MelanieKatz.blogspot is now Marquetting.blogspot!

June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

As you all know, changing the name of anything, let alone your blog, can be risky business. However, in light of expanding this blog from less of a “me” project and more of a platform for you, I have made the decision of changing this blog’s name from “MelanieKatz” to “Marquetting” (pronounced “marketing”)

Over time, marketing has earned itself a les than glamorous reputation for shoving products down the throats of consumers, but I believe that this newest generation of marketers can be the ones to usher in a new decade in marketing; marketing with a transparent soul.

The new name Marquetting centers around this concept, adding some of the class back to the reputation of marketing

But this isn’t Madison Avenue- laughing is permitted.

“what is this ‘laughing’ you speak of?”

In fact, it is encouraged! Just as we encourage you, the rising stars of marketing to tell us the latest trends.

In the words of Heidi Klum of Project Runway, Marketing is “in”, and you are all leading the charge.

I hope to direct this site at the students and emerging marketers and business men and women, so that we can build the new transparent face of marketing together.




Must Reads: Making Your Maketing Novel

June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

As you all very well know, I have been spending the majority of my summer doing what I enjoy most: reading. Call me a dork, but more than once marketing book knowledge has saved me from embarrassment. My business book compulsion has also helped me learn things outside of the classroom and workplace; it’s a given, although more than a few people I know take reading for granted, especially in the business field.

In the words of one of my classmates “how can you read during the summer? You couldn’t pay me to do that!” I laughed and proceeded to shove my nose in another book.

This being said, thus far during the summer I have some across more than a few good reads relating to marketing and business as a whole. If you are just beginning to pursue a career in marketing or are a seasoned veteran, I encourage you to pick up any of these titles (many of which are light reading) and go wild.

Here are my top 5 recommended business books for summer reading:

1. Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah

Read this book first! For more than a few reasons, this book has been my savior. Inbound marketing had only been minimally explained to me in school and work, and this book more than filled in the blanks about how the miracle that is user-generated content works. In a very approachable (and even entertaining!) format, Halligan and Shah explain how to use inbound marketing to your benefit, explaining real-world examples of SEO optimiazation techqniques that worked and encouraging you to employ them, as well. Every chapter concludes with a checklist of ways you can incorporate these strategies into your own inbound marketing campaigns. Starting a blog myself at the time, you bet I did as they said; and for the most part, it worked. Halligan and Shah, I owe you one.

2.Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore

The essential how-to guide of outbound marketing- scratch that; the bible. Moore explains the “Chasm” theory, that in order to sell any product or service, a marketer must first bridge the gap between the Early Adopter and Early Majority markets. “The What?” you say. Basically, this book explains how to keep the momentum behind a brand, service, or product once it has launched and bridge the pitfall created when your brand message does not go public. This book was required reading in my marketing class, and I would have been at a disadvantage if it had not been assigned. And I don’t say that often- did I mention how high school ruined Huckleberry Finn for me?

3. Culturematic by Grant McCracken

This book is a goldmine of real-world examples of brands that stood out and became greater because of it. So how can “reality TV, John Cheever, a pie lab, Julia Child, Fantasy Football, burning man, the Ford Fiesta Movement, Rube Goldberg, NFL films, Wordle, Two and a Half Men, a 10,000-year symphony, and ROFLcon memes” “Help You Create and Execute Breakthrough Ideas?” Without spoiling too much, they do it by being different, word of mouth, and creating a new culture for their consumers. This book is absolutely to blame for my business book addiction at present.

4.Say Everything by Scott Rosenberg

Believe it or not, Blogs are not a leftover scrap of the 1990’s internet bubble, but a real form of marketing prowess for individuals and brands. This book explains just how blogs have become the media by the people, for the people, and why they won’t be going out of fashion, well, for a while. This book blends beautifully when it is read after Inbound Marketing, as it expemplifies inbound marketing done right. Part history, part guide, this book is surprisingly readable. If you have ever even looked at a blog post like this one and considered joining the blogosphere yourself or as a marketing pursuit, read this. Yes, You.

