More minor issues – a goodbye post

Last post almost a year ago. Last decent post over a year ago.
I guess .. we’re closed.

But not without saying a proper goodbye, eulogy and explanation.

Every goodbye post should start with "I started blogging in .." and so should this one. I started blogging in 2005, except I never stopped. I switched.

Never been a fast blogger on this particular blog. There’s a couple of reasons for that. First, I wanted to have a certain added value. That mainly means it took quite some time to write a proper post, and proper posts is all I wanted. Finding time was a challenge sometimes, and when I found some the relevance was gone. Or something else got priority. Second, although I started blogging in Dutch, I switched to English, amongst others to participate in some international projects. Although I believe I’m more or less fluent in English, it’s less automatic than writing in your mother tongue. Finally, there’s technology. I once loved WordPress, but it never made things easy for me. Blogging in WordPress takes effort, as I learned later.

So that’s 3 reasons that slowed me down. I killed them and started a new project may last year: It’s going like a bomb!

How exactly did I kill these hurdles?

  • I started blogging in Dutch, speaks for itself :-)
  • I switched platforms. I’m now using Tumblr like crazy! I discovered Tumblr when setting up a small project, a movieblog called in search of magnolia, and fell in love with the platform instantly. There’s no pain whatsoever, blogging is easy. It made me start more posts, and caused less frustrations while going. If only for look and feel: if I look back at this blog I see clutter. Tumblr is just so nice.
  • Again, Tumblr helped me to blog more frequent because it encourage you to just post stuff. For example, if you want to blog a nice image you just do so. No title required or whatsoever. Obviously you can comment on it, but you don’t have to. Same goes for video, audio, text, .. Tumblr is all about sharing, so I started it as an extension to my twitter stream: giving things that deserve some stickyness a proper place. To find them back later, to offer a place for discussion, ..

It works for me. I’m now a far more active (and in my mind: better) blogger than I ever was. I try to bring a decent mixture of fast posts , and slow posts that still take me some time to finish. Still focussing on advertising and technology. Actually, trying to have a focus on digital strategy, and take it from there.

Yeah, I loved and still love blogging, but this blog is coming to an end. I decided to not pull the plug, because I do believe it does have some interesting content in the archives. As a matter of fact here are some personal highlights:

Blogging in Dutch, I believe I’ve written some of my best stuff (very subjective I know, imHo) on Here are some posts I believe are worth reading. All in Dutch:

Anyway, for the non Dutch speaking people: thanks for reading. Hope we’ll meet again one day. Those that speak Dutch: fee free to follow me on my new blog, or follow me on twitter.

This is it! Love,

Creative Network Belgium

Steven | Uncategorized | Wednesday, 15 September 2010

New site / database of creative freelancers. Brand new, could be something.

The first car calendar without cars

Steven | marketing, advertising & campaigns | Friday, 23 July 2010

Brilliant! Car calendar for Audi, without cars.

Hat Tip @DonFrodo

Twitter, and their business model

Steven | twitter | Saturday, 10 July 2010

Rumor has it Twitter is gonna communicate some information about how they’ll be making money in the future. Till today, Twitter is still 100% funded with VC. In a best practices way of looking at things this probably is the worst possible situation to be in, but Twitter can pull it off for some reasons. Main reason: Twitter being hot, any VC wants to throw in some money, because they know at best they’ll get a huge validation, at worst they can tell the market they backed Twitter, which is a unlikely but even then acceptable outcome.

In any case, because they have this position they can play it very clever. Keep the VC’s at some distant, and call the shots. In this case: don’t rush it, let the platform grow. That’s why they became so successful in the first place (again, Twitter being the exception here, a “normal” company probably couldn’t pull this off).

Here’s a recent CNBC interview on the subject with ao Gary Vaynerchuk who nails it very good imho

I wrote about the search of a business model for Twitter over a year ago, and my post still seems to stand. Duh I forgot about an IPO, but on the other hand this isn’t a lasting way of making money.
I’d like some stock though ;)

My main easy success / tactical / takeaway proposition was offer a payed option of $5 per month to access your stats (which is very easy to integrate since they already use Google Analytics), this would generate some steady easy money for them. Guess what, I’d pay for it. (Mailed it to them, never got any answer though).

Anyway, the speculations are on. Pretty curious to see what’s about to happen.

Minor Issues on iPad

Steven | multimedia,Random Thoughts | Saturday, 29 May 2010

I don’t have an iPad, but I’d like to see how my site would look on one. I can do this now on iPadDollar, check it out here. Sure, it’s an ordinary preview of a screenshot, but I have to admit it has a different appeal. I like the “hide flashcontent” button :-)

BTW: I started blogging in Dutch as well, on – more lightweight, faster, shorter .., the site you’re on now, will stay my marketing blog were in general I’ll take some more time to dig deeper and give the subject some more thought. In general I said :-) The thing is, since I want to do it properly, this blog sometimes doesn’t move at all.

Marketing Innovation

Steven | marketing, advertising & campaigns | Monday, 05 April 2010

I’m organizing an event!

marketing innovation

I’m organizing it because I jumped on an occasion. Just after the Haiti disaster, Joseph Jaffe, internationally famed new marketing author, speaker and consultant, auctioned himself for charity. I considered this a one-of-a-kind opportunity, and convinced the people of Nascom to jump on this, and we did. We ended up with a deal, how great is that!?

