Lance Armstrong Cancer Research Poll
Good news. Virtually no one voting in our poll changed how they felt about donating to cancer research. Cancer research is chronically underfunded. A LiveStrong study showed cancer's funding coming in at below a third of its costs. Seem strange we've developed smart bomb technology before finding a cure for cancer? Seems strange to us too.
If you came to vote in our poll sorry you missed it. If you have thoughts about Lance Armstrong or cancer research please leave them in comments.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Lance Armstrong Cancer Research Poll
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Cause marketing is ubiquitous. It plays well on social networks, provides effective brand advocate recruitment and increases profits while lowering costs so a marketing scrum is forming. Traditional means of creating, supporting and growing markets are fading fast:
The reign of image/display/brand advertising is fading fast. We mute ads during our favorite TV shows or skip them entirely. We block banners on websites, or skip those sites altogether. Magazines and Newspapers struggle to stay alive. Brian Clark, CopyBlogger Earn ItGreat content sprouts legs crawling the world faster than any ad. Many content developers play a junk bond game. Create 1,000 pieces of content to have one go viral…maybe. Cause marketing created with the five C's produces the highest “go viral” success rate. Cause Marketing’s Five C’s...
Market a cause your company, brand or product is intimately connected too and with. Creation stories must ring true, must share intimate details of why you are supporting THIS cause TODAY and TOMORROW.
Select cause marketing consistent with company and brand attributes. Male brand? You may not want to align with women’s causes UNLESS your creation story explains reaching across typical brand perceptions.
Marketing must be “curated” to social networks and search engines creating ever widening circles of support. Some causes curate better than others. Test to know what works. Great test but your company’s connection is slight = take a pass.
You need, want and must have advocates to help tweet, link and Facebook. Friendly competition with social rewards recruits the best kind of advocates.
Cancer your cause and LiveStrong your partner? Your company could get some tar and feathers meant for Lance Armstrong after his 60 Minutes interview tonight to refute doping charges. If something unplanned happens, and it will, stand tall and double down. Cause marketing is about the cause not a campaign or charismatic spokesperson.
Source: New Rules for Purpose-Driven Brand by Jeremy Heimans for Adage
Source: Cause Marketing is On by Martin Smith on Technorati Business
Photo Credit: Martin Smith, picture of Duke Cancer Institute topping off ceremony beam, 2010
Monday, May 23, 2011
Amgen Breaks Away From Cancer
Glad Amgen continues Tour of California sponsors. They weren't very nice in response to sponsorship letters for Martin's Ride. As long as they keep creating life saving cancer drugs all is forgiven :). Visit Amgen's impressive Breakaway site:
Amgen's Breakaway From Cancer site
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I've been accepted as a Technorati blogger, so some ScentTrail Marketing posts will appear first or only on Technorati.
ScentTrail Technorati Link
Curation The Next Web Revolution II on Technorati
Curation The Next Web Revolution (my January ScentTrail post)
Curation on Technorati generated a lot of tweets. Hans Henrik asked a great question:
Hans Henrik H.Heming (@publicmind)Here are the thoughts Hans Henrik's question prompted:
Curation: The Next Web Revolution II -totally agree but the Q is who will be your curator, your closest peer's, right?
Hans,I'm working my way through the rest of the comments and tweets. I've also set up Curation Revoltion as a topic on Scoop.it (very cool new curation engine). I'd like to write a piece on the Top 10 Curation Tools soon. If you have favorites such as Twitter, Digg, About.me or Scoop.it please share.
Great question. Our friends and friends of friends have roles as assistant curators and as audience for our curation. This "tribal curation" creates shared values and knits groups together. @MarcFuseki left a great comment on my original ScentTrail Marketing post about curation as a means of expression, as a product unto itself. Maybe curation becomes our most important process, a business's key skill. Dov Seidman wrote a great book HOW: Why how we do anything means everything. HOW points out process is the only thing a business can truly "own" anymore. Great new companies such as Google and Zappos prove How's point. Their process is product. Extending How's idea curation is the most unique "product" most companies (or people) make. Curation is what P&G used to call a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and something we will share with peers and they with us. Thanks for your tweet and question.
