Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I was reminded of an old post, “Lessons from Great Artists and Architects” when Apple unveiled some new products last week.  Apple designers are taught to mimic a principle Picasso employed when he created one of his masterpieces, “The Bull.”  Key innovative design lesson from great artists: Simplicity!    
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In addition to some new iPhones (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) and Apple Pay (their new mobile payment system), Apple will introduce “one more thing.”  The Apple Watch with creative functionality through the dial of its screen (e.g., a BMW app to remind people where they parked their Beamers).  The watch will be smaller than most of the current smartwatches and will come in a choice of two sizes with a variety of styles and straps.  Apple designers once again are striving to deliver an innovative product that personifies simplicity! 

Another key art lesson: “Creativity takes courage.”   – Henri Matisse  

Friday, September 12, 2014


re·tire·ment (noun) riˈtīrmənt/  The action of leaving one's job and ceasing to work; the act of ending your working/professional career. 

Boomers are now struggling to adjust to life after work.  Consequently a new coaching industry has emerged.  Consultants that help people progress via reinvention.
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Have you ever viewed any of the retirement advertisements on television – Fidelity, Wells Fargo and Voya Financial, to name a few?  They all address how individuals need to financially plan their futures so basically they do not outlive their savings.  They never speak to how retirees can use their time creatively beyond travel, playing golf, sitting by the pool, etc.  As a result, people are now hiring retirement coaches.  At fees starting at $50 per hour or packages ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 over a negotiated time frame, people can assess with the help of a professional coach what they can do with their unused wells of energy and productive time.  Anything from part-time work, humanitarian/charitable endeavors, artistic pursuits, etc.  Bottomline: People are learning that they not only need to plan their retirement financially, but they need to reinvent themselves to remain productive or accomplish other lifetime goals beyond work.

Retiring?  What are your reinvention plans?  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Eat the Sushi

The August edition of Forbes Insights revealed that 65 percent of the C-level executives they surveyed (125 in total) at consumer goods companies indicated their organizations need to do a better job of harnessing digital technology.  My query today: Why are they waiting?  Time to eat the sushi!    
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What do I mean by eat the sushi?  I acquired the expression from Julie Myers Wood, CEO at Guidepost Solutions.  In a Corner Office interview she said: “When I had just graduated from college, I went with my mom to Japan.  We had a wonderful time, but I refused to eat sushi.  Later, when I moved to New York, I tried sushi and loved it.  The point is to be willing to try things that are unfamiliar.

The Forbes study pointed out that many companies have a long way to go before they realize the full potential of digital marketing.  Candidly even those that have been early adapters still have a long way to go.  However, at least they have a jump start due to experimenting and learning from their wins and losses.  Other key findings:

·         Fragmentation – 42 percent of the executives indicated that their companies (47 percent for those companies over $17 billion in sales) had too many products and divisions, subsequently their digital movements were not fully integrated with their overall strategic initiatives and organizational processes.

·         Silos – Digital marketing and e-commerce were frequently organized as separate operating units.

As I have shared in previous posts, embracing digital technology is vital for any organization that wants to evolve into a competitive social enterprise. Recommendation: Start now versus waking up in a few years realizing that you have to get on the digital bandwagon.

Are you ready to eat the sushi?  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Marketing Waste

Last month I posted about Food Waste in America.  Today I want to address marketing waste.                                                                                               
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Recently I received in the mail, a 626 page catalogue from a company specializing in shipping supplies addressed to the Manager Shipping Dept. SMARTKETING, Inc.  626 pages! 

I am an advocate of Social Enterprise currently advising numerous companies:

1.)   The benefits of the new collaborative tools of Web 2.0 are to implement digital marketing movements and connect with their existing/potential customers.

2.)   Utilizing marketing automation software to target buyers at select times in their purchasing journey.

3.)   I operate electronically out of my home/office here in Philadelphia.  I cannot even remember the last time I printed out a report and sent it out via an overnight service.

This catalogue further validated to me how much marketing waste continues in the business world today thanks to companies still not adapting to all the new marketing touch points, still settling for the status quo (a.k.a. same old/same old).  Yes, I do understand the benefits of some product catalogues (e.g., Macy’s) as a means to cover all touch points (non-tech savvy customers).  However, if I ever needed to ship anything, I would get online and find a local service provider.  Think about the costs associated/wasted with putting together a 626 page catalogue (photography, copy/editing, printing, distribution, etc.).  Think about how off base this company was targeting my company without even qualifying what my company is all about.  Better yet, think about deforestation?

Marketing folks!  Stop wasting your marketing dollars! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cocktails on Demand

“Before apps, when there were attention spans, before I’ve got five bars, when bars were for boozing, we got by just the same.”  Roger Cohen (Journalist)                                                                                            
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The above quote is an excerpt from a classic Roger Cohen op-ed titled Change or Perish.  I thought about it this past weekend when I read about the new Onthebar mobile app which connects bartenders with their guests in Boston.  It will soon be expanding into the Big Apple next month.  Onthebar was designed to make peoples’ bar hopping experiences better by allowing them to connect directly with bartenders, as well as learn about drink specials, reviews, etc.  In Boston, the app is being utilized by bar personnel in more than 1,000 locations; 75 of which have taken it a step further by utilizing iBeacon technology.  Eventually Onthebar seeks to generate revenue by connecting wine and spirits companies with their consumers, as well as bartenders to build awareness to advertise their brands.

Today’s query: What is the upper limit to the number of apps people will utilize?  According to a recent Nielson study (Q4 2013), mobile owners used 26.8 apps an average of 30 hours, 15 minutes per month.  That represents a full half day more than the 18 hours, 18 minutes users spent back in Q4 2011.  No surprise, the number of apps and time usage varies by age group led by 18 to 24 year olds who use on average 28 mobile applications a total of 37:06 (HH:MM) compared to 22 mobile applications a total of 21:21 (HH:MM) per month for mobile owners 55 plus.

I think the Onthebar app is clever.  Potentially a great way to connect with a bar tender that shakes the perfect martini.  However, even though I have slowed down in the amount of time I bar hop these days, thanks to experimentation, I have connected with some great martini makers here in Philadelphia.

When Onthebar comes to your area, will you download the mobile app for cocktails on demand or will you get by just the same?