It seems like years ago that I created and then uploaded my Online Marketing Document to the Mulley.ie website. Since I uploaded the document six months (ish) ago it’s been downloaded and emailed about 1000 times. It’s been reused by people who might class themselves as competitors, it’s been used as additional reading material in college courses, it’s been linked to by a lot of people, people who needed it found it useful to their business and I generally point it out at every talk and conference I do. Goodwill does come back.
It has also helped me get business, be it as the icing on the cake or the ice-breaker with potential clients. I’d estimate that I’ve gotten at least €10k of business from what is now a slightly out of date document. Given I keep saying giving away your company blueprints gets you business, the document was me putting my money where my gob is. If a company has to hide away knowledge to get business in a world where there are millions of webpages that directly compete with them then they’re losing a battle in a war that’s already lost. A document will never ever replace the knowledge and more importantly skill you have so why make it the lynchpin of a business? This document that I gave away for free has proved to have huge value to me. Interesting, no?
I also hope (it’s just a matter of time and resources) to give away the documentation for the Online PR courses I’ll be doing. Of course this is one strand of doing business, I work my ass off in other areas too which also drive business my way but that’s another blog post in itself.
Chemistry (the makers of the now famous France and the Croke Park box letters) made the recent eircom TV ad that was a response to the Vodafone switching ad. Vodafone had people painting their doors red and the eircom response had people stripping the red off and going back to orange. It’s common in the U.S. but unusual here to see companies directly challenge each other on TV. I don’t watch TV (much) but was told about the ad from friends who really liked it so tracked it down. Part of this promotion from eircom involves sending people in the media and bloggers boomerangs. Clever.
I got eircom to send some questions on to Chemistry about the ad and the replies are below (slightly edited):
Comments attributable to Sinead Cosgrove, Chemistry:
1. Was there a detailed brief for this or were you asked to create an ad in reply to Vodafone’s red door ad?
Our brief was to communicate eircom’s very clear and important message that 55,000 customers had returned to the company in the period 1st September 2008 – 31st August 2009. eircom had also carried out independent research that showed that consumers actually wanted eircom to stand up for itself a bit more. When competitors talk about taking customers from eircom, it gives the impression of a one-way street. It isn’t.
Vodafone’s latest campaign very clearly stated intent to target eircom customers. The eircom campaign is not just directly targeting Vodafone but rather is an example of eircom standing up for itself which according to independent research is what customers wanted. It also presents a balanced and true view that while customers have left, they return for real value and great service. We made the message engaging by deliberately being a bit tongue-in-cheek in our execution of the advert.
1 b. How did you come up with the idea for it?
Due to the requirement for a quick turnaround we brainstormed rather than worked to a formal briefing process. Part of how we came up with the idea was because we knew that consumers wanted to see eircom take a stance. We wanted to find an engaging way of responding to the general “sniping” from competitors but know that the manner in which you do this bears different significance for the consumer: too much aggression and bickering turns the consumer off; blow your own trumpet and you risk coming across as both arrogant and irrelevant. We knew that we had goodwill in spades from the consumer and that this was due, in large part, to eircom’s reputation for better service levels (which is partly why 55,000 people came back to eircom). We wanted to take this goodwill from the consumer and build it into something that they would recognise and engage with. Humour and simplicity of message helped land the tone we were looking for.
1c. How many times did those doors get painted at this stage?
This is a very famous street and many advertisers have used it because it has houses that are both characteristic and uniform. We only actually painted two of the doors, the rest were colour-changed in post production.
2. What was the turnaround for the ad? Perhaps I’m wrong but it seemed to come rapidly after Vodafone brought theirs out
The advert was conceived and turned around within a week. Using the “Doors” in the execution meant that we could be very clever, tactical and humourous in taking on our critics and competitors.
3. Was this purely for TV or is it to be seen in other media too?
This campaign included TV and press advertising as well as online banners and direct mail activity
4. What was the feedback like for this?
So far the feedback for this campaign has been extremely positive.
Word Snatch. This is a friend’s Facebook App. Installing it for the name alone.
Owner of a second home or a first? Click2 launched this week, the site brings owners of residential rental accommodation together with local authorities to procure accommodation for the social housing schemes of the Department of The Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Congrats to the folks in RaboDirect.ie who were namechecked and screenshotted at the Forrester Research EMEA 2009 in London this week.
Totally guilty of many of these myself, please do add your own. Maybe this could be a drinking game instead? It’s good to reference some events but there are billions of people online. I think we can find more “stories” then the same ones we nick from Slideshare each day.
Markets are conversations
Age Profile of Twitter, Facebook, Blogs
x amount of hours are uploaded every hour, day Link to the laughing babies
Rollerskating babies and viral nature
That bloody dancing down the aisle video to Chris Brown
Will It Blend?
Hudson Plane Crash
The Big Switch
Ashton Kutcher racing CNN
George Hook on Twitter
Michael Jackson death
I was meant to be in Qatar this week attending the World Innovation Summit for Education but ended up staying in Ireland. While planning to be away I asked some people if they wanted to do a guest blog post here. People who don’t blog themselves or haven’t blogged in a while. John Peavoy has volunteered this post:
Work, work, work
The recent videoblog from Chris Brogan really struck a chord with me, and not all in a positive way. It is certainly our choice, but entrepeneurs and “career persons” frequently spend many days and nights far away from home and our families. One of my first bosses – a man of 30+ years in the sales business often wondered aloud if this was the main reason his first marriage failed.
So what am I trying to say here? Is balance possible where workaholics are concerned? Well, I’m a 110% dedicated individual – don’t do things in half measures, and sometimes that can be difficult to control. Work can get all-consuming and if I don’t do it, then no-one will… Many of us know that feeling… Is being a workaholic a personal trait, or is it cultural? I think it’s a combination of both.
20 hour days where necessary; weekend working; early mornings and/or late nights; stress; always striving…. I’m sure many of you see yourselves in this model, no matter what your business. And it’s even more pronounced when you’re self employed and/or a business owner, and don’t have the regular monthly corporate salary.
So balance is difficult.
What’s the cost? Less time with our families and friends; health concerns; stress; less time to enrich our lives with reading, culture etc.
Sometimes we need to stand back and evaluate.
Sometimes those 3 hour lunches (thanks @loic & @arrington) are needed. And shock/horror, you may even develop a strong business relationship out of it.
Sometimes you just need to say “No” to work.
Sometimes you need to make a choice and put yourself and/or your family first.
Sometimes we need to smell the roses…..
FourSquare has an API out. Never knew there already existed a WordPress Foursquare plugin. This FourSquare API is going to make things a whole lot more fun. As Drew points out, it was the API that helped grow Twitter and do all sorts of weird and weirder things (and business productive things!) and with all things Internetty now, the network you are connected to is/are more intelligent and creative than you.
Still referencing Drew, I like his suggestion about unlocking bonus/points discounts if you try something different on the menu. Game theory like I mentioned in the last FourSquare post. Perhaps too have secret menus for FourSquare. In and Out burger have a secret menu (though not so secret) and mixing rewards with special actions could be a good way of utlising the API.
I’d love to see maps of caffeine flow and see how far people travel for food and what places people travel most too. Lots of fun and also a stalker’s dream.
The announced layoffs in the UK appear to have also happened in Ireland. Philip from Bebo announced on his Facebook Profile that he is to leave. He was Head Of Sales Ireland/country manager. Generator also mention this on their Twitter and say he finishes November 25th. Big big shame to see Philip go. Bebo really needs people on the ground in Ireland if they are to do business in the country that has the biggest Bebo penetration (per net user) in the world.