April 2008 Archives

4

Google, the quintessential 800lb gorilla… the all seeing, all knowing, altruistic pillar of the Internet has come through with a new breakthrough previously assumed to be impossible.

Now before I tell you what it is I must ask, "Have we come to expect any less from Google?"

The combination of incredible forward thinking, the best young talent available and what amounts to an all but unlimited budget that eclipses the GOP of most countries around the globe can lead to some incredible innovation.

So, what is it they’ve come up with this time?

Google has made it possible for their users to travel back in time.

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Now I know it’s April Fool’s Day so it is quite possible you may not believe me but honestly, in a weird and round-about way they have made it possible for Gmail users to alter the space time continuum.

Here’s the deal:

Login to your Gmail account and you will see a new link in the upper right, next to your Gmail address.  The link is in RED and is the pathway to a bold new world in email.

A Bold New World In Email.

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Google has made it possible for Gmail users to send email in the past.

Yes, you read that right… if you have a Gmail account you can now send email that will hit the recipient’s inbox with a date in the past AND inserted in their list of emails at the appropriate date!

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This is truly incredible.

Think about it…

You forget your grandmother’s birthday.

I mean you don’t even click on it at all until three weeks after the fact.

Previously, you’d have to send one of those sappy belated birthday cards with an apology.

Now, because of the wisdom and technological magic of Google you can actually send an email three weeks late and have her think you sent it a day early.

You’re still in the will!

Now, here’s another possibility… you owe a client a proposal by three o’clock on Thursday and you miss your deadline.

In the old days you’d have to send the proposal late with an apology and then cross your fingers, hoping that they even read the proposal before laughing and moving on to the next consultant in line.

Now with Google’s new technology you can actually send that proposal over late and leave the client looking like the schmuck for missing it in their inbox.  You’ll actually be working from a position of strength.

There is one additional aspect to this that you need to know which is the limit to the number of past dated emails Google will let you send. 

We all know how much they like their algorithms that are a part of most everything they do and the new email feature is no exception.

Google has used a complex calculation to determine the optimum number of past emails that any one user would need.

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You have ten "past emails",
so think this through and use them wisely.

That’s all for now.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this incredible new Google Innovation in the comments section below

Have a wonderful and happy 1st.

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

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8

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Before we start examining pull marketing from the different perspectives (marketing executive, Internet Marketer, consumer, and psychologist) I listed in part one, I feel we must more clearly look at what exactly pull marketing is, how it works, where it is being used and how you can use it.

 Today let’s start with more clearly defining what exactly push marketing and pull marketing are, how they work and why you must understand this.

Based on comments I’ve received here, discussions with other Internet Marketers as well as lengthy strategy sessions in anagencyy setting, it has become quite clear to me that most everyone has a firm grasp on what "push marketing" is and how it works. 

Push marketing at it’s roots is pretty straightforward… start with a product, create a message designed to push emotional buttons and create desire for the product, and then push that message in front of people.  The vehicles used to push a message vary wildly in appearance (TV, radio, banners, billboards, magazine ads, on and on) but the mechanism is the same.  You are basicallyinterruptingg whatever else the target is doing and trying to get them to shift gears and listen to your message.

Push usually = Interruption

Just about anyone can work with push or interruption marketing.  There have been many, many very successful push campaigns over the years as well as many more failures.

The difficulty with push is that over time (often a very short time) people will become more adept at recognizing that push message and will become immune if not averse to it.

Now consider how the marketinglandscapee has changed with the emergence of the social web.

No longer do consumers simply ignore marketing they no longer want pushed in front of them.  Now they stop responding to the message AND they openly tell everyoneelses in the "network" to do the same.  They talk about it and discuss it, they pick it apart and in extreme instances even turn it against the company issuing the message.

This is reminiscent of astatementt made by NEO in the Matrix (sorry, I love the underlying themes inthatt movie so it often comes up as I explain things).  This comes at the very end of part one, where Neo is on the payphone speaking to those of the matrix who are manipulatingcontrollingg what people see:

"I know now what you’re trying to do and I’m going to let them all know"

 Now consider the fact that in the new social media world in which we live, there are hundreds of millions of potential Neo’s each willing and able to passionately contribute to the direction of the "conversation" going on about any one topic.  We are far beyond a single individual making the choice to take either the red pill of the blue pill.

The power of today’s social media and the rapidity with which it grows is all but terrifying to many traditional advertising channels and the institutions that have been built upon them (the first example that should come to mind is television advertising!).

The new socialmediai and it legions of participants have become theferventt gatekeepers of their own communities.  They are quick to speak their mind and will defend their "world" against pushy marketing messages at all costs.

So what do you do?

I think it needs to be looked at in very simple terms.

The book On War was written and published in the early 19th century by a Prussian general named Carl Von Clausewitz. 

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One of the more poignant statements he makes in his manuscript is as follows:

"Never engage the same enemy for too long, or he will adapt to your tactics."

