Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Few Good Men.

Of course the title of this one could also just as easily have been "A Few Good (Wo)Men." since there is no need for applying unnecessary and politically-incorrect gender bias here.

Will be a down-and-dirty one tonight because it is A) quite late - or really early actually - and also B) I have been spending FAR too much time on Twitter past few days...but more coming on that subject very soon.

Before I list the latest positions for your consideration, please remember the standard ground rules:

> unless otherwise indicated, these are all located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

> again, don’t always believe the media hype…because while I cannot dispute times are tough these days within many industries, those who can make a contribution in the areas of online media, interactive marketing and e-commerce will continue to advance their careers

> promoting this stuff is not part of my day job in any way, nor a side business that I am pursuing or anything of that nature…I just enjoy connecting good people with good opportunities, so think of it in terms of as Pay It Forward exercise.

> if you are - or know of - a qualified and interested candidate for anything referenced here just contact me and I will arrange the introductions to hiring contacts

With all that out of the way, let us get right into the main event - jobs, jobs and even more jobs:

*** Online Media Sales Executive***
> Leverage your interactive sales skills and relationships with agencies & direct clients to develop and close new business for this established Canadian Males Lifestyle-focused (think: “Maxim Magazine Canada”) publisher, while working within an entrepreneurial startup-type working environment

*** Online Media Sales Executive (New York City)***
> Practice your craft in one of the top media markets worldwide, representing a network of properties for a Canadian-based organization that has been in existence since 1999. Only those with a deep rolodex, excellent sales skills and a Hunter mindset need consider this one. Total comp package in mid-100s to $200K+ and is uncapped…

*** Sales Systems Administrator***
> Apply your technical and analytics background plus experience with sales and billing systems (eg. Solbright) in this key role with a leading Digital Media organization

***Web Analytics Contractors***
> Recruiter seeks 2 individual consultants for client engagements, experienced with 1) WebTrends and 2) Omniture Site Catalyst

***Online Marketing Specialist***
> Permanent downtown role and ideal candidate has experience in managing a website, vendors, podcasts/vodcasts, project management and developing online programs/products. SEO/SEM skills also required and back-end Web capabilities, eg. HTML, CSS). Preference for those with professional services industry experience and bilingualism (English/French) would be an asset. Salary to $70K

***Web Analytics Implementation Specialist***
> Established and well-known firm is growing its Search & Analytics practice. This is a good gig for an “up and comer” with energy, passion and an understanding of the space

***Inside Sales Representatives***
> Boutique SEO/SEM shop recently hired 2 Account Execs and now also needs 3 Inside reps

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's Good To Be The King.

Have to give a shout-out to my fellow marketing-minded blogger (and coincidentally he is also a *Superdad* as well, just like me!) Rich Gould here, as I originally viewed this awesome video on the Razor Creative blog.

(UPDATE: I keep revising this with new pointers but if you still cannot see the embedded video above just do a Web search for "SpongeBob Burger King" and watch it on YouTube me, it is well worth the additional effort to find it)

Rich expressed some concerns in his blog posting about this spot, basically the fact that it was targeted “for kids” and therefore being somewhat inappropriate if viewed by the younger set. My view was exactly the opposite, as I personally think it is an absolute *genius* ad.

Here’s why I think so. As the parent of 3- and 5-year-old children who fall solidly within the SpongeBob consumer demo I consider anything SB-related to be "fun for the whole family" here at my house.

Yet I believe this commercial is talking to me, not to my little ones. Because Daddy is usually the individual (after consulting with Mommy, of course!) who decides where to go for any fast food dining and in the end is ultimately the one springing for a couple of Kiddie Meals, complete with the obligatory branded toy item.

And with me being of a certain age - ie. able to remember this bad boy from its original release; seems Sionne is getting OLDER every day, by the way - hearing the distinctive opening line and musical riff had an instant head-nodding effect that captured me right away...and well, must admit that the King’s antics, the song lyrics and simply ridiculous booty-shaking dancers with their square (!) butts kept me coming back for more. Must have replayed the video about 6 times or so that night before moving on. And ended up checking it out again several times in the week or so since the originally viewing.

So I fully agree some of the content is at best not likely to connect with those aged 3-9 years old…and at worst potentially very inappropriate if in fact BK is targeting children. Rich made the valid and undisputed point that the unsolicited measuring of some buttocks by the King could be construed as something unseemly. But in my mind BK was talking to me here, not to my offspring and I think this allows me to appreciate the commercial in the way it was intended to be received.

