Samuelson Communications » Marketing Samuelson Communications » Marketing Samuelson Communications » Marketing

Tips, musings and interesting tidbits...


Lessons learned from the dot com era applied to social media

Why thye dot com era ended

Seems revenue streams do matter.

I still vividly remember my first dot com client. The CEO was 25, and the director of communications was 23. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with youth and fresh ideas. But every time we went in for a meeting, the business direction had changed and they wanted us to switch gears and promote something different to a new target market. When we asked silly questions like where the revenue stream was going to come from, what their strategy was or to see the marketing plan, we were told we were old school and just didn’t ‘get it’.  That the only thing that mattered was driving eyeballs to the site.  It didn’t matter what the cost of customer acquisition was as long as you had lots of clicks a month to report.

They were going to work hard for a couple of years, take the company public, make a bundle on their stock options and sail off into the sunset. I’m sure you’re shocked to find out that different happen.  And in the end revenues streams not just eyeballs did matter. 

That’s why I was so happy to read Peter Shankman’s post last week:  I Will Never Hire a “Social Media Expert,” and Neither Should You  He likened the current obsession with social media to the dot com era and says. “We’re making the same mistakes that we made during the dotcom era, where everyone thought that just adding the term .com to your corporate logo made you instantly credible. It didn’t. If that’s all you did, you emphasized even more strongly how pathetic your company was.” (more…)


Put the shoe on the other foot from time to time

These days I’m a guest blogger and occasional co-host to TableTalkRadio. In addition to feeding my foodie soul and allowing me to do fun things like attend the Seattle Top Chef tryouts or go to the media preview and menu tasting for The ‘Pen (a new concession area at Safeco Field with amazing food) it’s been a great reminder of what marketers/communicators should always be doing: putting themselves in their customers’ shoes.

I’ve been pitching the media for years. I know what makes a good story and a good pitch, I know that it’s my job to facilitate things and get them useful information in a timely fashion.  I admit it was a little weird to have the shoe on the other foot and to wander around Safeco Field wearing a media badge. But illuminating. When you’re on deadline and writing your story and searching for content, you view press releases and the people who sent them in a whole new way. I don’t know that I’d do anything differently but it has heightened my awareness of my customers’ needs.  Being on the other side of the fence has been good for me.


Take the buzz saw to the buzz words

Chainsaw Jen hates buzzwords as much as I do

I am forever telling clients that there are many words that are so overused as to be meaningless. Being a ‘leading solutions provider,’ ‘innovative leader’ or ‘award winning’ does not differentiate you nor add anything to your PR or marketing copy. In fact it can diminish your credibility. It certainly makes my eyes glaze over.

That’s why I love this article from Ragan’s PR Daily which reports on PR strategist Adam Sherk’s analysis of the top 25 most overused buzzwords in PR and marketing.

The most common word (used 776 times in press releases in a 24 hour period) is ‘leading’ followed by ‘solution’ (622 times).  Innovate / innovative / innovator was #4 on the list.

So please peoples, take a buzz saw to the buzz words and find more creative ways to express yourselves.


Some Fonts Can Make Your PowerPoint Suck

For those of you who enjoyed Chris Arlen’s tips on great presentations and are wanting more, here’s a terrific follow up from my friends at Artitudes Design on chosing the right fonts. While we all yearn to be creative, sometimes sticking with the tried and true is the right strategic choice. 

And the moral of the story? Always test your presentation on multiple machines to make sure the formatting hasn’t gone awry.

Some Fonts Can Make Your PowerPoint Suck


12 Tips for Great Presentations

Got a presentation coming up?  Don’t be lured into another ‘death by powepoint’  effort. (And yes, I’ve been guilty of it as I’m sure we all have.) Chris Arlen  from Revenue IQ is a master at great slideshows. I’ve been privileged to present with him from time to time.  Luckily he’s shared his tips for great presentations. It’s well worth a read.  Along with Mea Culpa – Presentation Mistakes to Avoid  And then of course as Chris points out, there’s always Seth Godin’s classic Really Bad PowerPoint.  All really great reminders.


Some surprising data about email marketing

Ever wondered about the best time to send out your email newsletters?   According to the experts at HubSpot, it’s Saturdays and Sundays. This goes for both B2B and B2C. Their research showed that 88% of those surveyed do not use separate business and personal email accounts. Their takeaway: businesses are consumers. Don’t treat B2B and B2C differently.  So why Saturdays and Sundays which seems counter intuitive, at least for B2B? They surmise that people have more time on weekends outside of their normal daily business emails that they need to take care of, that’s why the click through rates are so much higher.   They may flag your email newsletter and then get back to it on the weeknd when they have more time.

Other interesting tidbits: Biggest unsubscribe day: Tuesday. Best time: early in the morning. Click through rates are highest between 6 and 7am. And don’t forget to optimize your emails for mobile. 81% of their survey respondents reported reading their emails on mobile devices.