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67 New local job ALERTs in the last 30 Days
Total Number of Companies Covered 4012
9 New local job ALERTs in the past day

zenPeak job ALERTs mobile apps

app store download
google play store download

Updated mobile app for local & hidden Toronto GTA jobs

Part of our mission is to help job seekers find full-time, salaried work in Toronto GTA. You don’t have to take our word for it.

How have we taken action? We have updated our mobile app (with more updates to come) It’s the first of its kind anywhere where tags and mapped results make it easy to find hundreds of local & hidden jobs. More? Check out the zenPeak website for help with resumes, interviews, success stories and more.

The World is Watching You

“Of 381 college admissions officers who answered a Kaplan telephone questionnaire this year, 31 percent said they had visited an applicant’s Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them — a five-percentage-point increase from last year. More crucially for those trying to get into college, 30 percent of the admissions officers said they had discovered information online that had negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.”

One week to podcampToronto #pcto10 but first… the Total Woman Show in Waterloo this weekend.

podcamp Toronto
podcamp Toronto

One week to podcamp toronto #pcto10 and it is truly amazing to see this come together from the hard work of a few people. Over 900 people have registered last time I checked. I picked out the sessions I plan to attend and am crossing my fingers that they won’t conflict, and I can get a seat! Happy we are a sponsor and able to support podcamp toronto 2010.

to register for podcamp toronto

Our sponsor blog post

sessions that I am planning to attend – what about you?

First, I’m on my way to Kitchener Waterloo to the Total Woman Show this weekend to meet some great business people and to talk and share the excitement of what’s happening in Waterloo with zenPeak.


podcamp Toronto 2010

podcamp Toronto is coming Feb. 20th and 21st 2010.

What’s it all about?

If you’re trying to figure out how to use 140 character status updates like twitter in your business, or wondering what role social networks like facebook can play in your success, then  get yourself a spot at podcamp Toronto. You won’t regret it… but act fast!

PodCamp Toronto 2010 is a FREE “unconference” bringing together professionals and hobbyists from Toronto and the surrounding area to explore the cutting edge of new and social media. If you are an online content creator – hobbyist and professionals – who are building communities online in a variety of ways, then PodCamp Toronto 2010 is for you. Share ideas, discuss theories and learn lessons from an audience of experts. Network, network, network. All are welcome.

podcamp Toronto

I’ve attended the past few years and this year we  took the step of zenPeak being a podcamp Toronto 2010 sponsor.

How important is this “unconference”? Consider that you will be exposed to many leading edge players doing great things in digital media, marketing etc. and they are ready to share what they know. Unlike many conferences which are venues for a lot of corporate shilling this is truly a learning environment that is laid back, with little time wasted. Sessions are short and the rooms are packed.

You will likely bump into some kids from junior high school doing interesting things, as well as top global leaders in social media.

Its about a lot more than podcasting but given that Youtube is the #2 search channel after google, it wouldn’t hurt to learn ways to use video in growing your business or getting more out of the activities you are passionate about! Sign up here

The Mancession: Men are struggling to find jobs

“Create Your Own Opportunity”

unemployment by gender
unemployment by gender

Suze Orman shared some great insights on CNN last night about how men differ from women in looking for work. Male unemployment is significantly higher, and she attributes a few reasons.

(1) men look for a new job at their old salary level – women will take lower paying jobs to earn money

(2) women are paid less and thus employers save money by hiring women, and

(3) men turn job hunting into a full-time effort, or take time off, rather than settle for a lower paying job like women

The conventional modern wisdom was that you would have many jobs in your career vs. having a job for life. It looks like that is changing for men and women.The new reality is men may go from job to contract to partnership to contract to business to job to job. Today, don’t bet on one job after another.

Imagine going to an interview with loads of experience (most of which is quickly outdated) competing with someone younger and cheaper.

You will likely strike out.

Why? The interviewer knows that you will be chronically unhappy at a fraction of your previous pay. The person interviewing you  is likely to be closer in age to the younger and cheaper candidates. Union and Government jobs may be an exception.

So what is the answer?

