Friday, December 11, 2009

New Job


Interested in moving to Portland and helping to run the web program for the #1 company in the early childhood education and child care space? Check out the job description.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Great Deck on Netflix's Culture

Just saw this presentation and love it for its honesty, simplicity, directness and a lot of the thoughts in it. The questions is poses for judging yourself and your teams really makes you think about the standards you set.

View more presentations from reed2001.

Monday, July 27, 2009

As You Can See...

From the post below you can now see that I am well ensconced in my new role as VP Digital and Customer Experience Marketing at Knowledge Learning Corporation, parent company of KinderCare, Knowledge Beginnings, CCLC and Champions, all early childhood education companies.

I am loving it. The people are great. Mature leaders who all want to do whats best for the company, but even more importantly, as one leader said "whats right for the kids". I really enjoy working in a place that can make a difference.

The work is great. Helping to develop a digital strategy is a great exercise and something I am really enjoying.

The Announcement of My New Role

A message from Anne Saunders, Chief Marketing Officer

I am pleased to announce that Burt Rosen has joined Knowledge Learning Corporation as Vice President, Digital and Customer Experience, reporting to me.

Burt RosenIn this position, Burt will lead the team responsible for value-add customer experiences online; areas of focus will include developing a search COE (center of excellence) for the enterprise, building a state of the art digital community for KLC parents and students, assist businesses in optimizing their lead generation, and establishment of a “web community” of existing site owners to drive consistency, best practice, etc. Burt will collaborate closely with other Shared Services and all lines of business to ensure alignment and integration of strategies, projects and programs for successful implementation and results.

Burt comes to KLC with more than 20 years experience in interactive and traditional marketing. Most recently he was the Vice President, Starwood Preferred Guest and Brand Interactive Marketing for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 960 properties in 97 countries and approximately 145,000 employees. In this position, Burt oversaw the team responsible for leading interactive marketing, integrated marketing, web site development and a call center strategy for the company’s nine hotel brands and its Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program. He was responsible for using all marketing channels including hotel, online, call center, email, offline, PR and social networking to launch member engagement efforts including the “SPG You Choose” program and leading numerous innovation projects including blogs, Web 2.0 and other strategic initiatives.

Burt also built an internal digital agency at Starwood, creating and leading a client
services team that acted as the single point of contact between the web and call center
teams, the brands and other stakeholders. He also managed and directed numerous outside agencies including online media, interactive marketing, research, and offline and loyalty/direct marketing agencies. Prior to joining Starwood, Burt spent six years in account management at interactive agencies, Modem and Avenue A Razorfish, leading efforts including website development and interactive marketing for clients including Starwood, GE, Delta, Marriott, Philips, JC Penney, Kodak and others.

I’m very excited to have a leader with Burt’s depth and breadth-of-experience join our company. His extensive experience in leveraging interactive and social media on behalf of brands, web strategy and development and online media acquisition will change the way we reach potential customers and retain current customers. Burt’s leadership combined with his creativity and passion for a holistic marketing approach will positively impact our families and support our business goals.

Burt holds a bachelor’s degree in European History from the University of Chicago . He and his family will be relocating to Portland from Connecticut within the next few months. As you might expect, in addition to his professional social media experience, Burt authors two blogs, Tweets, and can be found on FaceBook, LinkedIn, 12seconds and TripIt.

Burt has expressed his excitement to be joining the company and to “hit the ground running.” He is looking forward to meeting with many of you soon to learn more about the lines of business, departments and initiatives at KLC. When you have the opportunity to meet him, please take the time to welcome him to our team.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Been a Little Lazy

Its been a while since I posted. That doesn't mean that I don't love marketing anymore. What it means is that I was in Ecuador for 9 days climbing mountains, and the day before I left, I GOT A JOB!!!!

I am thrilled about everything now. I accepted a role as VP Digital for a company called Knowledge Learning Corporation, the biggest player in early childhood education (they own KinderCare). The company has great people, great financial backing, and a ton of opportunity to own the space.

