RE2PECT: One of the Best Ads of the Year

Hola Todos!

Yesterday, Nike’s tribute ad to retiring Yankee legend Derek Jeter was buzzing all around the blogosphere – and rightfully so.  It is without question, one of the best ads of the year. Even at 90 seconds, I watched it once and then I immediately watched it again.

Created by famed agency Weiden + Kennedy, the ad begins with long time (1951-2007) Yankee PA announcer Bob Sheppard stating, “Now Batting for the Yankees, Number 2 Derek Jeter, Number 2.” Soon after, we see #2 running through is trademark routine, which includes a sight tipping of his cap. The pitcher, Red Sox’s Jon Lester returns the tip and that small acknowledgement goes viral including dozens of celebrities.

My two favorite hat tips in the ad are: the Red Sox fans in the Boston bar (their facial expressions are priceless) and the Godfather-esque scene in the dark restaurant with retied Yankees Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Joe Torre (in the middle, of course), Tino Martinez and Jorge Posada.

Check out that ad today…and watch it twice…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Summertime Book Recommendations: 2014 Edition – UPDATE

Hola Todos!

Earlier this summer, I posted a number of excellent books for the 2014 Summer Book Recommendation Reading List. We all need a new nugget or two to expand our knowledge base and a good book is an excellent way to accomplish that goal. Here’s what I’ve read so far:

-The Humor Code by Peter McGraw: Excellent – I’ve always been interested in how humor can make someone more likable

-Social Media Explained by Mark W. Schaefer: Perfect for my fall social media class – I now have some more nuggets to pass along

-The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande: Different – not what I was expecting – sort of like a giant New Yorker article meaning great storytelling and less theory (although the theory is there in the reference list).  In sum, the more complicated something is, the more you need a checklist so you don’t miss something

-Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney:  This is a must read for any Apple/tech industry watcher. Design (e.g., how something works and NOT how something looks) is embedded into the culture of Apple and I feel is one of the main key distinctions between Apple and everyone else

Here is what I’ll be reading next:

-The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone: I am leading a discussion this fall at Seton Hall on Amazon and there is not a more complete book out there on the Amazon mindset

-The No Asshole Rule, by Robert Sutton – an interesting leadership book: My wife read this while I was reading The Checklist Manifesto and I’m working on a salesforce study that I’m sure this book would be helpful

 

Happy reading…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Brands, Brands, Who Owns the Brands?

Hola Todos!

I need to apologize for the radio silence for the past few weeks.  It’s summer and summer is all about being outside.  We also had an incredible vacation to Puerto Rico for some R & R.  But the main reason DigNuggetville has been quiet (but not my Twitter stream) has been the World Cup – I’m totally addicted as I have been since 1982 when I saw Italy win it all.  I’ve watched better than 80% to 90% of the matches and if you include highlights, I’ve seen them all.  This Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, as well as, Sunday are BLOCKED for the semifinals and final matches.

That said, one of my Seton Hall students, Zachary Joback, sent me an interesting email over the weekend:

Hey Dr. Dan-O,

I was on Facebook and found this cool picture of all the major brands and who owns them all. Thought you’d think its cool and / or could use it in your classes. Also, here is a link to the page for some other cool graphics you can use.

I agree Zach – this is cool stuff.  Most of the time, infographics present some weak material via social media in a user-friendly graphical way; sort of like a quick sugar rush from a candy bar that the feeling doesn’t last.  These, however, are much better than most.  While not perfect, these infographics do a nice job of illustrating the myriad of brands and the few firms that really own them.

Something to check out today… 

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

WWDC 2014: We Just Saw the Future of Apple

Hola Todos!

It been two days since Tim Cook and company took the stage in San Francisco and to be honest, I’m still trying to wrap my head around all that was discussed.  The keynote went 2 hours; the longest Apple keynote I can recall. And not a leisurely two hours at that either as Tim and mostly Craig (AKA “Superman” at an hour and 17 mins) quickly highlighted the major updates to Yosemite and iOS 8.  As John Gruber said; “So much to digest in one day.”

Here’s some useful links:

-The full two-hour keynote

-A 90-second version of the keynote

-Reviews by two of the best journalists who have their pulse on Apple – Walt Mossberg and Philip Elmer-DeWitt (here too)

-An overview of 8 key iOS 8 features

Too much for one blog post to review, here are three key nuggets from the keynote:

(1) Apple is positioning itself to be the “home base” of the “Internet of things” – Earlier this year, Apple introduced CarPlay and yesterday, Apple introduced HomeKit and HeathKit.  In short, Apple, with its iOS powered devices wants to be the center of all your Internet/Bluetooth connected “things.”  Apple does not have to make all these devices but Apple is providing the platform for all of your devices to connect to or to be monitored by.  So Apple has a platform for the car, the home, and your health; if I were a betting man, I’d say Apple would go after your wallet/finances next with mobile payments.

(2) Apple took multiple shots at Google yesterday – While most tech journalists noticed the Android pie charts during the keynote, the vastly improved Spotlight in both Yosemite and iOS practically eliminate the need to do a Google search for anything.  Moreover, Apple is even modifying the URL coming into both mobile and desktop Safari showing only the main domain as opposed to the main domain and all its assorted extensions.  While we do not know the full ramifications of this yet, it very well could make the SEO in Google’s search universe less accurate (read=very bad for 96% of Google’s revenue stream).

(3) The other major shot Apple took at Google is the fragmentation if its ecosystem.  One of Google’s strength is that anyone can make an Android powered device and Android market share has been climbing ever since. The downside is anyone can make an Android device and quality and user experience varies greatly. Apple, with control of both the operating system and the hardware, can do things that Android cannot such as take a call from your computer or hand documents/emails/texts to you iPad or laptop or with new iCloud Drive, sync all your photos/music/documents across multiple devices without having the files on anyone of them or buying apps/books/music that can be used across multiple devices (and synced single credit card purchasing). Apple is positioning the iPhone to be the center of everything you do – it will be the ultimate linchpin.

Bonus Nugget! Again we do not know the full ramifications of this yet but the new software code announced Monday, called Swift, appears to have superior performance implications – in both speed and battery life. In other words, iOS powered devices will have the speed with greater battery life then most current laptops running a full OS.  Apple started calling the iPad – the iPad Air last year.  It very well might be the case that the iPad Air might have the same performance capabilities as the best selling laptop on the market – the MacBook Air – at half the price and sooner than anyone expected.  I can easily see these two product lines converging as A8/A9 ARM chips running Swift arrive in the near future.

Check out some of those links when you get a chance…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

Summertime Book Recommendations: 2014 Edition

Hola Todos!

Learning is like one giant puzzle: each learning opportunity adds another puzzle piece to our brain and we constantly build this learning mosaic throughout our lives. We can learn in class, on the job, at conferences, through mentors, via podcasts and perhaps a 1,000 other ways but we learn and we use those takeaways (I like to call them nuggets) to create our knowledge base. One of my favorite learning tools are books are we all should read one excellent book this summer: Welcome to the 2014 Summer Book Recommendation Reading List!

1 Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last summer, I posted a number of excellent books including many of my classic recommendations but the list below is mostly new. The recommendations are in no particular order and you can go to Amazon to find further detail on these titles.  If there is a more particular interest, drop me an email and I’ll go deeper into a more specific topic OK.

ENJOY!

Dr. Dan-o

 

What I am reading now:

-The Humor Code by Peter McGraw – I’m 75% though this one and it’s been excellent.  I’m particular interested in how humor makes someone more likeable and so far, Professor McGraw has sparked a number of ideas for me to investigate.

What I will be reading next:

-Social Media Explained by Mark W. Schaefer – I often get invited to do “social media 101” talks and I have a number of tools to help me with this objective but I am always looking for more nuggets.  I’ve read a previous Mark book – The Tao of Twitter  – and I have never missed an episode of Mark’s excellent podcast The Marketing Companion. 

More excellent books on my summer reading list:

-Cultural Strategy by Doug Holt

-Chief Culture Officer by Grant McCracken

For those of you who have had the Dr. Dan-o Social Media/1-to-1/Direct Marketing class where we read dozens of Harvard Business Review articles, these books are for you.  If you like branding – these books are for you. If you feel the consumer or the crowd creates brand meaning and NOT the marketing or brand manger  – these books are for you.

I love the tech industry and Apple is always top of mind:

-Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein

-Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

-Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

-The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Almost all of my research, regardless of the topic, has some sort of a consumer behavior component to it so I’m always looking for more behavioral nuggets:

-Thanks for the Feedback:  The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone

-The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

-The No Asshole Rule, by Robert Sutton – an interesting leadership book

-Wired for Story, by Lisa Cron – I love storytelling books

 

 

 

 

Preparing for Life After College: What Is the Firm Looking for in an Employee?

Hola Todos!

In a follow up to yesterday’s post, Scott Glovier of Valassis, who visited my Professional Selling class, said many other nuggetworthy thoughts and the comment below I had to share.

In his role at Valassis, Scott conducts a lot of interviews, especially with sales positions. In one of his slides, Scott mentioned there are a number of qualities he looks for in a candidate. He thinks of these qualities not as an absolute score, but rather on continuum (one of my favorite words) and through a series of questions, “scores” each candidate.  Here are those excellent eleven qualities:

Risk taker versus Reckless

Smart versus Know-it-all

Proud versus Egotistical

Confident versus Arrogant

Good communicator versus Good talker

Empathetic versus Sympathetic

Persuasive versus Pushy

Competitive versus Win at all costs

Humorous versus Obnoxious

Listens with the intent to understand versus The intent to respond

Team player versus A mercenary

Something to think about before your next interview…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

Preparing for Life After College: Top Questions to Ask on a Job Interview

Hola Todos!

