Eric Sink is a marketing genius!

I’m downloading IE 7, RC1 and while I’m doing that I’m reading some blogs. Translation: avoiding answering email. I hate email. I hate email. I hate email.

This morning Maryam and I got up to speak to marketing executives from a bunch of big companies (as big as Microsoft). They were asking: “how do you get people talking about them?”

So, it’s very good that I have this to point to today. Actually, Eric Sink is a developer, but he plays a marketing genius on the blogs. Seriously, his post on how to get people talking about your product is RIGHT ON!

I’m sending it to everyone at PodTech.

When I said recently “Microsoft doesn’t understand small things” this is EXACTLY what I was talking about.

How did I start my blog? By publishing for two people. I didn’t go out and try to build a huge audience.

34 thoughts on “Eric Sink is a marketing genius!

  1. Thanks for your response, Robert.

    I can understand your reasoning for your videoblog. What about for your company, PodTech, as a whole? It seems almost dangerous to rely on just the ubergeeks to bring PodTech “across the chasm.” I’m curious about Christopher Coulter’s comment (“someone writing for one or two people now, will end up writing for one or two people…it won’t scale.”)–he seems to be saying: okay, you start off niche, but for how long? And how do you scale up to a larger audience?

    What about YouTube? YouTube is a very fanned-out, non-nichy service…they didn’t confine themselves into a niche audience; they let people of all interests and categories go out and upload whatever the heck they want, probably in the most kitchen sink of ways. They garnered a huge audience from simply being everything and anything.

  2. Thanks for your response, Robert.

    I can understand your reasoning for your videoblog. What about for your company, PodTech, as a whole? It seems almost dangerous to rely on just the ubergeeks to bring PodTech “across the chasm.” I’m curious about Christopher Coulter’s comment (“someone writing for one or two people now, will end up writing for one or two people…it won’t scale.”)–he seems to be saying: okay, you start off niche, but for how long? And how do you scale up to a larger audience?

    What about YouTube? YouTube is a very fanned-out, non-nichy service…they didn’t confine themselves into a niche audience; they let people of all interests and categories go out and upload whatever the heck they want, probably in the most kitchen sink of ways. They garnered a huge audience from simply being everything and anything.

  3. Andrea: with my videoblog? I care about the audience who cares about technology. That already is a very small set. And, then, I go further. I aim at only the most passionate. That’s why I do 50 minute videos a lot of times. I don’t care if millions show up. I just want an audience that says “that’s f’ing cool.”

    Hint: you won’t get the larger audience if you don’t impress the most passionate.

  4. Andrea: with my videoblog? I care about the audience who cares about technology. That already is a very small set. And, then, I go further. I aim at only the most passionate. That’s why I do 50 minute videos a lot of times. I don’t care if millions show up. I just want an audience that says “that’s f’ing cool.”

    Hint: you won’t get the larger audience if you don’t impress the most passionate.

  5. Robert,

    I just stumbled across your post, so apologies for the late out-of-the-blue comment. Fascinating article–months after you sent it out at PodTech, do your colleagues agree with you and do you think they’re doing what Eric Sink recommends?

    Here’s what I’m wondering about, in relation to the article:

    Who’s the audience you have in mind when you produce your videoblogs for PodTech? Do you care about the Internet community at large, or just the uber-geeks?

    And if one or the other – whether broad or niche – why? Aren’t you confining yourself if you’re just trying to produce “for two people” without thinking about how to capture a bigger audience? How well does targeting small niche audience work for a small startup that’s struggling to make it big?

    Look forward to your response!

  6. Robert,

    I just stumbled across your post, so apologies for the late out-of-the-blue comment. Fascinating article–months after you sent it out at PodTech, do your colleagues agree with you and do you think they’re doing what Eric Sink recommends?

    Here’s what I’m wondering about, in relation to the article:

    Who’s the audience you have in mind when you produce your videoblogs for PodTech? Do you care about the Internet community at large, or just the uber-geeks?

    And if one or the other – whether broad or niche – why? Aren’t you confining yourself if you’re just trying to produce “for two people” without thinking about how to capture a bigger audience? How well does targeting small niche audience work for a small startup that’s struggling to make it big?

    Look forward to your response!

  7. Your “I hate EMail” comments really strike a chord with me. I am new to the blogging environment and the only link you will see thus far on my blog site (http://serviceinnovations.spaces.live.com/) is Ray Ozzie’s “The death of EMail”. Robert, your “Naked Conversations” book has inspired me to begin blogging about our stowic Mechanical Contracting business (Yes, some of us do exist – as mentioned at the end of Chapter five). Collaboration has been at the core of my being for many years from Lotus Notes to Groove and now for the last few years in Sharepoint. Blogs are fantastic, thanks again for the motivation! Best regards, Greg Lush (www.thelincgroup.com)

  8. Your “I hate EMail” comments really strike a chord with me. I am new to the blogging environment and the only link you will see thus far on my blog site (http://serviceinnovations.spaces.live.com/) is Ray Ozzie’s “The death of EMail”. Robert, your “Naked Conversations” book has inspired me to begin blogging about our stowic Mechanical Contracting business (Yes, some of us do exist – as mentioned at the end of Chapter five). Collaboration has been at the core of my being for many years from Lotus Notes to Groove and now for the last few years in Sharepoint. Blogs are fantastic, thanks again for the motivation! Best regards, Greg Lush (www.thelincgroup.com)

  9. John Dodds,

    The problem is that Marketing 101 is not “make a great product and people will love it and want to talk about it.” It is usually “determine how you can get the biggest segment of potential customers to buy the product–regardless of quality”. And the thing is that both approaches work just fine–it just costs more to market the mediocre product over time. Now we have to think about the Long Tail which tells us that we need to make a bunch of small products for a bunch of small sub-segments.

