Why won’t someone develop a decent Twitter client for the Blackberry?

November 30, 2008
Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image by via CrunchBase

On the trip to the parent’s house this weekend, I was bemoaning the fact that Twitterberry is not exactly a stellar Twitter client for the Blackberry.  And I appear to be in good company since Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures complained about the same thing on Friday.

So why is a smart developer not paying attention?  After all, RIM announced in September 2008 that they have over 19 million Blackberry subscribers.  Compare this to the Nielsen estimate that there were 3.6 million iPhone users in October 2008.  So while there are 5X as many Blackberry users, the only decent option is Twitterberry while iPhone users have Hahlo, Tweetie, Twitterific and a whole bunch of others.

And this lack of options is coming out clear in Google as well.  If you search “Twitter for Blackberry” you get 4.2 million results.  But if you type “Twitter for iPhone” you get a staggering 10.3 million results.

Blackberries (not iPhone) are the tool of the trade for most marketers and Brand Managers out there.  If Twitter is going to catch on with this group, it would help to have a solid Blackberry option for them.  As Twitter’s popularity grows, Blackberry themselves would be smart to develop a killer Twitter app and stop giving corporate users any excuse to switch over to the iPhone.

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eMarketer: Facts and Numbers for Teens / Tweens

November 19, 2008

Over the weekend I had a chance to catch up on some of the recent eMarketer reports.  They have been releasing quite a bit around Teens / Tweens and technology.  In particular, their Kids & Teens Communication Revolutionaries provides some stellar information for any Brand Manager marketing to the youth market.  For instance, by 2012 US youth will be almost 1 out of 5 Internet users.


Furthermore, this generation wants to communicate in different ways than older generations, with a much higher preference text messaging than e-mail.


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Congratulations Motrin. You just proved why every brand needs to understand Social Media

November 16, 2008

Are you still trying to convince your management why your brand should be monitoring Social Media?  Well if you are a Consumer Packaged Good brand (or any brand really), just look at what happened to Motrin over the past couple of days and the reaction of Motrin Moms.

A simple search on Twitter of #motrinmoms will show you that they pissed off a lot of people with their latest ad around “babywearing.”  Mommy Bloggers are not people you want to mess with and you sure better understand the sandbox you are playing in if you do them wrong.  For instance, just look at this Consumer Generated Media that has already popped up in response.  Not exactly brand content you want at the top of search results.

The Lesson for Brand Managers:

Motrin screwed up.  It happens.  But in today’s world of Social Media, the place they really screwed up was in not monitoring what people were saying about the brand.  This PR disaster is happening underneath their nose and no one on the brand is responding.  Not their advertising agency, not their Public Relations group and not the brand itself.   The unfortunate fact is that company’s haven’t trained Brand Managers to respond quickly to situations like this.  That needs to change….and it needs to change fast.

People are going to be talking about your brand, with or without the Brand Manager‘s permission.  This simple fact is reason enough that you should be monitoring the conversations around your brand.  Motrin is just the latest brand to learn this lesson the hard way.

UPDATE – Well it looks like Motrin is trying to respond.  If you commented on their website, it looks like their VP of Marketing has a response that is being sent out (Thanks to Amy Gates for the lead).  And the Motrin.com site has been taken down for now, but thanks to the power of YouTube, you can still see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmykFKjNpdY (Thanks Bill Seaver)

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Seth Godin: The Marketer’s Attitude

November 12, 2008

Seth Godin remains one of my favorite writers.  He was the first “marketer” I ever read and I have promo copies of both Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside sitting on my desk at work.  Needless to say, I’m a big fan.  His latest post was one I had to share in its entirety. The bolds are the parts I liked the most.  I wish more marketers thought this way.

Here’s what I’d want if I were hiring a marketer:

You’re relentlessly positive. You can visualize complex projects and imagine alternative possible outcomes. It’s one thing to talk about thinking outside the box, it’s quite another to have a long history of doing it successfully. You can ride a unicycle, or can read ancient Greek.

