Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Its been a while since I have written a post. We’ve spent the last 6 months scaling a new business unit http://www.dealcurrent.com and I am remembering how important hiring the right way is.

We have gone from hiring 3 people  last year to hiring about 1 person a month and plan on growing to 40+ next year. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about how to recruit, and more importantly how to hire people for our team.

The two goals when hiring are recruiting talented people and maintaining an amazing culture.

Here are my keys to accomplishing this:

  1. Define the personality and skill set you want. I believe the key to hiring the right person is outlining the ideal person in advance before any interviews. This prevents you from being blinded by a great personality and ensures you find what you are looking for.
  2. The hiring process starts with the first phone interview. The first human impression you have on someone is the first phone screen. If you are hiring or someone on your team is, its important to discuss goals, job descriptions, and make clear the point that: “We are a great company and working here is something you have to work for”. Its not about being arrogant, but its about knowing you have built something great and that you want people who would do anything to work with you and they are willing to give everything they have.
  3. After the first interview with a manager, schedule team interviews and give everyone a “Veto” right. One of the things I have found is that people behave differently with a hiring manager than employees. Train your employees to ask questions that dig into personality, work ethic, and motivation. I have found many times that a person tells a manager one thing and a future co-worker another eliminating themselves before they even know it. Also give your team permission to raise an opinion or cast a Veto if someone just rubs them the wrong way. It is important that team members are involved in the hiring process. This increases the chance that a new hire will fill in, but also should get the recruit excited to work with your company.
  4. Remember hiring continues with training. One of the key things that is often overlooked is that the hiring/recruiting process is not done with the start date. This is like saying a sale is finished just because the contract is signed. Now you have to deliver. This is the same with a new hire. I believe when someone starts with your team you have one month to impress them and mold them into your culture. Sometimes you have less. It is important to have a training plan, create an agenda for their first week, and to expose them to all the operations they are directly or indirectly involved with. Everyone who starts with us spends 2-5 days shadowing our sales team. We want everyone to know how a client comes to us, contracts with us, and why they sign with us. Attracting and retaining clients is the key to every business, so its important to expose everyone to this and express the importance even if they are not in sales

Read Full Post »

I just read a great article about media publishers entering the daily deal market on Business Insider written by Jim Moran at Yipit.

The article title reads:

Groupon’s Biggest Threat? Local Publishers

The article covers some great points, but here is the most important part in my opinion for our clients and other media publishers.

Four keys for local publisher success

Focus on email. A page on a publisher’s site may fall short in effectiveness compared to a dedicated email subscriber base. Local content creators should drive dedicated email subscribers and leverage their existing email lists in their crafting their deal experience. The ones that already understand this, such as email newsletters, may have an easier time entering the fray. To this point, on the online sample front, DailyCandy already operates Swirl, and Thrillist recently acquired JackThreads. We may soon see these companies and others enter the local daily deal space as well.

Leverage legacy content. Local newspapers and magazines have a library of restaurant, bar, shop and service recommendations they made in the past. Just as studios leverage their film and television assets through DVDs, local publishers can point to past reviews in their daily deal offerings. Focusing on previously reviewed business may facilitate the sales process – local business who received sales boosts around their initial review would jump at the opportunity to be featured once more. Most importantly, utilizing historical endorsements maintains separation of editorial and commercial content.

Outsource. Some publishers face major internal hurdles to reorienting their web experience and marshaling their sales staff to roll out a full service group buying solution. Hosted group buying solutions, such as Group Commerce and others, who provide technology and/or sales solutions to publishers looking to present daily deal offerings to their consumers. Many of the publishers above pursue partnerships with existing deal services (such as four of the six above). Those may be an effective solution, but owning those email addresses for the long term will be key.

Present exclusive offers. As we mentioned in our analysis of Gilt Groupe’s daily deal offering, exclusivity can be a compelling aspect of a daily deal. Local publishers can present their offers as exclusive to their readers, reinforcing the value of the publication and adding excitement to their offer.

Groupon's Biggest Threat Local Publishers

Read Full Post »

We haven’t focused on any press, but we know the word is getting out about our daily deal software, Deal Current.

Kiplinger, the personal finance magazine, recently mentioned us in their article “Online Daily Deals Help Firms Gain Traffic

It’s exciting to see our team get recognition for their work along side some of the more well known daily deal companies like Living Social.

Kiplinger Mag features Deal Current

Read Full Post »

Sometimes you just come across thought provoking videos.

In this video, IBM discusses their smarter planet strategy. They interviewed three IBMers, featured in the video – in order of appearance: Mike Wing, Andy Stanford-Clark and John Tolva – and asked them to talk about what Internet of Things, System of Systems, and Smarter Planet mean to them.