Now think about that statement and how it applies to the current marketing world.

It will no longer be good enough to use the traditional marketing media on which most companies have relied for so long.  It has been done for too long and beyond that, the "soldiers" are no longer working in the terrain for which it was developed.

If you continue to use the same marketing tactics upon which everyone has relied for so many decades, you will start to realize rapidly diminishing levels of success.

Here is where your opportunity opens wide before you.

You can take steps to understand the new, social media landscape and start taking steps to work WITH it and in it as opposed to ON it.

To do this, you must understand pull marketing since pushing your message at folks is a dying way of going.

Pull Marketing at its simplest is comprised of first giving something that people want, which results in the building of trust and relationship. 

What follows next is their wanting more from the giver, especially if what they were given the first time carried a very high perceived level of quality.  There are elements ofreciprocityy at work here although they are subtle.  What is really taking place is theopeningg of a communication.  The recipient is in complete control over whether or not the communication continues.  If what they are receiving is sustaining them in some fashion where there was previously a void then they will let more communications flow in.

Eventually astrongg trust bond is formed and the result is the recipient looking for is not demanding more form the source. Thiss can be manifest in their all but asking if there is something they can buy from you.

Marketing scientist extraordinaire Mark Joyner also takes this a step further, proposing that marketers provide full disclosure of what they are doing in their interactions with their target audience.  The idea (which he discloses to the target) is for the prospect to feel you have been 100% up-front with them and have given them all of the facts so they are able to make a properly informed decision.

In this case, they have been given not just that, that they want but also the details on why it is being given.  There is a level of transparency that actually serves to draw them even further in.  This gets into some rather advanced selling psychology which is really anotherdiscussionn altogether.

Now let’s look at a few examples that have been quite effective, particularly as they have used the new social media as they message vehicle.

One of our agency’s clients is a company named Triumph boats.

Triumph boats are made out of a material called Ropelene which is purported ( and is) to be much tougher and moreindestructiblee than fiberglass.

Now, the old method of marketing these boats would have been to create a two-page magazine spread that illustrates the boats, talks about them being tough and tells the reader why they should buy one.

Here is the new method of delivering the message:

The video demonstrates the the most important aspect of the boats… that they are indestructible. It does so though in a humorous way and never once asks you to buy a Triumph.

This first video was so successful in generating interest in the brand that they followed it with another video the next year and even created a site dedicated to the "Testing" of just how tough  Triumph boats are www.ToughBoats.com

The ads never ask you to buy a Triumph but rather use fantastic humor to display one of the strongest reasonsanyonee should want a Triumph.

 This video and the one that followed it were, among some other very creative branding,implementall pieces in the Triumph brand seeing sales figures more than triple over a few years.

Now please note that never in that piece did anyone say "Please buy a Triumph because…". Theyy didn’t have to.  The video beautifully displayed the strongest attributes of the boat but in such a creative, humorous, non "pushy" way that people wanted more, ranging from more videos to buying the boats.

The humorouselementss of the video also served to get people to share it and pass it around gaining more exposure from creditable sources (a friend’s recommendation is one of the most powerful sales tools in the world) than any normal paid ad campaign could afford.

That is beautiful PULL.

The humor and creativity of the ad so beautifully exhibits the strongest attributes of the brand without ever having to say "Here is why we’re great and why you should want one of our boats!"

The humor motivates people to share the video with others which in turn helps build brand awareness… in a very positive vein.

Now that is just one example of pull marketing.  In our next discussion I will delve into a variety of other examples aswelll as discuss Pull Marketing from the perspective of the Marketing Professional.

Until then, I urge you to share any examples you’ve seen ofpulll marketing as well as share your overall feelings about this style of marketing with the rest of us here on this blog.

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

Filed under Blog, General Musings, Online Marketing by  #

1

I am in the process of adding a "Mobile Feed" to my blog so folks like you can receive new posts on your phone.

Part of that process requires verifying my feed via a snippet of code placed in a post title.

I’ll let you know how this all washes out.

I am using a service called FeedM8 to do this and will post a review once I am set up.

Cheers!

Sam

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0

A little over a week ago I added a new feature to  Ask-SamKnoll.com.

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This is a great service called FeedM8 that links my posts with the cell phone of anyone wanting to receive post notifications on their mobile. 

In order for a phone to be able to receive the feed it must be web enabled (which most phones made in the last 4 years are).  You can also choose to receive text alerts of new posts or additions to any RSS feed you want.

The service works two ways, first for readers wanting to receive alerts or feeds to their phone and also for publishers wanting to make their feed available.  It is a snap to set up a feed and best of all, the service is absolutely free.

As a publisher I simply place a "button" on my site which when clicked, takes the visitor to a page where they can set up my feed to their phone.

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In this age of near total mobility paired with a have it now mentality why not give people avary way possible to stay in touch with you.