Martin (will also send thanks on Twitter/ScentTrail)
Monday, May 16, 2011
Duke's cancer fighters have a new leader today. Dr. Michael Kastan will lead the Duke Cancer Institute team into a challenging future. Is there a more interesting time to be a cancer fighter? Don't think so. Duke's already impressive team will be well led. Links below highlight my initial posts after hearing such welcomed news:
Article first published as Dr. Michael Kastan Named Duke Cancer Institute Executive Director on Technorati.
Herald-Sun Martin's Ride Blog on Dr. Kastan's Appointment
God Speed Dr. Kastan, welcome back to North Carolina and let's cure cancer in our lifetime.
Photo (c) Duke Cancer Institute
Saturday, May 14, 2011
About.me Content Creators Best Friend
Ever notice the more content you create the harder it is to keep up with what is where? I've got a couple of blogs, write comments on other blogs, tweet almost daily, keep friends up-to-date on Facebook and post images to Flickr. Curation tools will rule the web's next revolution ( Curation The Next Web Revolution). I keep an eye out for cool curation tools. About.me is one cool curation tool.
About.me helps organize web content. It is easy to upload social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, but it is just as easy to upload links to pieces you've commented on or articles from your blogs. About.me helps writers and web content developers keep track of an expanding content universe. Kudos to Tony Conrad and other About.me founders for creating such an elegant, simple and invaluable tool.
ScentTrail (Martin Smith) on About.me
About.me home page (where you can create a profile in seconds)
Tony Conrad on About.me Page
Friday, May 13, 2011
Entrepreneur Needs Advice
I'm a big fan of Stephen Dubner and Steven D. Levitt's book Freakonmoics. Anyone who wrestles with web analytics and Internet marketing needs to read the book. Even if you think you are mathematically challenged Freakonomics will appeal, maybe especially if you think of yourself as so challenged. Freakonomics minds data for truth. Their story is much more exciting to read than my sentence sounds.
Business Strategy Help for Patrick
Here is what Stephen Dubner posted on May 11th:
A reader named Patrick Nash needs your advice:There are several good comments. Use the link below to give Patrick your thoughts:
My friend and I have developed a cutting-edge technology for social media. There are other similar technologies out there for social media but we could never compete with their resources. Should we just point blank say we are the cheap alternative as a selling strategy? Sounds cheesy and flimsy but may be our only avenue.
Freakonomics Daily Bleg: Strategy Help For Patrick
Here is my note:
If I’ve learned one thing after 30 years of selling everything from bar soap (for P&G) to software it is there is NEVER only one way to solve a problem. Don’t despair and don’t start selling on price. Think of price as a line in the sand. Once crossed you can never return since prices ONLY, or with very rare exceptions, go down. Technology has the built in price erosion based on Moore’s Law, so starting low and being forced lower will mean a difficult ROI road.
Even more important, price rarely creates brand advocates needed to get any startup to scalable traction. There is always a magical story to tell. P&G calls this the “unique selling proposition” (USP). You may be too close to your creation to know its brand advocate creating USP, but there is always one hiding in plane sight. Maybe your product’s USP is a combination of features combined with your backgrounds and journey. Sitting here with so little information I only KNOW your company, brand and product has a USP. Anyone helping you develop it would need more information.
Don’t worry. You are not alone. I’m working with an old friend who has more than twenty years marketing products for others having the same difficulty. Finding the magic story always takes time, usually needs help from trusted sources and good resources. Here are some resources I’ve found helpful:
Made to Stick by the Heath brothers (helps boil your story down so it creates its own “meme”)
All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin (don’t let the title fool you this book is about storytelling)
Tell To Win by Peter Guber (great stores and tips for how to sell million dollar stories from a Hollywood mogul)
I would be glad to help anyway I can (for free since I know startups never have any free cash flow). ScentTrail Marketing is my blog. Type “ScentTrail Marketing” into Google and it comes up first. Good luck, have fun, find your product’s magical story and don’t start selling on price since there is always time for that later if all else fails.
Daily Bleg post about Startup Strategy Help for Patrick
Buy Freakonomics on Amazon:
Freakonomics Web Site
Wikipedia Page about Freakonomics
Thursday, May 12, 2011
ScentTrail will be contributing original marketing, business and cultural articles to Technorati.