Bottom line? With their choice of approach in promoting the current SpongeBob meal/toy offer, this brand captured my attention and also totally made me laugh out loud, gaining some valuable *street cred* in the process .

Depends on your preferred scoring system but the evidence generally supports this being a pretty solid ad win overall, at least based on my Focus Group Of One response and being within the adult/parental consumer demo. Besides, execution-wise, it’s kinda to argue with the effectiveness here of a cameo appearance by Sir Mix-A-Lot himself…isn't it?

Round 2
OK, so was catching up on my email tonight and noticed that (my admittedly personal and subjective) opinion has been validated, by at least one metric anyway. Turns out the Burger King “Square-Butt” spot made its Online Viral Video Chart debut in third place, according to Ad Age:

BK's Square-Butt Spot Makes Viral-Chart Debut in Third Place
Published: April 16, 2009
NEW YORK (Ad -- The King likes square butts -- and web-video viewers sure like his crooning about them. The Crispin-produced video promoting Burger King's SpongeBob SquarePants kids meals, which is also airing on TV, entered this week's viral-video chart in the No. 3 spot with more than a half million views, according to data from video-measurement firm Visible Measures.

Yet again, the guys at Crispin Porter + Bogusky hit a home run for their client, while further reinforcing their long-standing image within the industry as Creative & Marketing Rock Stars…and maintaining this status in my personal ranking as well, since I have been loving almost everything they produce from the first time I became aware of this agency’s work back in 2005.

Dear CP+B: Keep pushing the envelope, making it memorable and above all continuing to bring your A-game material, because I just love this stuff…


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Don't Believe The Hype.

Recently read a very *official-seeming* article, squarely placing the blame for the recent global economic woes on increased levels of Twitter usage. Took a while for me to catch on but turns out it was actually a satrical piece, mimicking the style of The Onion and really quite entertaining in the end.

Those readers of this blog who are more “tuned in” than the rest of us may have already seen it…but for anyone who hasn’t yet, you definitely need to take a look at this:

Harvard Economist Blames Twitter for Down Economy

Speaking of economic concerns…with all due apologies to Admiral Farragut, I can honestly say there are many reasons these days to simply say "Damn the Torpedoes Economic Downturn, Full Steam Ahead!" and especially so recently since I don’t really see much evidence lately that companies are scaling back their hiring activity in any significant way.

Case in point: tonight I am sharing two really awesome Sales and Marketing roles that recently arrived into my email in-box via my personal network. So if you know of any Qualified & Interested candidates please hit me up ASAP so I can connect the right people with my hiring contacts.

And remember, when it comes to what the media is telling you, always keep eyes / ears open and believe in what you know to be true…just
don’t believe the hype.

***Online Media Sales Rock Star***
A leading Entertainment-focused online media portal has an immediate need for a true *superstar* online media sale executive. If you fit the profile of a “…seasoned, driven & entrepreneurial online media sales pro” then this could the right opportunity for you.

> Additional Info:
* The ideal candidate has at least 3-5 years of online media sales experience as well as a strong base of existing Media Planner and Buyer contacts via agency and/or client-direct
* Applicants should be experienced in successfully selling the Entertainment (ie. Music, Movie, Video, Celebrity) category
* Applicants should have experience with developing creative revenue-generating client solutions, integrated online media and content deals
* Employer definitely has a startup profile and culture versus a Corporate environment, although the organization does have multiple offices in the US and also overseas
* This role would appeal to candidates with an entrepreneurial mindset, possibly preparing to move out of a bigger online media firm (corporate environment) and into a smaller, more nimble (startup) area
* Compensation package is very attractive, with solid "market-competitive" base salary and opportunity to earn $150K+ OTE

***Senior Vice President, Marketing***
Flex your marketing muscles as a top executive with this global Technology/Software company. Reporting to the CEO, the ideal candidate possesses demonstrated success with corporate marketing in the tech space and has also lead a team of marketers.

