Bronco’s NCAA Tennis Team Championships

Dear Tennis Friends,

We are rolling now. As a matter of fact we are down in Rolling Tide Country (Tuscaloosa, AL) for our 5th straight appearance in the NCAA Team Championships. This basically is a new season for us, and this season can be a blissful journey or the rug can be pulled out from under you in a heart beat. The crazy thing about this part of the season, is if you win you keep playing, if you lose, it is “good night Irene”.  As the guys would say, “your toast, and go home”.  

We open up our appearance at the NCAAs with a very tough Middle Tennessee State team who is ranked 57th in the nation and are 16-9 for the season. They are the Sun Belt champions and after watching them at the Blue Gray tournament (held in Montgomery, AL),  I have tremendous respect for their team.

They are just flat out dangerous. Their strengths are much like ours, 1. They are great at the top of their line up (Their #1, #2, and #3 ). They have proven that they can not only play with the best that college tennis has to offer, but that they can win at those positions. They are pretty good at #4 and they have struggled at their #5 and #6 spots.

What will be important will be those  opening doubles matches. They are like us, they win the doubles point, they win the match. They have four Aussies on their team, and as all tennis aficionados will tell you, the Aussies are playing doubles out of the crib. The winner of our match will play the winner of #14 Alabama vs. #59 Furman

Our match with Middle Tennessee will be played at 2pm on Friday (that is 1pm  Boise time). The match will have live scoring. Go to www.rolltide.com and click on tennis. On the tennis page, you will see “live scoring” which will keep you up to date on our match.

We had a wonderful kick off for our run to contend for the National Championship with our Tennis Banquet on Monday evening. To all the fantastic people who came to the Stueckle Sky Box, thank you for honoring our players with your support and attendance. To everyone who missed the banquet, well, you missed out, for it was an emotional, hilarious, and fun night.

We honored our four seniors (Clancy Shields, Kean Feeder, Stanley Sarapanich, and Blane Shields). They are all such outstanding young men, who have made such a great impact on our team. They all spoke and there wasn’t a dry eye  in the crowd, in addtion to the fact that there was alot of laughs as well.

Our team votes on these awards and we had some amazing results.
Most Valuable and Most Inspirational were shared by two of our super seniors. It is only fitting that Clancy Shields and his soul brother Kean Feeder were named co-MVPs and that they also shared the Most Inspirational Award. Our Most Improved Player was Freshman Erik Sheldon who has grown so much during the course of the season. Tomorrow I want to send you some words from our players before them embark on the biggest matches of the season for us.

Also, wonderful news was announced today. Our men’s Tennis Team was named the top academic team in the nation. We have a 1000 percent graduation rate and academic achievement. It goes to prove once again that this special group of young men, are much smarter than their coaching staff. (But I must admit, it does take a smart coaching staff to attract such smart young men to make Boise State their home).

PS.. As you know, I have been writing many updates, only to learn that our web server had broken down and you weren’t getting our updates. I truly hope that this will come through, for we love sharing the magic with you.

Go Broncos!

Coach Patton

Go Broncos!

The InCite Alliance

WHO Marketing has teamed-up with 3 other service providers! While continuing our focus on communications for market-leading companies, such as HP, Intel, Nike and Kodak–we now offer such cutting edge strategies for small and medium businesses as in Social Media Bento for SMB. The InCite Alliance includes:

These out-sourced, contract services are modular in that you can mix and match–getting just what you want to order in just the right quantity. Kind of like ordering bento! Looking forward to further describing offerings and InCites in the coming weeks . . .

Community Development

Working on an online campaign recently for a (very) large semiconductor company, we employed some “new” media, such as networked, contextual ads like Vibrant, even placement directly in a hosted IT management software interface (Spiceworks). Even using such technologically current media involves using previous affective paradigms.

These deals go down much like using “old” media, first, you’re trying to gain awareness and interest in a solution, then getting “targets” to “train” (starting to sound like a military operation), etc. Things were going along above expectations, meaning that we were reaching the right folks, engagement rates were rising–when we gained a strong lesson in the power of communities. Sure enough, someone posted the answers to the training questions on freestufftimes.com.

From there, visits, registrations and completed trainings went through the roof. While we included legitimacy screening in the Terms and Conditions (so we only have to give out premiums to legitimate Managed Service Providers)–this showed the power of an already cohesive Community. The Free Stuff Community is very efficient and organized. Someone scouts an opportunity, then reports to the group how to take advantage of it. They gain status in the Community for their actions and build real Kommunity Karma as folks want to inform them of other opp’s.

Maybe we should consider reversing the awareness/interest/trial/purchase/post-purchase model for effective marketing in a Community-based world. Webtrends makes some inroads in this regard.

