How to Answer Common Introductory Marketing Questions about your Agency’s Services

The Background

This article about common marketing questions people initially send to marketing agencies, was inspired by the sheer volume of similar questions our agency receives daily, yay, e’en on weekends and holidays.  Sidetrack Data Facts: After all, only about 1/3 of the world even celebrates Christmas.  And far fewer celebrate any other holiday. In fact, more people celebrate or watch the Soccer (Football) World Cup (3.2 Bn watched the one in Brazil in 2014) and the Olympics (3.5 Bn watched the one in Brazil in 2016). 

So with that in mind, it seemed logical to share some ideas about the types of questions we get, and how we very often respond to them.  When reading it, it’s impossible not to notice certain patterns, and develop certain efficiencies around the commonly asked questions.

OK that’s enough background on the article. Here it is, in all its glory. I hope you enjoy it, and share it with your peers and colleagues in the marketing world.

how to make sure answer marketing questions to get your leads get where they want to go

The Barrage of Questions & Answers

I get a nice, healthy amount of inquiries by email and on various websites, about new businesses seeking help with marketing.

The exchanges often go something like this:

“Hello! I have seen your profile and maybe you can help my start-up. I have a [product or service] that [has these differentiating features]. it’s a little like [the market leaders] and better [in these ways]. It should be a [product or service] for [business or consumer target audience segment] in the [target group, ie: age, business type] in [target geolocation].  Or so I believe :-)Can you help me with my new business? I need an online marketing strategy, a detailed plan of specific steps and tactics I have to do … to have success with this [product or service].

Regards,

[Joe Smith]

To which a pretty typical initial response I send reads as follows:

“Hi [Joe],

Thanks for reaching out to me. I’ll be happy to create an online marketing strategy for your new [product or service] company.

To get this done, simply [place the order or request for further information] from [the relevant web page], and any [optional feature / extras] you want.

Or, if you prefer, i can send you a custom offer.

To do that, I need to know these basic questions:
1) What’s your company or product’s website address, (if you have one)?
2) Are you able to generate leads and traffic?
3) What’s your current monthly marketing budget?
4) What are your growth targets for the next year?

Thanks,
Yasha

The inquiring person then usually follows-up with something in this direction:

“Hi,
1. [I don’t have a website right now, though I plan to have one soon.] or [My website is at http:/ /theproductorservicewebsite .com]
2. [YES, I can generate Traffic], or [NO, I am not able to generate traffic.]  Sometimes the respondent adds in things like, [“I am sure I can create traffic with google/facebook/instagram ads, if I can just target them properly.”]
3. [My budget is $XXXX / month].  Sometimes they add in info like, [“I cover all my own costs ‘out of pocket’, with the money I earn at my day job.”]
4. I want to [Sell X # of Products or Service contracts or Orders] This Year. That’s the minimum I have to sell to cover my costs. In the next year I want to sell minimum of [2X this year’s monthly average orders] every month. Do you think this is a realistic goal?

Regards,
[Joe Smith]

To which, again, a pretty typical response I send reads as follows:

Great. Yes those are realistic targets. Sell them to [shops / websites] and try for a small [chain of stores or network of sites] or two.You could sell many more if your product is good and you can handle larger orders.

FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS THAT ARE SELLABLE IN THE FIELD, I USUALLY ADD SOMETHING LIKE THIS:
Go to one huge event, a festival or a huge sports game, and you could unload hundreds, even thousands.

AND THEN I INEVITABLY ASK ANYONE INQUIRING:

What is your cost per unit [or case/crate/rental/lease or other metric]?
Really what I’m asking here is ‘What’s your cost per sale?’
factoid: More than 23% of inquirers we received just in the last two years, say they don’t know their cost per sale. Marketing Tip: KNOW YOUR DATA, OR ELSE!

The prospective client then usually replies with something that goes like this

“For the [YYYY number] of Units I pay USD [X.XX] per Unit.”

Knowing all of that very insightful data, I can then follow-up with an offer. So, for example, I’ll send a message that reads like this:


OK.

Here’s your custom offer.

COST: $2500

DELIVERABLES:
I will do strategic business consulting and marketing expertise
I will create an Online Marketing Strategy for your energy drink business.

As part of that Strategy, you will also receive a Big To Do List, and a Tailored Action Plan.

Your consultation sessions with me will help you crush your goals.

You will also get guidance to implement the high level business strategy, business policy, or more technical aspects / tactics in SEO, SEM, Social Media and other Growth / Acquisitions Channels (Email, Direct, Referral, etc).

Plus, you get a written summary of the key points discussed.

Ongoing work to implement, maintain and advance the strategy can be offered and ordered separately.

Specifications:
10 Day Delivery. Offer Expires [X days from the date this message is sent].


The person inquiring then usually writes me something like this

“Hello,Thank you for your offer. At the moment I’m considering a few other offers for my marketing.

Please make me an offer for “ongoing work to implement, maintain and advance the strategy”.

I need pay the costs myself for the first [X] months.

Also, would you please explain exactly how you can help me during the first [X] months, and how much time you have to invest?

I want to sell the first [YYYY Units] using only online marketing.

This is the main goal i am targeting: I want you to use your marketing service to help me to sell [YYYY Units] in [Target Geolocation(s)] [to Target Demographic(s)] via the internet within the next [X] months.

Can you do that for me? If you are able to get that done, then please send me an offer for that.”

Once I see that the company is a startup with very low budgets and is in need of immediate revenues, and keeping all costs in check, then I do something that is unusual. I tell them something like this:


If your goal is only for the next [X] months, then what you really need is a sales effort.

You can definitely sell online, but to sell [YYYY Units] online in [X] months, without any prior sales of the product, it will be harder to do that with just a website and online marketing, rather than with a basic site that can accept purchases, and a person to send sales emails and makes sales calls.

The marketing strategy I proposed was for your longer term (1 year, 2 year, etc) business goals.

If what you need are immediate sales and you are short on funds to invest in a sales person, then you should frankly hit the pavement yourself and start knocking on doors of every [website / shop] that [buys/sells] [Similar Products Or Services] in your [local area / online markets of influence].

Small and Medium sized shops are your best bet. Small shops are easiest but will pay the least, often, though they’ll still pay. Medium sized shops are your sweet spot because you’re more likely to close a deal with them than with a large [chain / network] (at first), and they usually can pay more than the little shops.

That said, if you live in an area with lots of “specialty” shops (small, medium or big), then those are another matter, as they often pride themselves on offering rare items and new items, as it gives them a certain “cachet” / flair / style / vibe / culture that appeals to a certain demographic, and it’s one that is usually willing to pay a slight premium for unusual [products / services] like yours, or cool looking branded [products / services] like yours, that they have never heard of or tried before.

Have you tested the branding of the [product / service]? If not, frankly, you should test, test, test, and then go sell like the rent’s due tonight. If that doesn’t motivate you to get sales, nothing will. I am confident that if you go that route, you’ll sell [YYYY Units], easily, within a month or two, let alone three. If you do it right, you might sell many more than [YYYY Units] … and then you’ll be experiencing what is known as “a good, high quality problem to have”.

So there’s some free marketing and sales advice for you. If you try it and it works (and i’m sure it can), then please be kind enough to let me know how it went, tell your friends, peers and colleagues about it, or better yet … order my marketing services to help you grow once you have an actual marketing budget of a few grand a month, which is what you’ll be looking at spending to take your brand to the next level.

Until that time, you really can and should DIY, and ask folks like (read: other marketing professionals) that you know or can reach ie: in marketing fora & groups.

Otherwise, you risk investing in something where any little thing that doesn’t go as planned will be too stressful to your business.

When you’re running a lean operation, you should not try to spend beyond your means. Otherwise, even a tiny tumble can be a bad crash.

