At least the Egyptian ones were useful

So here’s the deal…I have posted my speaking demo/commercial both on Google Video and on You Tube thinking that the viral nature of the beast might result in a speaking gig somehere….or at the very least, a visit to my website.

Imagine my delight and thoughts of how the viral system works when I get a call yesterday morning…
“Saw your video on YouTube and I thought we might be able to work together”

We spoke for about 15 minutes…He seemed impressed with my credentials…He said his organization needed help with “marketing”. I asked for information about his business so I could send him a speaking proposal. He said he would send me an email with the info and a link to his website.

I get the email today.

Pyramid Scheme.

Apparently, my future lies in the world of “speaking” to people to get them to “market” the health-giving juice of this tropical plant.

Now, there are scams all over the internet. There always has been. We should all be able to retire on the Nigerian money by now.

Here’s the lesson for marketers and anyone involved in trying to make an honest buck on the internet:: As we head into this new OPEN world of “web2.0”, beware.

The innovators and early adopters who had compuserve email accounts in the early 90’s thought that email was world-changing. And it was. However, by the time the majority of people had email accounts, spam had taken hold. It made it less useful and has almost ruined the original vision.

The spammers and schemers followed us into email and they’re now following us into blogs, wikis, viral video, etc….faster than they did into email. By the time the majority of people catch up to web2.0, will the original vision we’re talking about today be distorted by the crap? Will it be as useful as we’re building it to be?

Brilliant Marketeer

Flattery will get you everywhere….especially with viral video. This email and link made my Monday morning.

Shotgun Marketing Blog Reader Howard Mann sends the following email….

Hi Chris,

I’m a big fan of your blog. Your latest post “4 8 15 16 23 42” shared a similar theme to a project we launched just last week so I thought you would get a kick out of it. It’s an animated movie/song called “The Brilliant Marketeer”. The twist is that the star of the movie comes from a picture the viewer uploads.

So.. Here it is using the pic from your blog. Presenting Chris Houchens, The Brilliant Marketeer – http://a.muglets.com/CA-10CHJ-A

Hope you enjoy and thanks again for sharing your thoughts and ideas through your blog. Best regards, Howard

I’ve got some weird hair in the video, my voice is a little high-pitched, and I seem to have lost some weight….but this is fabulous.

The cool thing (other than being in the video) is the theme that Howard picked up in my 4 8 15 16 23 42 post about the decline of traditional media and RELEVANCE of ad messages. Marketers are going to have to start using these new tools of marketing. If you’re a marketer who is Web2.0, you should definitely make your own Brilliant Marketeer video and include in your online resume.

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Paving Cowpaths

AdJab reports that Chevy is having trouble with some consumer created content for the Chevy Tahoe.

Users were given some audio and video collateral to work with and given the opportunity to piece them together as they saw fit. Well I don’t think they quite anticipated what might result from giving the kids the keys to the car, so to speak. At least three examples have been found of ads that use the Tahoe as background for rants against the war in Iraq, the dependence of the U.S. on foreign oil and more.

Whoops.

Consumer generated content because people are fans is fabulous news for any company. As happens more often than not though is that the company tries to pull more golden eggs out of the goose than they should….and the goose bites back.

Corporate marketers are seeing what is happening now that the old media barriers are coming down. They’re trying to get in on it and shove it into the traditional forms. What comes out is stuff like Captain Morgan’s blog and this.

Don’t try to herd the cattle. Pave the cowpaths.

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Ain’t Gonna Be Banner Ads

A caveat before I begin this post – He who looks into the crystal ball…eats glass.

An updated forecast from JMP Securities says that online media will account for more than $1 of every $10 spent for advertising by 2010.

Mmmm…seems like you should go ahead and put together an online media buy for 2006-2010. Be ahead of the curve! But, I think you’d be wrong.

We’re used to looking at past indicators to gauge future perfomance. For example, take TV…
The smart company in the late 1940’s and early 50’s would have sunk all their ad money into TV as it was starting to explode. The problem is that with the exceptions of color, cable, and DVR…the basic TV model is still pretty much the same as it was in the 50’s…shows, advertising, primetime, etc. The advertising media buy that worked in 1958 still worked in 1988.

Now look at the Internet…Does today’s web look like the one in 2000?…or the one in 1995? While we’re moving (have moved) into Web2.0, I will venture to say that Web3.0 will come even faster.

The point is that you can no longer look at what has worked in the past for advertising and expect it to work in the future. But, that’s always been somewhat of a given.

Here’s the new truth for marketing. You can no longer look at what’s just starting to work now and expect it to work in the future. Largely, because “the future” is changing much faster than it used to.

In today’s marketing world, long term predictions are now useless.

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Blog Power

A while back I made a great point (if I do say so myself) that Blogs are not Mainstream…yet.

And I still stand by that post.

For the vast masses of most consumers…blogs and the idea of open source marketing are just starting to pop up on the radar. We’re still way over on the left side of the adoption curve for the general population. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Blog PR (or the newly coined “BR”) should now be a part of any successful marketing campaign for any product. But, for the most part, you can’t ride blog marketing all the way to the bank…with one exception.

If your product exists only on the web…or is a very tech-heavy product, blogs are super powerful. I say this because I have seen it blossom recently.

Tara “Miss Rogue” Hunt has been a friend of this blog for a few months. Over those few months, I’ve seen her use a blog to get a job with a SFO internet start-up…and then use blogs to propel that start-up to blogosphere star status. In the past few days, Riya has been in the top ten search results on Technorati and has been the focus of Memeorandum.

I’m sure Tara would say that some of it was dumb-luck…the Google rumor…and then there was the “incident”, but overall it is an example of the blogosphere causing The Tipping Point…and a fabulous example of solid marketing. Congrats to Tara for a great job.

It’s also a barometer of things to come. While blogs are not mainstream…yet, we’re now seeing the shift.

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Medieval Venture Capitalists

Here’s a little history lesson for you…

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1436, entrepreneurs rushed to find venture capitalists to fund massive libraries and bookstores to hold all those books.

  • Pets Library was dedicated to all those peasants with expendable income for their pets
  • Amazon Bookstore was set up to actually sell some of those books
  • L-toys bookstore tried reach children before they died of the plague
  • L-Trade Library attempted to help the nobles do their own investments
  • And a huge number of other libraries and bookstores popped up as well

Then a few years later, only a small number of those businesses still existed. It turns out that a large majority of the peasantry didn’t know how to read. The libraries and bookstores that did make were barely making a profit. All the analysts said that the initial push was a book “bubble”. After the bubble, many businesspeople no longer wanted to create a good book strategy for their businesses. They thought the whole “printed word” thing would pass and they’d be fine with bartering for pigs and goats. Eventually, the printing press became an obsolete relic of the past.

Of course, it didn’t happen that way. And it’s far-fetched fantasy to think that it did. But, I have clients all the time who have the opinion that they don’t need the internet.

The Internet will change the world as much or more than the printed word did….and it will do it faster.

Think about it. The printing press was invented in the mid 1400s. Bibles were the first mass product it created…but literacy and the ability to afford books for the masses didn’t really start until the late 1700s and early 1800s. That’s 300 to 400 years for the juicy middle part of the adoption curve.

It’s been 15 years since the Internet started to be used commercially. Where’s the “literacy” level (knowledge/ability to get online) and affordability (for both connectivity and ability to purchase) for the masses now?

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