> Additional Info:
* The ideal candidate offers a minimum of fifteen years' experience of progressive career growth as a marketer within the software and/or high-tech industries
* The ideal candidate also offers a minimum of 5 years' experience in a senior management capacity
* Applicants will be able to outline a Been There, Done That track record (with Tier 1 industry leaders) and communicate their commitment to career advancement in pursuing this senior Marketing Leadership role

Friday, April 3, 2009

Survival Of The Fittest.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change.”
Clarence Darrow (1857 – 1938)...and actually not said by Charles Darwin, pictured here *Obama-style*

Wow, basically a whole month since my last posting. Now I would really like to be able to attribute my recent failings in updating this space to a deep commitment in observing Earth Hour…deliberately abstaining from using my computer’s power resources for an extended period and therefore being unable to update Posts By Sionne. The reality though is that my tree-hugging tendencies are in fact not that well-developed. I was honestly just too busy lately to get around to blogging.

That being said, I do think I have a pretty reasonable explanation behind my “going dark” and if you allow me to share a personal story here you will soon understand the situation much, much better.

So we were advised by our realtor at 5PM yesterday that the Seller's conditions are being lifted as of 10AM today/Friday. Assuming the inspection goes well this coming Monday then the transaction will proceed and as of May 15, 2009 we will be relocating to our new residence, aka The New & Improved “Casa Roberts” in lovely downtown Bradford, Ontario.

I offer this as proof that if one is truly committed and able to invest the required effort they can find themselves with a (sort of) Moncton-sized mortgage on a fully updated and reno’d 4-bedroom, 3-bath home sitting on a 100 X 100 fenced lot in a quiet family-friendly neighbourhood that is 5 minutes away from the GO Train station and also still takes only about 70 minutes of vehicle commuting to arrive at my office in downtown Toronto.

Very near the top of the Benefits list for us in this move is the fact that Natasha will soon be 20 minutes from her work and driving primarily via city surface streets, instead of her current “one hour of white knuckles on the highway twice daily” arrangement. This is really quite an exciting concept for my lovely wife, trust me. We both only hope that the ulcers we have induced and additional grey hairs acquired recently will turn out to all worth it in the end...

Meaning I will not elaborate extensively right now but let's just say that past few weeks have involved a whirlwind series of exceptionally-strange dealings with first the buyers of our current home, followed by constantly-stressful negotiations with the multiple potential sellers of the homes we offered to buy. And at one point there were even some serious and in-depth consultations with legal counsel on whether or not we could actually sue our finance company to counteract the impact of our potentially being sued ourselves (yes, I am not joking about this) by the buyers of our current home.

Did I mention yet - as I like to do often - that Natasha and I both work full-time and on the home front are managing the usual excitement that comes along with parenting a 5- and 3-year-old, while also finding time daily to pay at least a little bit of attention to our two supposedly-neglected pet dogs as well? And since moving back to Toronto we have faced the challenge of there not a whole lot of family support locally (aka “absolutely none”) and even something that should be as simple as getting the occasional babysitter for an evening is something that has not happened for at least 6 months now. Good Times indeed and I can honestly say that life as usual is highly *unboring* for all of us playing in the game as members of Team Roberts - Toronto Edition.

Before I go, I do have something tonight for those of you completely disinterested in Sionne’s personal affairs and dropping in periodically instead for my news and insights from the online media and marketing worlds.

Now if this applies to you and you have actually even made it this far down the page I can definitely say I commend your commitment to the pursuit of information, or your exceptional amounts of available free time, or both. But I will also share something I read this week that I believe falls under tonight’s Darwinian theme. Or for those of you who can remember this, perhaps it is more along the lines of that classic Timex slogan Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking instead.

HEADLINE: Microsoft Looks to JWT to Market New Search Engine - Web Giant Expected to Spend Up to $100 Million in Bid to Win Share From Google, Yahoo

Summary version of the Ad Age article is that Microsoft has engaged its agency JWT to develop a creative campaign for the latest version of its Search offering...which I have heard being referred to as both Kumo and Project Kiev but still also called plain-old Live Search, according to Steve Ballmer.

This is either an example of a committed push by MSFT to get some much-need traction in the Search category, or a colossal waste of dollars and a case of throwing good money after bad in a (doomed) losing effort. I suppose it depends on your point of view but mine is that this is a good move and might actually be able to make a difference in growing share for a viable market alternative to the Google powerhouse.

I personally have an above-average familiarity with the Microsoft adCenter offering from my previous role here at Bell Canada. I also experienced a reasonable level of success during that time, communicating adCenter’s merits to its B2B audience. So I think it is entirely possible for JWT to create some compelling messaging resonating with consumers of Live Search as well. Can’t hurt to try. Plus, if the Redmond crew really want to pursue a win in the Search Wars then taking aggressive action is better than doing nothing...and expecting a divine intervention-type of miracle to happen instead. As I often like to say, “the definition of insanity is continually repeating the same behaviours, yet expecting a different outcome” so this announcement makes perfect sense to me.

