Clear and Definite Purpose

The biggest mistake people make when they develop and deploy marketing communications is that they have no clear sense of purpose, For example, I recently re­ceived a letter from a vendor with which we do business. The letter was to announce the company’s new slogan and logo, which were going to be launched within the next six months.

The company wanted its custom­ers to know that this was more than a “marketing ploy;” rather it was a whole new way of doing business, and customers would notice the difference almost immediately.

That was it. No specifics, no invi­tation to learn more, and, most importantly, no offer. Bottom more...


A Serious Personality Disorder

If this sounds like I’m talking about one of your co-workers, a neighbor, or the distant relative no one likes to talk about, then you may be disappointed. Because the personality disorder I’m talking about here isn’t the one that makes people come across as belligerent, rude, or obnoxious. No, I’m interested in a more serious problem, one that can cost you thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Namely, a complete lack of personality in your marketing. Let me explain...

Quit Your Wine-ing... As many of you know, we like to drink wine. We had a wine room in our old more...


It’s Time to Get the Help You Need!

It doesn’t matter if you work in a large organiza­tion, own a small business, or work in a professional association–it seems to be more difficult now than ever before to get everything done with the resources you have available to you.

Between increased work­loads, reductions in staffing, and an overall “do more with less” attitude, it’s actually amazing that anything gets done at all.

When you add to that the expense, time, and dif­ficulty of actually hiring a qualified, competent person when you do have the opportunity, things get frustrat­ing in a hurry.

That’s why I was excited to find a tool called oDesk (www.qualitytalk.com/odesk). It’s more...


Do You Have a Minute?

How many times has someone popped into your office and asked you that seemingly innocent question?

“Do you have a minute? I just have a quick question...” You’re in the middle of something important – something you really need to get done – but you don’t want to be rude either. And since it’s only going to take a minute, you agree.

Of course, one minute turns into two, and then five, and then 15, and by the time you finally get back to what you were working on, you’ve completely lost your train of thought. Then the phone rings, and you answer it – almost instinctively more...


“Reason Why” Marketing

Timeshare_VillaTo get people’s attention and get them to take action, you have to have great marketing, a powerful message, and a strong call to action.

We could write hundreds of pages about any one of these three topics (in fact, we have!) because they’re each so important. But let’s focus on the message itself–specifically, how to create a powerful message, but not make it so “over the edge” that it’s no longer believable.

Too Good to Be True?

Take a look at the example to the left. While it describes the offer and provides value, doesn’t more...


SugarSync File Backup Tool

SugarSync is an automation tool that you need in your arsenal. It does a great job of backing up your computers to a secure offsite location. It not only lets you back up and store files on your computer, it actually lets you access them from any computer, sync them between matching folders on multiple computers, and share them with other people.

Configuring the software is a snap. You just select the folders you want to backup, specify which ones to sync across multiple computers, and SugarSync does the rest. When you update a file, it’s automatically backed up to the SugarSync servers. If that file more...


Get to the Point Already!

Jimmy Carter, Ronald ReaganEffective marketing isn’t really all that complicated: identify a need, develop a product or service that meets that need, and “connect the dots.”

Unfortunately, many people get hung up on the process of actually making this all happen, frequently committing the cardinal sin of confusing features with benefits.

We’ve invested a good deal of time on this subject over the years, but to summarize, features are about you; benefits are about your customer, client, or member.

So with that in mind, we have a trio of examples to share with you this more...


Everyone Needs a Vacation

ChicoWell, it’s been an exciting week for me. I’ve been staying with Ron and Lorie’s daughter, Alyssa, and her boyfriend Kyle for the last month as part of this newfangled “co-parenting” arrangement they’ve been doing.

Ron and Lorie were staying at a cabin on a lake in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York for the month of July...and last week we got to visit them.

Can you say, “ROAD TRIP!!!”?

We packed the car and drove from Wilmington all the way up to Canada Lake. Kyle and Alyssa brought my bed and put it more...


Change Ability: Ready or Not?

All of us have different strengths and challenges around how we experience, process, and deal with change in our professional and personal lives. It is helpful to look at our change

capabilities with a multifaceted approach. I have identified eight dimensions of change readiness that will help you assess holistically what you are vulnerable to during change and tran¬sition, as well as highlight strengths that you can harness to help you learn and grow through the experi¬ence of change and transition.

Flexibility

Flexible people have goals and dreams like everyone else, but they’re not overly invested in exactly how they turn out. When something doesn’t work out, they’ll more...


Be Like an Aspen Grove

It’s good to get back to nature–it’s a change of pace; it’s generally relax­ing; and sometimes you can learn a few valuable lessons by just paying attention.

That Tree Sure Is Pretty... I like aspen trees. We used to have one in our yard at our first house in New Hampshire. The trunk has a unique white bark, and the leaves turn a brilliant yellow color in the Fall.

But there was something I never realized about these trees until some­one brought it to my attention: all of the trees in an aspen grove share a common root system–essentially, they’re all the same tree!

Now this may not more...


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