November 18, 2010

New Site & Blog!


Pure launched its new website today! The blog now lives inside. Please check it out.

Find the surprise: combine a click in white space with the magic key to become a digital Godzilla.

November 10, 2010

Is Your Message, Your Brand, Getting Through The Clutter?

Marketing Clutter Picture
Quick! What is the name of your favorite restaurant? We'll get to this in a minute.

Okay, now on with the blog. The picture above is from a seminar I have done on all aspects of marketing. The idea focuses around a dart board, where the most outer rings are traditional mass media, expensive marketing, we go through the rings and other modes of marketing, as they get less expensive, more effective, until we hit the bulls-eye: Word of Mouth Marketing.

Why the picture? "Somewhere between 254 and 5,000 is a number that represents just how many commercial messages an average consumer gets each day" - Advertising Age, April 2, 2007. That was before the explosion of social media.

To really achieve your marketing goals and help get through the clutter make sure they are SMART; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results oriented, Time Specific. You should also think about where your customers go to get information.

My favorite ad of all time is in the most outer ring of the dart board; Super Bowl Commercials! That ad is the Apple Macintosh 1984 ad. It was edited a bit and used in the Hillary Clinton campaign in the 2008 election cycle. 

Most companies can't afford a super bowl ad, let alone any TV commercials. BUT, can you leverage local TV stations for their "Best of" contests they have? Does it make sense with your goals?

As we move from the outer ring we go through national and local print advertising, radio, direct mail, trade shows. 

Closer to the bulls-eye you have websites, micro sites, banner ads, SEO, blogs, and email marketing. Regarding email marketing, one of my favorite books on marketing is Seth Godin's Permission Marketing. It is great for email marketing but a good read to be a successful marketer.

The first ring outside of the bulls-eye in my mind is social media. The rise of popularity of twitter, facebook, and LinkedIn really helps the SMART marketer leverage word of mouth. In a future blog I'll talk about how the combination of email marketing and social media can be extremely powerful.

Bulls-eye: Word of Mouth; your friends, clients, peers, and associations talking about you and recommending you and your company. PR through people writing about you in articles and blogs, customer testimonials.

Back to your favorite restaurant. Why is it your favorite? Have you told other people about it? Word of mouth is powerful isn't it.

How can you leverage aspects of marketing that make sense to help you achieve your SMART goals and help you promote your word of mouth?

By the way. Click here to learn about my favorite restaurant. Turn on your speakers.

John Meyer @johndmeyer

November 08, 2010

Candy Corn on Christmas

Santa Turkey

Shopping for Halloween this year was a frightening experience; far scarier than zombies, werewolves or the acting in those Twilight movies.  The shock came when I was perusing the candy selection, trying to decide which motion activated ghoul would best scare the people around my apartment. An aisle away from these scream-inducing devices sat an inflatable Santa, reindeer, and as much red and green as could possibly be stuffed into a 20-square-foot section.

I know, right?!

My first thought was that the only way this would be acceptable would be if the Santa had fangs and Rudolph was some sort of twisted slasher-flick villain. But no, the truth of the situation was, after Christmas was done kidnapping Thanksgiving, it had set its sights on Halloween as its next victim.

A part of me gets it.  I mean, who doesn’t love Christmas?  The presents, visits from the family, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, “Home Alone” on television.  It’s a magical time of year.  But in all honesty, doesn’t the sight of Santa Clause or the sound of sleigh bells for an entire quarter of the year start to cheapen that magic?

In an effort to fight the power and the (jolly red) suits manipulating Christmas, here are a few fun and inspiring resources that remind us that there is still a holiday called Thanksgiving…you know, that one day that happens before the all-important Black Friday shopping experience.

1)    The Salvation Army has a lot of great resources for giving back in your community.
2)    Feeding America is a fantastic organization linking to all sorts of food donation centers across the        country.
3)    Tons of Thanksgiving recipes to kickstart your appetite.
4)    …and of course, the Top Ten Highlights of NFL Thanksgiving Day Games, courtesy of ESPN.


November 05, 2010

Pumpkin Fisticuffs


On Halloween, I almost punched a 15-year-old in the face.

For being too old for candy handouts? No, although I filled bags of several kids who nearly looked me in the eye (I’m an even six feet).

The almost-right-hook occurred at a Russian Circles concert, a band I mentioned in a post last month that talked about noxious online commenting boards. That plea for digital civility, I realize, is almost entirely in vain. A (sizeable) portion of Internet goers will forever create malevolent content or critique it with equal spite.

Excitable teenagers will always shove you to get close to their musical idols and thrash their bodies in untimely mosh pits, both of which shift you far from your original position that you “earned” by an early arrival.

But what can be done? Are you going to pull the young culprit aside and give him or her a stern talkin’ to about manners? Or maybe, like I was tempted, would you unleash a tornado of violence? Think about how that would end.

Timmy the high school freshman could have six buddies who jump you in return. Maybe the band members saw your flying fists and ostracize you from the venue. Better yet, the police cuff you for assaulting a minor.

Probably not worth it. The annoyance, at first consequential, is truly empty and fleeting.

Take a few steps back and continue enjoying Russian Circles.

Scan the foul words online, scoff and move on. Retaliation in haste is not only exhausting; it begs further eruptions and stress. It’s unfortunate to sacrifice intellect and gain enemies. You know the content you want, so absorb it and don’t submit to naysayers’ attempts to sour its taste.

