Scarlett of Suburbia

Field Notes from The Motherhood


December 2009

Few clients willing to give digital shops keys to the brand

Forrester Research conducted a “state of interactive agencies”
survey of about 100 global interactive marketers. It found just 23
percent believed their “traditional brand agency” is capable of
planning and managing interactive marketing activities. About 46
percent did not believe them capable, with the rest neutral on the

While that held good news for digital agencies, particularly as
digital becomes a much larger part of marketing, Forrester found
few clients are willing to give them responsibility for the brand’s
direction. Just 22 percent agreed that their interactive agency is
“ready to lead my brand.” Another 33 percent said their digital
shops aren’t ready, with the rest neutral.

That sets up what Forrester calls “the great race” as traditional
shops scramble to add digital know-how and digital shops seek to
move up the ladder to become brand stewards, rather than Web site
and banner ad specialists.

“We see digital becoming the backbone of marketing and technology
becoming so vital that everyone needs digital capabilities,” said
Sean Corcoran, an analyst at Forrester. “Everyone is coming from a
different strength. Everyone is trying to add the other’s

Forrester found that clients, in an ideal world, would like to work
with a single agency. Over 60 percent said they would like one
digital shop. Yet the complexity of distinct marketing specialties
often makes this impractical. Even within digital, only one in five
rely on a single provider, the survey found. Nearly 60 percent have
two or more. Forrester expects that will fragment even more thanks
to emerging media like mobile and social. The multiple-agency
approach means higher administrative costs and more

“We’re all waiting for this big moment when a bunch of interactive
agencies take over from the traditional guys,” said Corcoran. “It’s
not happening that way, it’s a slow evolution. You’ll see some
interactive guys take over and some traditional agencies hold the

The risk for digital shops is getting caught in the middle. Some
like R/GA and others are making the move to become a lead agency
for clients.
R/GA last week won lead agency duties for Ameriprise
for example. But others, Forrester concludes, will need to carve
out a specific digital specialty rather than sit in the middle,
between a lead strategic role and specialist position.


6 Tips for Hiring a Business Coach :: Forbes

What is a business coach, anyway?

In today's "helper" economy (as Warren Buffet snidely coined it), a coach can play the role of consultant, shrink, drill instructor, sounding board–whatever "help" managers, executives and entrepreneurs need to boost their performance, or just get through the night.

There are no easily comparable data sets. There is no coaching regulatory body.

Start with what, specifically, you think you need. If you want to improve your overall executive comportment, focus on someone who specializes in that. (Marshall Goldsmith has written extensively on the topic.) Need help with public speaking? Check out Nick Morgan, author of Working the Room. There are coaches for everything–the key is knowing how to cut wheat from chaff.

Here are six points to remember:

Coaches aren't paid to make people feel good. No golfer pays $100 an hour for a swing coach to shout bravo as he bangs balls on a driving range. Legitimate coaches offer incisive critiques and useful techniques to improve your game. If your coach lauds more than prods, her goal is to turn you into an annuity, not lower your handicap.

Coaches respect boundaries between the professional and personal realms. It's easy for you and your coach to develop intense positive feelings about each other, especially if the coach has proven truly effective. Some coaches may begin to see you as a friend first, and an employer second. This dilutes the coaching. Avoid that devolution.

Coaches are not intermediaries. I have spent many years helping leaders of corporations, law firms and start-ups learn to modulate their anger and communicate displeasure. I do not, however, act as a go-between when things get sticky. That's not the help these folks need, and in fact, acting as an intermediary only exacerbates the problem. If your coach offers to step into the breach on your behalf, show her the door.

Good coaches never gossip. There is enormous temptation for the coach of a powerful executive to say, "Look, when the Big Guy and I were talking the other day …" Coaches that succumb to gossip are too insecure to be effective (and that's being charitable). If they open their mouths, close yours and walk away.

Beware the up-sell. Just because your coach has helped you become a captivating public speaker doesn't mean he knows a whit about management technique. If a coach looks to sell you additional services that are clearly beyond his bailiwick, and many do, politely take a pass.

Coaches are not life-directors. If you remember nothing else about hiring a coach, let it be this: Effective coaches do not hand down wisdom from on high. The best ones offer encouragement, observation and ideas, and let their clients make their own decisions. If you hear a coach say, "You should do this," one thing is certain: He or she doesn't have a clue.

Dr. Steven Berglas spent 25 years on the faculty of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry. Today he coaches entrepreneurs, executives and other high-achievers. Direct questions or comments to:

The Digerati Clique is Migrating

Steve Rubel, Brian Solis, David Armano, Robert Scoble, Jason Calacanis, Scott Monty, Dave Winer, Ann Handley, Ken Burbary, Leo LaPorte, Guy Kawasaki + Greg Verdino all do it.

