Your Business is a System

In this week’s Moment of Clarity I share my thoughts on how seeing your business as a system can help you improve and grow your business.

About fifteen years ago I completely disassembled an old Corvette I bought in a fit of bad judgment at a swap meet. Every bolt. Every washer. Every piece of wire.

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B2B People, Read This Book

I recently dug this up from an old collection of books I keep for some reason although that reason has long escaped me. (I don’t remember setting out to be a library nor do I consider myself some kind of creepy bookworm. )

There are a number of books that have helped me sort out how B2B companies go-to-market and how marketing should work but Ogilvy On Advertising is easily one of the best.

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Viral Brilliance Defined

The guys at Emergent Order have done something amazing and it’s not just the videos. They have proven that viral marketing is possible if you make something topical, entertaining and dazzling. Even more interesting to me is how the high production value viral component has driven significant traffic to a series of other videos that are essentially well produced talking heads. In other words, they engage and entertain people with the big video and then educate them on the follow up. These guys are going to change the world. [youtube d0nERTFo-Sk]

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Where are your future knowledge workers? In elementary school right now.

I believe the person who cures cancer, solves the energy problem or invents the next insanely great thing is in elementary school right now. Over 90% of these bright young minds enter elementary school with a passion for science and an insatiable curiosity about their world. By the time they reach 7th grade, it is barely above 30%. That is a loss of 60% of America’s future innovators before they even reach high school. I think that is unacceptable so I’m willing to do something about it. [youtube -IqIe9wZe24]

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How to know when you might need marketing help.

So I’m sitting with a client and he shows me an industry magazine that includes a feature article on one of his competitors. It’s one of those Q&A format articles where they post a question and the subject of the article answers – usually in a different font and/or color. In this case, I believe it was Comic Sans. Snappy questions like: “How did you get started in this business?” And “What is your greatest achievement?” But the one I really liked was the question “What three words describe you?”. Actually, I liked the answer much more than the question. The president of this company replied with three simple words – “Anal, anal, anal.” Now that’s marketing genius right there. If I were their consultant of choice, I would have covered this possibility in our first meeting together. It would have gone something like this:

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I hate the color blue.

Eliminating Personal Preferences in the communications development process. By Pete Monfre Evaluating creative work is one of the most difficult processes anyone faces when executing a marketing or communications strategy. The pressure comes from the fact that these decisions can make the difference between the success and failure of an entire effort. It’s not that we don’t all have opinions to contribute, but often those opinions are steeped in the fear of the unknown. Falling into this trap forces us to base decisions on the one thing we do know for sure:  our own personal preferences.

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Pants on the Ground and the Macarana Gambit

Here we go again. Mr. Pants on the Ground is this year’s William Hung and a viral sensation! It just shows that viral distribution for marketing and entertainment content is a viable ploy. But wait a second. Viral has nothing to do Larry Platt’s rise to temporary fame.

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Seriously, why bother?

What would it have taken to simply paint over the previous sign or get a new piece of plywood? Want to know why 90% (depending on who you talk to) of businesses fail? Because 95% of people who start them are idiots. (all percentages are my personal estimate). I do like the message they are sending, something like:  “We are lazy, small and don’t care. In fact, we might just leave in the dead of night so we don’t want to invest too much in a sign.”

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