Impressions of HP Marketing

Having worked for HP and a number of companies in the Printing/Imaging business, I’m struck by how companies believe their businesses will grow without having to innovate. For instance, in this video of HP’s Vyomesh Joshi as interviewed by John Battelle, he points out that desktop PC to printer connect rates had historically been around 70%, while laptop to printer connect rates are closer to 30%. Essentially, this would mean that people would have to start printing twice the pages/photos than previously. Where are the innovations that will help HP double it’s business?

Sure, they do some things to facilitate direct printing by those who likely hadn’t thought of it. Like with the HP In-House Marketing effort, Marketing Impressions, essentially a resource to try to get SMBs to print more in-house. This is now more correctly-geared toward micro-businesses, however, how many of those folks really want to buy a printer in order to spend more of their harried hours printing themselves? Micro-business is all about keeping overhead down, while finding some time to have a life.

I’m also very curious about how HP intends to be in the web-to-print business for multi-page documents (books, ebooks, printing multiple blog postings, etc.)–without a decent finishing solution. Sure, some of the high-end HP machines, like the HP LaserJet 9500, offer an add-on booklet-maker, but who wants to spend $6,800 on a printer in order to have the priviledge to pay another $2,400 for the finisher?

Until HP gets some finishing solutions for their less expensive printers (but, with equally impressive output)$8,200 buys alot of finished documents at Kinko’s. Better yet, especially if you already have a printer, consider doing your own finishing, such as with MyBinding.com. You can probably set up a virtual printshop for you (and family/friends) for less than 1/3rd the cost that HP would like.

 

http://battellemedia.com/archives/004050.php

Work

We’ve performed in a number of engagements with market-leading clients (or those that aspired to leadership)–these include:

Hewlett-Packard Company

  • Defined Go-to-Market Strategies
  • Produced Communications Platforms 
  • Integrated Direct Marketing Programs
  • Managed Solution Business Partner Program Management
  • Implemented Channel Programs
  • Determined ePromotional Campaigns
  • Created most successful Web 2.0 Promotional Program

Intel Corporation

  • Created Strategy for Intel/Cisco Channels co-Marketing Campaign
  • Defined Go-To-Market plan for Intel/HP through BEA Channels
  • Determined Web 2.0 Media Olan for New Technology Platform

Siemens Corporation

  • Created Communications Platform for Telephony Business
  • Defined Promotional Program to establish Category Leadership

Nike, Inc.

  • Strategized and Created “Tour Guide” Channel Program for EMEA
  • Produced “Eco-Tour” Channel Promotion for Asia-Pacific

ProClarity Corporation (now part of Microsoft PerformancePoint Server)

  • Raised sub-brand to Corporate Brand level (in order to package for merger/acquisition)
  • Re-defined brand look/feel and tone/manner and applied to all marketing deliverables

MPC Computers

  • Produced Direct Marketing Campaigns
  • Customized and Personalized Deliverables to increase Engagement Rates

World’s Largest Imaging Company (still under NDA)

  • Defined unique Web 2.0 Go-To-Market Promotional Program
  • Created Messaging Platform to penetrate new category, including Consumables
  • Re-defined eCommerce process to maximize sell-through

Targeting Innovation

The hardest thing to learn in marketing–if you follow the rules, you’ve lost before you started. Having worked with the world’s largest agency (Publicis), the original s-valley firm (HP) and consulted with market leaders (printing, digital imaging, semi-conductors .  .  . even technical apparel, real estate, etc.), I’ve found a self-perpetuating relationship between the three standard players.  

Leading firms usually suffer from the Innovator’s Dilemma (set up to milk brands, not innovate), consultants have to noticeably break rules in order to be valued and agencies have to tap dance between the two in order to keep “the client” happy over past efforts, while billing for new work. Like all triangular relationships, they’re best to bolster the impression that everyone’s filling their role, while providing ample opportunities to point fingers around any failures. Makes sense when you realize that everyone’s primary goal is to continue getting paid for their efforts.

This dynamic is taking some unique turns in this renewed era of cost-cutting. Consultants are leading enterprises in “vendor consolidation”, purportedly in order to negotiate better rates with agencies due to economies. This also makes it so they can lower overhead (fire people), while suggest they’re controlling marketing expenses, which are considered more discretionary. My experience has been that this process does lower client headcounts, enables “approved agencies” to grow and consultants get their exorbitant fees by helping secure C-level jobs. However, you end up with huge agency’s of record without enough oversight.

That’s why we formed WHO Marketing Services. Comprised of a strong network of marketing professionals, we start with the key ingredient–the Target Audience–and learn what’s going on in their lives that might make your solution interesting to them. We then add a melange of marketing methods where the only maxim is to do what will work for that customer in a way that will be appealing. Going from “something old, nothing new, everything borrowed, you’ll feel blue” to a fresh approach (yes we’re way into “new” media).

Of course, you could just continue to expect slow, stodgy programs that play best internally (often called “being a cube prairie dog” – where you’re afraid to be noticed). Or, you might want to step out and try an approach that makes your programs stand out.  To do that, start with something WHO . . .

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