Where I’ll Be (in non-avatar mode)

It’s going to be a busy spring. One event I was not planning on attending is now on the agenda; another two possible events are now non-happenings. So, if you’d like to meet in real life, here’s where I’ll be over the next few months:

sociallearningMasie Center’s Social Learning Lab, Saratoga Springs, NY, March 11-12

This will be an exploration of how social media is impacting the worlds of learning and training. Since much of my consulting work is in pharma training, AND I’m heavily involved in social media, this should be a very interesting time of discovery.

sxsw2009SXSW (South by Southwest), Austin, TX, March 13-17

Just decided to go to this one, and taking my 20-year old son Nate with me, who has a strong interest in a film career. Looking forward to lots of networking with friends new and old, and hoping to see Nate make valuable contacts and grow his knowledge and network.

Austin is one city I’ve never visited. This should be a lot of fun!

spbtlogoSPBT (Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers), Chicago, IL, May 11-14

Have attended and presented at this event for many years; this year will help lead 2 workshops, on Building your own Opportunity Network, and Managing Vendors and Projects. Always a great time of interacting with my core pharma audience and friends.

marketingprofs-sm1MarketingProfs Business to Business Forum, Boston, MA, June 8-9

Had planned to attend this one last year and got waylaid by life circumstances – really looking forward to joining Ann Handley and the gang for this one.

You can expect varying levels of live-blogging and live-twittering at all these events, which could get rather annoying, depending on your level of interest and your reservoir of patience. Let me know if you’re going to be present at any of these conferences so we can meet up!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 022709

From deep in the heart of Texas, the sun has risen on Five in the Morning for Friday. Cam Beck, he of Chaos Scenario blogging fame, has taken the reigns today to point us to 5 Friday posts – thanks, Cam!

Cam is one of the those bloggers that I’ve had the privilege to meet in real life, and I like him thoroughly – even if our first attempt to use ooVoo to communicate on-line was done with sign language, since he didn’t have a microphone handy!

Visit his blog to subscribe, and follow the Cam Man on Twitter @cambeck

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 022509

mike_sansoneFive in the Morning decamped from NJ today to take a quick visit to none other than IOWA. Mike Sansone, that partriarch of Mid-America bloggers, that mentor of many, Chief Conductor at the Conversation Station and Founder of PaneraU, volunteered to find us five gems this morning. Go and see.

Mike is one of nicest guys I’ve pre-met (still haven’t met face-to-face!) via social networking, and if you’re not connected to him yet, be sure to subscribe to his blog when you’re there, and follow him on Twitter at @mikesansone.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 022409

Seth Godin, on the milestone of his 3,000th blog posts, considers himself the “luckiest guy” – and, lets everyone know that the first 2,500 are the hardest! If you like what he does, send him a note of congratulations (seth at squidoo dot com).

Marketing Basics: Conversation. An excellent summary and set of links from that folliclly-challenged Texas marketer, Jay Ehret.

Top Documentary films – an interesting on-line resource for your viewing pleasure. Hat tip: Director Tom Clifford.

Your Pitch Sucks? An interesting service provided by Jim Kukral and a team of PR pros. I like this business model – using on-line tools to rapidly offer distributed, scalable, on-demand expertise. In this case, in the much-needed area of creating GOOD press releases! My question for some of you: can you create a similar business model in your niche area of expertise?

Tom Peters. From Action to Excellence. 57 very pithy points.

————-

Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog

Connect with Steve Woodruff

(Image credit – created via Spell with Flickr)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 022309

fivelettersThis morning, let’s talk a little bit about ego, selling, and success…

How to Sell with a Clear Conscience – This is great stuff to mull over if you’re involved in selling in any way. It took me many years to grasp my selling “style”. From the Men with Pens blog.

Self-Promotion Reluctance – Karen Swim explores the theme of hesitancy to self-promote in Caressing you Softly with my Song. Self-promotion begins with a belief that we are capable. Your dreams will never come true if you don’t take the steps to make them happen. You may sing like an angel, but no one will know if you never open your mouth and let your voice be heard.

