Confronting the mayhem in Media and Marketing

Author Archives: Ryan McAbee

Can I ask you a question?

50+ passersby, 8 interruptions, 0 sales

The Pitch

Today I spent a couple of hours at the mall. Normally I leave the malls alone during the holiday season but Sear’s needed to fix my leaky tire. I sat watching three 20 somethings “attacking” customers in the mall in an attempt to sell women a ridiculously overpriced hair gadget. Make no mistake these three were absolute professionals at interruption marketing. “Can I ask you a question?,” seems to be one of their favorite lines to break into conversation. This was usually followed by a rapid fire of supporting questions revolving around flattery (“your curl’s look great”) or similar to guide the passerby to the makeup chair. Once seated, the 20 something, that never paused for breath, would do a quick demonstration at the power of the hair gadget to straighten or curl hair. Not one single time, even though a few showed interest, could the three of them close the sale.

The Failure

The problem is that not one single person who was brought to the makeup chair wanted to be in the chair in the first place. This is why interruption marketing does not work. Instead of blocking the path of shoppers, asking them rhetorical questions, and pushing them into a sales pitch, the 20 somethings needed to reverse the script. Instead of screaming for attention, where shoppers would be naturally guarded, they could earn the attention of busy shoppers. How? Show how quick and easy this can make your morning routine to look like a rock star with only their gadget. In other words, offer a solution not a product.

The same can be said for printers. Offer customers a solution, rather than printed sheets.

photo by: Beige Alert

Future of Print: Print Tech Trends for 2010

  1. Web to Print E-Commerce:
    It’s not a new technology but more widespread adoption should happen by printers of all sizes in the coming year. Why? Customers want to have interaction from quoting to proofing on their terms. Commercial print shops who fail to implement an e-commerce storefront face the risk of losing existing clients and not capturing new ones. Although the initial cost of a storefront is significant, the marginal cost to serve this to the next customer is next to nothing and your potential customer base is the world if you choose (even more useful as location based platforms come of age, pointing anyone local to your wares).  The good news is that the mass market vendor solutions should be able to increase features while decreasing complexity of use this year, offering an easier method of entry than custom grown solutions.

    Know More
    : Learn from those already successful in this space such as Hotcards, Mimeo, Printing4Less, and Vistaprint, then determine your niche. Contact your suppliers to learn of their options.
  2. Techno Cross Media:

    The captivating print from this past year came from the merging of ink-on-paper with technology and the trend should increase in 2010. QR Codes (or similar), barcodes scanned by your smartphone that take you to online information, are being implemented by some major companies including Pepsi. USB sticks are showing up in our newspapers circulars and Robert Downey Jr. is talking to us through Esquire magazine through some newfangled technology called augmented reality. I imagine the next year will show us more and different kinds of this print-to-online marriage.

    Know More
    on QR Codes: m-Bossed, InterlinkOne, Wikipedia, Mashable

    …on Augmented Reality: The Future Digital Life, Esquire, Mashable

    …on USB sticks: Engadget, US Branding Group

  3. Social Cross Media:
    Companies, including print companies, are still learning how to capitalize from social media. Expect to see more print campaigns that creatively promote their digital presence. To effectively assist in these marketing campaigns, printer’s must first immerse themselves in the technology. With social media it is not a single event but a process, so get started now.

    Know More: Kodak’s Social Media Tips, Mashable’s Twitter Guide, Hubspot’s Marketing Resources

  4. Inkjet Printing:
    Faster, better quality, cheaper, more versatile applications – one of the few hardware areas pushing the envelope. Don’t be surprised if inkjet technology greatly erodes toner based strongholds while also pushing run lengths continually higher into the offset realm. Yes, inkjet made inroads in 2009 but there were not many installations completed of the latest generation equipment like HP’s T300.


    Know More:
    SGIA, Digital Output Mag


What other technologies or information sources are out there that you think are important for 2010?

photo by: gwire

5 Steps to make your business Google’s Favorite

(Google map pushpin placed outside Alice Water’s favorite pick
for the Blue Bottle Cafe for Summer 2009. It’s more upscale than a QR
Code.)

This week Google launched Favorite Places Pagerank is how Google measures the popularity of a website and what SEO experts try to game.) Except in the case of the businesses the rank comes from how many time the business was queried by all of Google’s aggregate apps. Each time the business was searched, plotted on maps, mapped for directions, found in news, etc., all adds up to being a favorite.

which integrates with several existing Google technologies such as maps and place pages. The most logical question now for businesses is ‘How do I get on this list?’ Being a favorite place is not by invitations, not by donation, not by gaming the system, and not because you deserve to be. It is Google’s pagerank equivalent for businesses.

How to be one of Google’s Favorite businesses:

  1. List your business on Google’s Local Business Center

    It’s FREE, do it now!

  2. Create Content Online
    Start a blog if you haven’t, refresh it regularly with content if you have. Google’s search algorithm favors sites that are routinely updated (according to the SEO experts – See #1). For most, the easiest way to offer updates is through a company blog.

  3. Extend your Social Media Web.
    Create company outlets on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., with content that extends your brand. Not only are these outlets free forms of marketing, but they increase credibility with your online presence. The larger the social web, the more links and resulting traffic which increases your businesses’ rank.

  4. Cross Promotion
    Spread the message of your entire social media & web
    identities in both online & offline marketing. Example: Link to a
    YouTube video on your corporate “about us” brochure.

  5. Optimize your Website
    Start with the source and read of the 2,268 books Amazon has on the subject. Use tools available on Grader.com provided by HubSpot.
photo by: geekstinkbreath
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