Jason Sudeikis as American Football Coach Ted Lasso

An American Football Coach In London

NBC’s Clever Marketing To America’s “Football” Audience

Football is the most watched sport in the world. In America, not so much. For soccer fans in the US who know what the Premier League is, the announcement that NBC Sports would be covering the 2013-2014 Premier League may have been phenomenal news.

If you’re NBC and you’re faced with the idea that a large part of your potential audience doesn’t care about soccer and/or know what the Premier League is, what do you do? You go get Jason Sudeikis to play Ted Lasso – An American Football Coach in London. You shine a light on America’s lack of understanding of the sport(soccer) from an American perspective – and you make it funny. You speak to an American soccer audience – fans that are used to cramming into a pub at 7am to watch Setanta – who are used to hearing things like Lasso’s absurd comments. What you get is clever marketing. And watched more than 1 million times in just about two days. Featured on morning talk shows and dozens of big websites. But will anybody watch the Premier League on NBC? We’ll see…

A Shot of Marketing Perspective from Seth Godin

A Shot of Marketing Perspective from Seth Godin

Two shots of espresso with a side of marketing

It’s No Secret…

I’m a HUGE fan of Seth Godin. In May of 2008, he wrote a post called “What Every Good Marketer Should Know”. It’s a list of 37 bullet points that I refer to regularly and often share with clients and prospects. It’s not just valuable for marketers. It’s insightful perspective for anyone who has to make a marketing-related decision for their small business. So often, small business owners and their employees focus on the wrong things. They want a website – want to pay as little as possible – and want to not think critically about how they’ll use the website once it’s finished. They want to buy leads. They want a quick answer to where they should spend their advertising dollars.

And the truth is…it’s not that simple. Good marketing isn’t an expense. It’s an investment. And bad marketing is an expense that will never return the desired results. Here are a couple of my favorite Godin-isms from What Every Good Marketer Should Know in no particular order. My thoughts on each are below with an “SP:”

1. “People are selfish, lazy, uninformed and impatient. Start with that and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

SP: No one cares that you think your widget is great. No one cares that you think that a picture of your office communicates that you’re a legitimate operation. They care about themselves – and their problems. Use your website, blog and marketing materials to help your customers solve THEIR problems. More will convert. More will appreciate – and be loyal to you. And more will tell their friends.

2. “Good marketers tell a story.”

SP: We’re hard-wired to tie ideas to stories and analogies. Tell a story that drives home the idea you’re trying to explain and you’ll get better results.

3. “Effective stories match the world view of the people you are telling the stories to.”

SP: Be a GOOD storyteller. Know your audience.

4. “You can’t fool all the people, not even most of the time. And people, once unfooled, talk about the experience.”

SP: If your approach has been to get over on any portion of your customers, you’re screwed. Accept it. Change your ways. Apologize if necessary. The internet has turned every person with a smart phone into a mini media outlet. This isn’t going away – it’s getting worse. Behave poorly with your customers and they will talk about it online. And potentially ruin you.

5. “Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.”

SP: This is the proactive way to avoid the pitfalls associated with number 4. Encourage you customers to have the right sort of conversations about your business online. Go out and participate in the conversations that are already going on. And do it yesterday.

6. “Choose your customers. Fire the ones that hurt your ability to deliver the right story to the others.”

SP: Stop trying to be all things to all people. I can’t tell you how many times small business owners tell me that their target audience is everyone. Stop it. Everyone is not your audience. Start with your best existing customers and explain why you love them. Why they buy. What sort of relationship you have with them. Then look for ways to amplify. Do the same things with your worst customers. If you can’t make them into clones of your best customers…fire them. And don’t allow anymore bad customers on board.

7. “Marketing is not an emergency. It’s a planned, thoughtful exercise that started a long time ago and doesn’t end until you’re done.”

SP: The most important lesson for anyone working in a small business’ marketing department. Because everyone’s emergency becomes your problem. And for owners – these reactionary emergencies make your company look dumb. And the odds are good that the emergency messaging is questionable. And that it won’t have the desired result – if there are any results at all.