Copyblogger discusses Jack Welch – What a Cocky CEO can teach you about World-Class Blogging. What was the key to his success? Certainly more than one factor contributed to it. But if I was to name one singular and solitary reason for his dominance I’d say it’d have to be his philosophy to cut any businesses that GE couldn’t be #1 or #2 in…How can this idea help you in blogging? Easy. Figure out what market you can enter where you are guaranteed to be #1 or #2.

From Mashable: Does Social Media make us better people? My take: It certainly can, if we use it properly – and, as the blog posts suggests, the instant exposure of social media can help throttle down bad behavior. But people are people, and I think we’ll always see a mix of goodness and folly in any method of communicating.

Here’s a minimalistic Twitter Rule Book. Is it really just…all about you? What do you think? Agree? Disagree? From Danny Brown. And while we’re thinking about Twitter, here’s how Kris Colvin is using it (7 Habits!) to succeed in business.

Finally – if you know people involved with corporate training, can you help me out with something?

Oh, and btw…Fast Company has a nice new look. Check it out.

————-

Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog

Connect with Steve Woodruff

(Image credit – created via Spell with Flickr)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Ten in the Morning 022009

cbwFive in the Morning gets super-sized today – we have 2 guest-bloggers contributing posts, to make it Ten in the Morning (some of you late sleepers really like this thought…!)

First up, some posts from the usual geographical area of north Jersey – but guest-hosted by blogging colleague CB Whittemore. One of my favorite people whom I’ve met through social media, Christine is an active community participant and a whole lot of fun to tweet next to at a conference. She’s also known to hand out pink pens.

So, go see what link-goodness CB has for us today – and while you’re there, be sure you subscribe to her blog, and don’t forget to follow her on Twitter (@cbwhittemore)!

olivier-blanchardAnd, as if that’s not enough, the loquacious Olivier Blanchard gives us a handful of his finds, over at the Brand Builder blog. South Carolina blogger/marketer/aspiring photographer, Olivier is a great guy to follow – and if you want to know a whole bunch more about him, and mascot Chico, this is your spot. GO visit his blog, and find him on Twitter at @thebrandbuilder.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

After Hours Friday

Endless Interestingness – an endless collage of images pulled from Flickr. Cool idea. Hat tip: Guy Kawasaki.

The Crisis of Credit visualized. What happened to our financial markets? This simple, entertaining, and informative animation explains the blow up. Well worth a few minutes of your time. Hat tip: David Armano.

The “blog” of “unnecessary” quotation marks. Fun pictures of a “real annoyance”.

The Top 25 things you didn’t know about Facebook’s Terms of Service (will only be understood by Facebook users!)

Can you help me try something new?

With this request, I’m seriously going to eat my own dog food. Let me explain.

opportunitywebI’ve got two parallel networking endeavors going. One pays the bills – that’s my pharmaceutical consultancy (Impactiviti), through which I help pharmaceutical clients find ideal vendor/partners (mostly for sales training). My business model: I’m the walking eHarmony of pharma outsourcing!

The parallel universe of my marketing/branding/social media involvement is actually a hobby (so to speak), though I have sought to build this network with the idea of potential business at some point down the road, in some form or another. An Opportunity Network.

As it turns out, some of the corporate training vendors that are now part of my Impactiviti Preferred Partner Network have offerings that are quite valuable outside the pharmaceutical industry. I’ve confined my efforts to pharma thus far, but feel that it’s time to start reaching out to my broader community and see if there’s some “matchmaking” that can occur in lots of other industries that need training programs.

Here’s the deal. Do you know of people in corporate training who are responsible for identifying vendor/providers for training solutions? If so, I may be able to help in some specific areas. Here’s a post on my Impactiviti blog about one exciting solution that can be used in all sorts of situations. And here’s a list of other areas where I know of great providers:

  • Diversity/Sexual Harassment training
  • Negotiation skills/Sales Negotiation/Selling Higher
  • Speaker/Communication/Presentation training
  • Business Acumen
  • Compliance/Ethics
  • Coaching/Managing/Interviewing skills
  • Gaming
  • Simulation Development (off-line and on-line)
  • Audience Response Systems
  • Learning Management Systems
  • On-line Assessment Systems
  • Custom eLearning development
  • Webcasting/Video streaming
  • Event Management

If you, your colleagues, or your clients have needs in these areas, would you please send them my way (stevew at impactiviti dot com)? I’ll be glad to make targeted recommendations with some very talented and proven providers. Thanks for being part of my network – maybe we can do good and do business together at the same time!

