Thursday, July 31, 2014

How should you repay?

No you didn't do it on your own. Yes, you put in your effort and sometimes it seemed you were the only one helping you. If you looked hard enough, you will realize someone helped you. In fact, many people helped you - one way or another. 

Some gave you second chances. Some coached you. Others taught you. Some were tougher, some were kind. Yet others offered words that needed to be heard.

Regardless how you succeeded, pay it forward. And pay it forward nicely.

Who helped you succeed?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Who are you reasoning with?

There is a Chinese saying, “秀才遇到兵, 有理不清translated to loosely mean, it’s difficult for a scholar to reason with a soldier.

Sometimes it’s better to just walk away.

What do they listen to?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What’s on your yes list?

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” – Warren Buffet.

What’s on your no list?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Is your friends’ advice ruining your marketing?

You would be surprised how many decision makers believe in their friends more than the experts they hire – internally or externally.

Nothing wrong if your friend is an expert in the area you need advice on. Otherwise, the medium who can speak to dead relatives is an equal bet.

Whose opinion do you need?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Can your company go faster?

Some people in your company are very cooperative. Nice even. But they are “inefficient and ineffective” by barely delivering. You know those who are just passable rate. Sure they did not fail, but as far as the company is concerned they failed you.

Remove these people.

You can add ten more great players into your team but your company won’t go any faster. In fact, good players may just start to drop off.

Who is slowing the company down?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why are your competitors way ahead?

I don’t know why they are ahead. I can only guess.

You were waiting for your perfect moment.

You didn't dare to put your foot down with the other departments that are dragging their feet. You were waiting for their “permission”. 

You believe in big steps. You look down upon small steps. You forget that accumulated small steps become the big step you were waiting for.

You have leaky expectations. Too afraid of this and that. 

You take your fears too seriously even after you have completed your plans.

Why are you behind?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How will your brand change?

To advertise and to wish that your brand won’t change is wishful thinking. To not advertise and hope that your brand will change for the better is hopeful thinking. Possible but a long shot. To advertise and to know that your consumers own your brand is to let your brand growing freely in the fertile hands of the users.

Can you keep your brand from changing?

Monday, July 14, 2014

What did you do efficiently?

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” - Peter Drucker.

Friday, July 11, 2014

When do I stop?

Branding is a process. It’s like eating a balanced diet, exercising, getting enough rest. You don’t do it once and stop. You don’t do it once and expect long term results. You don’t think about it as a cost. All else being equal, if you get it right you have a healthy brand. Do it even better, you have a fit brand.

How disciplined can you be?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

How did you learn to walk?

You didn't ask your parents for a set of instructions on how to walk did you? They didn't have to give you permission to walk, too. One day, you just decided you push yourself up, stood and started walking. Sure, they were there to hold you for awhile. But you fell, you stood back up. You experimented with walking. 

Some things you don’t need permission. You don’t need a set of instructions. You need action.

(Whisper) It’s the same in the work place. 

When should you ask for help?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Where did you want to go?

Somewhere along the lines, especially when it is mid-year some people lose sight of where they had planned to go at the start of the year.

Months rolled on, new people on the team, the hubris of good sales (maybe), the vision blinding daily mini crises, the seduction of sexy projects. These and more can take you off the real objective.

It’s always a good idea to look at the actual plan on paper. Just so you don’t lose your way.

Have you lost the plot?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Do you really have the answer?

Once you admit that you do not have the answer, that’s when the real solution manifests itself. Pretension is the solution that thickens the mud. Eventually, it blinds you.

Monday, July 7, 2014

What is good customer service?

Real person with a genuine concern for the customer. 

If everyone who works in the frontline is told that, whatever training you do later would be easier. Whatever you want to build into your customer service platform would make more sense.

If you have that, then a person would answer the phone. Not machines. Customers get real answers, not scripted verbiage designed to cover the corporation’s ass. If your company think relational not transactional. I think customer service will really mean serving the customer.

How may I help you?

Friday, July 4, 2014

What is an easy business?

Ad people like to say, “Advertising is not an easy business.” As if saying that makes the industry more glamorous and more elite.

Saying “Advertising is not an easy business” is like saying “_________ is an expensive car.” It is only expensive if you cannot afford it. Nothing is easy if you don’t have the skills and balls for it.

Here, pharmaceuticals is not an easy business, farming is not an easy business, surgery is not an easy business, IT is not an easy business, service offices is not an easy business, education is not an easy business, insurance is not an easy business, driving a cab is not an easy business, medical research is not an easy business. I could go on. But you get what I mean.

We think too highly of ourselves.

Do you have what it takes?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Who owns your brand?

You think you own your brand. You have the illusion of control.

For your brand to grow, you need to connect with your consumers. To connect you need to cede control.

Your brand is given nicknames by your consumers. They tattoo it on body parts your mom should never know. They post it on walls associating it with words you never want your kids to hear. They eat it the way you never intended. And use it ways you never conjured in your creative labs.

Your consumers have more liberty to do to your brand than you as a marketer.

Do you think you really own it?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What is easy?

The beginner will think everything is easy. For example, the executive thinks a boss’s job is easy.

Then the beginner becomes a boss and realizes that things aren’t as easy as it seems. In fact it is complex. There are so many intricacies to master.

By mastering the intricacies, the beginner now becomes the master, strips away all the complexities and executes with Zen-like simplicity.

Easy.Complex. Simple. That’s how you learn. Simple but not easy.

Don’t complicate stuff just because it is simple.

What is simple?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What won’t you do?

I don’t know what you won’t do. But it’s probably a good idea to list down what you won’t do. So when confronted with a situation, you will recognize it.

As consultants, we should not be the 24 –hour helpline, the assembly line, the unlimited help dispenser, the bad cop, the change agent. These we won’t do.

What would you do?