Category Archives: tech

Personal vs. Professional: The Winner is…

I’ve been mulling over the concept of personal brand reputation and what’s acceptable behaviour online.  When Facebook first became public right after I graduated college, I was adamantly against the concept.  Facebook was my personal space online, and allowing my professional world in would create tons of conflict and an anal amount of privacy controls.  But I adapted to the situation and made room for my professional life online.

But as transparency and internet archiving continues to proliferate every part of my online life, from blogging to tumbling to Facebook to Twitter to countless accounts I have over the interwebs, when does my personal life stop making room for my professional.  Sure, the whole concept of transparency is to showcase your real personality and network.  Isn’t it still true that we have some self-censorship?

Even the most brutally real person has to realize that we can’t always write what we think.

I wrote a post recently reclaiming janyxu.com for myself.  I taking it out of consideration for professionals who are considering me for a job or looking for marketing advice.  But I realize that I can’t.  I’m not going to rant about how horrible it was working at my last company.  First and foremost, because it’s absolutely not true (in fact, quite the opposite).  But secondly, no matter what disclaimer I may have to reclaim my personal space online, people will still use this blog to judge my “personal brand reputation.”

So is there anywhere we can truly be ourselves?  Or is it like going to a networking cocktail party… we are ourselves but only about 80% us?

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Hello World!

My cousin and me

My cousin and me

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging (in case you haven’t noticed).  I’ve taken a break from life as well.  Since the new year, I parted with SHIFT, which is still an amazing PR Agency; took a long, needed trip to China; popped by New York for a long weekend, more like almost a week; and am working with some cool guys on a new start-up.

Birds Nest in north Beijing

Bird's Nest in north Beijing

You can click on my Facebook badge to see my pictures from China and New York.  Those are all taken by my Canon.  The iPhone pictures are buried a couple of pages down in my Tumblr.

New York Public Library, Main Branch

New York Public Library, Main Branch

As for the start-up, we’re hoping to launch in the next few months.  I’ll be posting more about it, when we’re further along.  Totally ping me for the private beta.

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Chinese Ugly Betty (on upper left)

Chinese Ugly Betty (on upper left)

Just in the last two months, I feel like I’ve grown years.  My finances are finally somewhere near the normal rate (I actually went to New York for 5 days and bought nothing!).  My food intake is healthier and more punctual. I’ve bonded with my relatives and cousins as an adult. I just feel more settled.  For the first time since I turned 19, I’m ready to face turning 25 later this year.

My 3 week trip to China sparked some of these changes.  China, in its adolescent years, is a completely different experience.  It’s like 1950s US, with thriving suburbs and more private cars, huge consumerism and still a nacent marketing culture to boot.  One of the most popular shows is the Chinese version of Ugly Betty, really cute.  But what’s astounding is that the entire show is sponsored by Dove, with (it’s an ad company) Dove commercials and a Dove logo at the bottom of the screen during the entire show.  And it’s totally accepted.  Would something like this fly in the US?

BTW, having an iPhone has been a huge life saver internationally.  Sure, I had to pay 50 cents per text and $2.29/min phone time, but when in a pinch, it definitely worked.  And it’s how I found out that my older cousin had his first child a week after I returned home.  It’s a girl.  I’m officially an aunt, or as close to one as I can be. :-)  (I’m bugging my cousin for pics now.)

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Setting off 100K fire crackers to blast away the bad luck from yesteryear

Setting off 100K fire crackers to blast away the bad luck from yesteryear

It feels really amazing to write again.  I’ve missed it.  Didn’t know how to restart.  And finally decided to start writing.  Hi again! :)

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From God to Godless to Godfull

Three thoughts:

“San Francisco is godless.”

I paraphrase but that’s what my friend told me over dinner last night.  Why?  SF is hugely liberal, progressive and largely accepting and non-religious.

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“Apple evokes a similar response to a religious experience.”

Again, I paraphrase.  It’s from the book Buyology, about marketing, marketing research and buying habits by Martin Lindstrom.

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“As people evolve, the characteristics of ‘God’ change with them.”

