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Sam Decker
Marketing & eBusiness professional, author, 2 kids
Interests: Family, Photography, Working out, Waterskiing / Wakeboarding, Reading, Movies, Technology, Marketing, Finance, Small Business
Recent Activity
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After 8 fantastic years on typepad as decker.typepad.com I've moved it over to www.deckermarketing.com. So, come on over to the newly designed blog And link to it...because I need some new SEO help! :-) Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2010 at Decker Marketing
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I’ve had a lot of conversations lately about the strategy of group buying sites (or daily deals, flash sales, etc.). Groupon is the leader in this space…so much the word is becoming a verb. The questions I often hear are: How do you know if Groupon (and group buying deals) are right for a type of business? What are the factors that make Groupon a profitable strategy? How do you evaluate and analyze the profitability of Groupon? Already there are a lot of competitors with Groupon, and more several that are headed toward even more niche group buying capabilities, focused by interest, small city, or people groups. The group buying strategy will continue, and so will the conversation about this. But the model of giving a significant (50%+) discount on goods and services has its dangers. So it piqued my curiosity to analyze this from an economic perspective. On the plus side, this is a pay-for-performance approach to customer acquisitions. And it's a sudden and (mostly) predictable burst of new customers and revenue. On the cautionary side, you’re paying for that acquisition with negative margin. Do business owners really know (or at least rationally evaluate) the complete profitability of these customers? If I were doing this, I’d look as much as possible at the total economic impact, as there are some overlooked aspects to this type of promotion. A fascinating study on Groupon effectiveness by Utpal Dholakia of Rice University cited that 66% of small business owners report Groupon to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2010 at Decker Marketing
I used Keepstream.com to curate the 'meatiest' tweets from Shop.org Summit 2010, which just ended today. It was another great show. Over 3,000 attendees! Social, mobile, and local are still hot themes as they were last year...because few retailers have figured them out. I led a couple roundtables on social commerce and social media ROI. However, other discussions around the show suggest there's a lot of money to be made getting the basics right...email, SEO, SEM, content, testing/targeting, and customer service. Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2010 at Decker Marketing
I've been in digital marketing and ecommerce my entire career. As such, I recognize that online marketing is about balancing the creative with the analytical. In the case of my Dell career (managing Dell.com) it was heavily analytical. That's what I love about online direct marketing, you can justify investment and grow a business through learning what works and what doesn't. Here's the problem though. The cycle of learning what works, of failing fast, of cycling through tests to optimize online return is too slow. Some of this is cultural, but it is also because tools are clumsy. Until now. A few months ago I saw a demo of Monetate. I was blown away, and I've been in this business a long time. I pursued the board and CEO of Monetate to get involved, because I am truly excited about what they have and where they're going. I think they're a hidden secret in ecommerce, and the smartest marketers I know are using them at QVC and Urban Outfitters. Sorry Alex and Dmitri to let your secret out! Here's what they do in a nutshell. First, here's what you have to do. Put one line of javascript code on your site (much like you've already done with Coremetrics or Google Analytics). That's it. What they do is everything else. You can literally change or rewrite any part of any page. Image overlays, ratings, functionality, banners, pricing, etc. They provide expertise to run different tests and segmentations. You want to change... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2010 at Decker Marketing
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It's surprising how many web apps are out there that set out to accomplish growth and mistake activity for sustained progress. Perhaps they get some press but then lack traction. Why? Because they don't get the 'how' right. It's a lot like producing a movie. You can get a great actor and pull off a movie, and there are thousands of B to D grade movies out there. Or, you can get a great actor with a fascinating story, smart script, talented director and sophisticated editor...it's the difference between a blockbuster or a straight-to-DVD production. Dropbox should be studied -- in the way Google, Facebook and Craigslist are studied -- on how they've built their user interaction and design. I'll show you a few screens to show what I mean. Their home screen is as simple as Google. For Dropbox, you either login or download, or watch a video to understand how it works. That's it. Less is more. While a TechCrunch or Mashable article can spike signups for a web or phone app, sustainable growth is only possible if the app has high utility (where it 'infects' their life), convenience, and engagement. DropBox is brilliant in this screen. They very clearly outline steps they'd like you to take, and make the most prominent image a 'thermometer' infographic that reflects something you can earn, 250MB of storage space. That's a smart giveaway because it costs them practically nothing (assume most people don't even go up to 2GB), yet has high... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2010 at Decker Marketing
