Sunday, April 21, 2024

LIVE! { at the time....}

   If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

I'm a big Demetri Martin fan. As with most things, some people will love a certain comedian, or hate them, or land somewhere on the spectrum of "huge fan" to "meh". 

I think back to all the comedians I have watched over the years - both LIVE (LIVE) and on HBO. Or NETFLIX. Going to Comedy Clubs was the thing to do in the 80s and 90s. I was a regular (sat in the front row... ready for abuse) at Rascals Comedy Club in New Jersey. 

Steve Martin was one of the first comedians to fill a stadium. Remember Andrew Dice Clay? 

Andrew Dice Clay is an American stand-up comedian and actor. He rose to prominence in the late 1980s with a brash, deliberately offensive persona known as "The Diceman". In 1990, he became the first stand-up comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden for two consecutive nights.

And then I thought about the Zoom Comedy Shows that we did during the pandemic. That's all we had was Zoom - it was a Zoom Show or nothing. Our "Coffee in the Clouds - with COMEDIANS" was a ton of fun. But the comedians would frequently comment how you really need a LIVE audience to make it work. You need the energy of the crowd, preferably in a small room with a low ceiling, to make the laughter fill the room. Zoom was cool - but not for comedy. 

And that brings me back to Demetri Martin LIVE! { at the time } special. What is "LIVE" anyway? We do trade shows LIVE but also allow folks to attend LIVE (virtually) when then cannot make the trip. Later this month is TriNet's National Small Business Summit in New York City - LIVE! Monday to Friday LIVE (April 29th - May 3rd) with a few hundred people in the room - and thousands of people attending one or all five days LIVE (from home). And if you cannot make any of it, the recordings (live at the time) will be on their website. 

And so... a career of a comedian usually goes like this: LIVE - small room. LIVE - bigger room. LIVE - STADIUM! LIVE (at the time) ala HBO or NETFLIX. LIVE (at the time) movie or TV show. Maybe they will write a book. And, then if their career lasts long enough, back to LIVE - small room. 

I thought about my career - sales. Face to Face selling (LIVE!) Telephone sales. Direct Mail, Social Media, Trade Shows, Events, Webinars, Email, SMS/TEXTS, what's next?  There are many ways, many paths to the goal. Very similar to a comedian - there are many paths to getting a laugh. Or a sale. 

With a comedian, getting an HBO or NETFLIX special - that is a very big deal. That is a "you made it" moment in the career of a comedian. Technology changed the way that comedians (or singers) grow their careers. I understand that as of this Sunday Blog, someone named Taylor Swift just launched a new album with 300M+ downloads in 24 hours. Huh, streaming media is a very good example of LIVE! ( at the time...). 

I remember when HBO first went live in 1972. I remember getting NETFLIX CDs in the mail, before they made the pivot to online. I remember going to the movies to see a Disney movie as a kid - it was a big deal on a Saturday afternoon. The movie had a start time - don't be late! 

A Yankee Game (LIVE!) at the stadium, or LIVE in your living room? Watching The Masters LIVE - AT the Masters or watching it via ???  Jerry Seinfeld LIVE at a Comedy Club in the 80s or SEINFELD on TV or Jerry Seinfeld (sold out) at Radio City Music Hall in NYC - or 2024: Jerry Seinfeld back to small Comedy Clubs (surprise!). Which would you pick? Do you want to see Jerry Seinfeld LIVE (LIVE) in NYC, or will you wait for the HBO special? Assuming of course you are "huge fan" and not a "meh". 

You, just read this LIVE! At the time... Just like I wrote it. 

Live. At the time. From good ol' BOONTON USA. 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Who's laughing now?

  1. Laughter.
  2. A child laughing. 
  3. A four month old baby laughing. 
  4. A grandfather hearing their first grandchild laughing - for the first time. 
  5. A grandfather looking on as his son holds his first grandchild up to the sky. Both the son and grandchild are laughing. Three generations in one moment. And in that single moment in time - life is perfect for all three. 
Yeah, post number Five above lands the plane, right? 


