damn straight.


And let's not overlook the wood behind that arrow:
"Two years ago, I said we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven't see since the height of the Space Race.  And in a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal.  We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology  -- (applause) -- an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people."
(Transcript of address, courtesy of NPR*)

We're on the cusp of an enormously important -- if not critical -- and exhilarating period in science, business and innovation.  And, take it from me, this may well be the most important, if not crucial, era of development we have tackled.

I can't wait!
... just thinking out loud.

*For a full transcript of President Obama's 2011 State of the Union address, I recommend:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dan Cobley: What physics taught me about marketing | Video on TED.com

Outstanding -- a must-see for marketers at any level, in any industry.

Dan Cobley: What physics taught me about marketing | Video on TED.com

Environmental Policy news: How Green Jobs Are Fueling The Recovery

While, on the one hand we can all file this story under the heading "Does anybody see a silver lining...anybody?"

On the other hand, a smart PR rep could use this as the springboard for a feature positioning his/her client's or company's momentum.

Weston-Morse ... Grow!

Introducing "The Weston-Morse Collaborative," (but you can just call us Weston-Morse), Sustainability for Growth.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our website can be found at www.westonmorse.com -- stop by any time and take a look.

This little video was a fun project -- enjoy!

Weston-Morse ... Grow!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Supply Chains Can Rock -- does yours?

Who says Supply Chains aren't cool?!

If they're green, they are. Check out Supply & Demand Chain Executive for the 2010 Green Supply Chain Awards. CSR, gov't regs and [my personal favorite] Public Pressure have converged to affect a growing trend in sustainable supply chain strategies.

Let's face it, when industry bodies begin creating awards for it, it's more than a flash in the pan.  There's much to be learned from, and respected about, the companies featured in this listing -- and their marketing teams, who are smart enough to realize the brand benefit in proudly touting your green business practices.

Why would anyone care about my company's supply chain policies, you ask?  Given the option, the vast majority of customers will select the sustainable company over other suppliers -- even if they have to pay a little (emphasis on "little") more for the product or service.

So, the moral of the story is:  Tout your sustainability strategies!  If your market doesn't know how hard you're working to become a sustainable enterprise, you're losing a key differentiator. (That's pretty much the same thing as turning your back on new sales).

... just thinking out loud.