Are You Making Evil Plans?

Marketing podcast with Hugh MacLeod (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod

Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod

The use of the word evil in the title here is in reference to this week’s Duct Tape Marketing Podcast guest Gaping Void cartoonist Hugh MacLeod’s new release Evil Plans To me the book doesn’t really reference anything that evil. It’s more like Brain in Pinky and the Brain, without all the failed attempts at world domination.

“Everybody needs an EVIL PLAN. Everybody needs that crazy, out-there idea that allows them to ACTUALLY start doing something they love, doing something that matters. Everybody needs an EVIL PLAN that gets them the hell out of the Rat Race, away from lousy bosses, away from boring, dead-end jobs that they hate. Life is short.”

Making a big plan for your life and your business is what Evil Plans is about and it starts with the mindset that you are capable of breaking free from what holds you back. MacLeod’s illustration are brutally honest, sometime offensive and always right on target. He seems to have a knack for turning some of the little things that people live with everyday into a punch in the head.

MacLeod is a brilliant artist who has turned his work, largely through social media efforts, into a brand that can swing wildly between poignant to down right cynical, but always truthful.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

And Now The Enchanting Mr Kawasaki

Marketing podcast with Guy Kawasaki (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Guy Kawasaki is launching his tenth book today – “Enchantment – The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions” –

Enchantment, according to Guy, is influence on steroids. It’s beyond a transaction and goes to a more permanent relationship. No surprise Guy evokes Apple as a brand that enchants.

If you want to enchant someone, it presumes a long term relationship – by definition then, if you’ve enchanted someone you have probably done something that is both good for you and for them and that’s what makes it such an ethical approach.

The pillars of enchantment are likability, trust and having a great cause/product. These must go hand in hand – you can like someone and still not trust them.

Guy covers the idea of personal enchantment – ala Dale Carnegie. Guy is one of the more likable folks you’ll ever meet. There are aspects of his personality that draw you in immediately and he passes some of this on in this book. Guy evokes Mari Smith’s smile as an element of likability. Dress is important – dress equal to your audience. Just like your dad taught you, a good handshake, including eye contact, may make or break a deal for you.

Trust is always a hot topic in business and Guy emphasizes, and I agree completely, that you must extend trust before you’ll be thought of as trustworthy. There are no secrets these days, disclose your interests. You must be a baker instead of an eater. The eater eats and the baker looks for ways to build bigger pies.

Enchantment is a quick read that allows Guy’s direct and enchanting personality to shine through.

I had an incredibly enchanting dinner with Guy at Roy’s Restaurant in Las Vegas during CES – Guy captured the entire meal in pictures

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Seth Godin Pokes His Own Box

Marketing podcast with Seth Godin (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Poke the Box Seth GodinMy guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is best selling author, blogger, Squidoo creator Seth Godin. In this episode we discuss Seth’s new book – Poke the Box.

While the book comes in at only 80 pages, perhaps the biggest punch it packs is the one aimed at the traditional book publishing industry. Seth produced this book, not with his former publisher Portfolio, but with a start up project, jointly created with Amazon, called The Domino Project.

Few people in the business ranks have been as successful at launching a book as Seth and true to form, Godin is turning the book industry on its side with a $4.99 Kindle version, a 5 pack and 52 pack and a limited edition letterpress cover edition.

Many in the publishing industry are keeping a close eye on this project. While there’s little doubt in my mind that Godin is that concerned about the financial aspects of this endeavor, preferring instead to focus on poking his own box, it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Godin was paid at the top of the category by his publisher and will need to sell far more copies of Poke the Box in this pricing model than the traditional royalty driven route. The big question for some in the publishing industry is what kind of distribution the big book chains will give to an Amazon produced book. The book also promises to sell far more digital copies than previous Godin books, a category that traditional credibility lists, such as the New York Times, have been slow to acknowledge.

As the book Poke the Box suggests, however, you don’t make your mark by following the status quo, you make your mark by creating the status quo. According to Godin he would rather make a ruckus than be a hypocrite and took this route to be an example of those that change, poke and lead.

We are living in an era where the news in the newspaper is old before it hits our driveway real time, public interaction with small groups of customer is now, not only possible, it’s essential – and perhaps this includes the packaging of ideas that have commerce.

Godin’s message in this book is that we need to think more like computer programmers, we need to test and improve, test and improve in real time where the cost of failure is nothing. We are not General Motors, we are an idea economy that rewards initiative over perfection.

Searching for the next big idea is a form of hiding – being wiling to ship something and not worry about failure is Poking the Box.

A distinction that Godin adds is that if you don’t finish, the starting doesn’t matter. Ideas are worth nothing, finishing is what’s valuable.

Godin is a master at creating compelling ideas out of very few words and this is a book that is both very important and very simple to consume.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Do Service and Profit Go Hand in Hand

Marketing podcast with Micah Solomon (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Micah Solomon, a customer service expert, entrepreneur, business leader, speaker, and author. He built his company, Oasis Disc Manufacturing, from a one-man operation in a leaky basement (financed with just a credit card) into a market leader in the independent entertainment field. He is also the co-author of Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization, a book we talked about for this show.

One of the core points of the book is that companies can’t simply provide satisfactory customer service they must provide anticipatory customer service. In other words, we need to anticipate what customers want and provide it without them asking.

We must build systems to record the preferences of our customers, hire the right people and give them the tools and permission to meet our customer’s needs.