OK, now that I’ve done my part to tell you why you should do it yourself at this stage …. If you STILL want me to help you at this stage, feel free to let me know. I’ll send you an offer for ongoing work. Just don’t be surprised by a monthly cost that’s somewhat in the [mid-to-high four] digits at first. Or, if you want to only spend that amount [or less] at the most, then I can send you such a plan, and just keep in mind that it will be, by definition, a smaller effort than I would normally offer.


EFFECTIVE RESULTS:

Using efficiencies, we have seen this process of inquiries and responses, impact our business’ bottom line, with a 37% Growth Rate in First Time Buyers (FTBs), YoY. And for our clients, signing up with us has led to even higher yields of Growth Rates and Primary KPIs for our clients.

If this is of interest to you, you are welcome to visit our marketing agency website. We look forward to hearing from you … and replying to you in kind.

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How Spam and Google effectively ruined the internet for millions of publishers and other people

How Spam and Google effectively ruined the internet for millions of publishers and other people

satire editorial cartoon of google copyright school 2011 april 14

black and white editorial comic of the google copyright school by laughzilla for thedailydose on 2011-04-14

The day the indie publisher died, care of Spam and Google

The gold rush of the first Internet wave

Back in the heady days of the 1990s until mid-2000, independent internet publishers were able to easily thrive online, both by email and on the then-nascent world wide web.

Back then, you literally just had to know how to have a web page set up (whether you built it or had a friend do it for you), set up an email list, start publishing to your email list (and sometimes to your web site, too), make sure you were indexed in Yahoo! and AltaVista, and a dozen other engines and directories, and your list would probably start to grow, as long as you delivered a consistent product or service, like a newsletter or research paper or magazine.

Once your traffic was rolling, you could start calling advertisers (by looking them up online or in the yellow pages), and start selling ads for $500 or $2000, minimum, without having to negotiate very much at all. It seemed like a lot of money for independent publishers, and an incredibly cheap deal for advertisers.

Publishers were happy. Advertisers were happy. Everyone seemed happy.

Then something happened, and it wasn’t what you might think.

In October 2000, the tech bubble popped. Billions upon billions of dollars were vaporized, and gone were the masses of well-funded no-value companies, who managed to rake in huge sums of investor funds, without so much as a penny of revenue, let alone profit.

At the same time, independent companies, with real revenue and (cough cough) real profit margins were hit by something much worse: Spam and heavy reliance on vaporware advertisers.

Those advertisers with so much money to spend on low ROI branding, were only too happy to spend a fortune when times were good, money was plentiful, and the living was easy. We were all drunk on the ease of it all. The advertisers did not want or expect results, because they were overloaded with just getting their clients online, anywhere they could be seen.

All of a sudden, they had no more money, because they were too proud of their “burn rate” for far too long. Rather than taking a long, slow approach to building real value with their substantial investments, they spent it all with a splash, and went out with the crash.

Of course, the publisher were not complaining when the dollars were raining down in a torrent. Then again, they were not doing anything to prepare for the likelihood that the party would end, and reality would sink in. The future, for anyone who had a clue, was bleak, difficult, and full of years of survival, let along growing pains.

All of that is just the fault of everyone legitimately involved in the internet publishing industry back in those days. In that sense, we were all to blame.

Even so, that failure to properly manage well-heeled bank accounts to support these fledgling companies, was nothing compared to the illegitimate abuse of internet resources.

The first villain to rear its ugly head in that way, was spam. Unsolicited mail. Junk email. The junk that used to pile up in your inbox, and somehow, despite all the advances in anti-spam filters, still does.

Spam killed email.

Yes, it’s been said before. I just have something particular to say about it.

Spam killed off the publishing of a Pangea-sized ocean of perfectly legitimate, hard-won email lists, built up by wonderful businesses whose primary access to the online world, was their inbox.

Email lists, of all kinds, belonging to all sorts of publishers, from small to large, from independent to large publicly traded corporations, could no longer reach their customers, because spam flooded their inboxes so badly, that people simply switched addresses, or stopped using email as much as possible.