8. “You can game the social media in the short run, but not for long.”

SP: Think of social media as a long, intimate conversation with your audience. And go easy on trying to get something without giving.

8 Marketing Ideas Small Biz Owners Can Learn From Seth Godin

Check out Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars, The Dip, Tribes, or pretty much anything else he’s written. You won’t be disappointed.

Baseball, Learning and Life

Lessons My Father Taught Me About Baseball, Life & Learning


So many people tell me baseball’s boring. Without the right context, I guess they’re right. To me, baseball is a game that has provided a lifelong connection to my father. And to the relationship that he shared with his father.

It’s a game that’s taught me the importance of competition, practice, adversity, and teamwork. The nuances of the game are often not understood by people that find baseball boring. Every pitch creates an endless amount of possible situations that players must be prepared for. This isn’t always obvious for the occasional viewer. More importantly – anyone who’s spent a substantial amount of time playing baseball or shared a similar relationship with their father, understands that the game is about so much more. It’s a connection to past generations. It’s an analogy for how we learn. It’s practice for developing character. And it provides common ground for a lifelong relationship between fathers and sons. In honor of Father’s Day – and as a way for me to tell my father that I appreciate all he’s taught me – I’d like to share some lessons I’ve learned from my father about baseball, life and learning.

Hard Work & The Importance Of Hustle

At the start of each season, my father would have a talk with my coach and the conversation would go something like this…

“If you see Shane dogging it out there – not running out a fly ball, not hustling on and off the field, etc. – I want you to bench him the next inning.”

It only took me a couple of times to learn that if I didn’t hustle, I’d end up on the bench. It was a lesson I needed to learn. Good things happen when we hustle. In baseball, the occasional routine fly ball drops and those with hustle are standing safely on-base. Those without hustle are an easy out once the defense recovers. Baseball is a numbers game. Guys with hustle run out every single ground ball or pop up knowing that 1 out of every 20 might result in reaching base safely. In my professional life, I’ve come to value employees and co-workers that had hustle. I’ve always tried to be a “teammate” that hustled. Hustle knows that the payment is in the process; not in the outcome.

Substance Over Style

My father hated Barry Bonds. Before Bonds’ head grew four sizes, my father disliked him for being a “hot dog”. Whether it was slapping his glove against his thigh before catching a routine fly ball or not leaving the batter’s box on a ground ball to short, Bonds was the perfect example for what not to do on a baseball field. Making no judgement of his talent, his numbers or his use of P.E.D.’s, it was his approach to the game that my father disliked.

In contrast, my father loved Cal Ripken, Jr’s approach. We went to countless games at Memorial Stadium – and later Camden Yards – and without fail my father would nudge me with his elbow and say, “Look at Cal! Look at him! Every pitch he takes two steps towards home plate and gets his glove on the ground so that he’s ready in case the ball gets hit to him.” For some of you that know my father, you may have heard him say this a couple dozen times. For the uninitiated, that’s between 100 – 125 instances per game of being ready for the ball to be hit your way. And the majority of the time the ball doesn’t get hit your way. But for two decades, Cal was ready on every single pitch. Every single day. And he was always in the right position. And my father made sure to make sure that I noticed.

Practice Doesn’t Just Happen on the Field

From an early age, my father encouraged me to sit quietly and visualize positive baseball experiences. He would suggest that I lay down, relax and vividly imagine that I was standing in the batter’s box. He would tell me to imagine how the grass smelled. How the dirt felt under my cleats. And to imagine seeing the ball leaving the pitcher’s hand and then seeing myself connect with the pitch, lining it over the shortstop’s head into left field. He would encourage me to try to “feel” the good contact in my mind. Anyone who’s played baseball knows the difference between the feel of a ball that you’ve hit squarely and a ball that’s not.

In my adult life, I’ve spent a good bit of time reading about personal and professional development. I’ve come across countless books that talk about the importance of visualizing a positive, desired outcome. Books like “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle, “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz, and “How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci” by Michael Gelb – to name just a few – talk about how important visualization exercises are in practicing effectively. Every time I come across someone talking about visualization, I remember being 8 or 9 years old and my Dad’s lessons on being a better ball player.

