Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic August 12, 2002

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:00 AM): Hi, Yosef. How's the vitamin business?

Hi everyone. Happy Monday ;-) (8/12/2002 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (8/12/2002 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Yosef Rabinowitz ( (8/12/2002 9:01 AM): Doin' great! I'm meeting with nutritionists, alternative health practitioners and health food stores.

Yosef Rabinowitz ( (8/12/2002 9:02 AM): They're receptive to products that are low-carb/no-carb and diabetic friendly...

Yosef Rabinowitz ( (8/12/2002 9:02 AM): and in the case of the stores, profit generating :-)

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:02 AM): Good morning all - what a great day!

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:02 AM): When you need to do search engine submission, let me know. I know of a lot of good health search engines.

Yosef Rabinowitz ( (8/12/2002 9:03 AM): Thanks.

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:03 AM): Mani - is that the same Mani who worked with me on pricing?

Pat ( (8/12/2002 9:04 AM): Hey, what happened to Rob?

weber (8/12/2002 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:05 AM): Maybe he is on the phone.

weber (8/12/2002 9:05 AM): Hi Yosef, Anita, et al

Lea ( (8/12/2002 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

Brett Stuckel ( (8/12/2002 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

Hi everyone. Happy Monday ;-) (8/12/2002 9:06 AM): C.McMahen( I see you do SEO too. Love to chat sometime?

Rob Frankel (8/12/2002 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:06 AM): It is curious. Even tho the country seems to be coming out of a recession, I am swamped with work.

Tamra ( (8/12/2002 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (8/12/2002 9:06 AM): Whoa, really sorry for the tardiness....we had a heck of a bad week in our family this week and things are just getting back to normal....

Lea ( (8/12/2002 9:07 AM): Anita, If that's the case, then why are you here?

Fraser ( (8/12/2002 9:07 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (8/12/2002 9:07 AM): Anita, that's great news...must mean it's time to raise your rates!

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:07 AM): C. McMahen, sure.

Lea ( (8/12/2002 9:08 AM): Rob, Sorry to hear that. Hope all is well now.

Rob Frankel (8/12/2002 9:08 AM): Okay, so who's up first today?

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:08 AM): Anything we can do to help Rob?

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:08 AM): Rob, I just raised them and people still want to do business!

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:08 AM): Lea, I still need help with branding. My business seems to be word of mouth and now from some of the new SEO directories.

Rob Frankel (8/12/2002 9:09 AM): Anyone new today? We let the new folks go first, so jump in!

mani (8/12/2002 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (8/12/2002 9:09 AM): Thanks, all. Things are on the mend now.

mani (8/12/2002 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (8/12/2002 9:10 AM): Mani, you been here before?

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:10 AM): If I can be put in queue - I am wondering about logos - thinking about that this week

Rob Frankel (8/12/2002 9:11 AM): GO for it Jodie...

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:12 AM): Well - for my service, I am not sure exactly how to approach the issue - just use a certain style for the Business name, or actually use a picture/illustration etc

RobFrankel (8/12/2002 9:12 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (8/12/2002 9:13 AM): Ack! I got bumped off....

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:13 AM): What do you do?

RobFrankel (8/12/2002 9:13 AM): Well, let's talk about logos, shall we? Because for the most part they really piss me off.....!!!!

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:14 AM): I make men look like heroes to their partners

mani (8/12/2002 9:14 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (8/12/2002 9:14 AM): Ok. I'll take the bait. Why do logos piss you off, Rob?

mani (8/12/2002 9:14 AM): hello everyone, rob this is my first visit. thanks

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:14 AM): Entered the room.

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:15 AM): How about a stick figure with a muscle? :)

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:15 AM): Here's the thing about logos: like brands, most people think they're about identity and nothing else. But that's not right. A logo is a visual representation of the brand

weber (8/12/2002 9:15 AM): Rob must really be pissed off he left to vent and then returned

Lea ( (8/12/2002 9:15 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:15 AM): That means the logo can't just be a nice font with nothing else going on. Or a dopey swoosh placed by it.

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:16 AM): I was thinking that I needed something more gender-generic - so that I could expand later

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:16 AM): Here's what I mean: has logos coming out of my shop. If you look at them, all but one has some visual element of interest that conveys the brand message

weber (8/12/2002 9:16 AM): Jodie what about a smiling face with a kiss mark on it?

