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  • Sep 15 / 2013
  • 0
Marketing, Random Thoughts

Marketers today need to be technical

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.netLast week I wrote a blog post about traditional marketing being a thing of the past (maybe I should have said “dead”!!) and basically how it is all about digital (SEM, Display Media, SEO, Social, UX, Remarketing, etc) marketing strategies.  I mentioned that many CMOs are going to become obsolete if they don’t start adopting modern methods but I think we can say the same about all marketers.  If you are a marketing person and you are not technical, WATCH OUT!  Marketing today is all about the technology.

As a marketer today you need to drive and understand marketing technology to get the value (and of course the results).  If you just think you can sign up for a “cloud marketing service” and think you can do everything in the UI, I have news for you, you are just scratching the surface of most of these tools.

I read this great post last week posted by Jeanne Roué-Taylor on Successful Workplace,  If your marketers aren’t geeks, get new marketers” and I think the title sums up the future.   The marketing skillset has shifted.

“This new world of marketing means a change out of skill set, strategies, tactics, processes and technology. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that today’s top marketers aren’t students of traditional marketing. In fact, the marketing degree may be an obstacle more than a benefit in a world that is data-driven and most likely, very close to real-time.”

So how do you know if you are “geeky” enough to be a marketer today?  Simple question (not the only one but a good start):

When you swipe your credit card and buy one of these “Marketing Cloud Services”, do you have to wait for IT, an engineer or a consultant to implement something before you can use it?  If you answered “No” because you just handle all the technical implementation (tags, integration, JavaScript variables etc) yourself, YOU ARE GEEKY ENOUGH TO BE A MARKETER….maybe!

If you are a marketer today, become an expert on APIs, analytics and big data!  Your career will thank you for it!

Also from  Jeanne Roué-Taylor‘s post, maybe a topic for the future…..

“The trend is so profound, in fact, that CIO’s everywhere are complaining that they’re losing their most precious jewels…IT budget…to marketers who refuse to play by IT’s long timelines and big costs.

The new CMO is probably buying SaaS products that the CIO may not even know about.”

**Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Jun 04 / 2010
  • 0
Random Thoughts

Bing Cashback is Dead

Wow!  It looks like my free source of money is over!  I am on my way to recieving $1000 Cashback.

Bing has announced today that they will be discontinuing Bing Cashback as of July 30, 2010 highlighting that they did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for.”.  It seems not enough people read my blog. 🙂

This is what they said on their Blog this morning:

“Why are we doing this? When we originally began to offer the cashback feature, it was designed to help advertisers reach you with compelling offers, and to provide a new type of shopping experience that would change user behavior and attract a bunch of new users to Bing.”

“In lots of ways, this was a great feature – we had over a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers and seeing great ROI on their campaigns, and we were taking some of the advertising revenue and giving it back to customers. But after a couple of years of trying, we did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for.”

I thought this was a great program Mircosoft launched to draw new users to Bing and really begin to compete with Google in this arena.  At the same time I think it is one of Microsoft’s greatest secrets.  It was somewhat hidden.  Such a pity.

Bing Shopping will remain but like I said in my “Bing Cashback: It’s FREE Money” post, Google Product search is definitely superior over Bing Shopping. Without Bing Cashback, I can’t see a reason I would use Bing Shopping over Google Product search.

For more details: Bing Blog Announcement

and to learn what you need to do finalize your Cashback Account: Bing Cashback’s Letter to Customers

Goodbye Bing Cashback.  I will miss you!