KLC is based in Portland OR, which gets us back to the west coast to a city that fits us very well. We are working on moving now. I start working next tuesday (7/7) and will be back and forth for a few weeks until we move the family.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Reasons for Being Delinquent on Postings

So, there really isn't a great reason why I haven't posted in a few weeks but I will try. I am in the midst of a few job interviews and have been traveling. I am very excited about the opportunities I am pursuing and hopefully the one I am most interested in will come to fruition soon.

Add to that my trip to Ecuador. I am leaving on June 20 to go climbing in Ecuador with the biggest mountain being Cotopaxi, at 19,347 feet. So between the interviewing, the traveling for interviewing, and getting into shape and getting ready for Ecuador I have been a little strapped on time.

I did however, at 12:01 am this morning, register for my profile URL. Hopefully everyone registered their names. If not, go to and do it now.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Welcome To Anyone Coming from My FaceBook Ad Campaign

Today I placed my first ad ever on behalf of myself on FaceBook. Its pretty cool. I targeted by age, by geography, by company, and had a host of other target filters available. I bid .25 on a CPC figuring low risk, and why not take any volume I can get? I am driving everyone here.

Its a 10 day campaign so I will let you know the results over the next 10 days! Want to try it yourself? Go to FaceBook and click on the advertising link on the bottom.

Lets see how the campaign works and thanks for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Its been a little while since I have posted, which tends to mean the job search is going well. More on that in a minute.

But, for now, today's rant. URL shorteners. What the hell? I understand the value of a huge string of characters (which means something only to a server) being shortened to a very concise URL. But, when the URLs get shortened, so does the brand name. So for example, instead of someone sending me an article at, I am now getting I get the convenience factor, but if I am Wired Magazine, I would rather have the former URL so that people know that I am responsible for the content. That way, I can use my URLs to build my brand.

It would be interesting if a brand decided to take action and mandate their URLs contain their brand names. I wonder if that could happen? Like a Google trademark letter but for URL shortners? Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Everything Communicates

As I have mentioned before, being laid off gives me great opportunity to talk to a lot of people and also to crystallize my own thoughts on a variety of topics.

I have been thinking a lot about social media; what it is exactly, how it fits in, how people use it, etc. What's apparent to me, is that social media is not an end, but a means. Its also very apparent that social media is not some online phenomenon, but online has developed the set of tools that make conversations easier and louder. One could argue that a conversation in class, at a bar, at work is a form of social media, but now those conversations can get very wide distribution through online tools.

The other thing that has become more obvious, is that with the advent of the online tools, EVERYTHING becomes marketing. Customer service is now as much of a marketing tool as advertising. A bad customer experience, can lead to a Tweet, FB Status, blog post, YouTube video etc about the experience.

So, EVANGELISM should now be a key objective, and the one that potentially drives social media use. In my opinion, ROI is nice from social media, but the value of it is the ability to "Democratize Your Distribution" and create brand evangelists with loud voices and broadcasting capabilities. The attribution (latency) period might be longer, but in the end, its more valuable.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Just joined a great organization for Marketing execs, MENG. Its made up of 2000 people who were a VP or above and made a good salary. The organization is great for job hunting, networking (whoever thought I would be a "networker"), knowledge sharing and meeting people with like interests.

Its not cheap to join, but seems to be well worth it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Twitter and Cable TV - 500 Channels and There's Nothing On (Thanks Bruce)

I have been using and following on Twitter for a while and there are some things I love to follow and am impressed with:
  • CEO of Zappos
  • Onward Search
  • Hang in There Jack
But, as Twitter gains in popularity and usage, my lists of Tweets are becoming unwieldy. Sure, I have TweetDeck that helps to organize the tweets, but still, everytime I look at TweetDeck do I want to invest 30 minutes to catch up? and the more cool people I find to follow, the more unwieldy and unusable it gets. What happens when every brand I love, every friend I have, every company I want to work for are all tweeting? I am a big offender, but do I need to read everytime someone sees a movie or eats something? Isn't it just too much?

It might end up that there is so much, its just easier to ignore all of it. I am not there yet, but I am a little at a loss on what to follow, how to read it, and when to care! I will continue to work on this one. Maybe there is a business that allows for real filtering of tweets with notifications?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Social Media Diagrams

I was going through TweetDeck and checking out today's crop of tweets from friends, pundits, corporations, job people and came across a Tweet from Tech Crunch with a link to the Future Lab blog that offers a number of great diagrams illustrating the social media universe.

Check them out. Its very helpful to be able to see everything laid out in a visual form.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Attack of the Buzzwords

One thing you learn as you search for jobs in the new world is that there is a serious proliferation of BS marketing/social media/interactive terms.

The people who use them seem to be the pundits. The people who interpret them seem to be the ones who are successful either on their own or on behalf of others.

The BS Bingo game board on the left is a classic. Enjoy it!

Monday, March 2, 2009

All About Me -- Social Media

I have extensive experience leveraging social media on behalf of brands.

While at Starwood I led the development of the first hotel travel blog dedicated to travel content (as opposed to program content), I developed and authored the vision and development of, built on user generated content and the first major brand to bet its success on its users (other brands used micro-sites). I was heavily involved in the measurement strategy around UGC on to determine the impact of social media on hotel bookings. I have led numerous initiatives involving blogs, FaceBook, distributed content, guest and member engagement and research efforts to better understand how SPG members engage with social media. I furthered direct conversations with SPG members through a variety of means including webinars, phone calls, and a 3rd party frequent traveler site, www.flyertalk.

One of my last projects, although small, was a labor of love that highlighted all of the cool work we did at Starwood with a number of social media apps and other innovative platforms,

In addition to efforts on behalf of Starwood and others, I author two blogs, Tweet, am on FaceBook (friend me!), LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube and others.

So enough about you, what do you think of me?

Being unemployed and "networking" (a term I don't like, not sure why) has been fun. I am meeting a lot of people and learning something new from everyone I speak to. One of the interesting suggestions I received lately is to put some narrative together on topics that would be of interest to potential employers and to showcase thoughts, examples of work, etc. So, I have started.

As time goes by, I might begin to intersperse some of those paragraphs within this blog. Just wanted to explain what "all about me" means when you see it as a post!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Please Feed the Animals and Social Media in the Age of Layoffs

I read an interesting article today in Ad Age about an Ad Copywriter that was laid off who started a blog, Please Feed the Animals whose mission is to "To eliminate the barriers between advertising agencies looking for talent and talent looking for work by providing a free online venue for professionals to showcase themselves online."

The tools available now are making organizing the unemployed way easier. For example, the day after I was laid off I started a group on FaceBook for all of the ex Starwood employees to chat, post jobs, support each other etc. Within a few days, there were a lot of jobs posted, a number of recruiters had joined, and people were finding people. Erik's blog offers the same kind of dynamic. LinkedIn has countless groups and recruiters have told me most of their days are searching on FB, LinkedIn etc for prospects.

Its nice to know that the days of being unemployed, alone and unsupported are quickly coming to a close.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Twitter vs FaceBook: When Tweeting Goes Good

So, why Twitter? Whats the value? Does everyone care what I am doing at 3 am? I read what other people write but for some reason, I think they care what I write. Maybe its out of boredom, maybe its out of a need to feel connected. Maybe its all about the ego?

I have added the Twitter app to my FaceBook page to streamline my micro-blogging efforts. The real question I have is for FaceBook given the Twitter app. It seems to me that FaceBook could "twitterize" their status and blow twitter away. If you could subscribe to a FB status in an RSS reader, you would never need to look at Twitter!

So, I guess what I am saying is that I am confused, so maybe I should focus on how I use each. I love Twitter's ability to keep me connected to companies that I am interested in. The Marriott, Starbucks, Jack in the Box and especially Zappos tweets are great. All written with personality and offering some insight or useful content.

FB is where I keep tabs on my friends. Its a great place to find out what people I care about are doing.

So, companies, take note. Twitter is a great platform for loyal customers to follow brands/companies they love. FaceBook is a great platform for loyal friends to follow those they have relationships with.