On Being Curious in Life

Driving to games, my dad would often give me a baseball scenario and ask me what I would do if the ball was hit my way. He would say, “Ok, you’re playing second base…there’s one out, a runner on third and a lefty at bat. You’re up by one run and he hits a slow roller to your left…what do you do?” If I answered correctly, he would tweak the scenario to be two outs and a runner on second. The game never really ended. The lesson was that I should be asking myself these same questions before every pitch. That I should know before the pitch what I would be doing with the ball if it was hit my way.

This wasn’t just a baseball exercise. Most nights at the dinner table, my father would begin by asking myself and my sisters, “What did you learn in school today?” If we were prepared and answered with something worthwhile, his response would be some version of the phrase, “You learn something new every day.” If we managed to be enjoying the summer and there was no school that day, there was often Dad-provided required reading that we would be quizzed on during dinner. Books and topics ranged from philosophy (Plato and Aristotle) to Fourth Amendment cases (search and seizure law) and even classic movies that he felt well-rounded people should be familiar with.

If one of us was being a know-it-all, my Dad would often tell us that we were operating from “the complete certainty that only ignorance provides”. He always tried to make sure that if we thought we knew something about a topic that it was because we had worked at that topic, tried and failed, asked questions, and learned about that topic from smart people. What all of these examples left me with was the idea that to think critically – and to get better at anything – a person needs to work hard at it, have a vision of exactly where you’d like to go, plan on how to get there, constantly ask good questions, and seek out smart people to help with the journey.

It’s true in baseball. It’s true on the golf course. It’s true in business and marketing. It’s true in life and love. And it’s a life lesson that I’ve been fortunate enough to have started working on at a young age. Thanks – in no small part – to my father sharing the game of baseball with me a very early age.

Online Marketing: What Should You Measure?

There are plenty of articles out there that tell you why you need to implement online marketing into your strategy. By now, you have had every single online marketing tactic beaten into your brain. Some of these articles may have even told you that you need to measure your metrics so that you know just how successful your online marketing efforts have been. But what these articles are failing to tell you is exactly what you should be measuring.

Instead of staring at your analytics and scratching your head, the following information will tell you exactly what you should be monitoring.

Audience Engagement

You want your audience to come to your website and spend some time perusing what you have to offer and possibly making an inquiry or sale. In order to know how your audience is being engaged on your site, you’ll want to track the average amount of time that users spend on your site; how often your content is being shared; the average number of pages a visitor views before leaving; and your bounce rate (the number of people who don’t go past your first page).

When you know all of this, you can determine how long your website has to capture your audience’s attention. If you notice that the average person is only spending 1 minute on your site, then you have to gain their attention in 1 minute. This will also show you which pages are receiving the most traffic. This could tell you where you have the best chance of getting your visitor to convert. If you notice that your About Us page is receiving a significant amount of traffic, you may want to put a call to action on that page, such as sign up for your email, register for your blog or even inquire about a product or service.

Website Conversions

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re tracking your conversions. A conversion refers to someone who transfers from a simple visitor to taking some type of action, such as signing up for your newsletter. You will need to decide what your conversion is based on your goals. For example, if the goal of your website is to get more people to sign up for your newsletter, then your conversions would be those people who sign up. If your goal is to increase sales, then a conversion would be someone who makes an online purchase.

Knowing your conversions will help you determine if you are reaching your goal and if your tactics are working. If your goal is to increase online sales, but you haven’t generated one, then you know that your online marketing needs some adjusting in order to give you the results you want.

Website Traffic

You will also want to track where your traffic is coming from. Are you receiving traffic from search engine searches? If so, what keywords are the most successful? Are you receiving traffic from a backlink on another website? If so, which one? When you know where your traffic is coming from, you know where you can reach your audience. If your traffic is coming from the search engines, then you know that you should put an extra focus on your search engine marketing.

There are plenty of tools out there that can help you measure your online marketing success. Google Analytics and Topsy are great resources to help you measure these items most effectively.

Visit www.seomap.com to learn more about their work


SEO For Startups In 10 Minutes

Google recently posted a video on their Webmaster blog that quickly covers SEO techniques for startups and small businesses that have websites that are less than 50 pages. Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead at Google, discusses the following essential SEO tactics:
[fancy_list style="bullet_list" variation="orange"]

  • WWW. vs non WWW. urls and the importance of 301 redirects from whichever one you’re NOT using
  • Verifying ownership of your website in Google’s Webmaster Tools
  • Submitting a Reconsideration Request via Google’s Webmaster Tools
  • Website design and your audience profiles
  • Defining visitor conversions for every page of your site
  • Using relevant keywords naturally in your website’s text
  • Answering your consumers product related questions within your content
  • Creating unique copy, a unique theme, unique page title and unique meta description for every page of your website
  • Avoiding pitfalls like hiring a rogue seo(“if they guarantee anything, that’s bad news”), participating in link schemes or link buying, and focusing more on design than index-able text and site structure.


It’s definitely worth watching if you’re a small business owner who’s unfamiliar with SEO and you have 10 minutes to spare.

There’s always good information related to SEO best practices at Google Webmaster Tools


My Code Of Ethics from Napoleon Hill's Laws of Success

My Code of Ethics

1. I Will Follow The Golden Rule Philosophy

[fancy_box]I believe in The Golden Rule as the basis for all human conduct. Therefore, I will not do to another person that which I would not have them do to me.[/fancy_box]

2. I Will Be Honest In All Transactions

[fancy_box]I will be honest – even to the slightest detail – in all my transactions with others. Not because of a desire to be fair with others but because of my desire to impress the idea of honesty on my own subconscious mind. Thereby weaving this essential quality into my own character.[/fancy_box]

3. I Will Forgive Others

[fancy_box]I will forgive those who are unjust towards me with no thought towards whether they deserve it or not because I understand the law through which forgiveness of others strengthens my own character and wipes out the effects of my own transgressions in my subconscious mind. [/fancy_box]

4. I Will Be Just, Fair, and Generous

[fancy_box]I will be just, fair, and generous with others always even though I know that these acts will go unnoticed and unrewarded in the ordinary terms of reward because I understand that the sum total of one’s character is the sum of one’s own acts and deeds.[/fancy_box]

5. I Will Discover And Correct My Weaknesses

[fancy_box]Whatever time I may have to devote to the discovery and exposure of the weaknesses and faults of others, I will devote more profitably to the discovery and correction of my own. [/fancy_box]

6. I Will Slander No Person

[fancy_box]I will slander no person no matter how much I believe another person may deserve it because I wish to plant no destructive suggestions in my own subconscious mind.[/fancy_box]

7. I Will Think No Destructive Thoughts

[fancy_box]I recognize the power of thought as being an inlet leading into my brain from the universal ocean of life. Therefore, I will set no destructive thoughts afloat upon that ocean lest they pollute the minds of others.[/fancy_box]

8. I Will Conquer The Common Human Tendencies

[fancy_box]I will conquer the common human tendency toward hatred and envy and selfishness and jealousy and malice and pessimism and doubt and fear. For I believe this is the seed from which the world harvests most of its troubles.[/fancy_box]

9. I Will Think Thoughts Of Courage And Faith

[fancy_box]When my mind is not occupied with thoughts that tend towards the attainment of my definite chief aim in life, I will voluntarily keep it filled with thoughts of courage and self confidence and goodwill towards others and faith and kindness and loyalty and love for truth and justice. For I believe these to be the seeds from which the world reaps its harvest of progressive growth.[/fancy_box]

10. I Will Put Into Action The Golden Rule Philosophy

[fancy_box]I understand that a mere passive belief in the soundness of The Golden Rule philosophy is of no value whatsoever, either to myself or to others. Therefore, I will actively put into action this universal rule for good in all my transactions with others.[/fancy_box]

11. I Will Take Care In Developing A Sound Character

[fancy_box]I understand the law, through the operation of which my own character is developed through my own actions and thoughts. Therefore, I will guard with care all that goes into it’s development.[/fancy_box]

12. I Will Find Enduring Happiness Through Helping Others

[fancy_box]12. Realizing that enduring happiness comes only through helping others find it and that no act of kindness is without its reward even though it may never be directly repaid, I will do my best to assist others when and where the opportunity appears.[/fancy_box]

Dogfish Head Social Media Case Study

Create Compelling Facebook Content: A Social Media Case Study

Dogfish Head and The Art of Creating Compelling Content

This article is the first in a series of posts that shows how Dogfish Head effectively uses social media to communicate and engage with its customers.

Using Behind-The-Scenes Images and Videos

In the following examples, Dogfish Head uses pictures and YouTube videos to bring their fans up close for an explanation of what goes into brewing their Sah’tea beer. The information below is a good example of how a business can engage its audience through the use of Facebook, Youtube, and social media.

Sah’tea Brew

Each year Dogfish Head brews a limited amount of its Sah’tea Brew, a modern take on a 9th century Finnish proto-beer. opportunity for some behind-the-scenes pictures and video commentary about the brew and the process – all shared via Dogfish Head’s Facebook page. In the video below, Dogfish Head Founder and Owner Sam Calagione explains – in just about a minute – how they go about brewing the limited release.

One of the steps involves heating rocks over an open fire and dropping them into the tank of beer. Below is an image posted to the Dogfish Head Facebook page showing an image of what the white hot rocks actually look like.

Another short video (just 0:54 long) shows the heated rocks going into the Sah’tea wort.

The image below shows two Dogfish Head employees cooking hot dogs and brats on the grill that was used to heat the rocks just an hour earlier. This simple post not only introduces two staff members to Dogfish fans but also drives home the brand’s message and positioning, “Off-centered stuff for off-centered people”.

In two short videos and two pictures taken with an iPhone, Dogfish Head has succeeded in bringing fans as close possible to being in Milton, DE, for the actual brewing. In just over an hour, the video and the two images received a combined 460 likes and 96 comments. The video of Sam Calagione is posted to YouTube with search engine friendly tags that include “Sam Calagione”, “Dogfish Head”, “Milton, DE”, “Sah’tea”, and “historical beer”. At the time of this case study, the video has received more than 12,000 views. And there’s virtually no mention of buying a product.

Dogfish Head Beer’s Facebook Page

Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues

Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues

Benjamin Franklin was an interesting man. Founding Father. Scientist. Inventor. Author. Business man. Franklin was committed to self-improvement and developed his own personal road map in a quest for moral perfection. His 13 virtues.

I must admit that I had little knowledge of Franklin’s life or accomplishments a year ago. Aside from a foggy memory from grade school that involved a man standing out in a lightning storm flying a kite with a key attached to it, Franklin was a mystery to me.

Until I read Napoleon Hill’s The Law of Success. In The Law of Success, Hill speaks of Franklin’s 13 virtues and explains the lengths that Franklin went to in the name of self-improvement. In business and in life, there’s a great deal that we can all learn from Franklin and his 13 virtues.

Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues

Benjamin Franklin's Thirteen Virtues

1. Temperance

Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation

2. Silence

Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself

3. Order

Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time

4. Resolution

Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve

5. Frugality

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; waste nothing

6. Industry

Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions

7. Sincerity

Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly and, if you speak, speak accordingly

8. Justice

Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty

9. Moderation

Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve

10. Cleanliness

Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation

11. Tranquility

Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable

12. Chastity

Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation

13. Humility

Imitate Jesus and Socrates


More about Franklin and his 13 virtues

A great take on the 13 virtues from The Art of Manliness. While you’re there be sure to learn “How to Shave Like Your Grandpa”.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin


Google and Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization: Why You Shouldn’t Mess With Google

JC Penney SEO | A Black Hat SEO Mistake From Christmas 2010

Just about three months ago, J.C. Penney ranked at or near the top of organic, or non-paid, search results with Google for terms like “Bedding,” “Dresses,” “Skinny Jeans,” “Home Decor,” and a large number of other search terms. The high placement may have helped J.C. Penney post 2010 fourth quarter internet sales of $495 million, an increase of 6.7 percent over the previous year (J.C. Penney’s Quarterly Earnings Report). The article below by the New York Times argues that J.C. Penney accomplished this by using a firm that employed “Black Hat” Search Engine Optimization tactics. This is a huge problem with Google. Black Hat SEO refers to practices that raise the visibility of a website by means that are not-so ethical. Google takes these “cheaters” seriously.