The solution is to change your approach and by that I don’t mean buy a franchise or start a business. The new approach is to…

  • shed your pattern of job hunting and stop applying online for dozens of jobs. Spend your time each day on the 1 or 2 jobs in your “sweet spot”. Stop applying to those online jobs that aren’t 100% on target for you. And when you find a job that is a perfect fit, pick up the telephone and start calling the company to get an interview asap
  • stop going to job networking events, filled with other jobseekers – go to events every night and on weekends like special interest meetups etc. – anywhere that career or jobs IS NOT THE FOCUS. Never say “I’m looking for a job”  If the subject comes up, and you think you can help someone, or someone they know,  talk for a few seconds about… “What I Can Do For You” and then shutup.  Be in demand and be busy. and of course get enough contact info. for follow up.
  • build a unique “What I Can Do For You” resume for each opportunity follow up. see here
  • Learn how to “Create Your Own Opportunity”

“Mancession.” The term may spur a few smiles and snickers, but for thousands of men, it is no laughing matter. For the first time in economic history, the male unemployment rate has surpassed the female unemployment rate. The December 2008 unemployment rate for men was 7.9 percent, versus 6.4 percent for women. The U.S. economy lost 2.956 million jobs in the last year, and a full 82 percent of pink slips have been handed to male workers. This translates to more than two million unemployed men in America compared to about 460,000 jobless women. The worse news for men is that the gap in jobless rates between men and women has been increasing for the last eight months and may continue to do so. – Bright Horizons

Lots of Career Paths in Mobile

Is 2012 the end of the world or just the advent of total dominance of mobile devices in our daily activities?

The revolution is underway but I’m not sure it will fully hit in 2012, maybe a bit later, but for career opportunities, the timing is now!

There is a school of thinking that we tend to overestimate short-term impacts of change, meaning 1 year, and underestimate long-term impacts meaning 10 years plus. If this is the case, after 10 years of broadband mobile at mainstream consumer pricing… your life will change big time. The Internet took 10 years from the mid-90s to shakeout weak businesses and weak business models, as broadband internet access became affordable and deliverable. It takes time, and this is a complex landscape.

According to While until recently the mobile apps market had been dominated by the mobile operator, now there is greater competition between handset companies, operators and application developers who are all wrestling for control of the users’ mobile experience – and their cash. As a result, there’s now fierce competition for domination of the mobile apps space.

Revealed: The apps you’ll have on your phone in 2012


1. Money transfer
2. Location-based services
3. Mobile search
4. Mobile browsing
5. Mobile health monitoring
6. Mobile payment
7. Near field communication services
8. Mobile advertising
9. Mobile instant messaging
10. Mobile music

Of particular interest to me, is the convergence of location-based technologies and solutions with all delivery channels inc. mobile. I look forward to some innovative uses of interaction that enhances consumer experiences as we are driving or moving about. Also the issues of privacy and security will continue to challenge the raw potential of location-based mass customization in marketing, content delivery, commerce and communications.

Pour yourself a hot toddy and reflect on…. “What I Can Do For You!” in this new mobile-centric world. Could this be a career path for you?

Growth Industry for the next 5 years… Search Engine Marketing

If you are looking for a great career path this is one of the best!

Coming out of this economic collapse, many Internet business processes and business models for small and mid-size business will take shape and REPLACE past efforts – In other words, bye-bye printed Yellow Pages AND bye-bye online Yellow Page type portals.

Proximity marketing (geo-marketing, location-based marketing) is going to be big as new applications using GPS or cellular location technologies empower mobile devices and PCs. This means that an SME operator, even with just one location, can spend her money reaching, engaging and transacting with her target market, without buying a yellow pages ad.

search budgets

It’s basic stuff, and it will drive the need for more talented people who can create and execute Search Marketing campaigns.

If you are looking for a great career path this is one of the best!

SES Toronto – Are Internet Marketing career opportunities bigger than ever?

SES 2009 Toronto – Search Engine Strategies Conference arrives in town next week.

Thinking about a career in Internet Marketing? Your timing is good!

Wal-Mart beat K-Mart and Sears because they invested in data-rich marketing and merchandising technologies. Companies that think only 10% of marketing budgets should be online are in for a shock to their core! as they play catchup for years to come.

SEM is part of Internet Marketing; a growth industry that is about to explode. This all began with a handful of visionaries like Dr. Ralph Wilson back in the mid-1990s. It has taken 15 years, inc. a few business shakeouts, to bring us to a point of complete transformation.

Social and economic changes usually take at least 10 -15 years, and are often under-estimated in depth of their impact because the growth and retrenchments are only easily recognizable looking back in hindsight, with a “time lapse” perspective. And the future?…

A top “peak performer” career path for the future is VP of Internet Marketing, with the future responsibility of managing 90% of a company’s marketing dollars AND… demand for senior-level marketers will continue to be high. A broad expertise in Internet Marketing web, social networks, and mobile is rare!

If you have been paying attention to the terrible condition of newspapers in North America, you have to ask yourself is this just the economy? and when business picks up, the advertisers and subscribers will return?, or is it a major transformation?

We are inside the transformation, so its hard to see it. Today’s generation has always been plugged in and online. It is no longer cute or charming to be a luddite and announce you don’t use a computer or a mobile device. You will just get shrugs and blank stares.

Digital, interactive, on-demand, high-definition, data-rich media is where its at. Newspapers and newsmagazines are in decline, with just a few destined to survive in some fashion. They are slow, labor-intensive, high-wage, energy gobbling, analog industries with an insatiable desire to cut trees and burn fossil fuels, just to drop printed pages on your doorstep. Much of the information they deliver is stale (sports scores, stock listings) and their strategic knowledge of their readers (preferences and behaviours) is almost nil or dependent on surveys, and is rarely granular, actionable business intelligence.

From an advertiser’s point of view, the content isn’t really important but rather the ROI of Marketing. Can Internet Marketing deliver ROI? Yes, and Search Engine Marketing is a key component.

So now we come full circle back to the prospects for a career in Internet Marketing. Yes, your career prospects and your timing are both excellent!

facebook pages can replace a blog or website for marketers

Its true.

If you are in the game of registering people and collecting their emails, setup a facebook page and direct your traffic to it. No worries, people don’t have to be signed up at facebook to see your page OR TO ENTER THEIR DATA!

I discovered this by accident when I have been unable to get into FB this am. and popped one of my pages.

Then it dawned on me… some folks don’t need a microsite or blog unless they are restricting access pending a registration.

OK so maybe its not for everyone but a useful tool.

One Minute of Democracy at your meetup

In the meetups I host, and “host” is the word I like to use as opposed to run, or operate, there is what I would call “one minute of democracy”.

All the work and preparation to setup the meetup, invite people, pay for it, create content will fall on your shoulders. Don’t expect to share the work – the committee system doesn’t work and that’s not what meetup members want. If you are prepared to be subject-focused and not your product or company focused, the meetup will be a success!

At the end of every meetup, its time for one minute of democracy. Ask group members about how its going? And, when would they like to meet next etc. Get some feedback. That will help you run a better meetup with higher levels of satisfaction. Every member gets to rate the meetup – you let them leave with the feeling that they are getting great value but also participating in the direction of the meetup group. When they get home, an email from meetup is waiting for them in their inbox, asking them to rate the meetup – What’s the last thing they remember?

Wal-Mart’s dirty little secret that 379,000 people know about

The time has come for companies to start investing resources in online image insurance.  Companies can’t protect themselves from having an employee who is rude, or a washroom that is dirty.  Its impossible. But they can step in and act quickly to limit damage.  Or they can wait until negative stuff appears in a newspaper, or on TV or on YouTube.

What companies want to prevent is the short shrift – unfair attacks that are allowed to gain strength, or legitimate complaints that fall on deaf ears – a neglected unhappy customer who starts to influence a lot of others, because they aren’t feeling the love.

Instead of spending money on “buzz” marketing where people fake interest in a product or service, or instead of camouflaging a corporate voice in an online network, how about showing pride and stepping into the fray in a transparent fashion.

Here is a link to a flickr album that has been viewed by 379,000 + people.  It has pictures of a dirty Wal-Mart store. Are all Wal-Marts dirty? – no.  Hmmm Its hard to tell from the comments.

Next post, I’ll start a series on which Social Networks companies should use, why and how.

Target Marketing using Facebook Pages

Can you use Facebook pages for target marketing?

Facebook pages have been out for a month or two. I have two fan pages; one for Frank Sinatra and another for Stevie Ray Vaughan. Both pages have music that I love. Fans can listen but can’t copy the tunes (which I paid for).

Facebook provides information on who your page fans are. For example you get stats on daily traffic; unique visitors, page views and stats on usage of FB apps in the page. You also get stats on fan sex and age.

So here is what I have learned about my  two fan pages.


The Frank Sinatra page  has over 500 fans and they are split 45% female 55% male, with 55% of fans between ages 18 to 24! That surprised me! and another 21% between ages 25 and 34.

