Thursday, February 26, 2009


I have to admit, it was the worst thing I've seen in a while. I don't really have much to say on this, but I would like to know your thoughts. Let me know if you have a few successful black men or women in your town without tattoos or gold teeth - and not an athlete or entertainer.

I don't think the debate between Booker T. and Dubois had this outcome in mind.

By the way, overclass is a noun, and here is the definition.

The upper social stratum of society, composed of wealthy and professional people, especially when viewed as controlling society's economic power.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Marketing and Supply Chain Management: A Matter of Merging Realms

Nikki Baird, Managing Director of Retail Systems Research, conducted an interesting case study on the retail industry, with respect to supply chain management and online retail. In Baird’s study, she made notice of something very significant among the “winners” in the retail industry. Of the retailers both in-store and online, over half of the respondents were offering more assortments online than in their stores.

There are two factors that can be attributed to this data. One, the nature of online retail allows for greater flexibility in inventory mix, as well as supply-chain fulfillment. And two, the more successful retailers have a comprehensive inventory plan the leverages both revenue channels based on their logistical strengths. As Baird put it, “winners have waited to figure out the processes to support multi-channel capabilities before scaling them”, which requires more effort with planning and strategy.

This leads to a common business issue with technology, and how it has been utilized in the overall organizational strategy. Using this case as an example, those retailers who infused technology in the overall business strategy realized more success than the majority of their counterparts and competitors. Inversely, the organizations that view technology as an add-on, or even an added cost-factor, have failed to gain any competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Like it or not, there are two realms – physical and virtual. However, the rate in which technology has become a major factor in most business process has given most organizations very little time to make the proper adjustments in their strategy. As it relates to all factions of business, the two realms must eventually function as one hybrid realm. It’s a totally paradigm shift for most operations, but in these economic times, it’s a necessary one. How has your business viewed technology, as a cost or profit center?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rick Santelli: A.K.A. Mr. Mouthpiece

As the character Dylan said on Dave Chappelle's skit for MAKING THE BAND, "I spit hot fire". Rick Santelli spits hot fire on a regular. Santelli and the Chicago gang are not so much for FREE MARKETS, as they are for clarity. How can they do their jobs if market values fluctuate from government intervention? I admire their position. I think they can deal with what the markets produce, as long as it's the market that's doing the producing.

Monday, February 23, 2009


On March 9th, Mariza will be performing at the Nashville Symphony (Schermerhorn Symphony Center). To be honest, I've never heard of her, but I'm going to live on the wild side, and check it out.

I think it's time to start hanging out at the symphony. Don't ask me why, but I think it's the right thing to do.

If you've ever heard of her, give me your impression of her stage performance.

Marketing Recipes

In warfare, once the decision has been made to engage in battle, the success of the campaign depends on the solutions established by the tactical officers. Who are we fighting? Where are we fighting? What are we fighting for? These are just a few of the questions these generals will need to understand before the going to war. If not, how can they determine the right amount of troops, the right weaponry, or the measurements of success? The same process applies in business, and the marketing arm of the business functions exactly like the generals of warfare.

In a recent article for eMarketer, a recent report from Smith-Harmon pointed out the value marketers are placing on e-mail marketing. In the midst of rough economic times, it makes perfect sense to utilize cost-effective marketing channels. However, the term “cost-effective” is much more than a low rate of entry. Rather it’s a high rate of return, as well as reach.

Just as the general of war needs to employ the relevant tools for a successful campaign, the marketing professional should spare no mental expense toward exhausting all the possibilities, as it relates to achieving the established measures of success. No different than the portfolio manager of a mutual fund, the marketing professional should always consider the performance of the media mix, and make the necessary adjustments to sustain momentum.

The article introduces the first of many measures that are rarely considered in most marketing campaigns – return on investment (ROI). However, there so many more measurement tools needed to guide marketing professionals through uncertain economic atmospheres and changing demands of customers. How do you measure your marketing efforts?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Usain Bolt

Can anyone tell me what happened to marketing Usain Bolt?

I don't know about you, but I thought his performance during the Olympics was pretty impressive.

Give me your thoughts.

Green Chocolate?

Bloomsberry, LLC, is doing what many companies now have the opportunity to do - embrace the green revolution. According to the Strange New Products site, Bloomsberry will be introducing a "Climate Change Chocolate" bar, with information on the package about footprint reduction. It will be interesting to see how many companies take on the "Green Marketing" challenge, and how many realize increased revenue from this marketing position.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Seth and KT - Questions or Answers?

