Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jeter a Red Sox?

Wow! What a thought?

Derek Jeter, the heart and soul of the New York Yankees’ franchise for the last 15 years since his debut in 1995. Jeter has won 5 World Series, 5 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Slugger awards, and has made 11 All-Star appearances over his illustrious career.

So you ask, how does New York let a player of that caliber reach free agency? I can’t answer that question, but I’m really glad they did. History has been shown to repeat itself.

On January 3, 1920, New York pulled off perhaps the greatest acquisition in baseball history by acquiring Herman “Babe” Ruth from the Boston Red Sox. Red Sox owner Harry Frazee regretted this deal for the rest of his life, as the Yankees went on to win an astounding 7 World Series titles with Ruth. The Red Sox went 86 years before they would finally break through and win the World Series in 2004.

Frazee, a theatrical producer, used the proceeds from the Ruth trade to produce a Broadway musical called “No, No, Nanette”, originally called a non-musical named “My Lady Friends”.

The “Curse of the Bambino” was widely blamed for the lack of success for the Boston franchise, until in 2004, the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit against the hated New York Yankees, to win the American League Championship series 4-3. The Sox went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 to win the World Series.

Many feel the “Curse of the Bambino” was broken when the Babe’s piano was found in Willis Pond, in Sudbury Massachusetts. Local legend has it that Ruth, an avid piano player, pushed the upright onto the ice in 1919 during a stay at one of the pond's cabins. Two men who grew up on the pond said they remember setting fire to the piano in 1973 and pushing it into the water.

Babe Ruth at Willis Pond, prior to spring training 1918, waiting for his ride into Boston. "I'll see you kids at Fenway Park this summer.

Back to Derek Jeter……..The Red Sox could certainly use a player of Jeter’s caliber. Ever since that day in 2004 when he dove into the stands at Fenway Park for a foul ball while the Sox poster boy Nomar Garciaparra watched from his bench with an supposed injury, he has been a fan favorite of Red Sox Nation. Personally, I don’t like the Yankees, but I follow them as closely as I follow the Red Sox. I have always respected Jeter’s character, work ethic, and skills. He may not be the greatest shortstop of all time, but he’s worthy of being included in the discussion. Will he ever leave the Yankees, probably not? But ask any Bruins fan if they thought the greatest athlete in Boston history (do I really need to name him?......Bobby Orr) would ever leave Boston and you’ll get your answer.

Here’s one vote for John Henry to go out and make some noise. Mr. Henry, Mr. Werner, please go out and sign this guy! The intangibles he’ll bring to Fenway will more than pay for his salary. With the loss of Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Lowell, there’s plenty of payroll available to make this happen….

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Are You Handling The Social Media Explosion?

Here’s a little personal story with a business twist and something to think about at the end….after reading this, I’d enjoying hearing of any similar personal experience any of my readers have had and the impact you think it might have on the company’s business…..

My story…….

We all know it’s the beginning of the Holiday season and sometimes we all think of doing something good for those that are perhaps not as fortunate as the rest of us…

Last week, my local Fraternal club was doing a Turkey raffle for charity. I had approached a local supermarket (I’ll keep the name private as I don’t want to mix business with a negative personal experience; if you’re interested in the name, email me and I’ll tell you off-line) in Wakefield, MA and asked them if I could place an order for 25 18-20lbs turkeys to be used in the raffle. They were on sale for 49₵ per pound and it was cheap enough. I went to the store and the meat manager was off for the day. I spoke with another clerk in the meat department who was very pleasant and helpful. He wrote down my name and cell number and advised me that while he couldn’t guarantee the order until the meat manager returned the next day, he would pass my info along and ask the meat manager to call me the next morning. Before I left the store, I specifically asked if there was a limit on how many sale priced turkey’s I could buy with my (XXXXXX’s) card and was told “no, there is no limit”. This was the clerk’s answer and it was verified by the girl in the courtesy booth. “Great” I thought, everything should be all set.

The next morning no one from XXXXXX’s had called me by mid-morning so I thought I’d call the store myself. I called XXXXXX’s and spoke with the meat manager who informed me he couldn’t honor my order and that the clerk shouldn’t have led me to believe they could fulfill it without speaking to him first. He then said there was a strict limit of “2 per XXXXXX’s card” on the sale priced turkeys. He proceeded to tell me he didn’t have enough on hand to fulfill my order anyways (they didn’t have twenty five 18 to 20lb turkeys the week before Thanksgiving? Interesting excuse, but that’s another issue). Even if they did, he would have to sell them to me at the “wholesale rate of $.99 per lb”. He said both the clerk and courtesy booth were wrong. When I mentioned that neither the store signs nor the advertisement indicated a limit, he said he couldn’t speak for that. Needless to say, I didn’t buy the Turkeys from XXXXXX’s.