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:16 AM): But doesn't that dopey swoosh always come across as the brand, and rather strongly?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:17 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:17 AM): Jodie, your brand is about getting men's stock to go up with their partners. That's what the logo should communicate (not literally, of course)

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:17 AM): Hello...

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:17 AM): weber - I actually doodled that exact one

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:18 AM): Hi, Bill!

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:18 AM): I finally got a decent logo for my company

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:18 AM): FWIW, our logo features a pillow with a bottle of wine and a condom in the wine glass.

weber (8/12/2002 9:18 AM): Either Great minds run in the same track, or Fools think alike take your choice

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:19 AM): Weber, that is SO tempting....

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:19 AM): So what's your issue, Jodie?

Brett Stuckel ( (8/12/2002 9:19 AM): Entered the room.

weber (8/12/2002 9:19 AM): It's one of those days

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:20 AM): Get this, after 2 years the programmer! finally came up with the company name and logo...

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:20 AM): well, my web designer came up with a first take that I really like - but it doesn't seem to leave room for a logo - (and my room, I don't mean physical space) - I guess I just can't visualize a logo out of what he did (which, again, I like) - and don't want to ruin the 'feel'

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:21 AM): It's at ... finding a name that wasn't taken was a pain ... finding a logo that made sense was harder.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:21 AM): Bill, what is it that they say about the room full of 600 monkeys and a typewriter? tee hee

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:21 AM): ... and 60,000,000,000 years or so

weber (8/12/2002 9:21 AM): <------- Rob .... it's Bob Newhart

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:22 AM): Jodie, your system is out of sequence. The brand should come first, then the identity and then the implementations.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:22 AM): My next step is to make this ACTIONABLE. It's amazing how many people forget that.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:22 AM): But what's the specific question? (Mani, get ready, you're next if you have a question)

weber (8/12/2002 9:22 AM): Jodie, you will also need to use your logo on letterhead and biz cards, etc.

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:23 AM): Jodie, is the logo you like the one that's currently on your site?

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:24 AM): I know - that's just it - I guess it's just the process I have not wrapped my head around - Rob B. - no, that was just an experiment

mani (8/12/2002 9:24 AM): thanks rob, i am just lurking at the moment

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:25 AM): the page I like is - note: that is NOT the price and NOT what is being sent

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:25 AM): Jodie, seriously, look at the logos on my logo page. See how they convey the benefits or interest of each brand. That's what you should focus on.

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:25 AM): whoops - splashtest.html

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:26 AM): Jodie, that page 404's

Andrew (8/12/2002 9:26 AM): Entered the room.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:26 AM): URL for the Logo Page?

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:26 AM): But, my brand is impossible to communicate visually.

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:26 AM): you're right - I guess I am just panicking - trying to be up in less than two weeks

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:27 AM): NO, Anita, it isn't impossible to communicate visually. It really can be done by the right person with the right tools and talent.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:27 AM): Splashtest is a nice provocative image, but it isn't a logo

Pat ( (8/12/2002 9:27 AM): Rob, I agree with Anita. Those of us with intangible items have a hard time coming up with a logo (me included).

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:27 AM): See the nice page but don't see a logo

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:27 AM): Jodie, nice shot -- I can picture myself under there somewhere -- but hardly what you're seeking for an identity.

weber (8/12/2002 9:27 AM): Jodie, I really do like that idea of a smiling face with the kiss on the cheek.

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:27 AM): No, there is no logo on that page

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:27 AM): Rob B I'm with ya -- I'm too busy fantasizing to even know what's going on.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:28 AM): O.K.. how about this ... some sort of drawing of a lady being given flowers and giving the guy a kiss

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 9:28 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:28 AM): Pat, I have a hard time, too. But at least there's something. In my case, it's the bobbing head. I suspect that both you and Anita may be a bit shy about promoting yourselves.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:29 AM): sometimes a drawing is better than a photo. Logo's have to work on business cards, B&W images ... etc...

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:29 AM): Ha! I promote myself every chance I get!

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:29 AM): Bill, I think your notion of the lipsmack is conceptually good, but that execution needs to be fresh. It's closer to the mark.