Seriously Impressed: HootSuite

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to software/services and user design, I’m very hard to please. Chalk it up to years of wrestling with software from all the way back in the early DOS days to the bleeding-edge present – AND from working with technology and software development firms.

hootsuiteSo when I say I’m seriously impressed with HootSuite (formerly known as Brightkit, which was an awful name) that’s no light recommendation.

I’ve struggled with Twitter productivity tools over the past year, trying to streamline, simplify, and maximize my use of Twitter as a resource-sharing platform and communication engine. TweetDeck, for me, solved the problem of managing the Twitterstream through a flexible (desktop) client interface – it’s a great tool, getting better by the month, and I loved it right after Iain Dodsworth put it out for launch.

But I also make use of timed tweets (to share resources across different time sectors – I do most of my information gathering and publishing early in the morning). And, I like the automation of using one-click toolbar tools to rapidly create a tweet on the fly. Plus, I enjoy auto-shrinking or URLs into trackable mini-links.

I have used TweetLater extensively for timed tweets but found its interface cluttered and difficult. BigTweet is a great toolbar app that lets you actually create 240-character tweets (if desired) and splits them into two tweets – nice. TwitPwr, bit.ly, all the other URL shrinkers and trackers – been there, done that (I do like how bit.ly allows you to create a custom-spelled URL instead of nonsense characters if desired).

Good-bye to all of those, for the most part. HootSuite wraps it all together, and even allows you to swap between different Twitter personas if you have more than one. When you’re on a blog post or article that you want to tweet, it even auto-suggests wording from the title, it auto-assigns a shrunken URL (owl.ly), AND – very neat – it gives you a countdown of available words minus the characters of the shrunken URL as you type. Wonderful time-saver.

If you’re a power tweeter, your life can get a whole lot easier with a TweetDeck/HootSuite double play. Mine just did!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 021909

Before we begin, may I just take a moment and say how much I enjoy interacting with you, my readers, in these early-morning excursions through the blogosphere? It’s fun to find a few goodies each day (so much to choose from!), but it’s even more fun to dialogue with you about stuff you found helpful or interesting.

OK, on with the show…

The Four Horsemen of the Startup. Brief and to the point. Four attitudes to avoid if you’re an entrepreneur starting a company. From the wise and friendly Doug Karr.

Animated advertising icons – the power of strong branding in advertising. Watch this quick clip. From BrandFreak blog.

In Business Week, a profile of social media pioneer Beth Kanter. Nice.

Which businesses are on Twitter? Check out this uber-list on Twibs. Wow. (hat tip: Brand Flakes for Breakfast).

From the Church of the Customer blog, 5 Questions with Emanuel Rosen (on buzz, word of mouth, and marketing). Good stuff.

PLUS – just for fun: 25 “Hidden” Things in Facebook’s Terms of Use (spoof).

Finally – are you going to Blogger Social ’09? Last year’s event was a slam dunk – 80 bloggers from around the world getting together in NYC to get social. This year, the upper limit is 100, and it’s in Boston. Details here – I’ll be there!

————-

Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog

Connect with Steve Woodruff

(Image credit – created via Spell with Flickr)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

25 “Hidden” Things in Facebook TOS

borg

It’s been all the rage this week. Facebook changed their Terms of Service/Terms of Use (TOS for short) to imply that they own, perpetually, anything and everything that you post on their site.

After much uproar, Facebook has relented and gone back to the “old” TOS. Or have they? Hidden in the new/old TOS, in white text on white background (so you wouldn’t see it – but you never read the black-on-white TOS beforehand anyway, did you??), are the 25 of Your Things that You Didn’t Know Facebook Now Owns.

    1. By logging into Facebook (or having logged in in the past and now even THINKing about logging in again), you relinquish possession of all of your belongings, including property, house, auto, HDTV, and suet birdfeeders. They now belong to Mark Zuckerberg. Thanks.

    2. Facebook now owns your first-born, if you have one, and if said first-born is well-behaved. Brats remain in your possession. If you have no first-born children, rodent pets or 4-wheeled ATVs will be accepted.