You know what I’m about to say.  This is one point from History of God, an exploration of the three major religions- Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

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So does this mean consumerism is the new God?

Okay, okay.  We’re in a recession.  Stores are closing its doors left and right, and brands are scrambling to mark prices down since before Thanksgiving in an effort to sell sell sell during the Holiday Season.

Well, first of all, we’re talking about strong brands, brands like Apple and Coca-Cola, etc.  Sure, they hurt during a recession too, but they’re not likely to go away.  Also, let’s think in the long term.  This economy thing isn’t going to last forever (knock on wood, salt over the shoulder and all that).  What about in the long run?

More and more, I’m seeing that the younger generations are identifying more with brands than religion.  Instead of going to church, we’re waiting for the new release of our favorite labels.  It’s not just about the technology or design; it’s about lifestyle, self expression and social standing.  Why pray to a grand being who’s become bogged down in religious politics and causing strife worldwide?  Brands speak directly to who we are and where we live.  Islam and Christianity segregate but can’t everyone enjoy a Coke?

Maybe that sounds pretty extreme.  We’re probably not going to have Oprahism or Bartism (remember that Simpson’s episode where Bart become a religion?).  No, we can’t use 20th century traits to define the new religious experience.  But we can draw other parallels.

Waiting in line for the new iPhone, the people around me felt a bond.  We were all freezing, all impatient and yet all energized at the prospect of the new shiny box from Steve Jobs.  Getting the 3G iPhone isn’t about utility but about 1) our lifestyle, 2) our social status in getting one first- okay, exclusivity wasn’t based on social standing but still, and 3) the white glow of the Apple store and its products is bordering on seeming heavenly.  The Apple fan boys act more like a religious cult than just any excited fan base.  (You can read more about it in Buyology, but I’m not here to peddle, and these are only loosely based on what I read.)

It seems that we’ve evolved from God is angry, which is why our crops fail and our wives die from childbirth.  To God is merciful and rewards good deeds.  To God is a bureaucrat and if you can’t read, you’re really at least 5 layers from God with the priests and cardinals and so forth.  To God is democratic and everywhere.  To God loves you unless you’re Muslim or gay.  To God like whatever.  To God?  Oh, btw, did you hear about the new Adidas line?

We’ve gone from “godless heathens” to “God” to “Godless.”  Now will brands be the new gods?

If the answer is yes, don’t worry.  All the major designers carter to all price points by sub-branding, Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc Jacobs… soon Target by Marc Jacobs?

(Not-so-secretly, I’m praying yes because that means I’ll still have a job and career years down the line. )

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Say Yes to Advertising

Everyone in the Social Media world is going on and on about building relationships and spending money on a good PR agency, vs. millions on advertising.  It’s not worth it, they say.  The top down approach no longer works. they say.

Well, I call bullshit.

Advertising is valuable… when done right.

Sure, when I’m watching TV or videos online, I’d rather claw my eyes out than watch yet another 30 second slot of why L’oreal (I never know where to put the apostrophe) or Pantene is so amazing and makes me look exactly like the models, like O. M. G.!

But isn’t that because the ads themselves suck?  I mean I may believe Sarah Jessica Parker actually colors her hair out of a box only because I also believe she has a $500/hr hair dresser applying that color.

Despite Social Media being the “it” thing right now, there’s still value in ads.  With the right execution, ads reinforce positive brand attributes and can actually make your constituency feel a sense of exclusivity and belonging – something Martin Lindstrom covers in his new book, buyology.  (Just had to add a plug.   The marketing research discussed is interesting, although I’m a bit skeptical on the methodology and potential.)

The big take-away is “done right.”  People hate Wal-mart but love Target.  Why?  Because Target understands the importance of design and perception in addition to low prices.  Wal-mart treats their employees like jack and get cheap stuff from developing nations.  Target has the hottest designers and gives 10% back to charity.  I’m pretty sure Target sources from developing nations too… but that’s not what you emphasize, is it?

Ok.  Ok.  The ads don’t make Target better than Wal-mart.  And it shouldn’t.  But it does remind you of exactly why you love going there.

