Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Coming up in online marketing thingys…

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Free Online Marketing event in Dublin on Tuesday morning. “Using the Internet for Profit and Political Gain” – X-factor style free business event. Tues, 19 Jan 8.00-9.30am at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin 4.

On Thursday there’s a webinar (no it’s not something durty) on social media from 4pm to 5pm. Being a webinar you can log in from home or the work desk. It’s free, leave it on in the background if needs be.

Online PR training course is on January 23rd. It’s booked out and over capacity but the notes are going to be released after.

Business Blogging in Cork is on Jan 25th. Places still left.

Social Media Unspun is on February 4th. If you want your Irish case study to be included in the talk, let me know.

February 24th is the Digital Festival.

Business communications Bible – A what now?

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

The idea for a Communications bible came from the way some TV shows operate. They create a “Bible” for the show that describes the limits/boundaries of the universe where the show exists. It will cover the characters, their backstory and importantly their motivations. The idea being that when a writer is putting a script together the characters don’t do something that is out-of-character and it keeps continuity. (Yes it does sound bullshitty but it works!)

This is the Bible for Batman the animated series, this is the bible for Battlestar Galactica. (PDF)

As a business, what you want is a bible to show how your organisation communicates internally and externally and the limits of your staff and what they are able to do. The endgame for this communications bible could be to generate sales of your products, to increase awareness of what your company does, to improve a shitty reputation or to just make your interactions with customers better. You chose what you want.

Your Customer Profile

To interact with your customers well, you need to understand what they want from you but also what motivates them before, during and after the interactions with them. Good salespeople are those who understand people (not businesses) and can relate to them. Some questions to consider:

Who are your customers?

  • What are the different type of profiles for them? CEO, CTO, office staff, field engineers etc.
  • How do they “meet” your product/company? Via your sales team, exhibitions, online via blog and Twitter?
  • How do they use and reuse your products?
  • How long will the product for? Use once, use it daily, buy but not use?
  • How do you encourage them to use the product?
  • How do you convert (looking at diff profiles you listed) into a customer? – expert, impulse buyer, friend of a friend, online visitor … each one needs a different form of engagement.
  • What is there daily work life like? Will they talk about your products when in the office or on break?
  • How do you deal with people who realise your prodcuts are not for them? They can’t go away without something from you…


There are plenty of people who will contribute to the success of your business while never being a customer or spending a penny with you. They include journalists, politicians, fans, business leaders and your competition to name but a few. How do you tell your story to journalists, how do you know what to give them that they’ll find interesting? What is so great about your business (this includes remarkable staff) that makes non-customers want to go and encourage their friends to use you?

Figuring these “characters” out before we start communicating with them will make our jobs much easier. The hard work for communications is the prep and figuring out what to communicate. The action of communicating is the easy part. You don’t tell a potential million dollar investor how the decision engine under your web app is built for example but maybe you do tell the tech reporter.

What’s your story:

  • What does your company do?
  • (fit the answer in a Tweet too)
  • What is the story about your business that you know will be spread the most? e.g. a funny case study that makes someone want to retell the story again and again?
  • Why are your products needed?
  • How did you bring this idea together?
  • How is my world/the world better with this product?
  • How will it make my community better even if I’m not a customer? (Sometimes non-customers can evangelise the most)
  • Who are the team?
  • What are their backgrounds?
  • What do they do?


You now need to figure out the way a customer, now knowing their motivations, will contact you, what they could potentially ask and how it gets dealt with. Consider the numbers of ways one type of customer will contact and what they want and the number of people who could take in the request. Quite a lot of variations and so there is potential to drop the ball or communicate something badly.

Potential interactions:

  • Direct phone contact
  • Email contact
  • CEO met someone at a party, told you to ring her
  • Comment on a blog
  • Twitter message
  • How do you explain your product to Denis O’Brien who you meet in an elevator and have 90 seconds to explain it?

This idea of a Communications Bible will be covered more at the Online PR Course on the 23rd.

Digital Festival, Dublin, Feb 24th 2010

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

There’s a conference on digital/social/earned media called “The Brainfood Store – Digital Festival” being run on February 24th. I got an email about it from the organisers. There seems to be a whole heap of these out there at the moment but there are three fantastic speakers that caught my attention:

Peter Kim, Managing Director, the Dachis Group.
Shel Israel, author – Naked Conversations & Twitterville.
Russell Davies, organiser of Interesting, blogger, author.

Tickets are €275 until January 31st, then they go up. I’m happily paying that to see these guys. I’ve seen Shel and Russell talk before, Russell’s blog is one of the blogs I click on first thing each morning and Peter’s company is changing the way businesses work by changing the way they communicate internally and externally.

OpenHW Audience
Photo owned by psd (cc)

Mulley events for January 2010

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Mulley events coming up this month.

