Is Facebook’s Timeline Worse for Small Brands?

Hubspot reports that Facebook penalizes posts from third-party tools: “content published through third-party API tools suffered 67% fewer likes than content published manually via Facebook.com.”

Also, “content published through third-party API tools suffered 60% fewer clicks than content published manually via Facebook.com.”

Based on this, and the fact that some big brands are doing well with the Facebook Timeline, Hubspot concludes that “Timeline is good for big business, bad for small.” Why? Because big brands are more likely to use actual Facebook Pages instead of third-party APIs. But the post offers no evidence on this.

I love Hubspot’s blog and usually agree with their opinions, but this time I’m calling bullshit. Or at least adding some qualifiers. Read more of this post

Tips for Marketing Professionals at Review Time

It’s review time and time to showcase your accomplishments. Saying “I spent so much time submitting our website to directories” won’t do you much good while asking for a raise. What bosses (managers, CMOs, CEOs) need to see are results. And if you’ve been doing things right, this should be easy.

Here are some ways you talk about the results you’ve achieved.

Business Results

If you can showcase business results you’ve helped achieve, that’s the best business case you can make for rewards (read: raise or bonus and/or promotion). What kind of business results? Read more of this post

We WILL Try

No. Saying “I will try” is not a sign of failure. It’s a sign that you aren’t full of arrogance. It’s a sign that you don’t completely lack self-awareness. It’s a sign that some tasks are difficult. It’s a sign that you’re aware that some circumstances are out of your control. It’s a sign that you’re human.

Not that I’d advise you to say “I’ll try, boss” when she tells you to get into office on time. But if she gives you a task that you haven’t done before, it’s okay to say “I’ll try.”

If you’ve never created a case study on your own before, it’s okay to say, “I’ll try.” It’s also okay to say “I’ll try to get this done tomorrow” when you need answers from Abhijeet the Account Manager and he’s been too busy to talk to you.

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Wondering If A Marketing Career Is For You?

Often, I hear from acquaintances or friends who are bored in their current jobs, consider themselves creative, and wonder if they should try to build a career in marketing. Here is what I wrote in reply to one such email.
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I don’t quite know where to start. I understand your problem: it’s difficult to know whether you’ll like something different until you try it out. But the best way to find out is to try it out. And I’m glad you’re willing to take the risk.

I’d advise you to do these three things. Read more of this post

Marketing Lessons from Mad Men

I’ve only been watching Mad Men when it airs on TV here in India, so I know I’m late in. but I watched the episode Blowing Smoke last night, and it reminded me of why I like the show. Yes, the characterizations are great, the acting is brilliant, the story touches on the politics of the era and doesn’t shy away from the ickiness (like the sexual harassment every woman on the show seems subject to, in one way or another). But what I like most, what really makes me sit up and watch, is the ad-making and the display of marketing strategy.

When their biggest client Lucky Strike fires the agency and everyone’s floundering, Don Draper makes a move. He puts up an ad in the New York Times where he writes about tobacco and its hazards, and why the agency would no more work on tobacco accounts.

It’s a move so bold as to be crazy. The other partners are furious: tobacco is a big advertising spender, and even if Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce reversed its stand, no tobacco company would be stupid enough to come to them after publicly disparaged one of their clients.

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B2B and B2C: Is There a Difference?

I read this blog post about the difference between B2B and B2C.

But think about most B2B purchases. If we’re looking at buying a new rack of servers, or supply chain management software, where’s the fun in that? The only real emotion at play here is the risk of screwing up and being fired. Emotions in B2B purchases are heavily biased towards risk mitigation.

At first glance, this struck me as insightful, but later, I felt it was somewhat short-sighted. If you are an IT manager, wouldn’t buying the right servers make a difference to your job? I’d say you would be interested in the outcome beyond risk mitigation if you think that new rack of servers is going to make your work easier. If I, for instance, am looking at email marketing solutions for my company, I know what results I want from it, and how I expect it to make my work easier. I’m not a purchasing manager, I’m a marketing manager. And I’d go about this (arguably) as diligently as I would if I were buying an AC for my home. Risk mitigation is a factor in either case: I don’t want to buy a faulty AC and waste all that money (and the time I spent shopping for the AC and getting it installed). I don’t want to buy a subscription to an email marketing system that doesn’t work well and then have to explain my decision to my bosses.

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Why Be A Marketer?

It was when I was in b-school that I realized that marketing is the most important function in a business. Finance and human resources are important, but come later, once you have a business and people. Product development and operations seem more fundamental, but think about it: until you think of the customer, of who you’re making the product (or providing the service) for, you haven’t got much of a business. And that, that thinking of the person who’s going to pay you for doing what you do, and thinking of how you are going to get them to buy what you have to sell, how you make the product better so they want to buy it: that’s marketing.

And when you put it that way, it’s what you start doing before you set up a business and hire people; before you start working on that marvelous new software idea you have. It starts when you say, “Oh, this will be a great concept, and this product is going to help people do that.”

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