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So go on and hire that Social Media agency.  Research how to interact with bloggers and how to be real with your tweeters.  Understand that a Facebook app or page isn’t a check list item but a project to be executed only if it’s really the right way to interact with your market base.

But remember, good ads stick with you.

Bud-weis-er.

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Here are some of my faves:

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Kara, Walt & 300 of Their Best Friends

Maybe not 300.  Maybe not their best friends.  But the 6th Annual Gadgets Event hosted by the Churchill Club was pretty freakin’ awesome.  As part of their PR Agency, I got to attend and see some of the coolest gadgets out there.  Some are out.  Some aren’t.

Along with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg,  Evan Williams, Twitter Co-Founder and CEO, and Greg Harper, co-founder of Gadgetoff, showed off gadgets from fuel cells to a Star Wars Wii controllers (with LEDs that light up the laser end of the light saber).  Here’s a quick and dirty look of my favorites:

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This is the Flip Mino HD.  Not only is it smaller than the gen 1 Flip, but it also records in full HD.  As usual, the minimalist design and buttons on the back make operating tres easy, as does the pop out USB connector up top.  Retail: about $229.

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When a friend from Portola Valley, home of many a well-to-do/VC types, invited me over for dinner and discussed such a portable projector, I quickly dismissed it as totally impossible.  A projector this small?  Will it actually work or explode into a burning mess?

So I was ridiculously wrong (like that hasn’t happened before).  This little guy is not much bigger than an iPod, as you can see, and from the demonstration that Greg gave, the projection looks amazingly clear with pretty good color precision.  Retail: $300-500.

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There’s also the phone projector.  I couldn’t find the exactly image of the one that Greg showed, but this is pretty close.  It’s shaped exactly like the iPhone, except longer and even has the same interface.  My guess that it’s from China- looser copyright laws.  No idea on the price, and to be honest, I’d probably skip gen one.  If the product works well and with MS Office, you’ll never had to carry a laptop and projector to a presentation again.  A carry case that comes with a laptop connector (for troubleshooting) and a laser pointer, would make this a top sell for all the corporate types. :-)

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This is the much talked about Blackberry Storm.  For those with Verizon (and not stuck with *cough cough* AT&T), the Storm is supposed to be an iPhone killer.  From what Walt showed us on Tuesday night… not so much.  What’s with Blackberry’s need to use that weird non-QWERTY keypad?  And why would you include the numeric keypad for typing text?  Silliness.  It does have international SIM card slot and GMS but doesn’t work in the US (a.k.a. doesn’t work with other mobile services).  Retail: $249 with a $50 rebate, which puts it at the same range as the iPhone.

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Unlike the Blackberry, because it’s less useful but so much cooler, is Plantsense.  This doo-hickie has a pronged fork at the bottom that you stick into the ground.  It detects the soil PH, moisture, etc., while the green flower up top takes measurements from the air, like light and moisture.  Then (of course), it snaps open to reveal a USB stick, which plugs into your computer and gives you a detail analysis of the flora conditions and what plants would best suit the conditions around you.

This is perfect for me.  My last two plants have sadly died and I’m not sure what to grow anymore.  The window next to my office gets blazing sun from morning until noon and shade for the rest of the day.  I think my last plants, local wild flower varieties, died from sun poisoning.  They were growing fine one day and limp and dark green the next.  Retail: $59.95.

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The femtocell, made by Samsung for Sprint, extends the cell network anywhere you go.  Just plug it in, and it acts like a cell tower, giving you full bars with a radius of 1, 500 feet.  Greg mentioned that other cell carriers have a similar product, and he loves it when he’s in the middle of New York State and needs some bars in hicksville.  I don’t think I’ll be getting one soon, but if you’re like my ex, who lives in a stone house, please consider it on your Santa list.  Retail: a couple hundred plus any subscriber fees, $15-30/month for Sprint customers.