While it may not sound so bad, the net result was that it killed off the creme de la creme of online publishers who had managed to build up real trust with people through their email.

Of course what led to so much spam was also partly to blame on some of the publishers themselves. They had been selling off or renting off lists of their subscribers to the highest bidder, or any buyer who would offer, without knowing anything about those buyers, their interests, their motives, or any of their future use plans. Of course, spammers did not rely solely on buying lists. They used bots. Little software robots that could gather email addresses automatically from emails, web pages, and other places on the internet.

Those little bots not only gathered the lists, they “cleaned” them by merging and purging. They formed them into new lists and automatically started blasting away highly targeted ads for pills, porn, casinos and other delightful adult products and services we all obviously need every single day.

But even that did not finish off the little publisher, or the large publisher who wanted to hang in there and ride out the storm for better days.

Nope. It wasn’t spam. Because after all, smart publishers were able to migrate from one media to the next, and if they were resourceful enough, they could do it without losing too much in the shuffle. They might even find the new media to be more profitable. For a while.

And then Google ate the Internet

It was right around the tech bubble bursting that Google became the rising superstar leading up to the lovable fuzzy cyber monster muppet that it is today.

Google, complete with its whiz-bang algorithms, was the talk of tech. They had secretly formulated the perfect recipe to deliver exactly what you asked for, by searching for things in plain human languages. Or so they said, and most people seemed to believe them.

Google is a brilliant company. Thousands of the best minds, all working together, developing software and applications that mere mortals dare not dream. Google has created many wonderful tools which have vastly improved the usability of the internet, chief among those being their search engine, and their email known as Gmail.

Still, what Google also did, was to use the power of their search engine, to legitimately buy out the online advertising industry, and like a gorilla, crush it.

Anyone could join google’s ad network. Anyone could use google’s search on their site, even customized. Anyone could let google copy their entire website, and forever own the copies they made and store. And anyone could earn a sliver of the amount they could earn with direct advertisers for the same space, before Google decided to stick itself into everyone’s business, and lower the money flow to pennies on the dollar, if that.

So yes, they managed to lower ad rates, and that was good for advertisers. But by doing so, they killed off many good and valuable media by pawning off low value traffic to the same advertisers, and not paying the good media a rate commensurate with their value. Google’s ad network became the largest cesspool of bottom feeders. And that attracted all the web spammers who ruined search, thus decreasing the value of those google ads, even further.

So much for the Google creed, “Don’t be evil.”

Google stole the Internet by asking for it

Permission marketing is a very positive idea in business, developed online by Seth Godin and others of that stream of thought, which says that sales and marketing are like a date: you have to speak to your date before you go together to the dance, or movie, or dinner. You need permission for every step. That sort of behavior builds solid trust. Lacking that behavior shows a lack of trustworthiness.

Google used permission marketing, by offering the greatest app ever (free search) for anyone’s web site, accompanied by the only app that at the time seemed even greater than the greatest app ever. And that application was: Google AdSense.

By opening up the web to millions more websites into the advertising pool, Google managed to lower the bid rate and value of advertising on the web. They effectively killed off the amounts that advertisers were willing to pay for perfectly good media on sites that had actual audiences.

Google, with all its good intentions, may have delivered better search results, but the cost was that it killed off ad revenues by more than 90% for most internet publishers. That, more than Spam, more than the economic disaster that followed the tech bubble, put millions of websites out of business.

The net effect is that now, more than a decade later, we have yet to see a return to any heyday or good times for publishers online. The exception to that are those publishers who have the means to build or buy themselves a significant, targeted distribution network, with a minimum of millions of contacts. For most media companies, even if you were reaching millions of people a day back in 2000, you probably aren’t doing that anymore. And you can thank Google for doing that, by “organizing the world’s information” in the way that they prefer, and destroying its value in the process.