And combining a multi-million-dollar ad blitz with a parallel Microsoft strategy of Why-Buy-Yahoo!-When-We-Can-Just-Hire-All-Of-Its-Best-People just might be enough to do the trick. Since the other big news I heard this week was that Dayne Sampson - former Yahoo VP, Operations for Search and Advertising - has also defected to the Dark Side and been beamed up to the Redmond mother ship. This now makes a pretty impressive roster of Search & Media execs (aka Yahoo! alumni) on the MSFT payroll, a list that now includes Sean Suchter, Qi Lu, Larry Heck, Jan Pedersen and now Sampson.

Maybe the current thinking of management is to ignore whether or not Carol Bartz wants to re-open the dormant Micro-hoo! merger/acquisition discussion. Because as many who follow this industry closely are also observing, if this torrid pace of fence-jumping from Yahoo! to Microsoft continues it might not be too long before there won’t be much of a Search biz remaining for MSFT to buy anyway.

Always interesting. And I have no doubt there will be even more developments surfacing very soon.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Godfather.

I do not say use the term "marketing guru" lightly or frequently. Suffice it to say however that Seth Godin is an absolute genius when it comes to marketing. Not only is he insightful and enlightening on an ongoing basis but his true gift is clarity of communication and making his points with brevity while still remaining entertaining and engaging.

This is not always easily accomplished and I believe Woodrow Wilson expressed it best when he said upon being asked how much preparation he would need to write a speech, "That depends. If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation. If fifteen minutes, three days. If half an hour, two days. If an hour, I am ready now."

Have followed Seth pretty regularly for about 10 years now...since the late 1990's, going back to his Yoyodyne days and the publishing of his book, Permission Marketing. His concepts definitely resonated with me then as I was working in Member Acquisition Marketing with a pre-IPO dotcom in the San Francisco area at the time. And the amazing thing is that while he continues to publish new books they - with a few exceptions - still keep delivering against expectations, at least for me anyway.

Tonight I am re-posting two of my favourite Seth’s Blog posts here. If you enjoy them and it turns out you have been living under a rock, ie. you are not already reading Seth's musings frequently, then do yourself a favour ASAP by going here now and then returning often, OK?

(And sorry Seth, but for some reason Blogger does not support TrackBack URLs linking to your blog so I am using the Permalink version here instead)

Personal branding in the age of Google

A friend advertised on Craigslist for a housekeeper.

Three interesting resumes came to the top. She googled each person's name.

The first search turned up a MySpace page. There was a picture of the applicant, drinking beer from a funnel. Under hobbies, the first entry was, "binge drinking."

The second search turned up a personal blog (a good one, actually). The most recent entry said something like, "I am applying for some menial jobs that are below me, and I'm annoyed by it. I'll certainly quit the minute I sell a few paintings."

And the third? There were only six matches, and the sixth was from the local police department, indicating that the applicant had been arrested for shoplifting two years earlier.

Three for three.

Google never forgets.

Of course, you don't have to be a drunk, a thief or a bitter failure for this to backfire. Everything you do now ends up in your permanent record. The best plan is to overload Google with a long tail of good stuff and to always act as if you're on Candid Camera, because you are.

The panhandler's secret

When there were old-school parking meters in New York, quarters were precious.

One day, I'm walking down the street and a guy comes up to me and says, "Do you have a dollar for four quarters?" He held out his hand with four quarters in it.

Curious, I engaged with him. I took out a dollar bill and took the four quarters.

Then he turned to me and said, "can you spare a quarter?"

What a fascinating interaction.

First, he engaged me. A fair trade, one that perhaps even benefited me, not him.

Now, we have a relationship. Now, he knows I have a quarter (in my hand, even). So his next request is much more difficult to turn down. If he had just walked up to me and said, "can you spare a quarter," he would have been invisible.

Too often, we close the sale before we even open it.

Interact first, sell second.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

There's Gold In Them Thar Hills.

OK, so all the ad nauseam talk of the worldwide Economic Downturn be damned…there are some very innovative and interesting companies still hiring, for example the ones I am highlighting here.

Want a job? If you are a qualified and interested candidate for anything listed in this post, please contact me and I will arrange introductions where appropriate.