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I started with one of my favorite (the high quality, useful & inexpensive Flip cam), so I’ll end with one too.  This is the Panasonic SDR-SW20.  I’m not 100% sure what that means, except this: it’s a waterproof camcorder that takes pictures too.  And not waterproof, i.e. you can splash water on it.  It will actually go into the swimming pool with you!…!!!  I know!

This lightweight little contraption also comes with wi-fi, which means that you can automatically back up the videos and images on your computer inside the house, while you’re playing underwater (or if you’re my friend in her apartment’s pool, giving a back story to the bandaid floating near the bottom of the pool).  I haven’t hear much feedback on how well the camcorder works in salt water, i.e. on a scuba dive in the Caribbean, but will report back during an unboxing party. :-P Retail: about $282.

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Those were some of the highlights of the evening.  Others like the singing Elvis, which already made a debut on the Late Show with Letterman, and a tiny camera on a stick like those you see in the proctologist’s office, weren’t as exciting.  I can’t wait to see some of these products on market.  With the marketplace in a coma, this is a great time to buy cool gadgets with deep price discounts.  w00t!

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Enough About Politics

[Sorry, this post isn't about "food politics"; it's more about "food" and "politics."]

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During dinner with a couple friend last night, my girl friend said, “I’m really surprised we didn’t talk about politics tonight.  I always thought you were really knowledgeable about it.” (or something like that…)

A few reactions instantaneously popped into my head:

  • Oh, that’s so flattering!  Thank you.
  • I don’t know as much about the election, or politics in general, as I should.  But thanks for thinking that.  I’ll definitely work harder on doing my research and finding out the details of each candidate’s platforms.
  • My friend M from college could blow me out of the water.  Are you kidding? I’m like novice ^infinity.
  • Uh… sorry… *munch munch munch*… This salmon is delicious.  I can’t stop… *munch* eating *munch*… what were we talking about again?  (BTW, thanks for the recipe.  Seriously.  Best salmon ever!)

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Truth is I have done my research.  After the primaries and finally accepting the Obama over Clinton win, I didn’t know much about McCain Camp.  In fact, I saw him in Letterman and thought, “Wow, he’s a really nice guy.  Maybe we’ll have a real reformer on the Republican end, and American can see social reform AND lower taxes.” Wait… don’t stop reading… [and definitely don't use this as a sound byte]… cuz I was dead wrong.  Let me repeat that dead bleeping wrong.

So I started by watching the news, reading political blogs, monitoring links and bites on Twitter and Tumblr (yes, I admit this is overly liberal).  Most importantly, I went to each candidate’s websites.  Now, some may think that’s the last place to go.  After all, this is where McCain and Obama get to paint their picture perfect version of the U.S.  But that’s exactly what I want.  If their websites aren’t able to convince me (and most of my friends are liberals and campaign commercials are always too vague and inflammatory), then what will?

I’ve written over the past few weeks, posts on some of the issues where McCain and Obama take diverging stances (to put it lightly).  This is what I’ve discovered:

Fuck the issues.

FUCK THE ISSUES.

Here’s why.  We’re trapped in a jacked up love triangle.  The only choices are McCain or Obama (realistically anyway), and we have to choose.  Now both want to get elected, so they’ll sweet talk us and send us flowers and promise to love us forever.  They’re politically wooing us right now.  Each has their own strengths and weaknesses.  Each their own opinions on issues.

But the question we really need to ask ourselves is, “Which one is going to stick around after we’ve said yes and let them have their way with us?”

Or better yet, “Who do we trust?”

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We know that McCain hasn’t always been faithful to the Republican party.  He’s a maverick, right?

We know that he has to answer to major corporations.  So when the economy’s gone to shit (“We have about a year… a year and a half more of this…” according to an analyst after Pepsi Co. fired… sorry… ‘laid off’ over 3,000 employees today), who’s McCain going to come home to?  The public?  He’s already had us.  We voted for him and everything.  Obviously, from the last 8 years, we’ve proven that impeachment doesn’t work.  Or the major corporations and banks like Citigroup and Bank of America, who can very much affect McCain, his friends and the people around him?

