Friday, May 30, 2014

What do you want to be good at?

Hard work is the only way to get good (make that great) at anything you want. The majority of people find that the hardest part.

If you know hard work’s natural conclusion is being great at something, would you still avoid it?

How else can it be done?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Who is the charlatan?

I think bosses have to be very cautious of their inner circle. No doubt, getting into the inner circle usually takes trust and some form of credibility. But once inside the inner circle, the halo effect usually blinds the bosses to what the true expertise of these lieutenants are. They listen to everything they say. 

Safe to say, that’s dangerous practice.

If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then, we are up for grabs for the next charlatan (political or religious) who comes rambling along.” - Carl Sagan

I think, sometimes we need to be cautious of those rambling in the inner circle. Especially, those in the inner circle.

Boss, are you listening?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What do you want to learn?

I learned some things the hard way but I will always strive to teach it the right way. Whether you learn them correctly, that’s your responsibility.  

How were you taught?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Are you reaching your target?

If you are not, here is a good question to answer. “Does your behavior match your goal?” 

To reach your goals, you have to do. Not just doing, but doing the right thing.

 Is it time for a review?

Monday, May 26, 2014

What are they selling you?

Stick to the basics. Get a solid foundation. When you know these, then it is easy to spot the false prophets.

Remember, false prophets are only interested in profits.

But you will only be able to spot these people if you have the right knowledge.

How else do they profit?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What’s your experience?

You sit in these various quadrants in relation to different fields. Sure, you can be very good in many things. But many of us are rarely good in everything. Safe to say you aren’t a sage in everything. It’s a good reminder when presented with new topics and facts that you could be an innocent or ignorant.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What are you reading?

Reading what everyone else is reading gives you something similar to talk about. Reading what everyone else isn’t reading allows you to think a little differently. 

What did you just read?

Monday, May 19, 2014

What are your people consuming?

If the people working for you aren’t even using your services and products then you have a problem - especially when they can afford it and on staff purchase as well.

Go ahead; politely ask to have a ‘pantry check’, a ‘freezer check’, a ‘drawer check’ (a wherever your product is stored at home/office check) as part of marketing research. It will unearth a copious amount of insights you can use. 

What would they rather use?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Where do ideas come from?

They don’t always happen in a flash of enlightenment all at once. Sometimes they come in bits and bobs. Listen to this and think about it. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What do you do differently?

A friend asked me the other day, “Is your book available at MPH?” I said, “Bookshops are the worst places to sell books. Besides, I did not write a book to sell to make money.”

Interesting ideas comes to mind when you do things differently. You can’t expect yourself to come up with out of the box ideas if you keep thinking outside the box. No I did not type that wrong.

To think out of the box, you need to do outside the box. Do things differently. Read different things, see different things, experience different things. DO different things. 

Marketing touches lives. You need to experience the many facets of life even if they aren’t of your particular interest in order to do interesting things.

How do you come up with ideas?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Who is paying the fees?

You can warn young marketers all you want with your experience and wisdom. But it will be wasted on them. Their gumption blinds them.  

They will rubbish what you say. “This is a different era. This is a different category; I am handling this differently…” 

In reality, inexperienced marketers cannot know. That’s part of the experience of being inexperienced. 

Now, after I say what I have to say and not expecting them to listen; I just sit back and watch. It's fun. You should try it sometimes. 

Is experience wasted on you?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why would you matter to me?

Deliver well on the functional benefits. Then you can talk about the emotional ones that you try so hard to layer onto your brand. 

If the consumers do not even believe that you can deliver the bare basics, how do you expect them to connect with you emotionally?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Are you doing it differently?

Some people like to say that in marketing there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. I am not sure if that is right.

The line between doing it differently and doing it wrong is pretty clear. 

Are you doing it wrong?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Is it dark in there?

If you aren’t open to new things, the old way of doing it is always easier. And because humans are animals of habits, we will always stick to the old ways. You will always find comfort in predictability.

Your way of going to a particular destination will always be the easiest until a friend more familiar with this route points out a better one and you actually tried it. Even then, you would come up with two other excuses why your way is better. Then, you will secretly use the route to the extent that it becomes your default route.

Pry open your mind a little. It’s OK to let some light in. 

Trying. Having a go at something. Plus giving it time to work is how you adopt new things and find better ways.

What’s a better way?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Why would they shut up?

Even the greatest artists, poets, writers, chefs, (feel free to add other experts you know here) have their fair share of critics.

What’s so great about the Mona Lisa? That piece of work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, I think it needs more colors. You know how it is, if you have had people criticize your work before. Sometimes you think, “Absurd.”

But I don’t think the experts care. They weren’t asking for permission to be great.

Who are you?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Who is your face?

Managers handling their brand’s Facebook page need to be very cautious. Do not let your personal personality, interests, tone and manner creep into the brand’s Facebook page. It is a brand’s Facebook page, it should be the brand’s personality, interests (or its shared interests with the consumers), tone and manner. Not yours. You, of course know that already. 

What is your voice?

Monday, May 5, 2014

What’s the simplest way to do this?

Occam’s Customer: Of all the possible ways to solve a marketing challenge, the most complicated way is the one your customer will most likely want you to do.

I was just having fun with that.

Some clients are like that. Complex and complicated is what they like. They think it justifies their job, I suppose. Those who buys into Occam’s razor, of course are the ones that keep us inspired.

Why does it have to be complicated?

Friday, May 2, 2014

How fast are you moving?

“We are taking two steps forward and one step back.” It’s a common lament you hear. One filled with frustration and disappointment.

This phenomenon in my experience commonly occurs when someone in an organization wants to make a change pushing for the two steps forward. Often, those who fears change, those who are attached to the ‘old’ ways or ‘how it has always been done here’ are the ones making the organization take a step back.

If you are the one pushing change and you seem to be taking two steps forward and one steps back; remind yourself you have succeeded in taking a step. You did not fail to take two steps. If you took a step a month, you organization would have taken 12 steps in a year.

It’s better than no forward steps taken.

How slow can you walk?