Google School: Phonebook lookups - Lifehacker

Lifehacker has a great Google Tip:
Find residential or business phone book listings using Google’s rphonebook and bphonebook operators.
For example, query Joe Smith’s listing in Oakland like so:
rphonebook: Joe Smith Oakland CA
Or to get Sushi Samba’s number in NYC:
bphonebook: Sushi Samba New York NYGoogle School: Phonebook lookups - Lifehacker

Win Free Stuff from "In Bubble Wrap"

Another holiday gift for the readers of Dayton AMA blog. The good people at 800ceoread have put together a brilliant side project entitled "In Bubble Wrap:Free business stuff." It is an excellent site, where every weekday at 10:00 EST they announce a new contest that runs for 24 hours. You can get the announcement directly from the site by RSS feed or by e-mail. If you are interested in the offer, you simply log in to your account, complete a couple questions, and you are entered in the contest to win. It is that easy. I happened to win on my first try and will now be receiving a free subscription to Booz Allen Hamilton's Strategy & Business magazine. As someone who loves both reading and free stuff, I will be checking in with them daily. Happy Holidays!


Picture of the Week

Sorry about the delay in posting the "Picture of the Week." The holiday week had me a bit confused.

Christmas at Clifton Mill.


Zomething interesting in Dayton

Speaking of gift giving, Shannon Joyce Neal profiled an interesting local company in Friday's Dayton Daily News. Zlimit specializes in self serve gift and incentive programs. The company is an offshoot of Dayton based, Excellence in Motivation, which manages the same types of programs for large organizations. Zlimit's appeal is in its ease of use and ability to be customized for small orders. Looking for a token of appreciation for your people. Check out Zlimit.com.Zlimit's niche 'self-service'


While I have not yet completed the 2005 Christmas wish list, I am pretty sure that "What Would MacGyver Do?" will be on the 2006 list of books that I want. You can bet that duct tape and WD-40 will be featued heavily in this soon to be classic. What Would MacGyver Do?


Picture of the Week

Just a preview of what's around the corner . . .

The 6 weeks leading up to Christmas

It is Ohio State v. Michigan weekend, which means that in addition to seeing A.J. Hawk blitzing the Wolverine QB, you can expect to see a rush of holiday retail advertisements on your television. John Moore has a great post on Brand Autopsy regarding one retail organization's strategy for holiday advertising - RadioShack. It seems that RadioShack has publicly expressed a desire to make their organization more relevant to the American consumer. Their strategy; increase relevance by entertaining consumers with heavy doses of advertising during the 6 weeks leading up to Christmas. John's take on this strategy is as follows: "it's not what you do during the 6-weeks leading up to Christmas that makes a business relevant. It's what you do during the 46-weeks leading up to the Holidays that makes a business relevant." I completely agree with Mr. Moore's assessment.
While John's post focuses on RadioShack, it is clear that this is applicable to other companies as well. In the coming weeks there will be hundreds of thousands of advertisements for stores and brands that have long since lost their way.
Does that mean that companies should not advertise heavily during the holidays? Absolutely not. Take the case of Target. Target will run countless ads over the next 6 weeks trying to reach consumers who are ready to spend money. The difference is that Target works on it year round. They strive to be relevant. They are passionate about it, and the result is they are relevant in February, April, June, September...and December. Perhaps RadioShack will combine their advertising blitz with some wonderful initiatives for improving the experience of their customers. Maybe, their ad blitz alone will be wildly successful, making them relevant for years to come. I tend, however, to believe as John Moore does - "If you are expecting a multi-million/multi-dimensional Holiday advertising blitz to make a brand relevant, then you should expect to fail."
Brand Autopsy: RadioShack’s Holiday Irrelevance


A Chance to Market "Brand You!"

Wouldn't it be great if you could sit down and talk to some of Dayton's brightest marketing professionals? You could ask them how they approach new product launches, how they feel about the future of advertising, or where the newest opportunities for growth exist. Good news. Tonight you can do just that as the Dayton AMA presents Networking Nights at the Fox and the Hound in Centerville. The event will be from 6:00p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Networking Nights is a great place to meet marketing professionals from across the Dayton community and develop your personal networking skills. There is no charge to attend, and the event is open to the public. Join us for some great food, drink, and conversation.Dayton AMA Networking Night


Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee.

Yesterday I discussed the free productivity tools available at 37signals. Just as important as great tools is the technique for using them to increase your productivity. I came across a wonderful post today on To-Done. Author Bob Walsh outlines a concept called "Butterfly Stroke Productivity." This involves beginning every day by identifying 2 or 3 things you need to get done. You then set aside blocks of 60 to 120 minutes to work specifically on these important items - without interruption. In the time between these blocks, you "come up for air" like a swimmer using the butterfly stroke. During your breathing time, you can deal with less important items, like e-mail, voice-mail or reading the Dayton AMA blog. The goal of this technique is to get into a state of flow, where you are totally engaged in a project. This concept for getting things done is simply brilliant.Butterfly Stroke Productivity

Google Base Beta Launched!