Only 7% of Sinatra page fans are above age 35! If you assume that Frank Sinatra has timeless popularity, I would guess this reflects the age distribution of Facebook.


The Stevie Ray Vaughan page has been up a week and has 87 fans.   This page skews heavily to male with 93% male and 7 % female fans. The age distribution is a little older with 17% above 35 years of age, and 66% between 18 and 35 (vs. 76%  for the Frank Sinatra fan page)

By looking at the networks of the fans you can also get a geographic metric – for example, my Frank Sinatra page has a lot of  fans from Turkey. (this you have to do  on your own – not a facebook stat)

Here is the point. If you want to drive traffic to your facebook page, and from there have a "call to action" on the web etc. – you will know about your present Facebook page fan base, and you can use Facebook advertising to target your advertising.

Dude… you’re getting better service from DELL

Last night, I listened to the Dell folks at the local Tuesday event, describing how they jumped into emergency blog action for damage control when the SONY battery in their notebooks blew up in summer 2006, and bloggers posted nasty on them, for that, and broad service issues.

Its a constructive social networking case study of a big company, being responsive in dealing with squeaky wheels and bad press. The Dell website traffic numbers after the Aug. 2006 event, show that the web is the critical service information channel.

IMO when someone has a bully pulpit, in any media, and is unfair and unbalanced, lets first give the consumer some credit for their intelligence and fairness, present the facts, ask for forgiveness, and get to the heart of solving problems. Thats what Dell did with bundles of transparency and quick action.

Dude… you got some good service from DELL!

Other companies should follow suit and not wait for disasters or lousy service to erode their business.

BTW…Ask me about how in my mind, Apple ripped me off in the 1990s for $13,000. in royalty profits from my CD-ROM "Search for Ancient Wisdom"  that was in the Apple CD-ROM collection, by using a middleman publisher (Double Impact Multimedia) that went bankrupt just when the checks were supposed to be mailed. Apple did nothing for the designers, developers and creatives for ours and many other titles.  Today, I would blog that injustice so nasty 24/7 – we would see their response and how they fix the problem.

Marketing with Podcasts – ClickZ interview

Interview with Greg Cangialosi author of "Podcast Academy: The Business Podcasting Book: Launching, Marketing, and Measuring Your Podcast" 


…there are several key metrics in podcasting. First, there’s your
overall audience, download requests per episode, download completes per
episode, unique download requests per episode, and unique download
completes per episode. We also are looking at consumption metrics,
which can be broken out into partial plays and complete plays. 

there are what we call the engagement metrics, which occur beyond the
media consumption. Your RSS subscribers, your Web site/podcast site
visits as a percentage of downloads. Any blog, forum, or page activity
as a percentage of downloads (that shows the relative appeal of the
podcast). Then there are more standard Web metrics, like Web site page
views and time spent on the site and the overall impact of your
podcast. This includes ad awareness, call-to-action responses, sales,
lead generation, referrals, etcetera.

Will your facebook app be worth over $25 million?


The #1 facebook app is Top Friends and is valued by Adonomics at over $25 million. facebook is a really big business. Oh yeah! How about a hundred billion $? Interested in the business side of facebook? Take a look at the developers page and the developers services inside facebook, as well as the groups related to VCs, advertising and development, and the emerging industry behind facebook is revealed. Not all apps are worth $25 million, however. The #500 facebook app, moon phases is valued at $3,024. It would cost at least that to pay for its development based on going rates. I don’t mean to thrash the Buffalo Bills, but the Bills Fan Statistics app has 2 active users and is valued at $8. It is ranked as the #3,662 out of 5,832  facebook apps. If you don’t have a hot screenplay in you, consider developing a facebook app – don’t lose the dream but don’t forget the lesson of the Buffalo Bills. Your effort may go "wide right" . 

The High Road on Privacy — Dealing with the Elephant in the Room


Privacy is the "elephant in the room" of target marketing efforts.

The customer has been conditioned to think… How can you target an offer without my data? How is that data collected and used? Wait a second…How did you get that data? Who else has that data? 

No one likes to talk about Privacy too much. Most Marketers perceive it as a negative in customer’s minds; even the root cause of failing loyalty programs.

There are different ways of dealing with  the privacy issue.

  1. You can ignore the issue
  2. You can  decide that it isn’t worth the hassle and give everyone the same offer
  3. You can point to a privacy policy and convince yourself that boilerplate from a lawyer will make a customer content vs. what it is really designed to do… cut back litigation
  4. You can take the high road. 