We know McCain picked one of the most inexperienced Vice Presidential candidates in history, and she’s completely incapable of answering the simplest questions with preparation and note cards.  She’s a smooth talker, so there’s no excuses.  Palin just didn’t know the answer.  You comfortable with that?  Cuz I sure ain’t.

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Now, what do we know about Obama?

Obama championed to stop all lobbying.  What does mean?  Hold back, giant corporations.  Thou shall not influence his decisions on whether to benefit the rich or the poor.

His platforms are not based on broad statements about how hardworking Americans are or how we deserve better.  Are we hardworking?  Sure.  Do we deserve better?  If we earn it, then yes.  But those aren’t his points.  Obama has specific goals and plans that he says he will carry out over the next four years.  It doesn’t mean that he will, but I sure trust specific timelines and strategies over general, sweeping wishes.

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So there you have it.  I choose Obama because I believe he will be true to his word.  And that’s more important than all the promises in the world.

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[Image courtesy of shiftingheat. There used to be an image here, but the artist (not the one linked) is being a poopface (read: complete asshole) about credits.  FYI, I'm more than happy to credit your art, but 1) please allow time to do so, i.e. more than a day, and 2) tell me which piece is yours.  I'm too lazy to scour the internets to figure it out, so please help me. :) ]

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On a completely different note…

Google,

I believe in you, and I believe that I would deliver 110% as your Chief Marketing Officer… err… you don’t have a CMO?  Really?  Well, let me get right back to ya on the specific title, all righty?

You embody the right philosophy, and your employees deserve praise for their innovation and dedication.  Together, we can make a better internet.  We can kick Yahoo’s ass and leave victorious.  Now is not the time to withdraw and hide.  We need to dedicate as many resources as possible to this vital threat.  Screw Microsoft, Powerset, Ask, Facebook and the others.  Yahoo’s the real threat.

And let’s make sure Google’s staff has the tools for making more innovations.  We shouldn’t educate them on the best practices for managing a side project/start-up.  Instead, we should verbally dissuade them from making anything new, but let’s make sure they have the tools just the same.

Oh, last thing.  In this ailing economy, Google certainly understands the hardships people are having.  We should pay larger dividends on all Google stock.  Sure, the payout benefits major shareholders and the executive management the most, but it’ll all trickle down.  A payout’s a payout, right?

… Google.  I know with me as your CMO, we will make a brighter internet for tomorrow.  Sure, I’m just two years out of college, but I have been the social director, professional chair and president of multiple clubs.  And heck, I manage a WordPress blog, a Tumblelog and a Twitter.  If that doesn’t make me fit to be CMO, I sure as heck don’t know what will.

Vote fer… err… hire me!

Your patrio… supporter,

Jany

Update: July 6, 2010  Apparently, I didn’t credit the artist (totally not going to pimp him out) for one of the above images.  Apologies.  That image has since been removed (at least I don’t have to deal with him anymore).

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Politics & The History of Marketing

PART I

My last post on the vice presidential debate highlighted the great marketing campaign of the GOP.  I say marketing because many of you pointed out via emails and ims that Sarah Palin, and to some extend John McCain, focuses on broad sweeping statements about some utopian United States without much in the way of a plausible road map.  Well… that’s what worries me most of this campaign, as did the campaign in 2004.

The American people have always held on to great hope for the future.  It’s been the promise of the American dream that’s driven so many people to immigrate to this great country (yes, it’s still great).  And that’s exactly the tactic that the republican party focuses on during election time.  They toy with our optimism, fondle our emotions and make those sweeping generalizations about how their candidate, McCain, will change the U.S. and the middle class for the better.

But so many supporters of the GOP at major corporations and the wealthy.  They hold much more sway over the party than the millions of rural, small town and middle class families.  Can we trust that they will serve us over the rich?  Has the last 8 years taught us nothing?

But the Obama and democratic party actually gives clear goals and action plans that cite the benefits, costs and consequences on the economy, healthcare, social security, foreign affairs, the energy crisis/global warming, etc.

But at the end of the day, as we learned in Made to Stick, the emotional appeal works much more effectively than the factual… right?

