March 26, 2010

Sound Retweet

Filed under: Staying Fresh — Joe Grant @ 11:24 am
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social-media-geniuses-cartoon-twoonsI’m quitting Twitter.

For more than a year I’ve been preaching the wonders of Twitterdom to agency folks and others. But today I’m facing up to it: Twitter just doesn’t work for me.

I dove into Twitter a year ago January when it became obvious that Tweeting was the new cool thing (God forbid I’d miss that!). I started squirting out choppy 140-character opinions on advertising minutiae and even some personal stuff that would have been interesting only to my mom. And she’s not around any more.

Google Reader and RSS feeds sent a firehoseful of data, blogs, and arcania to wade through so there’d be oceans of material to pluck from. Tweeting turned into re-tweeting. Then it was re-tweeting the re-tweets. The opening page on my Pre, iTouch, and PC was Tweetdeck, and tweets were scheduled weeks in advance. Connected and committed was I.

But now I’m weary with always trying to think of something to share which might remotely interest others. Frankly, my thought balloons just aren’t that damn interesting. Even to me. And why should they be? As my wife reminded me bluntly, “Face it, you’re not Ashton Kutcher.”

She’s got that right – his Twitter count is over a million and mine is stuck around 100. Guess that says it all.

The truth is I get zero personal payback from blurting my take on mundane stuff to strangers. And that’s the crux. My tweeting does little for me and probably even less for others. There’s a crude metaphor for this kind of behavior, but we’ll leave it unsaid.

So, no more @grantvertising tweets. And for our family and personal pals, no more @joelisaramblin tweets either. This blog, however – the one you’re reading now – will continue as will Ramblin’ On about our travel adventures in the Rock Star bus.

But for now it’s Good Night, ‘Tweet Prince.


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November 21, 2009

Social Media ROI



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We hear it from agency principals all over the country: “What do we do about social media? And how the hell do we measure it?” The answer is, in a way, simple. First, you’ve got to jump in the water and play around. Doesn’t matter where. Doesn’t matter how deep the water is. Just don’t wait for things to settle down or become clear. Get in, get a feel for it. You’ll soon see the needle move.

Here. Sit back for the next 4 fast-moving minutes and drink this in:

My advice to anyone waiting for definitive answers about social media is to quit waiting. It’s cheap and guaranteed to be a great ride.

Thanks to fellow traveler Fred Driver, one of the partners at d.trio in Minneapolis, for bringing this clip to my attention. Eric Qualman put it together and he has more insight to offer at Socialnomics.

May 5, 2009

Join an Agency Owner’s Group



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Just came from The Innisbrook Group’s semi-annual meeting in Miami. Innisbrook is a collaboration of geographically diverse integrated marketing and public relations firms whose principals get together a couple of times a year to share ideas, best practices, marketing expertise – and even screw ups. It’s all about learning.


Agency groups make a lot of sense, especially if you’ve come of age at just one agency. They provide a) a way to profit from others who may have already solved the same problems you’re facing, b) camaraderie, c) a forum to discuss issues you’d be uncomfortable getting into with even trusted staff, and d) a chance to get out of the office a couple of days to do some big picture thinking. And, yes, you’ll have e) some laughs and maybe even squeeze in a round of golf or something.

Usually there is a guest “expert” or two at the meetings (that’s how I know Innisbrook – addressed them twice, but invited this time as a favor so I could hear one of the speakers myself).

Friday the gang listened to Chrs Heuer of AdHocnium give an overview of social engagement strategies, i.e. social media, for ad agencies. Terrific stuff. Later Dave Ramos of the Dashboard Group presented his process of focusing on One Thing. Saturday morning Tom Attea, formerly of Y&R and IPG, gave an inspiring pep talk based on his new book, The Secrets of Successful Creative Advertising.

There was also time for each agency head to present a brief review of what they’ve been up to lately, including sharing new business development tips, and for the group to do some collaborative problem solving.

Any topic is fair game at these things. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention there was some hootin’ and hollerin’, too. I witnessed certain agency big shots dancing on tables with belly dancers at Taverna Opa on South Beach at dinner Friday. Then Saturday the group took a Duck ride on the Miami waterways.

Hey, if you’re not a member of an owner’s group you’re missing opportunities to learn, develop relationships with peers, and have a little fun. Expenses are usually moderate; dinners, meeting rooms, etc. are typically totaled then divided by the number of agency honchos attending.

Over the years I’ve delivered seminars or speeches at several owner groups. Here are a few you might want to check out (and no doubt there are others): AMIN, AMR, ANNI, MAGNET, MarketPower,Worldwide Partners. Don’t forget the AAAAs – as a member you can participate in their Forum groups.

And if you’re interested in the Innisbrook Group, get in touch with member Will Flynn at Franklin Street Marketing in Richmond.

Just tell him “Joe sent me.”

Your 2 Cents

Comment or plug your group here. Are these agency owner’s groups helpful? If you belong to one, what’s been the best learning experience for you?

April 15, 2009

Thoroughly Modern Bloggin’



dmi024-robot-yoWhat an adventure! 

When the new year dawned I got about as close as ever to crafting a New Year’s resolution and decided to figure out My Face, Tweeterizing, Snipe, and all the other whiz-whaz out there. Reason? To (a) become more conversant with “social media” so we could better advise our agency clients on its use and impact, and (b) see if any of it made sense as an outlet for my own juices.

After all, you don’t want the world to pass you by. 

Advertising is absolutely all about staying au courant, and even better, being outré. (See? Right there I used two French terms in one sentence – progress!) Staying cool and with it can easily become too demanding as more pages fly off the calendar. And since I just recently discovered my first gray hair, taking action became imperative.

After lots of fumbling we’re now on the grid with Plaxo, Linked-in, Facebook (which I use exclusively for only personal-family stuff), free video conferencing on Skype, and this blog. Twitter will be next.

This blog is still very much an experiment; there’ve only been a dozen or so posts – its “voice” is yet to ring steady and true. But we’re feeling our way and slowly picking up subscribers, many of whom were familiar with Grant Consulting Associates. We drive some in from our website, others from speaking gigs, and of course consulting engagements. . . but, my God, there are so many more out there!

Michael Gass who blogs on Fuel Lines writes almost exclusively about drumming up new accounts for agencies. . . via social media. His article and interview “Ad agency having explosive new business growth by leading with social media” will get your blood running.

I’m fascinated with the entire social media scene. I believe that on the timeline of technology we’re still living in caves, with the prospect of all this digital conjugation altering and improving our lives in quantum-leap ways.

Of course there’ll be plenty of bad with the good, including here on gRantvertising – lots of experimentation and failure – but it’s indubitable that advertising and marketing as we’ve known it will never be the same. Like air travel last century which recast business and personal relationships at 500+ mph, what we can and will do digitally will rewrite our story. Big time.

So I’m glad you’re along for the ride. Hope the occasional shutters and jerks don’t make you want to exit.

Next stop: Twitterville!


Your 2 Cents

Tell me and others reading this blog if and how you’re using the new technologies to promote your agency business.


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