File this post under the often overlooked marketing "P" of Place - as the channel for selling is changing today with the launch of Google Base. Why is this important? The answer is that now anyone can upload events, products, services, and anything else to Google, where it can be searched. Holding an event? List it. Selling a property you own? Upload the listing. Launching a new product? Upload it into Google. Need to fill a position? Post it on Google Base. The product is completely free, which makes it instantly appealing to everyone. While it is true that other sites like Craigslist already offer similar services, the reality is that they do not command the reach and scale of Google. In case you are wondering, I will be listing Dayton AMA events in Google Base starting today. Google Base


What's the big idea?

I try to avoid mentioning my employer too much on the Dayton AMA blog. However, when Relizon is in the paper, I feel no shame about pointing it out to the world. Jim Dillon wrote a very nice article in today's Dayton Daily News about the launch of the Relizon Idea Center in Grove City, Ohio. The idea center is a brand new 300,000 square foot facility, equipped with the latest and greatest in digital print, marketing fulfillment, warehousing, document management and more. Having recently visited it, I can say that it is quite impressive. The article featured quotes from my team-mate, John Specht - a.k.a. Captain Digital - and Sharon Williamson about the launch of the new facility. The idea center is a tremendous asset to Relizon. It provides us with an enhanced ability to create success stories for our customers. There is something nice about seeing your friends quoted in the paper, especially when it is about something so remarkable.
Relizon announces new 'Idea Center'

Get Organized with 37 Signals!

What do I need to do? I ask myself this question frequently. Time is limited. In a given day, there is only so much that I can hope to accomplish, and thus I am always looking for tools to help me. I have found just such a tool set at 37 signals.
37 signals offers a wide variety of web based work and life management programs, all of which you can test drive for FREE. They offer everything from simple "to do" list applications to comprehensive project management software. Because the programs are web-based, you can access your information anywhere you can access the internet - a tremendous convenience. I have been utilizing Ta-da list - sharable to-do lists - and it has been great. Basecamp is their project management tool. There is a free version, and for under $100.00 a month, it offers a complete suite of tools. Because all of their products have free versions, you can test drive them all and see what works for you. The site is definitely worth a look, and the business model is completely web 2.0.
They also maintain an excellent blog entitled the Signal vs. Noise blog. It is great reading. Simple software to help you get organized: 37signals


Got BIG files?

The holiday season has started early for me as I received one of the BEST gifts ever this morning! I consider myself to now be "enlightened"! What is all the excitement? Check out www.yousendit.com to share in my enthusiasm.

So often, I am plagued with the challenge of transmitting large attachments into cyberspace. For my clients who do not have ftp sites, or for those who have limitations and file size restrictions on their email accounts, I am constantly required to burn CD's and jump in my car for a speedy delivery.

Until this morning...

A colleague of mine informed me of a FREE...yes I said FREE service available on the web called "you send it dot com". It works very much like an ftp site by allowing you to upload your file onto a secure area of this website, then an email including a link to that file is sent to your intended recipient who can then access the link and download the file without clogging up email flow! The limit is up to 1GB - so most Photoshop files will fit as well!

I cannot tell you what a time saver this is! I am sharing my first gift of the season with you all! Give it a try - it is quick, easy and efficient!

Google U. Free web analytics tools, and instructions on how to use them.

Who is visiting your web site? What are they interested in? Why are they leaving? Google is giving you the ability to easily answer these and other questions with the launch of their free web analytics service. They are also offering instructional modules for how to increase your web traffic and convert more visitiors into customers. If you maintain a web site, this is definitely worth reviewing.Google Analytics - Conversion University


Picture of the Week

First frost, at Grant Park in Centerville.

And a special thank you to the Dayton AMA and Dave Bowman for inviting me to speak and present at last Wednesday's meeting. I had a lot of fun and enjoyed sharing my story and the story of Picture Ohio.

Just in case you missed it, the following link will take you to a PDF of my PowerPoint slides presented on Wednesday:

The second to last slide includes a Windows Media Audio/Video file titled "Farewell to Autumn." All the images presented on this self-running slide show (except the final one) were captured during this past month. Make sure you turn your sound on before clicking on the title image. Windows Media Player is required.

Eventually we all find our light!


Let there be light!

The Dayton AMA would like to thank Jim Crotty for speaking at the November meeting yesterday. Jim spoke about "Finding the Light" which is a metaphor for his personal and professional life. His passion for photography was evident, and his inspirational story of persistance, resiliance, and courage was very moving. If you get a chance, visit his studio on Far Hills Avenue, (near Elsa's) where you can see his work first hand. You can also find him on the web at the link below. Thanks Jim!pictureohio.com


Picture of the Week

Earlier this week at the Pioneer Village, Caesar Creek State Park.


Church of the Customer Blog: Word of mouth data

Church of the Customer has a great post about the importance of word of mouth marketing. The post is based on a recent report by eMarketer and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, and lists reasons why word of mouth is becoming more and more relevant. Word of mouth is powerful. What are your customers saying? Are you doing anything to influence that? How much are you focusing on the experience of the customer and making it truly remarkable? That is where success is generated.Church of the Customer Blog: Word of mouth data

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