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Friday, January 29, 2010

Most Fun Product of The Show

Now, I admit, I am biased as I know these guys, but Tin Cup was the most fun product I saw at The Show. It's essentially a stainless steel cup that fits over one side of a golf ball and has a cut out in the steel to allow you to color in the pattern using a Sharpie. Tin Cups can be created in any pattern you like, whether it's a $ sign as above, your initials or a corporate logo. The interest at the show was outstanding and it's a really fun thing to do. I can see them as a cool corporate gift, fun for the kids and as simply a great way to differentiate your own ball in your foursome. Love it! Take a look at www.tin-cup.com

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Worst Product of The Show, so far

I took this photograph today in the New Products section of The Show. Amazing to me that the organisers would let this shoddy product slip through. The box entitled Tail of the Tiger has a dozen balls with pictures of Tiger's "girlfriends" and their names printed onto golf balls. It should be in the Poor Product in poor taste section!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The IPAD is here and it's beautiful

So long laptop, the iPAD is here and once again Steve Jobs and Apple have a game changer on their hands. Now, I admit that i am a MacHead and have been since 1989. Starting with an old Powerbook 165c through countless iterations of laptops and desktops (I even have a Newton!) Apple has produced "insanely great" computers for years. It still beggers belief why anyone would use a PC given the choice.

For the publishing business this is another opportunity and delivery mechanism on which high quality content can be viewed and easily transported - the 64 gig version of the iPAD will take every book most of us own with room to spare.

Only 60 days before the IPAD is in store - i for one will be waiting.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

5 Questions NOT to ask at The Show

Bags are packed, taxis booked and the golf industry heads south to O Town for The Show. Here are the 5 key questions not to ask this year.

1. Are you having a good show? The answer is always yes
2. When did you get here? The show starts on Thursday, so as always everyone gets into town on Wednesday!
3. When are you leaving? Always a strange one that one - didn't I just get here!
4. Where are you staying? Your chance for oneupmanship...just say The Peabody and leave it at that
and new for 2010
5. When will Tiger play again? Pick one - Bay Hill, Augusta, St. Andrews, Never!

See you there - Have a good show!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Show

It's that time of the year again. The PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando is only a few days away. I have been going to O Town for "The Show" since 1988 and that's a mighty long time to be going to anything or anywhere! Once again we will be inundated with crazy golf widgets, golf ball cleaners, mad training aids and all manner of other paraphernalia that real golfers wouldn't be seen dead with. Still, that's part of the fun of The Show.
It's a time for a good solid pair of shoes to walk the 8 miles of aisles and pace yourself for the meeting frenzy. 2010 is going to be an interesting year in the golf world and The Show provides plenty of opportunities to talk about the business prospects for the year. Let's hope 2010 is the year the golf business finally wakes up and recognizes that content marketing really is a legitimate part of the 21st Century Marketing Mix.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

3 Words of Advice

A terrific web piece which started as advice for start ups and has taken on a life of its own. The 3 word phrases on the site are great for business in general and not just for those starting out as entrepreneurs. Read here for some great advice. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Trust but Verify, Keep it Simple, Cash is King. Feel free to add yours.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nike launches without El Tigre

No, the news isn't that Nike is launching the 2010 club and accessories collection without Tiger. The news continues to be how the golf companies STILL focus on product, product, product. Every other consumer goods company in the world is trying to deepen and strengthen their relationship with their best customers - not in golf - they just keep coming up with a new ad slogan and pushing the product into retail at a high price and surprise, surprise within 6 months the price is off 40% as product doesn't move at the anticipated rate. The only company actively cultivating the relationship with their customers is Callaway. We have been working with them since 2004 and measure regularly how much the consumer values their relationship with Callaway and how these loyalists directly impact sales and helps to build the brand.

The Wall Street Journal covered the Tigerless launch

Friday, January 15, 2010

2009 was Custom Content's Best Year Ever

A great piece by Steve Smith in MinOnline about how custom continues it relentless rise up the media charts.

"That giant sucking sound you hear from your media budgets this year is probably the vacuuming of funds away from standard ad buys and toward custom publishing. Consumer and b2b magazines may have been on the ropes this year, but custom content had a record-setting 2009. You can read the whole piece here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Best iPhone apps - More Customized Content

Most people have apps on their phone, be it an iPhone or one of the other "not quite as good as an IPhone" phones! The next generation of apps is coming for computers, TVs, even for those weird electronic picture frames. Really, I'm ok just having a frame with one picture in it.

Everyone’s iPhone is customizable - you put on what you want to use and take off what you don't. Genius that Steve Jobs. Here are my top 5 aps for January.

1. BBC News - the news as it really is. No Fox misinterpretation, no Hollywood entertainment. Just the news. Simple
2. Shazam - hear a song, but don't know what it is - hold your iPhone to the speaker and through the miracle of all those 0s and 1s it tells you - 99.9% of the time - is hasn't worked out classical music yet?
3. Starbucks - I know there is one around here somewhere. Just open the ap and little green pins appear everywhere. Don't do this in Manhattan or the entire island will turn green!
4. Yowza - this is terrific! It works out where you are and provides a list of stores with special offers so you can finally forget about leaving your coupons at home and still get a deal. The big names like Sears, Crate & Barrel and The Container Store are on the list.
5. CNBC RT - still the best in the business world and a great site for keeping up to date in real time with new and views on the global markets.

What all of these have in common is quality, whether it is the content or the engineering that works flawlessly. That's what it takes in the world of the Ap, where content is still king.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Best Business Books of the Year

Just saw this online - at least I have read a couple of them! These are the winners in the eleven categories of Best Business Book. I wonder how many were read with an e reader and how many in print. Also, wouldn't you like to know how many were actually read, rather than simply purchased.

1. Entrepreneurship and small business. Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur by Pamela Slim.
2. Leadership. Maestro: A Surprising Story About Leading by Listening.
3. Management. The Four Conversations: Daily Communication That Gets Results by Jeffery Ford & Laurie Ford.
4. Marketing and advertising. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith.
5. Sales. A Seat at the Table: How Top Salespeople Connect and Drive Decisions at the Executive Level by Marc Miller.
6. Finance and economics. False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World by Alan Beattie.
7. Biographies and narratives. The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, the Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals by Frank Partnoy.
8. Current interest. Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin.
9. Personal development. Power of 2: How to Make the Most of Your Partnerships at Work and in Life by Rodd Wagner & Gale Muller, Ph.D.
10 Innovation and creativity. The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage by Roger L. Martin.
11.Big ideas. What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

Monday, January 11, 2010

Global Golf Post

Everyone is talking about the demise of print - today it came one step closer in the golf world. Global Golf Post officially launched today with a terrific new issue. It will be published electronically each week by leading golf editor, Jim Nugent and his first class editorial team.
The magazine is delivered electronically into your email box each Monday morning and for free. The content is well written and informed and using coverleaf's easy to use technology it should be a big hit. Jim is relying on advertising to generate the $$$ to make it work, but with his golf industry connections we are sure he will make that happen.
No doubt Golf World and GolfWeek will be watching with interest (to say the very least!). This is a great example of how content specifically targeted to the right users can work. We wish them all the best.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

30 Content Marketing Truths

30 great content "truths" from friend and Content Guru, Joe Pulizzi at Junta 42

That the content is more important than the offer.
That a customer relationship doesn't end with the payment.
That printed marketing doesn't stop with the full-page advertisement.
That "being the content" is more important than "surrounding the content".
That interruption isn't valued, but engagement is.
That a blog can be and should be a core part of communicating with and marketing to your customers.
That internal marketing always takes precedence over external marketing.
That a brand is a relationship, not a tag line.
That focusing on what the customer wants is more important than what you have to sell.
That readers are old school, customers are new school.
That the competition can copy everything you have, except your brand. Communications is the differentiator.
That a news release isn't meant to be picked up by the press, but to help customers find your great content on the web.
That communicating directly with customers is the best choice.
That marketers can and should be publishers.
That today's traditional publishers are scared of marketers.
That without content, community is improbable, if not impossible.
That the marketing brochure should be stricken from all strategic marketing plans.
That content without design doesn't look appetizing (or deliver on marketing goals).
That lead generation is only one small part of the marketing picture.
That hiring an editor is not a want, but a must, for the organization.
That, no matter the medium or the provider, someone is always selling something.
That the long tail of search engine optimization is driven by consistent content on your corporate blog or website.
That 90% of all corporate websites talk about how great the company or product is and forgets about the customer.
That 90% of all corporate websites suck.
That the blogging community will be more important than traditional media (if not already).
That in the next five to seven years the majority of content consumers engage in will be corporate media (if not already).
That buyers are in control, the traditional sales process has changed, and that relevant content lets organizations into the buying process.
That long-form branded content can be created anywhere your customers work, live or play.
That the Chief Content Officer is the CMO of the future.
That customers want to be inspired. Be the inspiration!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Customize, Customize, Customize

Customization is likely to be one of the watchwords of the "tens" or whatever we are going to call this decade.

Now this is a cool ap for the outside rather than the inside of the iPhone. It's not only cool it is what customized content is all about. You take charge, you make your mark, you create your own image to share with the world - well, who ever sees your iPhone.

Case Mate's new online design tool I Make My Case enables iPhone users to create custom cases by simply reworking illustrations already designed by renowned graphic artists such as Joshua Davis, Anthony Yankovic, Hannah Stouffer and others.

Scotty Cameron users have been doing this type of customization for a while and for once Titleist have been ahead of the golf pack with their customization (Their own wedge man Bob Vokey is also on the bandwagon). Who wants a putter like everyone else, when you can have a pimped putter!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vanity Fair and Tiger

What are Conde Nast up to? On the one hand Golf Digest puts Tiger on "indefinite leave" from his contractual writing obligations and on the other hand Vanity Fair plasters old Tiger Woods pictures on their February cover? The story that accompanies the Tiger piece is clearly written by someone who doesn't know golf and has factual errors as well as golf terminology errors which any sub ed should have picked up.

We all know that Magazine covers are designed to sell on the newsstand, but Vanity Fair (which I subscribe to) could and should do better than stoop to National Enquirer levels.