Archives for January 2005

Why Traditional Marketing is Dead

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

>> Return to the Small Business Branding front page <<

Download, and print the PDF version here.

Before we celebrate the death of traditional marketing, lets set the stage for its timely and fortunate demise.

The long-awaited Iraqi election is over, and I wonder how many people realize the significance of such an event. Millions of human beings – who suffered at the hands of a brutal, murderous dictator just two years ago – have collectively and freely CHOSEN their own leaders. A new day has truly dawned in the Middle East.

Tomorrow and each day forward, an Iraqi government of the people, by the people and for the people tackles the long arduous work of crafting a culture where all human beings are imbued with equal respect and value. A culture where people are free to question and criticize their leaders without fear of being jailed, having an extremity lopped off or a family member raped or beaten. A culture where discussion, discourse and debate is not only allowed, but is viewed as imperative to one’s way of life. A culture in which people are free to learn, evolve and transcend their estate, and thereby make more of their life than the circumstances of their birth might otherwise allow.

Democracy. It is, arguably, the premier form of government the human race has yet engineered. And in Western culture, we take it for granted. Of course I can vote. Of course I can come and go as I please. Of course I can call our leader, George Bush, a dumbass in public; ridicule Rumsfeld on Saturday Night Live; and make overt references to Ted Kennedy’s alleged over-consumption of alcohol on the morning radio talk shows.

Of course I can question authority, rage against the machine and protest any policy decision I choose. I can read whatever I want. I can say whatever I want. I can worship whatever God I choose. Or no God at all for that matter. I can even desecrate with impunity the very symbol of a freedom paid for by the noble sacrifice of valiant men and women over the ages – their 200-plus-years worth of blood, sweat and tears invested in my liberty to pretty much do any-damned-thing I want, as confined by law.

Let us ponder their sacrifice in silence for a moment . . .

By now, you’re perhaps wondering what all that has to do with the death of traditional marketing. And I say it has everything to do with it. Appreciate it or not, our free society, especially as it’s evolving in the 21st century, is hammering the last nail into the coffin. We’re striking up the band in celebration as we taunt and torture an obsolete, 20th century business practice that’s outlived its purpose.

Naw-naw-naaw-naw. Naw-naw-naaw-naw. Hey-ay-ay. Goood-bye.

We’ve cut traditional marketing off at the knees. We fire up our Tivos, and skip the commercials, unless we choose to watch them. We filter our email, and read only the messages we choose to read. We not only propose laws that force theater owners to tell us how to avoid their advertisements, we demand they stop showing them altogether. To companies who seek to enter our purses and wallets via the telephone, we say don’t call us, we’ll call you.

Why? Because in a democracy, we can.

Using the power of the net, our mighty voices broadcast worldwide are like kryptonite to companies whose products fail to measure up to their promising pitch. We topple media icons who violate the trust with which they’ve been endowed for so many years. We hammer away at respected academic institutions for recommending less than ethical advertising practices. We call on global business leaders to speak to us. Really speak to us like human beings and friends rather than just consumers. The ones who are up to speed actually do it.

Why? Because in a democracy, we can.

No, we’re not mad as hell any more. But we’re still not gonna take it. See, as a culture, we’re growing up. We’ve been to the moon and back. Several times. We’ve been to Woodstock. We’ve been to college and/or the school of hard knocks. We’ve watched our heroes perish right before our eyes. We’ve watched our children, mothers and fathers, our brothers, sisters and friends, all of them stripped from our lives on a sunny morning in Manhattan. And we’ve gone back there to commemorate their lives. It’s safe to say we’ve been to hell and back. Several times. 

Now we’re going inside our selves. We’re leading the way on a global soul searching mission. We’re playing with the big questions. Not because we expect to find the right answers – we’re not that foolish – but because it’s the next frontier to explore. And the most interesting. It’s also the last place we can go that’s free from invasion. Government and business enter only with our permission, assuming you obey the rules. If not, we’ll kick your greedy, narcissistic asses out, bar the door, and leave you behind.

Why? Because in a democracy, we can. 

Although we haven’t left it in the dust, we’ve moved beyond the materialistic, winner take all, achievement consciousness that shaped much of the 20th century. What’s emerging in us is a new  consciousness. Softened by tragedy, yet hardened by assault. A new mind. More creative in it’s expression. More integrated in its function. More empathic in it’s relationship to others. A mind reconnected to it’s heart and strengthened by the knowledge of who we really are and what life is really about.

Oh we still enjoy the bling, mind you. It’s just that we’re no longer willing to sell our families, our lives or our souls to pay for it. And we expect OUR government institutions to be the watch dogs that protect and defend those values to the best of their ability. If they don’t, it’s no sale come election day.

Why? Because in a democracy, we can.

We expect business to respect us. Respect our privacy, respect our values and respect our humanity, rather than prey on our human vulnerabilities and our love of the bling. We expect you to stop marketing to us, and start connecting with us. Purple cows wow us, and free prizes entice us, but we also want you to be real. Be human. We see you behind the curtain. You’re no wizard. You’re just one of us who wants the same things we do.

Information flows more freely and more quickly today than ever before. And if you make the grade, we’ll tell everyone we know. And even more who we don’t know. If not, no need to pack a lunch. We won’t keep you around long enough to eat it. 

Why? Because in a democracy, we don’t have to.

Vanquish Spam For Good

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

>> Return to the Small Business Branding front page <<

Spammers. You suck. Bite me. I can’t even let my 11-year-old daughter open Outlook Express without fear of her being assaulted by photos of a giant  . . . well, you know (she gets enuff of that in school). Not any more. I’m using Vanquish, and I love it. Nobody gets into my emailbox without my approval. Try their 15 day free trial. You’ll be hooked. Then it’s only about 25 bucks a year.

Forget Think Big. Think Small.

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

>> Return to the Small Business Branding front page <<

Thanks to Smart Blogging Babe, Jennifer Rice, for alerting us to this fine article in Fast Company Magazine. Makes my manifesto look a little smarter (by the way, did you vote for it yet). And lord knows I need all the help I can get.

"At the same time, the rise of digitized content — plus developments such as online self-service — makes it easier for sellers to atomize previously linked goods. ‘Any product that can be digitized lends itself to being taken apart,’ says Manjit Yadav, associate professor of marketing at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School. Instead of buying a year’s subscription to The New York Times for $481, or even one issue, you can purchase a single article from the online archives for $2.95."

Base-a-ball Been Very Good To Me

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

>> Return to the Small Business Branding front page <<

Well, lately, not so good to the Brand Called Samy. Sammy Sosa, that is. Steve Yastrow, author of Brand Harmony, writes an awesome post describing how babseball player Samy Sosa was practically thrown out of Chicago after several years as a fan favorite. Of course, he ties it in brilliantly with today’s business realities.

"If the Brand Called Sammy can go from hero to persona non grata, just
think what can happen to your company if you stop performing … or get
caught corking your bat!"

Thanks Steve.

Makes me wonder what will happen out in SanFran with Brand Barry Bonds. Or these two guys in the Bronx. I’m guessing if they continue to perform, they’ll be fine. If not, well . . .

Of course, I never miss an opportunity to talk about the hottest brand in baseball. These loveable idiots don’t need no stinking steroids to kick ass. A little Jack Daniels maybe. And by the way, I’ve been a never-say-die-member of Red Sox Nation for about 10 years.

Headlines that Suck #1

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

>> Return to the Small Business Branding front page <<

"The Electrifying, Client Generating Teleclass System That Will Power Your Business To Profits In 90 Days Max!"

What I Don’t Like:

1. Electrifying? Oh please. I can’t tell you how much words like this make me want to kick the writer in the head. Others I deplore include: Shocking. Amazing. Heart-Stopping. Outrageous. Blech, ptooey and bullshit to the whole lot-of-em. Do people really buy this crap? Lose the hype already. Can I get an amen?

2. It’s focused on the product rather than the consumer. It tells what the product will do rather than what I will get.

3. Too generic – "Power your business to profits in 90 days max" is much less compelling than this headline found near the bottom of the page:

"In Just 3 Months, You’ll Have Your Own Private Library Of Profitable Products To Make You Money While You Sleep!"

This headline is compelling, specific, believable and focused on me. Nice. You’d be better off with this as the lead headline.

For more on headlines, check out World Copywriting Blog

I Want to Know You!

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

>> Return to the Small Business Branding front page <<

The best blogs are personal. Even business blogs. So for the love of humanity, I’m on my knees begging you. Please put a name on your blog. If it’s an issue with your employer or someone else who "doesn’t need to know" what you’re up to, use an alias. BlogRanger. DigitalDiva. BuckNaked. BustyHart (oops. think that one’s taken). Something. Give me something please.

Anything’s better than "hey you."

Smart Blogging Babe Says Start Pissin’em Off

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

>> Return to the Small Business Branding front page <<

Have you pissed off anyone today (not to be confused with "pissed on." sickos.)? If you haven’t, then you’re doing it all wrong. So says this week’s Top Ten Smartest Blogging Babe, Kathy Sierra, who blogs from Creating Passionate Users.

"Creating passionate users is NOT about finding ways to make everyone
like you. It’s about finding ways to use your own passion to inspire
passion in others, and anything with that much power is bound to piss
off plenty of status-quo/who-moved-my-cheese people. Bring it on."

Kathy and crew made their splash into the blogosphere a little over one month ago. And man what a splash. She wasted no time proving she’s a smart blogging babe with something to say. As proof, I proffer these initial posts for your consumption.

Kathy’s words are edgy and fun. And her message is relevant to business folk of any ilk (for those who actually belong to an ilk). She certainly practices what she preaches when she suggests in this post:

"Brains love play. Find a way to bring more play (or at least a sense of playfulness) into someone’s life, and you might just end up with a fan."

And before you go thinking I’m the only sucker out there who appreciates this smart blogging babe,  you must know there are plenty of us who’ve recently been passionately using Kathy (no, not THAT way. perv). Namely, Hughtrain, Johnnie Moore, and Rich Claussen who initially turned me on to Kathy (thanks rich – great suggestion).

So rush on over to headrush (aka Creating Passionate Users), and start passionately using this week’s Top Ten Smartest Blogging Babe, Kathy Sierra. And don’t forget to piss someone off today.

Get The Complete Step-by-Step Process

To Cultivate A Responsive List eBook (FREE)

Subscribe to download this guide for FREE and work through the steps at your own pace.

Launch A Profitable Podcast

Discover how to start your own podcast business, leverage it to grow an existing business, grow your influence, and more.

There's No Better Time To Start Your Store

Have Your Own Store By This Weekend. Get This Quick-Start Guide To Launch Your Own Profitable Store Online.

The Time To Start Your Service Business Is Now

Launch Your Own Service Business By This Weekend. Get This Quick-Start Guide To Starting A Service Business Online.

Today Is The Day To Kickstart An Affiliate Business

Have Your Own Store By This Weekend. Get This Quick-Start Guide To Launch Your Own Profitable Store Online.