The Evolution Solution

Have you ever seen the movie Evolution with David Duchovny and Orlando Jones?

It is a ridiculous movie, and one that I really enjoy.

In the movie, aliens attack earth and the humans can’t seem to find a way to stop them.

David Duchovny, much by chance and luck discovers that since humans are carbon based and arsenic is deadly to humans, the aliens are nitrogen based and so if you follow the same pattern (2 down 1 over) on the periodic table, the aliens should have a deadly reaction to selenium (which apparently is found in conditioner).

So they load a fire truck up with hair conditioner and squirt it all over the aliens and save the world.

What does this have to do with anything?

Good question.

I woke up this morning and thought of this.

I have no idea why.

It’s Thanksgiving.

But, we can apply the same pattern in our own lives.

Sometimes when we are looking for a solution to something, the solution already exists. We just have to copy it and apply it to whatever it is that we are working on.

Is this always the case?


But it can be the case a lot of times.

Why would you spend hours trying to code something from scratch, when the code is already available for $50? Just buy the code.

Don’t run yourself ragged trying to reinvent the wheel.

3 Free Brand Monitoring Tools (You Only Need Three) | ZAPSOCK

I know that this is a topic that has been talked about many times.

But things change.

I am going to tell you what has changed.

I found an article on Mashable that was great.

It talks a lot about utilizing different websites to monitor your brand.

Well, some of those websites have changed.

Backtweets/Backtype no longer offers a free service. You have to sign up with a paid service

Which is great, but the keyword here in this article is freeeeeeeeee. (You’re killing me Larry!)

The other sites are free as well and a lot of them are still there, but they aren’t needed.

So here is my guide:

Google Reader

If you don’t have a Google account, set one up. It’s easy.

Go to the Google Reader site to add Reader to your Google account.

Go to the Google Alerts site, set up your search terms and set the “Deliver to:” field to “Feed.”

If you so desire, you can choose to only search News, Blogs, Videos, Discussions or Everything. I recommend Everything. You can also choose to show all the results or only the best results.

Keep in mind that this is just like doing a Google search so you can use various operators to be more precise in your search.

You may want to set up various feeds for different keywords.

You should be monitoring your brand name, your product names, your industry and even your competitors. You may even set one up for your own name.


Twitter has a search feature in case you didn’t know.

You can run a search and set up your parameters and then you can pull the RSS feed for that search.

Then you can subscribe to that search in Google Reader!

Where’s the Easy Button?

Social Mention

Unfortunately, I have not been able to add the results from Social Mention to my Google Reader account.

An error kept coming up.

But Social Mention picks up everything else that gets missed. (In theory).

Set up you search and you can send yourself up for email alerts.

And there it is.

The Marketing Industry is Finished | ZAPSOCK

Well, maybe not.

But are we really marketing?

It isn’t sales.

Sales is sales and marketing is marketing.

But I don’t want to define something by what it isn’t.

Marketing is communication.

A Story

I was recently speaking with a prospective client.

He has been in business for a very long time.

He has been successful.

He wanted to learn how to market with Facebook.

My first thought was,”Sure.”

My second thought was, “You can’t market with Facebook. Facebook is a means of engaging your consumers.”

And I thought about it more.

I realized that is what marketing is [supposed to be].

Real World Application

This post isn’t a plug for Facebook.

In fact I have been using Google+ quite a bit.

It is a plug for marketers to get back to being marketers.

Don’t be salesmen.

Don’t be billboards.

Be marketers.

Communicate and engage.

As Brian Solis says, “Engage or Die”

Don’t Push

Pushing works, but they will resent you.

Who has the worst rep amongst salesmen?

Used car salesmen?

Real estate agents?

You hate them.

But go to them.

But do you ever go back to the same one again?

Pushy marketers are worse than pushy salesmen.


What do people really want?

They want to know that you care.

Take the extra minute to ask someone how they are.

Take the extra five minutes to get to know someone.

It will make all the difference.

You will pull them to you and they will keep coming back to you.


Social media is not marketing.

It is a tool we use to communicate.



Please don’t confuse what I am saying with Push vs. Pull Marketing.  I am talking about pushing people away and pulling them in to you via communication and relationship building. Push and Pull Marketing refers primarily to ad placement and how you get your message out.

Prediction: You Heard it Here First! | ZAPSOCK

Cell Phones

Cell phones used to be huge.

Then they got super tiny.

Then they got smart and they started growing again.

They now have a phone that doubles as a computer. (It docks into a notebook-type base.)


Computers used to be ginormous.

They gradually got smaller. (See Moore’s Law)

Computers became laptops.

Laptops caused sterility and became notebooks.

Notebooks were too big and became netbooks.

Netbooks became tablets.

Tablets got smaller.

My Prediction

Phones will get bigger.

Tablets will get smaller.

Soon there will only be large smart phones.

They will be big enough to be used as tablets and small enough to be used as phones.

They will also be more powerful than your current desktop PC (or Mac if you prefer.)

This device will be your entire life.

It will contain your entire life.

It will dock in a peripheral at work.

It will dock in a peripheral at home.

It will cost around $499 for the base model.

It will be Flash compatible.


Are we getting closer?

Killing Your High Score | ZAPSOCK

Have you ever played Pac-Man?

Donkey Kong?

Super Mario Bros?

I’m sure you have some sort of game on your smart phone where the objective is to achieve the highest possible score.

In some of these games it is the only objective.

Have you played the helicopter game?

All you do is fly for as long as you possibly can.

The game is programmed to continue indefinitely as long as you don’t crash.

When we play these games, we tend to beat our high score a little bit more each time.

Just a little bit.

Is it because we are getting better?


Is it because we are learning from our past mistakes?


But I think there’s more.

I have found that it is human nature to subconciously give up once we have reached a predetermined threshold, or “high score.”

We find it is okay to achieve this same score.

Even coming up short, as long as it is within an unspoken proximity, is acceptable.

Beating the high score by the smallest margin is, in our primitive ape brain, a fantastic achievement worthy of the highest honors.

Killing the High Score

When you are developing a new brand, are you trying to eek your way past the “high score?”

Are you satisfied creating something that falls short, but within the acceptable range?

Or do you seek to kill the high score?

Slaughter the status quo?

Google didn’t create a search engine that was on par with existing algorithms, they established an empire.

When you search for something on the interwebs, you don’t “Yahoo! it”, you don’t “Ask Jeeves” and you definitely don’t “Bing it.”

No matter which search engine we are using, we “Google it.”

We don’t “MySpace our buddies,” we “Facebook them.”

You want to be the next Sergei?

Or the next Zuck-meister?

Don’t do what they have already done.

Don’t crash the helicopter in the exact same spot each time.

Destroy the high score.

Drop a frickin’ nuke on it.

Brand Differentiation | ZAPSOCK

So, it has been awhile since my last post.

I was finishing up my Master’s project.

So now I have an M.S. in Internet Marketing and a lot of student loans.

I really enjoyed the program and would recommend Full Sail University to anyone interested in media or entertainment.

So now that I am done with school I actually have time to finish all the books I started over the past couple of years.

One of these is ZAG by Marty Neumeier.

First time I read anything from Marty was THE BRAND GAP.

I loved it.

It is short and to the point and doesn’t aggravate my ADD.

ZAG is the same way.

It is awesome.

I haven’t finished it yet. My narcolepsy took over this time before the ADD.

But it is all about brand differentiation.

What are you doing to make your brand different?

How do you stand out from the rest of the noise?

If your brand isn’t different, you are wasting your time.