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Robert Rodriguez and Henry Selick at SxSW

March 16th, 2009 by Shannon Newton

Again, sorry for sound and video. I am packing only Blackberry this weekend

Robert on his kids coming up with his next movie idea:

Robert’s advice on perseverance:

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Fun and Music in Austin, TX (Sat, Mar 21)

March 16th, 2009 by Shannon Newton

We are co-sponsoring a GREAT SxSW party this Saturday. Contact us (or, rather me at shannon.newton@market7.com) to get on the invite list if you are at SxSW.

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Who Needs PR? (hint…YOU do)

March 15th, 2009 by Shannon Newton

It’s more important than ever to have a new media PR strategy. The problem is, the more it feels like PR, the less effective it will be. The goal is building a community that becomes your PR machine. How? Listen intently for opportunities to talk to your customers and turn negatives to positives. (Shout out to our very own PR guy, Brian Baumley for encouraging us in our own efforts)

  1. Encourage honest conversations, let the customer know they are really heard
  2. Address their concerns in a public way
  3. Don’t just go after the low-hanging fruit or the most disruptive forces
  4. Monitor all of the conversation mediums (Twitter, Facebook, etc. Good app is Peoplebrowsr)
  5. Don’t think of the new media outlets as marketing launchpads or they will be dismissed

Panelists: Karly Hand, Erin Portman, Brian Solis, Peter Shankma

“PR releases over the newswire are as dead as the blast fax” – Shankman
“If you are not being proactive, you are not getting your message out there” – Portman

Shankman explains good yogurt vs. bad

Shankman explains good yogurt vs. bad

Shankman has a yogurt theory: Good yogurt vs bad yogurt: Bad yogurt provides not value (“I just had a yogurt!”…who cares?) – Good yogurt provides value (TCBY is having 50% off today)

Examples of companies with good new media PR

  • McDonalds
  • Dell
  • BMW

Examples of companies with bad new media PR

  • Skittles
  • Ford
  • Intel

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Music Publishing Rights 101

March 15th, 2009 by Shannon Newton

For many independent producers, that perfect musical piece is the difference between mediocrity and superiority.  During the BMI pannel at SxSW, ther experienced panel of Paul Haslinger, Linda Kordek, John Anderson, Ron Mann, Michelle Belcher and Grant Lee Phillips cleared up much of the confusion.

1. Who do I contact to get music rights?

“Your first stop for a signed artist is a music publisher.  For an unsigned artist, you have to go dirctly to the artist but be sure to secure your licence agreements” – Doreen Ringer-Ross

“You need to hire someone (music supervisor) who understands the process” – Belcher

“Music supervisors who know what they are doing can save you money by forging deals that you could not do by yourself” Ringer-Ross

2. Why do I need to license both Sync and Master?

Sync covers the original composition (notes on the page), Master covers the specific recording by the composer.  An example would be Dolly Parton’s “I will always love you” sung by Whitney Houston.  Sync rights covers the song as written by Dolly, the Master would cover’s Whitney’s rendition of it (paid to publisher)

3. Original composer vs. Licensing pre-recording

“A lot of composers will take less money and take part of their money on the back end…:” – Belcher

“An interesting source of original music is www.freeplaymusic.com” – Anderson

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A Direct Line of Lessons from Zappos Customer Service:

March 14th, 2009 by Shannon Newton

Really enjoyed the opening remarks by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com. A company that really does the customer service thing right said a few words on their approach. There were all sorts of good tidbits about company culture (and the importance of it), hiring right and empowering.

One of the little highlights of Tony’s speech for this quirky company was that they hired artists to simultaneously draw a giant notes page while Tony talked. They didn’t have forewarning of what he was going to talk about, they just wrote (in a much more artistic fashion than most of us of course) as Tony talked. Sunni brown was the artist on the left side of the stage.

–>The entire Zappos Artboard (super-cool!)

The entire Zappos Artboard (super-cool!)

The most useful thing that I plan to bring back to Market7 is a sense of customer support. They put their 1-800 number on every page and ask customers to call them about anything. Best of all, none of their customer support team members are given a script nor measured on length of call.

The Zappos philosophy: ‘We want to be the best customer service organization in the world. Support calls are like our marketing outreach. They take what they take to satisfy the customer. The only measure that matters is how satisified the customer feels when you hang up.’ (paraphrased)

Hear Tony describe it in his own words (sorry for the poor camera quality cell phone):

The other thing I thought Tony said that was great was the Seven steps to building a brand:

  1. Decide (what the brand is)
  2. Figure out values & culture (everyone in company contributes) *see zappos values here
  3. Commit to transparency (everywhere)
  4. Vision for future (clearly lay it out)
  5. Build relationships with customers
  6. Build your team (based on your cultural values)
  7. Think long term (reinforce the mindset constantly)

The difference between Zappos and many other brands? These people actually believe what they say.

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Agile by Any Other Name…

March 14th, 2009 by Shannon Newton

In the  Creative: Show the path, not the destination at SxSW today, the theme reminded me of a core tenant of our Agile process. Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners and Brendan Dawes, creative director of Mn talked about how in creating content, it is a great idea to build the interaction framework and leave the story development open ended, allowing the audience to tell you where to go next.

They advocated multiple paths to interact with the audience not only to maximize the quantity of input but also to prove how interested you are in their feedback.

