I didn’t expect you

September 23, 2008

Picture_1 Two years ago today, I clicked on the “publish now” button here at Drew’s Marketing Minute for the first time.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I figured I’d write and sometimes, someone would read.  Maybe a comment or two.  It was a grand experiment and I was flying without a net.

Now, 760 posts later — boy, did I write.  With 3,200+ subscribers, I guess you did some reading and with a whopping 5,526 comments as I write this — man, did you talk back!

I don’t really know how to say this without sounding a little goofy — but I am humbled by your presence here.  I know how busy you are.  I know how many excellent marketing blogs there are.  And still you come.  I didn’t expect you.

And thank goodness you showed up!  Do you realize what we’ve done together in these two years?  We’ve sparked ideas, we’ve raised issues, we critiqued, applauded and even gotten a little weepy once or twice.

We co-wrote Giving College Grads a Fighting Chance and invited the world to download it for free.

We created the resource — New Blogger’s Toolbox and loaded it with great blogs and teachers for the novice blogger.

Together, we launched Age of Conversation and raised about $14,000 at last count for Variety, the Children’s Charity.  And as crazy as we are…we’re about to do it again!

We created Blogger’s Social and literally brought the world to NYC for a weekend of laughter, hugging and some crazy hats.

But above all, we connected.  For me anyway, this has gone way beyond just writing about marketing and branding.  Just like we preach — by just being here and being yourselves, sharing with gusto, and creating a welcoming place for others to join us — together, we created a community.

I’ve talked to many of you on the phone or via e-mail.  I’ve met you for coffee, for a beer, for dinner or for a laugh.  We’ve skyped, ooVoo’d, texted and traded guest posts.

And in some cases, we’ve shared a weekend or a moment.  And they’ve all been remarkable.  From this grand experiment, I’ve gained so much.  But what I value the most is you.

Thank you for sharing this space with me for the past two years.  I really didn’t expect you.  But man, am I glad you showed up!

Here’s a little and very incomplete pictorial view of some of the people this blog has brought into my life.  I’m grateful beyond measure.


Pictured…Luc Debaisieux, CK, Gavin Heaton, Lori Magno


Pictured…Connie Reece & me


Pictured…Me, Sandy Renshaw, Tom Vander Well, Timothy Johnson, Mike Sansone, Terry Starbucker and Mike Wagner


Pictured…me & Roberta Rosenberg


Pictured…Todd And & me


Pictured…Anna Farmery & me

Just like the marketing lesson you’re probably sick of hearing me preach — in the end, it’s about the relationship.   Again, thank you so much for being a part of this blog.  I didn’t expect you. But I love that you’re here!


Best Practices in Social Media: Lift up others

September 1, 2008

Mitch Joel over at Six Pixels of Separation is asking for best practices for social media marketing. I got tagged by Liz and I’m in — how about you?

You don’t have to have a blog to play.  You can always answer here in the comments section. If you’re doing interesting social media stuff, specifically that you have some best practices for social media marketing, here’s how to join in:

  1. Blog it or add it to the comments here.
  2. Link to Mitch’s blog
  3. Tag it “social media marketing best practices project”
  4. And then tag someone else with the meme.

Drew’s social media best practice?  Lift up others!

I’m a very firm believer and to the best of my ability, practitioner of this philosophy.

I think we should share our time, resources, smarts, links — lifting others up and enjoying their success.  Just like in any offline neighborhood — there’s always a neighbor who’s ready to offer a helping hand.

I think we want to be that neighbor.

So reach out to new bloggers.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re the new blogger.  Why not give away some free books to promote a new author?  Or participate in Blogtipping to spotlight new bloggers?  Or how about inviting 200+ authors to contribute to a book you’re co-producing?

Create opportunities for others, applaud for their successes and genuinely serve both your readers and the community of bloggers and I promise, you’ll enjoy a long and rewarding social media existence.

Okay, tagging time.  Mike Sansone, Roberta Rosenberg, John Rosen, Gavin Heaton and David Reich.  Why did I pick them?  They are all expert practitioners of the give generously philosophy.

