Archive for November, 2008


T’was the night before Thanksgiving

Today was fun.  Full of people taking off from work early or at minimum leaving work mentally as they focused on things that needed to be done for the big dinner tomorrow.  Sad news rocked us as our friends and some co-workers in Mumbai were rocked by terrorists.  Our prays and good thoughts go out to all of those people who were hurt, injured or killed.  Truely, we American’s must take a moment to be thankful for our safety, especially in these times of turmoil around the world.

I’ve been enjoying the brisk weather and the conversations with friends who are more than willing to share their thoughts on the economy, politics and of course what is the best way to prepare a turkey.  Yes Martha, take the giblets bag out of the turkey prior to cooking.

Silicon Valley CMO Summit registration has been moving along nicely.  We should be sold out by next week and talking with the presenters of the program…they are very excited to share their thoughts.  Wishing you all a warm and toasty Thanksgiving.


Lots to be thankful for…

…even if it is a bit bleak out there. It’s the start of Thanksgiving week and my family and I are off visiting family and friends in Cleveland, Ohio. Burr, it’s cold here in the mid- 20’s and snowing…just like I remember as a child growing up here. On Monday, I took my son for a tour of Cleveland and was amazed at just how much the downtown area has changed for the better. Their redevelopment program has completely changed the face of their main street Euclid Avenue, which runs from the Westside to the Eastside of Cleveland.


I also found a part of the downtown area that is completely abandoned…whole sky rise buildings empty. It was a bit dramatic as I remember what a center of commerce the downtown area had been. It reminds me somewhat of the Silicon Valley corridor with the many empty tilt-ups once filled with the dreams and aspirations of entrepreneurs wanting to be the next Apple or Google.


So as we prepare to feast with family, I’m reflecting on what was and is, but thankful for friends, family and colleagues for their trust and support. We all know next year will be better for us and the future will be brighter as we make course adjustments and learn from past missteps. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving!


Proud to be an American

Today’s incoming email for me was interesting as it contained 3 different comments about our President elect Obama. Surprisingly they were all very complimentary, positive in tone and one showing a nice slice of life humorist twist. Add to this email comments and posts from my friends and colleagues internationally I’d say we picked a winner. My friend Bernard in France wrote to say “You American’s finally got it right!” Can you imagine a French guy admitting we got something right for a change?

My friend in China dropped me a note that the talk around his town has been all good and they feel President Obama will make a big difference in how the world see’s us. Wow…can you imagine that. Getting a little of the worn and dingy grime off of our image, it’s very promising to hear and can’t wait to see what the future brings.

I’m not sure many of you remember the “Buy American” campaign that ran during the 70’s, I think it was part of the American Auto Industry trying to use the brute force of marketing to help make their crappy products more competitive with the imports. I wonder if it is time once again to bring that campaign back. We need to take pride in our products and reinvest our buying power in ourselves. And you have to admit, the car guys are getting quality of their products to compete against the Asian craftsman…well OK, not Chrysler. At least switch our buying habits until we can get unemployment under control. What are your thoughts?


Save the Date…December 11, 2008

Save the Date: Thursday, December 11th for CMO Summit with topic to be “Global Marketing in today’s Economic Turmoil.”  Guest panelist include Econmists discussing their vision of the future economy; Allan Linden Global Marketing Consultants discussing strategies for marketing in a downturned economy; Christina Elwood of Moreland Associates discussing tools and strategies for selecting the right targets and then creating the right messaging to sell them.

This is an exclusive roundtable discussion, hosted at J. Lohr Winery Tasting Room in San Jose, California. Seating is limited and by invite only.  For more details, email us at


Fear, Dought, Uncertainty

Interesting news starting Monday of this week…DHL to close North American facility laying off over 9,000 peopole. GM to close Delphia and will probably lose their GMC Mortgage division to BK. President elect Obama is already on the hot-seat and hasn’t even been inducted to office.  If you look at all of the negative news right now, you’d think the sky has fallen and can’t get up.  So, what’s a person to do?

Remember the adage “What goes up must come down and visa versa.”  One suggestion is to start planning for a very successful 2009, with first quarter ramping up to a very hot 2nd quarter in sales in all sectors.  As marketing professionals, use your visionary talents to start thinking out of the norm and plan for agressive action in securing market share, gaining new customers and of course, maintaining your current customers.

What do you think?  Will your boss or VC give you money to market and bet on the future?


Day After Can We Live With Our Choices?

Well, we’ve all lived through a bit of history with the election of our first black president.  The comments around the water cooler have ranged from “how fantastic” to “OMG, I can’t believe they elected this guy.” Himmm, can you guess who the later person’s choice was?

So here’s the deal…based on past experience here in Silicon Valley, and living through 4 presidential elections and 3 down turns in the economy, I believe we will start seeing a positive change starting in March.  Why? By March, President Obama will have been in office almost 2 months, and business will be starting their selling cycle. At this point too, you and I will have a feeling of confidence and false hope, just enough to get the economic engine turning again.  If all holds true, we might even see some very innovative new products or services being introduced to help give buyers a reason to buy.

So, what do you think?  Let’s share some collective brain waves on the subject.


Global View and Today’s Economy

In a few days the world will be settling into realization that the people have chosen their new government leaders.  Certainly, our new President and Vice President will be the topic of many conversations. So the questions that must be answered from a marketer’s view include:

1. How will this personnel change affect me, my clients, my ability to market a product or service?

2. Will it be easier to market Globally? If so, when?

3. What new strategies must be looked at to market in the turmoil of world economics?

If you have some thoughts, please share them?

November 2008