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The Master of Guerilla Marketing Turns Microsoft’s Prank Around

CloudAve readers know I am a fan of edgy marketing.  Now it’s time to update my recently compiled inventory of software marketing pranks.  A major show like Salesforce.com’s DreamForce would not even be real without some guerilla marketing activity – except the players seemed to have traded places this year.  Guerilla Marketing is normally David’s weapon, but this year Goliath – Holy Microsoft – came down to us earthlings running around on Segways handing out MS Dynamics CRM discount coupons:

Image credit: Centernetworks

I did not get Forced

On a side-note…

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Software Marketing Pranks

I envy software marketing types.  They get to stay kids forever: pull pranks and even get paid for it.:-)

Today’s example comes courtesy of TechCrunch: PayPal competitor WePay dropped a 600lbs ice block at the entrance of the Paypal developer conference.  They got chased away and Moscone security removed the ice block.   My question: who gets the money?  Those are real dollar bills in the ice…

But don’t for a minute think it’s only at startup-land where 20-somethings rule.. the enterprise gray-hairs like pranks, too.  Below are some gems from the past.

NetSuite raining on Sage‘s parade conference:

NetSuite is quite a regular at competitor conferences, see their trucks at SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE conference:

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There’s PR. And there’s Dumb PR. And there’s Even Dumber PR. And No CRM System Can Save Them.

Campaign

The best CRM system can’t help you if your sales / marketing team is clueless.  Here’s a ridiculous email I’ve just received.  Name removed to protect the (not-so) innocent

X. Y. kindly requests a meeting

Hi Zoli,

In celebrating our 40th anniversary, I’ve been given the privilege to manage the relationship between your organization and Communispond. When you have a moment, please take a look at the information below. Kindly let me know if it’s out of date, and the best way to reach you. I wish to be respectful of your time and patience.

Is your organization prepared with the communication tools and behaviors (presenting, selling, coaching, persuading, etc) to achieve greater success in 2010? I would like to hear your thoughts and ideas on any communication challenges you anticipate, and see if we can help. Please let me know if you’d be willing to meet with me – either conference call or face to face. l greatly appreciate your consideration.

Warm Regards,
X. Y.

What’s wrong with this email campaign?  A few things… where should I even start?

Obsolete data: we all know this is a disease that plagues many (CRM) systems, but this one is extreme.  The data shown on this business card never existed in such combination, but bits and pieces did.  Yes, I participated in SAP’s International Consultant Training – 20 years ago, in Vienna, Austria (that’s in Europe, just in case…), so they must have picked it up from a very-very ancient resume. (It also means I understand Charlie’s joke…).  Yes, I did work at SAP America, when they were a tiny outfit with 70+ employees, and the Newton Square HQ listed above was not even a dream.

Data errors do happen – but how on Earth could they dump 20-year old, pre-CRM, pre-ERP, pre-everything data into a CRM system?

Now let’s focus on content.  The title, specifically.  That’s the marketer’s opportunity to grab attention – or lose it.  Time is money, and most of us don’t have a lot to waste – why on Earth would I want to meet a stranger without any previous contact or knowing the intent?

You just don’t send out an initial contact request asking for a purpose-less meeting.

Anyway – this email is in its well-deserved place in my Spam folder and Communispond is flagged as mindless marketers. But hey, it was good for a rant.  In return, free advice to them: you don’t need Salesforce.com.  It won’t help you.

Update:  This post originally appeared almost a year ago .   The reason I am republishing it is that so did they.  They just resent the same dumb junk mail, verbatim, without the slightest change, despite my previous post and response to them.  How dumb is that?  Oh one more thing: through how many years can they be celebrating their 40th anniversary?  (hint: it was indeed last year).

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve)

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The Care and Feeding of Industry Analysts – Take Two

toiletSome analysts (?) spammers just won’t learn.  I ridiculed this “research report” a few months ago (quoting old post below):

The Care and Feeding of Industry Analysts

The Top 10 Questions The Care and Feeding of Industry Analysts Will Answer For You Include:
1. What are the ten deadly sins NOT to commit when working with an industry analyst firm?
2. What are the typical characteristics of an industry analyst that will enable you to more effectively work with them?
3. As a vendor, when should you be humble and when should you position yourself as an expert?
4. Does subscribing to an analyst’s research improve coverage of your products or company?
5. How is a research briefs created and what impact can a vendor have on its content?
6. What are the three highest-level benefits you can enjoy from an effective analyst relations approach?
7. How can you best capitalize on industry analyst ‘rules of engagement?’
8. Precisely what homework must you do before you brief an analyst?
9. How do vision and ability to execute relate to how an analyst sees your company?
10. During a briefing, how do CEOs, VPs of sales, PR firms and VPs of marketing impact how an analyst sees your company?

