Thursday, July 17, 2014

Graphic Artists are Crazy

I might know. I am one. But, not like, "Wooo Hooooo, la la la la la, put me in a rubber room!!"

Go online and look at any portfolio of a graphic artist – every artist follows their own style. Ask an artist for an interpretation of your brand and it winds up looking like their style.

This is not a bad thing. A great graphic artist is crazy about expressing themselves to explain YOUR BRAND. It's hard to express the visceral emotion of what you feel about whom you are, which is the job of a graphic artist, while remaining true to their personal style of expression.

I say, pick crazy every time. If your graphic artist is not crazy, you've selected the wrong artist.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Context is King

The old adage, "Content is King", no longer applies. In a connected, electronic world there is plenty of content – more than we can absorb. What matters now, is what matters to me (or you), tt's about "Context".

If you ever visit Reddit you might know what I'm writing about. I never click on every link. I'm looking for context, not content. I am interested in what interests me, what inspires me or connects to my state of mind. All those pictures of cute kittens and dogs... not working for me, all of the rhetorical questions to create controversy, not happening for me as well.

But, a post on electronics, hi-res photos of beautiful locations around the globe or news relevant to human struggle.... there I am, click-click-click.

Building an audience for any company, firm or organization is no longer, ever, about providing "content". It will forever more be about providing "context".

No insult intended if you chase photos of cute kitties.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Success Can Come by the Shortest Course

I participated in an adventure this evening. 

At the bottom of a fire training tower was a maze of tunnels – one at a time each of us was asked to enter the pitch-black path and find our way out.

At first I struggled – going right produced no results, I went to the left and nothing but walls and no course forward. After several minutes another man entered behind me as I kept trying to find a path forward... He disappeared around a corner I'd neglected.

I followed the sound of his progress in this labyrinth – turned right, found a hole into another tunnel, turned left, found a path leading right, then found a steel trap door leading forward (it squeaked loudly as I pushed it open). WAIT! The man in front of me did not produce this sound!!

AND. As I pushed the door open I saw light! Took one step down, turned left and arrived at the end of the challenge. SUCCESS!!

Each of the many men that entered the tower tonight found an exit. Most spent a long time inside. None found my secret journey to success.

What I took away from the experience is that there no guarantee to the best path... simply be focused on using all of my resources to produce the best result. By instinct, gut and sound I was the fastest man out of the tower.

Trusting myself is probably hardest of all instincts. Yet, success can easily come by doing what I know and trusting what I know.

Success does not have to be THE longest route. Simply believe, execute and have faith in your instinct!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Speak the Language of Your Audience

It has been my experience that attorneys and accountants love the written word as the best way to assimilate new information – I imagine it is their carefully developed attention to detail. Pictures, images stories and pictographs leave too much to individual interpretation. But, when marketing, the written word becomes a barrier to connecting with potential clients.

Marketing is not about creating media that "I" would read/watch/pay-attention-to. Marketing is about producing media designed for your potential audience. Often, what professional services need to produce will completely befuddle the firm partners – and absolutely hit the right note with the audience.

Remember, speak the language of your audience. They will appreciate you effort!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

There Are No New Ideas in Marketing ...

... just new methods and technologies for expressing (insert marketing/branding idea here).

I challenge any marketer to demonstrate they have come up with a truly NEW IDEA in how to market a product, person, company or concept!

About 20 years ago I came across a sales and marketing training manual dated circa 1917. Darned if that manual didn't emphasize everything I was pouring into my latest marketing campaign – a campaign my company thought was "groundbreaking!". The only difference was the methods and technologies I employed to get potential buyers to sit up and pay attention.

"Marketing" is all about causing people to desire what I am offering. Marketers have been performing this task for thousands of years! We are simply trying to apply tested and true methods within the framework of evolving tools and audience behaviors.

I encourage you to look closely at how your audience receives information, and meld your marketing to their preferences. While there are no new ideas on how to compel an audience to react, there are plenty of new methods and technologies that separate the the winners from the losers.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Taking Care of Your Greatest Marketing Resource

Your top marketing resource for growth is at your office every day – your employees!

We produced a day and 1/2 company retreat for the commercial banking division of a large bank; an awards banquet followed by a state-of-the-bank day. While the agenda could have been serious and somber following a strict agenda and protocol, this bank chose to make room for what should be treated seriously and also fun and camaraderie.

The senior executives where warm and friendly, poked fun at themselves from the podium and created a "family"atmosphere – not an experience in reinforced hierarchy, and included everyone in the room. I witnessed real bonding among the employees, attentiveness to company goals and an honest exchange of "how can we do even more than we're doing now?".

I am certain every employee will charge back to their offices filled with renewed vigor and create a marketing tsunami in each of their markets – through effort, word-of-mouth and committed enthusiasm.

How often do you pause to recruit and renew your greatest marketing resource?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to be Heard When Stepping Up to a Microphone

In my current business, most of the "talent" at the mic are executives given the role of Emcee or award winners asked to say a few words. As a Sound Engineer trying to control sound while many people step up to speak at a large audience event, I have a few suggestions:

  • Adjust the microphone, as you step to the podium, to about 6" to 10" from your mouth. The sound engineer will handle volume. But, adjust the mic to be the right distance for you!
  • You definitely do not want to get too close to the mic. It will pick up every puff and breath you take and sound terrible. 
  • Project when you speak. Talk with force and conviction. Using your soft spoken little girl or little guy voice will not work.
  • DO NOT tap the mic with your hand to check if it is "live"!! Instead, look at your sound engineer for a signal or sign that says, "yes, you are good to go."
  • If you are holding a wireless mic or wearing a lavalier or madonna mic, NEVER go near a speaker. The feedback will cause hearing loss!
  • Definitely perform a pre-show sound check. I can set levels and sound to be perfect for your time on-stage.
It is the little details that make or break an event for me and our crew. We want to deliver the best event, every time, for every person. Sound may be the most important thing within the experience.

If you want to be the best talent or recipient, consider... there is a crew of people trying to make you look really good in your moment! Our recommendations do make sense.

Graphic Artists are Crazy

I might know. I am one. But, not like, "Wooo Hooooo, la la la la la, put me in a rubber room!!" Go online and look at any portfo...