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PART II

Well to explain, let’s examine the brief history of marketing [via lessons from my management 101 class at The Wharton School].

Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start – The Sound of Music). Marketing is defined as “an ongoing process of planning and executing the marketing mix for products, services or ideas to create exchange between individuals and organizations.”  Advertising, public relations, research, branding among others all fit under the marketing umbrella.  But marketing is the core strategy that directs all of the above.

New technology = economic growth.  The Industrial Evolution spurred the beginning of mass production.  No longer do we have to make our own clothes because the cotton mills could do it faster and cheaper.  Great!  With Ford’s application of the assembly line, the Model-T was so much more cost effective car that the average American could afford.  Great!  However, there wasn’t much in the way of marketing.  No strategic placement of a product or service, finding market segments, developing a unique selling point.  There was no need.  It’s “any color, as long as it’s black.”

Skip forward to proliferation of the market place.  Developments in transportation, packaging and refrigeration means that people now have a choice in what they want to buy.  These were especially apparent in the CPGs (consumer packaged goods) like Heinz ketchup (“47 varieties!”), Campbell’s soup (“M’m m’m good” since 1935), Coca-Cola (“Deliciously refreshing” 1900) and so many more.  Slogans were a way to set products apart from competitors and a catchy phrase to help advertising and consumer choices.

From there, marketing mutated to a complex machine.  In order to keep things brief (because it gets a lot more complicated), here are some highlights in no particular order.

  • Proctor & Gamble realized that it’s better to cannibalize their own products, if it means gaining more of the marketing.  Just in their family of detergents, they have Tide as a household name and top market brand.  Cheer and Gain, which sorry for not knowing, play somewhere in the mid-cost, mid-performance range.  (I’m sure PG has gigabytes of consumer studies, scanner data and much more market research on the differentiators and market segments under each.  I just don’t know them.)  Then Era at the bottom (which I assume b/c I’ve never heard of it… maybe it has higher market proliferation abroad).
  • Intel evolved into a household name by using both the push and pull strategy.  During a time when chips were a dime a dozen and consumers weren’t aware of what went into their computers, Intel pushed their chips as the top of the line.  More importantly, they pulled consumers in with effective advertising and PR (all part of marketing).  Make sure that your computer has “Intel inside” to guarantee quality, etc.
  • Pepsi, as the newcomer, challenged Coca-Cola with their blind taste test, and stupidly Coca-Cola (instead of leaning on their tradition, branding and established consumer base) fell for the trap.  They came up with New Coke.  Sure… months later with people across the nation hoarding the old stuff and complaining so fervently, Coke came back with Coca-Cola Classic.  But Pepsi had make it’s mark, and they’re still competing with about 50-50 market share (depending on country) of beverages and snack products.  [Side note: some people suspect that Coke had introduced New Coke as a ploy to convince the public how much they really love Coca-Cola.  I think the executives were just idiotic.  Side note #2: Coca-Cola determined a few years ago that there are 27 beverage opportunities in a day.  Yeah, 27.]

Those are just three very quick snapshots of successful marketing techniques and how much marketing’s evolved from “47 varieties!”

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Now every company is trying to differentiate itself.  We have dozens of choices.  Brands are freaking sub-branding, creating off-shoots and variations.  There’s like 12 types of Tylenol ache, cold and flu medicines.  When I’m in pain, I just want “THIS IS THE ONE YOU NEED.”  So advertising’s become less effective.  Direct mail’s also less effective because my mailbox is full of ads I don’t want.  [Discover, unless you're giving me 10% cash back, which I know you can't afford, stop sending me biweekly mail.  I'm not going to accept your 'exclusive offer.']  Telemarketers hounds us all the time.  These annoying marketing techniques work because they’re so cost effective that a few “YES’s” make up for the majority of “NO’s.” [Unfortunately, they also give marketing a bad name.  It's become an industry of shoving shit people don't want down their throats.  Not true marketing: exposing product/service options to audiences who want to know.]

The problem was that companies were offering their guarantees so often that what they say mean nothing to us.  We’re emotional numb to their appeals and no longer trusted their slogans.  At the end of the day, no matter how kitschy or cute the advertising is, if the product/service ain’t work, we ain’t buying it.   So things started to change.

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Remember new technology = economic growth.  Internet = proliferation and democratization of information.  The normal paradigms of advertising, public relations and branding are changing.  Thus, marketing (the planning of such) is evolving as well.

Inventions like TiVo and DVRs help us skip the ads, while companies are trying to find ways to ‘cut through the clutter.’  Marketers are moving online.  Okay, yes, a lot of the bad habits of marketers have moved online.  The flashy, corny banners.  The incessant pop-ups selling us crap and then selling us pop-up blockers.  The spam, even from legitimate companies (you have the money; hire an email-marketer!).

But this is just the beginning.  More and more, word of mouth is playing a role.  Blogs and influencers across the web are popping up and spreading relevant information to interested niches.  Email marketers are popping up with opt-in policies and reassurances that our information isn’t getting sold to the evil spammers.  Semantic search and backend settings allow us to just see ads and banners that may be of interest to us.  Because we do want marketing.  It helps us find out about great sales, the new android phone or 20% off coupons.  We just don’t want what we don’t care about.

So here’s the lesson: marketing works.  Emotionally appealing to audiences works.  BUT.  BUT, there has to be facts that support the emotion.  In order to prevent buyer’s remorse and to keep a customer (which is so much cheaper than acquiring a new one), the product/service has to deliver.

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Part III

Thanks for sticking with me. :-)

Presidential nominations are like laundry detergent.  We have to choose one.

The difference (other than the fact that one is soap and one is people) is that the companies and branding may stay the same, democrats, republicans, independents, etc., but the product changes all the time.  Last time around it was Kerry and Bush.  Now it’s Obama and McCain.  So we can’t rely 100% on past experience to determine which one we want this time.

But we learn from shopping (an everyday task of differentiating among products and choosing what’s right for us) that we have the tools to make those decisions.  For example, we know that we care about the product specs above marketing gimmicks.  As a shoe fanatic (I have the proverbial shoe closet), Manolos would go so much better with my lifestyle brand.  However, they hurt my feet, don’t fit as well and quite frankly, I’d rather save $200 and buy Kate Spades.

The same should go for decisions on candidacy! Yes, I love America.  Yes, I want the government to be for the people again.  Yes, I want someone who isn’t afraid to challenge the authority and be a ‘maverick.’ But that doesn’t mean I’m going to blindly go on my emotions and not look at the FACTS!

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1) I’m SO enraged that the GOP would use a cheesy marketing ploy to try and fool the American people.

2) Even more so, I’m irked that the public would buy into it!

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FACT: Sure, she’s cute and a MILF, but Sarah Palin said exactly 0 about specific plans of the McCain doctrine.

FACT: A ‘blanket’ tax cut helps the rich exponentially more than it helps “the Joe six-packs and hockey moms.”  (see below)

FACT: Obama’s healthcare reform includes a specific plan.  He plans to “make employer contributions more fair.”  HOW? … “by requiring large employers that do not offer coverage or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of their employees health care.”  McCain’s healthcare plan is full of unsupported claims.  “John McCain will reform health care making it easier for individuals and families to obtain insurance.” How?  Not sure… but “Americans [sure] are working harder and longer, yet the amount workers take home in their paychecks is not keeping pace because of rising health care costs.”  Really?  I wasn’t aware.

FACT: Obama’s foreign policy talks about the situations, the factors and multiple influences we have as a country to resolve/strengthen the problem/our position. McCain… doesn’t have “foreign policy” on his website…  Apparently, it’s not that important to him…  The closest thing I found was “national security.”

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Look, I’m not going into all the issues and who said what (all from their websites).  You can do your own research.

The point is that when we’re making such an important decision that affects not only Americans but the entire world, shouldn’t we look above the marketing ploys that tug at our heart strings and get to the not-as-interesting facts?

To answer the first question, wayyyy above: the emotional appeal works much more effectively than the factual… right?

We’ll see.  But it shouldn’t.

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