    3. You are now auto-enrolled in Facebook Live!, which gives us the right to install cameras in every room of your house and randomly upload photos of every daily activity. Our alpha-version auto-tagging feature will make a best guess at identifying you. Heh.

    4. All your blogs are belong to us. Except Scoble‘s. He’s too noisy.

    5. Your privacy settings on Facebook will auto-reset each day to random settings chosen by our MaxEmbarrass Algorithm Method. You may change them back if you wish, but by clicking “Apply” to your settings, you grant us unlimited rights to ignore whatever you chose.

    6. At our sole discretion, you may be downgraded to our “Facebook Lite” application (herein referred to as “Compuserve”) so as to keep you from taking for granted the privilege of being on Facebook Classic.

    7. You are now opted in to receive SPAM.

    8. All applications and widgets that you choose to use on Facebook are hereby entitled to publish your personal data and preferences on our new “SPAM-ME-NOW.com” sister site, soon to be launched.

    9. Spontaneous Human Combustion may occur while using Facebook. If this happens to you, we own your ashes.

    10. You may opt out of using Facebook at any time. But it won’t make any difference.

    11. If you have ever thought about uploading any pictures, links, words, thoughts, or other assets onto the Facebook platform, those items are all, in perpetuity, the exclusive property of Facebook. Thanks.

    12. If you have ever filled out or read a “25 Things” meme on Facebook, you are now an indentured servant of Facebook, and we reserve the right to sell you on eBay to the highest bidder, or, at our discretion, at a “Buy it Now!” price of our choosing.

    13. By using Facebook, you agree never to use Google again. All future searches will have to be through a 1998 version of AltaVista.

    14. If your profile on LinkedIn, MySpace, Friendster, eHarmony, or Pownce mentions your name, we may take possession of said profiles, and the services on which you have described yourself.

    15. You may not whine at any time, for any reason.

    16. Cheap boxed wines may not be imbibed by any Facebook users. Screwtop bottles are acceptable if imported from New Zealand or Iceland. Use of wine coolers will be grounds for immediate termination. You don’t want to know what that means.

    17. Your college loans, mortgages, credit card debts, Madoff investments, and auto companies are exempted from Facebook ownership. See “Bailout and TARP” provision.

    18. By using Facebook, you agree to lower your “carbon footprint” by 15% per year by skipping every sixth exhale.

    19. If you use Twitter, you agree to follow @swoodruff, except if you are a spammer, in which case you agree to self-immolate (see #9 above).

    20. You agree to pick up the mess after walking the dog.

    21. You agree that outmoded discussions of “privacy” will not be indulged, either on Facebook or in any lesser sphere of life, since we now own you. Just shut up and keep spilling your guts. Wait a minute, that’s self-contradictory. Ah, whatever, this is white-on-white and no-one’s going to ever see it anyway! Toy boat! Toy boat! You’re all dolts! Ha ha ha ha…

    22. Facebook, its representatives or agents, may, at any time, and for any reason, choose to extract one of your kidneys.

    23. If you are currently single and choose to marry, a 10% dowry to Facebook is expected. If you met your spouse via Facebook, that becomes 25% plus a $200 gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris made out to Mark Zuckerberg.

    24. (we’re going to fill this in later. But you’re agreeing to it.)

    25. Resistance is futile.

Thank us for allowing you to be used by Facebook.

————-

Prior StickyFigure spoofs

Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog

Connect with Steve Woodruff

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 021809

directortom-headshot“And now for something completely different…” – a Connecticut filmmaker guest-hosts Five in the Morning. Blogging buddy Thomas Clifford (Director Tom, he of the ubiquitous beret) kindly offered to take us on a tour of five blog posts that interest him, including – and this is COMPLETELY different – quantum activism. Hmmm.

Check it out! And, if you’re not subscribing to Tom’s blog, be sure to do so, and follow him on Twitter (@thomasclifford) post-haste!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 021709

Lon Cohen shares his “Twitter professors” on the Mashable blog – 18 key people he follows who provide ongoing education on a variety of topics. Some known, and not-so-well-known, names listed here.