The Marketing Institute Cork has a Marketing @ Night event on Thursday 14th January, 6pm . I’ll be giving a talk on business/marketing online.

On January 15th, staying in Cork I’ll be at the Press Council Privacy Seminar talking about: Blogging and Privacy. Jury’s Hotel, Western Road, 2pm onwards. Can’t find anything on their site.

I’m giving a free Online PR course in Dublin on the 23rd. Booked out. Queue of 40 for anyone that drops out. Stay tuned though as I’ll be making all the documentation for it free to download.

I’ve been asked to do a business blogging training course in Cork so that’s on the 25th. Limited spaces as it’s a workshop too. Takes place in Cork Airport International Hotel.

On the 27th I’m giving a talk at the Cork Chamber of Commerce on the usual suspects.

and 25 years later

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Excerpt from David Ogilvy’s book on advertising:

There have always been noisy lunatics on the fringes of the advertising business. Their stock-in-trade includes ethnic humor, eccentric art direction, contempt for research, and their self-proclaimed genius. They are seldom found out because they gravitate to the kind of clients who, bamboozled by their rhetoric, do not hold them responsible for sales results. Their campaigns find favor at cocktail parties in New York, San Francisco and London but are taken less seriously in Chicago. In the days when I specialized in posh campaigns for The New Yorker, I was the hero of this coterie, but when I graduated to advertising in mass media and wrote a book which extolled the value of research, I became its devil. I comfort myself with the reflection that I have sold more merchandise than all of them put together

I had this quote in draft before I read about the 15,000+ social media experts on Twitter. Last night at the mini-nerdfest in Cork we chatted about that and the number of people out there coaching, empowering and facilitating companies to get into the social media lark. Hell, Mulley Communications made most of their turnover in 2009 from training and mentoring in social media like blogging, Facebook and to a small degree, Twitter. Though I’ve mostly encouraged companies not to take Twitter seriously until they get their web basics right to start with.

For a company to spend resources on any of this, they have to have goals and objectives to measure too. So while some of the social media ninjas (seriously they call themselves that) will tell you that in social media you can’t measure objectives and to enjoy your new emperor-like clothes or others tell you that once you get a social media certificate you have free reign to be an idiot online as you have your badge, there are growing numbers of people who will tell you the reality.

Everything must go
Photo owned by janetmck (cc)

This is a whole new world to most business people so they’ll latch on to people who call themselves experts and gurus that give them a checklist on how to appear genuine online (one such millionaire social media guru has such a list). It’s lazy by the business people to do this but they’re used to buying in communication skills and shortcuts. They might get burned and they’ll react badly but as all of the hype normalises and social media is as background as email then many of these shysters will disappear or more likely will attach themselves to the next hype curve. WAP experts, Y2K consultants, SEO experts, Twitter coaches will always be around in some form and many of them will be quite rich.

Closed businesses always react badly to change, miss the boat and then pay handsomely to catch up while still being afraid of the future and of course there are groups always willing to prey on that. 25 years since the above quote and it’s cycle after cycle. So maybe we shouldn’t react to the social media gurus who will be social business gurus in two years but instead react to closed-minded businesses that fuel this?

Santa: Believe but don’t believe all

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Rejected by Alexia for her Selection Box series.

Proud drinking in public ticketholders
Photo owned by Tirch (cc)

Do you know that Apple and Steve Jobs have modeled themselves on Santa? Fact. Steve did in his eye go to India and come back enlightened, he was in the North Pole. It’s not Steve Jobs that’s the best CEO and marketer around. It’s King Fatty himself and his Santa Corp. Creaming billions every year while being outside of the law. Even NORAD clear the skies for him.

The greatest trick the devil played was convincing the world he didn’t exist. So said some shortarse famous actor in some awful film. Santa Corp exists, is pretty much as bad as the mafia yet nobody does anything about it. How’s that for owning the market?

Some facts:

  • Santa Corp controls their comms very very strongly. What’s the last negative thing you’ve heard about Santa apart from being fat? Steve Jobs’ secrecy and paranoia is merely a milquetoast version of this.
  • Santa gets the kids and the adults to market his product, building an air of mystery. Yeah forget the Apple Tablet and all that. Santa Corp is hype central, again, Apple making their customers do their marketing is not a new thing.
  • Elves are real. In a squint your eye kind of way. Pretty much starved and inbred natives of the arctic circle who have been working in icey sweatshops for decades. China and Apple ain’t got nothing on this guy. Outsourced assembly is Santa Corp mastery.
  • North Pole? Tax haven. Centuries ahead of Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein and even Ireland. Google might dump their profits in Ireland but there’s no tax at all up frosty way.
  • Tech support? Haha. No email, no phone number, no IEDR style fax. They only receive handwritten letters and only from kids sending requests. All other chimAir letters are shredded and used as bedding for the reindeers. While Apple got close with their brainwashing that everything is fine, even when the machine spits oil at you, people still get refunds and replacements from Apple. Money only goes into Santa Corp.
  • Santa is 157 years old. 5 livers, 12 kidneys, 23 facelifts and niptucks. 2 livers Steve? Catch fucking up you veggie freak and eat some reindeer and the odd elf.