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:30 AM): this is the doodle I came up with:

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:30 AM): Where's her other leg? That's one ATHLETIC lady!

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:30 AM): Yes, but Anita, we've discussed here before how difficult it was to find you, the person, on your site.

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 9:30 AM): This is my first time posting, but I do know a great logo person who lives overseas and thus charges a low fee. She'd probably take a crack at building a logo in a no-obligation kind of way.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:30 AM): Jodie, it's going to have to be slicker than that

Hi everyone. Happy Monday ;-) (8/12/2002 9:30 AM): There was some talk about tag lines last week. Does this tie into it? What's Anita's tag line?

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:30 AM): In fact, altho it has nothing to do with my biz, my Archaeology Online blog will be reviewed in Archaeology Magazine next month.

Pat ( (8/12/2002 9:30 AM): Rob, do you mean add like a biography of the owner of the company?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:31 AM): The kiss.gif is a bit better ... but something needs to indicate that it involves a gift.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:31 AM): (ANYONE ELSE WITH A QUESTION? This is the time)

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:31 AM): "Connecting Your Site to the Web" which no one here liked.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:31 AM): For a start, Pat, sure. If you ARE the company, that's vital.

Lea ( (8/12/2002 9:31 AM): Hi Rob, I own a small P.R. agency (two-person shop using network of consultants for specialized expertise) and have a serious issue surrounding client references. Over the past two years, our two major clients became problem clients -- both late pay, and one was also involved in some questionable dealings (which we first learned late last fall) -- and had to terminate both accounts while pursuing collection actions. Now, we have several smaller accounts and are working to transition the firm from working with special-interest groups to doing corporate work, which has created a bit of a branding crisis (since we're known for our political and advocacy work). These two clients received some very plum national media placements, in addition to achieving great turn-around stories -- as a result of our work, but the relationships have soured, for obvious reasons. Because our work with them was so high-profile, we still want to use it as an example of what we can do but we also want to rely on references from our happiest customers. How do we handle this as a branding issue, and secondarily, how do we handle the issue of client references?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:31 AM): I don't like it ... it's so .... dot-com

CindyMcMahen ( (8/12/2002 9:31 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:33 AM): Lea, the first thing you have to do is establish your brand. Once that's done, you use everything you have to reinforce that brand promise. That doesn't mean you throw everything at it, but use them selectively to enforce your message

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:33 AM): I have a question as well ... but I'll wait till I get the go ahead to ask from Rob...

Pat ( (8/12/2002 9:34 AM): Rob, I've seen a few sites where they have a biography of themselves, their family and a few pictures. Is all that necessary, or would just a biography be ok?

Lea ( (8/12/2002 9:35 AM): So we're OK with the fact that we previously specialized in another area, and that our major clients had some problems within their own shops?

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:35 AM): pat, keep the personal stuff OUT. This is strictly business, so all the ABOUT stuff pertains to business only....

Pat ( (8/12/2002 9:35 AM): Rob - secondly, how does this differ if you are a one-person company, or a 5/10/20-person company?

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:36 AM): Lea, does that make sense? If you do it that way, you can pick and choose easily. For example, you can name drop some clients but use others for case studies. mix and match until you build up the more varied client roster. But in each case, you have to show how it delivered on your brand promise. that's what people should be taking away. They won't notice anything else if you keep driving them in that direction

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:37 AM): Pat, I don't think it should make any difference.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:37 AM): Lea, remember, if you lead they follow. It's only when you DON'T lead that the inmates run the asylum!

Lea ( (8/12/2002 9:37 AM): Got it... Thanks! I'm off to work on this.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:37 AM): Pat, it differs in that a more-than-one-person company is building to delegate, in which case people other than the one person will be engaging clients. You can't have everyone loading on to top dog.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:38 AM): Bill, did you want to jump in here?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:38 AM): yes

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:38 AM): Here's my problem.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:39 AM): I sell a service for small print shops that replaces the fax and email attachments for print job approvals.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:39 AM): The owners who have signed up love it.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:39 AM): Right, I remember.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:40 AM): The problem is that the creative staff doesn't want to change. In some cases they won't even TRY it.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:40 AM): I had one shop that signed up for an account, but the creative wouldn't even log onto the system.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:40 AM): I've got approved by Sir Speedy and Pip Printing to sell to their stores ...

