Sunday, December 17, 2017

States act against FCC net neutrality rollback

States reacted swiftly Thursday to challenge the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) decision to undo [JURIST report] the set of internet regulations known as net neutrality.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took the lead Thursday afternoon announcing a lawsuit[press release] to stop the action. That suit was quickly joined by attorneys general from Washington, Massachusetts, Illinois [press releases] and Oregon[Portland Tribune].

All of these states were also signatories to a letter[text, PDF] sent to the FCC Wednesday demanding that the vote on the new rules be delayed. The letter, signed by the attorneys general of 18 states, cited reason for concern regarding the integrity of the FCC's open comment period for the new rules. An investigation by Schneiderman revealed up to two million falsified comments on the FCC's website. Many of the false comments were left in the name of real people, some of whom are deceased, and constitutes identity theft on a massive scale. In the signatories' view, if the democratic process of notice and comment was compromised as it relates to the net neutrality rules, the FCC should not rely on those comments and should review its reasoning.

With their letter rebuked, many of the the 18 are expected to join the states already suing to block the new rules. The real result of Thursday's 3-2 vote at the FCC is that the question of net neutrality will now move from agency consideration to court review.

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

A One Page Marketing Plan Anyone Can Use

Planning sucks. None of us like to do it and if you’ve had any corporate experience in the process, it’s no wonder. But planning is an absolute necessity if you want to be successful.

So how do we reconcile our need to succeed with our propensity for procrastination?

Simple: Re-frame how you look at planning.

We hate planning because we remember the endless meetings, hours of research that doesn’t seem to get you closer to an answer and documents the size of War and Peace. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Developing a Marketing Plan is nothing more than setting goals and making a to-do list that will get you there. It’s really not much different than planning a party.

You’re basically creating a plan for inviting more people you love to give you money and then tell other people why they should give you their money too. Sounds like a party to me. How about you?

That’s why I’ve been working to develop really simple, one-page templates that can be used to develop marketing plans. I’d like to share two different ones with you. They’re designed to get you thinking and planning and making money, not writing lengthy documents.

One-page Marketing Plan # 1

The first marketing plan template is one that I’ve loosely adapted from learnings from the original marketing guru, Philip Kotler. (Even he doesn’t believe in hundred-page plans). It’s a simple single sheet of paper that outlines the basic marketing components or categories like your Mission/Objectives, Target Market, Offering, Pricing, Distribution, Communication — you know, those 4 Ps we love so much in marketing. But the good news is that that’s really all there is to it.

You can find something roughly along these lines in an old “Marketing Management” book that Kotler wrote over 20 years ago, but I think the principles are still valid.

You can use this format as a place to put your big thoughts so that you can focus on what the strategies are.

I am making the template available as a Word document — both a blank template and a mocked-up sample plan, which you can use as a guide for how to fill out the template.

Download blank template #1 (.docx format)

Download mocked-up sample plan #1 (.docx format)

One-page Marketing Plan #2

The second one-page plan format I use is a combination of the Kotler plan and the Guerrilla Marketing process as advocated by Michael McLaughlin. This one’s not much different from the Kotler plan, but it’s less academic and more focused on emotional triggers that will get your ideal customer to choose you.

I am also making this template available as Microsoft Word documents for you to download use to guide your marketing planning.

Download the blank template #2 (.docx format)

Download a mocked-up sample plan #2
(.docx format)

So, there you have the plans I’ve been using — and my hat tip goes to both of the masters for giving me a starting point to create these one-page marketing plan templates.

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