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Salesforce, a spectacular online business, ran an ad today in the NYT paper paper using a tried and true ad tactic “the testimonial.”  Amazon Web Service was the customer. Both are great companies, but the ad was so weak. It’s what my dad Fred Poppe might have called the “doggy’s dinner.”

Central to the idea is something called the (initial caps) Customer Success Platform. Oy. Luckily, the Customer Service Platform is powered by (initial cap) Einstein artificial intelligence. A skootch better.  It “qualifies leads, predicts when customers are ready to buy, and helps them close more deals.”  This is actually stuff a real copywriter could work with — but as written it’s all claim, no proof.   

To make matters worse the ad ends with “What if you had a way to help your business take flight?” followed by the Salesforcrce logo (When did they lose the .com in the logo?) and tagline “Blaze new trails.”  Flight? Trails? Talk about mixing your metaphors.

It’s as if someone used an ad-by-numbers kit.

For a company as successful and powerful as Salesforce, you’d think they could put together a cogent, well-craft print ad.  Maybe they should download a Hubspot template. JKJK.  




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Are brand planner’s heads always up in the clouds?  Are they trying to solve the world’s ills though advertising and marketing? In the last year alone, I’ve figured out how to fix education and correct the obesity problem.  I’ve spoken to experts in both fields, immersed myself in data and tools of the trade, studied the science and landed upon rough strategies for positively, demonstratively impacting both. Will it take time and lots of money?  Oh yeah. Will systemic change and cultural change be required? Absolutely.

Now, does someone interested is getting 100,000 hits to a website care about the ills of the world? Does someone trying to fill up with leads care about the global big picture? Probably not.  But when brand planners are allowed to do their “cloud work” first, and apply that learning, positioning and organizing principle to the tactics required to move the sales dial (the micro measures), that’s when great brands are built. Start with the micro tasks first and it makes the job much more difficult. Go big first and you have a chance.  This is the word of the planner. Peace.

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For Profit Browser.

The online world is all abuzz about priv-ah-see. There’s a new icon that will be appearing on social sites soon that will allow visitors to turn off tracking software, making it harder for advertisers to target users based on behavior., a business software package growing faster than kudzu in Georgia, is an information gathering tool that lets corporations track their salesforce activity so that if a sales person leaves the company their records, communications and contacts don’t too. plans to monetize by placing ads or links based on the likes and dislikes of its Tweeters. Instead of Burger King placing ads on they will soon be able to place them among Twitter followers of Eddy Curry, the New York Knicks center with the penchant for caloric foods.

Research suggests that Teens, Tweens and Millennials aren’t nearly as anal about online privacy as are pundits, but that will change. There is already a cottage industry developing – advertised on radio of all places – whereby people can pay to wipe out their online doings.  We need a quick way to toggle between social and private. I think it should be a browser-based tool.  When I’m shopping, I want help. When I’m surfing, I’d prefer to be left alone.  And I might just pay for that type of browser.  Peace!

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RFPs Tweet Tweet.


Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group posted last night about’s intent to integrate Chatter into its platform. is an enterprise application that helps organizations collaborate, schedule, organize and track workflow. The addition of Chatter, allows for social networking behind the firewall which is very smart. I’ve used free competitors of in this CRM space and they have a ways to go.

Ms. Li makes a couple of thought-provoking points in her post:

“This is more than merely integrating Twitter-like functionality into CRM and creating ‘social CRM.’  This is a rethink and elevation of how information flows around an organization, and where it lives. The elevation of deals to be on the same level as people is significant — in every other social platform, people reign supreme and the world pivots around them.”

“It’s one thing to use Twitter for customer support. It’s quite another to integrate it into the workflow of the organization.”

Charlene’s talk about deals and Twitter helped me mash-up this idea, related to the heinous business practice called “the RFP.” Imagine issuing an RFP along with a hashtag twitter follow subject (e.g., #widgetRFP1) that allows all RFP participants (and others) to chat in real time about the RFP. Yeahhhhhh. Think about it. Good info. Misinfo. Misdirection. Redirection.  Potential business partners. Quick answers from the RFP issuer. As my kids used to say “I yike it.”

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