Show me that you’ve taken on and completed audacious projects, and run them as the lead, not as a hanger on. I’m interested in whether you’ve become the best in the world at something, and completely unimpressed that you are good at following instructions (playing Little League baseball is worth far less than organizing a non-profit organization).

You have charisma in that you easily engage with strangers and actually enjoy selling ideas to others. You are comfortable with ambiguity, and rarely ask for detail or permission. Test, measure, repeat and go work just fine for you.

You like to tell stories and you’re good at it. You’re good at listening to stories, and using them to change your mind.

I’d prefer to hire someone who is largely self-motivated, who finds satisfaction in reaching self-imposed goals, and is willing to regularly raise the bar on those goals.

You’re intellectually restless. You care enough about new ideas to read plenty of blogs and books, and you’re curious enough about your own ideas that you blog or publish your thoughts for others to react to. You’re an engaging writer and speaker and you can demonstrate how the right visuals can change your story.

And you understand that the system is intertwined, that your actions have side effects and you not only care about them but work to make those side effects good ones.

The cool thing about this list is that it’s not dependent on what you were born with or who you know. Or how much you can lift.

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Forrester Research is a tremendous partner for Brand Managers to keep their marketing edge

November 11, 2008

2008 Forrester Consumer Forum

Two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2008 Forrester Consumer Forum.  While I have worked with Forrester for several years, it has only really been the past few months that I have started going deep with their research.  After reading through several of their reports and seeing their analysts speak at the Forum, I have come to the conclusion that Forrester Research should be a trusted partner for every Brand Manager out there.

That probably seems like a pretty bold statement so let me explain.  First, if you aren’t familiar with Forrester, here is their description on their website:

Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. Forrester focuses on the business implications of technology change. Uniquely, Forrester guides marketing executives, business strategists, and IT professionals to create a unified technology plan that gains business advantage.

Now what makes Forrester such a strong partner for Brand Managers (and business leaders overall)?  Well a couple of things have really stood out for me:

  1. An experience tailored to your business needs: Unlike many of their competitors, Forrester custom tailors your experience based on your role at a company.  You can choose from 19 different roles ranging from Marketing Leadership to Consumer Market Research to CIO.  Doing so allows you to quickly see what research & info is most important to someone in your role.
  2. Timely research to help you answer the tough questions: Has your management been asking you how your brand will survive and thrive in the market downturn?  Did you have an answer to their question?  If you were working with Forrester, you would.  Right now they are providing Market Downturn Alerts on research that can help you gain a strategic edge while competitors are scrambling.
  3. Analysts that push you to think about “what’s next”:  Anyone can give you facts and figures.  Forrester is unique because their analysts take research and then use it to push you to think about what’s around the corner.  Just in the past few months, they have published such great reports as Brand Matters To Socially Connected Consumers, Fight the Recession with an In-House Agency, and Ubiquitous Marketing.

When times get tough, management is going to start asking the difficult questions about every decision a Brand Manager makes.  Having a strategic partner like Forrester Research in your corner gives you the confidence (and the numbers) to back-up your plans.   And with that confidence, you can take advantage of the downturn to gain market share and take your brand to the next level.

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Zappos.com: Building a Brand that Matters

November 8, 2008
Web 2.0 Summit 2008 Day One - Tony Hsieh of Za...

Image by b_d_solis via Flickr

Last week at the Web 2.0 Summit, Tony Hsieh gave a stellar presentation that detailed how the Zappos.com brand has been built into the company that it is today.  As always, Tony amazed me with his openness.  For instance, not only did he offer to give a tour of their Las Vegas office to anyone that was interested, but he also offered to send a free copy of the company Culture Book to all that emailed him.  How many CEO’s of a billion dollar company would make those types of offers?

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Visual Map of Walmart’s Growth

November 7, 2008

I have never seen a Flowing Data map in action before but this is very cool.  It shows the growth of Walmart from 1 store in 1962 to 3,176 stores in 2007.