ScentTrail Profile on Technorati
ScentTrail Articles on Technorati
David Droga's Water World
Please stop by ScentTrail on Technorati to comment, Tweet and LIKE.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
CureCancerStore.org Coming Soon
The Cure Cancer Store will use electronic commerce to help cure cancer. Our Cure Cancer Store will ask a simple favor - start online shopping at CureCancerStore.org. When shoppers start their online shopping journey at CureCancerStore.org we will earn a small affiliate fee. Add enough small fees together and we can cure cancer in our lifetime.
When I co-founded Found Objects we created the tag line, "cool products that make you smile." Smiles can be hard to find after a cancer diagnosis. The CureCancerStore.org will look for helpful, cool, fun products that help cancer patients and their families smile. Know of cool gifts or products that make YOU smile? Please share in an email (MartinSellingZoe(at)aol or in comments.
Profits from the Cure Cancer Store will be donated to help cure cancer.
We hope the CureCancerStore.org will be live by July (fingers crossed). Check here, my Facebook page (Martin Marty Smith) or at ScentTrail's Twitter page for updates. Please share your feedback and product ideas.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Twitter cures cancer because it is a new tool creating a new world. Twitter is a “curation tool” and curation tools are changing the world. What defines a “curation tool” can be difficult to determine. The Internet is organic changing day-by-day and minute-by-minute. Teams are working in a garages right now changing or adding to what it means to be a curation tool. Caveat stated curation tools are tools whose purpose is the organization of information through value added qualitative judgement.
We curate our lives. We organize our DVR’s programming from hundreds of channels and thousands of shows. We search Google’s infinite keywords. We Tweet, Facebook and email our passions, interests and loves. Webster’s definition seems staid and too small for social media times. I like Steven Rosenbaum's definition better:
cu*ra*torWe curate the zoo that is modern life; we cage and share passions, loves and thoughts across family, friends and friends of friends. We use tools like Twitter to cure cancer, build businesses and rush headlong into a different future. Think of curation tools as life preservers helping our heads bob in a roaring content storm:
: one who has the care and superintendence of something; especially one in charge of a museum, zoo, or other place of exhibit.
Curation is an exhilarating, fast-moving, evolving idea addressing two parallel trends: the explosive growth in data, and our need to be able to find information in coherent, reasonable contextual groupings.
Steven Rosenbaum, Curation Nation page 5
We are on the verge of a data tsunami. "Between the dawn of civilization through 2003, there was just five exabytes (one quintillion bytes) of information created. That much information is now created every two days, and the pace is increasing. People aren't ready for the technology revolution that's going to happen to them.Curation tools do more than keep us afloat. They change how we think, how we are. Read Why Twitter Is Important for a deeper dive into how curation tools change us. We are changed as creators and readers. As creators Twitter’s 140-character limit makes headline editors of us all. Twitter’s analytical feedback loops, @mentions and Retweets, train our brains. We learn to capture attention. No one with more than 5 followers “reads” twitter. We ladle information drinking from an infinite well attempting to drink from Twitter’s large fire hose.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt quoted from Curation Nation page 10 (emphasis mine)
The well is infinite and becoming more so because of Moore’s Law (linked below). Moore’s law explains how integrated circuits become more powerful even as costs decline. Without Moore’s law too much information is unmanageable. With Moore’s Law’s cheaper computing power we just about catch the mountain of information crushing us. We throw new curation tools such as Google, Twitter and Facebook into a widening breach.
And now, thanks to the magic elixir of (cheap) bandwidth and hardware, we've all got a television broadcast studio in our pocket, a printing press on our desktop, and a radio station in our iPod. Mass media just went kaboom.How Twitter and Facebook Cure Cancer
Curation Nation, page 13
Is the idea Twitter and Facebook curing cancer absurd? Twitter and its social media cousins cure cancer because they break down information silos. Information previously horded explodes. Sharing is inevitable and the name of the new game. Some companies see new social media as zero sum. Companies win, the thinking goes, by proprietary thinking. We win when the other people in a transaction loose. Information needs to be locked in vaults protected by patents and lawsuits. Cancer and our new interconnected social world are too complex. We cure cancer when information flows like Niagara Falls.