5. Onward by Howard Schultz

A gorgeous read about the trials of the Starbucks company in its re-branding effort during 2007/2008. The book is in a way an inspiration within itself; beginning with the crisis and ending with the return of the company as a top-dog in the coffee world after years of slippage, Howard explains how experience really is everything. As a story, this novel is interesting within itself, but the marketing and business value which can be derived from this novel is invaluable. That and Howard Schultz is thebombdotcom.


Gunn’s Golden Rules by Tim Gunn

Tim Gunn of Project Runway is the perfect example of the personal brand. Rising to fame in his later years, this book describes how even some of the largest names in fashion thankfully have brands like Vogue to form their first impressions. Gunn’s charismatic manner comes through his writing naturally, taking us the reader under his wing like one of his students, and guiding us through his own life experiences to perfect ourselves, and in a marketing context, our own personal brands.

Enjoy the sun, wear suntan lotion, and get your read on!

What are your favorite business books? (i.e indulge me in my pursuits as a bookworm?)

the Apple iNomoly; a Double Standard

June 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Apple; beacon of all things innovative and different.

Am I right?

Yeah, in 1985.

Also the year that hotpants were in

Alright- so I am absolutely not smashing apple. I am the proud owner of a Macbook Pro and iPod Touch; I just revere it in my own way. That way, being not for how currently”innovative” the brand is, but rather for the changes it has made throughout the history of computing as a whole.

They made home computing cool and a must-have for the new millenium, providing innovative devices which made technology more than an aspect of life, but a platform for life. But then, they froze in their tracks.

This is to say, I am inclined to believe that over the past few decades, Apple as been slipping from its formerly indie, innovative platform into something well, more standard.

In 1985, owning a Mac made you an oddball in the infancy of the personal computer.

Today, if you don’t own an iPhone, you might as well live on another planet.

Apple has set itself up with a double standard; standing out to fit in. This, we will call, the Apple iNomoly.

the Apple catchphrase, “Think Different,” has always been paramount to the Apple experience (which, I will admit, was very lovingly built). But does it really stand the test of time?

Is designing iPhone generations 1-4 to look identical throughout the years setting a precedent for the rest of the industry? Certainly, iPhone took down Blackberry down with an iron fist. But what now?

Let’s play a game called “what generation iPhone is this?” you have two guesses.

This decision lays primarily in the hands of Tim Cook, Apple CEO

Lately it just feels as through Apple has been sitting on its laurels, despite a few interesting tidbits like possible detachable lenses for the upcoming iPhone 5 and, well, that Apple TV thing. Whatever that is.

Apple, simply stated, needs to get back into fighting stance, because before Tim realizes it, the mindless legions of the 1984 Apple superbowl ad could be his own followers.

And I really don’t want to have to be be the weirdo in hotpants wielding a javelin. Really.

It’s All Digital From Here

June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

The other day I walked into an electronics store, and was met by a crowd of employees who appeared to be standing in a circle, bored out of their wits.

That moment when I walked in, like a buch of hornets from a kicked nest, they eagerly swarmed my way.

I had stopped by the store to pick up a few small things- an HDMI cable and an iPod charger that had been misplaced between Boston, Austin, and back. And while I felt fortunate to be waited on so eagerly, something struck me as odd.

In the entire superstore, there were no more than three individuals shopping. And then I realized that I was not being swarmed to because I was special (read: loved), but rather because there was nobody else in need of assistance.

“Best Buy, this relationship is over!”

in fact, as I mentioned, there was nearly anyone there. At all.

You have probably heard this before- that digital stores have essentially slammed physical stores into a mud pile and then rolled their faces around in it, but it is the kind of thing that doesn’t entirely strike you until you have been the only one in a vacant, formerly booming electronics store.

“huh” I thought to myself, “this place used to be the mecca of all things digital. What happened?” I wondered until the store associate handed me the cables I needed; a grand total of $80. My heart stopped, and I knew I had my answer.

$80 for two wires.

I pulled out my phone and bought the two cords I needed for a grand total of $8 as one of the associates suspiciously eyed me.

Melanie, 1; Electronics store, 0.

And yet one thing has shocked me ever since I left that store- digital shopping is indeed becoming the end-all-be-all, not because it is oh so much better than trekking out to the store, but because the stores simply are not adapting. It’s like that movie Hannah, where she is told to adapt or die. These superstores, apparently, are seriously considering the “die” option.