I have a passion for being in the classroom. At the start of the semester, usually within the first 10 minutes of the first class session, I say: “Yes, we will earn a grade in this class and we will fulfill an important requirement of some sort, however, one of my main goals for the semester is to prepare you for life after college.”

That’s not an easy goal and there is no one-way to tackle it but I do a variety of things during the semester to accomplish this very important task. One, for instance, is to bring the “real world” into the class with guest speakers. One of my most recent speakers was Scott Glovier of Valassis, who visited my Professional Selling class. Scott is an excellent mentor and has partnered with Seton Hall and the Network for Executive Women to build a mentorship program with some of the sharpest female marketing majors in the Stillman School of Business.

Scott

 

 

 

 

 

 

We talked about a variety of topics during Scott’s visit. One topic that students kept circling back to was tips for interviewing, which happens to be an excellent topic for Scott as he has lots of experience interviewing salespeople. In his response, Scott recommended the following questions to ask during an interview:

-What are your most profitable products/services? And why?

-How would you describe the firm’s culture?

-What types of recognition programs do you have?

-What are some of the firm’s biggest challenges?

-What are some of the key traits or characteristics of the top people?

-What do you like the most about this firm?

-How do I fit into the puzzle here at the firm?

Thanks for the wisdom Scott!  These are all excellent questions to think about on your next job interview.

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

Business-to-Business Blogging: Who’s the Audience?

Hola Todos!

In my 10th years as an academic (University of South Florida in Tampa, Suffolk University in Boston, and now Seton Hall University in north Jersey), I’m very proud to have played some part in students’ learning experience. One of the most rewarding parts of being a professor is to see the former students grow and succeed professionally.  Thanks to DigNuggetville, LinkedIn, and Twitter, is much easier now to stay in touch with previous students than when I started teaching “back in the day.”

Just this week, I was in an email conversation with Chris Borkes, Marketing Director at Trade Supply Group.  I asked Chris if I could post our conversation on the blog like a Topic Talk and he gracefully agreed.

Chris began:

Hey Dr. Dan-o!  Hope you are doing well.

I came across this article today and wanted to send it along.  It provides a few “nuggets” from the report as well as the full report if you feel like reading through it.

Resonates well with what I am doing marketing wise for some of the businesses I am working with and responsible for. Their key market segment is B2B so it was a solid read for me. It definitely provides me with some support in making some changes and in plans going forward at some of the companies.

Think you will enjoy the content on social media and B2B businesses, it is brief but provides feedback on it since you do enjoy social media a lot.

 I responded:

Hola Chris – thanks for forwarding on the nugget…can I use it and some of your text below for a DigNuggetville post?

I think the hardest part on B-2-B is creating that content. I mean – whom are you creating the content for? The person you sell to (small audience) or the end user (larger audience)?

Chris responded back:

Hey Dr. Dan-O - Yes – for sure you can use this if you would like.

I agree that positioning the content is difficult to create. I find myself dealing with that every day in every marketing decision I am making with the companies (there’s four different businesses in different markets that fall under my role in the company I am with).

The majority of the company’s focus is on our relationships with the businesses we sell to and growing that business. So in addition to maintaining and growing those businesses, I believe we still have to market to the end users. This is because we want them going to the “small audience” asking/demanding the products they purchase from us. The mix of marketing to end users and businesses varies between the different companies I work with.

In my position, I am looking at it at every angle and look to the relationships I have developed with my colleagues who are out in the field every day and/or in front of our customers for feedback on what is happening in the market. I cannot be in front of customers and in the field every day. In addition to this, leveraging the relationships we have with our vendors is essential. They have great resources we can utilize to ensure we are as effective as possible in targeting our customers, developing marketing materials and campaigns, and ensuring our sales staff is as knowledgeable as possible. These definitely help me be more effective in my role setting the marketing direction, plans, and executing them.

Thank you for taking the time to read through and keep in touch. I greatly appreciate it!

 -Chris

No, thank you Chris and I hope I can still be helpful in “Life after Seton Hall.”

Something to think about today…

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Steve Jobs Book Summary: I Wonder if Yukari Iwatani Kane Should Be Afraid of the Ghost of Steve Jobs?

Hola Todos!

In the previous post, I more than suggested that Tim Cook is not afraid of the ghost of Steve Jobs.  After reading all the reviews, I wonder if Yukari Iwatani Kane should be afraid of the ghost of Steve Jobs?  If anyone could figure out a way come back from the dead and haunt someone, Steve would.

