Article in Automotive News - Quoted

I'm quoted this week in an article in Automotive News regarding mobile paid search ads.  

Mobile advertising is an extremely complex area right now.   There is more that needs to be learned as Google changes their marketplace.   They are making the right moves as a business.  Now it is up to us to provide the best value for our customers.   

Pricing on mobile is up significantly since the change to Enhanced Campaigns.   However, it is still a great value for the local business.    

In addition to Mobile Paid Search, I'm really interested in where the mobile display space is going.   It is really hard to Mobile Display, for a consumer that is in-market to buy a car, at the local level.   Easy if you are doing a one-off buy.   Hard to do it for small budgets (sub-$1000) at scale (1000's of advertisers).   We will figure this out.

Link to the Automotive News Article (you have to be a subscriber unfortunately).


Sander and I got in a big discussion about Bigfoot. He thinks Bigfoot exists. I don't. We discussed how we could prove that Bigfoot exists. He says we need hundreds of satellites over the forests scanning with a Bigfoot scanner and that would prove there was a Bigfoot. And until we don't that we can't say that Bigfoot doesn't exist. He makes a convincing argument, even for a 6 year old.

A field guide to the Meeting Troll

Yes, I'm posting another Seth Godin post.  But as work has cause blogging to go even further back on the burner, I have run across my fair share of meeting trolls.

A field guide to the Meeting Troll

The meeting troll is a common creature, one that morphs over time and is good at hiding (snaring you when it's too late to avoid him.)

  1. The meeting troll has a neverending list of reasonable objections. It's the length of the list that makes the objections unreasonable.
  2. The meeting troll never says 'we'. It's all about 'you.'
  3. The meeting troll doesn't actually want you to fail, but is establishing a trail so that if you do, he's off the hook.
  4. Despite his protestations about how much he hates meetings, the meeting troll actually thrives on them, because, after all, this is the only place he gets to do his best work. The very best way to extinguish the meeting troll is to extinguish meetings. The second best way is to not invite him.
  5. A key giveway: The meeting troll will use the phrase, "devil's advocate." More than once.
  6. Growth hackers look for a yes at every turn. The meeting troll thinks his job is to find the no.
  7. The meeting troll never eagerly calls a project meeting, nor does he bring refreshments, volunteer to organize follow up or encourage others to push their ideas even further. He's eager, though, to host the post mortem.
  8. One particularly noxious type of meeting troll says not a thing at the meeting. He uses body language and eye rolling to great advantage, though, and you can be sure that there will be quiet one-on-one undermining going on as soon as the meeting is over. The modern evolution of this is the instant messaging of snide remarks during the meeting.
  9. The meeting troll has a perfect memory for previous failures and complete amnesia when it comes to things that have worked.
  10. Analogies, particularly to vivid flameouts (regardless of how rare or irrelevant) is the easy tool for the amateur troll. He's also good at equating your desire to deal with negative change with the assertion that you somehow caused or were in favor of that negative change.
  11. Open-ended questions that merely hint at failure are sufficient for the experienced troll. He knows that he doesn't have to kill the new project for it to die. He just has to stir up sufficient unease.
  12. The meeting troll is afraid, not merely evil. Change is a threat, and trolling is his well-intentioned but erroneous response to the threat of change.

Good thoughts today from Seth Godin

Good comments today from Seth Godin on his blog.  

It costs time and money to make something better. It's risky, as well, because trying to make something better might make it worse. Perhaps making it better for the masses makes it worse for the people who already like it. And risk brings fear, because that means someone is going to be held responsible, and so the lizard brain wants out. 

Read more here

Service that is the "norm" isn't good enough now

I recently bought a new set of tires from   I wanted a specific kind that got good ratings.   They were delivered to my house.  


I had to find a place to get the tires mounted.  I called the local Les Schwab.   It was close by, and they pride themselves on service in their ads.  I called them, and they quoted me a price, but i couldn't make an appointment.   So the next day I took the car in mid-day figuring it would be a 30 minute install.  

They told me they were busy that day and could I leave my car with them for the day.  I couldn't.  They, in turn, recommended I come back first thing the next day.  

Next day, same thing.  A 3 hour wait.

Now, they were very friendly.  But being friendly isn't good enough now.  We are seeing a change in how service is conducted.   "Good" isn't good enough now.  


Why can't a make an appointment?   Why can't I make an appointment online?   I should have an exact appointment where they meet me in the service drive.   If you can't do a good job of being exact about timing, why don't you provide a car service so I don't have to sit in your waiting room for 3 hours?   

Services has to get "Great" for it to break through the norm.   Look at Uber.   Uber is a new "taxi" service.   You use an app to request the towncar.   App shows you how long it will be until it gets to you.   The cars are clean and nice.  They often offer you bottled water.   When you arrive at your destination, you don't have to fumble with cash or a credit card.  They charge you direct to your card straight from the app.   Tip is included.   It makes taking a "taxi" ride so much better.   The experience of it blows every other service out of the water.   

Again, they focus on the consumer experience here.   Something that Les Schwab doesn't do more than the "norm".  The "norm" isn't enough now.  You need to be excellent.   

As an aside: I got the tires put on at my normal dealership.  They did it for a price 40% less than Les Schwab.  In 30 minutes.