Have a job, but sourcing candidates? I periodically circulate employment leads throughout my network, either on behalf of recruiters or as a favour to my contacts with direct employers. As previously mentioned it is not my day job, nor something I am looking at as an upcoming segue into a Recruiting career…think of it as more like a Pay It Forward exercise. So my disclaimer _slash_ explanation aside, if you want me to post your career opportunity here, just drop me a line and I will almost certainly do that for you at some point in the near future.

Now, here comes the good stuff…

***Director of Business Development***
A leader in a rapidly-growing segment of the Social Media category requires a business development leader. Only top-performing individuals with an understanding of (and passion for) leveraging social media solutions in a business context need apply.

> Highlights of Position Responsibilities
• Successfully build strategic partnerships, interacting directly with senior executives in Partner and Customer organizations
• Oversee and execute against the company's Channel Development road map

> Highlights of Required Experience and Skills
• Degree and 5 years+ related experience in B2B partnership development/management
• Demonstrated success in generating revenue streams from partner relationships and channels
• Must be technically minded and comfortable discussing complex "architecture-level" subjects with potential partners
• Must also be tenacious and resourceful, with excellent time management skills and most importantly a very good sense of humour

> Additional Information
• This position will be based out of a Virtual Office and therefore the new hire’s working location is flexible
• While a deep familiarity with social media and online social networks is preferred, this is not a firm requirement

***Senior Project Manager, Interactive***
A boutique East Coast firm focused on the development of interactive content for Web, Mobile and Offline is currently seeking a senior project manager with the ability and interest in taking a leadership role within the organization.

> Highlights of Position Responsibilities
• Identify optimization opportunities and in turn take action to improve the company’s current project management processes
• Ensure the end-to-end delivery of multiple concurrent projects, on time, within budget, with the highest possible level of quality
• Provide internal leadership and external relationship management on a wide range of projects, from micro-sites to game development
• Project scoping, proposal writing, requirements gathering, critical path ownership, liaising with Sales, Design, Dev and QA teams and management of project expenses
• Lead client status meetings plus collect feedback from work-in-progress presentations
• Offer mentorship and guidance to junior members of the project management team

> Highlights of Required Experience and Skills
• Have worked at least 2 years in a project management capacity within an interactive development firm or design agency
• Experience with multiple projects, successfully managing competing objectives and priorities in challenging time frames
• Understanding of the website project development process
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of both technical and non-technical teams, at multiple organizational levels
• Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Visio, Project, and Adobe Products

> Additional Information
• This position is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia

***Affiliate Marketing Manager***
> Overview/Summary
• Online affiliate marketing program expertise required, at minimum within the Casino Gaming, Poker or Sports Betting category
• Must understand the mindset and motivators of the online wagering community, and be able to “speak their language” when developing related B2C communications messaging
• This is a hands-on role…pure strategists with an aversion to the Execution process need not apply
• Candidates meeting the above requirements and also possessing media management experience are preferred

> Additional Information
• This position is located in Montreal…exceptional candidates with a preference for working remotely (from Toronto only) may be considered
• Salary is in the $70K Canadian range, with incentive compensation and benefits to be negotiated

***Email Marketing Manager***
> Overview/Summary
• Email marketing program expertise required, at minimum within the Casino Gaming, Poker or Sports Betting category
• Must understand the mindset and motivators of the online wagering community, and be able to “speak their language” when developing related B2C communications messaging
• Candidates will be required to demonstrated having previously leveraged email marketing channels for all of the following activist: acquisition, activation as well as retention
• This is a hands-on role…pure strategists with an aversion to the Execution process (and lacking basic HTML proficiency) need not apply

> Additional Information
• This position is located in Montreal…exceptional candidates with a preference for working from Toronto may be considered
• Salary is in the $70K Canadian range, with incentive compensation and benefits to be negotiated

***Sales Executive, Research Services***
Join a venture-funded technology company introducing its paradigm-shifting online market research solution to North American clients. This is an excellent opportunity for a highly motivated Hunter-type sales professional to get on board at the early stages and make a significant contribution to the company’s growth and overall achievement against its business objectives.

