JCL Blog

Lance Wants The Money

Lance knows he did it and so does everyone else.  Nike knows it and they are sticking with Lance, and Oakley and Budweiser too.  Good thing I switched to Coors this summer.

Now I have been known to go over the speed limit.  When my kids say: “Daaad!” I say that it is best not to get caught speeding, but I do it anyway.  When I do get caught however, I pay the ticket.  I don’t put my fingers in my ears and say “LALALALALA”, skip my court date and then say I wasn’t speeding.  It is true that everyone else was doing it too and I was just stupid enough to get caught.  But speeding I was.

Lance Armstrong won 7 Tour de France titles because he was better at doping than everyone else that was doping -- of which there were many people I’m sure.  He is not a great athlete, he is a great doper.  

I would guess that Lance is trying to hang on to prize money and endorsement money that he won by breaking the rules and weaseling out of it better than the other guys.  I hope that in the end the lawyers drain him dry.  Maybe then the sponsors will bail too.   If Lance was really going to LiveStrong - he would give back the titles and the money and do what he can to inspire the next generation to seek victory on the training track instead of in the lab.

Any advertiser that chooses to stand by Lance now should have its head examined.

The NY Times Lays Out the Facts.

Ad Age reporting the Nike, Oakley, and Anheuser-Busch stick with Lance.

The Wall Street Journal wants Lance to get out of the grey.

Best Quote:  

He could have chosen to go to arbitration, which would have meant that witnesses could testify against him in a hearing possibly open to the public. Instead, he chose to bow out of the process.

in the NY Times.

Meaningful Marketing: 3 Must Haves

To some people the words "meaningful" and "marketing" just should not be found together.  I prefer to think of this as an opportunity instead of an oxymoron.  Rarely does a day go by without hearing someone discard ideas, thoughts, or proposals as worthless with a dismissive comment like "oh, that's just marketing".

Despite this flood of popular sentiment against the value of marketing, it is possible for marketing departments to do something meaningful.  Take Google Fiber for example.  Later this month, Google will go live with its fiber network in Kansas City.  This initiative to bring super high speed internet connections to an entire community will have some engineering value, but really it is brilliant marketing.  Meaningful Marketing in fact.

Here is where I set the bar on achieving meaning in marketing:

New Revenue:  No way around it, Marketing must create new revenue.  This is the same measure everyone else uses, so I thought I would put it first.  Don't roll your eyes yet, the next two do propose less traditional measures of meaning.  And after this item I am not going to include "building the brand", "supporting the key messaging" or any other marketing mumbo jumbo.  In the case of Google Fiber, the 25% of the population in the Kansas City community that do not now use the Internet -- will clearly be a new revenue opportunity for Google.

Bi-Directional:  Just like the Cluetrain Manifesto said over a decade ago.  Marketing should be a conversation.  A full page advertisement is a megaphone blasting away at customers - not bi-directional at all.  The Google Fiber idea is bi-directional because Google will see what the customers decide to do with their connection.  Even if they do nothing, that in itself is a communication to Google.  Some people will say that a company like Google is not good at meaningful marketing because they have no phone number on their web site and no call center to call.  I disagree.  Google watches every communication customers send -- as they use Google's search engine -- and make daily improvements to the algorithm in response.

Intrinsic Value:  Finally, and very few people do this today, marketing should have some intrinsic value of its own - and that is value to the customer.  Marketers often think that even if their campaign does not drive revenue, it does support the brand, or generates goodwill.  This is not of value to the customer.  Google Fiber does have intrinsic value because a free fiber connection to the internet does benefit those that are connected.   

I am on the hunt for other examples of Meaningful Marketing initiatives.  Feel free to send them my way.