Startup Blog

Is Marketing or Product King of the Company?

Posted Mike Volpe on 1/31/11 10:30 AM

chicken and eggI was browsing the web and after following a series of links I ended up on an article on Jeff Chausse's blog, which has the following paragraph:

Who I Voted for in BBJ Most Admired Companies - You can Vote TODAY

Posted Mike Volpe on 1/14/11 11:42 AM

Boston Business Journal has a “most admired” companies list that they compile, sort of a “people’s choice awards” of the business world.  I thought I would share who I voted for and some of the reasons why.  (You can vote today if you want.  Please do, and please consider HubSpot for your vote.)

10 Tips on How to Promote and Brand an Event

Posted Mike Volpe on 10/18/10 1:32 PM

ungeeked marketing event resized 600This is a guest post from Cd Vann, who runs the UnGEEKed events.  I have been impressed with the passion that she brings to promoting the unGEEKed events, and asked her to share some of her event marketing tips with folks on this blog.  (I am speaking at UnGEEKed San Francisco, December 2-4.)

10 Things CEOs Need to Know about Design by @Jess3

Posted Mike Volpe on 10/12/10 11:21 AM

I attended a presentation from Leslie Bradshaw of Jess3 about the "10 Things CEOs Need to Know About Design".  While I found the presentation to be a little high level and lacking some details, there were some good points to make you think.  Some of the points about design I agree with, some I disagree with - see my comments below.

Thoughts on the Pampers Social Media Marketing Disaster

Posted Mike Volpe on 5/21/10 2:22 PM

To catch up, read the article Why Pampers Diaper Fail is a Lesson in Marketing Transparency to get the back story and the updates in the article Pampers Steps up Digital, Social Media Efforts.  Here are my thoughts...

Developing an Authentic Social Media Personality for Your Brand

Posted Mike Volpe on 3/2/10 10:00 AM

Photo 12 biggerThis is a guest post from Kristin Dziadul, a recent college graduate with a marketing major, she is the 2009 New England Direct Marketing Association scholarship recipient, and has a strong passion for marketing and social media and blogs at She is also a big Boston sports fan!

Mad Men Loved by Creative Marketing & Advertising Types?

Posted Mike Volpe on 1/11/10 11:21 AM

I love data.  Netflix makes available rental data by zip code.  Mash that up with a map and you can get some cool stuff.  This article on has a cool graphic that allows you to see rental popularity by different titles and zip codes.

boston mad men

The Problem with Being Slightly Famous

Posted Mike Volpe on 5/19/09 9:53 AM

I am friends with a guy named John Wall, who blogs and podcasts at The M Show and on Marketing Over Coffee.  John is "slightly famous", because he is known in the marketing world.  I am sure that at marketing industry events people come up to him and introduce themselves (I have experienced this sometimes because of HubSpot and HubSpot TV).  But in the real world he is completely anonymous.  However, according to Google he was the most famous John Wall since he usually ranked toward the top of search results for his name.

But, there is another "John Wall".  He is a basketball player.  I found him since he was a trending topic today on Twitter for having decided to go to University of Kentucky.

I wonder how this will affect John's personal brand and SEO.  Today I noticed a lot of news articles and videos ranking above John's blog for a search on "John Wall".  If this new John Wall goes on to the NBA, it will probably be super difficult for the first John to rank on the first page of Google for his name.

Ideas & Thoughts:

  • Make sure you have the domain that matches the online moniker you use (like I have - though even then spelling matters, there is a Mike Volpi (CEO of Joost the online video company) that sometimes people confuse with me
  • If you have a potentially common name (like John Wall) you can start using your middle name, like David Meerman Scott
  • Everyone is vulnerable to a potential personal branding issue from someone becoming famous with the same name (remember the movie Office Space and the guy named "Mike Bolton"...ouch!)
  • Publish lots of content and build lots of authority on ONE domain for your personal brand
  • John should include "John Wall" in the page title of homepage of The M Show website - he now has to optimize for this term because of a new competitor

What other ideas do you have?

How Tracy Porter Fashion Cost Effectively Adds Brand Personality

Posted Mike Volpe on 2/24/09 1:34 PM

Karen Rubin and I have talked about this on HubSpot TV before, but I think this is a cool example of a company adding a lot of personality to a brand and products at a low cost.  In this video the company owner/designer tells you about the shoes you want to buy and how they make her feel when she wears them.  Very cool way to build an emotional connection, just using a short video on the web - at a very low cost.

tracy porter

Now... onto what Tracy Porter is doing wrong...

  1. I can't share the video! It was a real pain in the ass for me to grab a screenshot and link to it, and there was no way to easily embed the video directly in my blog.  There should be.  More people would spread the videos if it were easier.
  2. The videos are not spread throughout the web!  Don't just lock your videos up on your website, put them on as many sites as you can - YouTube, Viddler, Vimeo, Facebook,, etc.  Use a service like Vidmetrix or TubeMogul to cross post automatically.  They should put these videos anyplace they can.

Posting the product videos to YouTube or another service and then embedding those on your own website would solve both of these problems.  Tracy Porter actually has a YouTube channel, but they only have 23 videos and they do not post the product videos from their website on YouTube.  They should.

Have you used video to add personality to you brand?  How?

Personal Brand vs. Company Brand - Confrontation or Collaboration?

Posted Mike Volpe on 12/16/08 9:57 AM

I had a chance to speak with Dan Schawbel today for an interview on his blog.  Some quotes that Dan made me think of because of his good questions:

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