Cool News OTD: One of the best marketing resources you’ve probably never heard of

I’ve been subscribed to the Cool News of the Day newsletter (also available in convenient blog form) for several years. It’s the ONLY email newsletter that I read daily.

Cool News highlights innovation in marketing strategy and execution. A lot of the articles skew towards retail, but they  is always some gem of information in each of the articles.

As an aside, I’m pretty sure that Tim Manners, the editor, is going to join us on the Advisory Board for the Marketing & Online Communities conference.

Online Influencers: The new SEO (a.k.a snake oil)?

I just stumbled across this Information Week article on Online Influencers. (link is to the less-sucky print view. My God guys, could you have more obnoxious ads?)

The article provides a decent overview of the pros and cons of influencer programs… it strikes me that some marketers quoted in the story are looking for short cuts (thus the snake oil comment). Is an influencer co=opted by “the man” still influential? Probably not.

Scott Wilder of Intuit (one of my favorite communiteers) provides some good common  sense towards the end of the article:

Intuit made a choice not to simply target influentials, and certainly not to use the communities as an explicit marketing tool. Instead, the community is managed from within the product development part of the business, and users interact with the actual developers and product managers who are working on the software.

“That was a very conscious decision on our part,” said Scott K. Wilder, group manager of the small business online community at Intuit. “It was our belief that we’d have more credibility and that more users would use the site that way.” Not incidentally, the power of any word of mouth that results from these efforts is much greater, he said.

Too bad InfoWeek didn’t contact Sean O’Driscoll who runs the MS MVP program… he has one of the most interesting influencer programs I’ve seen.