By making everyone believe that they would always find what they wanted on Google, hundreds of millions, if not billions of people are now basically clueless as to other ways of finding information online. Google is not the be all and end all of search engines. Users relying on google innocently caused so much traffic to be lost from sites that had worked to build something of real value, that those sites could no longer support themselves with Google blocking everyone’s way to their sites.

Of course, the GOOG was not the only one to ask for permission to copy and own your content, in exchange for cheap-o advertising and free search tools. But, they were the best, and the fruit they bore was to build the world’s largest internet advertising network, and the most popular search engine, all at the cost of ruining the ad revenue of millions of companies that were around online, long before anyone had heard of Google.

The story doesn’t end in darkness. There is a better future.  A brighter day did arrive. It’s for another post.

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Headscarves and the Olympic Games

Headscarves and Olympic sports

headscarves bombed and banned by france by laughzilla for the daily dose april 11 2011Ever wonder ’bout headscarves in athletics?

At the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, women athletes on various teams, including Saudi Arabia, were required by their country, to wear headscarves specially designed for their sports. The Saudi women’s judoka wore a headscarf. So did Sarah Attar, the Saudi women’s 800 meter track runner.

At the same time, another group of women athletes, the synchronized swimming team from Egypt, swam with a fair amount of skill, in swimsuits that were as revealing as their competition, and no headscarves or swimming caps.

While this may not seem like much of an achievement, consider the context.

Headscarves in the Arab world

Headscarves are not some ubiquitous Muslim tradition dating back to Mohamed. Head scarves have been worn by men women of Jewish, Muslim and other religions, often by people who lived in uncomfortable climates, both in hot environments as well as cold places. Often, because of its impracticality in daily life, the ability to wear one regularly was seen as a sign of wealth. More recently, especially in monotheistic faiths that practice a male dominated pedagogy, it was taught as a mode of modesty. In Islam, the mandatory headscarf has only been a cultural norm in Saudi Arabla for about 100 years.

Even today, only the Saudi kingdom, Iran and parts of Indonesia require women to don a headscarf, hijab, or burqa of one sort or another. Meanwhile it is prevalent a wider number of nations, but again, not required. It is respectfully accepted. That acceptance is a form of liberal tolerance, not commonly found in places where the headscarf is required by law.

Egypt, which is a nascent democracy, is nevertheless a nation of strong cultural adherence, regardless of one’s opinion of that culture. And even though it is still regulated, the headscarf is a common garment seen in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria.

Geopolitical and cultural impact of the headscarf in Egypt

The country, which little over a year ago ousted its longtime secular military dictator, President Hosni Mubarak, in favor of an Islamist politician, may respect the headscarf, but it does not see a need to enforce it in the dress code, even as it remains the cultural epicentre of the modern Islamic world. The Arab Spring or Jasmine Revolution may after all be a stronger reinforcement of a coexisting cultural and political dichotomy than might be perceived at first glance.

The nation on the Nile is also now run by a democratically elected President, Mr. Mohamed Morsy, who was educated in America, and is a longtime friend and member of the Muslim Brotherhood. That’s right, the same Muslim Brotherhood that gave birth to the ideology which inculcated the extremism of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaida ilk. It does not take much imagination to understand what his views are on the subject of headscarves. He is all for them. Even so, he has not even tried (not yet anyway) to make the headscarf mandatory for Egyptian women, because he knows the people of Egypt would not willingly comply with such an order. Egypt, it seems, may be quite capable of running a government elected by the people, even if those people chose a Muslim fundamentalist as their leader.

Of course, that same Egypt is still really headed by the military, which shortly before the elections of 2012, secured its continuing authority through its own dictates. The Egyptian military has assured itself that limiting the executive powers of its newly elected President is the best path towards a better future.

The Egyptian President, meanwhile, as if to prove his moderate values, has already launched military attacks against terrorists in the Sinai peninsula, where recent attacks by militant Muslim gunmen left 17 Egyptian soldiers dead, in addition to destroyed property, military wreckage, and the aftermath of a lethal battle with Israeli forces, who killed the terrorists at the border.

Headscarves, Niqabs and other veils in Saudi Arabia

Now contrast the image of this seemingly divided nation against that of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is run by the Wahabite tribe of Sunni Muslims, who control Mecca, and thus, influence the ideological world of Sunni Islam around the world. Saudi Arabia still has slave markets, and public beheadings by the sword. And yet, people around the world are more concerned about their women having to wear a headscarf. It’s impressive what good PR all that oil money can buy.

While focusing attention on a cultural wardrobe requirement for the fairer sex, Saudi Arabia and other conservative Muslim regimes have distracted enough minds from the real atrocities in their countries, to make observers of the world’s popular quadrennial sports extravaganza give more attention to a piece of fabric, than to the human rights those nations abuse, day in and day out, year after year, without an end in sight.

What mandatory headscarves for its female athletes say about a nation

The contrast of Saudi women having to wear head scarves when competing at the Olympic Games, versus the more liberated women of the Egyptian synchronized swimming team who do not have to wear such fashion accessories, says a lot about the nations from whence they hail.

For one thing, it says that Saudi Arabia is still living in the Dark Ages, when superstition and tradition are more important than science, learning, educated advancement and having an open mind. It says that Saudi Arabia prefers to adhere to the Olden Times and the ways of their ancestors, than to seek a better future for all of its citizens, no matter what their gender, race, creed or sexual preference.

By contrast, the lack of headscarves on the Egyptian women’s athletics teams, says that despite upholding folkloric, cultural religious tradition, they are also determined to actualize a better future; one which is just and allows for the pursuit of happiness. And even though they may seem to be taking a step back by picking a pro-headscarf man as its political head, the evidence to date suggests that the political establishment in the world’s most populous Arab country will not seek to cause deeper social divides by requiring women to wear scarves upon their heads. It seems Mr. Morsi has decided that it is better to maintain a balance between conservatism and liberalism, and that means the old and the new are constantly shifting the weight of popular support back and forth, much like the desert sands around old Pharaoh’s lands.

What it boils down to, is that Egypt has decided to maintain its support of liberal social norms, demonstrated by its ongoing funding of largely exposed female athletes, even as they are governed by a religiously traditional administration, and Saudi Arabia has decided to remain behind the times, as it does by continuing to enforce inhuman laws and punishments against its weakest populations.

As for me, I look forward to the day that no one, no man, woman or child is required to wear any particular piece of clothing, whether in athletic competitions or in day-to-day life, almost as much as I look forward to the end of slavery and human rights abuses around the world.

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OOOOOh look … The IOC is all about the money

The IOC protects its IP rabidly.

It’s not as if you didn’t know, right?

Olympic Flag (R) TM Satire

Would it be as funny if it were not so true?

The IOC wants you to show them the money, baby

The Olympic Games are owned and operated by the International Olympic Committees, aka: The IOC, which is a for-profit corporation. They’re in it for the money.

You can’t exactly blame them. The Olympic logo is world-famous, and they have every right and ability to exploit its value for all its worth, even if it means suing small mom and pop shops and businesses that use the word “Olympic” or use any visual that even approximates the famous amateur sports logo.

While it may not be the realization of the dream of Mr. Pierre de Coubertin, who resurrected the ancient Greek tradition of the ultimate pagan celebration of sports in the form of the modern Olympic Games, it is not surprising that the games are in their current state. The Olympics today are riddled with corruption, devoid of their values, and heading as fast as possible down the same track it is currently on.

To know that the IOC is only getting worse in its plans and actions, is more than a little disheartening to the average sports fan. To the person who barely cares about sports at all, it basically is a death knell into the once most highly prized sporting event in the world.

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The London 2012 Olympics ~ A personal foreward

The 2012 Olympics

let the games be gin keep calm meme parody remix

Swig that spirit

At the 2012 Olympics in just a few hours from the time of this article being published, the world watching the Summer games will heard the sentence that starts a frenzy of games, competitions, and events celebrating the spirit of *cough, cough* humanity.

“Let the Games begin.” ~ So goes the traditional opening expression of the Olympics supposedly dating back to Ancient Greece, where the ultimate pagan celebration of sports and competition was born.

Are You Ready for the London 2012 Olympics?

london 2012 olympics official logo low-resolution graphic

Faster, Higher, Stronger

It starts tonight. The London Olympics. The 2012 Summer Games. Where world records have already been broken, before the opening ceremonies. Sound interesting yet?

The opening competitions of the London 2012 Olympic Games started off with a couple of world records being broken at Lord’s cricket ground by South Korea’s Archery Team, one of whose athletes is a legally blind man.

Im Dong-hyun, who is a legally-blind archer, broke his own individual record for 72 arrows while his teammates Kim Bub-min and Oh Jin-hyek helped them set a team record for 216 arrows.

It certainly makes for good media fodder, that in the Olympics, anything is possible. It helps the ratings that human achievement pushes itself beyond all known limits, for about three solid weeks in mid-Summer, even if those laser-focused athletes have other personal obstacles, like physical handicaps to overcome.

These Olympic Games got off to a full media blast in the past few months. As the torch made its way from Mount Olympus to London, a great deal of coverage was made about the efforts being made by the host country, England. Great Britain is eager show the world that it provides the best, safest, most pageant-filled “Biggest Show On Earth” celebrating sports in an unprecedented fashion.

This, despite huge failures by the security establishment, allowing for the main contractor to the Olympic Games, G4S, to provide only 70% of the contracted security personnel, with the company being forced to pick up the tab for the cost of the British military picking up the slack. Rest assured, the English will do everything to make these games as safe as possible. Still, it will be a stressful week for anyone involved in the short-term security operations and logistics, especially as they now have to practically improvise about 30% of the security efforts, which would otherwise have been performed routinely, in a scheduled, carefully rehearsed manner.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.

These Olympic Games are also happening on the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, where 11 athletes and coaching staff of the Israeli team were held hostage and then brutally murdered by terrorists in the name of Palestine.

This year, there was a public effort to hold a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies in London, to commemorate those lives taken too early, at a previous Olympics. The moment of silence was publicly rejected by the IOC. After all, they did not respect the victims with any moment of silence at the time of the attacks or anytime since then, so why would they succumb to such public pressure now?

In the politically-challenged world of the International Olympic Committee, honoring its own athletes lost in geopolitical conflicts that erupted in their own facilities, is simply not something they wish to do. And let’s not mince any words here: The moment of silence was rejected because the victims were Jews and the killers were Palestinian Muslims, and in the IOC, Jews – and especially Jews from Israel – are unpopular, while the Muslim populations control more than twenty nations of the sporting world’s elite body, even as they are considered outside of the main by the powers that be. Simply put, these two people are not important enough to the IOC to move the IOC to reflect upon its own history.

To be clear, if, heaven-forbid, a team of Americans, British, French, German, Russian, Chinese or Japanese athletes had been so inhumanely murdered at an Olympic event, you can bet your Official London Games Memorabilia that there would be some kind of official recognition of their sacrifice.

Okay, that’s enough ranting about my favorite human sporting event. As the Ancient Greek showman and philosopher said in I, Claudius, “The theatre never was what it was.”

The show must go on

We hope everyone participating in the Olympic Games of 2012 will have a safe and wonderful experience. The games are always memorable, and this year should be no exception to that fine tradition. World records broken by a sight-challenged competitor striking the target with a bull’s eye have assured that. Now it’s time for sports fans everywhere to enjoy a little pomp and circumstance before the meat of the events begins.

Personally, my athletic experience gives me a bias towards rowing, fencing, and the classic track and field athletics. Horribly elitist sports, I know. Well, that was a long time ago.

What do you like most about the Olympic Games? Sound-off below in the Comments section.

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