The high road is to develop target marketing programs that openly target your customers for their propensity to do something, fully transparent and without apology. Remember, in most cases business rules and algorithms cannot handle fully targeted 1:1 offers, so why pretend that the offers are 1:1 Let the customer know that these are offers for "customers like them" – because thats what they are!

What about their data? You get rid of it. That’s right… you build a unique campaign database that strips out all the identifiable data that is not needed. and you tell the customer right on the offer "THIS OFFER WAS CREATED FOR CUSTOMERS LIKE YOU, FROM A SECURE DATABASE   WITHOUT ANY OF YOUR PERSONAL OR IDENTIFIABLE DATA"  You use a unique customer campaign number derived from, or referenced to, the customer’s data that is held in a database elsewhere.  For the campaign, the unique number used is in a group for offer purposes. Essentially, the offers are not personalized down to the customer level. They are not company:1  but company:segment .

More on the "high road" If you need an email address or a name and street address to deliver the offer, you add that to the note to the customer… "THIS OFFER WAS CREATED FOR CUSTOMERS LIKE YOU, FROM A SECURE DATABASE   WITHOUT ANY OF YOUR PERSONAL OR IDENTIFIABLE DATA – YOUR (EMAIL) ADDRESS HAS BEEN APPENDED TO THE OFFER FOR DELIVERY PURPOSES ONLY"   

When the campaign is over,  you preserve the high road policy, by using the intelligence from  the campaign selectively to analyze and optimize. The next campaign uses unique campaign ID numbers again.

There is enough opportunity for dynamic offer optimization to challenge the savviest marketers with the biggest technology resources, while staying on the high road.

Now the Customer is being conditioned differently.

How can you target an
offer without my data?
I’m part of a group getting the offer

How is that data collected and used?
– My personal and identifiable data isn’t being used

Wait a
second…How did you get that data? Who else has that data?
– I trust the company judging by the effort they have made in communicating how they use my information

Next time I’ll share my thoughts on… delivery offers.

Ten myths about Coupon Redemption from ICOM


coupon redemption rates are in decline in the United States and Canada.
As North American marketers search for answers to help them cut through
the clutter arising from a proliferation of offers, the time has come
to re-examine some of the conventional wisdom on couponing.

Much of that conventional wisdom is wrong, say ICOM Information & Communications
marketing and consumer insight experts Peter Meyers and Steve Litt.
Their assertion is based on redemption trends derived from a 20-year
database ICOM built in the course of designing 6,300 targeted
direct-mail programs and issuing 425 million coupons to 28 million U.S.
and Canadian households that voluntarily provide information about
their purchasing preferences. ICOM’s database uniquely differentiates
redemption behavior between current, competitive and new users of

According to Meyers and Litt, these are the top ten myths about coupon redemption:

Myth #1: Short-term expirations drive immediate sales.
Fact: Consumers need more time. A short expiry often cuts redemption far more than any increase in value can make up.

Myth #2: Higher value always equals higher redemption.
Fact: Value alone isn’t enough. Maximum redemption comes from an optimal value-expiration sweet spot.

Myth #3: Store brand users aren’t worth pursuing with target coupon offers.
Fact: As
store brands upgrade their quality, fewer store brand consumers will be
price-centric and more will be quality and feature conscious. They’ll
often redeem targeted offers at rates as high as other competitive

Myth #4: Targeting the most loyal users of a competitor’s product yields the best return on a coupon program.
Fact: Light to moderately loyal competitive users are more likely to try a new
product and will do so on a lower-value coupon offer.

Myth #5: The presence of a sample is a requisite for driving high redemption rates.
Fact: There
are other factors much more likely to drive redemption rates. Some of
those include expiration, value, current vs. competitive user, and
frequent vs. infrequent coupon user.

Myth #6: The current users of a product don’t need long expirations to get them to redeem a coupon offer.
Even for current users, to gain more than two-thirds of potential
redemptions, offers must be six months at minimum, and in the 10-12
month range for personal care categories like skin and beauty products.

Myth #7: Coupon clutter is pervasive in all delivery strategies.
Escalated volume is not a factor in targeted coupons mailed directly to
homes. Notably, targeted promotion redemption rates are up in this
sector for household products and pet products.

Myth #8: Coupon offers on frequently purchased items are redeemed quickly, so an expiration of less than six months will do.
Fact: Targeted offers with expirations shorter than six months in general have only half as many redemptions as longer term offers.

