Friday, July 27, 2007

Recognition Marketing Buzz Meter For Week Ending 7/27/07

A Look At The Past Week In Buzz

The following is a list of this past week's winners and losers in the weekly Recognition Marketing Buzz Meter.

Note: The order is not intended to indicate a ranking in importance.


  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell - for his King Soloman handling of the Michael Vick issue
  • Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank - quality person, cool head in difficult situation
  • NBC Sports Bob Costas - great comeback to cheap shot from Barry Bonds
  • The Simpsons Movie - Homer, Bart & the family may win an Oscar
  • NBC's Campbell Brown - Leaves the Peacock Network for prime time at CNN.
  • CNN/YouTube - Democratic Presidential Debates enter new era
  • Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul - working the blogosphere to get out his message
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones - new release "Without Reservations" a must see
  • Democrat Presidentiial Candidates - kudos for agreeing to CNN/YouTube debate format
  • Michael Vick - his silence is deafening and he allowed his mother to deal with the press
  • Tour De France - the Yellow Jersey leaves race in disgrace
  • Lindsay Lohan - out of rehab, into court
  • Barry Bonds - takes cheap shot at Bob Costas calling him a little "midget. No class.
  • Alberto Gonzales - is everybody else lying?
  • Pepsico - finally comes clean (after consumer pressure) Aquafina is filtered tap water
  • Paula Zahn - out at CNN. O'Reilly too much "A Factor" in the ratings
  • Bush Administration - deaf ears to anything but "stay the course"
    Stock Market - bears were growling on Wall Street making bulls nervous

Recognition: Where's The e Pluribus Unum, Folks?

Calling Each Other Names Is Now A National Sport

By David Miranda

The only label that really counts in this country is "American". Remember our country's motto, "e pluribus unum"? It means "out of many one", not "out of many, some."

Today, it seems that name-calling is a national sport. It has created a polarized nation on many fronts. Democrats vs. Republicans. Liberals vs. Conservatives. Pro-war vs. anti-war. Pro-gay rights vs. anti gay rights. Pro-abortion vs. anti-abortion. Tree-hugging environmentalists vs. the corporate rape & pillagers. The Christian Right vs. the liberal left. Big business vs. the little guy. Even the Supreme Court has had a recent rash of 5 to 4 votes.

Watch any news program, listen to any politician or activist group, turn on talk radio, pick up a newspaper, peruse some blogs and it's relentlessly there - bitter partisanship seasoned with name calling from all sides of any issue.

If all this name calling and bickering was working, I'd say okay, but sadly all it does is create gridlock while critical problems go unresolved in the public and private sectors.

Hello out there. If everyone can just take a time out for a moment, here's a to do list we have to get done sometime soon and these things can only get done with a lot of cooperation. (Feel free to add to the list)

  • The War On Terror (or whatever the politically correct term is these days). We are losing precious lives there and forking out billions. Need some accountability here and a plan that works.
  • 45 million Americans, by last count, have no health care. Shameful.

  • an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants are in the country today and most contribute to our economy in this land built by immigrants. Remember the "Give me your tired, poor" thing on that statue in New York harbor. Seems like we need a plan here.

  • New Orleans still looks like a bomb hit all this time later. Seems a little behind schedule.

  • Lobbyists still use check-book influence on Capitol Hill. Doesn't seem right.

  • We have military veterans who can't get the care they so richly deserve.
Do we have our priorities right? No, not by a long shot.

This is a country of e pluribus unum. It's high time we celebrated our differences not be polarized by them.

If we're going call each other names - let it be "American".

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ad Age Video Report - Web Audience Metrics Get More Complicated

Unique Visitors, Impressions, Page Views, Time On Site Are Just A Few Of The Ways With More To Come

By David Miranda

Ad Age digital editor, Abbey Klaassen provides a comprehensive overview on the complex and complicated world of measuring Web audiences and also what's on the horizon.

The stakes are high in the trying to determine the best metrics for both media buyers and sellers in the growing online advertising world. Unlike more mature media like TV, radio, and print, web metrics have many variables - unique visitors, impressions, page views.

Things get more complicated. Nielsen/NetRatings has recently announced another metric - total minutes. According to AdAge, for example, "the total minutes measurement upends the rankings among the largest web portals -- pushing AOL to No. 1 in a field where it is usually ranked third or lower by other major metric formats."

As some web sites, like AOL and YouTube, argue that the greater minutes to their site means more engagement, others like Google argue their aim is to reduce the amount of time users spend on their site.