> Highlights of Position Responsibilities
• Evangelize and secure booked orders for the company’s Online Research services / Sampling solutions, both to Canadian and US market research service providers and also client organizations directly
• Build the business - identify prospective customers, qualify and prioritize leads, establish contact, forge relationships, make the pitch, counter objections to close the sale…and then repeat, all while documenting this process so the company’s management team can track Sales Funnel activity accurately

> Highlights of Required Experience and Skills
• Bachelors degree or equivalent plus 5+ years’ experience in sales development
Must have a proven track record of achieving (exceeding) quotas, ideally in selling market research services and/or advertising sales
• Candidates with a background in web analytics, audience measurement, and/or business intelligence are preferred
• Candidates with familiarity using for management of sales activity management are preferred

> Additional Information
• This position will be located in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) or Mountain View, California (USA)
• The compensation package includes a competitive base salary plus commissions along with a comprehensive benefits package and stock options

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Drink Your Milkshake.

Read an article tonight referencing a fairly interesting development, ie. that the Yahoo! share of the Search market increased and Google's actually fell at the same time.

Some highlights:

* The results are based on comScore rankings - US data only - as summarized by JP Morgan's Imran Khan

* The big news is that the Yahoo! share of "domestic core search market" was up in January 2009, hitting 21.0% and increasing 0.5% from december's share of 20.5%

* This now makes 6 consecutive months of market share gains, reversing the long-time Declining trend of recent years

* Google's domestic core search market share dropped by 0.5% in January to 63.0% from the 63.5% level in December

* This could be interpreted as the first signs of Google's domestic search share reaching a plateau, something which many industry observers have predicted will happen inevitably

* MSN's domestic core search market share increased in January to 8.5% over 8.3% in December

* This small gain by MSN could be interpreted as a Good News story...or alternatively as a So What? data point since Microsoft clearly needs to make much more substantial gains than these if it is to become competitive, especially given the level of MSFT resources that are currently being allocated to winning in Search

* AOL domestic core search market share increased in January to 3.9% (from 3.8% in December) while Ask Network domestic core search market share dropped to 3.7% in January from 3.9% in December...a bit of a cancelling-each-other-out effect overall happening with these secondary players

So, while Microsoft's MSN and Online Services unit continues to add former top Yahoo! Search executives to its roster, Yahoo! appears to be holding its own, at least for the time being. On the other hand, with key players like
Sean Suchter (former VP of Search Technology), Qi Lu (EVP Engineering - Yahoo! Search and Advertising Technology Group) and most recently (former VP of Search & Advertising Sciences at Yahoo! Labs) Larry Heck joining the "mother ship" in Redmond - and Yahoo! vets Scott Moore and Eric Hadley already on board managing media/programming and branding/global marketing portfolios respectively - I can't imagine how this won't eventually have an overall negative impact on the ability of Yahoo! to remain relevant in the Search category.

with numerous signs pointing to a massive company-wide re-org of the entire management ranks happening very soon down in Sunnyvale, I predict continued growth in the Yahoo! Alumni Club membership ranks on the employee payroll at MSFT...with a corresponding Yahoo! death spiral in Search over the next 6-12 months.

So, will this all result in a Fire Sale by Yahoo! to Microsoft after all? Or perhaps another scenario, in which Yahoo! sells off its Search business or possibly attempts to partner with another online player?

I welcome discussion of any and all opinions and theories, so please feel free to post your thoughts in the Comments section.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Am going with a bit of a different format tonight...

First off, while it may be true that "Jobs become obsolete. Talent doesn't." this had better be an accidental or coincidental display of the advertisement alongside the article content. Otherwise it is a textbook example of taking online ad targeting to the extreme...and yes, I am only joking.

(Source =, via TechCrunch)

OK...definitely Been There, Done That and have even purchased the t-shirt on more than one occasion.

(Source = David Armano, via a Paul Burns blog posting)

Speaking of t-shirts, I think I might start wearing this one on a regular basis.

(Source = NoiseBot)

The New York experience, communicated artfully with Lego. Follow the link for entire I LEGO N.Y. series.

(Source = via blog posts by Paul Burns AND Razor Creative)

It is funny because it is true.

(Source = Noise to Signal)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In With The New...Continued.

So as many of you know, I make a habit of periodically circulating employment leads throughout my network, either on behalf of recruiters or as a favour to my contacts with direct employers. This is part of my ongoing commitment to active networking and being a connector of people, combined with my long-time personal affinity for HR activities and end-to-end management of an organization’s most important resource - its Talent.

Right now I coincidentally have several interesting positions to share in the early part of New Year 2009. So please take a look here…and feel free to pass any leads along if you know someone who is qualified and would potentially be interested in considering an opportunity.