I don't care where you are in the world, these words will resonate with you. Because in your mind's eye, you are seeing this. You might be mentally visualizing your own family, you might be seeing your own child or grandchild. You might be an uncle or an aunt, or a friend of the family. But the most amazing thing is that the scene that you see (in your mind's eye) is valid no matter where you live in the world. Africa, Asia, Europe, North America - anywhere. 

The laughter of a child, in the arms of their parent, with the grandparents looking on....

And this folks..... is marketing

This vivid imagery could be used for selling travel. Or healthcare. Or life insurance. Or real estate. Or even technology - allowing grandparents to experience the laughter of their first grandchild from thousands of miles away. 

Six Words - For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn. 

Long before the Internet, the above story tells the power of words - and imagery. 

The claim of Hemingway's authorship originates in an unsubstantiated anecdote about a wager among him and other writers. Hemingway is said to have claimed he could write a short story only six words short. In a 1991 letter to Canadian humorist John Robert Colombo, science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke recounts: "He's [Hemingway] supposed to have won a $10 bet (no small sum in the '20s) from his fellow writers. They paid up without a word. ... Here it is. I still can't think of it without crying —  FOR SALE. BABY SHOES. NEVER WORN."

By 1921, the story was already being parodied: the July issue of Judge that year published a version that used a baby carriage instead of shoes; there, however, the narrator described contacting the seller to offer condolences, only to be told that the sale was due to the birth of twins rather than of a single child.

Ah! A positive spin! A happy ending....a twist in the plot! We need a bigger baby carriage! Twins!!!

Here is the point of today's Sunday Blog. We've heard that "A picture is worth a thousand words" but I am not sure that is really true. In today's world of high tech marketing, and AI generated visuals, and mass marketed media, it might be time to rethink this. Scroll to the top. Read posts one to five again. It builds, it builds with five being the most clear - the most vividthe most powerful

We FEEL the scene, we can see it in our own personal experience. In our own families, in our own lives. Three generations in one moment. We can all relate to that moment in time, right? That could be OUR family. That could 

We cannot be sure that Hemingway did (or did not) say the above quote. But here is mine: 

"Six words are worth a thousand pictures." 

Also this: I'm the grandfather in the story at the top. And yes, all is perfect in the world for me (and for my wife) on this Sunday Morning. 

Sunday, April 7, 2024

A Roas is a Roas is a Roas

Everyone knows 'ROI' right? Hey, what's the ROI? We need better ROI!

ROI stands for "Return on Investment." It is a financial metric used to evaluate the profitability or efficiency of an investment relative to its cost. ROI is expressed as a percentage and is calculated by dividing the net profit (or gain) generated from the investment by the cost of the investment, and then multiplying the result by 100 to express it as a percentage.

The formula for calculating ROI is: (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) x 100%

For example, if you invest $10,000 in a project and it generates $15,000 in revenue, with total costs (including the initial investment) amounting to $12,000, then the net profit would be $3,000 ($15,000 - $12,000). So, the ROI in this scenario would be 30%.

ROI is a critical metric in evaluating the performance of investments and comparing the efficiency of different investment opportunities. It helps businesses and investors assess whether the returns generated by an investment justify the costs incurred to make that investment.

Ah, but it was only recently, at 63 years old, that 'ROAS' came into my life. 

ROAS stands for "Return on Advertising Spend." It is a marketing metric that measures the revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. ROAS helps businesses evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns by comparing the revenue generated from those campaigns to the amount spent on them. 

ROAS is calculated by dividing the revenue generated from advertising by the advertising spend. For example, if a company spends $1,000 on advertising and generates $5,000 in revenue from that advertising, the ROAS would be 5 ($5,000 / $1,000).

A higher ROAS indicates that the advertising campaign is more effective at generating revenue, while a lower ROAS suggests that the campaign may not be delivering a positive return on investment. ROAS is commonly used in online advertising, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, but it can also be applied to other forms of advertising. Like Trade Shows. 

TRADE SHOWS!!!!!  What is the ROAS for Trade Shows??? Ah, glad you asked. 

