Posted tagged ‘bailout’

The Marketing Rules are (Still) Changing

March 6, 2009

tre-coverAs the world has witnessed the collapse of billion dollar companies such as AIG and Merryl Lynch, some of us stood by and were only able to watch in horror as if we were watching the Titanic sinking after hitting the iceberg. “It can never sink. It’s just too big,” they said. One can almost hear the naysayers scoffing at anyone who predicted such a catastrophic failure as what happened on Wall Street. “No, the banks can never fail. The government won’t let that happen.”

Look where it [our confidence] got us. Over the past two or three years, we have taken special notice to some blogs, names and phrases, such as, “Relationship Capital.”

The Relationship Economy is a system in which we are worth who we know and what we know. For example, I personally have just over 2,400 so-called “friends” on the online social network known as Facebook. A year ago, I had exactly 67 “friends” on that same network. Realizing that the shift from a goods-based/knowledge-based economy to a relationship-based economy, I started adding “friends” like crazy. Today, with my 2,400 + “friends,” I am more valuable than I was on March 5, 2008.

I’ve made connections to people all over the world, most of whom I will never meet or even speak to on the phone. And while I would say many will prove to be fruitless, I have made some really good connections to people in some very high places with companies such as Dell, IBM, Apple, HP, and, my favorite, Comcast.

The marketing has changed in the past six months. People are coming to the realization that the social networks are becoming more vital to businesses rather than just a fad. People are watching television online, listening to the radio online, getting their news online, and companies are capitalizing on the world’s ability to connect online.

So what’s my point?

With people spending so much time online and our ability to remain connected to the world, via Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and RSS feeds, the marketing has changed locations and forums, but the message is still the same: “LOOK AT HOW GREAT MY PRODUCT IS!”

That’s where the marketing guys come up short. Rather than talking to us, they need to be talking with us. Finding out what it is we need. What we want a product to give us, etc.

In The Cluetrain Manifesto, written by Doc Searls et. al., says that marketes are conversations. It does little to aid your bottom-line if you are speaking in a language none of your customers can understand. Therefore, the relationship isn’t there.

Now, some companies have adapted their marketing to The Relationship Economy, but the big-boys–the banks, the insurance companies, etc.– have not. That’s why they collapsed in ’08.

Companies have forgotten that they aren’t all about million dollar homes and large offices with gold trash cans. When a person is made to feel important, that is when you will develop consumer pride and brand loyalty. But when a service call is not kept, the call is dropped, or the company doesn’t seem to care about YOU, the consumer, that is when the walls they have built all around them start to crumble.

The move toward the relationship economy is coming, and I think it may catch many big companies unaware.

How ’bout it?

Who will Tell the People????

January 28, 2009

When I was in college studying Journalism, I took a class beyond most of the standard Journalism courses — basic newswriting, feature writing, etc.

I remember the book we used was titled Who Will Tell the People? And I also remember my professor saying repeatedly, that it is the journalists of the world who have the responsibility to tell the people of injustices occurring and governmental abuses of power. A.k.a. Scandals.

But 10 to 12 years older and wiser (and maybe a little less idealistic), I realize that we, the people, are the ones whose responsibility it is to tell the people. CNN has the iReporters, the internet has bloggers. It is up to us. No matter who you are or what you do, we have the responsibility to let others who may not be current on their Market Reports know what the major companies are doing. And how what they’re doing can affect the lives of millions and ultimately the Global Economy.

After the initial bailout of Wall Street, I was a little upset and thought, “Who’s going to bail me out if I make bad business end-wall-st-bull-collapsed-slidedecisions? Will Congress?”

Why should Congress protect these companies from filing bankruptcy if their CEOs and Presidents are making 7-figure salaries in ’08?

That’s why I created 18:1, a cause on Facebook and have been inviting almost everyone I know. The reason I chose the name, 18:1, has to do with the ratio of government salaries. The President of the United States, effectively the CEO, makes approximately 18 times the lowest salary of a full time government position. Give or take…

I propose, with much thought given to the subject, that if a company had to receive bailout funds in either 2008 or 2009 to keep from filing bankruptcy, the the CEO’s salary should be limited to 18 times the lowest of the company. I would like to hear everyone’s point of view, whether for or against the proposal.

How ’bout it?

I can’t believe Merrill Lynch’s CEO actually spent $1.2 Million to Refurnish his Office in 2008!

January 23, 2009

Uh, hello? Didn’t Merrill Lynch get a huge chunk of Bailout money from Congress becuase the company was having to fire its employees??? According to the Bloomberg report on Jan 23, 2009, that’s exactly what John Thain did.

Spending company money on a lavish re-do at a time when Merrill’s finances were rocky sends the wrong message,” said Amy Borrus, deputy director of the Council of Institutional Investors. “Thain was compensated well enough to foot the bill himself if he wanted such an upscale redecoration.”

Did you get that? “Thain was compensated well enough to foot the bill himself if he wanted such an upscale redecoration.”

I just can’t believe that as his company was firing employees, Thain actually had the gall to redecorate his office. Somebody must think he’s really special.

That’s why I started the Cause on Facebook called 18:1. I don’t think that CEOs of companies which needed to be bailed out with taxpayer dollars by Congress should be getting paid seven-figure annual salaries, when the rest of us are facing the same problems and still having to make ends meet.

No matter what your views are about the bailout and whether CEOs should be getting paid 467 times the lowest company salary, you are invited to join the cause, 18:1, by clicking this link.

We don’t have all the answers, we just want to get the ball rolling on how we can solve this problem….18:1.

Rebel against the bailout

January 19, 2009

With the approval of the first $750 Billion to bail out banks which have forced themselves into near bankrupcy, some Americans started to feel like the US was becoming a socialistic nation. However after the worst fourth quarter in our memoriess, the recipients of much of the bailout moneys are asking for another $300 Million.

Where can we find a job like that? One where we can run our company virtually into the ground, and then get the government to cover our debts?

I mean, I have an 8 year-old son who is not going to be able to garner anything from Social Security when he retires. I personally have never put much faith into SS, but I have paid into it all of my working life.

But this $300,000,000 are really starting to chap my backside. They’re taking moneys away from our kids schools! The money they’re asking for is coming directly from the system which can potentally prevent this from ever happening again! Shouldn’t we invest in our children and their education rather than pouring money into a vacuous pit?

When do we start investing in our futures rather than paying for the past?

We have started a cause/group on facebook, which I hope everyone will visit and join if  so led.