  • Jun 03 / 2010
  • 1
New Toys, Random Thoughts

Bing Cashback: Monitor Your Account – Tips and Tricks

In response to the overwhelming traffic and feedback I received on my post in April “Bing Cashback: It’s FREE Money” I have decided to do a follow up post with some further tips and tricks I have discovered since.  Also, maybe I mis-titled my previous post.  As you will see below I have had to spend a bit of time getting my Cashback.  Time is money.  Maybe’s it’s not free money?!?! 🙂

1) Check your Account after a Purchase is made

Make sure you check your account after a purchase is made. Check it for both:

  1. Cashback % Accuracy
  2. The Cashback has actually appeared

I recently made a purchase from Overstock.com (Pretty cool online shopping site) and going through Bing Shopping it said I would get 10% Cashback (See Below),

however, when it appeared in my Bing Cashback account I was only given 5% Cashback (See Below)

How do you resolve this? Contact Bing Cashback Support (https://support.cashback.discoverbing.com).  They responded within hours asking for a copy of the confirmation of the order and a screenshot from Bing Shopping showing the expected cashback percentage.  24hrs after I sent the details of purchase back to Bing Cashback Support I recieved an email back saying “we have credited the purchase to your account, pending merchant confirmation.  The cashback amount will remain in your account as “pending” for 60 days from the date of purchase.”

So fingers crossed, I should have my Cashback at the end of July.

I also have an instance outstanding for a purchase from Drugstore.com where the Cashback has not been reported (seperate from the instance below) after 14 days!  Bing Cashback support staff are doing a great job in updating me.  The delay is with Drugstore.com support.  I will keep you posted on this outcome.

2) Using Retailers Coupons can Void Cashback

This is a trick I learnt the hard way.  It doesn’t happen at all retailers, just some.  There is no way of knowing.

Having a child under the age of 1 I have found Drugstore.com a great place to buy diapers (nappies) and formula.  Free Shipping, no tax plus best price!  In the same week I got an email from Drugstore.com with a coupon for “$10 off a purchase of $50 or more”,  I also saw Drugstore.com was offering “20% Bing Cashback”.  It was too good to be true!

I went through Bing Cashback to Drugstore.com, selected my diapers and formula, went to the checkout, entered my Drugstore coupon code, completed the transaction. Waiting, waiting, waiting ….. no cashback “pending”  in my account.

When I read the Bing Cashback FAQs I learnt  “that coupons could void your cashback rewards”.

3) Bing Cashback does not Equal Instant Savings

In my last post I stated that your should receive you cashback in 7 to 21 days into your PayPal account.  In my early purchases using Bing Cashback my cashback did turn up in 7 to 21 days, but since then it seems things have really slowed down. Looking at all my “pending” cashback’s I currently have, it looks like I won’t be seeing my money for close to 60 days after purchase.

You can understand why Microsoft and their retailers do this.  If they didn’t, it would cause a huge administration overhead when consumers returned or cancelled their orders.

So, if you are looking for instant savings, Bing Cashback isn’t for you.  If you can wait 2 months for your cashback, then keep using Bing Cashback.

4) Always Check the Price by Going to the Retailers Website Directly

I also encourage you to always check the retailers website directly.  Open a separate browser and browse to the item on the retailer website (don’t go through Bing Shopping).

Why? A few times I have found the retailer jacks the price up when you use Bing Cashback!  Very uncool.

Take you time and maximize your savings!

I still recommend using Bing Cashback and it is a great way to get money back on your online purchases.  I just encourage you to learn there are a few tricks.

Last thing to note is that the Bing Cashback support staff and @bingcashback provide excellent support and are very responsive.  I have been very impressed.  Thanks guys!

If you have any other tips or tricks for Bing Cashback, please share below

  • Apr 27 / 2010
  • 2
New Toys, Random Thoughts

Bing Cashback: It’s FREE Money

This post has a slightly different tone about Microsoft/Bing than my last blog post!  Thanks to Bing Cashback I have now saved $244.33 in the past few months whilst shopping online.  Last week I got an extra 25% off a brand new HP laptop (Thanks @hpdirect for the tip off)  I can’t work out why 99% of people I talk to don’t know about this.

Microsoft launched Bing Cashback very shortly after they launched Bing (with Bing Shopping) as a way to hi-jack users away from the popular Google Products and draw them towards Bing (This is how I see it at least).

