Yes, I met Kathy Button Bell

As a marketer and an Emerson employee, I sometimes hear a question from industry acquaintances: “You work for Emerson, you are so lucky to have Kathy Button Bell as a CMO!  Do you work with her?”

Yes, Kathy is a marketing celebrity, and I am happy to work for a company with a CMO who has excellent industry reputation.  But, Emerson is a 24.7B organization with over 130 thousands of employees around the world…  during my first two years with the company, I have not met Emerson’s CMO.  This week I got lucky.


Fortunate to attend the first Social Media training organized specifically for Emerson employees, I was delighted to see our CMO attending the sessions and participating in the discussions during both days of the event.  Wow.  Kathy also was familiar with one of marketing books I loved and knew the author – another well-known marketer.

At that point I realized that this was an “Elvis sighting” event of my marketing career, and Kathy graciously agreed to commemorate it with a photo.  Now I can tell my professional association friends and fellow conference attendees that yes, I work for Emerson and I met company’s CMO, Kathy Button Bell.

We are lucky to have Kathy Button Bell as our marketing leader.  Quite a few times my colleagues and I brought to meetings articles with Kathy’s interviews in industry publications.  Her comments perfectly match our own thoughts: importance of marketing as a discipline, need to hire good marketers, and scarcity of marketing talent.

Thank you, Kathy!

Book – How to Get People to Do Stuff

bookThis is the third  Susan Weinschenk book I was fortunate to enjoy.  As usually, the book is entertaining, practical, and has many pieces of advice that can be applied tomorrow.

A few notes from the book:

  • Use nouns rather than verbs to describe desired behavior.  It is more important to the person to be a voter than to vote.  A chocolate eater feels stronger love to his favorite food than a person who eats chocolate.
  • Competition motivates men, but not women.  Competing in small group motivates more than competing in a large group (higher probability of success).
  • Asking for funds at work – use anecdotes rather than data
  • How to get sales to use CRM:
    • Not particularly effective: use for 30 day – trip to Las Vegas (fixed ratio schedule)
    • More effective: use a leaderboard to show reps using CRM every week (acknowledgement reinforcement)
  • People want familiar brands when they are sad or scared; to encourage to try something new – engage when people are in a good mood
  • giving more autonomy creates desire for mastery
  • Struggling (in education, achieving something…)
    • Western culture: you are not smart enough
    • Eastern culture: normal part of learning process
  • Induce Flow state for the people who assigned a task – do not interrupt and allow control
  • You can appeal to System One or System Two
    • Want a quick decision from people – make thinking easy
    • Want people to “think through” – make thinking hard
  • When you want people to respond quickly, make a simple request that does not require them to think
  • System One loves a story and wants everything to hold together in a coherent way
  • System One is uncomfortable with inconsistencies and changing stories and will turn to System Two for assistance
  • Simple, coherent story increases the chance that people will take an action
  • When you want people to act independently, reference money (it will reduce cooperativeness)
  • When you want people to cooperate, do not reference money
  • Anchoring: if you mention that there is a limit of 10 bottles of soda – people will buy more.  If you do not , anchor is 0 and they will buy less.
  • Anchoring: If you want to make people to chose highest level of product or service, start listing products or services from the highest price.
  • If you want people to think rather than to gloss over the information, you might need to surprise them to activate System Two thinking.
  • If you want people to learn, you need to think about maximum 20 minutes, than a break.  People will use all glucose in the brain during that time 😉
  • Sell people on the experience – they will spend more money on the experience than on a item.
  • Holding something heavy makes the idea seem more important (very interesting! 😉 )
  • Case study: if an employee needs to take more initiative, label the person as an “initiator” (use story prompting); suggest autonomy where mistakes are OK


SEO Meetup – MN Search Summit Debrief


The office building where the event met had the most spectacular view!

