maximum potential

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

we made the “100 best blogs for mba students” list!

in case you missed the tweet, i thought i should at least blog about it.  today i noticed a new “referrer” when i was checking out my blog stats. as usual, i clicked through to see how my blog was listed and, to my surprise, i discovered that it was deemed #48 on the “100 best blogs for mba students.”  not bad since we launched just a few months ago, huh?  it also includes my stanford gsb roomate’s blog as well, check him out at #43 (don’t ask me how he beat me…ha).  

needless to say,  i couldn’t do it without you.  thank you for your commitment to my blog, words of affirmation that keep me writing, and endless conversation (although most of you respond via facebook…ha).  

to my new readers: welcome, i look forward to our future conversations.  

not quite the best in the world yet, but we’re working on it.  until our next honorable mention…

Filed under: best in the world, branding me, ,

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, , , , , ,

one way to make sure people listen to everything you say

decide right now that if you don’t have anything original to say, you won’t say it.  your audience will respect and appreciate you for choosing to add value to their lives rather than to add to the enormous quantity of worthless information that already bombards them.  in addition, when what you have to say is valuable, people will come to believe that they are missing out if they are not listening when you speak.  and every one hates to miss out.

this week, newsweek’s editor tells us that they are changing their model based on this belief: “if we don’t have something original to say, we won’t. the drill of chasing the week’s news to add a couple of hard-fought new details is not sustainable.”

perhaps you can learn now what it took newsweek decades to recognize.  next time you’re in a meeting, writing a paper, sitting in class, or having conversation with your customers (in-person, tv, online, etc) decide that you will only add original thoughts/ideas to the conversation and see if makes a difference.

Filed under: business branding, personal branding, , , , ,

is 360 by 360 equal to 720?

in marketing and advertising we talk about how every campaign must be 360 degrees, meaning the same message should surround the consumer in as many touch points as possible (tv, print, radio, digital, events, pr…you get the point).  today, i was reminded that those who talk about 360 degree campaigns are still stuck in the old ways.  why?  because digital itself is 360 degrees!  brian solis’ conversation prism helps us understand with respect to social media alone, when considering all of digital the tools/mediums is even more robust.

the implications?

  • after thinking 360 in broadcast, print, events, etc., great marketers and advertisers will still have to push themselves to think 360 within digital alone
  • because digital is so rich with potential, the best marketers/advertisers will develop processes that will allow the 360 degree digital thinking to be at the front/center of the campaign rather than an afterthought
  • in fact, one can potentially do 360 degree campaigns without ever leaving digital
  • 600 degrees campaigns may become the new norm (at least we know they are possible now)

i’m not sure whether or not 360 by 360 equals 720 or not, but i am sure that digital is changing the game and making us all rethink.  

(this post is attributed to my conversation with chris!  thanks.)

Filed under: business 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, , , ,

i’m ruining the conversation

marketing is about conversation (although we usually stink at it; it’s much more fun to shout at our consumers and ignore the conversations that they are already in).  social media enables us as marketers to listen and converse with our consumers like never before.  here’s a lesson from my personal life that will hopefully help other marketers navigate the social media landscape.  

i’m ruining the conversation.  i did not do it on purpose, but the day i linked my twitter account to facebook so my status updates would seamlessly post on both i messed up.  i didn’t know it at the time, but i knew it after long.  but that didn’t stop me.

how did i mess it up?  the conversation on twitter is very different for me than the conversation on facebook.  the human beings are interested (at this point) in conversing with me about very separate things.  would you go to the party with all of the people you know from your school, geographic, and professional networks and have the same conversation you would have with a bunch of strangers?  probably not.  and that’s what i have been doing.  so at this juncture i have three options:

  • edit my updates so that they appeal to both targets.  this is the approach i subconciously began to do and is the path well traveled by most marketers.  in an attempt to speak to everyone, we water down our message and speak to no one.  
  •  get all of my facebook friends to follow me on twitter and vice versa.  that sounds like a lot of work and i’m not even sure i want to have the same conversations 100% of the time.
  • stop shouting at everyone, take no short cuts/disconnect my twitter from my facebook, and have conversations that are relevant and customized to my audience and the platform.  

 i choose the latter.  apologies to my “friends” and “followers” for ruining the conversation.

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, , , , , , ,



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