If you aren’t already using Bing Shopping or Google Products you are already missing out of a way to save lots of money shopping online.  You simply type the product you wish to purchase and it brings back a list of all the online retailers selling that product with all the pricing information (including tax & Shipping) to show you which is the cheapest retailer.  When you shop online, you shouldn’t have to pay shipping (possibly tax also….lets not go there) and these sites make this simple for you to get the best deal.

Bing Cashback now adds even more value to using site like these.  Not only can you find the best price, pay no shipping and pay no tax but if you go through Bing Shopping you can get on average another 5-10% off, sometimes even more like my recent purchase at HP. (Discount varies from retailer to retailer)  Bing will either send you a check or direct deposit money directly into your PayPal, Amazon Payments or bank account.

It’s as easy as this:

1. Sign up to Bing Cashback using a Windows Live ID (Your old Hotmail account that is now just collecting spam) – https://cashbackaccount.bing.com/cashback/welcome.aspx

2. Once you log in, clicksettingsand complete:

  • ‘Your cashback account information’
  • ‘Rewards Methods’ – Using your Paypal account ensures the fastest cash back
  • ‘Quick cashback program’ – This makes it even faster to get free money!

3. Start Shopping using http://www.bing.com/shopping

4. Find the product you want, for the best price and click “go to store”

  • You will only get the Cashback when you go through Bing Shopping

5. A window will pop up, enter your email address associated with your Bing Cashback account.

  • At this point Bing Cashback will put a cookie on your computer and you will be redirected to the product on the retailer’s website

6. Shop & complete the transaction as normal.

  • You won’t get anymore Bing Cashback visual interaction at this point.  All information is being sent in the background thanks to that little cookie

7. Usually within 10mins you should see your Cashback in your Bing Cashback account as ‘Pending’.

8. Money is then usually deposited in your PayPal account in between 7 to 30days

_

No Shipping Charges, No Tax and now Free Money…..a great way to buy more toys!!

A few tips:

  • Use Internet Explorer; It seems to work better with the cookies
  • When using Bing Shopping or Google Products make sure the retailer is a reputable.  Just search for reviews for that retailers.  Sometimes items are too cheap to be true.
  • It works on eBay items also!
  • I think Google Products is a better product search engine
For more information, read the Bing Cashback FAQs

  • Jul 13 / 2009
  • 1
Random Thoughts

Thank you for your LIVESTRONG Challenge support…here are the photos!

Hello Supporters,

First off……a MASSIVE thank you for your sponsorship in the Livestrong Challenge that I completed yesterday.  You support & generousity is very much appreciated and together you donated a total of $1010.00.  THANK YOU!

Secondly…….we made it.  We managed to complete the 65 mile (104km) course in 4hrs 15mins.  The training paid off.  (I don’t even have a sore bum!)  Just a little tired.

Thirdly…..It was an amazing day and experience.  I don’t know where to start.  There were some true heros yesterday.  It was incredible the number of people who participated in the Livestrong Challenge who were survivors of cancer.  I lost count of how many people I rode past with “I am a survivor” sign on them.  It was truely inspirational.  Over 3600 people rode yesterday in San Jose raising over $1.3 million to help fight cancer and inspire those who are battling cancer.

It was a great personal achievement to ride 100km but I think I felt more of an achievement raising money and being part of such an event.  Over the ride it was great to chat to other riders and hear their stories of battle or why they were riding.  It was amazing the number of people who lined the streets of the course ringing cow bells, banging pots and holding signs of support.  Nothing inspires you more to ride harder when you see signs like “I am currenty fighting cancer. Thank you for riding” or “I am a cancer survivor, Living Strong”.

Here are ther photos…..http://www.nickbell.com.au/wp2016ph/v/lifeusa/livestrong_challenge/

Thank you all so much.  I am sure the Lance Armstrong Foundation appreciates it also.