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:41 AM): I'm betting they don't want to change because they can't understand how the color matching works

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:41 AM): I don't want to mess up this opportunity.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:41 AM): Color isn't the issue ... because in MOST cases we are replacing the FAX.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:42 AM): Here's what one shop had to say (I hope I can paste this in).

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:42 AM): Got it. So what's the issue here?

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:42 AM): Bill, why do you think they don't want to use it?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:42 AM): Our customers love the ZipProof process. It is easy & convenient to use. The system is so user friendly that we send the client their first proof with no directions.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:42 AM): Hey, it can't top Lea's post for length! That was a record breaker!

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:42 AM): How do I get the creatives NOT to sink the sales process.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:43 AM): I think these folks, the creatives, are so swamped with work ... that ANYTHING is a imposition to them.

sunni (8/12/2002 9:43 AM): Entered the room.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:43 AM): I visited 2 shops on Thursday. One was a small store in Downtown San Diego ... where on graphics artist was doing all the work.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:43 AM): Bill, I think it's a great system. It's clearly your messaging that's the problem. I'm betting that (as a former creative guy in an agency myself) you're simply taking the wrong approach. Are you familiar with the internal processes?

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:44 AM): Bill - who are you approaching to sell to?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:44 AM): he was emailing PDF's to customers and then calling them back to talk about the proof.

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:44 AM): but if it will make there jobs easier, or at least more efficient

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:44 AM): No, Bill, they have a mindset all their own

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:44 AM): said he loved how ZipProof worked .... but didn't have the time to use it.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:44 AM): In fact he often has to go to the customers just to get the designs corrected.

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:44 AM): It should be the creatives, not the owners - at least involve them in the 'pitch'

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (8/12/2002 9:44 AM): Entered the room.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:45 AM): In the second shop I presented to the owner and the 'sole creative'. The owner was going ohh-ah, the creative was bitching about having to change the way they did stuff ... faxing for the time being.

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:45 AM): Does it take a lot of time to use, say versus the amount of time needed for a PDF?

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:45 AM): From what I can tell, you're trying to use the same pitch to creatives as you are to the print guys. Those two worlds are polar opposites.

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:46 AM): Yes, most people don't like change.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:46 AM): Sometimes this can be very disheartening ... then I get messages like this "It is a fact that we are getting faster responses to proofs with the pressroom"

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:46 AM): No, in fact it takes less time.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:46 AM): Take, for example, the ability for a creative to simply fax/PDF right out of the board. No problem, just a click. No uploads, no logging on....

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:46 AM): See :

Pat ( (8/12/2002 9:47 AM): Rob, I'd like to put myself back into the queue.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:47 AM): I am thinking about adding a "ZipProof Print Driver" ... so creatives can print to the proofing system ... but that will cost me more $$$ than I have

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:47 AM): Creatives feel they have control. Realize that the mindset of creatives is about 85% frustration. Mainly at people trying to stick their noses into their work. That's like eating anthrax to them.

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 9:47 AM): it's sounds like more education is needed for the creatives - akin to the approach used by washing matching manufacturers of washing machines early last century - they did a study about how many steps and hours traditional washing took over using the machine... the woman saved something like 4 hours and one mile a week or something like that

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:48 AM): Once a shop starts to use it, they do love it. I've never had a complaint from creatives at a shop that actually made the switch.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:48 AM): The other 15% of creative mindset is about attention. A lot of creatives never got the attention from their parents as kids! That's why they want to put their messages on TV for the world to see.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:48 AM): The study ... that makes SENSE.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:48 AM): Excellent point Rob...

Tamra ( (8/12/2002 9:49 AM): Bill, is this done with Java? Maybe folks worry that their clients won't have Java (because of firewalls, etc.)

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:49 AM): Bill, you can have all the studies you want, but that's a RATIONAL approach and while that might appeal to you, you're still making the same mistake about them.

Anita ( (8/12/2002 9:49 AM): If you could put together a study showing how much time and effort the creatives would save...

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:49 AM): Guess I'm one of those control/attention creatives. : ^ )

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:49 AM): Tamra, show me one creative who ever cared about what the client had and I'll pay you a buck!