    Marketing is much more complex than can be expressed here. There is first position, (Windows), alternative solutions and under-dogging (mac and linux). There are companies out there whose mediocrity is so refined that we are comforted by their consistency such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s.

    This is the second time I have written this today: Sometimes it takes longer to express the full meaning of one’s position.

    It is arrogant to say everybody knows this. I have been working with small business for more than a decade and I have learned that you can’t assume that businesses know anything about marketing. It is them that will get the most of Eric’s article. In larger business if they haven’t killed the creativity, they will learn something from Eric’s article. For everyone else who knows everything else–they wouldn’t read the article anyway.

    All the best,

    Jay

  10. John Dodds,

    The problem is that Marketing 101 is not “make a great product and people will love it and want to talk about it.” It is usually “determine how you can get the biggest segment of potential customers to buy the product–regardless of quality”. And the thing is that both approaches work just fine–it just costs more to market the mediocre product over time. Now we have to think about the Long Tail which tells us that we need to make a bunch of small products for a bunch of small sub-segments.

    Marketing is much more complex than can be expressed here. There is first position, (Windows), alternative solutions and under-dogging (mac and linux). There are companies out there whose mediocrity is so refined that we are comforted by their consistency such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s.

    This is the second time I have written this today: Sometimes it takes longer to express the full meaning of one’s position.

    It is arrogant to say everybody knows this. I have been working with small business for more than a decade and I have learned that you can’t assume that businesses know anything about marketing. It is them that will get the most of Eric’s article. In larger business if they haven’t killed the creativity, they will learn something from Eric’s article. For everyone else who knows everything else–they wouldn’t read the article anyway.

    All the best,

    Jay

  11. the thing I dont like about IE 7 is that I dont use search box or toolbar until recentle google released a new toolbar with page rankings anyways to my point . I dont like the fact that the tab bar shares space on the same bar and not able to move it to the bottom of the page and browser itself like on avant or firefox , also that that the adress bar is on top you use to be able to move toolbat and most icons drag them anywhere and design it the way you like, also one last issue will ie include skins there seems at this point to be a lack of skins???

  12. the thing I dont like about IE 7 is that I dont use search box or toolbar until recentle google released a new toolbar with page rankings anyways to my point . I dont like the fact that the tab bar shares space on the same bar and not able to move it to the bottom of the page and browser itself like on avant or firefox , also that that the adress bar is on top you use to be able to move toolbat and most icons drag them anywhere and design it the way you like, also one last issue will ie include skins there seems at this point to be a lack of skins???

  13. I didn’t go out and try to build a huge audience.

    Yeah, and I got a great deal on this here Brookyln Bridge. Come on, your conference promoing, name dropping, Google Juicing, linking tricks, ego-name keyword searches, party-hob knobbing, shaky camming and flamebaity naked controversial convo’s are all about huge audiences. I give you credit here, but your false humility is just that, false. You were big audience from the get-go…someone writing for one or two people now, will end up writing for one or two people…it won’t scale.

  14. I didn’t go out and try to build a huge audience.

    Yeah, and I got a great deal on this here Brookyln Bridge. Come on, your conference promoing, name dropping, Google Juicing, linking tricks, ego-name keyword searches, party-hob knobbing, shaky camming and flamebaity naked controversial convo’s are all about huge audiences. I give you credit here, but your false humility is just that, false. You were big audience from the get-go…someone writing for one or two people now, will end up writing for one or two people…it won’t scale.

  15. So from a podcasting perspective – build a podcast that a small group of people will absolutely love, and then pray they talk about it? Would that explain the popularity of shows like The Daily Source Code or Dawn and Drew?

  16. So from a podcasting perspective – build a podcast that a small group of people will absolutely love, and then pray they talk about it? Would that explain the popularity of shows like The Daily Source Code or Dawn and Drew?

  17. Met: look at the reception of Windows Live Writer. Very positive. Why? Focused on one group and did a pretty decent job.

    If you can radically please at least one person in earth you are very likely to find more people who will also like your work.

    The problem with Microsoft’s marketers (and, really, most every company) is that they study large groups and try to find the bell curve. Well, put me in any group and I look like an outlier. So, you’ll just forget about me altogether. Hell, you’re an outlier too, just because you read my blog (only a small percentage of humans on earth do, how do you like being a weirdo?)

  18. Met: look at the reception of Windows Live Writer. Very positive. Why? Focused on one group and did a pretty decent job.

    If you can radically please at least one person in earth you are very likely to find more people who will also like your work.

    The problem with Microsoft’s marketers (and, really, most every company) is that they study large groups and try to find the bell curve. Well, put me in any group and I look like an outlier. So, you’ll just forget about me altogether. Hell, you’re an outlier too, just because you read my blog (only a small percentage of humans on earth do, how do you like being a weirdo?)

  19. He is a marketing genius???
    He is talking about instances where marketing fails. Since he is a techie, he focuses on what should be built and not on how it should be made to look like.

    Since he started by taking a jab at MS. What can marketers do differently with windows? Any suggestions (apart from “go build it better”) ?

  20. He is a marketing genius???
    He is talking about instances where marketing fails. Since he is a techie, he focuses on what should be built and not on how it should be made to look like.

    Since he started by taking a jab at MS. What can marketers do differently with windows? Any suggestions (apart from “go build it better”) ?

  21. a blog is your oppinions, if people want to read it good for you, if not o well, its for you and you only

    thats the way i see it, but some money from the google adsense people is nice too ;)

  22. a blog is your oppinions, if people want to read it good for you, if not o well, its for you and you only

    thats the way i see it, but some money from the google adsense people is nice too ;)

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