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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nice to meet you.

Let me introduce myself.  I am Tom Victor and I am somewhat new and old to Firelight.  I have been working on projects with Steve for the past 8 plus years.

It is my turn to write this weeks blog and I could write whatever I want.  So I am going to keep it short.  I wouldn’t say that I have a motto or anything, but when I take time to reflect on what I have done with myself after high school there is one thing that comes up constantly.  I know it’s not something from Einstein or Aristotle but I think it applies everything I do

“You can’t always get what you want,
But if you try sometimes,
You just might find,
You get what you need.”
  • The Rolling Stones
Look forward to meeting you in person here at the studios in Trumbull.

Tom Victor

Monday, October 17, 2011

Art Imitates Life (or Vice Versa!)

One of the complaints I have about any given movie is this, “It wasn’t realistic”.
I know others who feel the same way. Somehow we recognize when something doesn’t conform to what we know as real.

It manifests itself both in the physical, like noticing a special effect or computer graphic that isn’t quite right, or in more subtle ways, like realizing that a situation or character isn’t quite real. “That isn’t what that character would do” or “that couldn’t happen, that situation is too far fetched”.

This was why I found two news stories this week rather interesting! Both had
to do with story lines of filmed entertainment that could be considered “unrealistic”.

It’s about a woman, an artist, who contracted viral encephalitis, which caused parts of her brain to essentially die. One part of the brain affected was short term memory. If you listen to the story, you’ll hear the reporter go through the same conversation with this woman several times, in succession, and she doesn’t recall having had the conversation with him.

This reminded me of the movie Memento. Memento is a great movie, full of plot twists and interesting characters, but you have to admit it is a bit unrealistic. To enjoy it you have to swallow the premise that this guy can only remember 2 minutes back in time. Seriously? Apparently it wasn’t so far fetched!

The other story was this story, from Seattle.

Nick and I (and our wives) are avid followers of the show Castle on ABC. In an episode a few weeks ago writer Rick Castle and Detective Beckett had to solve a murder seemingly committed by an honest to goodness superhero!

Again, not really realistic. I mean, who actually dresses up and goes around "protecting truth justice and the American way?"

Apparently Phoenix Jones does it in Seattle!

Art imitating life. Or maybe the other way around. I love it!

Do you have any examples of life and art crashing into each other in interesting and unexpected ways? Let us know!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mouth is mightier then the sword

The Rumors of WOM’s Demise 
Are Greatly Exaggerated

Author: Kim Sheehan | March 21st, 2010

Public Relations giant Edelman recently published a study that starts the tolling of the death knell for social media and word of mouth. In their report, the Trust Barometer, the agency found that the number of people whose friends and peers as credible sources of information about a company dropped from 45% in 2008 to 25% in 2010.

Also declining in credibility were consumer and customer employee testimonials. The credibility of CEOs,Academics and Financial Analysts all increased.  Some argue that these results suggest that marketing investments in word of mouth, both online and through traditional channels, could become all for not. In fact, Advertising Age suggests that the growth in the use of online social networks like Facebook and Twitter have created such large networks of casual acquaintances that trust in word of mouth is eroded.  The study has some lessons for small businesses, which I’ll go into in a moment. However, I have to say, with all due respect, that the study’s findings are problematic. 

Here are a few of my concerns:
The finding that only 25% of people find friends and peers credible is questionable given the sample size Edelman used for this study. The firm surveyed only 500 adults, and didn’t provide any demographic information that would show how the sample represents Americans as a whole (which is standard in many survey reports). It also doesn’t say whether this was a random sample or not (and statistical evidence is only appropriate in random samples.

The study asked about credible sources of information about a company. That phrase, ‘a company’ probably means very different things to different people. To many people I know, it means companies like Exxon, General Motors, and General Foods. It doesn’t mean Cheerios, Ace Hardware, or New Seasons Market. A company can be, but isn’t necessarily, a brand that people talk about regularly. I wonder how asking about ‘credible information about products or services” would change the answers.

Edelman’s President and CEO, Richard Edelman, says that the lesson of the study for marketers is that people have to see message in different places and from different people before they believe it. In fact, they need to see it in five different places. There is nothing mathematical in the study to back this up, and it could be seen as a blatant shill to get advertisers to return to traditional media as part of the ‘big five.’

However, there are some lessons for small business. People are looking for…and using…information to make decisions. Every decision is not an emotional one. You can become a great source of information for decisions. 

To do this: Make sure you, and your employees, are experts about what you sell.  Have access to industry reports to share with customers who are making important decisions. This can be kept in a ‘resource area’ at your store which could simply be behind a counter. Print out relative ‘consumer reports’ to give customers added confidence in their decisions. Ask for customer testimonials and post them in your store, on your website, and/or in your newsletters. Have access to experts you can call when customers have questions you can’t answer (your salespeople, manufacturers, etcetera). If you can’t answer the customer’s question right away, get their contact information and call them back when you find out. It’s a great way to reach out and build a personal connection.

And I guess the final recommendation: take every piece of research that you didn’t conduct with a grain of salt.
- Kim

Article from:
Charlie Cook's
Marketing for Sucess