I for one know that I love to go out and physically see an object before I buy it, which is the magic of brick-and-mortar, but not in this world am I going to pay $80 to watch associates twiddle their thumbs awkwardly as I shop.

And yet stores like these have such a huge advantage over their competitors, which they are taking for granted like no other. Does Amazon have a staff of bright, technology-literate employees to wait on you hand and foot? No. Are they located by a scenic lake where the sun shines?

Nope- they are located by scenic 4chan, where the trolls live.

So what’s the problem? What we are left with is price, something which could essentially be compensated by one thing- their ability to sell themselves in the light of online shopping, where things are cheap and scams are rampant.

Electronics stores right now are dying out- by choice. They have physical locations, and yet they choose to not use them to their advantage, or even aknowledge the existence of their online competition.

“What’s this ‘Amazon’ you speak of?”

My suggestion? Drag those price trolls out from their caves and show them what electronics superstores are made of.  Price wisely, and, especially- get this; aknowledge Amazon, and then its weaknesses, in-store.

We have trained staff who not only know the products, but use them themselves- what about you, Amazon?

We can tailor your products to you- get to know you as a person, learn what drives you and help you live to potential with our help and products- that’s a bit tough to beat, huh Amazon?

Oh, and we are really here for you. After you buy your product, we will care for it like our first-born child. We will help you raise it to your standards and show you how to use this gorgeous product, and we will even take it upon ourselves to fix it and keep you on the edge of updates and technology. Amazon, you should probably be crying in a corner right about now.

Electronics stores, get yourselves together, and get your iPhone torch apps ready. It’s time to storm some internet troll caves!

Facebook, Mobile Conglomerate

June 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

When Facebook acquired Instagram in April, the general reaction was “there goes Facebook, out to save itself by buying out its competitors”

While there is some truth to the opinion that a dying Facebook is trying to save face by buying out the closest threats (see what I did there?), they have also been on the path to doing something more- saving themselves by taking their eggs out of one basket and dispersing them into others.

It’s kind of like Easter all over again. Conglomerate style.

This is the Facebook conglomerate Easter bunny. Don’t trust that look on his fuzzy little face.

So what does this mean in places like the mobile market? After all, Zuckerberg has been considering taking the popularity of smartphones into his own hands (literally) by considering creating a Facebook phone. 

Facebook has also bought out two up-and-coming apps: Karma, the instantaneous gift-sending app, and Glancee, the creepiest thing since Foursquare.

So what this means for mobile, my friends, is that Facebook can already imagine you picking up your Facebook phone, which through its Facebook apps will allow you to not only become friends with the nearest stranger within five feet of you and buy them a gift on command.

Oh yes, I can see it now.

It looks like this

But maybe, just maybe this is the way that things are moving. I move into my home under a rock next week, and you are invited to join me.

No Foursquare allowed.

TMI- New Technology Edition

June 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Your friend is having a burrito down the street, your boss is eating at the pizzaria in the next town over, and your ex is at home, watching TV.

How do you know all of this? Enter: the age of obsessive self-tracking

It seems like now more than ever, with the invention of tracking apps on most smart phones and tracking-based social networks like Foursquare, people are becoming familiar with, if not overly eager, to report their every move.

It is so common that the life stages of your Foursquare addiction have been officially defined.

So what’s the problem with that? Well, first of all, you are completely opening yourself up to being stalked, but at this point, most individuals in our exhibitionist society are simply asking for it.

Oh, and you are completely opening yourself up to some unexpected visitors

“I would like to thank you for your latest post on Foursquare- while you were out at the pub, I stole me a nice laptop. That is, your laptop.”

“oh!” you say “now who would ever do that to me?”

Oh, nobody. We all just run on a trust system here.

So what’s a Foursquare addict like myself to do? Shut down my account? Live under a rock for the rest of my life and avoid all human contact?

“Ahh- it looks just like home”

Nope, neither, because they are both horrible ideas and require cutting away from a social network many of us have come to rely on.

So what do do?

What I have done, at least, is to remove automatic posting from sites like Facebook and Twitter where strangers can more accessibly see where you are at ay time.

And I promise this won’t cause them to miss out on your all-important life update, because really, no matter how interesting you think getting smashed at the bar at midnight is, not everybody really cares.

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