Monday, November 20, 2006

It all comes down to time or money

My husband and I are often puzzled by how frequently we find ourselves saying "why isn't there any food in the house? Am I exaggerating? Maybe just a little… I mean after all, how much food could two five year old girls possibly eat? You'd be surprised.

We feel like we are constantly going grocery shopping. Either him, late at night after the kids are in bed…or me on the weekend dragging two weary 5 year olds behind me. As a rule, I don't mind going grocery shopping, but somehow, by the time I get to the register, I often become a raving lunatic as I've just spent 15 or 20 aisles going…"come on, girls. Walk faster" or "STOP IT" in varying degrees of urgency and volume. So that by the time I actually get out the store, I feel like the world's worst parent and I just want to throw something at someone.

So the last time I was at my local supermarket, I noticed that they were offering a shop at home service where you can order online and then either pick up or have the stuff delivered. The cost is minimal. Ten bucks to order online and an additional 10 if you want them to deliver it. And for me, another "excuse" to be online. (as if I needed one!)

In a nutshell, order online, pick a window of time about 4 hours later to pick it all up, show up at the store and pay for and claim your already bagged groceries.

No wandering the aisles in search of something. No impulse buying. No standing in line behind that person who decides to write a check. Or the one who is arguing with the cashier over the validity of the expired coupon.

Just show up and get your stuff. What could be better than that?

Admittedly, I did forget a few things that I might have remembered if I was walking up and down the aisles. But I certainly found a better use for the time on a Saturday afternoon with my kids.

$10 well spent. Try it if you can.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I'm spreading my wings and listing this blog in a bunch of places. You'll soon see me listed on BlogHer and with a profile on Technorati. Technorati Profile
Word of Mouth Marketing

Obviously I’m a bit of a techno geek.

One of my favorite bloggers, Sarah and the Goon Squad had a link on her site not too long ago for a free sample of something. I forget what. Turned out it was a link to a marketing service where you can sign up to receive free samples of stuff. Now, who doesn’t love free stuff? So of course I signed up.

Today I got a little survey from the same site, asking me how I typically decide what to purchase and if I influence others with those decisions. (Do I ever!) They obviously don’t know who they are talking to. I’ve been known to research things TO DEATH! Cameras, phones, washing machines, you name it. I read the expert reviews, I go to epinions and read the consumer reviews, I ask around. I go to a few stores so I can touch and feel the item in question. And I narrow it down to two or three items… Well, you get the picture. And you can bet that if I have an opinion about something, everyone is going to hear about it.

Anyway, there was a link at the bottom of the survey with a logo for WOMMA, which is the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Given the nature of the survey I just took, I feel like I am the poster child for WOMMA. But the stuff I found on their site even made me go “WOW, some of this stuff is brilliant.”

Take for instance the whole concept of Second Life. There’s an article on blogworks (a great marketing blog, by the way), that discusses how advertisers are jumping on the bandwagon with this service and creating brand awareness in this simulated world. Brilliant, except for one thing. Are the people addicted to Second Life leaving their house long enough to purchase these items in the real world? If so, then, yes…this is indeed brilliant marketing. Even the CDC is getting in the act with a place in Second Life for flu prevention and treatment info. The CDC!!? Who’s next? AARP?

(On a little side note, I find it a bit preposterous that people are paying a monthly service to create an avatar and a life for that avatar. But that's just me. I just file it under the same category as Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy baseball.)

Never before in the history of advertising has there been so many direct lines and two way communication between marketers, consumers and even politicians. Obviously, if you are reading blogs, this means YOU. Want to have influence? Too late, you already do.

It used to be that if you really loved…or in most cases, really hated a product or service, you could call a random customer service number and complain to a nameless voice or take out your little pen and paper and write a letter of complaint. Now, not only can you email the company directly but you have the power to influence others by posting to a blog, posting a message on a board, commenting on a site or any variety of other ways. And apparently the marketers are listening. And I’m sure tickled that they needn’t bother as much with those expensive focus groups.

Marketers (smart ones, anyway) are scouring blogs, message boards and services like myspace to see what you think. And better yet, adjusting their marketing efforts accordingly.

I feel pretty powerful knowing that. Don’t you?

What will you do with that power? Who will you influence?

(stepping down off of my emarketing soap box now)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Every decision comes down to these three choices

I’ve been at the same company for nearly 7 years. Longer than I’ve been anywhere. The main function of my job is as project manager for my company’s many many web sites. In a nutshell, my problem is this… the “powers that be” really have no clue what it takes to create these masterpieces, and while they sit around with those “big ideas” SOMEONE, has to actually do the work. So I’m consistently short handed.

My direct supervisor got fed up and just took another position in the company. And the guy who she reported to is not only clueless most of the time about what I do but (more importantly), powerless to help me get some additional resources.

So, I sought the counsel of someone who I used to work for, thinking she might be able to offer some guidance. An hour long pep talk came down to these three choices.
  • Suck it up and see where the chips fall
  • Work to create a solution to make it better
  • Get out

And I left her office thinking that nearly every decision we make in life comes down to these three choices. Think about it…. Don’t like your job? See above. In a bad relationship? See above.

As I see it, each has it’s own pros and cons. If I suck it up, then I can look forward to more of the same. Wonder how much I can take before my head explodes. Or my dept head might actually be able to pull a rabbit out of his hat in the new year…. Doubtful

I’ve already tried the “work to make it better” option and it’s gotten me nowhere.

So that leaves me here… hating my job. Reluctant to leave because of some perks and benefits that I’m fond of. But really having no choice. ACK!

Life is too short to hate your job, right? Guess it’s time to dust off my resume.

Anyone want to hire a hard working Internet Marketing Manager?

I’m sure I’ll have more to say on navigating the job market. I suspect it will suck.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Elections as a sport

Today, I am giddy.

I am not a big sports fan (much to the annoyance of my father and brothers). And I never really GOT the excitement over watching your team win…or the “WE WON” mentality that goes along with being an avid fan.

Today I get it.

Elections, like most Super Bowls, are often kind of dry and very seldom close. Sure there’s the occasional presidential election that goes down to the wire… But most of the time, there are no big surprises, no need for instant replays and not much overtime.

Last night, I stayed up WAY too late watching election results, giddy with excitement that my team was finally edging out ahead. I was not only cheering for my home team but for everyone’s home team. I truly felt like the sports nuts I like to make fun of who can quote the stats of their favorite players. I couldn’t believe I was so engrossed in up to the minute results from states I have never set foot in.

Today, I feel like my vote counted for something.

Go Dems, Go!