TBT Vinyl: Foo Fighters, Exhausted

22 Oct

Foo Fighters Exhuasted IMG_1324

Foo Fighters
Exhausted (12″ Single)
Capitol Records

The “No. 1” on the cover says it all – “Exhausted” was the very first release by Foo Fighters. This was a radio promotion-only 12 inch single released a few weeks before the first Foo Fighters album. 

It’s really a Dave Growl solo record, as he played every instrument and hadn’t yet actually hired band members! 



Luke Is Vader!

20 Oct


You heard it here first.  After careful analysis of the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I am convinced that Luke Skywalker becomes Vader, or a Vader – like figure on the The Dark Side of the Force. Submitted for your approval:

  • In this new trailer, Han, Leia, and Chewie appear, but Luke isn’t there. Or is he? Why would you not show Mark Hamill?
  • The shadowy figure in the black mask says to the Darth Vader skull / mask, “I will finish what you started.” Who better to finish Vader’s work than his son?
  • Legend has it that George Lucas wanted Luke turn to the Dark Side at the end of Return of the Jedi, but that idea was nixed for a more kid-fiendly ending.
  • Star Wars is all about parallel storylines. In the trailer, we see the former Storm Trooper becoming a Rebel, and perhaps a Jedi. To balance this, how fantastic would it be to see the hero of this epic go bad?!?


Special thanks to Star Wars Fanboys Anthony Owen, Chris Adams, Ian Wheal, and Wynn Corliss for validating my theory!

Watch the new trailer here:

Pumpkin Spice Marketing

19 Oct



Add one of these phrases or adjectives to any post about your product or service and I will bet that you’ll increase interest and attention by 50%:


  1. Pumpkin Spice
  2. Big Data
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Cage-free
  5. Craft
  6. Organic
  7. Sea Salt
  8. Engagement
  9. Sriracha

Okay, I’m half kidding, but it seems to work. Where you take it after getting that attention is another story!

TBT Vinyl: Kiss Rock and Roll Over

15 Oct


Rock and Roll Over

While not a huge blockbuster like Kiss’ previous LP Destroyer or the next release, Love Gun, this record had several great rockers and top 20 hit in “Hard Luck Woman”. The LP included a cool mini-album cover made of stickers – check out the photo above!

TBT Vinyl: Led Zeppelin III

7 Oct image3-3

Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin
Atlantic Records


Zepp fans are mostly divided between the masses who think their fourth album is their best and the purists who favor the second album. I however prefer Led Zeppelin III. It shows the band’s full range from metal to blues to acoustic folk rock. No other band of any era can cover this spectrum! 

The packaging on this LP is unique with a volvelle, or cardboard disc that rotates and shows different images on the cover. This kind of stuff is lost on CDs and digital downloads.


Also missing in the digital world is the warm, pure sound from analog LPs. Listen to Page’s guitar and Bonham’s cymbals on “Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You” and you’ll hear sounds that you cannot find on the digital version.



Franchise Sales Using Facebook

5 Oct


How much of your brand’s Facebook activity should be devoted to franchise sales efforts versus consumer marketing and engagement?
Many franchise systems with whom I’ve spoken in the past several years have struggled with balancing their social media communication for consumers and their engagement with potential franchisees. Some designate a certain amount of content on the page for consumer marketing and an amount for franchise development. Others create completely separate Facebook pages for their franchise sales messages.

I don’t recommend either of these practices; all goals of marketing a franchise on Facebook can be achieved in a more holistic approach.


Your Page Versus Their Feed

First, let’s stop thinking of Facebook pages like websites with certain amount of real estate devoted to various parts of your organization. A Facebook page is really just your starting point.

The true power of Facebook communication lies in users seeing your brand and your news on his or her news feed, not on your Facebook page.

It doesn’t really matter what’s on your page. Very few people are ever going to seek out your page and view it the way people once did with websites. Typical consumers won’t be confused by your franchise sales messages because they don’t see them.


Organic Versus Paid Target

Your messages may be seen as organic (free) posts, which will reach 2% to 20% of your fans, depending on your fanbase size. But more likely, your messages will be seen in the form of boosted posts or other types of paid advertising. The reach or size of audience depends how many dollars you want to spend.

Target your paid content by the demographics of your franchise sales candidates. This goes beyond just age and gender; target according to your typical candidates’ interests, industries, and more.

Even within your group of franchise sales posts, you may want to change up content or demographics based on location. Messages promoted to Texas candidates might need to be different than those promoted to Florida candidates.

Your brand’s fans and your franchisees’ customers won’t see that content. With a few exceptions, I typically don’t see anything wrong with showing consumers some franchise sales-specific social media content. But when paying to boost and target Facebook posts, it is cost prohibitive to show all messages to all people.



Stop Targeting Millennials Like Zombies

30 Sep


Is there anything more ridiculous to Millennials than the phrase “Marketing to Millennials?”

It seems the entire consumer marketing machine in the US has done the math, and has targeted Millennials as the key to selling anything. Marketers struggle with how to easily reach this massive crowd. I’m still struggling with spelling Millennials without the use of auto-correct.


But, Just who is “They?”

We see many criticisms of Millennials saying, “They are… “ or “They don’t…”

There are 80 million people in the US that fall into this age group. A cookie-cutter approach to marketing to or communicating with any group of 80 million people is doomed! I’m not sure how you stereotype 80 million people as having the same characteristics, nature, and experiences.

“Advertisers say, ‘we want Millennial Moms!’ Well, which Millennial Moms do you want?”
– Bob Pittman, CEO of iHeartMedia, and broadcasting legend, at Media Tech Summit 2015.

