Posted by an Honored Guest Tuesday, March 13, 2007
A Postcard from Topaz Partners’ Adam Zand
Greetings from the recovery ward following New Comm Forum in Las Vegas – a few thoughts to get you pumped about attending the next Society for New Communication Research event this December in “Boston, you’re my home.”
If the Venetian Hotel -- mall/money drop -- is meant to represent Venice, why isn’t it pigeon-infested or smelly, containing fewer German tourists and way too many “Phantom of Opera”-singing glee club-Gondoleers, who while limited by indoor canel distances still get big tips. Side note: the striking Kristin Sattenwhite is an amazing singer as featured in the real “Phantom” performance downstairs.
An early scandal was the hotel running out of bagels during breakfast the on first day - lame. I recovered by going down the hall and getting a full breakfast at a traffic association gathering. Hey, I wait in traffic - they owe me.
I’m a bit steamed at my drinking buddy Brian Solis. This followed a brief fruitless discussion about the “real” identity of Strumpette that goes nowhere and sidesteps the existence of great content that occasionally antagonizes him and others like Kami Watson Huyse, Susan Getgood and the more deserving of abuse brain trust 2.0 at Edelman. That discussion didn't piss me off as much as when Brian wouldn't use his good looks to walk up to some hot female night clubbers that would have got me, him and Tom Foremski into Tao dance club in the Venetian. Even with passes (and help from a new friend/club opener and possible natural blond and maybe other natural body parts, Crissi), we needed to bring in ladies - how goofy as it was a sausage factory inside on the whole. I was so upset that I had to stay dancing until 3 a.m. to make up for my 50 minute wait. It’s the same place that Britney puked the night she passed out at another club. They should have shellacked the floor as a memento but that might have drawn attention away from the two women with pasties in a tub and the women above the dance floor in a cage and writhing on a mini bed.
I leveled abuse (well just an antagonistic question or three) to BusinessWire's Laura Sturaitis and PR Newswire's George Vazquez during the social media panel. My biggest new PR gripe is why these firms charge so much for some social media services like EON or tagging, and really how they get away with charging $400 for a wire photo when Flickr seems to be free. Seems to go against the ethos of social media environment, but I guess they have bills to pay too (or large corporate owners that need some payback). I await the entry of Google or a useful/reliable open source distribution service soon – everybody is allowed to charge what they want, but my entrepreneurial client deserve some choices.
Good gossip to share about Debbie Weil being nasty to employees of Ragan, SNCR and the moderator at her Corporate Blogging panel by saying "that's not the question we discussed before," and she meant it. Oh, and she raffled her book during the panel and then was pissed when another book went missing - she should have taken it as a compliment as her message seems a bit tired.
The scene: late afternoon at one of a seemingly endless Wolfgang Puck-branded Vegas restaurants. I'm having end-of-event celebration drinks (an amzing Pear Drop martini for me) with SNCR's Executive Director Jen McClure, Closing Keynoter Shel Holtz and the VP of Ragans - I reached over a booth to get my laptop bag and heard a loud rip. Rip was isolated to my crotchal region of six-year old Banana Republic lightweight kahkis.
So you'll retort, "no big deal," many folks in Vegas are adept at showing their nether regions to the paparazzi - ("Britney, Lindsey and Paris, please mind the step when exiting the limo"). True, but I am representing Topaz Partners and by proxy my Web 2.7 clients - it's hard to blend in with the other exhibitionistas in this town.
Happy ending (get it Amanda?) - I purchased new pants from a hot young retailer (side note: Vegas is now funding the engineering and mass distribution of these sexy robots at Area 51), changed into my bathing suit and flip flops (already in my computer bag) to sneak into the 10th floor pool at the Venetian. So, naturally this tale comes to a glorious end with a naked jacuzzi experience. My tranquility (and BlackBerry use on the deck for event thank you notes, SMS and calls) is broken by four bachelorette party bathers.
And that, my friends is where this telling ends, because what happens in Vegas stays in Woburn (non-Jacuzzi, but dirty water home of Topaz Partners).
P.S. I had a blast at this event (great job Jen McClure!!!) and we’ll distribute some interview podcasts soon.
This just in... According to the findings of survey of more than 3,000 top marketing executives worldwide, PR 2.0 will be toast in '07! The 2007 Outlook Survey conducted by the CMO Council demonstrates clearly that "marketing is undergoing substantial changes due to a mandate for chief marketing officers to improve the relevance, accountability and performance of their organizations." Besides widespread restructuring and agency turnover, bottom line: No ticky; No laundry. Looks like real “measurability” will be the death knell of the present corporate experimentation with Web 2.0 and the elusive “conversation.”
Among specific study findings:
Alignment of marketing with sales and demand generation is a top priority. Restructuring to achieve this integration was by far the most frequently mentioned accomplishment of marketers in 2006, named by 46 percent of respondents and 76 percent of those from companies with revenues above $500 million.
The restructuring went beyond internal resources, as agency turnover was rampant. Sixty-four percent of marketers said they dumped at least one agency last year, and over half plan further agency changes in 2007. Public relations agencies got the ax most often, followed by web design & development and advertising agencies.
“The era of brand-centric marketing is giving way to a new breed of CMO focused on measurable performance and business results,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council.
The study concludes that the number one challenge will be to quantify and measure the value of marketing programs and investments, followed by improving efficiency and effectiveness, growing customer knowledge, and improving the ROI of expenditures.
The measurability mandate can be seen clearly in the systems and solutions in which top marketers will invest in 2007. Seventy-five percent of respondents from companies with revenues of more than $500 million plan to deploy a marketing performance measurement dashboard this year, almost twice the number who will invest in the next highest category of system deployment, which is lead generation and qualification. Marketers from smaller companies said lead generation and qualification and email campaign management would be their two top areas of system or service deployment.
Oh, well... looks like the PR 2.0 zealots are again relegated to their parents' basements and will just have to go Twitter with their little buddies on their own time.
On Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5WPR, emphatically promised that he was going to sue us. No real reason, he was just irritated by our teasing him about getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis. Anyway, Ronn gave his obscenity-laced word that we'd see the complaint in 72 hours. It's now late by
Kathleen Durazo about A Measly $2.8 Million Goes Missing, Lawsuit Results Fri, Jul 31, 10:58:34 AM Ray Durazo (the founder) sold the company to Dan in 1999. He was not involved in any of this. He (and I) found out about the lawsuit in the LA Times. In addition to embezzling this m [...]