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:49 AM): Yes, we can sell the owners ... but we are failing with the creatives.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:50 AM): (We're going an extra ten minutes today)

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:50 AM): Bill, this means you need at least two sales pitches. One for each

Terri Robinson ( (8/12/2002 9:50 AM): Entered the room.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:50 AM): We run with or WITHOUT Java. That's about 40% of my dev. budget.

Tamra ( (8/12/2002 9:51 AM): Rob, you've obviously never had your ear chewed off by an angry client who can't open your PDF (because he never upgraded from v1) or who's behind a firewall and can't see the site you posted to your hosting company because their MIS dept has your hosting company as a spammer....believe me, we care. We care greatly. Clients *make* us care.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:51 AM): try the example with and without java. It's amazing.

weber (8/12/2002 9:51 AM): Hi Terri

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 9:51 AM): Now that I have confessed, I think to convince me it's better, I really have to see it work, and see what my client's going to see quality wise. The product seems interesting but I think you need a stronger sell to the people that have to actually use it (the creatives)

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:51 AM): Tamra, you bet I have....I said show me a CREATIVE who cares. It's the Account person who gets the ear chewed.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:51 AM): In fact we can run on a Web TV, Compaq iPag Handheld, a Cable Setttop box.

Terri Robinson ( (8/12/2002 9:51 AM): coming out of lurk mode on how to reach the creatives :) Bill, you would probably get a lot more attention from the creatives if you had some testimonials from other creatives saying how they loved it and how much their bosses applauded their new quicker turnarounds on proofs.

Terri Robinson ( (8/12/2002 9:52 AM): Hi Weber :)

Tamra ( (8/12/2002 9:53 AM): Rob, guess I need to hire an account person! I'm running out of ears (laughs).

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:53 AM): Bill, I'm going to spell it out for ya: C-O-N-T-R-O-L That's what creative people worship.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:53 AM): Tamra, you're not taking me literally, are you?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:53 AM): Tamra, this is exactly why we don't require PDF plugin, any download, any install ... it will run even without Javascript!

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 9:53 AM): As I understand it the owners are following the creative's lead. I think that means that the owners are passing the buck down to the creatives "will this work for you?" kind of thing. Letting them make the decision. It seems to me that if you can show the owners that it's THEIR issue and that THEY will save money then they'll get the creatives on board like it or not. In other words I think that maybe the pitch and purchase decision is in the "creative" group where you should perhaps push the advantages of the system from an ownership standpoint.decision

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:53 AM): So I have to word this in the phrase "get more control of your work"

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:54 AM): Tamra, when I was an agency writer, I used to love making the AE's life miserable because so many of them were incompetent. They were the only people you could piss off by actually following their directions!

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:54 AM): Andrew brings up a good point...

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 9:54 AM): In other words, if they owners think it's THEIR issue, THEY'LL make the decision... and their decision will be on non-creative grounds. I think. :)

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:54 AM): Our best customer was a shop that had made the decision, a week before we contacted them, that they AHD TO go to a new proofing system.

sunni (8/12/2002 9:55 AM): Bill -- I'd solve the problem by first finding out -- clearly -- what the problem is. Do that by interviewing the creatives that object. Get VERY clear on their objections. Once you understand their objections, then you can develop the solution

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:55 AM): Bill, realize that the standard agency creative (not Tamra) actually will get angry about the way a headline lays out, or how a prop is moved in a shot. I've seen people get into fisticuffs over semi-colons.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:55 AM): Andrew, I would go the reverse. Sell the creative first and let them "battle" the owners (who secretly have already been sold)

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:56 AM): What I would do is tell the creatives, "Look, your owners may not want to buy this, but you guys are going to love this."

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:57 AM): I know of one case where the shop was proofing restaurant menus. Very large and complex.

sunni (8/12/2002 9:57 AM): And yep, I agree 100% with Andrew and Rob. My creatives always come TO ME with what they want for new products, etc. They convince me to do the OK. So sell the creatives first.

Tamra ( (8/12/2002 9:57 AM): Since so many creatives are on Macs, and run into constant hassle from non-Mac folks, maybe play up the cross-platform stuff a bit

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:57 AM): This stuff is impossible with a fax ... and if you send a big honking PDF to the customer ...they aren't going to be able to fix that.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:57 AM): We LOVE the Mac. We built this on the Mac and it's totally Mac friendly.

