Don't Outsource. Don't Insource. Right Source.

Mike Sweeney

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Top Stories by Mike Sweeney

So you got yourself involved with a startup company.  It may have happened by circumstance or by choice.  You're either a founder or one of the first employees.  You either envision your concept as a potential single to be flipped in 3-4 years, or a grand slam that will allow you to socialize with the likes of Brin, Bezos and Cuban. Awesome.  We all love a good startup story.  Unless you've got an inherently viral concept on your hands (and by the way, keep in mind that there have only been about 5 inherently viral products introduced over the past 5-7 years), you're going to need to put a significant emphasis on marketing.  I wrote an earlier post about the necessity of bringing marketing expertise to your internal/external team, but this post isn't designed to belabor that point. You're going to need to do certain things during your first 90 days to survive and s... (more)

The Value of Good Marketing and Customer Service

Marketing takes it on the chin a lot.  Marketing as a word has almost dirty connotations to some (although I imagine not many of you reading this space).  And so it’s always nice to see the value of good marketing. In a move that came as a surprise to many last week, Amazon acquired Zappos for what will end up probably being somewhere between $800 and $900 million (since the deal is mostly in stock it will vary depending on how the stock is valued). I was with a few colleagues when we heard the news and it sparked an interesting discussion.  One of the folks in the room pointed o... (more)

Prediction: Marketers Will Publish Lots of Lists in 2010

I used to love lists.  I am a card-carrying list maker since 1980.  I still prefer a good pen-and-paper list on a notepad to a Word doc, wiki, or whiteboard. List-makers used to be somewhat unique, and kind of freaky types.  Now, everyone makes lists.  People Magazine publishes the Most Beautiful People list.  ESPN publishes the Top Athletes of the Century list.  Less known publishers distribute some really fascinating material, like the 50 Best SEO Blog Posts of 2009 or the Top 10 Most Important Tweets of 2009. I am taking a stance against lists, if only for about one week.  My ... (more)

You Don't Need a Social Media Superhero

"I hear you guys are the social media gurus in this area. Can you help us blow out our efforts on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook?" These were seemingly innocent words from a prospective client, spoken just last week. As we dug a bit deeper, the red flags started flying. He wants help with social media only, and wants to address only those three properties. He doesn't want us to worry about how the website, blog, search, email or other areas might impact social media. He is concerned about tracking the effort, but his tracking and measurement will focus on volume of followers, f... (more)

How Successful Customer Acquisition Programs Can Ruin Your Brand

We recently wrapped a client project that involved us delivering a complete marketing evaluation and recommendation, covering areas such as overall marketing strategy, user experience, customer acquisition tactics and consumer messaging. The project required extensive competitor research and evaluation; we looked at everything from competitor creative execution to third-party analytics to social media trends . Of all the competitive research we did, the most revealing task was becoming an actual customer of a few of our client’s competitors. I am not going to name the client, th... (more)