The End (User)

Kids today: You can't sell them anything

Kids today: You can't sell them anything

Brands that want to continue to have paying customers need to figure out how to market to the next generation.

Lessons from (pizza) pie charts

Lessons from (pizza) pie charts

All I really need to know about marketing I learned on summer vacation.

A story I Cannes share

A story I Cannes share

Branded content is now on the menu at the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes for the first time.

Regarding commerce, e-nough is e-nough

Regarding commerce, e-nough is e-nough

Bizspeak is a way to keep from committing to one path in a constantly changing marketplace.

2012: The year of brand storytelling

2012: The year of brand storytelling

When the year-end wrap-ups come in, 2012 is sure to be labeled the year of the story.

GOP candidates teach me targeting 101

GOP candidates teach me targeting 101

The messaging from political campaigns in a presidential election year is about as close and uncomfortable as actual hand-to-hand combat.

Marketers prolong TV-centric approach

Marketers prolong TV-centric approach

Twice a year, the marketing business pauses in its reinvention to expose its fear of fundamental change and highlight the disconnect that exists between what it says and what it does.

To know me is to target me

To know me is to target me

While privacy concerns are understandable, what most people care about at the end of the day is the price-value equation. They're willing to give up personal information about themselves if it helps a marketer target them more effectively and efficiently. If you can use past behaviors and stated preferences to deliver a better experience and waste less time, go for it.

Twitter-ready insights on marketing follies

Twitter-ready insights on marketing follies

A picture is worth a thousand words, but not every one of my observations is worth a full column. Or so my editors tell me. Most, however, are worth at least 140 characters. With that in mind, and to help ring in 2012, I proudly present my Twitter-ready views, insights, unsolicited tidbits of advice and meaningless random thoughts on the absurdities of modern marketing.

O come, all ye shoppers!

O come, all ye shoppers!

Be my Valentine! Now, let's see what I can buy/purchase/consume to 
express how I feel. A greeting card, for starters, pre-printed with someone else's sentiments, a frilly box of chocolates complete with a picture chart so you can avoid biting into the one with that weird green cream, or a dozen red long-stems.

Street-smart NY storage ads tell it straight

Street-smart NY storage ads tell it straight

Walking the streets of New York City after a recent Sunday brunch, an out-of-town friend delighted in the sight of a woman making her way home in what seemed to be the outfit she had worn out the night before. "That's what I love about New York: the anonymity," my friend said.

Ghost stories go digital

Ghost stories go digital

The campfire analogy. It's about the best definition of social marketing I've heard yet. It comes courtesy of Ashton Kutcher, who isn't only good-looking, famous, successful, wealthy and married to Demi Moore.

Thank goodness for Darla

Thank goodness for Darla

Darla is a customer service rep for American Express. But to me, she is more than that: she is the face, or more precisely, the voice that saved the brand's image in the mind of one loyal longtime cardholder.

Marketing, and other strange languages

Marketing, and other strange languages

Things ain't what they used to be. Once, I could describe myself as a back-page columnist for a monthly magazine. No more. Now, I'm a transmedia storyteller who develops original content for distribution across multiple platforms.

Connecting brand to the bottom line

Connecting brand to the bottom line

Sad as it is to admit, I've probably engaged in several dozen conversations over the years — some rather heated — that revolved around the definition of the word "brand." Occupational hazard, I guess.

On the wings of love: 
An ode to my airline

On the wings of love: 
An ode to my airline

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned: it's been a long time since my last confession. Actually, this one is rather difficult to get out. A bit embarrassing and — to be honest — I can't really believe I'm saying it out loud. Don't judge me.
 I think I like my airline. Stop looking at me like that. It's true, and I don't care who knows it.

Have I told you lately 
that I'm wonderful?

Have I told you lately 
that I'm wonderful?

We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. It's that simple — and that hard. And that inescapable

Let's be direct about it: Junk mail sucks

Let's be direct about it: Junk mail sucks

Direct marketers still spend more time than they like trying to prove to the rest of us that their industry is not populated solely by junk mailers and cheesy infomercial pitches. They have a good case. It can easily be argued, and has, that all marketing in the digital age is direct marketing.

Does this wine go with my social strategy?

Does this wine go with my social strategy?

Do brands need to dabble in social media just to be there, or is presence without relevance more dangerous than absence? This is a question I had been toying with, and one for which my brain wasn't producing any satisfactory answers.

Warning to retailers: Don't clutter my e-mail inbox

Warning to retailers: Don't clutter my e-mail inbox

Just minutes after the ball dropped to usher in the new year, my Blackberry buzzed. I had already hugged or called my closest family and friends but was happy to accept the good wishes of another.

Tech marketers should lose geek speak

Tech marketers should lose geek speak

Across from the desk in my office is a framed black-and-white shot of a veteran Joe DiMaggio and a rookie Mickie Mantle at the old Yankee Stadium.

Best is yet to come ... if marketers build it

Best is yet to come ... if marketers build it

It is a time of intense transition in the music business. New technologies are changing the definition of content and distribution. A young singer competes in a popular show and wins the audience vote. His victory is just the beginning as he is plugged into a marketing machine.

Today's consumer is not a moron; she's my mother

Today's consumer is not a moron; she's my mother

Brands that enable consumer behavior will be rewarded.

Forget loyalty, just get my name right

Forget loyalty, just get my name right

So-called privacy experts wring their hands almost daily about the amount of personal information being harvested by corporations for marketing purposes. But if those companies prove to be as inept at interpreting that data as my least-favorite hotel clerk, consumers have little to worry about.

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