(One side note. For those of you that follow twitter, check out It chronicles the events that lead up to and include the critical injury sustained by Jack, spokes head for Jack in the Box. Its very entertaining and a little out there which makes it fun.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Death of TV? Or "Why would we ever speak to each other again?"

So, the world is obsessed with social media (ok, I am obsessed with social media). Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, etc. Whats interesting is that the world also seems to want to talk about the death of television.

Raise your hand if you watched the Super Bowl? Raise your hand if you watched the Office afterwards?
Now raise your hand if you discussed either with anyone else.

My theory? TV and televised content drive a lot of the "conversations" that take place across the social networks. Think about it. How many "tweets" are tweeting during the Super Bowl? During the Oscars? Even during the Golden Globes or SAG awards? How many FB statuses were changed to reflect some element of the Super Bowl last night?

I spoke on a panel once where the person before me talked about the death of TV in an era of DVRs and the web. It continues to drive me crazy! My first question on the panel was how many people watched Entourage? Almost all hands shot up. The second question was how many discussed it with someone else? Almost all hands shot up.

The point is, things like TV drive social media and provide fodder for micro blogging, blogging, video uploads, music, photos, etc.

So, is TV dead? I think not. Just ask Michael Scott.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A government for the people by the people -- whose email address doesn't work?

By now, most people have heard about the new The site launched to coincide with the inauguration and looks great. More modern, clean, good use of video.

Since I have a lot of time lately, I sent them a note volunteering my services in either a professional or pro bono capacity. The note read:

The site looks great! I was recently laid off after leading marketing for Starwood Preferred Guest and all brand interactive strategy for Starwood (My title was VP Starwood Preferred Guest and Brand Interactive Marketing.) I led the development of all of Starwood Hotels brand web sites (,,,, etc) and all of their interactive marketing and social media initiatives.

I love how the new administration is using digital channels. If there is any way for me to help, let me know? I am looking for jobs, but would do some pro bono stuff too if it makes sense. I have attached my resume so you have some context.

What did I get back? A delivery failure! The email address on the site isn't valid. Kudos to the government for trying to be more open and modern in communications methods, but, lets make the feedback mechanisms work!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Marketing to the consumer, or consumering to the Marketer

Loyalty is the greatest thing to happen to marketing in a long time. How so? Most people look at loyalty as the chevron to the right of purchase on a purchase funnel diagram.

Loyalty is the most effective input into marketing that there is. When customers become loyal, not only do they want to repeatedly purchase a product or service, but they want to emotionally invest in it. For proof, look no further than, a frequent traveler bulletin board site.

The people who post on FlyerTalk do it at all hours of the day and night, and go to great lengths to dissect and reverse engineer loyalty programs. My Starbucks Idea launched for people who love Starbucks so much that they want to help build it. REI builds its brand through a coop to drive member participation. So why are brands just now starting to understand the value of their consumers? Why are these brands in the minority?

Brands should solicit input from loyal customers whenever possible. Blogs, forums, social media participation should be cornerstones of marketing efforts. Driving and engaging in the conversation leads to greater emotional investment from the customers which in turn leads to greater product involvement with the company.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Branding: direct response with a longer conversion window

Is it branding? Is it direct response?

Allow me to pose a question. If the ultimate goal of most for-profit companies is to drive sales, is there a real difference between branding and direct response? Isn't the end goal of both to generate more sales? Isn't the real difference the impact and time it takes? For example, someone exposed to a "branding" ad might convert in 3 months because the brand is now top of mind or they had interacted with an ad or a site. Shouldn't that conversion count? Someone exposed to "branding" who becomes a loyalist, will hopefully spend more, increase share of wallet, and become an evangelist thus driving sales from others.

This is where innovation in measurement comes in and needs to play a HUGE role. For example, I would argue that companies should not measure DR and branding separately, but they should measure how they impact each other. Does branding build cookie pools that can be re-targeted with DR? What is the effect that branding has on search queries? Do DR efforts hijack dollars with offers of sales, discounts, etc? These are all things that can now be measured. Holistic measurement is coming and can be done with online programs. Companies should take the time to look at how their marketing is performing together and how programs influence each other. Measuring the traditional way, a program at a time, is not giving anyone a real picture.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Agency of the Future

I think most people would agree that in marketing, we are in an age of specialization. There are agencies for offline advertising, direct response, online, social, media, creative, web 2.0, etc. There is a tremendous opportunity for a new breed of agency, built on a new financial model, to look at Marketing holistically and determine how to use what tactic, at what time, with what message to best engage the consumer. (Some agencies do exist that subscribe to my theory, but they are still of smaller scale.)

