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Four take aways from the Amazon AWS conference last week in NYC

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Marketing | 0 comments

Just attended a Amazon AWS conference in NYC last week.  We try to attend these types of conferences when we can from the major vendors as it keeps up to date as to what is going on.  Meet with clients and prospects, etc. and overall sharpen the ax if you will.  We have good relationships Microsoft and they have similar messaging and functionality.

Five things were interesting and stood out a few days after the event:

  1. Amazon ambition to be ubiquitous in the application space and their push to drive applications both large and small through AWS.
  2. They had a number of new announcements including a build in API library to make it easier to build and scale applications and a testing feature that allows you to test application code from a variety of different hardware and operating systems at the same time before going live.
  3. Hammering home data security.  (In essence, my security on the cloud is better than your in-house data security).
  4. HIPPA certification.

Most of the featured client presentations were from clients such as the New York Transportation Authority and other non-governmental enterprises such as the Oscar health care service.

I have believed for a number of years that we will end up with between 5-10 large data centers in the sky and nothing that I saw last week made me feel any different.

Now if I could just feel a little bit better about my Red Sox.


Eight Reasons that you should care about Drones

Posted by on Jun 4, 2014 in Marketing | 0 comments

Eight Reasons that you should care about Drones

If you follow the news, there is a quite a bit of press about Drones for commercial and recreational use.   But today, if you ask someone what they know about Drones you might get a blank stare.  If you have not been following this segment, here are eight reasons to care about drones.


  1. You would be in good company as many people and a lot of important companies do. Companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook are making billion dollar investments in companies that make Drones. Why, because they are able to do things like expand the coverage of wireless to less developed countries (cheaper than towers or wires) and fly line of sight to deliver things much faster and more directly than by traditional means.
  2. Drones do more good than you might think. Drones are a tool that can do more than shoot hellfire missiles. Drone can be used to access natural disasters such as floods, or landslides. Drones can help look for people that are lost in remote areas and can be used to further research.
  3. The technology is at a point when it is becoming much easier to use. Twenty years ago, a Remote Control (RC) plane or helicopter took some doing to learn to fly. They were often heavy and if they hit something they hurt it, or them, or both. Today’s lightweight vehicles are much less likely to do either. As with other technologies, flying has become far easier over time, think about using your smart phone or your tablet. In the case of Drones, military has spearheaded development that is being used in commercial applications. Think NASA and Tang. My son, daughter, wife and I were able to fly our drone in a few minutes using a smart phone and software that we downloaded. And it still works!
  4. Drones can do cool things. Take video and pictures that you were never able to do before.
  5. Drones will add jobs to the economy. While estimates vary, Drones and their eco-system will add over 100,000 jobs to the economy over the next 10 years.
  6. The price point of Drones is dropping like a rock just as the capacities expand. You can now buy most drones from between $40 and $1,300 dollars with all price point in between.
  7. Drones are a natural extension of the technologies that Social Media uses. If the smart phone has extended social media, then Drones are a natural extension of that. Think about how important photo’s and video to social media. Might you envision a day, when a GPS signal to a drone, might give customized marketing messages in the same way that Amazon, Ebay, and most retailers now can with their websites?
  8. Drones fulfill in some of us a natural longstanding desire to fly. Drones when mixed with other technologies such as the Oculus Rift will over time give the sensation of flying without strapping on wings, or running the risk of being eaten by a hawk, running the risk of turning out like Icarus’s son, or even having to battle an arch-villain.


Why do you think about Drones?


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Two things to consider when deciding which Social Media Platform to focus on.

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Marketing | 0 comments

Two things to consider when deciding which Social Media Platform to focus on.

Trying to decide where to put your hard fought marketing dollars?  We tell our clients that social media should be a part and not all of your marketing budget.  But for that portion of dollars that are budgeted for social media, how do you decide where to put your marketing dollars?

Here are a two things to think about that will help you to decide.

  • What are the types of people who you want to target and what do they use?  Are you are recruiter that looking for programming talent that reside in San Francisco?  Then Twitter might be a good choice.  Are you selling elementary school educational software to stay at home  moms?  Then Facebook is the logical choice.  What about Fashion to hipsters?  Pinterest might be the way to go.  You get the idea.
  • What are you trying to do?  If you are trying to do damage control you want to focus on the largest amount of your customers in the shortest time.  Get some bad press, maybe an email to your client list is best.  Worried about the impact on potential customers then  the spend a little money target the platform where you have the most potential clients.  But remember to plan now, when you don’t have to.  If you are trying to inform, than maybe a blog, or even an email newsletter may be the way to go.  Want to be known as a thought leader in your field, Linkedin may be a good choice.   Have a restaurant, then a location-based service like Foursquare might be the ticket,  or maybe twitter to tell about your daily specials.  There are as many options as there are types of businesses.