There is also more great content on the Smarter Planet Blog.

Read Full Post »

The photo contest we’re hosting for the Oakland Raiders has taught me a great deal about art of the photo contest. I say ‘art’ because in my estimation, wining a photo contest for this brand requires part mathematical precession and part artistic finesse.

The Raiders are well known for having the most fanatic fans in the country. I grew up as a cheesehead in Wisconsin I will never forget my first experience with the ‘back hole’, apparently not all fans replicate a piece of cheese as headwear.

Those of us in the photo contest business know that there are three things that win contests: Babies, Pets and Girls (in no particular order). The Raider Fans sure know how to execute on the big three. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Ok, not quite a baby but still damn cute

Read Full Post »

Last week we (Artistic Hub) launched a Fan Photo Contest for the OAKLAND RAIDERS. We know the Raiders have fanatical fans and we were excited to allow them to post their own photos and vote on their favorites. They have truly shown their support for the team because the traffic and submissions have been through the roof! GO RAIDER FANS!

Do you know someone that’s a part of the Raider Nation? Tell them about the contest.


1. Submit a photo of you in all of your Raider glory.

2. Vote! The winner is based on public votes, so tweet, post and promote.

3. WIN – new winners announced every Wednesday so get started…
The team offers great prizes including a game football signed by Shane Lechler, tickets to the games and RAIDERS Gear. New Prizes every week. Check it out!


The first 24 hours: 180 Photos Submitted / 100,000 votes

Today – Day 11: 915 Photos Submitted / 555,000 Votes

Fan Engagement… Go Team Hub!

Read this post by Patrick Dillon, President of Artistic Hub, to learn why most contests don’t work and what we do different.

Read Full Post »

‘Tis the season for wish lists and our high hopes for next year so let’s not waste time warming up. Undoubtedly 2009 was the year of twitter, if it weren’t for Obama Time’s Person of the Year could easily be the twitter bird.

Here is my wish list for social media and interactive marketing in 2010:

  • Twitter grows in quality not quantity
    • Grows as an information distribution channel
    • Creativity is key

Twitter has outgrown its frenetic buzz and with a lofty billion-dollar valuation it’s time to get down to business. While some major brands are counting big name celebs to twit the word I think the majority of twitter users will hone in on niche tweeters like Food Cart Vendors, or Pulp Fiction Screen Writer Roger @Avary supposedly tweeting from prison.

Great segway to my next point:

  • Social Networks become more defined

Much of the unnecessary noise will be cut from twitter and Facebook will become personal again (for most of us…). Zuckerberg’s open letter to the 350 million Facebook users points to increased privacy controls for 2010 allowing for users to easily control exactly who see what. This is great news for LinkedIn who has seen a drop off in active users since Facebook popped. That along with twitter integration and pressure to open up their platform to more features should mean more professionals visiting LinkedIn more often.

Every indication is that consumers are breaking themselves into smaller and smaller segments and want products and services designed specifically for them. Ning got hot 2007-2008 but seemed to fall off in 2009. A bumper crop of technology-savvy users with more free time and easy access will bode well for Ning in 2010.

My final hope on this point is that people will stop listing Myspace as a social network. I always wonder when people talk about their Myspace account who else they talk to on there… Myspace has a great niche going for music and is the go-to source for checking out new artists, let’s keep rolling with that.

  • Engagement applications running in real-time across multiple platforms

There are two thoughts here: Consumers prefer to connect with brands on a social network (Facebook) but Facebook’s coding language has limited capabilities and brands prefer consumer’s spending time on their site where they can direct their attention.

Kleneex’s Get Mommed campaign is a great example- overall a great campaign. Their site has a great application where you can pick your Mom, your symptoms and she’ll pamper you. The Facebook extension is also a great effort but lacking interactivity.

  • White-labeled Phone apps

It seems like most major brands have an iphone app out of some kind.   Pepsico’s Amp energy drink released the “Amp Up Before You Score” app created by R/GA (Interpublic Group). The app had Pepsi apologizing before many customers got to test the cheesy pick up lines the application offered.

Done correctly, these applications could throw a major lifeline to local media properties. The application can offer local news, weather and sports on-demand as well as a submissions feature for eyewitness photos and videos. Technology and an attractive pricing model are the biggest challenges to get such a project off the ground but if built in a scalable model this could help change the fate of local media outlets.

There ya have it- four things that I think could really change the social media space for the better. Some of them are way out there and might be wishful thinking but I think the shift to a more focused approach to how we use social technologies.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.