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Posts Tagged ‘Seth Godin’

The homeless man & the email marketer.

I’ve been the, how to put it delicately, victim of several email marketing campaigns. Theatres, products, Politicians – every single one of them are begging me for their money. Much like a homeless man.

Now, my friends, do not let the email marketer’s suit fool you. Right now, this person holds the same job as a bum. I figured this out in the parking lot of Barnes & Noble. A guy was begging people for some change. I didn’t run into him, but I definitely observed his methods. Try one target with one story, try another target with another story; keep trying until someone breaks. It’s the same as any other bum.

And it’s the same as any email marketer. See, our inboxes get flooded with emails because each marketing campaign is designed to try different methods until we break. I’m going to point a finger at MoveOn.org. As a fairly liberal person, I don’t like calling you out, MoveOn.org. I’m sure money comes in, but only because we’re attacked by 10 emails a day (and it was worse during the election.) One email comes from a celebrity liberal, the next a politician. Your third one is with video. The fourth is from the executive director. And it goes on….until you break.

Theatres do the same. They send emails about their shows, new reviews about their shows, new programs that need funding, subscription deals, mid-season subscription deals, emails from the artistic director, from the stars, from the show’s director….get the point?

This is my second post today that references Seth Godin, but the man’s thoughts seem so goddamn relevant to me. He teaches us permission marketing… Consumers and donors only want information when they ask for it. It seems simple right? Yet, email marketing continues to cram information down our throats.

And worse…it’s all asking for money.

The guy in the parking lot is relentless. He’s going to ask and ask. Rather than allowing me to donate money to organizations that help the needy, he’s going to ask me for money in the parking lot. It annoys me (and I never give money to a person begging in a parking lot.)

Consumers want everything on their terms and conditions…not the companies. When I feel like donating to theatre, I will. When I feel like buying a product, I will. And when I want to help the needy, I will. Any request before that moment is noise.

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picture-7Okay, I’m like freaking out, man. The more I submerse myself into Twitter, the more I realize a future problem. Yes, it’s in my title. I fear we’re fiercely pushing towards the tipping point.

Think about it…

Twitter is the ultimate tool for conversation, and we have two types of twitter-ers. These early adopters are either building their Godin-like tribes (creating unique content that will inspire a following), or they are creating a low demand for information.

I grow suspicious of the twitter-er who follows 16,000 and has 14,000 followers. Is that person really listening to those 16,000, or just offering a common courtesy. That’s bad. See, there could be a high supply of people speaking on Twitter with a low demand from the listeners.

Information is a precious commodity. We can’t treat it like a mass produced pair of sneakers because quality counts with information. This high supply/low demand situation waters down the quality of tweets. Why speak when nobody’s listening? It’s the same thing that happened to blogs. Right now, because of sites like Huffington Post and Perez Hilton, we’re seeing a second upswing of interest in blogs. The first upswing had a big crash – everyone opened Live Journal and Xanga accounts, started speaking, and then stopped.

Why did they stop? Because there were too many speakers, not enough listeners. We got bored with our blogs because nobody was reading them.

Twitter is at the start of the upswing. It’s going to get more popular, but I don’t want to see the same crash happen to it.

Make your tweet count. Here’s some advice on shaping your content and conversations:

  • Don’t follow someone unless you want to listen to them and converse with them. If they’re tweeting useful information, they will find followers elsewhere.
  • Find a niche in #hashtags. Converse with other twitter-ers talking about the niche topics relevant to your content.
  • Read Seth Godin’s Tribes.
  • Make your Twitter soap box matter by spreading your thoughts, revelations, and expertise.
  • If you’re going to converse via Twitter, make it a conversation that more than 2 people will care about.
  • Retweet the relevant. Twitter is the conversation that’s happening now (loosely translated from @unmarketing‘s famous tweet.) Don’t retweet the trivial – remember it is a recommendation.
  • And it’s still okay to share your life. Sometimes we’re following because you do exciting things!
  • Use TweetDeck: if you’re going to truly interact and deliver relevant content, TweetDeck helps you. It gives notifications of new tweets and @replies to you, let’s you shorten URLs to share, connects with TwitPic, and simplifies all of these actions.

Don’t have a Twitter account yet? Sign up. And then follow @miketobias (haha…but only if you think I have something to say.)

Have an account? You can tweet this: http://tr.im/em9e

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So Seth Godin wrote a post about mediocrity that caught my eye. I was thinking about this very topic this week. Isn’t it always in our best interest to overcome mediocrity? I know many people complain about certain jobs that, well, are worth the whining – I’m thinking of my friend Maritza who used to work at the Ranger’s ballpark despite the fact that she hated baseball.

Seth talks about making sure we don’t slack off in work, but this discussion must go beyond the quality of production. It must be about passion. It’s easier to do 4% less in a job that makes you want to 4% less. This applies to startups, too. The strongest companies are built by the most passionate people.

Of course, we’ve been wired to make the quickest buck. Maritza didn’t take her job at the ballpark because she wanted to learn more about baseball, meet new people, or even gain experience in sales. She took the job for the same reason most people take a job: we needed the money now.

But Maritza soon dumped the job for a new one in a young social marketing company fancorps. The pay wasn’t better, but Maritza was definitely more passionate about this new job. And guess what? It paid even better. Instead of reserving her full potential, she gave Fancorps even more. I’m deeply proud to say her efforts have translated into success at the company as the company grows from her efforts.

So, we should always consider whether our job inspires the best in us.

On the other hand, and I’m sure this is what Seth is talking about, if you’re still figuring out your passion, you still need a job. That might land you in one that’s uninspiring. So why give 4%? Simple. If you’re the low level phone rep from Seth’s post, you will always benefit from a stronger performance. Your boss will notice, and the customer’s will notice. Happy boss = potential benefits. Happy customers = guaranteed benefits. You see, it’s easy giving people something mediocre because most often people will take it. The grocer doesn’t have to ask me how I’m doing, and I’m not expecting it. But the next waiter, phone rep, chef, lawyer that gives me those extra 4% moments will make a small-but-beneficial difference.

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boingboing.net /// There’s no surprise that this is on my reader. It’s one of the most popular blogs on the planet, feeding random content about all that is wonderful about this world.

sethgodin.typepad.com/// I read Why All Marketers Are Liars, and after that I went out and read every book from the Godin series. Seth has a knack for theorizing paradigm shifts in the marketing industry. He takes a look at the real business world to give a little guidance to us.

macalicious.com/// I need to stay updated on everything Mac!

theproducersperspective.com/// Ken Davenport is the most tech-savvy producer on and off Broadway right now. So, I like to stay updated with his great innovations and projects. I’m also a member of his new social network site Broadway Space.

Of course, I’m also subscribed to Ignite’s blog to see updates from our collaborators from across the country. I’ll put a blogroll [what’s that?] up later!

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