But do want to be up-front that I am just acting as the middleman and this is definitely not my day job in any way either. Meaning while in some cases I do have a bit more information, for the most part what I have posted on the blog is essentially everything I know about the position, OK?

Happy hunting!

There are openings listed here in Media Operations & Account Management (2 roles), Marketing & Product Management / Project Management (2 roles) as well as Sales & Business Development (2 roles).

***Associate Director - Media Account Management***
An internal promotion has recently created this Toronto-based Sympatico/MSN vacancy, which reports to the Senior Director of Operations and Business Strategy. The Sympatico/MSN Account Management team - headed up by the Media Account Management Associate Director - manages the fulfilment and optimization of online media campaigns while providing performance reporting to clients and the Sympatico/MSN Sales team.

> Highlights of Position Responsibilities
• Provide leadership and management to Canada's top team of Internet Advertising Account Managers
• Partner with Sales to rigorously execute all Campaign Implementation processes while planning/managing against both short- and longer-term (revenue) objectives

> Highlights of Required Experience and Skills
• Degree and 5 years+ of Account Management experience in a communications company or agency
• Online Industry experience is preferred, ideally with demonstrated success in a supervisory role
• Business Growth Planning & Operations Forecasting, Resource Optimization & People Management, Process Design & Implementation along with Achieving KPI Targets - Directly & Via Team Members

> Additional Information
• This is a priority hire for the organization and the successful candidate will be asked to commence employment ASAP
• Bilingualism (English/French) is considered an asset
• Location is in Toronto - 207 Queen's Quay

***Production Manager, Portal Operations***
The Sympatico/MSN portal, a division of Bell Canada is looking for a Content Production Manager who will be responsible for working with a team of Content Managers and the Homepage Editor. This position will be located in Toronto and will report to the Associate Director, Portal Operations.

> Highlights of Position Responsibilities
• Working with a team of Content Managers that are involved in the planning, integration and management of content for channels on the Sympatico/MSN English portal
• Developing and managing an Editorial Calendar
• Tracking and reporting of results to identify opportunities for performance improvement and trends to optimize integration
• Coordinating cross promotion to drive results and meet targets for content and events that have revenue associated with them

> Highlights of Required Experience and Skills
• College diploma in multimedia or a related discipline or equivalent combination of training and experience
• 2-4 years experience managing a team
• 1-2 years experience working in online editorial positions

> Additional Information
• This is a priority hire for the organization and the successful candidate will be asked to commence employment ASAP

***Project Manager, Interactive Television (full-time, contract)***
• Seeking Project Manager - ideally with Broadcast or ITV experience - to guide the launch of an ITV property
• Offering competitive compensation and can anticipate an initial 6-month contract term
• Location is Toronto/GTA
• This is not a “speculative venture” and the employer is known within the space

***International Marketing Manager***
> Highlights of Position Responsibilities
• Develop go-to-market strategies and materials for launching new online publishers, Internet content verticals, and customized Web/Interactive media solutions
• Working with Sales department, develop and execute an annual marketing plan
• Clearly communicate marketing initiatives; ensure messaging is aligned with the company's unique value proposition and global strategy initiatives.
• Research and international Sales team support
> Highlights of Required Experience and Skills
• Bachelor’s degree required, with 1-2 years experience in online advertising, marketing, and/or sales strategy
• Solid analytical and strategic thinking, proven leadership qualities and ability to work well independently as well as with team members
• Organized, results-driven with a track record of successful execution and must possess superb verbal and written communication and presentation skills
• Passionate about Internet and New Media with an understanding of online advertising principles, traffic & engagement metric tracking tools, Web 2.0 technologies, and social networking trends

> Additional Information
• Preference is for bilingual candidates with French-language skills
• Public Relations expertise and experience writing press releases is an asset
• Location is Toronto/GTA

***Online Advertising Sales Executive***
> Highlights of Position Responsibilities
• Sales Hunting - prospecting potential Web Media advertisers and selling online advertising solutions, including face-to-face presentations with interactive media planners/buyers and marketing personnel
• Evangelism - educating marketers on the advantages of online advertising plus convincing marketers to allocate ad budgets to online channels
• Account Management & Admin - following up with existing clients re: ongoing online campaigns; maintaining sales contacts in CRM database ( and updating sales forecasts