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 9:58 AM): Rob, I'd agree, but is the real advantage to the owners or the creatives? I think we'd both agree that pulling through attraction is better than pushing a hard pitch - so my question would be - who would be more naturally attracted to this - the creatives because it eases the work flow, or the owner who has higher efficiency, etc?

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:59 AM): Bill, the annotations are great and you can't do that on a FAX or a PDF. CLEARLY the product isn't the problem. As I said earlier, it's your messaging that's the problem.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:59 AM): Andrew, we're not concerned about who gets what; we're concerned about how to get the product in. We're talking sales strategy here, not really brand benefits.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 9:59 AM): Owners have the final say at these shops. They are the ones who have to decide. By the way, an account starts at less than $30/month ... and there is NO per-proof charge. You just pay for the number of proofs you need on the system at one time.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 9:59 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:00 AM): Thanks Rob. I do get discouraged at times.

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 10:00 AM): I guess what I'm saying is figure out who REALLY would benefit from this and who would WANT it. And as Rob pointed out with the "creatives-as-misunderstood-children" point, it's not always logical why someone wants or doesn't want something. Sometimes we computer folk LIKE the process to be hard - makes us seem more important and needed.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:00 AM): This is actually an excellent topic, and I'm glad you brought it up Bill. In fact, I may do a piece on this for FrankelTips next week.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:00 AM): By the way, I'd say that 10% of my dev. budget is AOL.

Tamra ( (8/12/2002 10:00 AM): Andrew...creatives always want more time to be creative, less time doing stuff they find boring or useless (like filling out timesheets). So appeal to their "I want more time to do the real work" desires.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:01 AM): Bill, stick with it. This is a very tough economy in any case, but your product is really good

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 10:01 AM): Good point Tamra.

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 10:01 AM): I agree Rob, not trying to argue. Just pointing out that maybe the person who'll WANT it isn't necessarily the creative, even if he/she is the beneficiary.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:01 AM): Oh yea Andrew ... I saw that way back in 1982 when I worked on Valdocs.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:01 AM): Andrew, I hear ya, but here's the deal: Bill's running into an obstacle that's killing the process. That calls for tactics aimed right at that obstacle.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:02 AM): It's like raising kids: Getting them into the car can be done in as many kids as you need to load in. Some you ask. Some you yell at. Some you bribe.

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 10:02 AM): Not to beleaguer the point, but I think you have to convince the 'creatives' that they are the people that want this product.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:03 AM): Rob B, I'm with ya.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:03 AM): I'm going to get some quotes from happy creatives.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:04 AM): I do have a TON of work to do about the site as well ... it needs to be actionable, we need to tell the cost ... up front.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:04 AM): Remember, Bill, rational doesn't work for creatives. That's not what you're aiming at. You're aiming at mindset.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:04 AM): So how do I win their HEARTS and MINDS?

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (8/12/2002 10:04 AM): Bill, are you going exclusively after Ad Agencies?

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:05 AM): I don't know about cost up front, Bill. I don't think that's an issue. It could simply give people another reason not to buy. Let them fall in love with it first.

Fraser ( (8/12/2002 10:05 AM): Entered the room.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:05 AM): i HAVE PRETTY MUCH given up on ad agencies

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:06 AM): Bill, if ad agencies aren't using it, there's definitely a messaging problem

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:06 AM): Agencies bill on time and could give a hoot about speeding up the approval process.

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (8/12/2002 10:06 AM): Bill, sorry I missed the beginning of the topic (can't scroll back that far). In a nutshell, who's your target?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:06 AM): Along with newspapers ... who use couriers to deliver ad-proofs ... these have been an enormous waste of my time.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:07 AM): I sell to "quick print shops" have a deal to market to the Sir Speedy and Pip Printing shops ... took 18 MONTHS to close that deal.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:07 AM): Bill right there is an issue to management: increase in profitability. I suspect that your whole sales pitch is home-rolled. That could be a perceptual problem, too

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:08 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:08 AM): No, I have real print shops giving me real ROI's.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:08 AM): Case in point, a shop in Texas uses a $50/month account and does 200 or so proofs a month...

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 10:08 AM): Bill - were you ever a creative?