Social media’s new tools cure cancer because they change us. We become curators and curators live to share, educate and thrill. Curators live for interaction, feedback and change. Zero sum thinking gives way to a “NonZero” approach. Even greedy profiteers will understand the only way to create profit is through values based altruism and curation. This “doing right is the right thing to do” is Social Media’s hidden magic as author Robert Wright explains:
Nonzero demonstrates how natural selection results in increasing complexity within the world by providing greater rewards for cooperation, or NonZero relationships. NonZero relationships, the opposite of zero sum, are rewarding for all parties. The realization of such prospects requires increased levels of communication, cooperation, and trust. What is thought of as human intelligence is really just a long step in an evolutionary process of organisms (as well as their networks and individual parts) getting better at processing information and acting in concert with an innate biological imperative for NonZero interaction.Our interdependency is clear. Social Media’s magic is simultaneously increasing our connections, skills and independence. Profit seeking capitalism is nothing if not Darwinian. Doing the right thing is about to become the most profitable thing. Proprietary thinking and closed systems are over. Secrets are gone.
Edited Wikipedia re: NonZero: The logic of human destiny by Robert Wright
New technologies arise that permit or encourage new, richer forms of non-zero-sum interaction;then (for intelligible reasons grounded ultimately in human nature) social structures evolve that realize this rich potential—that convert non-zero-sum situations into positive sums. Thus does social complexity grow in scope and depth.
Robert Wright, NonZero.org
As secrets leave a new kind of socially engaged company emerges. Innovative companies aren't dependent on social media's curation tools. They develop "social media" tools such as Pepsi's Refresh project. Here is how Pepsi's Chief Consumer Engagement Officer describes the brand impact of the Pepsi Refresh Project:
Cooper sees a massive change in media and the potential of a brand. "The Pepsi Refresh Project has expanded our consumers' perception of what the Pepsi brand can be: Pepsi remains a fun brand that leads culture. However, it also has social responsibility, a sense of purpose, built into its behavior."Since social media helps innovations instantly move around the globe secrets are over. Secrets as a business model loses to open platform collaboration. Locking information down and fighting to protect it may still happen, but businesses will learn Social Media’s New Darwinism:
Curation Nation, page 63 Link to Pepsi Refresh Project
- Secrets are dead.
- Transparency is more important than any trade secret.
- Collaborate or die.
- Curators are different kinds of customers.
- Open platforms beat closed systems.
- Social media is your best friend.
- Make the world better.
- Create curator / evangelists.
Tightly held intellectual property doesn’t matter in an interconnected curation world. The tighter intellectually property is held the less traction an idea or product generates, the less meaning it has. Yes there are vicious lawsuits over who owned what when. Lawsuits don’t win hearts and minds. Lawsuits don’t create evangelists. Even the most litigious will see how limiting creating, keeping and protecting secrets has become.
P&G understood a hard fact. Growth was a must. P&G didn’t have, nor could they hire, enough brainpower to grow fast enough. Transparency, sharing things previously deemed “secret” was the ONLY solution. P&G created a “developer” network wanting to become “The Most Collaborative Company In The World. If P&G, one of the most innovative consumer products goods companies on the planet, understands the need for transparency and collaboration then the social media tipping point is behind us. Here is a helpful video from Cisco explaining P&G's goals:
P&G Becoming The Most Collaborative Company Video Link
Collaborate Or Die
Are you smarter than a fifth grader? Maybe, but are you smarter than a room full of fifth graders? Wisdom of crowds tells us a room full of fifth graders may best you. More brains on a problem, especially more diverse brains, create better, smarter, faster solutions. New curation tools share a common trait – easy collaboration. Sun Microsystems founder Scott McNealy was right, “The network is the computer” and our “computers” or brains are smarter, faster and better when connected to networks. Collaborate or die.
