Nugget Dictionary Keyword – What is Astroturfing?

Hola Todos!

In short, I never heard this term “astroturfing” before so it’s time to post the keyword to the Nugget Dictionary. According to Wikipedia, astroturfing is:

“…is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message (e.g. political, advertising, or public relations) to give the appearance of it coming from a disinterested, grassroots participant. Astroturfing is intended to give the statements the credibility of an independent entity by withholding information about the source’s financial connection. The term astroturfing is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.”

I was reading the Apple 2.0 blog and was introduced to the term in a Philip Elmer-DeWitt post.  In the article, Philip detailed how Samsung “hired students to post fake benchmark reviews of HTC’s latest smartphone and reporting – falsely – that they were ‘constantly crashing.’ ” After admitting the wrongdoing, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission fined Samsung 10 million Taiwanese dollars (or US $340,000) for defaming a rival.

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

 

 

 

My Definition of Marketing

Hola Todos!

I found it hard to believe that after 2 years and 261 posts, that I NEVER had an explicit post on my definition of marketing: Find out what people want and give it to them!

Recently, former student Jimmy Miguel, emailed me the following:

“Dr. Dano – How you doing? Tell you what, you have some crazy good timing, I was in a Marketing workshop just last weekend and the guy that was presenting went around the room asking what we do for a career. Once everyone was done he stopped and asks out loud: “what is marketing?” Obviously, considering the majority of the audience were marketing professionals, we all knew what it was but there was some ambivalence on how exactly to describe it. After a couple valiant but feeble attempts by my cohorts I piped up and said “Finding what people want and giving it to them.”

 He was kinda taken aback because everyone was using all this sophisticated vernacular to describe what it was, but in its most basic form, that’s it. He did use a different choice of words to describe it, but he pretty much agreed that it was an accurate definition. All these years later, I still use that as my definition… Sounds like a good Nuggetville posting to me haha.” 

Agreed Jimmy.  It does sound like a good Nuggetville post and I was really surprised that since starting the blog in August 2011, that “the definition” was never a post in-it-of-itself (note: while never detailed, it has been mentioned previously).  Over the last 10 years as a marketing professor, I have been teaching Principles of Marketing or the foundation Marketing class on the graduate level at least 3 to 4 times per year and I tell the students that the definition highlights the three most important chapters in the textbook:

“Find out (marketing research) what people want (consumer behavior) and give it to them (segmentation, targeting, and positioning)”

Truth be told, I learned my definition of marketing while working on my MBA at Saint Joseph’s University.  In my foundation MBA marketing class, professor John Stanton was the first person I heard use it (he was working on a book at the time, Success Leaves Clues).  I know a nugget when I hear one and I, like Jimmy in the quote above, never forgot it.

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

 

 

 

 

WIIFM: What’s in it for me?

Hola Todos!

For those of you who have had the torture of being in one of my classes, no doubt you have heard me say on more than one occasion, that good marketers “Tell people what’s in it for them – because if there is nothing in it for them, they will not be interested in anything you’re selling.”

I was reading my Linkedin messages this morning and I saw an interesting post from Peter Guber – someone I follow within Linkedin because he wrote a rather interesting book on storytelling titled “Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story.”

I though the post was a nice fit with all my chatter this week on new year’s resolutions.  Titled “10 New Year’s Resolutions You Must Make For Your Greatest Business Success” the post features two items that caught my eye:

#2 – In gathering collaborators and support, focus on “what’s in it for them” – this will garner their attention and intention to respond to your call to action.

#9 – Embrace failure – if you’re not failing on occasion, you’re not taking enough chances testing the real quality of your talents and will unlikely achieve your greatest success.

Check out the full article 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

 

 

We Learn By Doing…

Hola Todos!

Being an educator, I am passionate about learning theory as I care deeply about student learning in my classroom.  I have an explicit teaching philosophy of which I have blogged about on DigNuggetville (see here and here).

In academic speak, the worldview articulated in my teaching philosophy is knowledge is constructed, not received.  Perhaps a simpler way to say the same thing is we learn by doing.

