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The big difference between marketing a product and a candidate

Is not what you might think. Rolling out John Kerry or Howard Dean is a lot like any other big money product launch. No doubt the marketers will spend way too much money on TV, and no doubt the real impact (especially early on) comes not from blatant interruption but from ideaviruses that spread…

So the difference?

The difference is that coming in second in detergent or coffee is just fine if your overhead is appropriately small. Coming in second in politics is worthless.

I’ve been reading all the fawning Dean media hype with a bit of a smile. After all, it’s classic Purple Cow thinking. But in politics, of course, being a Purple Cow doesn’t mean you’re going to win. Which is good, otherwise we’d have peanut farmers, former actors and folks who aren’t smart enough to accept scientific facts and rational arguments running the country. Oops. You know what I mean.

I mean that being remarkable doesn’t always mean you will capture the majority. It might mean you come in second. If you’re a non-political marketer, I beg you to embrace your purpleness and TRY to come in second. Being safe is a bad idea.

If, on the other hand, you are Howard Dean, I have no idea what you should do. The word has spread among the sneezers and opinion leaders who care. Now, how do you leap the chasm to get to everyone else? I have no idea. Remember, awareness does not equal sales. It is necessary, but not sufficient.

As long as we’re talking about Google…

Check this out. Google News Alerts. Thanks to Burton Bruggeman for the tip.

It appears that like the weather, everyone loves to talk about Google. I’ve received some amazingly good ideas for my, “What Should Google Do?” ebook. But the public is insatiable. Don’t hesitate! Send yours in. You’ll get full credit, of course.

What should Google do now?

So, aside from being the official poster child for discussions about the web, marketing or business models (I challenge you to find a pundit, including me, who can resist mentioning Google for ten pages in a row…), it's also a business.

The question isn't whether Google is a good idea, a good business or even something to be jealous about. The question is: Given their position, what do they do now? Can they compound their influence and growth and mission? Or will they lose their nerve and stick with what they've got…

Tell me what you'd do if you ran Google. Would you buy someone? Spin off something? Launch new services? I'll turn it into a free ebook if the responses are any good.

Please keep your comments short and pithy.

[Here's the final ebook: Download Googledo ]

Thomas Dolby is a genius

And if you’ve ever been interrupted by a cell phone at the opera, check out what the new tech cell phones will have on them.Retro RingTones – Welcome

A long time ago…

I knew a guy named Derek Scruggs. He was smart then and he’s smart now. He’s an email marketing consultant (something I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to attempt) and while I’ve not used his services, his site makes a lot of sense. Escalan – Integerated direct marketing services to acquire and retain customers

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