With Joseph coming over anyway, we quickly decided we should turn this into a full day event. And that’s what happened, and I’m organizing it (with much appreciated help of a number of people obviously). We looked for and found other interesting speakers, who just like Jaffe were willing to donate their fee to charity. This means, nobody will make any money on this. If we make any profit with the event, this goes entirely to charity. I like that a lot and I’m happy Nascom allows me to do this.

Other speakers we signed: Guillaume Van der Stighelen, Steven Van Belleghem, Douglas Smith, Christian Verschaeren, David Hachez, Evert-Jan de Kort, Dirk De Jongh and last but not least: Kenneth Cho, founder of Spredfast. They’re all great guys with a very relevant and interesting story, and I’m happy they engaged themselves.

We called the event “Marketing Innovation“, and it will happen at the end of this month, Wednesday April 28, at C-mine Genk where Nascom is located as well. We are aware this sounds far away for a lot of you, but trust me, it is very reachable because it’s traveling against traffic flows. Anyway, we’ll start a bit later to assure you even more. Traffic put aside, trust me, this line-up is worth some travel :-)

Keep an eye on the website – we’ll publish the full schedule soon. Registration via Amiando, or if you want Nascom to send you an invoice, just let me know. Because the early bird registration is over, I’d like to offer you a discount trough this blog. If you use promocode “minorissues” you’ll get 50 euro off, setting the entrance fee at 200 euro instead of 250. The entrance fee is pretty low compared to regular conferences as far as I know, but remember it’s not our goal to make a lot of money. We do need to cover our expenses however, and if we make any money, charity will be happy.

I hope to see many of you there. Thanks.

Good advertising that almost makes me cry

Steven | marketing, advertising & campaigns | Wednesday, 17 March 2010

No shit.

BTW, I’m no football fan, not even that. But this is everything you want to accomplish with your brand. Show you understand and respect your buyers. Reach out. Put a smile on their face, and sail on their emotions. Well done!

Why bad CRM can cost you money

Steven | management,Random Thoughts | Monday, 15 February 2010

Bad as in: bad implementation, lack of, ..

Just a little rant :-)

In my mailbox, an invoice from Luminus (beware, you’re uber modern browser might not support this state of the art website .. I thought we left these days behind us), a utility company delivering gas and electricity in Belgium. We use them for gas.

With my invoice I got a flyer (glossy, color, 2 sided) explaining me the benefits of a day/night regime. To use these benefits, you need a meter with a double function. My first reaction was: what, they know I have this! Second thought: damn, I’m not buying electricity from them .. these meters are only for electricity.

Bad CRM, and a costly affair. Here’s why.

  • They know who to send this to. If they know how to invoice me, they know what products I use. In this case, send it only to electricity clients without the day/night regime. Sure, most people won’t even pay attention to it, but if that’s your excuse, you’ll never gonna win “marketeer of the year” do yo?
  • Printing these flyers cost money. Why print flyers for people who can’t do anything with it? It’s not like a street action where you don’t know who’s receiving . You KNOW the person at the other end of the letter, at least you should know. Is your excuse it’s more costly to target the messages than to just send everybody the same shit? Update your systems, you’re falling behind! I don’t want to be a client of an outdated utility company. What’s next, no gas? Is your excuse to use this as an awareness campaign? Wrong message! I know you’re delivering electricity as well. The fact that we only consume gas should’ve rang a bell: we did our homework.
  • What’s happening next is confusion. I was confused, but I sorted it out. What about all these other people who aren’t well informed. They might have the double meter, but with your flyer, they started doubting: do I actually have it? I thought I had? Am I paying way too much the last couple of years? .. These people are at best confused for a moment (good customer experience eh?), at worst they start calling (or blog/twitter/facebook/.. about it). I can imagine call center hosts aren’t free as well?

I know this isn’t a big deal, and like I said, most people toss it away anyway, but I keep on being disappointing when I see stuff like this.

The good news is: this can be turned around. Good CRM can save you money, let alone make you a lot of it.

One quick example, when we moved, we obviously failed in notifying everyone to update our address. One of the companies we forgot was Delhaize, a supermarket (my favorite one). How did I found out? Well, suddenly, there was a highly personal message added to my ticket, saying something like: Mister Verbruggen, we noticed the folders we’re sending you are rejected every time. Is there any chance you might have moved? If so, you can easily change your address by doing bla bla ..

Wow! This is the kind of integration I like. From a bouncing folder to a central database and integrated in the register! Please don’t tell me you don’t know if I’m a gas or electricity client, because Delhaize just set the standard. This is what I expect, and everything else will be considered as a failure.

Jamie Oliver’s mission

Steven | Random Thoughts | Saturday, 13 February 2010

I just watched Jamie Oliver’s 2010 TED talk. Stunning! This is a must see, 20 minutes to change the world.

Jamie’s Wish:
“I wish for everyone to help create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”

The talk got him the TED prize. Rightly! It’s literally one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen, in form and content. Look mom, not a single bullet point! Watch and learn.

But I’m wasting your time here with my chit chat. Watch the video NOW.

After seeing it, ask yourself: what can I do? You can do a lot, if only don’t be an ignorant fool. Know what you eat, and if you have kids, lead by example. Fight the system from the inside out.


Google buzz

Steven | Google | Tuesday, 09 February 2010

This could be something big!

Still not enrolled in my gmail though, so I’m very curious to check it out. I hope this could be a new way to spread and filter messages. We’ll see.

BTW: anybody still remember Wave :) I believe buzz has a better chance, if only because it’s integrated in gmail, and not again a separate platform.