Interested in a video infographic for your company? GO HERE
Archive for the ‘Sales and Marketing’ Category
Like a lot of firms, having a light marketing budget and trying to create compelling content like video can be difficult. Check out this video I made using Prezi and Camtasia Studio…
I won’t say it was simple, but it certainly wasn’t brain surgery. By creating a simple Prezi and recording it using a screen capture application like Camtasia Studio, I was able to visually communicate an idea. Camtasia makes it easy to add narration after the fact so that I don’t actually need to do the voiceover while recording the screen. I plan on doing more of these for sure.
Here is a great infographic on Inbound Marketing.
The Inbound Marketing Process Infographic
Infographic: The Inbound Marketing Explosion (via Internet Marketing Blog)
Ever wonder why inbound marketing is exploding? According to a new inforgraphic from Hubspot and Google Plus, the cost of acquiring a lead through inbound marketing is less than half of outbound marketing acquisition costs. Not only that, but inbound marketing leads tend to be more abundant. Research…
I have no idea where to begin with this. Should I write about the power of today’s smartphones and how my wife and I found an incredible place to crash for the night (in less than 2 minutes)? Or should I write about the incredible chance meeting of a true artist.
The innkeeper at Babson Court in Gloucester, Massachusetts is Paul Jensen. As fate would have it, I have once again stumbled across an incredible talent. I will continue to post additional videos but thought that this one (done by The Discovery Channel as seen on The Christopher Lowell Show) would be an excellent beginning to my little story. We received much of the same tour that Christopher received. It’s part Winchester Mystery House and part This Old House. It’s 100% incredible and so is Paul Jenson.
This post is in my Marketing category because it is another instance of a very creative man and his passion. It is further proof that weird is good. Following our tour, my wife and I sat down with Paul Jensen and heard numerous stories. I asked if I could record some of it and I will post excerpts from those interviews very soon.
After nearly 44 years of careful consideration and study, I have compiled this brief manifesto for success. We all define success in different ways. I don’t care what motivates you, if you do all of these things your way, you will be a successful person. You will live long. You will prosper.
Be enthusiastic. Be a complete and total spaz. It’s infectious and more impressive to more people than confidence. Think Roberto Benigni’s chair jumping scene at the 71st Annual Oscars. See it here.
Be weird. If you haven’t read Seth Godin’s new book, I highly recommend it: We Are All Weird. We are in the middle of a social revolution that has been spawned by technology and historically unparalleled prosperity. Conformity is no longer a good plan for long term success. Your strength is in your individuality. Embrace your inner weird.
Hire weird people. Find people who innovate and give them the freedom to explore and express their ideas in a non-judgmental environment. Here’s a hint on how to find these people: Everyone is weird. The secret? Hire the right weird person for the job/position you have available and let them be weird.
Work out. According to Richard Branson, this one activity alone will net you 3-4 hours of productivity per day. I never said world domination would be easy.
Say ‘Thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry.’ The trick is to say it only when you really mean it. People can tell when you don’t. Coach your team to do the same.
Take shortcuts. But only take them if they do not compromise quality or service. Another good read here is Tim Ferriss’ book: The 4 Hour Work Week. Design systems and implement them but encourage and accept criticism for these systems from your staff. If they are innovators, they will likely come up with an even better system.
Fire people. Your company is a money making machine. Each employee is a part of that machine. Take the weird people you hired and install them in appropriate positions within your machine. If a part is broken or doesn’t fit, replace it. Sorry to sound cold, but if one of your weirdos is not a good fit, you are not doing yourself or your company any favors by keeping them around. In the end you are doing them a favor too.
Listen with your eyes. Study body language and facial expressions. You will learn more from non-verbal cues than you ever will from the spoken word.
to be continued….
So, I shall paint a picture.
Imagine, if you will, a canoe on the shoulders of a mighty river. Picture this boat as it gently travels atop the fast running and bountiful waterway. It can’t help but trust its’ provider as it bounces playfully along on it’s journey. The river and the canoe are a great analogy for how we should picture our our customers, our business, and how the success of the latter relies heavily on a very long list of tributary products and services. As it applies to a restaurant, the customer enters your door and is counting on a safe and pleasant journey. They want to trust that the river that is to carry them through their experience is equipped to do so. Certainly any disruption can and will disturb the balance that we work so hard to maintain.
For example, if a river has a poor supply of water, the canoe will bump around violently because the water cannot protect it from pronounced boulders or other dangers. A river’s tributary supply is critical to ensuring that the canoe comes out unscathed by hazards.
Your customers don’t begin their experience by travelling from your small wares provider through a warehouse, loading docks, delivery trucks but rather they start their journey at the widest part of the river. Their ride is wholly dependent on the waters from upstream. If tributary items such as small wares, uniforms, paper goods, pop materials, POS supplies, etc are not flowing efficiently into your river, then the canoe will experience bumps from your teams inability to deliver the promise of a safe journey.
