Sunday, October 21, 2007

Listen up: podcast alert

Listen up: If you've never heard Peter Day's World of Business (from the BBC), consider downloading at least one podcast to sample. Day interviews some of the leading executives and business thinkers of our time; many of his questions are refreshingly pointed and direct (politely phrased, of course). Usually Day's podcasts are topical and timely even a few months after their original broadcast date.

Another staple of business podcasts is Marketplace (from American Public Media). In addition to the regular Monday-through-Friday 30 minute programs, you can also download or subscribe to specialized features like Marketplace Money. Although Marketplace usually takes its cue from the day's business stories, some of its stories are worth listening to weeks after they've first aired.

Here's something that sounds intriguing from Harvard Business Review: HBR IdeaCast. Finally, check out BusinessWeek's blogs, podcasts, slide shows, and other features about design.

What business podcasts do you listen to?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Corporate Web Site: Steak or Sizzle?

The most stripped-down corporate Web site I've ever seen is that of Berkshire Hathaway. Fancy graphics? Not here. No, the sizzle comes from Warren Buffett's steak.

Of course, the site has prominent links to the site of its very own GEICO insurance (featuring graphics, color, and the familiar gecko) and, interestingly, to a tasteful, upscale e-commerce site for Borsheim's Fine Jewelry in downtown Omaha.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Marketers Get into the Spirit of Halloween

If you didn't love Halloween before, you better get into the spirit -- orange and black stuff is at stores and malls all over America. Most malls have pop-up seasonal shops with costumes and more; Wal-Mart has set aside a big section adjacent to its Christmas shop. Restaurants and bars are getting into the spirit with theme decorations and parties.

This is a big-time marketing opportunity to target teens, twenty-somethings and families with young kids. Check out Hershey's Trick or Treats for a taste. Hallmark's Halloween-themed pages offer cards, candles, and much, much more.

And have you seen Stop by for Halloween jokes, costumes, lore, haunted house directory, and more. Another all-Halloween site is Everything Halloween. Bottom line: you need green to go orange and black.