To be considered the service leader in our industry we can’t simply consider our direct competitors, we must consider every service provider that also offers exceptional service, they are setting the bar and we must study, model and consider them our competition.

Organizations that are customer centered are very careful about the language and words they use throughout the business and consciously choose specific language when referring to and addressing customers. If marketing is painting a positive customer message and then the owner of the business is constantly putting customers down or complaining about problem customers, the entire customer service mentality will get derailed.

Check out Micah’s article for Fast Company – Seven Keys to Building Customer Loyalty–and Company Profits to get an even deeper understanding of the ideas behind Exceptional Customer Service.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Has Social Media Changed Customer Service?

Marketing podcast with Peter Shankman (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Custom ServiceMy guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Peter Shankman. Many of you may know him for his great Help A Reporter Out, (HARO) tool, which he sold recently to Vocus.

In addition to HARO, Peter is the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a boutique Marketing and PR Strategy firm located in New York City, and author of several books, including Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World

The adoption of social media on every level of business has certainly changed how we serve customers and created opportunities for those that choose to take advantage.

In this session we talk about ways to:

  • Choose online media that make the most sense for you
  • Avoid wasting time with platforms that won’t help you
  • Earn your customer’s loyalty, trust, and credibility
  • Learn from other companies’ viral “disasters”
  • Rebuild your credibility after you’ve taken a public “hit” online

So, how has social media changed customer service as a customer and a business?

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

What Does Technology Want From Us?

Marketing podcast with Kevin Kelly (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly by eschipul via Flickr

I ran a post last week outlining the way that I use a piece of technology called Evernote to run much of my life. I commented, almost as an aside, that the one thing I still keep on paper is my daily to do list. I do this for a variety of reasons, but I was struck by that fact that a great deal of the conversation surrounding that post concerned that fact that many others agreed that they too kept elements of their daily routine decidedly analog.

To quote John Naisbitt’s 1985 Megatrends – “. . . the more technology we introduce into our lives, the more we seek a high touch balance, a human ballast.”

Of course Naisbitt was talking about copiers and typewriters, imagine how much more pressure we must feel today with a computer that could run a Space Shuttle mission in most everyone’s pocket and a 24/7 tweet meme running in our brains.

I see, feel and hear about the pressure small business owners feel every day and it’s a topic that find both important and interesting – in case your going to SXSW in Austin I’m on a panel called – Tweeting On the Weekends, where I’ll share some of my thoughts about employing and taming technology.

For this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I had the pleasure of spending about 20 minutes with Kevin Kelly – cofounder of Wired Magazine where he served as Executive Editor for seven years, publisher of Cool Tools and author of New Rules for the New Economy and the recently released What Technology Wants

Before I jump into some of what we discussed I have to tell you that you should get your hands on a copy of New Rules – it’s out of print I’m told but there are used copies and a Kindle version. The book was very influential on my thinking about the changing role of technology back in 1998 or so and I’m amazed at how accurately the rules discussed have played out here in 2011.

Kelly is one of the closest things we have to a technology Renaissance Man. He was one of the pioneers of a great deal of the Internet technology that we take for granted today, yet spent large chunks of his life with no technology other than a sleeping bag and a flashlight.

He writes in What Technology Wants not in a straightforward futuristic way but rather in a historic backward looking way and it helps us realize that technology has been with us forever, it’s possibly the way we interact with it that’s changed the most.

I find it extremely compelling that for each and every vexing problem that more technology presents we typically find a way out or around it with more technology.

We are experiencing an exciting shift right now from the desktop to the mobile, from the static to the dynamic and from the scheduled to real time and that shift is creating such a fluid and sometimes dreaded need to adjust our thinking about what work is, how we interact, and how we consume information that I believe we are on the verge of something equal to or greater than the impact of the web’s early days in the mainstream.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or Android app and listen to the show as well as about ten past shows on your phone.

Creating Customer Bliss

Marketing podcast with Jeanne Bliss (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is customer experience expert Jeanne Bliss. She it the author of I Love You More Than My Dog – 5 Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad.

I love that she frames customer loyalty as decisions. I think it’s so true that we can choose to create a great customer experience – that kind that makes people talk – but we have to do it intentionally and it has to run deep in the organization. Her book is all about getting to the root of what makes a company beloved.

According to Bliss the 5 decisions are: Decide to Believe, Decide with Purpose, Decide to Be Real, Decide to Be There, Decide to Say Sorry.

Anyone that reads this book and follows Bliss’ advice has the opportunity build a more human business – one that will attract customers and staff.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or Android app and listen to the show as well as about ten past shows on your phone.

How to Find Part Time and Intern Help and Gigs

Marketing podcast with Cari Sommer (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Image TheNickster via Flickr

The trend towards virtual work and virtual workers has grown so large that a robust industry has developed around the location and placement of part-time, project oriented workers. Small business can and does benefit from the fact that organizations, such as Elance and Odesk or crowd sourced services such as crowdSPRING and 99Designs, can help them get some of what they need from every corner of the globe at very affordable prices.

Urban Interns, founded in 2009 by New Yorker Cari Sommer and Lauren Porat, has created a marketplace focused on connecting companies with talented candidates looking for internships, part-time jobs, freelance work and contract positions. The company was started in New York City to with a focus on interns and has grown to serve virtual and on site needs across the country.

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