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It’s about going to the edges

My friend Rich talks about how my friend Jack (and his ace Aaron) went all the way to the edge in delighting a customer.

It is patently stupid to send a Christmas card. Christmas cards are invisible. This is not. Link: “Hello_World”: How to GUARANTEE customer evangelism!.

The myth of the CMO

I feel sorry for Judy Verses. She’s the Chief Marketing Officer of Verizon, a brand that is justifiably reviled by millions of people.

Is Verizon disdained, mistrusted and avoided because Judy’s not doing a great job? Of course not. She’s doing a great job.

The reason we hate Verizon is they act like a monopoly, have ridiculous policies, a lousy call center, a bad attitude, plenty of outbound phone spam and crazy pricing.

We hate Verizon because of all the things Judy doesn’t get to influence or control.

The myth of the CMO is the C part. They don’t get to be the chief of the stuff that is really what marketing is all about today. CAO, maybe (Chief Advertising Officer) but not CMO.

If I were the CMO of Verizon, I’d fix the call centers. I’d fire people with a lousy attitude who aren’t afraid to share it with a customer. I’d reward the great ones (like the installer who came to my new office last week) and figure out how to get every one of their thousands of people to understand that THEY are the marketing department. And I’d shut down the outbound phone spam center immediately.

Until that happens, the CEO is the CMO, no matter what the title says.

Thanks to Tim at reveries – cool news of the day for getting me thinking.

The HughTrain

It’s possible (unlikely, but possible) that you haven’t come across gapingvoid.

If you haven’t, it’s worth a click.

Hugh’s blog is awfully different from mine (for one thing, he works harder and is more prolific) but it’s certain that it will make you sit up straight, pay attention and maybe, just maybe, think a little bit about all the changes our organizations are struggling with.

Hugh publishes his new manifesto today at changethis.com.

More reviews

Sure, it’s off topic, but the reviews are worth reading.

Thanks, Cleo.

Link: Amazon.com: Books: The Family Circus.

Is there a future in selling digital words?

Sanj points me to Amazon.com: e-Books & Docs: Just in Time: Sony Talks About PSP [DOWNLOAD: PDF].

This is a special “flash report” from a reputable firm. It costs $1,500. According to my favorite review:

If you were stunned by the shocking twist ending of “No PSP for the Holidays,” well, you haven’t seen anything yet! Quite possibly the best sequel ever written, “Sony Talks About PSP” takes everything you THOUGHT you knew about its predecessor and turns it on its head.

One page of data for $1,500…. certainly there is information out there that’s worth that much. I think the interesting question is not “who would have the guts to charge this much?” or even, “who is stupid enough to buy this?” but, “are businesses or consumers willing to pay for a report in a medium that they’ve been trained should be free?”

Nobody has created a viable channel for selling this sort of information in a format like this. I wonder if they ever will.

The Selfless Spammer!

Dean Wilson writes in in response to my post just below.

“Just a quick comment on your post regarding the insane text that is
often used in SPAM emails, the short version is that it’s intended to
‘poison’ smart (Bayesian based) filtering software to both make the
user trust it less and to confuse it. The aim is that the person
either grows to distrust the software and turns it off or that the
software becomes ‘confused’ by the non-sensical emails and starts
letting more actual spam through.

The full details are all available in very comprehensive (and pretty
dry / dull) papers on the ‘Net but most people just don’t care that
much about them 🙂

Hope this helps.

Dean (Occasional Mail Server Administrator”

So, in essence, spammers are ruining their own response rates in order to increase the response rates of the entire industry.

Where’s Richard Dawkins when you need him!

Stuff I don’t get

There’s weird stuff on the Net. Always has been. Most of it is weird because a lot of people are a card or two short of a full deck.

Lately, though, the Net has become monetized. The more you pay, the more attention you get. So explain to me this link: World-Check. I came to this site through a google adword link–someone paid money to get me to click on the link.

It takes me to a mostly black page with a prominent ENTER button. And the ENTER button won’t let me into the site without my password. Tantalizing? Maybe a little… But it sure seems like a waste of money.

And what about this?
“besiege aeneid bates aleph bicep armature append cardioid bang abacus bellicose american acquiescent”

That’s a quote from a piece of spam I got. Spam isn’t as expensive as adwords, but it’s not free, either. I assume this list of words is here to get past a spam filter (it didn’t work). But what if it DOES get past the filter? What do they hope someone who reads this endless string of words is going to do exactly?

All too often, we fall in love with the tactics and forget about the strategy that led us to spend money in the first place.