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Jason Falls

Defining What You Are, And Are Not

by · February 17, 2014

The Achille’s Heel of agencies is they often don’t know how to say, “no.” Clients ask them if they can launch a website. Yes! Can they write a speech? Yes! Can they manage a text campaign? Yes! Can they wrap a tour bus? Yes!

The problem is that more often than not, the correct answer an agency should give is, “no.” While there’s nothing wrong with finding a suitable vendor or third party to help the client, most agencies fear appearing incapable of anything, so they say, “yes!” and figure out how later.

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The Bitter Pill of Digital and Social Marketing Success

by · February 10, 2014

Think of the most important professional project you’ve ever been a part of. It doesn’t matter what business or industry, or for that matter what silo the work happened in. Just think of the big project that you look back on and say, “I’m proud to have been a part of that.”

Now ask yourself this question: Was it easy to pull off?

Most likely, the answer is, of course, “No.” Nothing worth doing is effortless.

Why then, do marketers and business owners alike come to conferences, read blog posts, attend webinars, read books and such, looking for an easy button? If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. If it’s worth remembering, it wasn’t easy.

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What It Takes To Produce Holy Smokes!

by · February 3, 2014

Think of the stories, videos or posts you’ve shared or commented on in the last 24 hours. You can even scroll back through your Facebook activity feed to see which ones caught your eye. (Find it by going to http://www.facebook.com/username/allactivity where “username” is your username.)

Now do a quick gut-check analysis of the topics, headlines or reasons you clicked, shared or commented. What do they all have in common?

Unless you’ve got the personality of plywood, the common thread was that each triggered an emotional response. Consider this from my weekend:

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The Me Talk Contradiction

by · January 27, 2014

Chris Brogan thinks he doesn’t talk enough about himself on social channels.

WARNING: Some of this will be a little inside baseball in the social marketing world, but bear with me … there’s an interesting debate to be had here.

Before we get all wrinkled nose, Chris and I are friends. I’d say good friends, though we don’t spend nearly enough time together. I love him and everything he does. We don’t always agree on everything, but I’ve considered him a friend and even mentor for some time.

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Overcoming Skepticism On Social Campaigns And Vine

by · January 13, 2014

Lots of brands pitch us at Social Media Explorer to talk about the nifty social media campaigns they’re launching. Most pitches make me sick to my stomach for a variety of reasons. The majority because your plan doesn’t interest me. Your success does. Pitch me after the thing is over and you can share some success metrics.

Sometimes its because the campaign premise is disingenuous or just a spin on advertising applied in the social space. And yes, sometimes its because the PR person or firm in question is spam-tastic or pitches me something I’d never write about in the first place.

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Where Is Marketing And Where Is It Headed?

by · January 8, 2014

Exact Target released new research this morning that looks at the State of Marketing in 2014. The research, pulled from over 2,500 marketing professionals, has some interesting trends and developments that tell us a bit about where our own heads are and where many are moving.

As expected, the priority for marketers in 2014 is to drive increased conversion rates and improve brand awareness. Collecting and measuring behavioral data comes in third with the other two neck and neck, but those two are what marketers are typically charged with. What surprised me at first glance was that 61 percent of the respondents said the planned to increase spending for data and analytics, which was the highest among other areas. Certainly, quantifying and qualifying success is important, but this category in the lead may indicate that marketers are not satisfied in understanding of what they get in return.

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Before You Answer, Ask

by · December 31, 2013

When people are aggravated or even upset, the natural reaction is to verbalize what they would do differently or what they think should be done to fix whatever the problem is. “Why can’t you just deliver my package?!” “I would have thought about the holiday rush ahead of time and hired more people!”

Not that these particular quotes have come up in conversation recently or anything. Heh.

What I find fascinating about these moments when people interject their solution to whatever problem you face is that knee jerks are always uninformed. But it works for us as well as customers. When we say, “Well, I would do X,” or “Why didn’t you do Y,” we’re just as uniformed as the frustrated customer.

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Finding A Cosy Little Nook

by · December 23, 2013

I’m sitting in a neat little bookstore and coffee shop — a cosy little nook off the main drag in a small town just outside of Louisville. The owner said they closed at 6, but she didn’t mind me and Katie hanging around for a little while longer while she caught up with clean up and closing.

There are Christmas carols playing on the radio, Katie is playing with their Lego table set and I’m writing a bit. Other than the owner, there’s no one else here. It feels very much like a storybook place from a good book. The mix of old books, roasting coffee beans and ancient hardwood floors sings a General Store tune with the clang of a spittoon to keep the rhythm.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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