How will this play out? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Recognition: The Brand Crisis In Professional Sports

Cheating And Bad Behavior Create Image Problem And Consequences For Stakeholders

By David Miranda

The NFL is in the midst of dealing with a rash of off-the-field incidents of bad behavior including the recent plight of one of its star players, Michael Vick, facing federal charges stemming from dog-fighting and cruelty to animals. The rookie NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, today, announced Vick would be restricted from the League until further investigation of the charges. The NFL is under intense pressure from fans and activists groups to act responsibly. Nike has suspended a new Michael Vick shoe launch until further notice and will wait until due process has occurred to determine the status of their endorsement deal. Vick has lost renewals of other endorsement deals including AirTran and Coca-Cola.

The NBA is dealing with the indictment of one of its senior referees, Tim Donahy, for gambling on games he officiated and being involved with members of organized crime on point- shaving. This follows many incidents of the League having to discipline players for bad behavior and the highly publicized Kobe Bryant rape trial.

Major League Baseball has tried to deal with the issue of steriods in baseball by a number of its current and former stars. At a Congressional hearing, All Star Rafael Palmeiro flatly denied use of steriods only to be tested positive some months later. Former home run champion, Mark McGwire refused at the same Congressional hearing to answer questions about past steriod use. The MLB investigation continues clouding the accomplishments of soon-to-be all time home run champion, Barry Bonds.

The Tour De France has been embarrassed, by the admission by many top former cyclists, of their use of blood doping. The fate of last year's race winner, Floyd Landis, is still being awaited.

NASCAR has had to levy suspensions and fines against racing teams for cheating.

What does this mean for the sports themselves, their fans, and sponsors? The stakes are very high. Losing fan support, losing lucrative sponsors and advertisers could have a significant impact of the fortunes of these high profile brands.

Officials of these sports are faced with King Solomon decisions in saving their respective brands. Some things they can control, i.e. levying fines, suspensions, lifetime banishment. Some things they cannot, i.e. the legal system and the court of public opinion. Sponsors will have the same decisions based on fan reaction.

This is a brand crisis of epic proportion for all stakeholders. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Recognizing A Culture Of Denial

And It's Not A River In Egypt! It's A Problem.

By David Miranda

Denial is a major impediment to positive outcomes.

It is usually accompanied by its siblings, arrogance and ignorance. It is exascerbated by power and time, i.e. the more powerful the position, the longer the denial, the greater the consequences.

A ship's captain who is in denial that he is off course, despite evidence and advice to the contrary, will get further off course over time unless making necessary course corrections.

Denial has had and continues to have its impact in a number of areas:

  • War in Iraq

  • Performance-enhancing drugs in sports

  • U.S. automobile industry

  • Immigration reform

  • Health care reform

  • Reliance of fossil fuels

  • Global warming

  • Obesity

  • Katrina victims

  • Darfur genocide

From business and government leaders, to professional athletes, to celebrities, we see and hear a constant chorus of denial. Few admit they were wrong until either the evidence is overwhelming, the consequences are dire, they are exposed on YouTube, are fired, indicted, or convicted. By then, the damage has been done.

If you are in a position of authority, recognize this. There is nothing wrong admitting that you're wrong. It is a positive, not a negative trait. A sign of strength, not weakness.

If you are wrong, admit it quickly and honestly. It's the right thing to do.

There is no denying it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Recognition Marketing Buzz Meter Week Ending 7/22/07

A Look At The Past Week In Buzz

By David Miranda

The following is a list of this past week's winners and losers in the weekly Recognition Marketing Buzz Meter.

Note: The order is not intended to indicate a ranking in importance.


  • Harry Potter - release of last book

  • J.K. Rowling - author says goodbye to Harry

  • Padriag Harrington - winner of British Open playoff almost Vandervelde'd himself

  • David Beckham - brings celebrity to U.S soccer

  • Barry Bonds - controversial but imminent all-time home run champion

  • Virgin America - opens for business in U.S.

  • Fred Thompson - unannounced candidate for President gaining ground

  • British Open - the oldest major in golf still has magic

  • PETA - the Vick indictment provides an opportunity for its cause

  • Oprah Winfrey - announces endorsement for Obama

  • Hank Aaron - all-time home run king still the king in people's hearts

  • Barack Obama - Oprah endorsement and strong fundraising gives him runway

  • Bill & Hillary Clinton - dynamic duo a force majeur to contend with

  • Boeing 787 Dreamliner - Boeing bets right and bests rival Airbus


  • Michael Vick - from NFL superstar to federal indicted co-defendant

  • Bud Selig - the silence what to do when Bonds breaks the record is deafening

  • Sen. John McCain - from front runner to underdog

  • Sen. David Vitter - another public official, another scandal, another apology

  • NFL - should federal indictments of players have the same consequences for everyone?

  • Paris Hilton - why do we bother?

  • Tour De France - Scandals have spoiled it for everyone this year.

  • Victoria Beckham - New reality show's in trouble. There's still the Spice Girls.

  • Congress - Approval rating lower than the President's. Just above Cheney.

  • Bush Administration - Approval ratings haven't bottomed out.