> Highlights of Required Experience and Skills
• Must have college diploma, plus 2+ years of online advertising sales experience
• Must have extensive knowledge of the online advertising industry
• Must be a team player with strong “solutions sales” mindset
• Must demonstrate a history of overachieving against sales quotas and exceeding client expectations

> Additional Information
• Location is Toronto/GTA
• This is a role where true Hunters with polished sales skills and a strong work ethic will thrive and excel
• This role requires some travel to United States markets (approx. 10-20%)
• Base compensation is $60K to $80K; will consider higher for exceptional candidates
• Commissions and bonuses structure for this role provides a realistic opportunity to earn well in excess of $200K annually, OTE

***Director of Business Development***
• Candidates MUST have previous experience selling Web Marketing, eCRM/Loyalty or Acquisition Marketing services
• The employer is a Toronto-based digital marketing agency offering strategic Web Marketing and eCRM services
• Base salary is in the $80-100K range (and possibly higher depending on candidate qualifications) plus commissions & bonuses added to bring the total comp package to around $200K, OTE

Out With The Old, And In With The New.

Happy New Year, all.

My first words of 2009 are in the Out With The Old category. My former employer Primus Canada went through yet another cycle of layoffs last week, which by my count makes several dozen jobs cut since I personally jumped ship about 10 months ago. As in the past, the purging had a direct impact on several friends and colleagues within the Residential Marketing group, along with Outsourced Customer Care, etc.

Heard from one of the remaining insiders that the overall mood is not so good and his feeling was the future looks pretty grim for Primus. No surprising given that some of the people let go this round had been with the organization for 6 years, and another for 9 years…or basically a hundred years in Sionne Time, since I am not personally known for my ability to remain with any company for an extended period.

But I’m sure by applying some obscure EBITDA Math equation, these cuts ended up making
sense, at least on paper. Puzzling approach to running a business in my mind. Which makes the observation offered by one of my Primus Canada Alumni Club associates that “With nearly all the mid- and low-level staff gone from the Resi group now who will actually do the work? And why then do they need to keep on two directors, a vice-president and a senior vice-president when there are only around 5 people still left reporting into those guys anyway?” address an interesting point indeed.

One really competent product manager received her layoff news while still at home, on month 10 of her maternity leave. While I learned afterwards that she was at least treated fairly severance-wise I have to say it did disappoint and irritate me anyway. It is a brave new world of employment in the shiny year 2009 when these types of things happen in the workplace but I suppose if one does not like it they can just stop playing, take their ball and go home, right?

Onwards and upwards, into the A Little Of Both (some in/new and some out/old)
area. Unless you live under a rock it was pretty difficult to not hear the online media industry announcement that Yahoo! has hired a new CEO. Carol Bartz joins after a celebrated tenure with Autodesk and while I do not know much about her, she does at least address the Mark Cuban requirement that Yahoo! get tough management-wise. I mean, what does it say about a person when she receives a cancer diagnosis in her first week on a new job, takes 30 days off for aggressive treatment - including a mastectomy - returns to working only a month later? Word is the newest Autodesk employee Bartz would arrive early enough to vomit in the company parking lot from the effects of chemotherapy before going into the office. Maybe this anecdote is apocryphal and the work of a clever PR team, but then again maybe it is exactly what really happened. Either way, you can just look it up and decide for yourself.

Oh, and Sue Decker decided that being passed over for the CEO spot and instead reporting into a
new boss with a mandate for making aggressive cuts to the Yahoo! business was not how she wanted to spend the few years of her life. Decker’s resignation is of course not surprising but what interests me most is watching to see where she will land and what she will do next. Will she quickly salvage a new gig elsewhere, like Kevin Johnson did after MSFT's failed takeover bid for Yahoo! this past summer? Or will Decker spend time idling on the corporate sidelines with the industry (rightfully?) attributing much of the blame for the recent Yahoo! market cap evaporation to her role as the senior executive primarily responsible for a series of management mis-steps down in Sunnyvale, in tandem with Jerry Yang? Stay tuned as only time will really tell on that score...

Finally, some In With The New. My ongoing fixation with circulating employment
leads throughout my personal network has proven successful enough for both candidates and recruiters/employers recently that I currently have several interesting roles worthy of broadcasting. See my next post for these latest opportunities…if you note something appealing and wish to connect an interested, qualified candidate with a prospective employer do get in touch with me so I can arrange that connection ASAP.

Until next time.