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Gordon Hotchkiss

Member since August 2004 Contact Gordon

Meet Gordon at MediaPost Events

  • Gordon is attending OMMA Global at Advertising Week, September 27, 2010

Articles by Gordon All articles by Gordon

  • The Secret of Successful Marketing Lies In Split Seconds in Online Spin on 04/20/2015

    The other day, I was having lunch in a deli. I was also watching the front door, which you had to push to get in. Almost everyone who came to the door pulled, even though there was a fairly big sign over the handle which said "Push." The problem? The door had the wrong kind of handle. It was a pull handle, not a push. The door had been mounted backwards. In usability terms, the door handle presented a misleading affordance. I suspect most marketing falls in the same category as that sign. It's an attempt to fight the intuitive actions that customers take - those split-second actions that happen before our brain has a chance to kick in.

  • Deconstructing The Market Of One in Online Spin on 04/13/2015

    "So, what are you doing now?" my old college friend asked, right after he'd finished swearing at me because of my early retirement. He assumed I'd be doing something related to marketing. "I'm starting a cycling tourism business," I answered. "A what...?" "Cycling tours." "Do you know anything about cycling tours?" "Not really."

  • The Messy Part Of Marketing  in Online Spin on 04/07/2015

    Marketing is hard. That's because marketing reflects real life -- and real life is hard. But here's the thing: It's just going to get harder. Life is messy and squishy and filled with nasty little organic things like emotions and human beings. Personally, the thing that attracted me to marketing was its messiness.

  • To The Graduating Class Of 2015: Don't Rely On Planning in Online Spin on 03/31/2015

    My oldest daughter is graduating from university in a few short weeks. She's planning for the future. Her mother and I, being practical parents, have instilled this need for planning in her. It's what practical people do. They make plans. Thirty-two years ago, on my own graduation date, I also made plans. According to my plan, I should now be a senior producer on a national Canadian TV drama. This is, of course, after working my way up as a production assistant, writer and possibly a director. But as German Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke said, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." In my case, the enemy was the vagaries of real life. Oh -- and a little thing called the Internet. In 1983, who'd have guessed that one?

  • Justine Sacco, Twitter And The End Of Irony in Online Spin on 03/23/2015

    Justine Sacco is in the news again. Not that she wants to be. She'd like nothing more than to fade from the spotlight. But today, over 15 months after she launched the tweet that just won't go away, she's still the poster child for career ruination via social media. The recent revival of Justine's story came before the release of a new book by Jon Ronson, "So You've Been Publicly Shamed."

  • Mourning Becomes Electric in Online Spin on 03/16/2015

    Last Friday was a sad day. A very dear and lifelong friend of mine, my Uncle Al, passed away. And so I did what I've done before on these occasions. I expressed my feelings by writing about it. The post went live on my blog around 10:30 in the morning. By mid-afternoon, it had been shared and posted through Facebook, Twitter and many other online channels. Many were kind enough to send comments. The family, in the midst of their grief, forwarded my post to their family and friends. Soon, there was an extended network of mourning that sought to heal each other, all through channels that didn't exist just a few years ago. Mourning had moved online.

  • How Activation Works In An Absolute-Value Market  in Online Spin on 03/10/2015

    As I discussed last week, if I mention a brand to you -- like Nike, for instance -- your brain immediately pulls back your own interpretation of the brand. What has happened, in a split second, is that the activation of that one node -- let's call it the Nike node -- triggers the activation of several related nodes in your brain, which is quickly assembled into a representation of the brand Nike. This is called spreading activation.

  • The Spreading Activation Model Of Advertising  in Online Spin on 03/03/2015

    "Beatle." I have just primed you. Before you even finished reading the word above, you had things popping into your mind. Perhaps it was a mental image of an individual Beatle: either John, Paul, George or Ringo. Perhaps it was a snippet of song. Perhaps it was grainy black-and-white footage of the group's first Ed Sullivan show appearance. But as the concept "Beatle" entered your working memory, your brain was hard at work retrieving what you believed were relevant concepts from your long-term memory. (By the way, if your reaction was "What's a Beatle?" -- substitute "Imagine Dragons.")

  • Consumption In Context in Online Spin on 02/23/2015

    It was interesting watching my family watch the Oscars Sunday night. Given that I'm the father of two Millennials, who have paired with their own respective Millennials, you can bet that it was a multiscreen affair. But to be fair, they weren't the only ones splitting their attention among the TV and various mobile devices. I was also screen-hopping.

  • Are We Guilty Of 'Numbed' Marketing? in Online Spin on 02/16/2015

    A few years ago, I was moderating a panel on mobile advertising. The room was full of marketers. One audience member lamented, "Why don't the carriers just share the subscriber information? They know addresses, family status, credit history, demographics -- they have all that information. Then we could really pinpoint our market." I had to jump in. I asked this room full of marketers to indicate who would like to have access to that information by raising their hand. The entire room answered in the affirmative. Then I added a twist. "OK, everyone in this room has a mobile phone. Who, as subscribers, would want your carrier sharing that information with anyone who wanted to target you? Keep your hands up." Hands wavered. You could almost hear the switch clicking in their brains. Every hand slowly went down.

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