As you can see, as of April 1st, 2011 J.C. Penney’s only presence on the first page of Google results for the search term “Bedding” is a paid placement. I had to go to page 5 of the search results in order to find an organic result for J.C. Penney. It’s worth noting that I live about a half mile from a J.C. Penney and they didn’t even show up on the Google Maps result for this search.

JC Penney's Black Hat Search Engine Optimization Example 1

JC Penney Search Engine Optimization Example 2

Full New York Times article: The Dirty Little Secrets of Search
Google’s SEO Guidelines

Lesson: Don’t try to fool Google. It isn’t worth it.

Develop A Successful Facebook Page

Develop a Successful Facebook Page

Below is an exceprt of “How to Develop a Successful Facebook Page” written by Mark Ivey for Marketing Profs. The article was orginally written in July of 2009 – and while some of the specifics might be outdated – the overall ideas presented are still relevant. In dealing with small businesses on regular basis, it’s been my experience that a large number of small business owners don’t understand how to successfully market their business using Facebook. This article will help to give beginners a grasp about why using a Facebook page is important to your company’s virtual identity and how to plan for success using Facebook to market your business.

A summary of the key points to the article is listed below. For a list of resources associated with the article including Facebook’s Step-by-Step Guide , read the entire article at MarketingProfs.com


1. Define Your Audience

Good advice for any marketing project. Be specific about who you are trying to communicate with and determine the things that appeal to them.

2. Create Goals, Objectives & a Strategy For Your Page

Is the goal of your page to drive traffic to your website? If so, is there a specific product or service that you’d like to create awareness about? Should your audience be directed to a specific page on your site? Are you planning on using your Facebook page in conjunction with a blog about your products and services? These are items that should be determined so that your efforts are organized and your response can be measured.

3. Settings

Your Facebook Page’s settings allow you to define how users can interact with your page. Whether they can post on your wall, upload photos, etc. The settings also allow you to determine whether new visitors are taken to a specific “tab” on your page during their first visit. This can be helpful if you’d like to offer new visitors a landing page that resembles you company’s website. Note: In order to create a custom landing tab, you will have to learn about FBML and have some background in web design or graphic design.

4. Create a Compelling Page

Your page’s wall is where you will be posting compelling content. The article explains that this area is vital for creating the potential for a viral response to your messaging. When a user interacts with your wall, there is the potential that this interaction will show up in that user’s News Feed – which is visible to their friends. This is by far the most important aspect of your page. By creating content that your users want to interact with…you’re encouraging them to show their friends that they like. Some of the author’s ideas for rich content include behind the scenes videos of your business, interviews with employees, or even creating a free guide that solves some problem for your prospect.

For a great example of a business providing rich content on their Facebook page, check out Dogfish Head Beer’s Facebook Page.

Without giving too much away – I know…too late – Here’s the first couple paragraphs of the article…

How to Develop a Succesful Facebook Page

By Mark Ivey

Businesses have begun to flock to Facebook Pages in the past year—and no wonder. With a Facebook Page (essentially, a mini website on Facebook), you can post company news, announce events, offer tutorials, highlight videos, conduct polls, and create community with discussion boards.

Facebook Pages are good for building your brand and creating conversations, allowing users to get more deeply connected with your business.

Recent changes to Facebook Pages mean they’re now more like personal profiles, with a real-time news stream and the ability to create your own specialized tabs. Facebook Pages are also searchable from outside Facebook, and they’re easy to set up.

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2009/2968/how-to-develop-a-successful-facebook-page#ixzz1GmTVODVp