Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Totally Tuned in to doing good via Social Networks

Recently I have been learning a great deal about the Social Media environment and am totally tuned in to the amazing posibilities that it can offer marketers, organizations and people alike. One of the best things about these Social Media Networks  is that it can propel grassroots efforts, and that unlike traditional grassroots, these network are not limited by geography.  

One of the best efforts to date has been Mashable's "This Week, Tweat to Beat Leukemia!", an idea hatched at SXSW.  They are Tweeting and using their Facebook audience to raise money, I have posted this on my Facebook page and I'm re-tweeting. Besides the initial messages, there are updates on the funds raised, and lots of comments from all over the world.  I initially was hooked by this effort because it is  a cause near and dear to my heart,  my sister in-law passed away from Leukemia just 2 and a half years ago, but it obviously has touched many more people all over the world because they are almost at their fundraising goal.  I can see how all kinds of Charities and other organizations can use this effectively to raise funds and awareness of the work that they are doing - it's a new fundraising model for the new economy, and with fundraising significantly down, this is an amazing tool. 

I recently got involved in a campaign for Share our Strength but it was not as effective or as interactive as this effort. Another good story was Magianos restaurants recent drive to build their Twitter community,  they offered a chance to win gift certificates to their restaurants for those that started following them on Twitter - not sure how many they where able to add, but very clever tactic, they got me to follow them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bartering in the new economy

A friend of mine, Maria Rita Caso has performed a career reinvention, she has become a very successful life and relationship coach, In one of our recent exchanges she turned me on to some sites that are working on the premise of barter - I absolutely loved this idea, and started thinking that this may be a way that the "new" economy may work - going back to basics, why not? You may not be flush with cash right now, but you will always have marketable skills that are worth something - if you can exchange them for what you need, fantastic! We still need cash to pay the bills - I don't think that my utilities are interested in my marketing or production skills .... but still I may be able to find a hairdresser, a vacation rental or masseuse that may need my skills...

Here are some sites that I have come across - I do not endorse any of them... judge for yourself....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

CMO's and Advertising Agencies

A recent report by Jupiter Research cites that corporate CMO's are experiencing greater pressure for ROI, and are increasingly dissatisfied with their advertising agencies and overall performance. Of course the pressure is on, and as the economy continues to slip this trend will continue and only get worse. Corporations, are seeking answers on survival, and what it will take to make it in the new economy, what's the shift that will be necessary in order to make it? great business for consultants....not for advertising agencies.

Bad news always tends to roll downhill, so as CMO's continue to experience pressure from their Boards, the trend of dissatisfaction will no doubt continue, perhaps it will mean some great opportunities for new "hybrid" agencies, or an all together different model for doing business. Another trend we might see is one where Corporations would absorb some of the traditionally outsourced marketing/advertising roles internally. This would make sense because of the deep pool of great talent that has been displaced, it would offer Corporations more control and cut out a significant expense.

It will be interesting to see where the new opportunities will exist.

The Cult of Done - Manifesto

James Provost - poster for the Cult of Done Manifesto.

When I found The Cult of Done Manifesto I just loved it! How could this thinking not have been laid down in words before? Wish I had been the one to do it.... because it's so relevant to how we live today. Here it is...... words to live by today and tomorrow.....

The Cult of Done Manifesto - by Bre Pettis and Kio Stark

The Cult of Done Manifesto

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.
OK I am a self admitted "Geek Girl" and nerd, so I printed this up and posted it right in front of me...... will you do the same?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An advertising agency called "Nothing" launches in Amsterdam - yeap "Nothing"

An advertising agency called "Nothing" launches in Amsterdam - yeah "Nothing" and their gimmick is to make everything in the office out of cardboard boxes......uhhhh - why? The founders Michael Jansen and Bas Korsten (ex-DDB Executive CD')s wanted the Nothing office to reflect -
"an independent entrepreneurial agency that delivers innovation and commercial creativity for local and international clients out of a cardboard box".
Check out a time lapse video of how they built this office on Adland. Personally, I HATE the smell of cardboard boxes (ewww), and they are too utilitarian and ugly for my interior decorating taste - so I would hate to work amongst all that, but I really like the whole integrated marketing approach behind the agency, which is to create brand experiences, and services that range from product innovation, store design, employee training programs and TV campaigns.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Agency Production Contracts ? Re-examine the agency role as "agent" for their clients

I have been following the "buzz" regarding this latest move by Omnicom.......While this has been a "practice" by agencies for many years, (norm in the US Hispanic market). I have often heard, "we haven't gotten paid by the client, therefore we can't pay you yet", and this has happened to me with BIG clients, no one except the agency is supposed to bankroll their clients - frankly I never had deep enough pockets to do so.....

If agencies that are part of well bankrolled Groups such as Omnicom will not assume liability, then the role of the agency when it comes to production needs to be re-examined. Perhaps the
AICP should propose that the client hire the production company directly, therefore eliminating the agencies exposure, and therefore their role as an agent on behalf of their client. Many agencies don't get a mark-up when it comes to production anyway, and frankly with "hybrid" Producer's like myself (adept & able to work both sides), who needs to hire both a traditional Agency Producer or Line Producer..... And if the client hires the Production Company directly, it would at least ensures a collection "position" if the worst case scenario where to occur - a bankruptcy.
Agencies like to have good relationships with their vendors, it benefits everyone in the end, and I don't believe that anyone wants to leave anyone "holding the bag" - but that is exactly what this verbiage allows for....... time to rethink this....

Check out the article that started all of this buzz Omnicom Enforces production Contracts

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Developing entrepreneurship among the world’s poorest

If you are feeling crappy about the economy or mad at Wall Street I recommend you see this extremely compelling and uplifting interview with Acumen Fund founder and CEO Jacqueline Novogratz in the McKinsey Quarterly. She is a passionate speaker, I don't understand why the McKinsey Quarterly Editor - Bill Javetski interviewed her (he's a dud)..... but she more than makes up for it.

The Acumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty
"We seek to prove that small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen, can build thriving enterprises that serve vast numbers of the poor. Our investments focus on delivering affordable, critical goods and services – like health, water, housing and energy – through innovative, market-oriented approaches."

The article and interview center on the publication of her newly released book The Blue Sweater, Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an interconnected world.

The traditional Advertising Agency model - RIP?

Besides "my career reinvention & the great job hunt of '09" , writing this blog and other ordinary stuff.... I have been reading and learning, my field of interest has been focused on new media, interactive/digital, personal branding & social media marketing etc.... this is not only the future, but the present of advertising.

Recently I had a conversation with an old friend from college, he basically confirmed what I had been feeling for the past 5 years, the traditional advertising agency model is dead (don't feel sad, it had a loooooong life). What will replace these monoliths ? Swifter smaller shops, will clients still insist on a "one stop shop" mentality? Will it be segmented and niched? My early professional roots are in the US Hispanic side of the business, and this "time" reminds me of the early days in that business, where we where in the midst of defining ourselves and doing it at the same time, there where few rules to play by, and it all emerged quickly. What will define the leaders of this next era? Who are the leaders leading the charge? And what will the shop of the future look like?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Women 2.0 Start-Up Competition

Ladies with ideas...... I came across this and am totally fascinated by the is NOT limited to women, but there has to be one woman in a lead function. This is a competition geared towards entrepreneurs, and finding the next great idea.

Women 2.0 is a San Francisco based organization devoted to increasing the number of start-ups led by women.

Amongst their many sponsors - here are some of my personal favorites: "Girls in Tech", "Girl Geek Dinner" , "Ladies who Launch", "invinicibelle"

The third-annual Women 2.0 Pitch 2009: Startup Competition is open to early-stage ventures around the world, from high growth business ventures in web 2.0 to mobile and biotech, consumer clean tech to consumer hardware. Applying companies must be in beta-stage and have not received significant funding. Teams with at least ONE FEMALE in the founding team are invited to compete for a chance to win:

One-on-one meeting with Michael Moritz from Sequoia Capital

3 months of office space and mentoring
from Plug and Play Tech Center

PR strategy from JonesPR

Marketing strategy from MWW Group

Legal support from Pillsbury

What do Disney, HP, and Microsoft have in common? These iconic American companies started in tough economic times. Despite the downturn in the economy, many entrepreneurs and VCs are saying that now is a great time to start a