marketing by committee part duex

A few days ago, I was participating in #b2bchat on Twitter. We were discussing corporate blogs and steveology tweeted:

I think ghost blogging can be okay if it is the CEO’s ideas on the page, but ghost tweeting is just stupid.

I responded that “Tweeting by committee is also stupid” which brought a flurry of retweets.

It’s something that I’ve always thought. One of the most popular and trafficked posts I’ve ever written was marketing by committee It struck a chord with many of my readers in the fledgling days of this blog.

It’s always been an issue with marketers. Old school marketing was (is) micromanaged and overthought. We’re seeing the same thing with new platforms.

Engage the team to help build the master marketing game plan. Then let go. Empower your marketing and social media staffs to make the right decisions and let them do it.

marketing haiku

60 has me thinking about haiku for the 1st time since I was in elementary school. He’s issued a challenge for a 3 word haiku. To kill time while I was waiting for uploads this morning, I came up with one about a medical situation in the former Soviet Bloc.

And since 60 and I are both BL fans, I also came up with this one that compares Shatner’s legal and Starfleet careers:

Denny Crane says bye.
And Alan’s farewell is not
“Live Long and Prosper”.

But as my mind struggles for a post — I thought how about some marketing haiku? (Is there such a thing?)

Social Media
provides oppportunity
for market feedback.

TV commercials
are better when you use a
detailed storyboard.

Need to reach Hitland?
FM’s burnin’ up with Hottest Hits
one oh six point seven.

Multiply the columns
by the advertisement height
to get Column Inches.

Billboards are not books.
Interstate drivers fly by.
Use just one idea .

Demographic needs
Millennials and Gen Y.
Facebook and MySpace.

Schedule is a no-no.
You bring swag. I’ll bring ideas.
BarCamp Un-Conference.

Very high Frequency
and the Reach can’t be measured.
Bad Media Plan.

As I write these, the cadence reminds me of past roadside ads:
Driving down the road.
Advertising used to be
fun with Burma Shave.

And might as well throw some haiku ads for myself in the mix (I could use them as Google ads):
A blog that is fun
and has great commentary.
Shotgun Marketing.

Marketing Speaker
for your business meeting.
Keynote Chris Houchens.

How about some marketing bloggers?
Hugh’s cartoons on Gaping Void.
Viral Garden‘s in Alabama.
Jaffe’s stuck in Second Life.

Seth Godin has no hair
Horse Pig Cow Community.
Living Brand Autopsy

You’re next. Place your marketing haikus in the comments.

hey taxi!

Sometimes the product IS the logo. If you’re lucky enough to be caught in that position, don’t mess with it. But bureaucracy is not that smart.

In what is a sure fire example of the crap that can be produced by committee, New York has unveiled a logo for New York taxis.

new york city taxi logo
Never mind that the logo is not needed. They went the extra step to make it hideous.

How can you use three typefaces in only seven characters?

Am I in Boston? Why is the Boston T symbol showing up in the middle?

And as one commenter on a New York Times blog wrote — “it looks like someone used a dime-store stencil.”

The sad part about the whole logo is that it probably started as a good one since the original ideas came from Smart Design, the same group that puts together the smooth designs of Oxo proucts. But, as Tim Manners posted on Reveries, — “Rather than settling on one idea, the committee decided to go with all of them.”

Several more problems are outlined in this New York Times blog post along with commentary and alternative designs from some smart designers.

Welcome to Cicis!

Because I was on that side of town today and needed a quick easy lunch, I found myself inside a CiCi’s Pizza

It’s one of those places that for under 5 bucks, you can pull a chair up to the trough. Their slogan is “The best pizza (slight pause) value anywhere”. That pause is important.

The entire business is founded on 2 core principals – 1) Pizza Crust expands in the stomach and fills you up fast…and 2) Anything off a food service truck can be placed on a pizza.

But as I’m sitting there today trying to get the parmesean from the food service truck to come out of the shaker, I kept hearing the employees yell – “Welcome to Cicis!” – everytime someone came in the door…..and – “Thanks for coming to Cici’s!” – everytime someone left.

Actually, the manager kind of half-heartedly yelled it and the workers kind of joined in off key at the end. It was dependant on how busy they were.

I’m sure the employees at the Cici’s locations near corporate headquarters are very vigilent to make sure they extend hearty and sincere ‘Welcome to Cici’s” just in case one of the suits comes walking in.

But in Bowling Green, Ky? Eh…not so much.

It was annoying….to the customers, to the employees, and even to people who were walking by on the sidewalk.

So why do they continue do it? My guess is that someone at corporate originally thought it was a great idea. The edict went out for employees to do it and now it’s one of those things that no one can stop. You can tell the employees hate it. The customers roll their eyes and snicker at it. But I bet those Cici’s suits at corporate brag about the “hearty welcome our customers get when they enter one of our locations.”

Lots of businesses get away from the fundamentals when there’s a lot of group-think marketing strategy. Once bad practices start popping up in the S.O.P, they become part of the marketing culture. So it’s important to make sure the items you drop in to the mix are sound to start with.

And sometimes it’s good to just do zero-based marketing where you evaluate everything you’re doing with customer relations and ask, “Is this helping or hurting us?”.

Thanks for reading the Shotgun Marketing Blog!!!