Drew’s comment:  I hope you’ll notice that this “social media” best practice is also an offline marketing best practice.  Sharing what you have and what you know….letting others “sample” you is a brilliant and too seldom used tactic.

I’ll bet if you go back and read the other best practices, (Chris Brogan, Mitch Joel, Liz Strauss) you’ll discover that most of them work in any medium.  Social Media is just another tool for communicating.  But overall, the same rules apply.


Did Barack’s speech keep his brand promise alive?

August 29, 2008

Conventions_08_v3 84,000 screaming fans a la a rock concert.  An estimated 40+ million watching at home.  On the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic "I have a dream"  speech.

The stage was set for magic.

Barack’s acceptance speech last night was clearly one of the most important of his entire career.

It was his change to communicate and solidify his brand.  This wasn’t the night for getting into the nitty gritty.  This was the night for a Steve Jobs "get the crowd pumped, make them laugh/make them cry" sort of speech.

It was a brand builder’s dream.

So how did he do from a pure brand/marketing perspective?  That was the question posed to six of us (CK, Ann Handley, Cam Beck, Alan Wolk, Stephen Denny, and me) over at Marketing Profs Daily Fix.  We had to (in 200 words or less) critique the speech based on message, brand delivery and relevance.  We also had to give a 0-5 star rating.

Mr. Obama got everywhere from a 0 to a 5 from the six of us.

Here’s a snippet of my comments:

Clearly Obama did not get the memo. Of all the speeches he will ever give – this one wasn’t about politicking – this one needed to be about creating the vision, the dream. This was the night to ignite our passion for his brand promise of change and hope.

Come read what everyone had to say and then weigh in with your opinion!


Steve Farber’s new book comes packed with a challenge

August 9, 2008

When people ask me about the benefits of blogging, I can recite quite a list.  But one of the top items on that list is the amazing people I can now call my friends, thanks to meeting them via the blogosphere.

I loved Steve Farber’s books long before we became friends.  At MMG, we give his books as gifts.  We practice his LEAP philosophy at the office and I strive every day to be an extreme leader. 

So, I’m elated that book #3, Greater Than Yourself, has a launch date.  (March 3, 2009 but you can already pre-order a copy.)  I remember talking to Steve about this book at SOBCon ’07 and knowing that it was going to take his writing to a completely different level.  And by default, give us the opportunity to take ourselves to a completely different level along with him.  (check out this sneak peek of the book)

Here’s a little video clip of Steve talking about the core premise of his book and even more important — his challenge to us.

Steve’s other books (which I HIGHLY recommend)

Radical Leap
Radical Edge

I’m curious — have you read Steve’s books?  Did they have impact?  Make you see something in a new way?  Change a behavior?

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Will you have a little branding with us tomorrow?

August 5, 2008

Breakfast Join the gang at MMG for the Branding Breakfast or Lunch!

Here’s the drill.  You come.  We talk branding.  You leave with some new ideas to try back at the ranch.

Remember…if you come for breakfast, we feed you.  If you opt for lunch, it’s BYOL.

What: Branding Breakfast (delicious, hot breakfast provided)
When: 7:30 — 8:30 a.m., first Wednesday of February, May, August and November.   That’s tomorrow…August 6th!
Where: Workforce Center. 430 East Grand Ave, Des Moines (map)


What: Branding Lunch (BYOL)
When: noon — 1:00 p.m., first Wednesday of February, May, August and November.  Again…that’s tomorrow…August 6th!
Where: Simpson College WDM Campus. 3737 Westown Parkway (classroom #9) (map)

RSVP: Yes, I want to talk about branding!

We’d love to have you join us!  (If you live outside of Iowa…it’s probably a bit of a trek.  But you could be with us in spirit!)


The Dream Team — Age of Conversation ’08 authors

June 29, 2008

Conversation_cover When Gavin and I announced that we were going to create a 2nd Age of Conversation book and were looking for authors — we had plenty of takers.  275 to be exact.  Now, several months later, the submissions are in and we’re knee deep in editing.