Too many businesses rely on themselves to keep the river flowing. For many small businesses this is possible but as we grow and add more locations, it becomes very difficult to keep that river running smoothly by ourselves. Recognizing that the management of your tributary supply system is an essential part of your growth is critical. It’s is an important step towards a bold and healthy waterway.
I have always wanted a Mini Cooper and I finally found a great one. I bought a 2011 Clubman that only had 3800 miles on it. Because I was looking for a good deal, I used a great app on my Android Thunderbolt called ‘Craigs List Notifier.’ Install this app and enter whatever it is you are searching for and whenever someone posts, it let’s you know by placing a notification on your menu bar. Very cool app. Because Coopers are sort of hard to find in the area where I live, getting the exact dream Cooper was a bit difficult. This Craigs List app would let me know when a Mini Cooper Clubman was listed on Craigs List and when the right one popped up, I was the first to pounce on it! The one I bought did not have all of the features I wanted but I knew I could add the amenities myself. For example, one of the options on this car is a rear view mirror that has an integrated HomeLink remote for your garage and/or gates. Since I have 2 gates and a garage door, this is a great feature for me in that it helps prevent having multiple remotes rattling around. Unfortunately, the Cooper I bought did not have one of these mirrors. I looked for this part online and was stunned to learn that they are $300 – $400!
Because I had done this modification on my previous vehicle (2003 Nissan Frontier), I decided to do the same to my Cooper. You can buy HomeLink transmitters on Ebay for less than $40 in most cases and can usually find them in either a tan or black color. I found a black one for $34 and decided to install it in the center light and sunroof control area.
The control area was easy to remove as the outer part simply snapped into place. Underneath the decorative outer part was plastic piece held in by two screws that held the internal parts all together. Since the lights were in this area, I had easy access to the one electrical requirement: a 12 volt power source that is always on (meaning, even when the car is not running, the power is on). Using a test light, I was able to easily figure out which wire to tap into. I grounded the switch to the bolt that holds the visor in place.
Mounting the HomeLink unit took a little bit of consideration. The HomeLink unit was a tight fit and I needed the buttons to mount to the decorative control piece without any obstructions. I used a Dremel tool to remove some of the structure on the inside of the unit to to allow room. I was very careful to avoid scratching or marring the decorative cover and once I was happy with the position of the unit, I put it all back together.
Programming the HomeLink is very simple and I found a videos on YouTube or follow these instructions.
The complete project took me about an hour and I am very pleased with how it turned out!
As my thumbs typed this urgent text message into my smartphone (PLS CK ASAP) to our creative department, I reveled in the moment as I realized that I was hip with the cool Millennial lingo. Seth Godin recently wrote a blog post (it’s a short one):
An early adopter seeks out new ideas and makes them work.
An adapter, on the other hand, puts up with what he has to, begrudgingly.
One is offense, the other is defense. One requires the spark of curiosity, the other is associated with fear, or at least hassle.
Hint: it’s not so easy to sell to the adapt community.
After considering this post, I held my head high as I personally acknowledged my status. I am and always will be an ‘adopter.’ Then I realized that I have received text messages from my kids that have made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. Mobile phones were designed for verbal communication but for the Millennial, mobile phones became a text based social device whereby entire conversations could be perpetrated without spelling out an entire word. While I was acting like an adult and taking care of business, our youth was inventing an entire language. It’s sort of like a subset of colloquial and is riddled with clichés and catchy phrases. Here is a webpage I found that has definitions. Caution: many definitions here are a bit “salty.”
Now this lingo is part of business. Am I a situational adapter? Or are there degrees of adoption? I do know the basics (LOL, OMG, etc.) and frankly our interoffice communications are saturated with this clever shorthand. Heck, we even have a job title that I created last year and the initials were a key consideration as I put it all together. It’s much more fun to refer to our elite group of Brand Account Managers as “BAMs” than it is to force my mouth to labor over the full title. We refer to clients by their initials and our enterprise clients refer to us as ‘GP’ or ‘GPS.’ This lingo did not come from our management team; it came from our Millennials.
Some lament and abhor the breakdown of language in emails, instant and text messages. I do agree that outbound correspondence with clients should be reviewed and checked for grammar, spelling and word usage. But as more time passes I suspect that this new language will gain a foothold. Who am I kidding? It already has! These anachronisms or initializations (to be technically correct) are tremendous time savers. As more tech savvy Millennials enter the workforce we have to decide whether or not we (by ‘we’ I mean Gen X-ers and Baby-Boomers) will adopt or adapt to this language that is second nature to them.