” I’m really into people vs machines. … Examples of how people walk across a park compared
to how we plot paths.”    – Brendan Dawes

Although it was content focused, It reinforced my commitment to our agile process. At Market7, we try to make some basic assumptions (create the path) but encourage our users to redefine those paths to affect our development.  Our connection to our users is through multiple connections (GetSatisfaction, Twitter, Blog, email).  Finally, we circle back in those forums to let those same users know when we have encorporated those changes (so that they can see their story unfold!)

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SxSW: Salesman or Tourist

March 14th, 2009 by Shannon Newton

As I make my return to the South by Southwest Interactive, Film and Music Festival this week (skipping the music as I reluctantly always do) I was reminded of my conflict when I am here.

The conflict is whether I am a Market7 salesperson or SxSW tourist. As a salesperson, my responsibilities include evangelizing the latest exciting features to attract new customers, partners and resellers. But it’s difficult not to be a SxSW tourist as well. Geeky social networks, interesting technology, and great films…what’s not to love.

(BTW, breakfast at the Omni - definitely a tourist)

It’s like being a kid, trying to sell school raffle tickets in an ice cream store. You know what you are there to do but the smell of the waffle cone and butter-pecan ice cream drags your focus away without a murmur of resistance. So what is the answer? A little of both…until I smell the butter-pecan.

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SxSW Panel Proposal

August 20th, 2008 by Shannon Newton

Shameless Promotion

We have two panel proposals up for South by Southwest (SxSW) interactive content festival for next year. If you love us, you will click one of the two panel links below and vote for our panel! (Yes, you have to create an account, but it is SOOOO worth it to support our fabulous team).

In the development of our software, we have collected a ton of best practices for video producers and their clients. It seems fitting to try and leverage some of that in the form of an informative and fun panel.

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/1766 – Video Content Producer – Get Paid!

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/1768 – OMG: How Much Will That Video Cost?

panel_picker_pickme.gif


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SxSW Thoughts From DFW @ 9:30 [& From HQ 11:30 Next Night]

March 12th, 2008 by Seth Kenvin

Get online & first check NBA scores. Nice — Utah down 11 w/ 7 mins left — can Warriors climb four spots in standings to get home-court in 1st round?

[The unbracketed stuff was written last (Tues Mar 11) night on my way out of Austin. In brackets is tonight's product back in SF. Answer to my question is that despite Utah going down last night & Spurs tonight, a Warrior win tonight advances them little because every other Western playoff contender won on one of these nights. Most competitive conference ever.]

OK, onto thinking about this event. I grade my experience an eh+. The interactive track seems to try blending Burning Man with TED, and proves that’s hard. [Some sessions and speeches inspire & illuminate -- some didn't capture me despite bright & engaged peeps in front of room.]

Why did I come?

#1) Scout SxSW for future M7 marketing endeavors
Pretty good on this count. It’s a distinctive event with scope spanning online software and media production — clearly sweet spot for us. Shannon and I came up with some exciting ideas of how we can promote a commercial-stage Market7 in ’09, touting our benefits of enabling media-creatives to better utilize technology in servicing clientele. This is our #1 agenda item, so show validates itself on that and all else is gravy. On to the gravy

#2) Meet great people
Surprisigly mediocre on this one. But I’ll give a mulligan. I am psyched about a few contacts made. Special props to everyone from CurrentTV [& Zach from Refine+Focus]. I’ll assume this was more my being too wallflower /gravitating to the [handful of] people I already knew, but I am only leaving tow with ~5 cards I’ll follow up on. [I do know Shannon did better making contacts than me. (as he should!)]

#3) Learn at sessions
Another few props here: this one and this one were my favorites. [Both touchy-feely] It was also good to get a more tangible sense of AIR. [(still withholding judgement, but so far I'm not persuaded)]

#4) Have a good time
Yes, accomplished. Two film screenings (one shorts [couldn't find link to shorts line-up I saw] & one documentary), meals with two college friends who live in Austin, omnipresent good music, and discovery of & frequent visits to favorite joint in town, and overall positive & generous attitudes of the crowd. [No way to avoid having at least a good time with that collection of circumstances. I did have good share of pretty funny moments with old & new friends.] Following photo was my last laugh — amused me in Austin airport on way out . [I want to write something cute about returning to same place upon return to town next year, but given subject matter of photo, the only things I'm coming up with seem gross, so I merely scribe: I think I'll be back next year, but regardless, some M7ers surely will.]

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Giving the Blog a Bone

March 11th, 2008 by Shannon Newton

Tuesday at SxSW a panel regarding successful company blogs assembled to discuss best practices. The panel included Mario Sundar, Lionel Menchaca, and Kami Huyse.

The most successful blogs create value for the readers.

The least successful blogs are self serving as company marketing mouthpieces.

To create a successful blog, determine who you are trying to reach, how to reach them, and what they want from you. Your blog should fashion itself to fill that need. Dell’s primary blog purpose is to harvest good ideas from their customers. LinkedIn on the other hand, uses their blog to shorten the distance between their engineering and design teams and the customer. Both serve the customer by giving them what they want (a say in the future of their favorite products/services)

For Market7, there are three things our customers want:

1. Connect with the engineer/design teams to influence the product direction

2. Get information on how to make a better video

3. Learn the future direction of the product/service offering

As a result our blog should focus on delivering these things, perhaps with a designated person responsible for each area (ie, whenever they see a post from Seth, they know he will touch upon future direction, whenever they see a post from Shannon, they know he will talk about making a better video)

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