Myth # 9: Current and competitive product users need the same coupon value to be motivated.
Fact: In
any product sector, current users typically require much less offer
value to drive them to purchase. Sectors vary, but it often takes 40
percent less value to move a current user than a competitive user.

Myth #10: Americans and Canadians share the same coupon redemption behavior.
Fact: There
are shared traits but the difference in absolute redemption rate is
substantial. Americans receive 10 times more mail than Canadians and
are less likely to respond to offers. Canadians favor contemplation
over quick action and require longer expiration terms. The net result:
the decline in overall coupon redemption rates is steeper in the United

Ten benefits of in-store target marketing


To build this list, I surveyed Scansave, LLC (the company I founded) and 4 other companies that specialize in delivering targeted offers in-store. I am very happy for my own selfish reasons to see validation for these new business methods. The over-arching framework for in-store target marketing has to be the interface to the shopper/customer; where and how do you make contact, and what do you give as a value exchange? 

So here is my list of benefits for those considering target marketing in-store, which in my mind only qualifies if your efforts are measurable, targeted, and can be optimized.

  1. offers are relevant and personalized – it demonstrates you know your customer
  2. delivered at the best place; the point of decision
  3. flexibility; electronic or paper with multi-channel integration opportunities
  4. increased frequency; not the program but the result of frequency offers
  5. increased basket size without diluting profit margins; cross-sells and no pantry filling
  6. product trial; see it, touch it and an instant incentive to try it
  7. level playing field for store brands; its your store… promote your private brands efficiently
  8. data-rich; if the offers are targeted, the data  collected is valuable and powerful
  9. less waste; more efficient than broad-based direct marketing via mail
  10. $; increased spend, increased revenues and increased profit margins

Top 10 trends in Web Analytics according to Jim Sterne

Courtesy of Jim Sterne e-metrics founder and FB friend (via Larry Page’s Newsletter)

see it here

Top Trends in Web Metrics & Analytics:

1. Upper Management Demands Proof

2. The Desire to Measure Everything Gets Serious

3. The Need for Integrated Marketing Becomes Obvious

4. A Common Language Is Born

5. Defining Engagement Remains Elusive

6. Reputation Management Grows in Stature

7. Finding Experienced Web Analysts Continues to Mystify

8. The Web Analytics Consulting Market Mushrooms

9. New Web Analysts Flood the Market

10. The Industry Continues to Consolidate

Bonus Trend. The Rich Get Richer

see it here

Did you Save Your Lucky Green Stamps Today?





Loyalty… FrequencyAre these new concepts?
Its the 1950’s…. Imagine a kid licking the lucky green stamps that Mom brought home from the supermarket, and sticking them into a catalog book, all the while staring at that picture of a doll or train set that they were saving the stamps for. If junior had any influence, Mom and Dad would spend every spare dime they had at the supermarket to get more stamps. S&H Solutions
Now, fast forward to the recent acquisition by Pay By Touch of S&H – one of the originators of "rewarding consumers
for their purchases to keep them coming
back." Pay By Touch is merging payments and loyalty with the touch of a thumb. "Pay By Touch is the leading biometric authentication network for
loyalty and payments, and the only company that integrates biometric
authentication, payments, personalized marketing, and payment
processing. The company’s mission is to liberate consumer
s through
biometrics and beyond by providing the most secure, convenient, and
cost-effective electronic transaction solutions available."  Pay By Touch
My sister saved up lucky green stamps for one of these "hot numbers" (above) from Loblaws in the 1950s. Nice hairdo 🙂 and the outfit looks a lot like the uniform worn by the  ladies behind the  deli counter…  How many pounds of ground round was that ma’am? The answer is no… Loyalty and frequency are not new concepts, and I would venture to say that nostalgia for these programs is not misguided – THEY WORKED!

How much does a pound of loyalty cost?


According to Jim

Jim Barnes, a fellow Canadian and a guru at Customer Think discusses research results from Colloquy…

Research results such as these indicate that consumers perceive a ton
of value in loyalty programs and use them often to earn rewards. But,
they have precious little to do with loyalty.

Jim goes on to caution about developing a loyalty program to get customer loyalty. Do loyalty programs influence customer behavior? Of course they do.
But, if you are looking to build long-term customer loyalty, the kind
of loyalty that is grounded in an emotional connection, don’t go
running off to start a loyalty program.

