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March 2009

More Personalized Cross Media in 2009

The Chief Marketing Officer Council "...expects to see many more personalized marketing programs and less “spray and pray” initiatives.

The majority of respondents to their 2009 marketing survey said their traditional marketing elements, such as outdoor, print and TV, would remain the same, but digital advertising, including social media and search marketing, would increase. Of those surveyed, 45.7% said their spending budgets would decrease.

Only 9% of marketers rated their online performance capability as “excellent,” while 36% said they were questioning the value of click, not doing a good job for converting clicks to sales or struggling to quantify the value of online marketing spend.

“Every increase in complexity decreases usability…”

If you need a general purpose utility knife, which of these are you most likely to use most of the time?

56151-swiss-army-sparton-knife  Wenger_giant_swiss_army_knife_2


And more importantly, which will our customers use?

While building a product, or in our case a cross media marketing platform or even an individual PURL marketing campaign, we need to limit the amount of features a product has to keep it practical.  We tend to engineer and design to cover as many people and situations as possible, but…

From Pete Warden at typepad: “This [limiting features] goes against the engineering grain, because you're setting limits on what the user can do, when you know the underlying code has all sorts of potential knobs they might like to tweak. It's also extremely hard to know what you can remove, because you have to bring exactly what the user wants into sharp focus. You can't just throw a bunch of building blocks at them and expect them to put something together that solves their problem. Instead you have to get inside their head, and deal with their frustratingly messy and contradictory requirements.

Apple is great at this.  The iPod has everything you need and nothing you don’t.  Now take any product from Microsoft.  Enough said…

More from Pete: "You end up with a million features, which makes it very time-consuming to build, and even when it's done, the number of different gizmos on your Leatherman scare off potential users. You need to have a strong connection to your actual customers, and be hearing about exactly what they need to do. Then you need to design around that, ruthlessly jettisoning anything that distracts from them achieving their goals."

Easy File Transfers

I was recently working with a client and needed to send large design files for his review.  We could have gone the traditional FTP route but he has an account from a firm called 2Large2Email and provided me a link to his personal “Drop Box.”  Check out their site here.


The interface was easy to use and the files were off to him in a few moments.  With a basic account allowing 500Mb per transfer and 6 GB of storage, this tool is very useful for all sorts of professionals that work from home or want to avoid file transfer hassels.


There is also a free version