As more and more phone users head toward their phone being the4 true center of their daily universe this sort of service will become more and more essential.

It’s almost too easy.

Now, what do you think… do you want to receive this sort of stuff through your phone or is it all getting too darned easy to be bugged constantly throughout the day?

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

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0

The following is my first interview through Peopleized.com.  This is in preparation for the inclussion of my blog in the next (May ’08) issue of bloghology

Enjoy!

@sk Sam Knoll
Peopleized by: merkal2005 – Monday, 28 April 2008

sknollii @sk Sam Knoll, he is open to share his vast knowledge and internet marketing experience

merkal2005: Hi Sam, please tell us about yourself. Where are you from? How do you earn your living?

sknollii: I currently live in Durham, NC, and have been here for a little over 10 years. This is a great place to live, work and raise a family. The only down side is that I grew up in Virgina Beach and do miss being able to be on the water at a moment’s notice.

I’ve been working exclusively on the Internet for about 5 years. Most of that time I spent developing my own products and services while consulting with a wide variety of individuals, businesses and marketing agencies.

A little over a year ago I was offered a position with a marketing agency. Since then I’ve been taking all of the strategy and tactics I’ve used for my own products and consulting clients, and putting them into place for a rapidly growing number of rather large companies.

It is extremely interesting (and at times challenging) adding social media marketing, affiliate marketing, viral marketing and a host of other IM tools into companies with otherwise very conservative, traditional marketing departments.

merkal2005: I see that your first blog post was back in 2006. What drove you to blogging?

sknollii: I started blogging for two reasons…

First, I started because I knew I should. I’d spoken to or listened to too many successful marketers who were all saying "Start blogging!" To be honest, at the outset it seemed like a wise thing to do for my business.

The second reason I started blogging and the reason I keep blogging is that I do love to express myself. This can take the form of a live audience or through the written word.

Marketing on the Internet can be a somewhat solitary if not isolating thing so one does have to figure out how to interact with others.

I have a lot to say whether it is about a new product or service I’ve used or much deeper thoughts regarding marketing strategy on a grand scale.

Now, there is a third reason that I blog… it is the same reason I send out emails to my lists at times that have nothing to buy at all. I do love helping others. This first came as a product of my mailing to my lists and then once I started blogging, through my writing online. All it takes is a single email or comment from a reader thanking me for what I wrote and I almost can’t help writing more.

merkal2005: How did you name your blog? Do you seriously answer all the questions you receive through your contact form?

sknollii: I’ve already mentioned that I have a lot to share and this was a pretty easy natural extension of that.

I have always worked hard to help others and answer any and all questions that are directed my way. I do have to monitor the time I spend doing this and can see that eventually I may have to be selective in which questions I answer.

I named the blog "Ask-SamKnoll" because I honestly did want people to ask. I wanted folks to know that I am a very good source for information, I wanted to further brand myself and my name and I wanted to help people at the same time.

I also wanted to have some fun. When you visit the blog it is pretty hard to not notice the big red button and almost harder to not push it.

The reason the name has the hyphen in it is because there is another Sam Knoll working on the Internet… my father. He already had the non-hyphenated version 😉

I truly invite anyone to come and ask me questions. I love answering them.

merkal2005: Do you have future plans&strategies on blogging?

sknollii: I do have some very clear plans.

I will continue forward with my current blog as I have been. I’ll start mixing more of my own video and audio in as I go.

I also have plans for two additional blogs at present. One having to do specifically with Pull Marketing and another focused on competitive intelligence. Both are topics that interest me greatly as well as topics about which I am developing products.

Blogs are a great way to roll out information to folks.

merkal2005: What’s next in blogging? How do you see the future of blogging?

sknollii: That is a very good question.

There are so many different arenas in the blogosphere, the possibilities are truly limitless.

The Internet is becoming more and more crowded with great content as well as junk. It’s hard to say just where blogging will go.

Already there a many people who turn to blogs as their source for news and information. Is this good?… it’s hard to say.

Authors of blogs have a pretty free reign to be as subjective and opinionated as they wish. Should they then be the source of honest, objective news for people?

What I do see happening is a growing demand from consumers for quality material. This will not just be in the form of quality information but also in the way it is presented. Higher quality video, audio and written word are what consumers want.

The result of that is almost a form of natural selection where those sites that supply what the people want will continue on while the others fall by the wayside.

Consumers want what THEY want and want to pull only that to themselves. They are growing increasingly tired of having information pushed at them and frankly, will simply remove a feed from their reader or unsubscribe from a list faster now than ever before. This is what we must address if we are to retain any readers of our blogs moving forward.

Mert, thank you for talking with me. The Bloghology project is a great idea. There are a lot of folks out there posting fantastic information to their blogs. Thank you for creating a venue in which they can be made known to others.

 

sknollii’s Page: www.ask-samknoll.com   Authors Page: merkal2005
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