I have been attending Trade Shows and Events since the 80s. Ah yes, travel, hotel, food, cost of the event itself. Sometimes the cost of a booth at the show. Sometimes pre/post show marketing. I remember (around 30 years ago) attending CES and I gave out (literally) 50,000 GE Exchange promotional prepaid phone cards - that was a big thing back in the days of payphones. I am feeling old even saying payphones... Yep, GE was in the 'Long Distance Phone Business' back in the day. I am feeling old even saying 'Long Distance' but I digress. 

Last month the (now global) DLA did the Enterprise Connect event in Orlando and Adobe Summit event in Las Vegas - at the same time. We had 6,000+ attend EC'24 LIVE and 11,700+ in Vegas - again LIVE. We figure 10X that number attend some or all of the events virtually.   

This was the first time we used customer engagement and marketing automation software (properly, deeply) for LIVE events. There are many competitive tools in the marketplace, but last month we used Dotdigital. 

Dotdigital is a global provider of customer engagement and marketing automation software. The company offers a platform called Dotdigital Engagement Cloud, formerly known as Dotmailer. Dotdigital's platform enables businesses to create, manage, and analyze various digital marketing campaigns, including email marketing, SMS marketing, social media marketing, and more.

The Dotdigital Engagement Cloud platform provides features such as email campaign creation and customization, contact segmentation, marketing automation workflows, personalization, analytics and reporting, and integrations with other marketing and CRM tools. Turns out that Dotdigital is a major partner with Adobe, hence their booth at the Adobe Summit. 

Businesses use Dotdigital's platform to engage with their customers across different channels, deliver personalized experiences, drive customer acquisition and retention, and ultimately improve their marketing effectiveness and ROI.

Dotdigital serves a wide range of industries, including retail, e-commerce, travel and hospitality, financial services, and nonprofit organizations. The company's software is designed to help businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises, enhance their digital marketing efforts and build stronger relationships with their customers.

AND SO... we loaded the 6,000+ LIVE attendees from Orlando and the 11,700+ LIVE attendees from Las Vegas into the Dotdigital 'transmogrifier' machine, and for the first time (in my career) we had an ROAS for LIVE trade shows. 

ROAS = (Amount gained from Trade Show / Amount Spent on Trade Show) x 100 

Our ROAS for these two events is tracking at 3600%.  In other words, we are getting $36 for every $1 spent via the Orlando and Vegas events. This...... is good. Like, very very good. 

I am not a CMO by profession, but I do own a calculator. And as a business owner, 3600% ROAS are HOF numbers for me. (Hall of Fame). And here is the "Inside Baseball" secret that most folks don't know about Trade Shows and ROAS.

It costs TIME and MONEY to attend an event LIVE. That's it. That's the big secret. 

Travel, food, the booth, add it all up. There were probably 150+ booths in Orlando and 300+ booths in Las Vegas. So THOSE companies spent $$$ for their 3 or 4 days at the venue. I saw some booths that had 10, 20 or more STAFF at their booths. That's 10 or 20 hotel rooms, 10 or 20 plane tickets, 10 or 20 UBER rides, etc.  It adds up fast.  AND SO.....

The people who PHYSICALLY attend an event - they TOO have their own little ROAS to worry about. Everyone who travels to a LIVE event has their own opportunity costs baked in. No one 'wants' to go to trade shows - they want the RESULTS of going to trade shows! They want the positive BUSINESS OUTCOMES of physically attending a trade show or physically attending an industry event - LIVE

We can now track the ROAS of the people who attended an event LIVE vs. someone who attended an event virtually. It's not even close. If someone goes to your website and downloads a PDF, hey that's great. If they attend one of your webinars, cool. 

But if some spends the 'time and treasure' to attend an event LIVE - they too are looking for a business outcome

Turns out that CFOs love, LoVe, LOVE things like ROI and ROAS.  And if you are a solopreneur, then YOU ARE the CFO. 

Full Disclosure: The DLA is now the North American Partner for Dotdigital. Why? Because I do indeed own a calculator. And MATH I understand. Advanced Calculus? Not so much. But math... yeah I got that nailed. 

If you want your own free trial account of the Dotdigital transmogrifier machine (tip of the hat to Calvin and Hobbes) just go to as I like sharing my toys. Hey, it's a member benefit!