A few notes from the sessions I missed during the conference:

  • Local Search: important to have at least 5 reviews with Google
  • Local Search: Yelp reviews matter only if the person is the active member of the community (well-meaning uncle who is not using Yelp won’t be as helpful 😉
  • Link Building: anything you can scale easily does not work
  • Link Building: avoid over-optimizing anchor text
  • Link Building: getting links is similar to sales job – industry is moving to paying commission on acquired links



Content editorial calendar template – year view and month view – Free, Excel



Mobile Twin Cities – Metrics Driven UX

nativexRob Weber from Native X presented a very insightful overview of  Metrics Driven UX used in the computer games.  As a person who does not play games, it was interesting to see how principles and metrics in computer games similar to a typical b-to-b lead generation effort.  The subject is the same – human being.

UX Design Principles:

  • Association (is your game character in front of the bar or in front of the church?)
  • Color and contrast
  • Eyes and gaze direction (eyes attract attention)
  • Movement and animation (a little bit OK, too much results in decrease in conversion)
  • Lines and encapsulation (very dear to a b-to-b marketer’s heart 😉 )
  • Native design (making sure the game looks like it is native part of the device)


Just as in b-to-b marketing, limited time and additional incentive helps conversion.


Interesting point: 30% of people never go to the app (a game!!) after downloading it.  It is important to encourage the first game… Emphasis is given to “on-boarding” – teaching people how to play and making the process of learning easy and entertaining (part of the game).

Angry Bird tutorial – looks like a game itself and very easy to use.


In-game ads (promoting download of another game) can be align to the emotion of the moment: if the character died, the ad is different comparing to the situation when the character is winning.

Symbols help as action buttons compared to text.  Interesting, would it work in b-to-b?  Even if there is a possibility that literacy level of the b-to-b audience is higher…  we all are still human 😉

Game promotions sometimes place price on the button (obviously, not a good idea).

Games: more time is spent in mobile apps than mobile web.  In many cases, game developers gave up on HTML5 because of performance issues.

Successful games use minimalistic design.  In general “it is more important what you cut out of your app than live in your app.”

Curious: in the East, strategy games represent 30% – 40% of the market, in the West only 10%.  Strategy games is a premium product for which people are willing to pay more.

Speaker mentioned App Loyalty by Application Category  (rather sad to see business apps not as popular as we would wish…)



UXPA – Lean UX and Iterative Design

uxpa-logoI start to like this format of a social/unconference more and more.  Plus, the food at this event was excellent second year in the row!  🙂

Lean UX.  

Objective is to keep the project moving rather than concentrate on a “good-looking wire-frame.”  Smashing Magazine article has a good explanation of Lean UX.

One of the companies had a “harmony team” to introduce uniform branding and other standards.

iPad usability testing includes “viewability” – making sure that it is easy to see, find, and interpret elements of the application. When the background is black, the iPad surface functions as a mirror and people are complaining about “looking at myself” during the application use.

Medial device manufacturer – implantable devices are becoming a commodity.  The manufacturer is differentiating on the experience of using the device – experience of the patient and the physician.  If the device is easier to use based on the convenient of the patient app and ease of data interpretation by the physician, the product is more valuable.

Regulated industries (health care, etc.) are required to test their applications on the “important mistakes” – to assure that critical functionality is not misunderstood by the user.

Marketing approach to the application can be different – marketers might want to make sure that the data is presented to make a specific impression on the person who is viewing the data.

Approach to business owners: “You want to do […] – sketch it!”  Helps with definition of the outcome (what may not be clearly specified).

Iterative Design

Different stages of iterations:

  1. Self-iterative (the designer is making different versions of the same design)
  2. Opinion-based iterative (the designer asks other people what they think)
  3. Science-based iterative (planning budget, testing)

“Humans want to be supportive” – give more than one option to chose from; showing only one option can result with “liking” of the only option available to please the test administrator.

Testing: important question to ask is not a particular scenario, but rather “What can you do on this web page?”  If the person can not find what is the objective of the page, there is a problem.

Testing: let users to set success metrics “What the system like that should allow you to do?”

