MKTG 555 Students – Here’s What You Need to Know

One difference between graduate school today and 10 years ago is that you can go to Google (or Bing) and find out a little about your instructors before you show up for class. And when your instructor pays his mortgage by helping clients with their marketing strategies, then he’ll probably be pretty easy to find. So excellent work in finding this blog. This is the kind of entrepreneurial drive that will make you successful in the class. If you read enough, I bet there are some things that can be helpful. Like, you’ll probably learn that the quickest way to a low grade is to say anything positive about the… Read More

Continue Reading

A “Spirited” Discussion About Marketing

I tend to enjoy listening to panel discussions more than most people. And I like them even better when I’m the one who gets to ask all the questions. On June 19, the Seattle Chapter of the American Advertising Foundation hosted an event with four of the city’s strongest small craft distilleries. When they asked me if I’d moderate this panel about how to market a small craft distillery, I thought they were kidding me. But they were serious, and I excitedly prepped for a topic that I had not previously done much business research on. Our panelists were fantastic (left to right): Nathan Kaiser: Owner, 2bar Spirits Sven Liden: Cofounder, Black… Read More

Continue Reading

How Marketing is Like Little League

Every spring, tens of thousands of dads, friends, uncles and even moms embark on the gratifying, frustrating and always surprising journey of coaching a Little League baseball team. Other than Crossfit and Fantasy Football, there may not be an activity that is so mind-absorbing to you – and that absolutely no one around you wants to hear about. No one outside your bubble of coaches and parents cares about little Jimmy’s amazing catch in center field. But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t subject you to my thoughts on the matter in this little forum. And my thoughts revolve around how coaching 9 year old baseball players is a… Read More

Continue Reading

Deciphering the Online Ticket Broker Algorithm

Online ticket brokers such as StubHub.com have been around long enough that they are a standard ticket buying or selling experience for many fans. Can’t make a game – stick the tix on StubHub. Need tix for a game – grab them off StubHub. The model is brilliant. They charge the seller 15% commission, and then they charge the buyer a 15% tax as well. Say you post 2 tickets for $50 ea, so $100 total. The buyer sees a price of $57.50 each and pays $115, with StubHub taking the extra $15. Then StubHub sends you a check for $85, keeping the extra $15. That’s a 30% commission on… Read More

Continue Reading

Why Start-ups Shouldn’t Pretend to Recruit Agencies

In the Entrepreneurial Marketing class I teach at the UW, we talk about how start-ups need to be scrappy with their money. Without aa lot of money to spend, we need to make every dollar stretch. We talk about the fact that we often can’t afford to hire an agency. One of the ways to temporarily sidestep the need to hire strategic services from an agency is to look at campaigns you find compelling, and model your own plan after them. If you’ve noticed a company, it may be possible to reverse engineer their thought process (or their agency’s) and generate similar success. Emulation is a form of flattery. However,… Read More

Continue Reading

What the MLS Should Have Done on Wednesday

I’m pretty sure I threw this idea out a few years ago, but apparently MLS Commissioner Don Garber isn’t a regular reader, so I’ll post a modified version again. The day before and the day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game are the only 2 days in the calendar that none of the major 4 sports leagues have a competitive game. If I was the MLS, I would use the day after the game to my full advantage. Every sports bar in America is starved for something to put on their screens. Every couch potato is stuck trying to choose between the Espys and a 30 for 30 marathon.… Read More

Continue Reading

Lessons From Launching New Products

We started toying around with the idea of Relaborate a little more than a year ago, in late 2011. In the beginning, we weren’t really sure what was going to happen with it, but everybody we talked to seemed to think it was a really cool idea. These last months have been a great education in learning the differences between a “really cool idea” and “something that I immediately want to invest money in.” There are a lot of hurdles to jump through to raise money. It’s not about the idea. It’s about being able to quantify an addressable market, convincing people your team is solid from top to bottom,… Read More

Continue Reading

Speaking Today at Market Mix 2013

I hope to see some of you today at MarketMix 2013. I’ll be speaking in one of the Breakout Sessions, talking about how to add Storytelling to your Content Marketing Plan. If that’s not enough incentive, I also brought along Rebecca Lovell of Vittana and Billy Pettit of Pillar Properties. If you want to cheat, here’s the presentation I’ll be giving. MarketMix 2013 – Storytelling as Part of Your Content Marketing Plan from Relaborate

Continue Reading

The Power of Correcting Mistakes

I’m not saying companies should make a practice of this, but here’s something interesting I noticed today in my email. I sign up for 100’s of free products, so you can imagine how many newsletters, product announcements and other emails I get every day.  Most go ignored, unless they have a catchy title or I’m in a certain type of good mood. So like normal, I ignored an email from a company called 6wunderkinder.com and added it to the mass delete list of the day.  Then something funny happened.  I got another email later from them.   Truth be told, I didn’t even remember getting their first email.  And I don’t… Read More

Continue Reading