Scarlett of Suburbia

Field Notes from The Motherhood


March 2008

Top 10 Marketing Books I Wish Someone Would Write

A friend of mine was telling me about his idea for a ‘new’ marketing book he’s writing.  I pointed out that there are already more than 600 books on social media alone according to the impromptu search I did on Amazon whilst talking with him.  His book, apparently, would be different because it was from the client’s point-of-view.  Ah.

So I got to thinking about how very different the world looks from the agency-side.  I wondered what I might write about if I were so inclined.   Here’s my Top 10 list of marketing books that I wish someone would write (because I don’t have the time):

1. Cajones: Fortune 500 Marketing for the New Millennium

2. Beyond Boobs, Babies and Bulldogs: 1001 Memorable Visual Cues for New Media

3. In Search of ROI…

4. You Found The Silver Bullet: Will It Blend?

5. It Cost HOW MUCH? A Collection of the Most Expensive, Worst-Performing Campaigns Ever (vol. 1 of 20)

6. Mediocrity: A Guide for the Defiantly Stupid

7. The 70-Hour Work Week: Welcome to Reality, Dude

8. Panicked People: Interviews with Baby Boomer CMO’s

9. 1001 Ways to Convince Your Client Their Campaign is Amazing

10. The ABC’s of Marketing Leadership: Always Be Clueless

So, what would your title be?  Post your comment below.


A Site-less Web Site

Finally.  An agency who gets it and shows that they get it when it comes to creatively demonstrating that the web is a fundamentally different media:

It is ‘siteless’ because in the web 2.0 world your business don’t need a home page.  Your content should be embroidered into the fabric of the social web.  The creative strategy behind this type of a site depends on the community for its continued (relevant) existence.

That said, a few days after they launched the site, their wikipedia page was taken down for review by the Kabal who run wikipedia as it broke one of their core rules: no ‘advertising’.  And yet it is not advertising, at least not in the traditional sense.  And it begs the question of wikipedia: why shouldn’t a business connect to their listing if it does adhere to the ‘rules’?  In other words, Modernista has sparked a conversation.

Going site-less is a bit like their client, Hummer:  Functional. Uncompromising. Sharp. Confidence. Powerful.  But, probably not for everyone, just like their site tells us.

University Syllabus 2.0 (part 1)

What ARE they teaching kids these days?

I thought I’d start with the education parents pay the most cash for their offspring to attend: Ivy League schools.  Harvard Law School has an ‘ever-evolving’ course called The Web Difference with the key themes: socialization of knowledge, economics of peer production, web as medium, morality, citizenship and democracy. Any course that includes required reading from Courtney Love, Hobbes and Shakespearean Sonnets on Wikipedia is worth taking a look at their syllabus which, in this case, is a blog.

Brown offers a digital Art course with a great summary line: What would Andy Warhol’s Facebook page look like? What would John Cage have done with an iPod? The course is production-oriented, examining art and digital technology. Judging by their recent Curator project, these young people are ones to watch as future thought leaders and artists.

UC Berkeley is offering a well-designed sociology class on virtual communities being taught by Howard Rheingold (who, for the Boomers in the house is the equivalent of a 20th Century American Literature being taught by Ernest Hemingway). The course is designed for active learning. The students are required to blog, comment and post on a secured wiki in addition to reading the theories and engage in discussion.

My degree is in film & media studies, so I wanted to see how much the curriculum has evolved with web 2.0. Another Ca-school, The University of San Francisco has an honors-level seminar called Digital Literacy being facilitated by David Silver, who is half of the partnership behind The September Project, a grass-roots initiative designed to interconnect libraries around the world. Aside from Silver’s blog format that is very user-friendly, I liked that he required a Flickr Pro account as part of the course resources. It made me realize how much value is generated from a Flickr Pro account versus buying <another useless> textbook that will be out-of-date the minute it is published.

Universities are the ultimate curators of knowledge.  Fascinating to contemplate what effect this will have on the workplace as these graduates flood the market in the coming years.  More to come on this important series.

If you enjoyed reading this, please save this blog to your RSS feed and add a comment.

The United Federation of Media

Federated Media is an intriguing web 2.0 ‘advertising’ agency model.  It caters to Technorati 100 content developers (aka authors) — popular sites like Boing Boing, Cool Tools, Destructoid and Mashable as well as blogs like Guy Kawasaki’s: How to Change the World; Stowe Boyd’s /Message;  Fred Wilson’s A VC and Mike Arrington’s TechCrunch.

Yet the rumormill is wondering if John Batelle (founder of the Industry Standard and Wired) is, once again, in danger of premature solicitation.  He’s building what many feel (including me) to be an institution far ahead of its time.  It will be worth 100x more in a year because it’s not *just* monetizing blogs.  He’s developing platforms for brands like American Express Open and teaching us all what the next advertising model will be (hint: page views and CPM don’t enter into the conversation, but monetizing the Long Tail sure does).

Social Mediaxtravaganza

One of the questions posed to the panel last night was on the topic of social media ‘success’ stories or case studies. Just catching up on my RSS feeds and saw this amazing set of statistics on the Dove “Evolution” campaign presented by Shelley Lazarus at the Ogilvy Verge Conference <hat tip to catharine p. taylor for posting the stats>:

  • 500 million views

  • $150 million in media value

  • $100 million in incremental sales.

  • All for $50,000 in production costs

What underlies these numbers is perhaps the more important point every business needs to understand: social consciousness met social media through the brand message. It is a fundamentally different ‘advertising’ campaign. Every woman in America knew for decades that the models were airbrushed frauds. Yet the myth continued to be perpetuated by Madison Ave, the beauty industry and every magazine publisher right up until the start of this millennium.

Dove is the first major brand to promote natural and real beauty at any age as opposed to fake, impossible-to-achieve beauty. You cannot talk about Dove without “Evolution” being mentioned, which is why the approach is a brilliant strategic move. Dove’s competitors now must define themselves against Dove’s brand position (because they will be compared to Dove and this approach), rather than stake out their own claim.

Power of the (Corporate) People

GM now has a blog for their workers in Europe. It’s kind of like Twitter in 9 languages. This is in addition to their portal of corporate blogs and their newly launched uber-impressive corporate communications social media newsroom called GM Next.

Walmart quietly started a worker-recommendation site called Check Out in December that appears to be actual Walmart buyers posting comments about the good, bad and ugly of the products they are reviewing for their company.

Seems as though the Fortune 10 leaders are figuring out social media for themselves. If I was at the helm of a major agency or holding company with strong ties to the automotive industry, say like Interpublic, I would be re-reading the Kimberly-Clark case study from Good to Great this week.

Power to the people.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: