maximum potential

these are the thought starters, insights, and inspiration to get you, and the brands you manage, to reach your maximum potential

marketing and advertising that works

this post is one of a series as i write my book to help marketers and advertisers (re)Think how we approach communicating with our audiences. in order to sharpen my thoughts and ensure that i am building rather than adding to the clutter, i decided to write the book (at least the headlines of it) through weekly wednesday posts on my blog so that we could discuss together. you can check out the entire series here. for those who read for more of the (re)Think life slant, don’t worry, i will include life applications as much as possible.

over the last few weeks we have discussed some of the perceptions that we hold as marketers and advertisers (and people) that just may be incorrect.  namely, we assume that people should listen to us because (1) we believe we are the only person in the room and have their full attention (2) we think that if we shout the loudest people will pay attention.  the reality is that we are in the attention game to communicate and bring value to people’s lives.  over the next few weeks we will walk through this truth and the few approaches that i believe really work when it comes to marketing and advertising.  Here’s a sneak peak:

  1. approach people as people, not consumers
  2. take the chance to do marketing w/ meaning (i am using the name developed by bob gilbreath/bridge worldwide because it is much cooler than my benefit or utilitarian marketing nomenclature)
  3. be different…i mean really different
  4. leverage the power of word of mouth
Advertisements

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, my book, , , , ,

it’s time to grow up, shouting doesn’t work: truth #2

this post is one of a series as i write my book to help marketers and advertisers (re)Think how we approach communicating with our audiences. in order to sharpen my thoughts and ensure that i am building rather than adding to the clutter, i decided to write the book (at least the headlines of it) through weekly wednesday posts on my blog so that we could discuss together. you can check out the entire series here. for those who read for more of the (re)Think life slant, don’t worry, i will include life applications as much as possible.

truth #2: it’s time to grow up, shouting doesn’t work

as humans, we want attention.  when we speak, we want others to listen.  we want to be heard.  after all, we are important aren’t we?

in reality, brands are no different.  and like little kids who have yet to fully mature, when brands don”t get the attention they so desperately want (think they deserve) they yell.  and if that doesn’t work, they yell louder by launching a new campaign, increasing their tv buy, or dialing up their print ad executions.  after all, who doesn’t pay attention when someone is yelling.  the problem with yelling is that it doesn’t work.  besides the fact that people get annoyed, they also get used to it.  pretty soon it all becomes part of environment and we block it out.

the reality: shouting may have worked a few decades ago when there were only two of you competing for attention, the cost of publishing was not zero, and information could not travel as fast because there was no internet or social media. but those days are a thing of the past.  you can shout all you want, but your listeners are not listening because they are immune to those who talk at them instead of with them.

consequently, it’s time to grow up.  it’s time to stop yelling and shouting and learn to use your grown up words.  it’s time to join the adult conversation.  if you don’t, you will miss opportunities to join the dialogue that all of the other adults are already having about you…without you.

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, my book, , , , , ,

we see the world incorrectly: truth #1

this post is one of a series as i write my book to help marketers and advertisers (re)Think how we approach communicating with our audiences.  in order to sharpen my thoughts and ensure that i am building rather than adding to the clutter, i decided to write the book (at least the headlines of it) through weekly wednesday posts on my blog so that we could discuss together.  you can check out the entire series here.  for those who read for more of the (re)Think life slant, don’t worry, i will include life applications as much as possible.  

truth #1: we’re not the only ones in the room

in advertising, often the creative executions we develop to speak to our audiences are done with the assumption that we will be talking to them in a vacuum.  we imagine, or subconsciously assume, that we will be the only ones in the room and that, like good little boys and girls, when it is our time to talk our consumers will give us their full attention and listen to everything we have to say (what else would one expect when they have a captive audience).  simply put, we speak to our audiences as if our tv spot, print ad, web application, event, product, or idea is the only one on the market.  

the reality is: we are not the only ones in the room.  in fact, the room is quite crowded.  advertising executions not only compete within medium (commercials compete with other commercials and television programming) but across time and other mediums (thanks youtube).  advertising competes with everything fighting for your audiences’ attention, which means the laptop, the screaming kids, the school assignment due first thing in the morning, the cell phone, the dvr, the twenty other restaurants on the street, and the list goes on and on.

are your marketing communications developed with an acknowledgement that they will have to compete once they are in the market?  or, do you just fool yourself by thinking everything you do is great because it looks cool or because someone internally thinks it is clever?  or perhaps you think it’s great because the client finally said they love it or the research results that were tested behind closed doors in a quiet room (that’s how you usually experience advertising isn’t it?) said it will move the needle.  the reality is, getting it through the internal review is the easy part, competing in the real marketplace is a completely different story.

life: this truth holds for our personal lives as well.  we aren’t the only ones trying to get the job at google in a down economy, asking our boss for a promotion, seeking the attention of that certain young lady or applying to business school in the fall.  in a vacuum, that grad school application looks great because you spent four years doing consulting; however, if you forget that the application right after yours may come from a serial entrepreneur with a story that proves they will be the best alumni the school has ever graduated than your current approach may not set you up to win.  if you knew your competition had 5 years experience leading teams in iraq how would you alter your story to convince admissions that you were a necessity to the incoming class?  how would you ensure that after a long day of reading 50 applications yours would stand out and demand their attention?  after all, it’s 7pm and your app is probably competing with the screaming kids…

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, my book, personal branding, , , , ,

this is what digitally really looks like

this is what the digital space really looks like, only it happens online.  

 

digital is social

yep, it’s the same.  people interacting with each other (strangers and friends alike), sharing stories, talking on the phone, entertaining themselves, consuming information to make decisions decisions or be shared later (either offline or online), etc.  only it happens much faster.  

if we looked at digital like this, would we get excited about our ad (banner) on the wall (is anybody reading the walls/our banners?) or our microsite ten stores down and around the corner where nobody is?  would we walk in and yell at them to get their attention or would we approach the conversation differently?  it’s time to (re)Think how we approach talking to the people we want to build relationships with both on and offline.

(this is a preview of where our (re)think book is headed, make sure to check back daily—but at least every Wednesday—to participate in the conversation)

Filed under: lifemark, my book, , , ,

one reason to read reThink every wednesday

my first goal for the year was to learn how to swim.  so far so good.  the next goal for this year is to write a book and i will post pieces of it every wednesday.  like most writers i am not reinventing the wheel but rather leveraging the work of many brilliant people before me in a way to help marketers reThink how we communicate to people.  in my book i will touch on the following:

  • why we marketers have it all wrong (our perception is not reality) and what our conversation with the people we try to reach really looks like (reality)
  • how the marketing communications game can be boiled down into one word
  • the most effective ways of reaching our target audience (right now i am up to three)

the first two points are where i think i can add the most value to the marketing & advertising  conversation that is already taking place.  

committing to do this is a somewhat scary proposition; however, i am going to do as i always do: (1) set the goal, (2) ask someone to hold me accountable-that someone is you! (3) create markers so that i can evaluate my progress (4) make it happen (5) win.  

i look forward to taking this journey with you.  please feel free to comment and respond.  your thoughts will make us both better.

Filed under: lifemark, my book, , ,

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