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (8/12/2002 10:08 AM): Bill, so you're targeting multi-outlet chains??

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 10:08 AM): I'm looking at your website - and I don't know how important it is for your business - but it doesn't grab me. If you were my client ( I do web design/consulting ) I'd strongly suggest you really hit them over the head quickly with why it's so great, with some testimonials, etc. I guess I don't want to have to READ to know why it' s good. I'm lazy. I want it teleported into my head via outstanding design/text.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:09 AM): They pass on a charge of $5 a proof to the customer ... so they net about $1000/month on a $50/month investment ... and the customer is HAPPY to pay.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:09 AM): So I need to put the quotes on the opening page ... right up front.

Anita ( (8/12/2002 10:09 AM): Rob, before we run out of time.. There is an excellent article on brand revival in September's issue of Business 2.0.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:10 AM): I have been trying to sell Kinko's from day one. In fact the entire idea came from a visit to Kinko's in 1999.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:10 AM): Bill, I'm convinced that you have a great product -- not a great brand. Time to reconstruct your approaches. Don't let this die because the brand isn't being implemented properly.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:10 AM): Alrighty, thanks everyone. Sorry I was late today. have a great week and I'll see you online!

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (8/12/2002 10:10 AM): Entered the room.

Pat ( (8/12/2002 10:10 AM): Would it be ok if I snuck in a quick question?

Rob B ( (8/12/2002 10:11 AM): Have a great day and week everyone.

RobFrankel ( (8/12/2002 10:11 AM): Next week, Pat...or on FrankelTips

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:11 AM): We had an initial problem of just getting people to understand what a ZipProof is .. now we have to work on the WHY.

Pat ( (8/12/2002 10:11 AM): No problem.

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 10:11 AM): Rob had to go - but there are some of us still here - if you'll have us ;-)

CindyMcMahen ( (8/12/2002 10:11 AM): Bye everyone. Sorry I got caught up in a client's call part of the time. I enjoyed lurking though!

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (8/12/2002 10:11 AM): Bill, seems to me that if you're selling to chains like Kinko's, then the creatives per-se aren't the ones to pitch. You need to go after the Head Office guys and make it part of the "prescribed Kinko's way"

Jodie ( (8/12/2002 10:13 AM): Bill - were you ever a creative? I am getting the feeling of an "us and them" issue - if you were a creative, you could approach them and say "Look, I have been there, have dealt with these issues - I understand'" - if you were not a creative, you may want to find one to be your sales person... ?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:13 AM): Kinko's has been in free fall since Dec. 2000. I'm now taking the approach of getting one of their shops to buy into this ... and then presenting the results to corporate. I know the biz dev folks at Kinko's ... in fact they PUSHED for the simple markup approach (we originally had a 'paint-program' ... like everyone else in remote proofing)

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:13 AM): Sure I was ... I co-founded Aegis Development ... I used to do animation and I still do UI design.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:14 AM): I feel BAD for the creatives. They are totally stressed out at these shops. They have a ton of work to do FAST and they catch hell when there are mistakes.

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 10:14 AM): I think it's important to clarify the message - who are you aiming at, what's going to hit them over the head? Don't sell features, sell instant benefits. Again, looking at your website, you're making me think to much. People hate that. Once they are interested, they'll want all the details, but I think you need to hit them harder with immediate personal benefits.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:15 AM): Andrew ... thanks. Great point.

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (8/12/2002 10:15 AM): Bill, maybe if you pitched it as a CYA solution for creatives (i.e. an electronic paper trail) ??

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:16 AM): So do I just open with some quotes?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:16 AM): Oh, you bet ... that's a big part of it. Knowing what they said to change and when they said it.

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 10:16 AM): I'm thinking about it now.... I don't think so... I've GOT to go right now, can I email you?

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:17 AM): Yes, please do...

Andrew Turner ( (8/12/2002 10:18 AM): OK, I'm gone, but will connect with you a bit later today... bye everyone!

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (8/12/2002 10:18 AM): Bill, good luck. Gotta go.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:18 AM): I wanted to thank everyone here ... great insights.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:19 AM): If any of you want an account for a week or two ... no cost ... just let me know.

Bill Volk ( (8/12/2002 10:20 AM): Got to run ... thanks.

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