This is a summary of some of Guy Kawasaki's recent tweets that I like...but I'm really doing this to show off Keepstream's new application, which will be featured at Capital Factory Demo Day on Wednesday (disclosure: I'm a co-founder in CF and therefore an investor in Keepstream). They are announcing a 48-hour free signup on Wednesday (9/8), but I have an inside scoop...you can sign up right now and still get in on the free signup. Sam Decker Sep 6, 2010 at 2:45pm Guy Kawasaki's Recent Best Tweets GuyKawasaki Sep 5, 2010 at 8:30pm 25 edgy hairdos http://tinyurl.com/27dhtsm GuyKawasaki Sep 5, 2010 at 8:20pm 12 common logo mistakes http://holykaw.alltop.com/12-common-logo-mistakes GuyKawasaki Sep 5, 2010 at 5:10pm 10 things men should know about a woman's brain http://holykaw.alltop.com/10-things-men-should-know-about-a-womans-brai GuyKawasaki Sep 5, 2010 at 3:45pm The new family farmer http://is.gd/eWD9P GuyKawasaki Sep 5, 2010 at 11:25am 4 things you should know about influence http://idek.net/30eM GuyKawasaki Sep 5, 2010 at 5:30am Turn your iPad into a laptop with the typad http://idek.net/30RZ GuyKawasaki Sep 4, 2010 at 10:10pm 17 facts about bacon [infographic] http://idek.net/30OJ GuyKawasaki Sep 4, 2010 at 9:15pm DIY Meat Smoker http://is.gd/eUch1 GuyKawasaki Sep 4, 2010 at 11:25am How to motivate yourself http://idek.net/30Gl GuyKawasaki Sep 4, 2010 at 11:10am Spouses start out a lot alike http://holykaw.alltop.com/spouses-start-out-a-lot-alike GuyKawasaki Sep 4, 2010 at 8:50am 14 awesome beds http://is.gd/eTmcC GuyKawasaki Sep 4, 2010 at 8:55am 10 Essential Tools of NASCAR Pit Crew Members http://idek.net/30Dt GuyKawasaki Sep 4, 2010 at 7:25am Short film recounts a soldier’s lasting regret... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2010 at Decker Marketing
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This is a post about change. Winston Churchill said, “There is nothing wrong with change, as long as it is in the right direction.” After 4.5 years at Bazaarvoice, I’m announcing a smooth and amicable departure from the company in order to pursue my next challenge and opportunity. (I announced this to our company last week at our quarterly all hands.) This is not your typical resignation. You could call this a ‘planned’ or ‘friendly’ departure. During this time I plan to remain on as Bazaarvoice CMO while I help recruit for my successor (one of the reasons for this post), and upon my departure I will be on the Bazaarvoice Board of Advisors to help the company’s continued growth. “Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.” George Shinn There are three reasons I’m making this announcement proactively: To stop speculation or assumptions about this move – before it begins. We are an open & transparent culture and such is the spirit of this transition. Frankly, more companies should do it this way. To announce the beginning of my journey to explore what’s next, and be able to have open discussions outside of Bazaarvoice. To publicize and market that one of the best CMO positions in the country is now open! To start off, I love this company. I’ve been there since we launched the company in January 2006. Brett and Brant (co-founders) have graciously referred to me as a third co-founder, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2010 at Decker Marketing
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Today marks exactly one year from my last post on Deckermarketing. I started blogging in September 2003, and have written many posts on eBusiness, marketing, leadership and life…until May 4, 2009. After that day, I didn’t write another blog post until now. This wasn’t by design. Things just "slipped away". One month turned into two months, and that turned into a year. This must happen to others, right? Even John Porcaro -- an exec previously at Microsoft who inspired me to blog in 2003 when I was at Dell -- has not blogged in nearly a year, and he’s now a social media consultant! I thought this one year anniversary of “no posts” is a good opportunity to give a summary of how or why I orphaned my blog for so long. First, Bazaarvoice has been more than a full time job as we’ve grown from 6 of us in January 2006 to over 550 employees, 9 products, serving 800 brands. In terms of writing (which takes a lot of time) I’ve felt more obligated to blog on Bazaarblog, write articles (such as my ClickZ column), and helping my team produce videos. And then I had other commitments taking time, such as co-founding Capital Factory, launching a web-based chore application, serving on boards, and spending as much time as I can with my family! A big factor is my Twitter activity took away from blogging. If I had an idea, I tried to put it in 140 characters and tried... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2010 at Decker Marketing
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Mar 15, 2010