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of having Joseph Rafanelli, one of my former MBA students from Seton Hall University and Ticket Sales Manager, as well as Joe’s boss Bryan Iwicki, VP of Ticket Operations and Dave Marek, Sr. VP of Marketing for the Somerset Patriots baseball team in my social media class.

Earlier in the semester, the students were divided up into teams and over a four-week period, the teams were charged with developing five novel social media strategies to imbue participation with the Patriots fans.  So yesterday, the students get to meet Joe, Bryan and Dave in person to discuss their ideas – in person.  I’m all about nuggets (aka takeaways) and I hope that both the students and the Patriots executives got a nugget or two from the experience.

We learn by doing and the students didn’t just do some random assignment for their professor.  They did something real that they could add to their resume.  I’d like to say thanks to both the students and the Patriots team for their time and effort in this project.

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o,

 

Daniel M. Ladik, PhD

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

Nugget Keyword Dictionary – “Biting the Hand that Feeds You.”

Hola Todos!

Today’s nugget keyword, like last week, is a phrase:  “Biting the hand that feeds you” or as it is usually expressed “Don’t bite that hand that feeds you.”

The Usingenglish.com free dictionary (which also includes idioms) defines this phrase as,”When someone says this to you, they are trying to tell you not to act against those on whom you depend” (click here).

One of the Microsoft story lines over the past few days has been, “Microsoft is really going to piss off their partners (e.g., Dell, HP, etc) by developing their own tablet.  They are going into competition against some of their biggest and oldest clients by developing a tablet!.” I even heard on a NPR radio broadcast that “Microsoft will have hell to pay for their actions.”

This storyline and all of its associated commentary sure has the flavor of “biting the hand that feeds you.” In Microsoft’s defense, however, its not like HP, Dell or anyone other Amazon’s Kindle and to a lesser part Amazon’s Fire, have done anything to dent Apple’s stranglehold of the tablet market. If I were Dell or HP, I would be cheering them on because without Microsoft, HP, Dell and anyone without an Android OS isn’t in fastest growing marketplace in the tech industry.

Something to think about today…

best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik

Associate Professor of Marketing

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

Nugget Dictionary Keyword: “Your backroom is someone else’s front room”

Hola Todos!

Today’s nugget keyword is not a keyword but rather a phrase.  I was reading a blog post on AllthingsD the other day, and to no one’s surprise or dismay, Apple quietly announce that it is phasing out their social network Ping (click here for full article).  With Twitter and soon to be Facebook integration in full order, CEO Tim Cook stated this week, “We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said ‘This isn’t something that I want to put a lot of energy into.’ ”

This discussion and blog post on Ping got me thinking about phrase by the legendary Peter Drucker, “Your backroom is someone else’s front room” (click here).  One of Dr. Drucker’s fundamental beliefs is you should do only what you do best; play to your strengths.  In addition, managers should partner with other firms who can complement their strengths to minimize their weaknesses.

Dr. Drucker defined the “front room” as your strengths, or what the firm does best; the activity that which stirs your passion and shows off your excellence. Everything else is the firm’s backroom, and most definitely, some other firm does it better.  So the idea is to excel in your front room and find another firm to do your backroom.

In the Apple exemplar, we are all very familiar with Apple’s front room; iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc., While Ping was in the front room, Apple was by no means excelling with Ping.  There were multiple other firms who did social networking better than Apple, and Apple is finally partnering with them.  I hope LinkedIn will be a partner in the near future too.

What surprises me most of this announcement is that every article that discusses either the Walter Isaacson book (click here) or the Adam Lashinsky book (click here) emphasizes that one of the main elements to Apple’s success is Apple’s ability to focus on just a few great things.  I guess even the mighty Apple looses focus every now and then and spends too much energy on something that someone else does much better.

Something to think about today…

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, PhD

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

The Job Post Buzzwords

Hola Todos!

This one was too good to pass up.  The spring months are usually the most active when it comes to changing positions as well as undergrads seeking their first gig out of college.  I’ve been there myself and read way too many buzzword-laden job descriptions myself.

