Inside My Brain

Thoughts about startups, tech, marketing, and life

CATEGORY: Marketing

Guest Blog Post on ThornTech.com About How to Optimize Mobile Landing Pages

Check out my guest blog post on ThornTech.com listing 11 Steps to Optimizing Mobile Landing Pages.

Mobile landing pages are a crucial part of every mobile marketing strategy, and the quality of the design of these pages can have a huge impact on whether customers purchase your product or never return.

If you found this interesting, please follow me on Twitter – @mikewchan – for future updates.

Guest Blog Post on ThornTech.com – Is Text Message Marketing Dead?

Check out my guest blog post on ThornTech.com – Is Text Message Marketing Dead?

With the continuing increase of smartphone adoption, rising popularity of mobile messaging apps, and more and more people using their smartphones to access social media sites, where does that leave text messaging in businesses’ mobile marketing mix?

I hope you enjoy the article and let us know what you think!

Guest Blog Post on ThornTech.com: Mobile Social Commerce – What’s Going to Happen Next?

Check out part 2 of 2 of my blog series on ThornTech.com: Mobile Social Commerce – What’s Going to Happen Next?  iStock_000017856499XSmall

I make some predictions about what may happen with MoSoCo in the future, how technologies will evolve, and how retailers and brands will implement them.

You can find part 1 here: The Rise of Mobile Social Commerce.

I hope you like it!

Everything is getting smaller and shorter – how small is too small, and how short is too short?

shrinkageseinfeld_300“I just got back from swimming in the pool, and the water was cold…significant shrinkage!”
– George Costanza, “Seinfeld”

Everything is getting smaller and shorter by the minute. True to Moore’s Law, we now have powerful computers in the palm of our hands. Our primary forms of communication are now 160 and 140 characters long. Our “videos” are now 6 seconds long.

Seth Godin wrote a great blog post over three years ago about the bandwidth-sync correlation in communications. It’s clear that the bandwidth of modern forms of communication are now minuscule, which has resulted in an increased frequency of said communications, which has caused stress and angst for us to simply keep up.

There are definite benefits to the shrinking world, but how small is too small and how short is too short, especially when it comes to communications? Facebook has made us less personal. Tweets are written, read, maybe retweeted, then basically forgotten. Text messages come and go. Vine videos are viewed and lost. On the other hand, blog posts, articles, and novels live on, and movies and TV shows are watched over and over again.

As a technologist, I love how everything is getting smaller and more powerful. As a marketer, it’s becoming harder to tell a story. As a human being, it’s difficult to stay on top of everything flying at me, and sometimes I wish life were simpler.

How has the shrinking world impacted you, both positively and negatively? What are your thoughts on this subject?

Guest Blog Post About How Marketers Failed to Effectively Incorporate Mobile Into Their Super Bowl Ads – On ThornTech.com

Check out my guest blog post on ThornTech.com about how marketers failed to effectively integrate mobile into their Super Bowl ads.

If you spent $4 million for a 30-second spot, wouldn’t you want to continue the conversation with viewers after the ad ends and milk that spent money for all it’s worth? Find out who effectively incorporated mobile and social into their ads, and who ultimately failed.

I hope you find this interesting!

New Consulting Partnership – National Bid Network

NBN LogoGreat news! I’ve just finalized a consulting engagement with National Bid Network (NBN), a company that sells an extremely valuable database of government contract information and provides services to help consulting firms and manufacturers do business with the government.

I’ll be helping NBN with all aspects of marketing with a primary focus on lead generation. Together we’ll work on a website redesign, setting up and executing inbound marketing practices (SEO, content creation, social media, etc.), email marketing, CRM, and any other advertising and marketing projects that we need to drive sales.

I met NBN’s CEO, Kim Harwell, at a Salesforce.com conference in 2012. He sat right next to me during the keynote speech and was wowed by what CRM and online marketing can do for a company. He filled me in on NBN and what he was building and asked to stay in touch to see if we can work together in the future. We’ve been discussing a partnership for a while, and now that it’s been finalized, it’s time to get to work!

I’m looking forward to learning about a new industry and applying my marketing knowledge to help Kim grow his business. And if you are or know a consulting firm or manufacturer looking to do more business with the government, please reach out to me!

The Importance of Empathy

In The Business of Happiness, Ted Leonsis wrote about how empathy for others had such a positive impact on his life and led to many meaningful relationships and activities that helped him achieve more happiness and success. I couldn’t agree more, and I find myself recognizing many situations where empathy has been and will be important.

Empathy at Work

Empathy is really important at work, no matter what your job is. Unless you’re trapped in a chemistry lab by yourself (I’ve been watching a lot of Breaking Bad), you’ll always interact with teammates and colleagues to some extent and will need to understand how they feel, how they do their jobs, and what they need to be successful, even if you don’t agree with everything they say or do. Empathy is especially important for jobs that interface with customers, such as sales, service, and marketing.

When I worked for the Capitals, I was kind of the go-to revenue marketer, primarily because I led our database and email marketing efforts. Email was the most effective channel to drive revenue, and boy, did we send a lot of emails. This is a fine line that every email marketer walks – because email is so effective in driving revenue, when sales are slow, the Sales department always wants to send more email. But the marketer empathetic to the needs and wants of his or her customers understands that they dread when their inboxes are clogged with sales emails. So there were many instances when I refused to send more email, even when ticket sales levels for certain games were subpar; consequently, the Sales department and I had some rifts.

Looking back, I could have been more empathetic to the Sales department and approached the situation differently. If I had put myself in their shoes, I would have understood that they had a ticket sales goal to reach for those particular games and they would look bad if they didn’t hit that number. Many times I did suggest alternate channels to reach customers, such as social media and text messaging, but not before we got into arguing matches. A higher level of empathy on my part could have made these situations go much more smoothly.

You can also read my past blog post about the role that empathy played in my Startup Weekend NEXT experience.

Empathy in Personal Relationships

Having a high level of empathy for your friends, family, and significant other allows your relationships to be that much stronger.

I must admit that throughout the time that my fiancee and I have been together, I haven’t always been empathetic of her, and a few times that almost cost us our relationship. There were instances right after Vicky moved to Washington, DC, where I was a really selfish jerk and didn’t understand how some of the things that I did or didn’t do made her feel. I’ll spare you the gory details but I do think that I’ve become much better at understanding her situation and how she sees things. Obviously this has worked, because she still keeps me around!

Trust me, the saying “A happy wife (or fiancee or girlfriend) is a happy life” is totally true!

Empathy for Those Less Fortunate

I think many times when people see others who are less fortunate, sympathy (recognizing people’s hardships and providing comfort) is confused with empathy. In my mind, when empathy is the key driver of giving, that charity is much more impactful.

I don’t do enough charity work right now, but when I lived in Atlanta a while ago, I was really active with Hands On Atlanta and helped clean up local playgrounds and schools. The desire to help came from my upbringing as a child. By no means were we struggling, but when I was growing up in Queens and Brooklyn as a kid, my family didn’t have that much money (though they did achieve a higher level of income later in my childhood). Thus I attended public schools in New York, frequently hung out at dirty playgrounds, and played sports in the streets. Because I went through the same things as those children in Atlanta, I dedicated a lot of my time and energy to providing better playgrounds and schoolyards for them. I believe my empathy for their situation made me work harder, devote more time, and show more passion for that cause.

As you can see, empathy is really important in all aspects of life. I believe it has helped my life and career, and if it helped one of the most successful businessmen of our time become happier and more successful, think about what increasing your level of empathy can do for you.