What to do after you shoot the focus group

What to do after you shoot the focus group: Deep-pocketed marketers may be shooting their focus groups (see previous post), but they’ve got to do something with that focus-group-budget burning holes in those deep pockets. So, IBM is offering a blog searching tool it calls a “Public Image Monitoring Solution” that reportedly costs $100,000.

Of course, they could set up some RSS feeds deliverying a range of blog-search hacks, but that would be neither cheap nor obvious.

And always remember: Big marketers don’t like cheap, obvious answers.

Not that I agree that capital punishment is the solution

Not that I agree that capital punishment is the solution: Just because I’m pointing to this article in BusinessWeek called “Shoot The Focus Group,” don’t take that to mean that I actually advocate that you literally go out and shoot a focus group.

Actually, some of my best friends are focus groups.

Key quote:

“Some of the new solutions displacing focus groups don’t rely on consumers to sort through their feelings at all. Instead, companies get more useful feedback just from watching daily life.”

This reminds me of a conversation I had yesterday with a consultant-friend whose name will remain anonymous who consults giant marketers on how to do something that seems rather obvious to me. He admitted that he was sometimes hired to be a consultant of common sense.

Big marketers don’t like cheap, obvious answers.

(via: Steve Rubel)

The New Yorker’s copyright hack

The New Yorker’s copyright hack: I am a very proud owner of the DVD set, The Complete New Yorker. It is truly incredible to have almost 4,200 issues of the magazine compiled in one spot. However, it doesn’t take long for a user to ask the question the Wall Street Journal (free feature) answers today: Why does The Complete New Yorker feel so low-tech?

Answer: The explanation lies in a years-long battle over a clause in U.S. copyright law concerning the ownership of rights to magazine articles written by free-lancers.


“When Congress revamped copyright law in 1976, it said magazine publishers retained the right to print collections and revisions of past issues. But when a magazine wants to republish a free-lance work in a new and different format, the free-lancer must be compensated accordingly, two more-recent court rulings have found. That means when republishing articles on DVD or other digital formats, magazines must pay free-lancers again, get their permission to republish free — or preserve the original print context. The New Yorker’s solution was to scan the original magazine pages onto DVDs.”

Lost is podcasting

Lost is podcasting: ABC has started an official podcast for those of us who are obsessed with the TV series Lost.

Sidenote: I found last night’s episode rather lack-luster except for the “big thing” that happened at the end.

Warning: The comments on this post include some “spoiler” information about what happened on the most recent episode (what were you thinking, Laura?). So, if you haven’t seen the episode, don’t click on the “comments” link or you’ll be eaten by a giant polar bear.

(Thanks to Shannon, no not that Shannon, for the link.)