Earlier today, I had a conversation with KT about the typical business strategy of most organizations. As KT was making a purchase at a local fast-food establishment, he wondered why restaurants place more marketing value on the logo and aesthetics than the actual product and capacity. Later on, I get an RSS update concerning Seth's argument about business leaders not focusing on the needs of the customers. Instead, Seth argues that most businesses look at a rational buyer that applies more logic to a purchase than normally occurs during a typical purchase decision process.

To help you understand Seth's point, just remember the phenomenon of "Spinners", the 20" wheels that spun around at the stop light. Have you seen them lately? Just think, someone spent thousands on a fad that no longer "gets it done" - and it wasn't that long ago.
Do you think there was a strategy for a rational thinker/buyer? To help you understand Kyle's point, just think about the hole-in-the-wall restaurant that you wait in line for hours just to get a taste of something you can't find at any other restaurant. There's no fancy logo, and the interior design leaves a lot to be desired. Do you even care about the branding strategy? IT'S ALWAYS THE PRODUCT, THEN IT'S PRICE, THEN IT'S THE PLACEMENT, THEN IT'S THE PROMOTION. Just ask someone.

Both KT and Seth, although presenting different arguments, have introduced a topic of discussion that needs to the number one agenda item of every board meeting across America.
(1) What are the core needs of our target market?
(2) Is the brand strategy supported by the product or the logo?

The businesses that understand this argument, and take advantage of the opportunity, will thrive in these turbulent economic times.

Newbos: The Rise of America's New Black Overclass

Check it out, and let me know your thoughts on this concept.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Ford Edge - I Like It!

Although I'm very big on German automobiles, I really like the Ford crossover product - The Edge. In fact, the Edge has seen some significant success in the marketplace, and Ford is moving forward to improve the product.

Let me know your thoughts.

Microsoft's MWC Press Conference

You can check out the live coverage by clicking this link.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Quick Mental Vacation

This is a pretty cool event. I wish I could be there.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Mini Laptop News

Samsung is getting aggressive with new prices for their NC10 product.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Rhythm & Roots Event

If you get a chance tomorrow, and you live in Nashville, please check out the Rhythm & Roots event at Vanderbilt.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Cost of Talent (Continued)

Derek Bok wrote this about the state of business and professionalism in the 1970's.

Beginning in 1970, therefore, American business executives moved swiftly from an era of confidence, approbation, and acknowledge leadership to one of crisis and anxiety. Before the end of the decade, they would be widely accused of complacency, excessive preoccupation with short-term profits, parochialism, indifference to quality, unimaginative, authoritarian behavior toward their employees, and rigid adherence to outmoded policies of mass-producing standardized products. From their own inner temple, the Harvard Business School, they stood condemned by Professor Robert Hayes and William Abernathy for having lost touch with the realities of manufacturing in their misguided fixation on financial manipulation and analytical models. In little more than a decade, "the American challenge" had been transformed from a saga of superiority to a grim struggle for survival.

This brief summary of the 1970's seems, in many ways, very similar to the economic situation of the present day. In fact, it introduces an interesting question concerning the nature of this unfortunate occurrence - cycle or progression. If it is simply a cycle, there leaves hope for societal progression, in the midst of the natural problems of mankind. If it is a progression, this current period serves simply as a cyclical reminder of our verbal willingness to do the right thing, but our inability to value it. Either way, cycle or progression, Bok recognized a significant problem in our nation some 15 years ago that has either been ignored or grown in severity.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Volkswagen - Get It Done!

I really like the new CC model, but can we get it in a 6 cylinder? Anyway, I like the list of products that Volkswagen is producing these days. I don't know much about the strategy, but it's really working.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Cool Airport Graphic

This graphic scared the ever-living you know what out of me.

Comcast, The Dark Lord

When you get a chance, please check out Daniel Roth's article in the latest edition of Wired Magazine. Much like the early days of the railroad, or other industries essential to most American lifestyles, this article is suggesting that Comcast has fallen to the temptation of producing counter-measures to avoid the downside of a market economy.

It is truly the question of this century. Not, should markets be controlled, but can greed be managed. Although we view markets based on two extremes (market economy vs. Central planning), should this society search for a better platform that supports both innovation and interdependency?