I blog to find the 1 percent

I had a very interesting conversation this evening where someone asked me “Why do I blog?”….”Why am I trying to do the whole Hard Knox Life thing?”  It’s a question I have seen plenty of other bloggers answer.  Some do it for creativity, some do it to vent and some do it because they just love to write.  Frankly I do it for all of those reasons but for one important reason:

I blog to knock down walls and find the 1 percent

Anyone that has worked with P&G (or tried to work with P&G) knows that we have tons of walls keeping outsiders on the outside.  It is done with a good reason because it keeps Brand Managers from being pitched every idea under the sun…it keeps out the 99% of ideas that aren’t worth our time to evaluate.  But the problem is, it also keeps out the 1 percent of ideas that could be really worthwhile and breakthrough.  We’ve built this moat to protect us and basically no one can get in.

The story I always tell about this is when in 2004 an envelope ended up on my desk addressed to “Secret – Marketing”.  If you ignore the irony of those words together, it ended up on my desk because I was working on marketing for the brand Secret.  The envelope was from a company with a “.com” in the name so my Brand Manager gave it to me since I had Digital marketing on my work plan.  Having a slow day, I actually read what was inside the envelope, discovering a website that was basically doubling in size every month and was hugely popular with teens.  When I cold-called the company to find out more, the ad sales rep on the end actually thought it was a joke because he had sent out 100 of those envelopes months ago to P&G and no one had called him back.  In fact, he practically called me a liar and almost hung up when I said I was from P&G.  Luckily he didnt hang-up and we had a great conversation that eventually ended up with us doing one of the first CPG campaigns ever with this site of 2MM members.  And you know what?  That little site ended up being MySpace.com…I think we all know the history after that.

So that’s my point.  A company with that much potential shouldnt have to rely on a bored ABM actually opening his mail.  A great idea shouldnt need luck.  But in this world it does and those 1 percent get lost.  So thats why I am blogging.  I am hoping those 1 percent ideas find their way to me and I can start the conversation.  Sure I have to deal with a few pitches here there that arent as useful.  But it only takes a couple more gems like MySpace to make the time well worth it.  And no matter what, blogging will help me have great conversations and meet some amazing people along the way.

Comments

  1. Sebastien de Halleux says

    Dave,
    I admire the time and efforts you put in your blog and this post highlights what amazing results such outreach efforts can yield.

    Our social games company Playfish is barely 6 months old and yet has already attracted over 4MM users on social networks who together spend 350 million minutes a month playing our social games. That’s 10% of the time people spend on youTube by comparison. We never marketed our products, just designed them to be social and sent them to 100 of our friends, the rest is personal recommendation from one friend to the next.

    We are growing incredibly fast (100k new users a day) and are working with a number of brands to create meaningful engagement with our social audience through games. Yet when I talk to many brand marketers, they often look amazed and tell me: why don’t I know about you? In the future, with your permission, I will point them to your post, as I couldn’t sum it up better myself.

    Nick Gonzalez from Social Media recently put it in a post of his own: “Geeks are already connected with geeks, it is now time to help connect Madison Avenue to Silicon Valley”. I thus salute your initiative to connect the 1% and thank you for not having to send you another ‘secret-marketing’ labeled envelope. Not that you must have any boring day to open those anymore since you started this blog!

    If continuing this conversation appeals to you, try one of our games: Who Has The Biggest Brain? http://apps.facebook.com/biggestbrain or visit us at http://www.playfish.com

    -Sebastien

  2. says

    Sounds like an interesting reason behind your blog Dave. I’ll assume since I found you through Brazen Careerist you must be doing a good job so far! Good luck.

    –Alex

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