Friday, July 30, 2010

The New World of B2B Marketing

The original author of this is Holger Schulze. I find his B2B marketing framework interesting as well.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Biz School Chronicles :: Fire Your Marketing Manager and Hire A Community Manager

Fire Your Marketing Manager and Hire A Community Manager - David Armano - The Conversation - Harvard Business Review
A community manager actively monitors, participates in and engages others within online communities. These communities can be on Twitter, Facebook, message boards, intranets, wherever groups of people come together to converse and interact with each other. A traditional marketing manager is likely to have little experience with this function. Historically, community management developed outside marketing, in areas such as community organizing (politics) or in niche verticals such as the video game or software industry, which are no strangers to digital outposts such as message boards.

Spending four semesters in b-school, makes one knowledgeable enough to sort out genuine marketing efforts from nonsense. The world has enough marketers who talk about social media and blogs without maintaining neither of their own, and throw around phrases like "unique proposition" and "brand image" because they sound and look good. It's about time organisations prioritise their marketing evaluation metrics correctly. From the data I gathered for my thesis, it's clear that generated revenue is THE metric to use. Click-through-rates and visitor counts are fine, but you really can't put them in a balance sheet, can you?

I came across the post from HBR above, on the same day I read the results from the "Old Spice Man" campaign. Why is this relevant? Well, the old spice campaign is a case study of how to mobilize social media to revive a brand. At the time I'm writing this, that particular video on youtube (one of many used in the campaign) had 16,243,818 views. Other videos included odes to Alyssa Milano and Demi Moore, as well as a marriage proposal. In one clip, Mustafa provides the audio a Reddit user requested to construct a do-it-yourself voicemail recording application.

Now that's as viral as it can get. BUT, did it work?

According to Nielsen data provided by Old Spice, overall sales for Old Spice body-wash products are up 11 percent in the last 12 months; up 27 percent in the last six months; up 55 percent in the last three months; and in the last month, with two new TV spots and the online response videos, up a whopping 107 percent. "Our business is on fire," Moorhead says. "We've seen strong results over all of our portfolio. That is the reward for the great work." (Source)

Yes! a 107% increase in sales. Now that's what most can rightly call measurable ROI. But the most important points to take away from this campaign are how they engaged the community and how they identified key influencers within social media circles.

The social media experts initially identified a crop of popular bloggers in key areas like entertainment (Perez Hilton), technology (4chan) and advertising (Adweek's own AdFreak), as well as regular YouTube and Facebook commenters. Some videos were pre-shot, but Tait said Wieden has done the vast majority over the past 48 hours from a studio in Portland, writing and producing them on the fly. (Source)

So that's how it was done. Oh, and quoting that last paragraph made me realise that none of the buzz-word-crazy, wannabe social media marketers I mentioned at the very beginning will know who the hell Perez Hilton is :) <-- That's your litmus test right there. Until next time ....

Silver fish hand catch!!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Murder: Fast datacenter code deployment using BitTorrent

Twitter - Murder Bittorrent Deploy System from Larry Gadea on Vimeo.

The Twitter Engineering Blog: Murder: Fast datacenter code deploys using BitTorrent
It was time for something completely different, something decentralized, something more like.. BitTorrent..
running inside of our datacenter to quickly copy files around. Using
the file-sharing protocol, we launched a side-project called Murder and
after a few days (and especially nights) of nervous full-site
tinkering, it turned a 40 minute deploy process into one that lasted
just 12 seconds!

Murder (which by the way is the name for a flock of crows) is a combination of scripts written in Python and Ruby to easily deploy large binaries throughout your company’s datacenter(s). It takes advantage of the fact that the environment in a datacenter is somewhat different from regular internet connections: low-latency access to servers, high bandwidth, no NAT/Firewall issues, no ISP traffic shaping, only trusted peers, etc. This let us come up with a list of optimizations on top of BitTornado to make BitTorrent not only reasonable, but also effective on our internal network. Since at the time we used Capistrano for signaling our servers to perform tasks, Murder also includes a Capistrano deploy strategy to make it easy for existing users of Capistrano to convert their file distribution to be decentralized. The final component is the work Matt Freels (@mf) did in bundling everything into an easy to install ruby gem. This further helped get Murder to be usable for more deploy tasks at Twitter.

Now that's a cool idea. The code is open source and can be found at

Confessions of-a-gadget-holic (Slides from the webinar)

You can listen to the recorded webinar and download these slides from the WSO2 Oxygen Tank as well.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Confident, But Not Really Sure

A Great Boss is Confident, But Not Really Sure - The Conversation - Harvard Business Review
My favorite track on Tom Petty's 2006 album Highway Companion is a song called "Saving Grace." About halfway through, he closes off a verse by singing: "You're confident but not really sure." That's a state of mind that sounds paradoxical, but at times it really is true. In fact, it's the essence of what developmental psychologist John Meacham called the "attitude of wisdom." And it's a good description of some bosses I know, who strike a healthy balance between knowing and doubting.
A good companion read for this is "Confident But Not Really Sure: A JetBlue Boss and Other Examples of Wisdom". It's a follow up post with examples.

Apple Study: 8 easy steps to beat Microsoft (and Google)

An interesting presentation. Nice flow and some good data in there.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Upcoming Webinar :: Confessions of a “Gadget-holic”

On Wednsday, 14th July 2010 I will be conducting a one hour webinar explaining Enterprise App Stores as described in a previous post here. We will run this during two time slots. 9 AM - 10 AM (GMT) and 10 AM - 11 AM (PDT). Here's a sneak peak at the topics I plan to cover;
  • App stores - Components of an App Store echo system and how they interact together
  • App Stores in the Enterprise - Self Service IT
  • Mashups - How they can provide APIs to App developers and facilitate code re-use
  • Google gadgets - The Apps that will power your Enterprise App Store
  • The Enterprise Gadget Repository - The App Directory that powers your Enterprise App Store
  • Tips and tricks that may come in handy ....
So if you haven't already, register and drop in at a convenient time slot depending on your time zone :)

UPDATE: The recorded webinar and slides are here.

Monday, July 05, 2010

HBR :: China's Exchange Rate Policy: What's Really Going On

China's Exchange Rate Policy: What's Really Going On - The Conversation - Harvard Business Review
"You don't need complex models to predict that the renminbi will remain undervalued for a long time. Whereas an equilibrium exchange rate must eventually lead to a balance in international payments, the data show that between 2000 and 2007, China's share of global manufacturing output soared from 5.7% to 11.4%, and it accumulated foreign exchange reserve of nearly 2.4 trillion dollars. Those are the world's largest reserves in absolute terms; in relative terms, they're astonishing. They account for 50% of China's GDP, 12% of US GDP, and 30% of the world's reserves today. China knows it must do something radical to rectify the imbalance and a tightly managed float against a basket of foreign currencies isn't the solution."