Wednesday, February 13, 2008

** Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin

Seth Godin (ex-Yahoo, currently of Squidoo) is probably the best known guru of internet marketing. His ideas are out there, and he wants everyone to know his strong opinions. I like him because he is willing to think outside the box, and challenge the established assumptions. Any business with customers should think hard about how to market effectively via the internet, and how to leverage new models to perhaps transform your business or industry.

So TV is good for something after all

TV ads require factories to make items in sufficient quantity to pay for the commercials. They require shelf space so that when hordes of people go to the store to buy the advertised item, it’s there. And they require avg products because TV reaches everyone… Direct mail permits specialty retailers to thrive in a way they never could in a strip mall. It hates products that appeal to everyone… It needs to be sent directly to just the right people… It requires teams of people to answer the phone in the middle of night… It requires low inventory, because it’s too expensive to keep the warehouse full of an item that’s not selling. P11

The First Marketing Genius

The founder of the Wedgewood China company was famous for smashing imperfect items with his walking stick, proclaiming “This will not do for Josiah Wedgewood!”… Remember in 1730 it was still common for people to eat their meals out of a bowl of stale bread. Ceramics, a plate of any kind, was a bit of a luxury. The idea that you would smash plate just because it was a little irregular was nuts… Wedgewood risked his entire company in 1772 by investing $2.7m and sending, without asking first, samples of his pottery to 1000 wealthy Germans. Believe it or not, more than 50% ordered the pottery. Several years before that, Wedgewood gave Queen Charlotte (George III’s wife) a breakfast set. A few years later she ordered a full tea service, which he turned into Queensware and sold to the masses… Did I mention that his sales force worked on commission? – another breakthrough… He dealt with the increased demand by creating one of the first assembly lines… Here are some other items of note to his credit:

  • Sign your work (brand it)
  • Increase your pricing by 400% (luxury’s should be expensive and exclusive)
  • Establish outrageously high quality
  • Train non-skilled labor in your new production techniques
  • Sell to the richest people in the world

Misplaced opportunity

An inbound email is not just an expense; its also an opportunity – a chance to eliminate barriers and have a dialogue with a customer. The logical place for a person to start the relationship is the CEO. What happens though? Absolutely nothing. No response of any kind. P62

Why search ads are cost effective

Its not unusual for effective advertising to sell for $50 per CPM. Studies show that 7% is a high number for the number of consumers who can even REMEMBER your ad, never mind actually take action because they saw it. Which means that you’re paying closer to $750 for every 1000 people who ever saw and remembered your ad. P63

Permission Marketing 101

Permission doesn’t exist to help you (the marketer); it exists to help me.

  1. My permission can’t be bought or sold. It’s nontransferable.
  2. I don’t care about you; I care about me. If your message has something to do with my life, then maybe I’ll notice, but in general don’t expect much.
  3. Privacy policies and fine print are meaningless. I trust you and if you break that trust we’re finished whether or not you’re legally in the right or not.
  4. I demand your respect, so if you disrespect me then you’re history.

The 1% rule

Only 1% of the users on sites like Wikipedia create and edit articles. This ratio holds true for Digg, Reddit, YouTube, etc. The thing is you don’t know who these 1% are… It’s like Russian roulette. You have to assume that every chamber is loaded, that every interaction is an interaction with a critic. P74

Godsourcing, the new outsourcing trend?

For decades, the Catholic church has been outsourcing the duties of saying special prayers to priests in India… It costs only $.90 in India vs. $5 for the same prayer in the US or Europe. P116

You want fry's with that?

Pull into a McD’s drive through in Oregon and you’ll find yourself talking to a voice from North Dakota that is beamed to you across the net… By pooling the inputs of several McD’s to one call center, they end up eliminating down time and they can provide better training and quality control (not to mention the low wages). P117

If a job can be codified, it WILL be outsourced. P118

25% of the US population was willing to donate a kidney if it would save a life. will help you get matched to a person in need. P137

The web is the single worst medium ever devised for interrupting people who don’t want to be interrupted. P192

It will take more than 1 election cycle for TV to become irrelevant. The ability to send a message (think YouTube) to the base and do it with no filters, no time constraint, and little money is too powerful to be resisted. P171 Will this allow us to take back our politicians from the special interests and corporate lobbyists?

Viral Marketing 101

Make something worth talking about and make it easy to talk about and share.

Humans don’t act like robots or machines… Given enough choices, we’ll make those choices. P220

Seth's conclusion

If you want to sell commodities, be my guest. If you want to sell large quantities of cheap stuff, you’re welcome to it (WalMart has this market already). The rest of us are going to grow fast using our knowledge of human nature and the new marketing that allows people to express that nature. P220

Friday, February 08, 2008

* Last Days of Europe by Walter Laquer

Having had one foot in Europe for the past dozen years, it is interesting to read about the fate of the continent that has been at the forefront of western civilization for the past 2500 years. It seems that all good things must come to an end. The future now lies elsewhere, and Europe will become an historical Disneyland for tourists interested in how native Europeans lived as her cities and institutions are replaced by immigrants and their children. In the end demography rules, and the next century will look to China, India, Brazil, and the US as Europe fades into memory. In the end, Laquer offers no solutions, and dooms us to slowly watch the eventual imperceptibly slow implosion of Europe.

During 2004 in Brussels, more than 55% of the children born were of immigrant parents. In the Ruhr region of Germany more than ½ of the cohort under 30 will be on non-German origin. P15

Yemen will have a larger than Russia by 2050, and Nigeria and Pakistan will each have a larger population than the current 15 nations in the EU… Yemen which had 4m inhabitants in 1950 has 20m now, and will grow to over 100m by 2050. At the same time Russia is shrinking by 2% per year, and will shrink to 1/3 its current size by 2050. p26

Add Russians and Italians to the endangered list

According to UN projections for 2300, the population of Europe (natives) will have fallen to a mere 59m. Many countries will be reduced to 5% of the current population, and Russia & Italy will be less than 1%. P27

In 1914, the Ottoman (Muslim) Empire was the sick man of Europe. 100 years later, it is the other way around. Turkey will swell to over 100m and its immigrants will become dominant in many German cities. How ironic that the Turkish military invasion of Western Europe was it seems only temporarily stopped at the gates of Vienna in the 17th century; it was a mere delay of the inevitable, stealth demographic conquest that is now steamrolling over the continent. -Ben

The population of foreigners (most of them muslim) in West German cities such Cologne, Dusseldorf, Wuppertal and many others will be more than 40% by 2015. p41

The median age is at present only slightly higher in Europe than in the US (37 compared to 35). However by 2050 it will be 36 in the US and 53 in Europe… Assuming military forces will still be needed, the question arises where will Europe’s soldiers come from? P30 Heck, where will the workers come from too to pay for that military?

Unemployment of immigrant youths amounts to 30 to 40% in France and Germany and not much less in Britain and the Netherlands… Only 3% of muslim youth make it to college in Germany. “We are creating an army of long term unemployed” p43

70% of the French prison population is young muslims. P47

It will get bigger and worse before it gets better and smaller

There is a great reservoir of young unemployed in North Africa and the Middle East – 25% of the youth population. 100m jobs will be needed in the next 10 years to solve the problem, but they are unlikely to be created. The unemployment issue has been called a time bomb. P177

What would be the point of inviting people from these parts at a time when employment among young people from Muslim countries is 20%, 30%, even 40% in Germany, France, and other European countries? P177