August 19, 2013

Why Do You Read This Blog?

I'm at 2,500 blog posts.  That's a lot of writing!

What I don't get is a lot of feedback about why you read this content. I mean, the content is directed ultimately at two audiences ... Executives, and Analysts. That's a tough line to straddle!

So help me out today ... in the comments section (or email me at, please do the following.
  1. Tell me why you read the blog.
  2. Tell me where you found about about the blog.
  3. Tell me what you like best about the blog.
  4. Tell me what you don't like about the blog.
  5. Tell me the type of content you want me to cover in 2014 and beyond.
  6. Tell me what I'd have to do to cause you to hire me.
If you're not comfortable saying this in the comments section (anonymously is fine), please email me and provide feedback.



  1. 1. Your perspective is very unique for a marketer and business owner. As a vendor, you make me focus on profit and sales - the things that really matter to business owners.

    2. My former boss (CMO of a national cataloger) shared a post you did in 2007-2008 on Zappos.

    3. Your commentary on channel preferences.

    4. Sometimes it's hard to know what the posts are about by reading the title. I usually see the titles when you share them on Twitter.

    5. More on mobile and video, but not sure I'm your core reader so that might not make sense for you.

    6. Not sure I'm the ideal person to hire you, but my former boss would probably hire you if you could help with a new business launch that might help them understand channels other than catalog.

    1. Good feedback, thanks! Mobile and Video are interesting, for sure. Too much of what we're currently reading is tactical, and centralized on how one case succeeded (while others did exactly the same thing and failed). As I get some amount of commonality, I'll talk more about it. That will most certainly happen with mobile.

  2. 1. Because you are smart, insightful, practical, and clear
    2. from you (I think an eMetrics conference)
    3. stories from the trenches, problems you are solving / have solved with simple solutions; tips for managing tech. people and tips for communicating to c-suite
    4. sometimes I disagree but that isn't really a dislike; wouldn't be fun if we always agreed!
    5. whatever interests you.
    6. start a business with me, or ... we'll talk sometime about the other ways :)

    1. It's fine to disagree, for certain! Especially when disagreement prioritizes facts over trade journal hope. Thanks for reading, much appreciated.

  3. 1) Because you have so much experience that I don't, provide a perspective in an industry that I am not directly involved with and you aren't afraid to take a controversial stance.
    2) I found you through a blogroll link around 5-6 years ago. Likely from Avinash.
    3) I like the examples you provide with real (or even simulated) numbers. Helps me much more than theory.
    4) I don't like that I don't always have time to read posts as quickly as I'd like.
    5) One content idea might be to audit an existing business's marketing efforts and share the results. Another idea might be to provide benchmark data.
    6) Probably not someone who could hire you.

    1. Hi Jeff - benchmarking data is a tough one, because of non-disclosure agreements. As a result, I usually have to resort to simulated numbers.

      Honestly, it's the reason we are fed so much vapid theory. Nobody can share anything of value, so we're left with "Eight Reasons Why Facebook Commerce Might Change The Way We Shop, Forever, Or Not".

  4. 1. You have a senior level perspective on the evolution of buying channels (catalog to e-commerce, and now e-commerce to mobile) but understand that the magnitude and time-period of the shift is different across customer segments (and different for every business)
    2. Focus: One thing and one thing only: Profit. And profit is driven by sales of merchandise. You are one of the few pundits who note that customers buy products, they don’t buy channels. In fact, if a product is highly in-demand the channel may not matter. Customers will do whatever they can to find it.
    3. Twitter
    4. I would like to see more discussions of past experiences and real-world examples from clients. Whenever I talk to vendors, I make them give me real examples from current clients. To that end, I appreciate seeing hard data; it lets me draw my own conclusions.
    5. I would like to see more connections to current retailers and tech companies, as well as a discussion of the evolution of merchandise preferences and customer segments to mobile.
    6. Let's talk in 6-12 months (starting a new role)

  5. It's going to be tough to show real-world experiences from clients. They ask me to sign non-disclosure agreements - they don't want what I learn to be shared with the competition, can't blame them for that!

    That's maybe the toughest thing about doing consulting work. You learn SO MUCH. You have to put what you learn into future blog posts and projects, reshaping knowledge based on anticipation of where trends are going. You simply cannot share what you've just learned.

    Hopefully, the vendors you talk to have the authority to share information!

  6. You know, when you get right down to it, in some ways you operate a media company. You are a commentator. (Like me.) You create a ton of value in that regard. So change your fee agreement to reflect that. I did. My fee agreement contractually obligates my clients to speak with me for 90 mins in a project kickoff call, which I'll summarize and they'll edit / approve. This process allows me to "throw a little dirt on their uniform" in a job posting. This dirt, btw, is credibalizing and it makes them look more "real." Candidates LOVE transparency. I get 350 inquiries per year, and I take 200 of those deals. The deals I take serve my primary purpose as a marketer. People want to read about other peoples' foibles.

    1. Agree, there is probably a way to do things differently. And those ideas will manifest themselves in 2014!

  7. Anonymous11:48 PM

    1) Because you provide an honest assessment based on your experience not a "hey look at me I'm great", naval gazing approach like many others. I read your posts and tweets for a different reason to others because you often provide a conflicting perspective. It allows me to make a judgement.

    2) Twitter.

    3) Your perspective, you have a style which is yours. The best content is the content that teaches me something. I often want more from your tweets. Follow up articles about tweets 1-5 would be good in some cases (though in others you've already got the point across.

    4) Your mobile site sucks. Big time. I read this post last night and tried commenting via my iphone. The experience is totally different a) to read (dark grey background??) and b) commenting is almost impossible (try logging in!). I copied and paste this to evernote and copied it back here this morning. If a lot of your readers come from Twitter this is the experience they're having and this is why people aren't commenting. (No fee required! :)

    5) As you were. More teaching of the techniques would be useful. Data mining steps, analysis techniques etc etc.

    6) I doubt I'd hire you as a consultant because I am not your target audience for this. I run an agency that does some of the things you do already. Maybe online training or sparring sessions at low cost (see market motive) or more content we can purchase IE; books white papers which I've already purchased. Teach a man to fish.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. One of the lessons of this process is how many vendors & consultants read the content and then use it to hire their own clients. On Twitter, it's the vast majority of followers.

      Thanks for the feedback on mobile, only so much Google will allow me to do there but I will change a few things.


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