It may be the only thing Loic LeMeur & Chris Brogan agree upon.

I rock one too.

Is Posterizing right for you?

Infographic: How come cheap airlines are so cheap? A business model comparison


The ‘problem’ is that the regular fare airlines in the US operate as if they are a low cost airline…without the commensurate lower ticket price.

Creative Inspiration: 70 Blog Footer Designs, 40 Adobe Cartoon Tutorials, 30 Free Fonts + More

Need some inspiration for a Friday? Check out the link-love:

70 Gorgeous Blog Footer Designs

50 Vibrant Web Designs

40 Excellent Adobe Illustrator Cartoon Tutorials

20 Professional jQuery Image Gallery Plug-Ins

Huge Set of 108 Minimal Icons

30 Free Fresh Fonts

100+ Beautiful Natural Sunrise and Sunset Images

You're welcome 🙂

Google Launches FREE DNS Service

Google launched a DNS service yesterday. Some would say finally. I wonder what took them so long to realize the strategic importance of DNS in an increasingly semantic web infrastructure. DNS is the lynchpin for consumers to safely navigate the web.

That said, you get what you 'pay' for and since this service is free, the user gets only what Google wants to give. Namely zero control. Which, as a marketing executive and as a consumer concerns me because it strips away choice. As a mom, I rely on the ability to block certain inappropriate content for my children. It doesn't appear that this sort of flexibility is available with Google's DNS. At least not yet. At least not for 'free'. 

Google's DNS should be pretty fast, given how much of the web infrastructure they already 'control'. I've been using a variety of services over the past year and have noticed that the more you pay, the quicker the redirects. There are 'free' DNS services available today; however, with Google's DNS, there aren't any annoying popups or ads (at least not yet…given time, I'm sure there will be). That said, with Google entering the DNS arena, it will expand the conversation that users don't have to 'settle' with what their ISP provider offers.

And of course, there is the issue of privacy (for those it still matters to). Google was one of the first companies to explore the boundaries between private and public information sharing. As the largest advertiser on the web, it is naive to think they won't use the DNS data to supplement their paid advertising program, even if they currently go out of their way to state this isn't in their game plan. Speed and reliability are two areas that Google will dominate. But access to filtering content? Not so much.

But control seems to be the underlying motive for Google to enter the DNS market – they get more control and consumers get less choice. From the ubiquitous Gmail to Analytics, from the Chrome OS to Search, Google is rapidly becoming to the web user experience what Microsoft was to desktop computing in the pre-Internet age. Monopoly is such a loaded phrase. Personally I prefer the live, collaborative nature of social communications online to get what I want (need) out of the web. Microcollaborations versus a singular monolithic company dictating how the web should be experienced. And Google can offer choice to users of their DNS service AND retain control. That's the beauty of the internet as a transactional and connected medium. 

Time will tell how this story unfolds. It is certainly one to watch.

Study: Lonely People Rub Off On Their Social Networks

You’re lonely and ill at ease. A friend says something you feel is mean-spirited and you tell her she’s being unkind. Next time you talk, it’s awkward. Gradually, you drift apart.

Without knowing it, you’ve transmitted loneliness — a sense of social disconnection. But it doesn’t stop there: Your friend is more likely to convey this uncomfortable feeling to someone else, who in turn may spread it to yet another person.

So it goes in social networks, according to new research by John Cacioppo, director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Unwittingly, we pass feelings to others — whether in person, on the phone or online — and influence the pattern of human connections surrounding us.

Previous studies have found that obesity, smoking and happiness can spread from person to person. Cacioppo’s research, published Tuesday in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, shows that loneliness also has this social dimension.

Analyzing decades of data from the Framingham Heart Study, he found that individuals who feel isolated are more likely to lose friends over time. Women pick up a feeling of loneliness more readily from friends than do men.

Ultimately, loneliness is a biological signal like hunger or thirst, Cacioppo argues. It tells people they’re not sufficiently connected and that they need to re-establish human bonds. At the same time, it’s an emotional irritant that can make us uncomfortable and hard to reach. Often, friends just stop trying.

This holiday season there will be many lonely people among us. To them, we can be kind. “Expect the best of people,” Cacioppo says, noting that we get what we give in human relationships.

Loneliness as a virus or disease? Interesting research. Keep a close eye on this one.

25 Social Media Books Every Business Executive MUST Read


Using an integrated methodology of Web metrics as a tangible, timely indicator of market response, Jurgen Appelo, a Dutch entrepreneur and technologist, has compiled the following list of important books in “social media.”  Of the top 100 social media books (rankings and methodology) — the Top 25 are shown below. I’ve read every one of them and think at least 20 of them would be in ‘Lori’s List of the Top 25 Social Media books’.


Happy reading!



Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: