Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Are you getting comfortable?

If you do not see any difference in your business after all the branding effort you put in, it could be because you are doing things that makes you comfortable.

If you want to progress, you have to learn to be comfortable with what makes you uncomfortable. Then you are pushing and challenging yourself as a marketer, as a business owner. That’s how you make progress.

What will bring progress?

Monday, September 29, 2014

How much do you work?

It’s good to take pride in your work. Heck, I am a huge proponent of it and even came up with a silly paper on how to do it.

But it’s also important to watch your health. Sleep is an important component. 

My team and I have been there before – sleep deprivation in order to deliver work to the company. On hindsight perhaps some form of moderation of our work ethics would be better for our health – both physical and mental – then.

I know it is difficult, but as a manager you can learn to assign to others, cut meetings short, have less meetings, say “no” to unproductive meets or if you aren't required excuse yourself. Perhaps even re-look at the SOP of the company.

You need to rest to be productive. Sleep especially.

How much sleep are you getting?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Is there a cheaper way?

There are no cheap ways to build a brand especially if you want a big brand. Building a brand takes investment. You already know that but you refuse to believe it.

How much do you need to build a big brand? A lot is an easy answer. But it wouldn't be a lie even though it’s an easy answer. Huge investments in money, talent and time. You also know that already.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What are you looking at?

Management attention is a very expensive resource. That is why people in management must use their time wisely. If you sit in a management position in a company, please do not waste time on your small unilateral wet-dream project. Do not justify that it is big, that you will use it as an example of how it should work to other divisions. It distracts finite resources from the important things management and senior leaders need to look into. 

Do you know your job?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What can you do?

The Corinthians were told, “"Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.” I think it applies to your marketing as well.

You can do anything and everything you deem fit for your brand. Just remember not everything is beneficial to your brand or bring the sort of benefits you want to your brand.

I would look into opportunity cost in terms of time, effort, compounded benefits and budget before deciding.

What do you want to do?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why aren’t you getting results?

You can start with these two. One, you are not being effective, which means doing the right things. Two, you are not being efficient, which means doing things right.

Seems obvious but not many people are willing to look into their own dirt. So, it’s not so obvious. If it is then we will all be doing great marketing.

What are you looking into?

Monday, September 22, 2014

How did you build your customer base?

One at a time I am sure. 

That’s how you build your web visitors as well or your Facebook or whatever. One at a time. If you spend money expanding your customer base like with advertising and sales promotion, or improving your product, the same thing happens on the net.

The speed may have changed but the principle is the same.

How do you think you can build your visitors base?

Friday, September 19, 2014

How do you become big?

By being big with a small group of people at a time, that’s how you grow big. So do not underestimate the fifty people that consistently revisit your website every day. Yes it is only fifty. But if you consistently connect with them and listen to them, that is the first fifty in a lot of fifties to come.

Do you underestimate small?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What is the market size?

The marketer’s first job is to create a market for the company. So regardless of market size, you can still create that market, whether it is to take market share from competitors or to create new users to the category with your brand as the first choice.

When your company does not subscribe to any meaningful data, stop complaining that there is no data. That isn’t going to take you very far. You can still create a market when you don’t know the market size.

What is the size of your ambition?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Can you change this?

Of course we can. Revision is part of the process.

One of the things you need to be aware of when changing is that options leads to more options. Initially, you make small concessions in order to experiment and to see ‘how this works’. “Let’s use a similar colour to the brand’s green”, perhaps a green that does not follow the brand’s guidelines, maybe a shade lighter, a shade darker, whatever. Because you made this concession, you allow yourself and others to start drifting away from the guidelines and the original intention. 

In a company where there are many layers of approval and a lot of stakeholders, revisions can go on forever. No one can say, “stop” because everyone had a chance to say “go.” All because the project leader does not have the guts to say, “No, we will not explore - let’s see how this works. And this is why we cannot.” 

Eventually, everyone becomes emotionally involved in the process, no one wants to concede. And you lose sight of why you made that revision in the first place. 

Can you stop revising?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Is this important?

A client was very irritated recently when we went on great lengths to convince her that what she was looking at wasn't important and that she would be better off investing her time on something else. She would likely get better ROI on her time.

When she failed to convince us that it IS important, she asked sternly in a challenging manner, “So, in your opinion this XXX is not important.” I said, “Yes, in our experience we know this to be unimportant.”

What I wanted to say was really, “It is obviously important to your ego to have this XXX. That’s why snake charmers sell to your ego. You obviously bought into the snake oil. I am sorry we do not endorse snake oil. Snake oil kills your brand. We don’t want to be responsible for it.”

What would you rather hear?

Friday, September 12, 2014

What is your biggest challenge at work?

Getting distracted by personal emails, calls, social media. Personal stuff. Sure, you can dispute this. If you can avoid not doing any of these for a day, I accept that your biggest challenge isn't made up of one of these.

Don’t lie to yourself that your biggest challenge is lousy clients and bad bosses. It’s distraction and the inability to focus on work.

What’s your job?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How do you look without make-up?

Why spend money telling lies? Especially if deep down you believe that lies will eventually be unearthed. That the truth will find its way to float above all the bull shit. There must be some nice compelling truth to speak about your brand. Tell them.

Even if you think you do not have that, then dig deep for your authenticity to surface. In a market of over masked, over made up brand faces, a natural authentic self actually looks better.

Do you tell the truth?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Do you expect perfect execution?

You alone cannot control the outcome of your plans. It’s filled with variables because others are involved. So don’t expect a perfect outcome. But you can put in perfect effort. You own perfect effort. That is your responsibility. When you take responsibility for perfect effort, perfect outcome doesn't matter.

The only thing that matters is personal perfect effort.

Do you own perfect effort?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Who’s the chef?

In your organization, I would argue that it is your marketing manager. After all, she cooks all the ingredients put together to feed the market. Mise en place then doesn't just apply in the kitchen. It is applicable in your organization too. When the respective department does not supply the necessary ingredient to get the dish on the table, then no matter how good your chef is, she can’t do much.

Are your things in place?

Monday, September 8, 2014

How much time?

As in how much time do senior people on the agency side spend on your business? If they invest senior headcounts on your business, who do you put on your end to discuss the big picture with them? Assuming you work with the right agency and the right amount of senior involvement you are happy with, what's next is - you need to make sure that the sparring partner on your side is on par. Otherwise, it is wasted time.

What level are your people at?

Friday, September 5, 2014

What are we debating?

When someone says, “You have the right to your opinion and I have the right to mine” in a debate or discussion what that person has done is change the discussion to one about “rights.” It is no longer about the topic at hand which is being discussed or debated.

Don’t let that happen.

Of course everyone has their opinion, that’s the reason for the discussion. We debate to arrive at a better solution based on the merits of each one’s opinion. Let’s get that done, and then we can discuss about the “rights” of one’s opinion.

They are separate issues. Stop intoxicating the debate.

What’s the crux of the matter?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Who is right?

Sometimes when you get into a debate about marketing, some parties like to say, “Oh, there is no wrong or right in marketing.” If it was used to get out of a sticky political situation, perhaps that can be tolerated.

But a good organization should fertilize such discussions. Even if you believe there is no wrong or right in marketing, you have to believe that there is “better”. So, your job as a boss is to determine, amongst all these “no wrong or right” plans, which is a better plan. Go with that one. You can only decide on the better plan when you allow the merits of each plan to be debated and argued in a scholarly manner with intellectual thinking and a good dash of professional experience.

So, which is better?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What's your size?

The size of your market share is more affected by the size of your marketing ambition and your marketing expertise than the size of your business.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Do you overestimate success?

If you do not have 30 seconds to watch the above.  Here it is, 30 seconds read - "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."