Let’s just say that Yukari Iwatani Kane was not kind to Apple and Company in her book “Haunted Empire” about the post-Steve Jobs era.  Apple CEO Tim Cook called it “nonsense” and I knew she would show up as a talking head on CNBC. Yukari Iwatani Kane reacted “surprised” by the comment and said “I must have touched a nerve.” As, John Gruber of Daring Fireball interpreted:

Somehow I doubt she was surprised by her conclusions. As for why Cook saw fit to comment, sure, it could be because her book hit painfully close to home. Or, it could be that it truly is nonsense. Reviews thus far clearly suggest the latter.”

I’m still debating whether I’m going to pick up the book and give it a good read but for now, here’s a few “Haunted Empire” book summary links:

-Philip Elmer-DeWitt – Apple 2.0 Blog 

-Seth Weintraub - 9to5mac.com

-Rene Ritchie – imore.com “Haunted Empire review: It’s the book about Apple after Steve Jobs that’s the real horror story

-Jason Snell – Macworld

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Yukari Iwatani Kane Has it Wrong – Tim Cook is NOT Afraid of the Ghost of Steve Jobs

Hola Todos!

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and that is truly a wonderful thing. Within the Apple blogs, Wall Street Journal Apple beat reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane is getting slammed for her new book Haunted Empire (see Philip Elmer-Dewitt’s Apple 2.0 blog).  The basic premise of the book is: Apple is doomed, Steve Jobs was Apple, since his death Apple has been less innovative, and once Apple runs out of iOS, iPhone, and iPad steam, it will become a shell of it’s former glory.

In my eyes, Yukari Iwatani Kane is a very smart reporter.  She knows this is the dominant storyline – myth – mantra – or whatever you want to call it in the business press and if she wants to sell a truckload of books, this is the best storyline to go with. The zealot Apple fans will go nuts, the blogosphere will blow up, and she will be on endless cable TV shows (CNBC – start warming up that chair as your talking heads LOVE this storyline) from here to eternity as she will always be called to argue against Apple. If you look at this story from her perspective, this is the most profitable angle to write an Apple book, regardless if it’s factually correct.

To be direct, I could not disagree more with the Haunted storyline.  In other words, I believe in the significantly less profitable storyline and I have been writing about it for some time: Tim Cook is NOT afraid of the Ghost of Steve Jobs.  For instance:

-February 7th, 2014 – Steve Jobs Was Wrong About the Beatles

“I am optimistic on Apple’s future, as I believe Cook is unafraid of ghost of Steve Jobs.  While Forestall’s ousting was clearly a major indicator of Tim’s willingness to do what is best for the future of Apple, it is also a major indicator that Tim does not envision himself as just the torch carrier of Apple’s past. Beyond the October 2012 senior management shakeup, there are other indicators as well such as, Apple’s corporate social responsibility in China, the disbursement of dividends, taking on debt, and charitable giving just to name a few.  Cook knows the Apple of the past cannot be the growth engine of the Apple of the future. If the rapid and radical update to iOS 7 is any indicator, I am optimistic that Apple will not be resting on its laurels in the Tim Cook era; Cook wants the tension to be healthy, the collaboration among the band leaders to be strong, and most important, the songs to be amazing for years to come.”

Similar thoughts could also be found in:

-June 27th 2013 – Apple Social Responsibility in China: An Update

-June 11th 2013 – Apple 2013 WWDC Round-Up: Welcome to the Post-Steve Jobs Era

February 26th 2013 - Is Apple Cursed? An Intriguing Conversation…

October 5th 2012  – The Legacy of Steve Jobs: One-Year Out…

All of the links above argue strongly against the premise of Haunted Empire. In fact, if a journalist were to do their homework, the biggest nugget into the psyche of Tim Cook was expressed in a 2009 quarterly earning call with financial analysts. It was Tim Cook (a full two years before he would replace Steve Jobs as CEO) who best articulated Apple’s modus operandi:

“We believe we are on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that’s not changing.  We are constantly focused on innovating.  We believe in the simple and not the complex.  We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.  We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us.  We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.  And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.  And I think, regardless of who is in the job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well” (Isaacson 2011, pg. 488).

I understand that it will take much more than a few posts from a small blog like DigNuggetville to change the tide and shift the dominant logic of the business press to think differently. However, all is takes is one new product launch in 2014 – a new product that was clearly not on the drawing board during the Steve Jobs era and I expect that Haunted tide to slowly shift in the opposite direction.  Luckily for Yukari Iwatani Kane, she released Haunted Empire a few months before WWDC 2014 because I have hunch that she will need brush up her debating skills.

Something to follow in 2014…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University