Testing process:

  1. Test the concept before doing anything
  2. Articulation test (prototype or wireframe)
  3. Colors, etc. behavior
  4. Beta test (what developers did not get right from the first try)
  5. Post launch (ask and fine-tune)

If only one test can be done, articulation (wierframe test) is the most important.

careerCareer-management tips from the UX professionals portfolio review

  • Evaluate “competing” resumes/portfolio in your geographic region
  • Find the resumes/portfolios of the person who has the “next job” to plan for needed projects/training
  • Update your resume/portfolio every year as a part of personal “annual evaluation”  and also do “competitor” or “next job” research every year

If your own “annual review” does not show progress…  acknowledge and address it.

Excellent event… did I mention food?




Book – Mobile Magic

mobile-magicOne more book on mobile marketing that recommends not to jump into mobile app effort 🙂

A few gems from the book for the future projects:

Mobile phone penetration depends not only on what is technically possible, but what is culturally desirable.  Could it be the explanation of higher mobile activities in certain cultures?

4 keys to mobile marketing success: MIST

  • Mobile
  • Intimate
  • Social
  • Transnational

Functionality is only means to the end (oh, how often it is forgotten!).  There are many services on mobile just “because we can,” the mobile offering need to be uniquely suitable for mobile.  Proliferation of channels does not change what matters to people.

People use mobile devices to save time or to waste time.

Mobile games and joystick.  At the beginning of efforts to transfer video games to the mobile devices, the game producers straggled to reproduce the concept and functionality of joystick.  though Joystick is critical to the concept of a gaming station, it was impractical for the mobile environment.  Eventually, game producers discovered how to use characteristic of the new device to reach desirable effect.

The book recommends differentiation for store owners, who can not compete on price with the online offering.  If the showrooming is a problem, why not take advantage of it and provide the most comfortable environment?


Coursera – Understanding Media by Understanding Google

classThe course is part of the journalism program, what gives it a different perspective compared to an average marketing course.  The course is evaluating “what is” rather than “how we can use the medium for promotion of our company” – what is a very legitimate question 🙂

This different perspective does broaden horizon of the topic.  Marketing is changing…  the newspaper industry is probably experiencing a more dramatic change…  or rather dealing with the consequences of the change.




The quote from the course: every medium at first becoming a container of the old one.  When radio just appeared, it was used to read the content of the local paper.  Glossy magazines spent millions crating iPad apps for their magazines that were not accepted by users…

New medium (online news and social media) demonstrate what kind of news people find the most interesting – disasters… celebrities… politics probably depends on the country 😉


Interesting: Google became important enough to deserve a class in the school of journalism… 😉

Book – Optimize

OptimizeAfter attending a conference where Lee’s book has been mentioned more than twice, and not only by Lee himself…   I had to make sure to get the book 🙂

Great content is not great until it is discovered, consumed, and shared.

The question is how to optimize the content holistically

Competent SEO and Social Media person is not effective if he or she does not know how to navigate large and complex organization. In this case, success depends on political and organizational savvy and not only on mastery of the concepts of content marketing.

Effectiveness of SEO tools depends on the skill of the user (as any other tools, such as web analytics, etc.)

Content is basics for search; content is not a King, it is a Kingdom

sandwichUnderstanding relationships between marketing channels could be difficult for marketers working in silos.  Lee’s favorite metaphor to explain SEO, content and social is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, where SEO is peanut batter, social media is the jelly, and content is bread that holds it all together.

Primary value of search engines (and SEO) is to connect people with answers.  Content provides answers 🙂

6 steps for better content marketing strategy

  1. Objectives
  2. Audience
  3. Content plan (content topics, content mix as it relates to buying cycle)
  4. Promotion of content to content users, content influences; resulting links is an additional benefit)
  5. Engagement (social networks, advocates, etc.)
  6. Measurement (based on objectives)

I loved the statement that “social media strategy” is not a “social media strategy” in isolation, but a marketing strategy that factors in social media.

Brandividuals – people who are acting their company’s brand (the term was around for over 5 years, but I have not noticed it before)

Example of broader business goals related to content marketing:

  • Elevate brand perception
  • Establish thought leadership
  • Drive customer engagement
  • Provide better customer service
  • Increase customer retention
  • Grow customer advocacy and referrals