Jim’s full comments are here.

“The Man” is conflicted about social networking.


link to Business Week article

By luring employees into a network, companies hope to leverage their
skills and contacts. But they also hope that all that collaboration
will cut out time that’s now spent mailing documents and e-mailing

excerpt: SharePoint, the
Microsoft software that lets companies set up MySpace-like profiles,
blogs, and collaborative Web sites known as wikis within the confines
of their firewalls, is one of the fastest-growing server products in
the company’s history. "At first people were slow to adopt this; they
were nervous. But now we’re seeing a bunch of adoption," says Rob
Curry, director of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server software.
Both Microsoft and IBM are using their own offices as labs for their

excerpt: The whole "open"
ethos of the social Net–sharing pictures and music and letting
"friends" know your every activity–goes against the instincts of
big-company chief information officers.


Warning!!! Poindexter Alert – Optimizing Marketing


OK some of this is heavy if you are not into marketing and analytics. But if you are interested in loyalty programs and CRM, this 2 part knowledge sharing from Fulcrum’s CEO David King is worth a read .

In part1, the discussion is about how "database marketing technology is finally catching up to the real-world need to manage customer relationships over time. Finite state machines are being adapted to marketing and provide an entire new set of capabilities."

In part 2, KIng talks about optimizing marketing around particular strategic goals and in the face of real-world constraints… "extend the concept of state machines with a
technique used for optimizing processes in many other industries – a
Markov Decision Process (MDP) — here the transitions are a set of probabilities."

Nifty little in-store marketing gadget


Here is a "wireless loyalty card" that  shoppers carry with them in the store on their key fob.  Do I think it  will fly?  Not sure – because of the infrastructure needed to read and write special offers to these fobs throughout the stores. But, I think the idea is in the right direction  Scansave (company I founded) is working on an alternate approach where your points/loyalty/credit card in your wallet has a special surface that  prints, erases and reprints offers right onto your card.  Imagine visiting Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s and when you take out your card, you show it like you do today, then you swipe it, and your card is imprinted with offers… JUST FOR YOU! 

Scansave offers PVC loyalty card solutions with re-printable surface


Weird Science – Putting a Value on the Biggest Brands


Weird Science! Google’s brand value 50% more than Coca Cola.Double the value of either Toyota or McDonalds. Give me  a  break today! According to agency Millward Brown, authors of the annual "Brandz 100" study … "Brand value is the financial value of a brand – defined as the sum of all earnings that a brand is expected to generate" But, they use their own brand contribution multiplier, based on intangibles,  to get the total. You know what they say about 50% of advertising being a waste, but no one knows which 50% it is.Too much of marketing is intangible.

If you don’t read this we’ll kill this dog


Remember this National Lampoon Cover? Maybe this is the best way to monetize blogging? Threats! No? well then I’d love some ideas and direction, because I’m back at this after a break of 3 years and would like to know how, where, and who can teach me about how to effectively use the blog to build business. That’s really what its about isn’t it?! Be honest!
If I just wanted a friend I would keep the dog, and shut down the blog 🙂
Which is the best host? I have a few days left in the trial period to decide to keep typepad. Is wordpress better?

facebook apps

Over 3,000 facebook apps! I have been looking for an app that would let me tie in this new blog, a facebook group, websites and my facebook profile. I chose "blog friends" and we’ll see how that goes. Most of the apps for RSS I looked at, were reviewed by users and most had bug complaints. I really didn’t see a clear leader in this "category"   

I know one thing I hate on facebook is being forced to get an app to see what someone is trying to send/give/share. I’m a hypocrite… I like shoebox and have sent non-users special gifts that they need shoebox to see – GUILTY as charged!

I see VCs raising funds just for facebook app companies,  websites that review facebook apps. It seems like the 3rd wave of the Internet is now underway and facebook is right in the centre! Watch out google!

Resistance is Futile

I have to admit this first post is not something I have looked forward to. I maintained a blog for a few years with Blogger, and although the links and content were IMO excellent, it was a sinkhole for time (and likely ahead of its time).

4 or 5 years later and I’m giving it another shot to integrate  my thinking on target marketing, to learn, to connect,  and provide a focused outlet for those interested in all the issues around target marketing and promotion optimization.  You are welcome to contribute, promote and sell as long as you are on "target". If you can help teach me how to promote the blog too, that would be a gift!

One area I am interested in, and want to learn about is… Privacy and Target Marketing.