Curators Are Different Kinds of Customers
Curators consume the world differently. Curators want access, choice and crowd wisdom. Some might call this DIY (do-it-yourself) culture, but author Steven Rosenbaum's Curation Nation (linked below) runs deeper. Curators want to create AND share. Do-it-yourself sounds like you put hardwood floors down by yourself. DIY is a huge wave, but it pales when compared curation. Curation is about surfing the wave, making a video, sharing the video, starting a surf lessons forum and adding Google adwords to monetize the popular surfing content. Curators want to do it themselves in active collaboration with others. Sounds like “alone together” because curation requires an audience, needs feedback from interactivity. Curators are tough customers, but your company needs their help.
Open Platforms Vs. Closed Systems
Amazon is an open platform. Etsy.com is an open platform. Many e-commerce websites, especially those with reviews, are open platforms. Open platforms, sometimes called Web 2.0, provide access, involvement, wisdom of crowds and two-way communication. The only thing deader than secrets is lecturing. We want information and we demand involvement. Curators shape information organizing it to fit puzzles. Even some traditionally closed and gatekeeper controlled systems understand our new social media interactive world. You can tweet CNN or email CNBC. Closed systems tend to talk to themselves about themselves. Closed systems can’t stay relevant. The world moves too fast. If your conversation is closed it falls in the forest and no one cares. Influence depends on involvement. Oprah may be able to sell an idea on its face, but your company can’t. Your company needs an open platform with lots of customer / curator interaction to build trust, earn repeat business, gather feedback and change the world.
Social Media, Your Best Friend
I’m writing about B2B Social Media for a later ScentTrail Marketing post. Creating the B2B social media business case made me laugh. What if social media was the only way to create a market? When consumers become curators social media is the only way to make, service and grow a market. TV, print and other “interruption marketing” to steal a Seth Godin term, will have a different function. The best use of interruption media is to amplify social media discoveries. Days when traditional interruption media (print, TV, radio) creates markets by themselves are almost over. Newspapers can’t afford to put print on paper. Curators demand two-way communication. The only thing deader than secrets is one sided lecturing. Traditional media is often one big lecture. Traditional media’s rapidly increasing costs matched with declining efficacy (it doesn't work well enough to generate ROI) means social media is your company, brand, product, service or not-for-profit’s best friend.
Make The World Better
When I was a college student an art history major gave a fascinating lecture on the death of original creativity. Everything was derivative making destruction the only creativity left, he argued. This may be too radical an idea for art but it applies beautifully to business. Someone else is producing every widget you can imagine with world-class quality and cheaper than you. The bad news is there is no room, need or desire for an average anything. The good news is there is no room, need or desire for an average anything. Your company, brand, product, service or not-for-profit must positively change the world like the Pepsi Refresh Project. Frank Cooper's note about how Pepsi's social marketing project provided one of the best known brands in the world with "a sense of purpose" should make every Internet marketer reading this post take note. Your curators / customers want to know how your product makes the world better. If you can’t have this conversation today know you will need to walk and talk how your company makes the world better tomorrow. A company used to be able to make the best widget and win. In a NonZero Curation Nation table stakes are higher. Change the world, share the story in an open, honest and transparent way and encourage collaboration or get out of the game.
Creating Curator Evangelists
No one’s marketing budget is big enough anymore. Every company, brand, product, service or not-for-profit is dependent on the kindness of others. Turning curators into evangelists is every company’s mission. Open platforms are key (see above) and keeping platforms open is the hardest lesson to consistently implement. No matter how “open” your systems seem they can be better. Cisco, a great company, didn’t provide a “share” link on their P&G The Most Collaborative Company video. Why? I was ready to embed their video into this post. I was ready to act as Curator Evangelist for Cisco. If Cisco remembered creating curator evangelist is their most important job they would think and act differently. No one climbs Everest alone these days. Social media means we climb mountains faster, easier, and smarter with a bunch of cool Sherpas.
We cure cancer when we think we can AND when curators become evangelists. Hospitals, Doctors, Biotech, Pharmaceutical companies and every one of us will use new tools to collaborate, evangelize and curate a cancer cure. Seeing light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the same as getting there, but light is good. Together we cure cancer in our lifetime. “Cured cancer today [ link goes here ],
Curation The Next Web Revolution
User Generated Content - The 1:10:89 Rule
Product Reviews - The Most Important Ecommerce Content
NonZero by Robert Wright
Curation Nation by Steven Rosenbaum
Pepsi Refresh Project