The actual report (PDF) costs EUR 316.   Is it worth?  I leave it up to you … but I promised entertainment. Look at the other “research” this paper is associated with:

Customers who bought this item also bought
Chinese Markets for Baby Care Products
Toilet Care Products – United Kingdom
Surface Care – United Kingdom
Chinese Markets for Laundry Care Products
Hair Care in the US
Laundry Care – United States
Long-Term Care Market Review 2006
The Future Of Personal Care Occasions

Wow.. .I especially love the pairing of Toilet, Laundry and Analysts :-)

I thought I had originally made it quite clear I wasn’t exactly a fan of this puff piece.  Apparently one person did not quite “get it” – today I received an email offer from the original sender to buy the same study, for the same price.

Fuhgeddaboudit.  And stop spamming me, Amy Cole.

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Edgy Marketing: Great Plains and SAP Guy vs. NetSuite Guy (Mac vs PC)

You’ve seen Great Plains and SAP, now in the Grand Finale they come together to match up against Mac .. I mean the NetSuite Guy:

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Edgy Marketing: SAP Guy vs. NetSuite Guy (Mac vs. PC parody)

You’ve seen the Great Plains version, and I’ve told you to wait for the SAP version…. here we go:

Fun aside, SAP’s Business ByDesign is coming… (most likely) … in the second half of the year. I can’t wait to see a SAP video:-)

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Edgy Marketing: Great Plains Guy vs NetSuite Guy (Mac vs PC)

Since I’ve shared with you a video  making fun of the Suites it’s only fair to show how a “suite”, NetSuite makes fun of competitors.  Oh, I love edgy marketing:-)

But this is nothing.. wait till they publish the SAP vs NetSuite video we’ve just seen at the SuiteCloud conference :-)

(And I can’t wait for a SAP response ….)

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Click… Click … #FAIL. The Microsoft Dynamics Obstacle Course

I guess I should start theme days.  Yesterday it was passwords, today it’s a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well, this time it’s actually 4 images, but they tell the full story.. no comment required.

dyn1

New Blog Post: Check Out the NEW NetSuite Compete Site!: check out the new NetSuite compete site for competitive… http://twurl.nl/0h2gyj

OK, I am clicking through.. only to find this:

dyn2

What’s this?  Obstacle course?  hm… click through again…

dyn3

Geez, will this ever end?  Click… click..

dyn4

No way, Jose.  I’m so outta here.  #FAIL.


Update: On second thought, I think Microsoft must have a penchant for Obstacle Courses – here’s another one.

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The Care and Feeding of Industry Analysts

toilet Some of my email spam is actually quite entertaining, like this offer for a “research report”:

The Care and Feeding of Industry Analysts

The Top 10 Questions The Care and Feeding of Industry Analysts Will Answer For You Include:
1. What are the ten deadly sins NOT to commit when working with an industry analyst firm?
2. What are the typical characteristics of an industry analyst that will enable you to more effectively work with them?
3. As a vendor, when should you be humble and when should you position yourself as an expert?
4. Does subscribing to an analyst’s research improve coverage of your products or company?
5. How is a research briefs created and what impact can a vendor have on its content?
6. What are the three highest-level benefits you can enjoy from an effective analyst relations approach?
7. How can you best capitalize on industry analyst ‘rules of engagement?’
8. Precisely what homework must you do before you brief an analyst?
9. How do vision and ability to execute relate to how an analyst sees your company?
10. During a briefing, how do CEOs, VPs of sales, PR firms and VPs of marketing impact how an analyst sees your company?

The actual report (PDF) costs EUR 316.   Is it worth?  I leave it up to you … but I promised entertainment. Look at the other “research” this paper is associated with:

Customers who bought this item also bought
Chinese Markets for Baby Care Products
Toilet Care Products – United Kingdom
Surface Care – United Kingdom
Chinese Markets for Laundry Care Products
Hair Care in the US
Laundry Care – United States
Long-Term Care Market Review 2006
The Future Of Personal Care Occasions

Wow.. .I especially love the pairing of Toilet, Laundry and Analysts :-)

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Mark Suster on Fox News: How to Present Your Business to a Crowd

My favorite quote: One of the worst things with Powerpoint is the bulletpoint…