This Week’s Marketing Lesson? Go Topless!

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(This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post)

There’s a bitter war happening right now in Coshocton County, Ohio between the owner of a strip club and a local church pastor.

The strip club, called Foxhole North, is located in a little town called Newcastle and the church, called New Beginnings, is situated about nine miles away. And for the past eight years the owner of the club and the pastor of the church have been at war. And in war, like everything else, there’s always two sides to every story.

The pastor of New Beginnings, Bill Dunfee, believes that the strip club is immoral, gives the area a bad reputation and should be shut down. Thomas George, who runs the strip club, argues that he’s breaking no laws and running a legitimate business – so the church should leave him alone. Things have escalated over the past few weeks. Dunfee and his supporters have setup protests outside the strip club and George has responded by sending a few of his strippers to hold signs outside the church on a recent Sunday morning. Oh, and the strippers were topless, too. Apparently this practice is legal in the state of Ohio. Who knew? Read More…

This Week’s Marketing Lesson? Topless Protesting!

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

There’s a bitter war happening right now in Coshocton County, Ohio between the owner of a strip club and a local church pastor.

The strip club, called Foxhole North, is located in a little town called Newcastle and the church, called New Beginnings, is situated about nine miles away. And for the past eight years the owner of the club and the pastor of the church have been at war. And in war, like everything else, there’s always two sides to every story.

The pastor of New Beginnings, Bill Dunfee, believes that the strip club is immoral, gives the area a bad reputation and should be shut down. Thomas George, who runs the strip club, argues that he’s breaking no laws and running a legitimate business–so the church should leave him alone. Things have escalated over the past few weeks. Dunfee and his supporters have setup protests outside the strip club and George has responded by sending a few of his strippers to hold signs outside the church on a recent Sunday morning. Oh, and the strippers were topless, too. Apparently this practice is legal in the state of Ohio. Who knew? Read More…

Philadelphians, Suburbanites Are Ripping You Off

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(This post originally appeared on The Philly Post)

Philadelphians, you are being ripped off. No, not by the government. Nor the parking authority. Nor even the overpriced coffee shop on the corner. You’re being ripped off by none other than me. And my friends. And my neighbors. And it’s time you did something about it.

That’s because the people I know are ripping you off pretty much every weekend (and many weeknights, too). Don’t believe me? Take a look at center city’s streets on a Saturday night. Or the squares on a Sunday afternoon. Go to an Eagles or Phillies game. Ride up and down Kelly Drive. There are lots of Philadelphia residents there, of course. But there are also lots of non-Philadelphians. There are families from New Jersey, tourists from Chicago, and empty-nesters from Lower Merion. We’re all going into town. It’s fun. It’s safe. It’s inviting. We’re using your restaurants and taking advantage of your entertainment. But we’re not paying our fair share. And that’s why you’re getting ripped off. Read More…

Have You Noticed The Chink In Apple’s Armor?

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

“Truly, the tales and songs fall utterly short of your enormity, O Apple the Stupendous.”

Apple does seem mighty and invincible. An enormous market valuation. An omnipotent brand name. An envious and well-earned reputation for design, quality and innovation. And now the announcement of great improvements to their existing product lines and of new, innovative technologies that may change the way inanimate things talk to each other and even how we pay our bills. Apple is arguably the vast, golden dragon of earth, sitting alone on mountains of gold coins, breathing fire, daring anyone to take them on. But a few have noticed a small bare spot on Apple’s left breast. A chink in the armor one might say. One that is nearest the company’s heart. A flaw that was revealed with the announcement of their Apple Watch, and the company’s Internet of Things strategy.

Intel has taken notice. As tech writer Nick Statt wrote yesterday on CNET, “the chipmaker, like Apple, is also focused on the Internet of Things. The company has done numerous proof-of-concepts and has just begun hammering out extensive partnerships with both established brands and manufacturers that can benefit from a symbiotic relationship with the chipmaker. For fitness tracking earbuds, Intel teamed up with rapper 50 Cent’s SMS Audio to build BioSport headphones. For smart-shirt prototypes, Intel worked with Taiwan-based electronic textile manufacturer AIQ. Intel is now also in partnership with Fossil, one of the leading watchmakers in the US, to further capture the smartwatch market it began pursuing with its purchase of Basis Science last year.” Read More…

Are You a Spineless Business Owner Dominated By Your Staff?

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(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

Milquetoast [milk-tohst], noun: a very timid, unassertive, spineless person, especially one who is easily dominated or intimidated. (per dictionary.com)

Raymond, a (now former) client of mine, is a milquetoast. Are you?

Do you let other people run your business? Do you shy away from confrontation? Are you afraid to ask the hard questions? Are you intimidated by stronger personalities? Raymond is.

Raymond has a bookkeeper named Helen. I’ve never met Helen but I had the displeasure of dealing with her over the past few months and the even greater displeasure of talking with her on the phone just two weeks ago. I’m guessing Helen is aged somewhere between 50 and 150. I’m sure she’s a great bookkeeper and very loyal to Raymond. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know a thing about technology. But don’t tell Helen that. She knows it all. At least she thinks she does.

That became obvious after Raymond’s company purchased a software upgrade from my company. In the world of technology there is software and there is service. Anyone who has any experience with technology knows that purchasing software entitles you to the software and oftentimes support from the manufacturer. Read More…

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