An Open Message to Blockbuster (or What’s Left of it)

I had the opportunity to visit a Blockbuster store today, and here are my thoughts on the experience.  Feel free to listen via this podcast episode, or read about it below:

Today, through a slight mailing mishap and oversight on my part, I received one of my mailed Blockbuster DVDs off of the outstanding 900+ videos that I currently have in My Queue at Blockbuster.com.  Over the past several months, rather than cancel my Blockbuster.com Total Access Account, I’ve chosen to place the account on hold, while I work my way through one of the most difficult financial circumstances I’ve ever had to face in my life.

As I went to my local Blockbuster, one of the 2 that still exist in the area, down from the 6 that were in this community when I moved here several years ago, something occurred to me as I walked into the store and noticed their new advertising campaign.

The first thing I saw was a sign next to their “Hot New Releases” that said that Blockbuster got this movie 28 days before NetFlix or RedBox.  The next sign, I think said something like “Think Outside the Box”, and obviously (and terrible) play on Taco Bell’sThink Outside the Bun” and any other contrived ad slogans that lean towards this type of message.

I couldn’t help but think if I had the opportunity to be privy to the ears of “The Powers That Be” at Blockbuster, I’d surely give them an earful, as a person who has now been a Blockbuster customer, both online as well as in-stores for well over 16 years.  First, in the 16 years that I’ve been a Blockbuster customer, NOT ONCE has ANYONE at Blockbuster sought to get my opinion about their stores, their service, or even what my movie renting habits are.  Wherever they’re getting their research, it’s clearly coming up short, and this is in part why they can’t seem to maintain the competitive advantage they once had, and they’re being killed by NetFlix and RedBox.

Second, there isn’t going to be a successful marketing campaign made by Blockbuster that works by downing the likes of NetFlix and RedBox.  Though I’m still fairly new to the big business game as an owner, I’ve been a customer for QUITE some time, and I can tell you it’s always an indicator that someone has an inferior product or service when their whole spiel is based on what the other guys are lacking, without really telling me what makes your product or service better.  In the signs I saw, at Blockbuster, it was more about downing NetFlix and RedBox (as evidenced by the pictures of circles with a slash going through them for mailboxes and red box looking machines that harkens the imagery of the famous RedBox franchise).

Third, I think Blockbuster could benefit from using a few MiniMarketing Surveys.  Since they’re still scrambling to figure out what their next move is, they could probably use some rapid feedback surveys that asks a few key questions to their core audience so they can figure out how to best serve the FEW PEOPLE that still patronize them. 

And I will note, I don’t just say they should use “The MiniMarketing Survey” because I created, but because they really need it.  I’m telling you this as a Blockbuster customer, that’s never been contacted for marketing research purposes about my Blockbuster experience.  I’m telling you, Blockbuster, that you’re clearly missing the mark when you haven’t surveyed me, or people like me, who stick with your service, despite the fact that you are antiquated, and there are now a host of services that have easily replaced you and made you irrelevant to MOST consumers.

Not being mean, just being honest.

Finally, there’s a social media wave a-movin’, and if Blockbuster were smart, they’d be scrambling like hell to find out how (if at all) they can jump on it, and try to survive, and maybe even find a way to get back to their glory days!  Anything’s possible, so with that in mind, I’ll end this message on 2 notes.

The first of which is this: If my financial life turns around in the next 2 months (which I suspect it will), I will continue to be a Blockbuster Online Total Access customer, as long as they keep the service I currently have under $25 bucks.  That’s my “make-or-break price point”.  I don’t pay for cable, but I love watching movies in my “downtime”, and having access to Blockbuster’s vast catalog is what made me stick with them over RedBox or NetFlix, which are both in fact limited.  Blockbuster really needs to get into finding out the core value of its loyal customers, and finding out why they keep coming back.  I’m really amazed that no one has cared to do this.  And I’m even more amazed that I actually have to set up a podcast and blog post about this to actually get the ball rolling.

My second note: Dear Blockbuster, I am a Technology and Social Media Specialist, and I am someone who is primed to usher your company into the Web 3.0 world.  More importantly, you can hire me at a price point that YOU CAN AFFORD given that you just filed for bankruptcy.  Now, you can go out and hire one of those fancy “established” social media experts, and that will cost you MILLIONS that you don’t have, and just hasten your decline into “No Man’s Land”.  Plus, I suspect that NONE of the “social media heavyweights” out there that are for hire are actual Blockbuster customers, nor have they been for quite some time, so it would even be somewhat disingenuous for them to try and “save” a company they really don’t believe in too much anyway.

So, with that being said, if Blockbuster is smart, or if the person who heads up their IT or Social Media Department (assuming they have one) is savvy, they should have set up a “Google Alert” for whenever their name, and possibly the word “bankruptcy” is showing up in the news media, and perhaps they’ll be giving me a call in the next week or so (though I gotta warn you guys, my October is looking pretty full, so you might want to call sooner, rather than later. LOL).

And if they aren’t smart enough to be using Google Alerts as a way to protect and grow their brand, then perhaps they’ll learn to take a page out of the President of William-Sonoma’s book who recently used their Google Alerts to find April Morse’s newest creation and were able to bring it to the market and save a business in April’s case, and add more value to the William Sonoma customers by adding a great product to their shelves!

The news about this happening a few months ago was something small in one sense, but it was a large telling about the power of social media, and in my opinion, said as an internet and social media savvy Blockbuster customer, this is where Blockbuster is in fact failing.  And I say that, even being aware of the paltry mobile Blockbuster application that was released a little while ago “exclusively for Android” or Verizon or something or another.  I barely remember seeing the commercial, but I remember thinking the LAST thing Blockbuster needs to be doing is EXCLUDING ANYONE from their market at this stage in the game. LOL.

Anywhoo, so that’s Random Nothingness.  If by chance you happen to be affiliated with Blockbuster or even William-Sonoma and you’re looking for some awesome and reasonably priced social media help, please feel free to get in touch with me.  You can Google Me, or reach me via KindraCotton.com.

Click the player below to hear this podcast:

Kindra

My General Disclaimer:

This podcast will differ from any of my other ones because it’s random, with no clear direction or intended audience, and it surely is not intended to necessarily be edifying or uplifting.  That doesn’t mean it can’t turn into either one of those things, but just know that that clearly isn’t the intent or purpose.  Hence the name “Random Nothingness“.

This Week’s Podcast and Blogging Round-Up: August 15 – August 21

Greetings all,

For those looking to keep up with me, and what I’m doing, here’s the weekly round up:

Tuesday are dedicated to Exclusive Multiplicity: Highlight the Adventures of a Serial Entrepreneur (A Tale of one Entrepreneur’s rise to success through bootstrapping while wearing flip-flops):

This week’s Exclusive Multiplicity podcast talks about “The Adventures of Rooting ‘For Dummies’“where I talk about how much I love the “For Dummies” book series, and how this is helping to guide my enthusiasm for following my passions in life.

This Tuesday also so a late-edition “Random Nothingness” post and podcast about “Why Black Radio (and Media) is Dying“, where I talk about a recent experience calling into the Al Sharpton Radio show and giving my opinion on the State of contemporary Black radio.



Wednesdays spotlight Small Business Branding Tips on the EasyBrandMarketing.com Blog (Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists)):
This week’s podcast topic was “EASY Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) Tips: 10 Tips for Making Your Website Search Engine Friendly” where I give an overview of what you can do to search engine optimize (SEO) your website.




Fridays spotlight the Effective Complaints Resource Blog (A solution-oriented consumer advocacy resource for writing effective complaints):

Effective Complaints Resource Blog Small Business Branding Tips Blog RSS Feed

This week’s podcast was “When To Write Effective Complaints” and talks about ways to calm down before firing off an effectively written complaint letter.

Thanks for your interest, feel free to leave comments and forward this to your friends and other interested parties.


Kindra
:)

P.S. Don’t forget to Follow me on Twitter (@KindraCotton), Link up with me on LinkedIn, Friend Me on Facebook, and check out my Nashville Online Marketing Examiner page, if you haven’t already. And if you do, send me a message! And sign up for the Maximizing The Net Newsletter while you’re visiting MaximizingTheNet.com.

Ever read or heard of the “For Dummies” book series? If so, please fill out this brief survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FLVRTJZ

This Week’s Podcast and Blogging Round-Up: July 25- July 31

Greetings all,

For those looking to keep up with me, and what I’m doing, here’s the weekly round up:

Mondays are for Maximizing The Net (A bi-weekly podcast that highlights a topic of interest to Maximizing The Net Newsletter subscribers):

This week’s Newsletter was about Maximizing Software, giving tips on how you can save $500 on Microsoft Office 2010, with a comparable alternative called “Open Office“.


Tuesday are dedicated to Exclusive Multiplicity: Highlight the Adventures of a Serial Entrepreneur (A Tale of one Entrepreneur’s rise to success through bootstrapping while wearing flip-flops)

This week’s Exclusive Multiplicity podcast talks about “The Adventures of Podcasting“where I talk about how much I love podcasting and enjoy all of my entrepreneurial activities.  I also talk about the plight of the Unemployed 99ers and give some advice to those who’d like to assist their cause.



Wednesdays spotlight Small Business Branding Tips on the EasyBrandMarketing.com Blog (Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists)):
This week’s podcast topic was “How Search Engines Work: The Road to EASY SEO Tips” where I give an overview of how search engines work, and what you can do to search engine optimize (SEO) your website.



Fridays spotlight the Effective Complaints Resource Blog (A solution-oriented consumer advocacy resource for writing effective complaints):

Effective Complaints Resource Blog Small Business Branding Tips Blog RSS Feed 

This week’s podcast was “An Effective Complaint Letter Positive Outcome: How Safe Are You At U.S. Bank?” and detailed a positive outcome from an effective complaint letter to U.S. Bank.

Thanks for your interest, feel free to leave comments and forward this to your friends and other interested parties. 


Kindra
:)

P.S. Don’t forget to Follow me on Twitter (@KindraCotton), Link up with me on LinkedIn, Friend Me on Facebook, and check out my Nashville Home Technology Examiner page, if you haven’t already. And if you do, send me a message! And sign up for the Maximizing The Net Newsletter while you’re visiting MaximizingTheNet.com.

Ever read or heard of the “For Dummies” book series? If so, please fill out this brief survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FLVRTJZ

This Week’s Podcast and Blogging Round-Up: July 18 – July 24

Greetings all,

For those looking to keep up with me, and what I’m doing, here’s the weekly round up:

Tuesday are dedicated to Exclusive Multiplicity: Highlight the Adventures of a Serial Entrepreneur (A Tale of one Entrepreneur’s rise to success through bootstrapping while wearing flip-flops)

This week’s Exclusive Multiplicity podcast talks about “The Adventures of Failing“where I talk about a very difficult decision I had to make this week.



Wednesdays spotlight Small Business Branding Tips on the EasyBrandMarketing.com Blog (Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists)):
This week’s podcast topic was “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted: How to Get Over Past Bad Service” where I give some tips for what people can do to get over past bad experiences with scurrilous companies.

Fridays spotlight the Effective Complaints Resource Blog (A solution-oriented consumer advocacy resource for writing effective complaints):

This week’s podcast was an introduction to the EffectiveComplaints.com website as well as its associated podcast series.

Thanks for your interest, feel free to leave comments and forward this to your friends and other interested parties. 


Kindra
:)

P.S. Don’t forget to Follow me on Twitter (@KindraCotton), Link up with me on LinkedIn, Friend Me on Facebook, and check out my Nashville Home Technology Examiner page, if you haven’t already. And if you do, send me a message! And sign up for the Maximizing The Net Newsletter while you’re visiting MaximizingTheNet.com.

Ever read or heard of the “For Dummies” book series? If so, please fill out this brief survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FLVRTJZ

This Week’s Podcast and Blogging Round-Up: July 11 – July 17

Greetings all,

For those looking to keep up with me, and what I’m doing, here’s the weekly round up:

Tuesday are dedicated to Exclusive Multiplicity: Highlight the Adventures of a Serial Entrepreneur (A Tale of one Entrepreneur’s rise to success through bootstrapping while wearing flip-flops)

This week’s Exclusive Multiplicity podcast talks about “The Adventures of Being a Square Peg in a Round World“where I talk about finishing the book “Trust Agents” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, and how I plan to incorporate some of their tips into my social media strategy moving forward.



Wednesdays spotlight Small Business Branding Tips on the EasyBrandMarketing.com Blog (Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists)):
This week’s podcast topic was “EASY Personal Branding Tips: Why You Need a Personal Brand” where I talk about why personal branding is important in today’s world, for both business owners and job seekers.

Thanks for your interest, feel free to leave comments and forward this to your friends and other interested parties. 


Kindra
:)

P.S. Don’t forget to Follow me on Twitter (@KindraCotton), Link up with me on LinkedIn, Friend Me on Facebook, and check out my Nashville Home Technology Examiner page, if you haven’t already. And if you do, send me a message! And sign up for the Maximizing The Net Newsletter while you’re visiting MaximizingTheNet.com.

Transcripts Now Available Upon Request

If you’ve been reading the transcripts of any of my blog posts, then you already know the method of posting a long list of transcripts on the “Transcripts” page associated with each blog, simply isn’t working.

It isn’t efficient for me to post, and it surely isn’t efficient for readers to have to scroll for pages and pages in order to read a new week’s content.

Thus: Transcripts are now available upon request.

If you’d like a transcript of a previously posted podcast episode, please email “transcripts[at]kindracotton.com“, with the title and/or date, and I’ll get one promptly sent out to you.

If you know of a solution to getting transcripts disseminated in a more seamlessly integrated way, please let me know.

Thanks for your continued support.
Kindra

This Week’s Podcast and Blogging Round-Up: June 27- July 3

Greetings all,

For those looking to keep up with me, and what I’m doing, here’s the weekly round up:

Tuesday are dedicated to Exclusive Multiplicity: Highlight the Adventures of a Serial Entrepreneur (A Tale of one Entrepreneur’s rise to success through bootstrapping while wearing flip-flops)

This week’s Exclusive Multiplicity podcast talks about “The Adventures of the Bottom Dollar” where I talk about spending the last of my money.


Wednesdays spotlight Small Business Branding Tips on the EasyBrandMarketing.com Blog (Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists)):

This week’s podcast topic was “How to Build Traffic and Enhance a brand with EASY Newsletters” and it gives a brief tutorial on how to get started with email marketing and producing a newsletter with very little money.


Thursdays are for The MiniMarketing Survey Tip of the Week (A weekly podcast providing a tip on market research and online survey design, in addition to talking about how the “Mini Market Assessment” the Mini-Marketing Survey provides can be used to get you the information you need.):

This week’s episode talks about “How to Decide your Data Collection Method“, in addition to why one may want to use The MiniMarketing Survey.

Thanks for your interest, feel free to leave comments and forward this to your friends and other interested parties. 

Kindra

:)

P.S. Don’t forget to Follow me on Twitter (@KindraCotton), Link up with me on LinkedIn, Friend Me on Facebook, and check out my Nashville Home Technology Examiner page, if you haven’t already. And if you do, send me a message! And sign up for the Maximizing The Net Newsletter while you’re visiting MaximizingTheNet.com.

I Am In iTunes!

Hello all,

I got an email from someone telling me that they couldn’t find my podcasts, so I wanted to let you know that the podcast themselves are embedded within each blog’s post.

If you don’t want to read the blogs, and would prefer to get the podcasts directly, you can get them from iTunes here (Please subscribe to the series, if you have iTunes):

Kindra Cotton’s Blogger Blog



Exclusive Multiplicity: Highlighting the Adventures of a Serial Entrepreneur



Maximizing The Net Blog & Podcast Series



SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing) Blog



The MiniMarketing Survey Tip of the Week Newsletter Blog & Podcast Series


I’m still learning how all this podcasting stuff works. 
I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it soon.

Kindra
:)

I Am Now Podcasting!

So, here’s a brief rundown of my podcasting, blogging, and newsletter activities:

Kindra Cotton’s Blogger Blog Kindra Cotton's Blogger Blog RSS Feed
(The Blogger spot to catch up with what Kindra’s up to, and
how you can find her other podcasts, blogs, and websites
)


Exclusive Multiplicity: Highlighting the Adventures of a Serial Entrepreneur Exclusive Multiplicity RSS Feed
(A Tale of one Entrepreneur’s rise to success
through bootstrapping while wearing flip-flops
)

Small Business Branding Tips Blog Small Business Branding Tips Blog RSS Feed
(Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists))

The MaximizingTheNet.com Newsletter Blog & Podcast MaximizingTheNet.com Newsletter Blog RSS Feed
(A weekly podcast that highlights a topic of interest to
Maximizing The Net Newsletter subscribers
)
(A weekly podcast providing a tip on market research and online survey design, in addition to talking about how the “Mini Market Assessment” The Mini-Marketing Survey provides can be used to get you the information you need.)

 Effective Complaints Resource Blog Small Business Branding Tips Blog RSS Feed 
(A solution-oriented consumer advocacy resource for writing effective complaints)

Let me know what you think.
K.

KindraCotton.com

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Nashville Home Technology Examiner page, and Follow me on Twitter (@KindraCotton), Link up with me on LinkedIn, and Friend Me on Facebook, if you haven’t already. And if you do, send me a message! And sign up for the Maximizing The Net Newsletter while you’re visiting MaximizingTheNet.com.

How I found more hours in the day

Until fairly recently, I was one of those über-busy folks trying to cram tons of activities into a 24 hour day and there never seemed to be enough time! Managing several businesses, completing a Certification course, and maintaining some semblance of a personal life, left me feeling as though I simply don’t knock enough things off my “To Do List” on a daily basis.

About two weeks ago, I obtained a copy of Laura Vanderkam’s168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think“, and though it sounds cliche: It Changed My Life! Well-written and very easy to relate to, I managed to breeze through chapters of the book because the content was so interesting. I found this book helpful from the very first chapter. Simply shifting the paradigm of time management from seven 24-hour days, to viewing the week as a 168 hour entity has helped tremendously in organizing my schedule and finding way more hours than I used to have when I tried packing everything into one day!

I quickly downloaded Laura’s 168 Hours Time Log Excel spreadsheet, and attached my alleged “Type-A-ness” to it by color-coding it so that I could keep to a schedule that helps me not get so over-burdened with work-based activities that I forget “me time”. You can download a copy of the re-created spreadsheet I made here: http://www.sss4success.com/showcase/168-Hours-Log-Color.xls

So I’ve said all this to say: “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think” is definitely the book to get for time management. It just hit store shelves today, and you can grab a copy of it for a great price from Amazon.com.

Hope this helps.
Kindra

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Nashville Home Technology Examiner page, and Follow me on Twitter (@KindraCotton), Link up with me on LinkedIn, and Friend Me on Facebook, if you haven’t already. And if you do, send me a message! And sign up for the Maximizing The Net Newsletter while you’re visiting MaximizingTheNet.com.