We ended up at XXXXXX’s competitor, Market Basket in Wilmington MA who not only happily fulfilled the order, but upon receiving our tax ID, also further reduced the price as a charitable donation from Market Basket. Now that’s GREAT service and a GREAT neighborhood business. We’ll be seeing them next year!

While disappointed in XXXXXX’s, I wasn’t going to say anything about my experience until I looked at my XXXXXX’s receipt from yesterday and it asked me to fill out an on-line questionnaire about my experience yesterday at the store ( I needed some snacks for the Pats-Indy game). While filling out the questionnaire, it asked me about my experience. Well, I told them, not about yesterday's experience but about earlier in the week…..let’s wait and see what happens?

Now how much would a negative blog about a product impact the company’s business? Hard to say but one thing is for certain: the 350+ members of my Fraternal Club plus their families know about the incident and will think twice about shopping at XXXXXX’s in the future. On the other hand, Market Basket looks like a champ and I’ll be following my wife’s advice and start shopping there.

How does a company follow and react to a personal blog like this? The SS1-Engage platform from Social Strategy 1 constantly crawls the internet looking for mentions like this. Should XXXXXX’s or Market Basket have the service, this blog post would show up on their dashboard with a positive mention for Market Basket and a negative mention for XXXXXX’s. Market Basket could “Re-Tweet” it for good publicity, while XXXXXX’s would want it to go away.

Think how good Market Basket looks in this situation? Makes people want to shop there…..who doesn’t want to shop with good people? Think how much one little instance like this will hurt XXXXXX’s future business? (Not much as I didn’t use their real name because I’m ethical and wanted to use it as an example for my product. If I wasn’t, think of the bad publicity this would cause?) Now, maybe XXXXXX’s doesn’t have a social media program in place and will never know this type of negative issue is being blog’d about, or they may choose to ignore it, or they could come back in a positive manner and say something like “Dave, sorry you had a bad experience. There was some terrible miscommunication in play and XXXXXX’s certainly wishes to maintain a good standing in the local community and recognizes the needs of local non-profit organizations. Please accept this coupon for your next future purchase at XXXXXX”s. We strive to provide the best shopping experience for our Customers and hope you will put it to good use by considering a second chance for XXXXXX’s to earn your organization’s business on its next endeavor”.

The last response is an example of actions which may be recommended by the personal analyst from Social Strategy 1 to minimize any damage from a personal blog or Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, etc. posting. In excess of 80 million users access these sites everyday and follow this kind of publicity. If you or any of your friends (don’t forget the $500 referral from my previous posting) are interested in seeing how the SS-1 Engage platform from Social Strategy 1 can help your business, please contact me at dave@socialstrateg1.com or 781-937-0420

Friday, November 12, 2010

Breaking News -Referral Program

I’m pleased to announce the creation of a Customer referral program from ILD Corporation’s Social Strategy1 division. I typically don’t use my blog to push my own products but I have to make an exception for this one as I think it fits well into my latest theme of developing and maintaining self “power” in today’s information age.

Social Strategy1, a leading provider of digital marketing strategy and social media monitoring solutions, has created an incentive program to enable sales and business professionals to benefit from their personal business connections. By simply referring a potential client to Social Strategy1, a person can earn up to $500 for simply making the connection. If the Social Strategy1 team closes the deal and signs that client to a business contract, they will pay a one-time $500 signing bonus for the referral.

Lots of people have lots of business connections, but many do not want to be put in the position to “sell” a product to their friends and business acquaintances, and therefore lose out on some great opportunities to earn extra income. Recognizing this inherent problem, Dennis Stoutenburgh (President and COO of Social Strategy1) and I developed this incentive rich program to capture this referral channel.

The Social Strategy1 service will provide your connections with detailed, real-time insights based on what consumers are saying about their brands, products, and industry on the web. Social Strategy1's team of seasoned analysts will monitor its proprietary SS1Engage platform which provides conversation mining from multimedia sources worldwide across thousands of social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter, blogs, mainstream online news, video and photosharing sites, consumer forums, blogs, discussion boards, and other online publications.

To take advantage of this program, simply submit your referrals directly to dave@socialstrategy1.com. Because of the number of referrals expected to be generated by this program, please refer only serious pre-qualified prospects who you have spoken to about the Social Strategy1 product suite. To get more information on Social Strategy1 and what the SS1Engage program can do, please visit http://www.socialstrategy1.com/

If you have any questions, please feel free to either email me or call me at 888-278-4290