This story (click here) from CNN.com is excellent and “translates” what many of these resume buzzwords such as “detail-oriented,” “team player,” “multitask,” and the ubiquitous “outside the box” really mean.

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, PhD

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving & The Thanksgiving “Sleep” Myth Debunked?

Hola Todos!

I hope we all have a fun, safe, and thankful (I have much to be thankful this year) Thanksgiving holiday.

The nugget for the day is tryptophan (pronounced trip-teh-fan); an amino acid found in turkey that gets converted in the brain to serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that is responsible for increased wellbeing, happiness, relaxation, and sleep, hence the Thanksgiving “Turkey makes me sleepy” myth made famous in a Seinfeld episode where Jerry wanted his girlfriend to go to sleep so him, George, and Elaine could play with her collection of old toys.

The post below (click here), attempts to debunk this myth of tryptophan.

Enjoy!

Dr. Dan-o

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership – Creative Destruction

Hola Todos!

I know this could have an easily been a Friday keyword term but Mr. Mike’s leadership nugget brought it out.  Creative Destruction is one of my favorite terms and I learned it WAY back as a young undergraduate economics student.

In numerous works, Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter emphasized what he called creative destruction whereas “that capitalism can only be understood as an evolutionary process of continuous innovation and creative destruction.” For more detail on Schumpeter, click here.

There are times that the only way to make a giant leap forward is to destroy what you are doing now (e.g., because you current product or service WILL never get THAT much better).  Kill the old and bring in the new.  The funny thing is, very few firms have the “guts” to kill their existing value offering.  Microsoft never did it but Gillette does it almost every time they create a new blade.  Fusion creatively destructed Mach3. Apple is creatively destructing the PC market because the gains in tablets could be three or four times what PC could have been.

Let’s hear it Mike!

 

To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

“And when we achieve the outer edge of any of our abilities, we do what comes naturally: we keep moving into the next” writes Tracy Saville in her article, Blow It Up: Begin Again.   This is one of the great challenges all great leaders face throughout their professional and personal life: hitting their “proverbial glass ceiling of creativity.”  Their continuous innovation – new ideas, new solutions, new possibilities – all of a sudden come to a point of apparent exhaustion.  So what do they do?  Saville’s response is: “Blow it up and start over.” There is a secret.

“And this is the simplest secret of all: we can rest, we can lay down our efforts for a time, we can do over, start over – again and again it seems – and we can re-charge our batteries using a different fuel source than before.  We can because we must.  This how we find the courage and inspiration to move forward.  The discipline it takes to be comfortable with a life spent in constant change and evolution is the discipline hallmark of every great leader and great achiever.”

John Gardner, author and former Secretary of Health Education and Welfare, wrote:  “Self-renewal is possible if we don’t lose our capacity to learn and grow. But renewal…depends in some measure on motivation, commitment, conviction, the values men live by, the things that give meaning to their lives”.  When you feel you are getting to the outer edge or your abilities, pause and rest.  Blow it up, and begin again. Look beyond the outer edge and find your life’s endless possibilities and beauty.  And have fun doing it.

Have a beautiful day and an incredible week!!!

Mike

 

Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528;

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu

Nugget Dictionary Edition – “Jumped the Shark”

Hola Todos!

This week’s Nugget Dictionary Edition is not a word, but rather a phrase.  I love phrases and these can be just a powerful and philosophical as a good keyword.

I was reading the other day and it popped up again.  The headline went something like this, “Has XYZ firm Jumped the Shark?”  This article was about TiVo but less then a week earlier I saw it with 3D TV.

According to Urbandictionary.com, “Jumped the Shark” is a pop culture reference to (click here):

“The precise moment when you know a program, band, actor, politician, or other public figure has taken a turn for the worse, gone downhill, become irreversibly bad, is unredeemable, etc.; the moment you realize decay has set in.”

An example offered on Urbandictionary.com – “Tom Cruise jumped the shark the moment he jumped Oprah’s couch.”

Origin of this phrase comes from a Happy Days episode where the Fonz jumped a shark on waterskis. Happy Days was a popular show but clearly began to decline “post-shark.”

 

Best

Dr. Dan-o