However, I do hope my Starburst somehow tasted terrible for those six-foot-tall trick-or-treaters.

Ryan Arnold | @ryarnold

October 18, 2010

Pure perks

We can’t deny it, a sound set of benefits not only motivates employees to be productive and perform their best work, but also helps retain and attract employees, builds loyalty, increases profits and quite simply produces satisfied, happy employees.

GOOD’s most recent quarterly issue highlights the ins and outs of the workplace, including “The Top 20 Perks That Make Jobs Better.” GOOD is a partnership of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward, and exploring all that is good right now and what it can be.

Some of the perks in action: While on maternity leave, Google employees also get up to $500 of reimbursements for take-out food. If you work for Quicksilver, regular surfing sessions during the workday is encouraged. At Netflix, full time employees get unlimited rentals and unlimited vacation days.

It got me thinking about my own company and the benefits Pure offers. Along with the usual health benefits, matching retirement savings, vacation days, maternity leave and flexible work hours, Pure offers the following outstanding perks:

  • Karma Days, two paid days off annually to volunteer in our community.
  • Use of company cruiser bikes to run errands, grab lunch or just ride downtown. For your 5th anniversary, you also get a custom cruiser bike (I love mine!).
  • Recess time, foosball or pool for brain breaks or to get the creative juices flowing.
  • Has regular company building activities and outings like tickets to Rockies/Nuggets games, bocce ball and kickball tournaments, scavenger hunts, and the like.
  • Allows pets at the office.
  • Will pay up to 50% of the cost for accredited college courses if we wish to continue our education.
  • Paid incentives for published articles.

Even as a smaller company, Pure offers benefits that boost company morale, reenergizes workers and keeps me happy and devoted. How does your company measure up?


October 13, 2010

Chile's Global Connection


Thirty-three miners were rescued in Chile's Atacama desert today. Miners were victim to a collapse on Aug. 5 that resulted in more than 700,000 tons of rubble collapsing around them. After 69 days trapped 2,300 feel below the surfact, they took their first fresh breath of freedom today.

What some of you may not have realized, is that they were welcomed back by the world. New York Times reported that the global community tuned in to the rescue is a phenomenon similar to the landing on the moon 41 years ago.

The conversation at our agency today quickly went from awe and fascination of the rescue, to the irony of the various forms of media consumption. I first became aware of the rescue when turning on FOX News this morning, then again on local news station 850KOA. Meanwhile, a fellow coworker was tuning in to live video stream being broadcast on a British news site.  Another (@Gilbanzo) followed footage across Twitter.

Media consumption can range from traditional, to web, to social, but the theme remains the same: rich content and connection. The various media channels provide a live connection that allows this occasion to be shared by the world. Whether you're in Colorado, England or China, you feel part of the rescue and witness to the miracle.

Let the conversation continue and tell us how you tuned in to the Chilean rescue.


October 11, 2010

Alice in Chains & Animosity

El Ten Eleven had the masses dancing at Bluebird Theater last week, and Russian Circles will be a heavy Halloween party at Marquis Theater.

Modern bands such as these contribute to my music library, but sprinkled throughout the playlist are monster albums from the 90s.

There are certain tracks from that (recent) era—gems like Weezer’s “Buddy Holly,” Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” and Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android”—that inspire a kind of awe often absent from today’s tunes. How did they think to create that?

But while I embrace the whole timeline, some jaded fans proclaim nothing contends with pockets like, for example, Seattle grunge. Yet although I won’t put it atop a pedestal, 90s rock does win out in one realm: online commenting.

Well, the Internet as we know it was a baby, so just commenting. I’ll explain.

The lead singer of Alice in Chains, Layne Staley, fought a wicked battle with drug abuse. As he deteriorated, so did the band. Their manager retired in 1998, at which point a publication called The Rocket poked at Staley.

“But who’s to wipe and clean Alice in Chains now?” a particular article asked.

A few days later, The Rocket received a package containing a jar of urine and a bag of excrement. An attached note quipped, “Wipe and change this, mother…”

The editor assumed it was from Staley. Epic, right?

What isn’t epic these days is the inundation of scathing remarks littering online message/commenting boards. From music forums such as—visitors proclaiming they hope certain bands they dislike flip their touring vans on the highway—to supposedly more intellectual crowds on, say, my alma mater’s newspaper Web site, I’m astounded by the number of reply-leeches, sucking the civility out of any dialogue.

Now, Staley shipping bodily fluids via USPS isn’t civil, either, but that dude put forth effort that would likely be absent from many of today’s embittered usernames. The immediacy and anonymity of our digital age encourages the firing of enraged, of-the-moment digital bullets that likely would never leave the holster if they required an envelope, a stamp and a walk to the mailbox. Tempers might cool; rationality could return—unless you’re on heroin (see: Layne Staley).

Arguments can be invigorating in respectful, educational ways. Passion will certainly steer them off-track now and then, but an occasional virtual handshake or touché would give Web tit-for-tat much more appeal.

Unless you disagree, in which case go ahead and reply, wishing a chainsaw accident upon my hands so that I may never type again. Then I couldn’t respond, though I probably wouldn’t have anyway.

Ryan Arnold | @ryarnold