Statistics every marketer should know

Here’s some stats (gathered by HubSpot) to think about in the fast-changing marketing world.

Give it a quick read to keep up with trends.

PDG takeaway:

ecommerce:  product pages are just as important, if not more important, than a company’s home page. E-commerce sites need to have their product pages just as optimized as the rest of the site. Some users may never even see the home page.

Does Your (Early Stage) Startup Need a PR Agency

Gregory Gomer from wrote recently:

If you are an early stage startup and you are paying for a PR firm, it really might not be worth it… you have more dire things to spend your money on than someone out there sending emails and networking on your behalf – like making sure your product is so badass that it is impossible for the media not to write about it.

I agree mostly with his assessments… despite my friendship with an excellent PR guy. My comments are inline below:

He describes 7 ways to do your own PR.

Leverage Your Network: Dig in to your LinkedIn and Facebook contacts.

I would add, join relevant groups (not too many, at most 5) with active discussions, and contribute ideas and tips, and ask for feedback when you get a feel for the quality of the group’s members.

Comment on Industry Specific Blog Posts: If you are a startup focusing on mobile payments, then you’d better know every mobile payments blog out there and read them every day.

This is a great point — it is difficult to make time to comment on other people’s blogs, but one or two comments you contribute add up over time. Seriously, do this. It will pay dividends.

Email Journalists, Create Relevant Dialogue: …take the time to email the author and provide some insight on his/her post, and throw some compliments out and share it over social media to score some serious points.

Follow/Tweet at Journalists: Make sure you are following the journalists who specialize in your company’s industry and keep an eye on everything they are writing. Every once in a while give them a RT and add a little flare to it.

Again, one or two per day. Then get back to work.

Pitch Your Story, Not Your Company: When pitching to journalists on any medium, make sure your personality and founding story connects with them.

Who better to tell your story than the cofounders? Practice your story, though… get verification that it is not boring or dull. Tell the story 5 times to 5 different friends/colleagues. Get feedback. I learned this trick from Guy Kawasaki.

Target Your Prey, Plan Your Attack: If you are going to an event every night you should really evaluate the value spent at the event versus in front of your computer doing ACTUAL work.

When you’re in startup mode, one event per week is plenty; I was spending too much time going to events rather than meeting with advisors and customers.

Gap Needs a New Logo

The visual design profession has long battled the undervaluing of its craft by companies seeking “work on spec” — meaning, “you designers make a design for me and I’ll pay for the one I like.”  Given that no other industry operates this way, designers are right to be boycotting such attempts to extract free work.

Recently, the GAP clothing company introduced a new logo design. Customers promptly disliked it, and in an attempt to mollify them, GAP offered an invite to designers to “crowd-source” an alternative logo.

Some prominent designers rebelled. MULE design posted a great response.

And that time and effort was used to make sure I delivered something that actually met your needs and objectives. You guys have numbers to meet. (I imagine at least a 10% increase to last year’s $14.5B in revenue, and $967M in net income.) And plans for the future based on meeting those numbers. So do I.

And for the sake of full disclosure I should let you know that I’ve also frequently shopped at your stores. You sell good stuff. But never in my experience has any of your employees offered me a free pair of pants because the ones I was wearing looked bad. I wouldn’t expect them to. Their job is to sell me clothes.

My job is to sell design.

I believe we understand each other. I anxiously await your call and look forward to negotiating a fair value for the greatest logo on Earth.

Brilliant. Read more of the backstory.

And as a final update, GAP has returned to its original logo. Power of the crowds, indeed.

iPad or iAd

iPad Mania! But wait… we can sell ads!

Interesting what a blog at Fortune says about the new iAd’s potential:

Jobs pitch: Apple will provide the tools, sell and host the ads, give developers 60% of the revenue and by the time the service debuts this summer, offer a billion impressions a day to one of the world’s most valuable demographics.

Did you see Apple’s presentation? Streamed here.

Essay: How “going viral” works by OK Go

This essay by the creative musical band OK Go has a well-written description of how “going viral” works. Here’s a quote from the original article:

Embedded videos — those hosted by YouTube but streamed on blogs and other Web sites — don’t generate any revenue for record companies, so EMI disabled the embedding feature. Now we can’t post the YouTube versions of our videos on our own site, nor can our fans post them on theirs. If you want to watch them, you have to do so on YouTube.

But this isn’t how the Internet works. Viral content doesn’t spread just from primary sources like YouTube or Flickr. Blogs, Web sites and video aggregators serve as cultural curators, daily collecting the items that will interest their audiences the most. By ignoring the power of these tastemakers, our record company is cutting off its nose to spite its face.

The numbers are shocking: When EMI disabled the embedding feature, views of our treadmill video dropped 90 percent, from about 10,000 per day to just over 1,000. Our last royalty statement from the label, which covered six months of streams, shows a whopping $27.77 credit to our account.

It’s a good read; check it out, and consider how your website’s content can be embedded in other sites and blogs, and whether it’s worthy of being shared.

Check out the band’s website at

OK GO promo poster
OG GO promo poster


Consumer privacy eroded by Flash cookies

Do you know about “Flash cookies” and consumer privacy? This Demystified blog has an excellent exposé… see also:

A pilot study of the use of ‘Flash cookies’ by popular websites.

We find that more than 50% of the sites in our sample are using flash cookies to store information about the user. Some are using it to ‘respawn’ or re-instantiate HTTP cookies deleted by the user. Flash cookies often share the same values as HTTP cookies, and are even used on government websites to assign unique values to users. Privacy policies rarely disclose the presence of Flash cookies, and user controls for effectuating privacy preferences are lacking.

There is a major advantage for an advertiser to employ Flash cookies, not the least of which is; they are virtually unknown to the average user. Equally as important from an advertisers perspective is; they remain active on a system even after the user has cleared cookies and privacy settings.

To call this a deceptive practice would be a major understatement. Crooked, immoral, fraudulent, illegal, are just some of the words that come to mind.

There are tools to help you delete these unwanted sneaky cookies… for Firefox, use BetterPrivacy.