Who doesn’t like a nice list? Here’s 60 of the best SEO tools. And, some Inspiring Design Links for Creatives (thanks to @brandonacox for these links, via Twitter). And, from Robin Broitman, a Superlist of How to Find, Network with, and Influence People via Social Media.

Good for what Ales you? Costco about to make a bold move – launching its own line of beers. Great strategy, especially if the taste is high-quality. The Difference is Affordability?

Good advice from Branding Strategy Insider on picking/creating a brand name effectively. Drawn from Guy Kawasaki‘s book, The Art of the Start.

Facebook blah blah blah. Terms of Service blah blah privacy blah blah – yes, it was the latest bandwagon issue for the last couple of days. Consumerist blog has some helpful updates on its initial post about this kerfuffle, including some clarifications from the Facebookers.

Can you learn anything about social media marketing from a puppy?

————-

Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog

Connect with Steve Woodruff

(Image credit – created via Spell with Flickr)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 021609

fivesm

I hope you enjoyed the Five in the Morning guest posts last week! It’s my intent to pass around the Five spotlight (and link love) to two guest-hosts per week, so that we get the benefit of everyone’s interests and reading lists. Thanks to Arun Rajagopal, Lisa Hoffmann, Connie Reece, and Chris Wilson for helping out while I was busy “conferencing” last week!

Alan Wolk kicks us off this morning with a provocative post: Does Creativity Still Matter? Give it a read and add your comments, esp. if you’re an advertising wonk. Good stuff.

Mining the Thought Stream. Some thoughts on TechCrunch about Twitter’s unique capacity to reveal what people are thinking. Interesting.

Mashable‘s Social Media posts, all gathered together. Great idea. Warning: potential time sink!

How to Communicate Everything You Do. Can you condense your personal message into an effective introduction? Some valuable ideas from Dan Schawbel at the Personal Branding Blog.

The Brand New blog has been on a roll this month, with some great commentary on re-branding efforts, good, bad, and awful. Scroll down and enjoy!

PLUS – The Personal ROI of Social Media. A Sunday Muse.

————-

Connect with Steve Woodruff

(Image credit – created via Spell with Flickr)

PLEASE NOTE: There is reason to believe that the Google/Feedburner changeover has created “issues” with RSS feeds for my blogs (and others). Here are the feeds for my three blogs; if you’re a reader, would you please re-subscribe just to make sure? Thanks!

:: Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog (that’s this one!)

:: Subscribe to the Steve’s Leaves blog (that’s my personal blog)

:: Subscribe to the Impactiviti blog (that’s a pharma-specific blog, for my consulting business)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

The Personal ROI of Social Media

We do a lot of talking about the business ROI of social media, and rightly so. However, I’d like to toss out a few thoughts about how, in my case, social media brings personal benefits. Personal ROI.

I’ve been actively networking via social media for almost 3 years – have used LinkedIn longer than that, but I’ll pin the “real” social media involvement with blogging beginning in mid-2006.

In that time, I’ve had the opportunity to meet (virtually, and increasingly in real life) many fine people. I’ve sought to build opportunity networks. But I think the biggest benefit of all is that this community networking is helping me become a better person.

Has it helped my writing skills? Yes. Has it helped my business? Yes. But what I really appreciate is that I am learning to associate, value, learn from, and serve a broad variety of people with whom I probably otherwise would not have associated.

Through bloggging and Twittering, I have “pre-met” a vast array of people who have shared interests in marketing, branding, social media, pharma, and other aspects of life. By having initial contact in the safe zone of social media, a shared sympathy has been built up, irrespective of any borders of geography, race, background, and political leanings. Then, when I finally meet these fine folks, I view them, not through the grid of my standard templates of “like me”, but simply as individuals – many of whom aren’t like me at all. Fact is, a number of the acquaintances and friends I’ve gained through this type of networking are folks I would not have gravitated toward at all in a room full of folks. And that’s a good thing.

Which means I’m growing in tolerance. And by that, I mean looking beyond the superficial or the similarities and learning to value people for who they are. Tolerance actually is a pretty narrow term, and filled with the idea of compulsion. So what I’m growing in is acceptance. How do you put an ROI value on that?