Imagine, as a client, writing a brand strategy or a creative brief for a new campaign and seeing all the ways to engage consumers at once; off line and online advertising to drive awareness, DR advertising to drive sales, social networking to give consumers the ability to discuss, and search for all of the above. And of course, a measurement plan that tracks it all as one effort. It might be a dream, but it is becoming more and more possible.

More on this to come, but it was on my mind. I am interested in any comments from people on the topic.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A New Favorite Site

I stumbled across Scribd yesterday while reading someone else's blog. As you can see below, I uploaded my resume, and I am able to embed it in my blog in a much more user friendly way. Not only is it more cleanly presented, but it also allows for a lot of what are now standard sharing tools such as emailing, embedding, etc.

Check it out!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Social Networking: Is it a strategy a tactic, a buzzword or a desert topping?

So much is made out of social media, social networking, social this and social that lately that its tough to get away from it.

The evolution of tools that allow companies to speak directly to their consumers and allows their consumers to speak to each other is incredible. As a marketing person, its like a dream to be able to ask a consumer about something and get an immediate reaction. Not only does it help to optimize marketing, promotional, customer service and product development, but it allows the consumers to feel more intimately involved with the process. Thus (and I love that word) creating evangelism, the holy grail of marketing.

All that being said, should you have a social networking strategy, or a brand strategy of which social networking is a tactic? My opinion? Everything should come out of a brand strategy. Social networking is very valuable when placed with in the right brand context. Social networking for social networking sake has failed many times.

Take a look at your brand and determine the types of communications and vehicles that reenforce your brand's promise and more importantly, the consumer's expectation of your brand. A handmade luxury automaker doesn't make sense on Facebook!

Just one man's opinion.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Love in the time of layoffs, or "hey honey, want to have lunch?"

So, a lot of interesting changes happen when you get laid off. I was excited to spend time with the family. As a working dad, you are never aware of the routines in place when you aren't part of them.

They surprised me. The first morning, at FAMILY breakfast (!) I went around the table and had everyone say what they were doing that day. It didn't make it all the way around!

Then I drove the kids to school. I made them do calisthenics and affirmations (I am smart!) in the car. The next morning, they asked my wife to drive them.

So, I am learning to be at home. That being said, I love it. I am talking to tons of people about tons of things, and its keeping me interested in all of the possibilities out there. Stay tuned, and I plan on posting a lot more!

Shout Out to Harry Joiner

So, I have to send a shout out to Harry Joiner at Harry has never met me but we immediately hit it off. He looked at me as a person, not as a potential pay off, and sent my resume into companies where he knew I would be a great fit, even though they didn't have open positions. If people are looking for someone to help them fill jobs, or just looking to make a great new contact or friend, contact Harry. He also has a great article with great tips for job hunting in the new age. Check it out, reach out to him, and THANKS Harry!!!!!

Another topic for a future post

LOVE in the time of layoffs -- or, how to survive a marriage when you are home all the time in a small house!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Future Topics for Posts

  • Social Networking -- A cool tactic, but exactly that, a tactic
  • Over thinking it all
  • What should we use, what should we watch, and what should we run from
  • What is the next phase of marketing, and is it marketing?
  • The Web, advertising medium, or a medium not for advertising (want fries with that?)
  • Business vs. the consumer
  • Short term vs long term

What would a marketing blog be without my resume?

So here it is. I was laid off in December 2008 (3 weeks ago) and am now searching for an even better marketing position than I had. I specialize in interactive marketing, customer engagement, travel and loyalty although I am open to all verticals, clients and agencies.

This blog is a shameless plug to publish my random thoughts on marketing, to make Google like me, and to help me find a new job and see if I can stimulate thought!