The app economy

The app economy

AppsThe most well known are probably Uber and Airbnb, but a surprising number of goods and services are cropping up that are available at the tap of a screen whose work force is likely to be as portable as your access to them. They are defining a new economy and creating a significant disruption of the status quo.

Here is a short list of some interesting services that primarily use a portable (freelance) workforce to satisfy a wide variety of daily business and personal needs.

Taskrabbit:Want help with your to-do list? Now in 20 cities, Taskrabbit allows you to outsource everything from gift wrapping to weeding your garden to shopping for groceries.

Postmates: Their promise is to deliver anything in your city within one hour. In 20 states, Postmates’ urban logistics and on-demand delivery platform connects customers with local couriers, who purchase and deliver goods from any restaurant or store in your city.

Supertasker: Built for the digital world, Supertasker provides you with an army of freelancers specializing in digital tasks such as WordPress fixes, video production, blog post writing, and even cranking out masses of Tweets or Facebook posts.

Handy: In a rush to get your home cleaned or something fixed around the house? Handy specializes in the dispatching of cleaners and handymen within 24 hours of your request. They’ll even send over someone to assemble that 69 part Ikea bookcase kit!

Tongal: Consider Tongal to be an outsourced studio capable of creating films, music, videos and any other requested creative work. Not only does the Tongal community create work for companies, but the likes of Gene Simmons from Kiss, the Beach Boys, the Who, and Bob Marley’s estate have all tapped into this world-wide community of creatives.

Incloudcounsel: Think lawyers and other legal professionals in the cloud. Incloudcounsel manages and processes high volume, repetitive legal documents for primarily large enterprises. It does this by blending cloud-based software tools with a virtual network of boutique law firms throughout North America.

Clarity: 30,000-plus verified experts and known entrepreneurs from the top cities around the world provide you with market research, get strategic business advice, or teach a specialized skill. They claim luminaries like Mark Cuban, Eric Ries, Cameron Herold to be among their pool of available experts.

Mechanical Turk:  Proving once again that Amazon is pretty much everywhere, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing internet marketplace that enables individuals and businesses (known as Requesters) to coordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks that computers are currently unable to do. The payment tends to match the complexity of the job. For example, finding the internet address of a particular business will reward you with 3 cents. Completing a survey on substance abuse will pay as much as one dollar.


Top 10 takeaways from the Digital Summit Phoenix

Top 10 takeaways from the Digital Summit Phoenix

Last week, I attended the Digital Summit Phoenix. A full day and a half of all things digital media that got my juices going and my writing inspiration jump started.

Here are some random tidbits I picked up that you might find useful:

  1. For email inspiration, see It’s a dense collection of very well crafted and written emails.
  2. Even if you’re not in the market to buy clothes online, sign up for Banobos. They do email very well and provide a great example of a very deliberate style coming through on every message and touch point.
  3. Two very good tools for video are and Check out the white papers and video inspiration. Check these out if you want to take your marketing videos to the next level.
  4. I head different numbers, but in B to B, 60% of buying is already done on line before people talk to you. It’s somewhere around 90% for B to C. The lesson is: your website matters and so does your social presence.
  5. According to Silverpop, “Buyers are learning on their own and delaying their contact with suppliers until late in the purchase cycle.”
  6. Be aware of the length of your email components: up to 25 characters for your From name, 35 characters for your Subject, and 85 characters for your pre-header.
  7. Speaking of your pre-header, look at what it says. You might be surprised to see that it contains simply the text encouraging people to click here to view the email in the browser. That’s a waste of opportunity to say something meaningful for sure.
  8. Consider using SMS for marketing messages following up email. Just don’t abuse it. After all, text is more personal that email. Intruding too much on your prospect’s text messaging will surely hurt the relationship you’re trying to build.
  9. A general marketing thought: Don’t focus your communication on the person – focus on the problem.
  10. Check out It’s a very powerful marketing automation plugin for WordPress. Surprising what it will do as a free tool.

I may do another post containing more, but if you are a fan of 75 degree Februaries, come see for yourself next year!

The rising tide of internet video

The rising tide of internet video

Quick – how many website are there these days?  What is your guess? Well, as of December 2011 there were approximately 366,848,493 internet sites; with 150,000 new URLs being added every day.  And most of them will include advertising. So many eyeballs – so little time.

That's a lot of places for advertising. Yet, advertisers still only spend (on average) 2% of their budget online even though consumers spend 34% of their media hours online.  So why is more money still being spent in TV advertising than online? Because of the much broader creative options available to an advertiser on television. A television commercial can be so much cooler than a display ‘banner’ ad and it's much easier for a marketer to say, "Check out our commercial on XYZ show/network/etc" than to show a data report with little dots and percentages that represents how many people saw the ad online and did or didn’t click on it. But the tide is turning and money is shifting to online advertising.

Over the past 10 years, as with each evolutionary cycle of digital media,

[Read more…]

Small to mid advertising agencies: Provide the service that until now was offered only by the big guys.

Small to mid advertising agencies: Provide the service that until now was offered only by the big guys.

As a small to mid size advertising agency, you have an interesting challenge these days. What new services can you bring to market that will expand your offerings and therefore, strengthen your existing client relationships AND attract new business that you otherwise couldn’t gain? Oh, and by the way, you don’t necessarily have lots of extra cash to invest in these new services, do you?

The big agency conglomerates started answering that question a few years ago. Companies such as Omnicom, IPG, and Aegis each created in-house divisions that addressed a growing need of their clients. To meet that need, they tapped into a little-known media market – a market from which their clients had been entering via outside specialty financial firms located mainly in New York. WPP and MPG/Havas have just recently joined the crowd earlier this year.

What is the service that accesses this specialized media market? What was so lucrative that the world’s biggest agencies created in-house divisions specifically to address their client’s desire for this?  [Read more…]

Raising interest-free capital for your unbudgeted business needs [video]

Raising interest-free capital for your unbudgeted business needs [video]

They say capital is the lifeblood of a business. So what would you do with more of it beyond your current budget?

Sure, you could borrow, but we have the means to help you raise capital that is interest free. All you need is an advertising budget the willingness to allow one of the world's top media agencies to place a portion of it. It will be the same media your agency and marketing people have planned and will be at the costs you provide us.

Sound too good to be true? Then watch this 90 second video to see how it can be done.

See it on our YouTube channel: Trading_YouTube


Top ten summer reading list

Top ten summer reading list

With summer vacation season officially here, we can all use some reading recommendations, right? Here are my top ten books for your Kindle, iPad, Nook, PlayBook, or bound paper (do they even do that anymore??) Not in any particular order, here are some that might entertain and/or educate you this summer…

  1. Pinball by Jerzy Kosinski. An exciting adventure Kosinski wrote for George Harrison about a beautiful ruthless woman obsessed with finding the real identity of Goddard, a rock superstar whose identity is known not even to his family and closest friends.
  2. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely  Do you think we all act based upon reason and what is in our best interests? Dan Ariely exposes the irrational forces at play in our decisions regarding sex, money, pain and much more in this fascinating look at our very predictable irrational human behaviors.
  3. The Presence Process by Michael Brown As a former music journalist, Michael Brown has a rich talent for the English language. Using his great writing skills and deeply personal self-healing experience, he will take you on an introspective journey to still your mind and bring you back to the calm state in which you deserve to live: the present.
  4. Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki  Kawasaki's wit and candid communication style is in full force in this eclectic collection of thoughts on entrepreneurship, marketing, persuasion and much more. You'll feel as if you've read several important business books by the end.
  5. All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin  The intentionally provocative title reflects Godin's premise that a marketing message, to be effective, must mirror the existing beliefs of its audience rather than attempt to create a new belief. Very few can afford the marketing cost of convincing a mass audience of a new belief sufficient to support a new product or idea, so tie your product or service into their existing beliefs.
  6. Island by Aldous Huxley A man washes up on an unmapped island and discovers something oddly fascinating about the enlightened inhabitants. Something that will forever change the way he views his past and future. It might even change yours as well.
  7. Social Boom! by Jeffrey Gitomer  Having built his reputation as a modern day sales guru, Gitomer tackles the complex topic of business social media. In writing this insightful little book, Jeffrey was smart enough to bring in over a dozen social media experts to provide the detail of how to use social media in all its major variants to prospect and sell.
  8. Healing Back Pain by John Sarno M.D.  Okay, maybe this one isn't entertaining seaside reading, but for those of us feeling the ill effects of age showing up in our back and other places, this is required reading. Sarno is well-known for his thesis that all back pain is due, not to physical abnormalities, but rather from our subconscious attempting to get our attention. About what? That's for you to uncover so that your back pain ends.
  9. Little Big Things by Tom Peters  If you are looking for a collection of thoughts to jump start you out of a rut, this is the book. Irreverent and funny as ever, Peters will get you thinking differently about your job, career, relationships and life.
  10. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand  Often considered the most influential book outside of the bible, its monumental theme has never been more relevant than today. If great writing, classically heroic characters, passionate love, real-world philosophy, life-changing ideas and (did I mention great writing?) floats your boat, read this book!