Recently, I made a business visit to Richmond, VA. There, I hung out with a friend (Doug Meacham) who came to be an associate through social media. On a recent visit to my wife’s family in Connecticut, I enjoyed a lively coffee visit and discussion with Joe Cascio, whom I had “pre-met” through Twitter. Joe and I are very different in political outlook – but it didn’t matter. Our friendship grew significantly in that hour together. And, at a pharma conference last week, I got to meet some fellow social media types, some for the first time, others for a second or third – but all because of Twitter and blogging. It was awesome, and I’m the richer for it.

Yes, marketers do have to get around to the ROI question in time. But there’s another ROI at work. Our investment in getting to know one another has the potential to make us better human beings. It allows us to make new friends. It opens up opportunities. And frankly, that’s worth a lot of time and effort. Which I fully intend to continue investing.

Puppies and Social Media Marketing

Just got done laughing (again) at the reaction of my cats to the new puppy in our house. They want nothing to do with Mystic – they stiffen up and run as soon as they see her, even though she is eager to interact.

Kinda like – how we react to traditional marketing. We don’t trust it. We don’t want it to get close. When it pushes into our face, we retreat. Go away,  you annoy me.

On the other hand, Mystic and the humans in the house have a social media relationship. We gladly interact. We seek each other out. We dialogue (well, in our own sort of way). We like hanging out together.

I know what kind of relationship I’d be pursuing with my marketing dollars…

Five in the Morning 021209

connierContinuing the theme of “Let’s have a whole week of great guest hosts so Woodruff can sleep in for once,” today’s Five in the Morning is brought to us by that dynamo of pink boa blogging energy, Connie Reece. Connie attracts complex complimentary adjectives like magnets attract metal filings – ubiquitous, prolific, & inimitable come to mind – but all seasoned with some caring Texas kindness. Go see what Connie has cooked up for us (and subscribe to her blog and Twitter stream if you haven’t already!)

—–

btw, the ePharma Summit conference went very well – thanks to all who “listened in” via the live blogging on my Impactiviti blog, and the excessively noisy tweetstorm that the “Twitter Power Corner” put up during the M-W event!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 021109

lisahoffmannWho is “New Media Lisa”? Well, if you haven’t yet been introduced to Lisa Hoffmann (that’s 2 N’s, folks – believe me, you will be corrected!), there is no better time than now, since she is guest-hosting Five in the Morning today. Lisa is a Charlotte-based blogger and fun Twitterer – you can get a sense of her outlook from her blog “About” section:

Lisa is a copywriter by craft, a communicator at heart and a marketing maven. New media has changed the course of her life and thrills her with the possibilities….This is the place for a description of her ability to write hypnotic copy, blah, blah, blah.

Head on over and see what she’s put together for your Wednesday!

Five in the Morning 021009

chris_wilsonWhile I’m conferencing at the ePharma Summit in Philly, we get our Five in the Morning fuel today from Chris Wilson, who is peeling 5 fresh marketing posts off the interweb, and presenting them at the Marketing Fresh Peel blog. Go see the fruit of his labors – thanks for guest-hosting, Chris!

Five in the Morning 020909

arunWhile I’m away at a conference (hopefully live-blogging and live-tweeting at the ePharma Summit in Philly), some very fine guest-bloggers have volunteered to take over Five in the Morning duties this week. Today – man Oman – we get to hear from Arun Rajagopal from Muscat (Sultanate of Oman). Check out his post, and explore the world of Arun while you’re on his blog!

——-

And, since you’re here (for the moment) on my StickyFigure blog, feel free to check out the newly-deployed SteveWoodruff.com, where all my on-line “stuff” is linked.

Go Ahead. I Dare You.

I’m no junk food addict, though I enjoy the occasional guilty indulgence every once in a while. So why is it that all of a sudden I have a burning urge to try a Burger King Angry Whopper?

angrywhopper

Because they’re daring me to, that’s why. *(update – see below)

Many urges and motivations drive buying decisions. But one which (I think) is underestimated is The Dare.

I want to prove that I can handle those jalapenos, that hot sauce – I want to feel the burning sensation but show that I can take it. In short, there are 1001 different burger combos out there, but this one is Angry, and it’s throwing down the gauntlet. If Arby’s was promoting a Gentle Sandwich, no matter what the ingredients, I wouldn’t be inclined to take up the “challenge.”