  • Atlanta Falcons - Great franchise and fans have to deal with the Vick situation. No win situation.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bob and Ray: Slow Talkers of America

In our fast paced, A.D.D world, this classic comedy sketch will make you cry.

SNL Skit - Steve Jobs Announces the iPhone

Apple's master marketer has done it again. This Saturday Night Live parody is worth a second look.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Press '1' To Be Ignored. Press '2' To Be Booted Out"

Please Stop Calling Customer Service for Customer Service!

By David Miranda

ABC News ran an interesting article, "Your Call Is Important To Us -- Not!" (You can check out the video piece here.) This "man bites dog" story centers around this week's announcement that Sprint has booted about 1000 of their customers for habitually complaining about their service. This is, apparently, one way to get the J.D. Power quality scores higher - boot the complainers. Sprint is not an isolated case, just the latest publicized offender.

The worst offenders, by category, according to the article, "invariably tend to be cell phone companies, cable TV companies, airlines and banks. These companies are among those that turned up in surveys by consumer and customer service consultants: AOL, Albertson's, Bank of America, Best Buy, Dell, Day's Inn, Home Depot, Sprint, Wells Fargo. "

The article notes the following:

But why do so many companies not get it?

A combination of factors, from the increasing reliance on automated phone systems to companies slashing budgets for their customer service divisions to disgruntled employees passing on their frustration, has provoked customers into voicing their complaints about the way companies treat them.

But let's give credit where credit is due and end on a positive note.

According to the article, the following companies are consistently cited for the quality of their service: Starbucks, Nordstrom, Four Seasons Hotels, Lexus, LL Bean, Chick-fil-A, Ritz Carlton, FedEx, UPS, and Cadillac.

Is it any wonder that these are some of the most respective brands in the marketplace? What do they have in common? - a culture of service and inspired leadership.

Next time you are treated badly, press "disconnect" and take your business to someone who wants it.

Photo Credit: Photodisc

Monday, July 9, 2007

"CMO's Don't Have Any Effect On A Company's Financial Performance"

Then It's Got To Be The CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, CTO

By David Miranda

An article on today titled "CMOs Rapped For Having Zero Impact On Sales", reported the following:

"A study to be published in the Journal of Marketing that covered 167 companies including Procter & Gamble, Microsoft and Apple over a five-year period concludes that CMOs on top management teams don't have any effect on a company's financial performance."

The study, "Chief Marketing Officers: A Study of their Presence in Firms' Top Management Teams," is slated for the January 2008 issue of the publication.

According the the AdAge article, "Among the companies studied, less than half, 40%, had CMOs in their top-management teams. As a comparison, 97.2% of the firms in the study had a CFO in that team."

On its release this study is destined to create considerable debate in the C-Suites of both large and small companies. It will reinforce the positions of those who believe that the marketing discipline is a necessary evil and make it more difficult for those who believe that marketing is the key driver of revenue, market share, and brand equity.

This author is frankly biased to the latter proposition. This position may be supported by in a soon-to-be-released study by Booz Allen Hamilton titled "CMO Thought Leaders: The Rise of the Strategic Marketer" based on 15 in-depth interviews with some of the marketing world's best-known CMOs. The main takeaway of the study is that measuring CMO performance based on financial performance alone is a mistake.

As I have evangelized many times - before someone buys anything, they have to want it first. That's what marketing does - getting consumers (and clients) to want your stuff more than your competitors. It is simply foolish not to have a competent CMO in the C-Suite if the CEO is not someone like a Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson or someone else who understands the critical role of marketing in the short and long success of a company.

For the 60% of the companies in the CMO study who do not have a CMO in the C-Suite, wake up. In a world where preference is perishable and insurgent competitors are "at the gate", not having a CMO in the boardroom is like not having a doctor in the operating room.

Your critical patient (the company) won't be saved by analyzing charts and monitors.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Marketers - Exploit The Powerful Winds Of Change

Marketers Must "Plot Their Own Course" And Not Sail In The "Me Too" Regatta

By David Miranda

The 32nd America's Cup has just concluded in Valencia, Spain. Swiss-defender Alinghi defeated Team New Zealand to retain the Cup. How did they do it? Strong leadership, teamwork, state-of-the art design and technology were obvious, but watching the races it was also clear that the winning boat understood it had to relentlessly find "clean wind" - wind unfettered by its competitor. If you could find this wind and position your boat between it and your competitor, success was at hand.

Today's marketplace is a sea of challenge where the winds of change are constantly in flux, yet many marketers choose to sail in the diminishing winds of the status quo in the "me too" regatta. Instead of seeking their own "clear winds" to success, they watch the other "boats" to determine when to tack and jibe.

The marketplace is not about competing with other "boats". It is about competing with yourselves, against the elements - determining your own course for success instead of following the course taken by others.

See where the powerful winds of change are blowing and set your sails accordingly.

It's clean air.