Nick

  • Mar 03 / 2009
  • 2
Random Thoughts

Death by PowerPoint

As many of you know I spend a lot of my time creating PowerPoint presentations either for sales presentations, conferences or sales enablement. (Just look at my App Tracker to see!)  One of my fellow product marketing managers brought this presentation to my attention today (via Twitter) and I couldn’t have agreed more. (Not that I am saying that my presentations are currently boring 🙂 )

It’s 61 Slides long but don’t worry, it takes only a few mins to watch.

Now, remember, bullets don’t kill people, people kill people and now go break all those rules!!

For those Sydney Kings (yes, he has moved on)) and Boomers fans, Brian Goorjian is on Slide 18 as an example of passion.

Happy PowerPoint creating!

  • May 05 / 2008
  • 0
Random Thoughts, Travel

People you sit next to on Planes, Garages and Bill Hewlett

There is something about sitting on a plane that makes me want to write. Why? I have never been a writer. I’m a speaker! I prefer to speak if I have a thought. Is it because I always sit next to people who look like they would kill me if I spoke to them? Brings up the question as to why everyone always looks so sad on a plane and never smile? Is flying that bad? Doesn’t flying lead to exciting destinations and adventures? I can’t remember the last time I spoke to the person next to me after takeoff. I think stem from the fact that sitting around for extended hours saying nothing means I have to get my thoughts out somehow. (Otherwise I could explode!)

So what are my thoughts today…..I am about halfway to Singapore on SQ220 (No A380 this time….saving that for Thursday coming home) and I am thinking about the people you end up sitting next to on the plane. Why don’t I ever get sat next to an interesting person? Back in my single days I always dreamed of the woman of my dreams sitting next to me (Didn’t we all!). I can see why that never happened. I.e. If Stace had sat next to me on a plane and had to listen to me for 8 hours express my ‘deep aero plane’ thoughts, there is a good chance she would never have married me! Thank you God! I digress.

I believe these thoughts have stemmed from my jealously of the ‘Garage’ Man. Who’s the ‘Garage’ Man? This week I am further investing in property, a garage! Very exciting. The ‘Garage’ Man is the man I am buying the garage off. Pretty Tricky! So, when I met up with him the other day to discuss contracts, the topic of who I worked for came up. When I told him I worked for HP, ‘Garage’ Man broke into a story from 30 years ago. This wasn’t just another old man telling another war story, however it probably would have seemed like that if you weren’t me.

In 1978 ‘Garage’ Man sat next to Bill Hewlett (Co-Founder and President of Hewlett-Packard) on an TWA flight from New York City to San Francisco. In the 7.5 hour flight (Planes were slower then) Bill went on to describe this technology company he started in a garage in Palo Alto in the heart of Silicon Valley with a friend. ‘Garage’ Man listened to early growth and direction of HP. The passion and vision of two men. Amongst other things Mr. Hewlett spoke of his love of technology rather than business. This was evident when he stepped down a few years later from being President to run the R&D labs. The following day Mr. Hewlett sent a car to ‘Garage’ Man’s hotel to pick him up and take him to HP’s Palo Alto HQ for a personal tour by Bill and Dave (Packard). This experience shaped many decisions he made in life.

Bill Hewlett started the World’s largest Technology company in a garage, ‘Garage’ Man sat next to Bill Hewlett on a Plane (And they spoke!), I bought a garage from ‘Garage’ Man. What does the future hold for me? Probably nothing if I look at life this way! However, I long for the day I sit next to someone life changing on a plane. Maybe a Steve Ballmer, a Steve Jobs, a Sergey Brin or a Larry Page? I doubt it though…….They all have their own Jets!

(Further Note: This was some irony in ‘Garage’ Man’s stories. Dave Packard was sitting in the row in front. Bill and Dave always sat next to each other on the plane but TWA had mucked up. Here’s the irony, Bill and Dave were 2 of TWA’s Directors! Bill was going to see personally that TWA never let this happen again)

Sorry for wasting 4 mins of your life. It saved me exploding.