Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Empower your greatest marketing channel

It's clear to me that one of our greatest marketing channels is represented in our fellow employees. Get them excited about what your company is doing, then arm them with tools to tell their friends and networks about it, and you've created a brand army capable of doing incredible things for your brand.

As I've mentioned before on this blog, Ron McDaniel knows this better than anybody. He's written about employee marketing extensively, and is conducting his first two-day seminar focused exclusively on Buzz Marketing and employee evangelism next January.

Ron's doing this session right - just 35 people in attendance so that it's truly interactive. Ron has a great agenda and speaker lineup for this seminar as well (and did I mention it's in Las Vegas)?

Well worth the trip.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


On Influence

There's a "wisdom of crowds" effect related to influence.

One person can develop a strong opinion, and it can be near impossible to change their mind. But crowds are different. There will be enough individuals in a crowd of people whose minds aren't yet made up, that can be directly influenced in your direction. Enough of those folks together can then directly influence others in the crowd as well.

Seth Godin
put the distinction between individuals and markets into perspective in his book The Dip:

Influencing one person is like scaling a wall. It you get over the wall the first few tries, you're in. If you don't, often you'll find that the wall gets higher with every attempt.

Influencing a market, on the other hand, is more of a hill than a wall. You can make progress, one step at a time, and as you get higher, it actually gets easier. People in the market talk to each other. They are influenced by each other. So every step of progress you make actually gets amplified.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Being busy vs. being focused

We're all busy. But that's not the issue.

The issue is whether or not you can comfortably accommodate new work without getting frustrated, flustered or immobilized. That's the test.

If you feel completely overwhelmed by something new on your plate, frustrated when your boss asks for something new, or flustered when the list of projects in your lap continues to grow, you're clearly not alone. That happens to all of us. But if you don't have an effective system (no matter how simple or complex) to rationalize those new ideas against what's currently on your plate, then you might just be unfocused.

If you don't know how to evaluate new ideas against those you're already focused on, work with your manager (or have a quick meeting-of-one) to make sure you both agree on what's most important in your role, your department and your company. Clarity over underlying values and objectives will be your compass by which to evaluate and triage every new idea.

Your plate's only so big, and your time is incredibly valuable. You owe it to yourself to work only on the things that are going to deliver the most value to your organization, and the most satisfaction and productivity for yourself.

Busy is good. Too busy is bad. And I guarantee that something on your plate, right now, shouldn't be there.

Can you find it?

All of it?

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Best practices for the client-agency relationship

The relationship between agency and client - whether it's PR, brand, advertising or a combination - is typically rocky. Let's face it, there's almost always an undercurrent of tension and disappointment in these relationships. It's why agency relationship turnover is so high. It's why agencies often get the blame for bad campaigns, and get sacked in hopes that a new agency will somehow make the product sound better (enough) to fly off the shelves.

Relationships between agencies and clients are rocky largely because key players on both sides have the wrong idea about what to expect from the other side.

Jennifer McLean
from Credibility Branding earlier this year published one of the best, short articles identifying key reasons why the agency-client relationship is so often fraught with tension and disappointment, and offers advice to both sides on how to make the relationship smoother, and more successful. Definitely worth a read.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


The speed of ideas (and your ability to keep up)

New ideas come at you constantly. You may not always see them, or think of them as ideas relevant to your life or your business, but they're all around you all of the time.

Your first challenge, of course, is to separate the wheat from the chaff. Which ideas are truly relevant? Which could have an impact? Which are most important?

Which are worth trying?

Of course, every new idea throws a little bite-sized chaos into your world. The new idea is unplanned for, unexpected, and not on your current to-do list.

Because new ideas don't immediately fit into our workflow, our initial reaction might be negative - even if the idea could be more valuable to our life or work than something we're already doing. Why? It's seen initially as a distraction. An interruption. A change in course from what we expected to do today.

But it's important to step back for just a few seconds, think objectively about that new idea, and put it into its proper place. Should you set it aside to give it more careful, dedicated time to incubate in your mind? Is it so fantastic that you should start working on it right away? Or is it truly not important enough to address right now - and hence can either be round-filed, or filed away for reconsideration in a few weeks, months or even a year from now?

Ideas are the lifeblood of innovation and successful companies. Don't treat them as annoyances and distractions, just because they're different. Give them the time they deserve, and encourage everyone (and everything) around you to keep them coming.

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