Things I don’t understand… do you?

So all day I was struck by things that I just can’t wrap my arms around.  In no particular order, they are:

  • Watching pre-season Monday Night Football and for once I don’t have a wager involved (what, you think I’m THAT big of a degenerate to bet on pre-season football???  Answer is ‘yes’, just too spooked from the lockout to deploy my “can’t lose betting strategy for pre-season football”… certainly a future blog post topic for sure!).  So I found myself actually paying attention to the commentary, where I realize that these 3 baboons never shut the f*ck up!  I mean, who doesn’t love a Jon Gruden anecdote but after EVERY G.D. play???!!!!  Jaworski explains the strategy behind every screen pass that goes for a 6 yd gain like it’s the Battle of the Bulge and Tirico – to keep pace I’m guessing – pontificates a Shawn Greene rush for 2 yards like he’s solved the debt ceiling crisis since he didn’t fumble.  Brutal man, brutal … wait, sorry, that was Chuckie watching film with Blaine Gabbert in this spring’s thrilling series of ESPN Quarterback Camp (couldn’t help myself)…
  • Baseball Managers wearing uniforms.  I know, I know… this one has been cycled and recycled.  However, it bothers the living sh*t out of me.  While I realize the days of Tommy Lasorda, Bobby Cox and the revered Earl Weaver have given way to the more physically fit Joe Girardi, Don Mattingly, Bruce Bochy and Ron Washington, the mere thought of Charlie Manual stuffing his sausage into that MLB casing should be enough to outlaw this practice.  What, you think ‘Uncle Chahlee’  is going to be a late inning defensive replacement for Victorino anytime soon???  Don’t get me wrong, I love the man and all he’s done for my Phightin’ Phils – especially as we approach the century mark in W’s, but enough is enough with this outdated tradition.  And don’t give me Pete Rose – he only gave it a go to have a chance at influencing his 7 team parlays.  It’s dumb and makes these guys look silly!
  • Different rules for different MLB leagues.  This one takes the cake.  It’s like having the super bowl played between the winner of the NFL with their field dimensions/rules and the winner of the Canadian Football League with their 20 yd. endzones and allowing WRs a 10 yd head start (because d-backs have too much of an advantage needing to back pedal and having no clue where the WR ultimately is going to go… let’s make it even harder by allowing the WR to be at top speed by the time the ball is snapped… I mean, I LOVE me some Crown Royal but those crazy Canucks need to stick to legislating high sticking and 5 minute majors!).  It’s time to consolidate the rules – get rid of the ridiculous designated hitter and make the AL managers actually MANAGE  a game for a change… I mean its like fantasy baseball on that side of the aisle.  And let’s stop with the quirky field dimensions… has anyone seen anything dumber than that hill in centerfield at Minute Maid Park (Houston)?  Its like the construction super was on his 8th martini when the final grading was being performed and he belched out a “f*ck it… we’re gonna suck for the next 10 years anyway while we act as the feeder program for the Phillies… who cares if half of our outfielders break their ankles.”
  • The whole metal in the microwave thing… we still can’t do that?  Then why is there a metal rack in there that never catches on fire???

And then this work-related thing entered the realm of confusion for me:

  • Marketing professionals who judge the success of programs by product sales.  OK, this one boils down to pure marketing 101.  For anyone out there in need of a refresher, the job of marketing is to expose the target audience to products/services for which they should have a need.  If there is a mis-alignment or misunderstanding of the markets’ needs for the product/service then a targeting adjustment is needed.  However, to judge the relative success of a marketing campaign based upon product sales is purely asinine and those companies will soon be boarding up their doors for failing to remember a very basic tenet of the marketing-sales continuum:  The job of marketing is to fill the funnel with prospects who are both interested and capable of purchasing.  The job of sales is to complete the transaction.  “Sales’ in this instance can be anything from the actual function being performed by the individuals whose job it is to do ‘sales’, to the actual features/benefits/perceived value of the product/service realized once interested prospects delve deeper into the decision-making process of whether or not to part with their hard-earned money in exchange for the perceived benefit. 

A real-life story to hammer the point home even further:  It’s widely known that acquisition/prospect marketing is NOT an ROI positive venture.  Meaning, simply, that you will pay more to get a new buyer into your door than the amount of revenue you realize from that new customer during his/her first transaction.  Believe it or not, I had a client who refused to evaluate the cost to obtain this new customer in comparison to the lifetime of value she would derive, focusing instead on simply the one-time revenue she would realize at the time the prospect converted to a paying customer.  I was beside myself (in a professional way of course… meaning I cast dispersions on her intelligence while pressing the mute button on my speaker phone).  The worst part was her reasoning:  “It’s the way we’ve always done it.”  Sort of like the two MLB leagues operating under different rules…

I have since learned a very valuable lesson and that is to obtain the measurements of success before even considering to engage any new client.  I’m not sure how your business operates, but when I engage a client, it’s a major undertaking of research and proposed action plans to help them put their product/service in front of the most likely audience who would desire to purchase.  After the disaster above illustrates, I better be damn sure that the person who is paying the bill and ultimately deciding if this is going to be a long-term relationship has the experience to understand the value behind the programs we craft and has the fortitude and skills to turn the valuable prospects I produce into long-term paying customers.  And most importantly, I’ve learned to both Google Image and LinkedIn any new contact before our first conversation, just in case they happen to be wearing a managerial baseball uniform…

Hello Blogosphere!

Welcome to my blog.  You likely don’t know me but you soon will.  Very little will be left to the imagination while I relay information, criticism, and opinion layered with cynism covering topics that I know very well (marketing, sports, functioning with massive hangovers, etc.) as well as topics of which I’m quickly gaining expertise thanks to my wife (pop-culture, entertainment, the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise…).

The goal of this site is to both educate and entertain by relaying my experiences and thoughts about the world of marketing (especially in the digital and direct categories) via amusing anecdotes drawn from my areas of expertise.  Most of the content found here will be opinion hard-formed by 10+ years of providing marketing services to major brands for my highly successful direct/digital marketing agency.  I’ll share a lot of opinions based on my life lessons – and I encourage you to share yours, even if dissenting – I look forward to proving you wrong 🙂

More about me (it’s my blog after all):  Beyond being a 10 year veteran of the advertising/marketing industry, I’m married with two amazing kids.  I’m a great dad and rising star of the baseball coaching fraternity – I can manage the bench of 8 year old little leaguers like no other!  I’m a former college athlete (which makes me a current frustrated athlete who can’t let go the ‘Glory Days’), addicted to golf (but can’t seem to get any better), addicted to Philly sports (which continue to get better!) drink too much and sleep too little (but oddly successful during these times).  So that’s me…  stay tuned for some cool stuff that I know!