It’s funny how life can interfere with our plans.  We had several authors who had to take a pass due to family, work or other obligations/situations.  When the dust settled and all the chapters were turned in, we had 237 authors left standing.  Here they are:

Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Chris Brown, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Schawbel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Dave Davison, David Armano, David Berkowitz, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne & Todd Cabral, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, John Herrington, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kristin Gorski, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tim Brunelle, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

Quite an impressive list.  And you’re going to love the insights and stories they had to share.

For the next month or so, we’ll be editing and working through design/layout issues.  And before you know it, Age of Conversation ’08 will be ready for promotion and purchase.

Thanks to everyone who is participating and remember….it’s all about raising money for charity.

Stay tuned!


I don’t know much about that…

May 18, 2008

36823168 Marketing and marketing tactics are changing at the speed of light.  Have you caught yourself saying "I don’t know anything (or much) about XYZ?"

What happens next?  Do you accept that you just aren’t that familiar with it?  Or do you recognize you’d better fix that situation? 

I think how you answer that question says a great deal about you and how well suited you are for a marketing career.  You can’t afford not to know.  I don’t care how many years of experience you’ve got.  I promise you, you’ve got things to learn.

If you don’t have the curiosity or the drive to keep learning how to help your business or your client’s business grow and communicate — then dust off the resume, my friend.   Because you need to get out of marketing.

How can you learn?  Lots of ways.

  • Find someone who does know and ask them to teach you.  They’ll be flattered.
  • Take a class or pay someone to teach you.
  • Find a blog written by an expert in the field.  Do more than read it — participate.
  • Read a few books on the topic.
  • Wade in…and try it.  Most of us learn best from doing.

If you hesitated when asked the question, remember this.  Do you suppose your co-worker who is climbing up the same ladder you are hesitated?  How about your competition?


Age of Conversation has us a little buried

May 16, 2008

Buried If Gavin Heaton or I seem a little slow to respond to an e-mail or comment over the next few days, you’ll have to excuse us.  The Age of Conversation submissions are flooding in and we’re just working on keeping our heads above water.

It’s cool.  It’s exactly what we wanted.  But, this is definitely the beginning of the hard labor portion of this labor of love!

Shall we practice our breathing exercises together?


How do you bend time?

April 12, 2008

30462848 Things have been a little busy lately.  We just launched a huge campaign for a client (had to go from creative concept to on the air in 34 days), I’ve had this little thing called Blogger Social going on and then there’s Age of Conversation ’08.

Many of you have e-mailed or tweeted, wondering how I’ve been juggling it all.   Truth is…like all of you, sometimes I think I can’t possibly shoehorn one more thought into the day.  But somehow, we all do.

Time is the scarce commodity today. I think it goes beyond the new, leaner organizational structure.  Much of the blame should be aimed at our pagers, phones, PDAs, and people "buzzing" into our day and not only taking up time but also continually breaking our ability to concentrate on the task at hand. 

Even when things aren’t so crazy (when is that again?), sometimes we need to carve out some time to think, write, be creative or power through a project.  Here are some thoughts for shutting down the buzz so you can concentrate:

Plane ride for one.  One of the best things about flying is that no one can reach you.  Peace and quiet.  So turn off all electronic devices and close the "cabin" door and just work in solitude.  If you explain what you’re doing in advance, no one will begrudge you a little alone time.

Play hide n’ seek.   Why is it that when you are feeling absolutely under the gun, your co-worker has a weekend she just has to tell you about?  If you have a colleague who’s out or a vacant conference room, these make for great hiding places.  When you’re not where you belong, people assume you’re just not around.

Get out.  It’s difficult to be strategic or creative when you are sitting in the same place, looking at the same wall, day after day.  When you have big picture planning to do, grab your team and get out of the office.  Find a coffee shop, park, or other haunt that you can just escape the daily grind and let your mind run free.

As marketers, we’re forced to be creative on demand.  Sometimes you have to give yourself a little edge to get the job done. 

How do you give yourself an edge?  What’s your favorite time bending trick?