Why does this happen? It’s just easier

Aging Baby Boomers and some still-clueless Gen X’ers may find it easier to just paint all 80 million Millennials with the same brush. We talk about them like they are interchangeable zombies in an old film. “Yeah, one rifle bullet will get ‘er done.”

If we paint all of the Millennials with the same bush, we will sell them short, as well as our own businesses and services.

Don’t be lazy

Millennials are now up to 33 years old. They’re not all young kids any more. John Bonham, Keith Moon, and Jesus were all younger than many Millennials are now. Within those 33 years, it’s likely 80 Million people developed more than one style, taste, or preference for communications. Drill down to find multiple ways to communicate with a large group of people with diverse interests, preferences, and lifestyles.




Small Businesses, Mega-Brands, and Hope.

15 Sep


Defending Small Businesses on Capitol Hill

This month will end with members of the International Franchise Association once again gathering in Washington DC and meeting with legislators. We will discuss several issues affecting all franchisors, franchisees, and suppliers as well as lobby for less regulatory impediments as usual.

The key issue this year will be the National Labor Relations Board’s decision to completely ignore the basis of the franchise business model. The NLRB recently ruled that some businesses are now responsible for the employment actions of other businesses.

Unless you’re blissfully ignorant or work for a service union, you will agree that employees of a locally owned business are NOT actually employed by a corporation that had nothing to do with hiring those employees. (Without setting foot on Capitol Hill, I can tell you right now how the two senators from my home state of Illinois will respond.)

If the work of the IFA in past years is any indication, the IFA members and the IFA team will do a fantastic job of communicating the needs for running a business, growing that business, creating jobs, and ultimately growing the economy.

Mega-Brands and “Hope”

But how much of this effort pays off for those who do most of the heavy lifting – small to medium sized franchise systems – versus the huge brands? Will McDonalds and the other mega-sized franchises join this fight? If we’re successful, these large brands have the most to gain. Will they support this activity and join us on Capitol Hill? I hope so.

A great deal of pro-business promotion, communication, and lobbying is done by franchise industry suppliers. Are the mega-brands supporting these suppliers? I hope so.

When they select a PR firm, software vendor, ad agency, insurance provider, or other business service, do they ask if that supplier supports franchising and the IFA? I hope so.

Continuing to educate legislators and voters about how businesses operate is important for the IFA this year. Perhaps in 2016, we can also educate some large brands about how businesses operate.

Is Twitter a Place to Engage Anymore?

18 Aug

Twitter woman

Search or Social?

Google’s inclusion of Twitter in search results continues to expand. Last week Tweets began appearing in the Google search results for desktop users in the UK.

The reality is that Twitter is already primarily a search engine. It searches a massive link library that also happens to be called Twitter. This library now also holds images and videos. Faster access to this library will eventually be available to everyone via Google.

This will lead to an increase of importance of your Tweets, and a decrease in the need to ever go to Twitter.


tweetsearchshot copy



Social Engagement (or Lack of…)

What about engagement with your loyal followers? And those who you follow? Let’s face it – no one is really following those they follow. People and brands pay attention to mentions of their own name or brand.

Outside self-monitoring, content on Twitter is only consumed when a user runs a search, either by using the search box or clicking on a hashtag. Tweets will soon be consumed mostly by those who are no longer even on Twitter, but Google instead.


Who you follow: does not matter at all

Who follows you: does not matter at all

Your Tweets being seen in search results: ALL THAT MATTERS


There is something genuine and sensible about this. It doesn’t matter how many followers you acquire. If you don’t post anything of interest, no one will see it! If your brand is not Tweeting a constant cadence of quality content, you’re going to miss out on opportunities to be found via Google.

What’s next? If Google is replacing Twitter.com as the place to see Tweets, could Twitter replace Google+ as Google’s real-time publishing area?



Why You Don’t Want 1 Million Likes on Facebook

10 Aug



You DON’T want 1 Million Likes on Facebook.

You want 100 pages with 10,000 likes. Or 1,000 pages with 1,000 likes!


Many digital marketers have spent the past year spreading the news that Facebook posts are organically reaching a mere 1% or 2% of their fans’ newsfeeds.

While this may be the case for huge brands with millions of fans, there’s good news for midsize brands. Earlier this year Locowise reported the following average organic post reach for Facebook pages of these sizes:

1 Million+ Likes                     2.27%

500,000 Likes                       7.47%

50,000 Likes                         9.62%

Under 1,000 Likes              14.21%


Sure, you would rather reach 2% of One Million people than 14% of One Thousand people. But what if you could repeat that 14% over another 1,000 pages? 

Who has that potential and could benefit in this current situation? Franchises!  Why? Because they don’t just have one small page with 1,000 likes, but multiple.


It isn’t the number of Likes you have that matters; it’s the number of pages you have and the number of Likes on all those pages.


This has been the case for the past couple of years. In 2013, franchise and restaurant chain brands I consulted reported higher reach levels than brands with a single page. This local page gap is widening and those who have all Facebook eggs in one basket are losing out.

Example using the current organic reach rates – 
Brand A: company with 1 Million Likes on one page reaches 2,270 people.
Brand B: a Franchise brand with 1,000 Likes on 1,000 pages reaches 142,100 people.

Both brands have a total of 1 Million fans, but the Franchise system reaches far more fans with every post shared on all pages. Franchises are indeed greater than the sum of their franchisees.

Act now while the window is open! Fortune 500 companies should be looking for a way to divide their giant page into 1,000 pages. Their organic reach would skyrocket.





Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 65 other followers

%d bloggers like this: