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Archive for the category “communication”

You Don’t Make Connections at the Drive-Thru—(Joe Pesci was right)

drivethruYou love coffee, I love coffee, we all love coffee.  As we all know, it tastes a whole lot better when someone else makes it and you sip it as you walk into the office.  But, you must also get your kids to school and be at work by 8:30am.  So, you rush around and get that morning coffee at the Drive-Thru. Oh, the stories and connections you are missing out on.  Joe Pesci had it right in Lethal Weapon 2, but for different reasons.  I promise if you take the extra five minutes and walk into Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks each morning (…and maybe even throw a buck into the tip jar occasionally) you will start your day off on such a higher level.

There is something about “The Law of Familiarity” that makes people friendlier, and like you more each time they see you.  We tend to be attracted to things we are familiar with.  But, here’s the catch.  The key word is “see” you.  Not Facebook…Not a Tweet….And DEFINITELY NOT an Email.  Engage in even a little conversation, and your coffee server can open all kinds of doors for you.  Maybe even an extra espresso shot here and there.

Be seen, be present, make someone smile.  As hard as Facebook tries, they haven’t figured out a way to capture a real smile and a warm “good morning.” (Or an extra shot of espresso)

Words

  1. wordsmeanthingsWords build or break relationships.
  2. Words can easily be misunderstood—Choose them wisely.
  3. Words can start wars, or make people fall in love.
  4. Words should be transparent, authentic and without hidden agendas.
  5. Words can INCREASE or KILL energy.
  6. Words justify logic.
  7. Words can build value over price.
  8. Words invoke emotions. Emotions play a major role in most purchase decisions. Never lose sight of how potential customers want to feel: Safer, healthier, smarter, more attractive, in control and that they didn’t make the wrong choice.
  9. Words should be chosen based on the audience.
  10. The most important Word is “YOU”.

Creative Clutter

What does it take to be creative? A loose environment where people can walk aCluttered-Mindround barefoot thinking about the next big thing?  Maybe I guess. But I present to you a different way to look at the best creative minds.

They may not look like it on the surface, but creative people have to be the most organized in an organization. In the advertising world, they must deal with deadlines, angry clients, angry sales reps, angry bosses…Lots of things to juggle.

The right brain thinkers of the world must come up with the ideas, AND have their to-do list cleaned up and immaculate.  That’s where the magic happens.  Loose ends pull us in the wrong directions and take our mind off of, well, the next thing big thing.

Creativity doesn’t rise out of clutter. It comes from being so organized your mind can move onto the next great idea.

Welcome to the party! Who are you?

Who are you questionWhen someone decides to make a purchase how do you make sure your company is even thought about?  Do they know who you are? What you are about? Did you even get invited to the party?

Have you ever been to a party where everyone knows each other? Would you throw out your hand with a big….”Hi, I’m John..Wanna buy some insurance?” That’s what you do when you post an offer on digital or social before you create awareness.  Without awareness and reputation, you are just another idiot trying to sell something.

To create brand awareness you need Reach, Frequency, Consistency and a great message (Creative).  This doesn’t come from a few Facebook posts.  It comes from engagement. Connecting to the local community any way you can.  Going to a few of those parties where you don’t know anyone, and getting to know people…Slowly, over time. Over 80% of an audience won’t click on a digital/social ad they’ve never heard of.

Build awareness through branding. Tell great stories. Be known BEFORE you’re needed. Then, target those who have the need.  Do you want to be searched on Google, or found on Google?

Now go send out some thank you notes for getting all those party invitations

 

 

Traditional Media’s Free Lunch

So, everyone is upsetfree-lunch-is-only-found-in-mousetraps (1) that Facebook has changed their policy and is suppressing media and business posts in favor of friend updates.  Keep in mind that for many people their Facebook feed is where they get ALL their news.  Crazy right?  Well, the media let it happen.   

Let’s go back about 10 years.  Before the great 2008 recession. Back when a hash tag was just a pound sign.  Let your mind drift back and imagine everything you seen and heard on mass media.   I’ll help you out a bit.  Most (at one point almost all) advertising had one central message…..”Like us on Facebook”.   DJ’s had contests to get the most fans and likes. The Facebook logo graced the end of every local newscast. Every major brand had one mission—Build their fans & likes.

It was as if overnight everyone forgot there is no such thing as a free lunch.  “A way to connect with our customers for free”  Wow!…Yea  wow.  The media spent ten years turning all the power over to Facebook and now are upset that their relevance has declined…..A lot.

Radio, television &  print all thought that Facebook put them closer to their audience, and traditional media would always be the first choice.  Instead of building databases, investing in new social media platforms and better websites, traditional media took  the easy way out…Connect for free on Facebook.

And Facebook, much like a drug dealer handing out free samples, kept giving and giving….Until they didn’t.

The easy path is rarely the best path.  So congratulations Facebook.  You got the entire world to help build a database over a billion strong…For free.  So maybe there really is a free lunch?

 

 

 

 

 

Perception is Reality…Woody The Internet Pecker

ImageWow…..I haven’t posted anything on WordPress for a long time. So, to get myself back in the saddle, I’ll throw the word “pecker” in the title..that should work.  

Perception problems are marketing problems. Don’t believe this?  Pop quiz…Who developed one of the first touch screen computers?  Well, the perception is that Apple started it all………and if that was your guess, you couldn’t be more wrong…But before you Google the answer,  the original touch screen was the most bizarre marketing blunder of all time and actually involves Panasonic naming it after a penis.

In 1996 Panasonic thought the mouse was too hard to use, and the internet was going to be the biggest development of the 20th century…They were right, but it didn’t  matter…The name of their touch screen computer was the Woody…Pretty bad right?  But  it gets a lot worse……They decided Woody Wood Pecker would be a great mascot to bring in the youth market  (In 1996??!) So before you connect the dots, yes,  the computer was named….Touch Woody……And if  it couldn’t get any worse,  Panasonic introduced  a new internet support feature called….wait for it…The internet pecker.

A touch screen in 1996!  Steve Jobs was just coming back to Apple and the IPad was over ten years away.  A touch screen was WAY ahead of its time.  But alas, you can have the best product in the world, but if people don’t know about it, (or laugh like 12 year old boys when they say the name) you will fail—-Just ask A. Wang, the creator of Wang Computer 

The Company That Will Bring It To You…..

captain-kirk-communicatorAs I type this my daughter is on Face Time with her friend on her IPOD Touch.  My ten year old has been using Face Time for about a week and a half. In that time she has become more proficient than Capt Kirk with his communicator. Who could have ever imagined us getting to the point where kids could communicate with their friends in HD quality on a device smaller than a deck of cards—-Wireless! When I was ten I had to share a party line with 5 other families at my grandmother’s house in Maine (I’ll save this for another story). My pointer finger is now about five sizes bigger than the rest of my hand from using the giant rotary dial phone…Tough times.

The funny thing is, growing up we were always told of flying cars and Dick Tracy video wristwatches. It just never seemed to happen, until it did..Slowly but surely most of the Sy-Fy predictions have caught up to us. (Well, except the flying car thing). I remember back in the early 90’s Tom Selleck used to talk about all the great things AT & T was going to do for us. Sending a fax from the beach, attending a meeting in your pajamas, borrowing a book from around the world. As Tom was pontificating about all the futuristic wonders AT& T was about to lay on us, I was still getting used to the AOL guy saying “You’ve got Mail.”   Apparently Steve Jobs watched those commercials too, and he became the guy who brought us a bunch of it. I’m sure AT & T is the infrastructure behind much of the technology, but Apple has a better marketing department

So I hopped on YouTube (the Irony of using Google to look up a commercial about A T & T technology was not lost on me) and went on a quest to find those commercials from the early 90’s. I found them, and they were even more accurate than I remembered..Scary precise. Check out the touch screen on the EBook. This was 1993 when people didn’t know what an EBook, or an Email even was..

So like a crystal ball peering into the future, I present to you a montage of those commercials telling us how great life would be for us very soon. Listening to my daughter giggle with her friends on her $100 IPOD makes me realize we haven’t seen anything yet….Kirk out!

 

 

 

The Confidence of Preparation

You’ve heard it so many times that it’s become a cliché–Be prepared! Normally we think in these terms when it comes to a disaster, much like the east coast did as it prepared for Hurricane Sandy. Generators…water… batteries….those sorts of things. When you have time to prepare for something in advance it builds a sense of confidence. You can take a deep breath and say “come what may, I’ve did all I can.” You can’t put a price tag on that kind of confidence.

Today as certain neighborhoods are humming with the sounds of generators, others bask in sunlight unaffected by the ravages of the storm. You never know when all the preparation will pay off, but that’s the point. Don’t take that generator back to Home Depot because you didn’t use it–Have it ready for next time. Plan out the next step before you have to take it.

What if you  prepared like a storm was coming in all areas of your life? Retirement, a promotion at work, your relationship with your friends and family, your health? Don’t wait until your broke to start saving, don’t wait until you have a heart attack before you start getting healthy. Don’t wait until the storm hits, besides being too late, you lose twice…All the worry about the storm, and the actual storm itself.

How You Learn Something New

To learn something new you need to hear it, see it, and do it….Right?  What if you just heard it? Over and over again. People learn the most through the ear. It may take longer, but once the message has wrapped itself around your brain, it never leaves…EVER.

Don’t believe me? Take this little quiz and see how you score.  I guarantee you get more than 90% correct.

  • A Diamond is _________
  • A _______ is a terrible thing to waste
  • An ________ a day keeps the doctor away
  • It takes a __________ and keeps on ticking

So, you think these are advertisements that everyone knows and it’s much harder to brand yourself in the modern age? Well, keep going.

  • ______ ______ Yahoo?
  • Got _______?
  • So easy even a _____________ can do it
  • Every kiss begins with _______

So how did you do? I’m not even going to give you the answers because I know most of you scored a perfect 100%. The “Apple a day” slogan was a campaign from the early 1900’s, and here you are in 2012 reciting it without thinking. A catchy phrase, with repetition and little bit of alliteration, can stay with you for a lifetime. Does your business stand out? What are you known for?  Will people remember you in 50 years?

I suspect you could make a lasting imprint with just a bit of thought….You do want to be all that you can be…Right?

Knee Jerk Reaction

The world needs jerks. Ok, let me define how I view jerks before anyone gets their undies in a wad. A jerk is someone who makes you follow the rules, tells you the truth when you need to hear it, and most importantly, helps you from crossing over from being a jerk to being a scumbag. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE!

In my mind jerks keep us in line. The teacher who actually makes sure you know the lesson. A coach who takes the time to prepare you to win. You see, that’s the big difference. People who seem like jerks at certain points of our life are ausually  the ones who care the most about us.  Most of the time being strict will get you the jerk classification. That’s ok as long as the jerk doesn’t play favorites, doesn’t back stab, and is completely honest. Actually, this is the most important trait of all. Honest to the point of telling people the cold, hard, truth even when they don’t want to hear it.

Plato said “they deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth.” In other words, people think brutally honest folks are/can be jerks. That’s one of the problems of civil society. The scumbag who tells you everything you want to hear, is considered the bell of the ball (until their scumbaggery is discovered–think Eddie Haskell) while the person who gives it to you straight is, well, usually considered a jerk.

The truth always comes out in the end. Usually the smooth talking souls who always say the right thing, and never offend anyone, have ulterior motives on their mind. We need to surround ourselves with people who help make us better. Who help us be the best we can, and who aren’t afraid to give us a dose of reality.

Show me a jerk who really cares about is family, friends and work, and I’ll show you a successful, balanced life.

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