One ski resort in Vermont has taken hold of this marketing angle for years, with their bumper sticker. Sure, there are plenty of challenging slopes around. But Mad River Glen is daring you. And, by turning their visitors who have “taken the challenge” into mobile billboards, they are enticing you to take the dare.

madriverglen

Is there anything daring about what you offer? Are you stuck in “pretty please??” mode, or do you have a dare to issue?

* Update:

dwhopperangrysmI did take the dare last week, and had an Angry Whopper. In fact, it was a Double (boy, did I hear about it later from my better half!). And you know what? It was pretty good. Spicy hot. Angry. Nice…

(Image credit – Whopper. Bumper sticker)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 020609

bcarrollWe picked up and moved all the way to the Left Coast today! That diva of all-things-customer, Becky Carroll, guest-hosts Five in the Morning over at her Customers Rock! blog (and if you’re not subscribed to her blog, remedy that situation post-haste!)

Here’s the link to her Five in the Morning post - Go! Thanks, Becky!

——

fyi – the new Woodruff puppy Mystic doesn’t yet know how to do tricks, but she did set up her own Twitter account – and she has some a-t-t-i-t-u-d-e. You can get some doggie tweets by following her @mysticwood.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 020509

Wired interviews Seth Godin at TED – Tribes, timing, and people (not ads). Classic Seth stuff. And, here’s a interesting thought from Seth’s blog, about “solving a different problem.”

Razorfish data tying consumer social media activity to purchase behavior“there are significant differences in both engagement and spend between those who discovered the application or widget through media, versus those who were referred by friends. ..those who discovered the application via a friend were almost four times more likely to download the applicationThey were also more likely to spend money on the client site and spent much more on average.”

From Derrick Daye at Branding Strategy Insider (Hi Derrick – long time no e-contact!), something we really shouldn’t have to say: When Naming turns Deceitful. Some classic examples here.

John Moore riffing on Ted Mininni riffing on coffee…follow the links for some good discussion. My take – it’s not all about coffee taste. It’s also the experience. Getting a cup of coffee at home (8 O’Clock), or at McDonald’s, or at DD, is…well, boring, compared to Starbucks. Starby’s not only has to preserve their unique taste position, they have to make sure that having coffee at their destination is qualitatively different. But you all knew that…

A Fast Company article that you simply have to read, for its throught-provokingness…

————-

Follow Steve Woodruff on Twitter

(Image credit)

PLEASE NOTE: There is reason to believe that the Google/Feedburner changeover has created “issues” with RSS feeds for my blogs (and others). Here are the feeds for my three blogs; if you’re a reader, would you please re-subscribe just to make sure? Thanks!

:: Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog (that’s this one!)

:: Subscribe to the Steve’s Leaves blog (that’s my personal blog – you’ll see a story from there below)

:: Subscribe to the Impactiviti blog (that’s a pharma-specific blog, for my consulting business)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning road-trips to Alabama!

mack-collier-pictureYes indeed, Five in the Morning has taken a journey south today, to the fine state of Alabama. Mack Collier (of The Viral Garden blog fame) took over as guest-host, and he has five fine blog posts for your Wednesday morning. What are you waiting for? GO there!

Your Input? Pharma and Social Media

I’ll have the opportunity next week to speak on a panel at the ePharma Summit in Philly, on the topic of social media in pharma.

In the 4 minutes allotted, my goal is to alert the audience (mainly pharma marketers) to the most crucial “cultural” aspects of the social media community as they consider any initiatives. What is the mindset, and what are the expectations of those who use social media?

I’ve tentatively thought of four, but since this is all about the community, I’d like to ask your help and input. What do you think are the most critical things for a marketer (coming from the healthcare space) to know ahead of time?

Here is my preliminary list, subject to revision depending on your input:

- Immediacy. For better or worse, this community thrives on “right now”.

- Participation. One-way messaging won’t cut it. Communications are multi-faceted, 2-way and multi-pronged.

- Long-term commitment. Don’t get in if you’re not going to participate over the long haul.

- Personality/authenticity. We can find impersonal message-driven communications anywhere. Here, we want a face and some reality.

As social media participants, what do you think? Are these the most important “intro” concepts, or can you suggest others? Feel free to give your input in the comments!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 153 other followers