Merry Christmas you …

Blogs are bad, online marketing is bad, so get a cert!

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

We already know that blogging is dead, the paper that asks or takes from blogs said so.

Now an “expert” has said that online marketing is something to have a Father Ted like attitude to. “Careful there”. Anne Keogh is former managing director of and currently management consultant to the DJ Carey Group and is quoted as saying this in the Biz Post: ‘‘Only 25 per cent of business in Ireland is done online and so if you are spending a lot of your time on Twitter and Facebook, you are quite possibly wasting your time”. In the new connected world concentrating on the Irish market is where it’s at right? So stay off the net and back to the fax and telex. Fuck. Me.

So get yourself a social media certificate to sort it all. Adrian (I’ll just ref [short for reference, yah I’m cool] his first name as that makes it seem like we are on first name terms) outlines reasons for getting your social media cert. Do remember MulleyGlobalMegaCorpComms is giving away a free one for free. For free. Premium editions are in Comic Sans.

Using YouTube in Ireland to market your product/service

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

You might have seen the stats going around about usage of YouTube in Ireland with 131,000 Irish people using it daily. They do a lot of searches and watch a lot of videos. Right now hardly any companies see YouTube as a way to market their products or services but it is being used very well in other countries and will only be a matter of time before it is used here. Much like Google Ads show up at the side of search results, “Promoted” aka sponsored videos show up on the right hand side when you search for certain topics. Like so:

YouTube Promoted ads in Ireland

Last week Google/YouTube switched on promoted videos for Ireland. While Irish companies were already running marketing campaigns on YouTube, many were doing so by using an American credit card and postal address due to silly Google rules. (The web is global dearest Google) So now you can promote your business using video inside in YouTube. This might be a handy way of giving an initial push for a new ad you put online and where momentum and virality will spread it after a short period, meaning you save money.

While Americans can do this via YouTube itself, us lot have to use the Google Adwords interface to do it. Still it’s pretty easy.

Sign in to AdWords
Create a new ad, choosing “Display Ad Builder”.
Inside in Display Ad Builder, go to “Video” and choose the “YouTube Promoted Videos” template.

YouTube Promoted ads in Ireland

Choose the text that will be used to describe your video.
Choose your video.

Like everything else Google Ad wise, you can pay per click for this. You can also send them to your YouTube channel and see can you convert them into subscribers thus building a longterm relationship with people. You don’t need high productions values either. Do cheap videos with a Zi6/Zi8 or a mobile.

A low-cost hotel means more money for food

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

So I’m in Galway and I’m staying in Flannery’s hotel. 40 quid a night at the moment and a fairly decent WiFi connection. Given I’m here on business, I have a daily budget for accommodation and food. With the money saved on the hotel I’m spending it on food. Once again I went to Cava tonight and for 30 quid got some tapas which comprised of:

Gazpacho soup:

Salted cod cakes with lemon mayonnaise:

Lamb’s heart with pork and chorizo:

oh and pistachio ice cream:

and Flannery’s has been refurbished the past few years so comfortable spacious rooms aplenty. After forking over €150 for rooms in some dodgy London hotels, this is a steal. And I won’t apologise for the constant foodporn people see on my Facebook.

Ireland’s sweet tooth

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Some facts from the Business Post today:

  • Ireland’s chocolate market is the 12th biggest in Europe and is Britain’s biggest confectionery export market.
  • Cadbury’s Dairy Milk has been Ireland’s favourite chocolate for more than 75 years, bought by more than 60% of the population and is Ireland’s number one confectionery brand.
  • The Mars Bar is the number one filled bar.
  • Maltesers is the number one cinema brand.
  • Tayto holds a 28.4 per cent share of the crisps market.
  • King Crisps holds an 11.6 per cent share of the crisps market and is the number one crisp by pack sales in the capital.
  • Hunky Dorys is the number one crinkle cut crisp, with a 13.4 per cent share of the market.
  • Harvest Fare is Ireland’s leading nut range.
  • Doritos and Sensations are number one and number two sharing bags in Ireland.
  • The gum and mints market is worth €53.4 million annually, with Wrigley holding a 76.5 per cent value share.
  • Nestlé Rowntree is the number one brand in impulse sugar confectionery.

I love the terminology used.

Peppermint Everything Cupcake
Photo owned by norwichnuts (cc)