Follow your instincts on this.   If you spend a few minutes profiling whom you are trying to target and what they are using you have a much better chance of hitting the mark.


Just follow your plan and your customers.  Good luck.


Harry McNabb

Spalding Barker Strategies

Helping Businesses get the most out of their Marketing and Sales Efforts

What is the one thing that Powerball, dieting, and Social Media have in common?

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Business Strategy, Marketing | 0 comments

What is the one thing that Powerball, dieting, and Social Media have in common?

Quick, close your eyes and ask yourself what do these three things have in common?  Let’s look closer:

Powerball:  One of the major news stories recently was on that Powerball lottery was recently over 600 million dollars (I even bought a ticket which I do not normally do).

Dieting:  In amazon, my search for the word dieting just returned over 13,326 results.  I am always amazed when people who I like, respect, and think are smart tell me about their wacky diet.

Social media: companies, non-profits, and small businesses feel that they need to do all of the social media platforms, right now.  And somehow that “other companies” are capturing all of the benefit of social media.

Hope ,untempered by realism or experience, is the common element. Powerball is money, dieting is to look great, and social media is to solve your business problems. All may have a role in your life but I would argue need to be viewed in the proper context.

Don’t believe it?  Ok, you are right, go get your lottery ticket, I just lost 50 pounds by eating just grapefruit, and you can do all of the social media platforms in 3 minutes a day and it will expand your business by 300%.

Oh, and by the way, I have a bridge in NY that I would like to sell you.

Harry McNabb

Spalding Barker Strategies



One Example of How Not to do Social Media.

Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Business Strategy, Marketing | 0 comments

One Example of How Not to do Social Media.

“We have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic”.  Susan Jeffers.

I believe that negativity is poison, and I try very hard to not fall into the trap of negativity.  I do not believe that bringing out all the bad things that can happen is being smart or shows experience or even good judgment.

That being said, sometime people do things, either out of anger or frustration, or a momentary lack of judgment that hurts them.  In social media, we can all think of examples of grown men and woman who should know better, doing something stupid.

We at Spalding Barker use the rule, that you should view anything that you post as going to be read by your boss, your mother, and your priest/preacher or rabbi (substitute in religion of your choice).  Or if you rather, as if it was to be published in The New York Times.

I ran across a instance that might help you to prevent a more subtle mistake that can damage your hard-won on-line reputation.

I belong to a Linkedin group called “Strategies and Tips on Social Media Marketing”.  I recently received an email with the subject line, with the following text (below).

“Please stop spamming this group!”

I thank you for being a member of my “Strategies and Tips on Social Media Marketing” LinkedIn group — but please remember it is a group for people to share strategies and tips. Spamming the group with your or your client’s blog post is not sharing.
Please remember the difference between sharing and promoting. I am actively deleting anything in the moderation queue that is neither a strategy or tip on social media marketing. Please keep this in mind the next time you post something here.
I assume people joined this group to read, share, and participate. Help them. Consider they can help you too. Thanks.

(end of post).

So given it was addressed to me,  I took it personally.  Like most people, I don’t think of myself as a spammer, but in matters of taste…, so I checked my posting history on that group and had not posted there for some time.  So I was pretty sure that I wasn’t the problem.

What happens next is the interesting part,  within 24 hours, over 60 people took the time to reply and comment back to the above message from the moderator and creator of the group.  It was overwhelmingly negative.  Not only that, as I had not changed the default for preferences to receive notification from the moderator via email (and comments regarding what the moderator wrote), I received over 60 messages in my in-box.  Talk about spamming!

So what happened here?  Without knowing the moderator or having special knowledge, I think that he had read some posts for a while that he viewed as spamming, got sick of it, and rather than take the time to respond individually to the offending parties, wrote and sent the above post.

Did it hurt his brand?  Maybe too soon to tell, but it didn’t help him or the good work that he had been doing for some time.

The take away is that social media communication is similar to most other communication, email, letter, or even the phone, but the potential reach is greater with higher upside and downside.  So think twice about what you write and how it will be viewed by those that read it.  Especially if you are in a bad mood!


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