Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sense of Gravitas

Meaningful word gravitas:  grav•i•tas /’ gravɘ , täs/  (noun) a very serious quality or manner. 

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It is the beginning of February.  Are you still sticking to your 2016 New Year’s resolutions?

It has been years since I made any resolutions because candidly I always ended up breaking them.  Instead, thanks to technology issues over the holidays, I had no choice but to shut down.  I used the down time to think about those things that really matter plus what I should focus on over the next passage of time.  I renewed my sense of being (a.k.a. gravitas).

“I gravitate towards gravitas.”  Morgan Freeman (actor)  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Knowledge Workers

I surfed my way through Winter Storm Jonas this past weekend.  Plenty of good material online.  One article that piqued my interest was written by Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite.  He advocated the need for companies to acknowledge social media literacy, a topic I have always been passionate about.     

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Back in 2013 I wrote Social Enterprise Smarts = Profitability Plu$.  I detailed the four steps companies needed to take to evolve into a powerful social enterprise.  The first step is to develop a company of Knowledge Workers – employees that exhibit “social smarts” thanks to their ability to embrace the proliferation of social technologies.  Consequently, your employees will improve their overall communication and collaborative skills, as well as being better informed.  I indicated this first step would take training and resources which was the spine of Ryan’s article.  He indicated that companies are just beginning to invest in on-the-job training programs to improve their employees’ social media skills.  Research company Altimeter revealed that almost half of the companies they surveyed are investing in corporate training which is on a serious upswing, rising 15% in the U.S. to $70 billion this past year.

Are you the leader of an organization that is ready to get on the bandwagon of social enterprise?  I would like to make two suggestions:


·        Be patient, be realistic.  You will not be able to flip on the light switch and expect your people to be Knowledge Workers overnight.  It takes time and experimentation to better understand the collaborative world of Web 2.0.

·        Plan, plan, plan.  Social media has evolved beyond the domain of one individual or department.  Social tools are now being utilized by Customer Care, Sales, HR, etc.  In a social enterprise, every employee should be a spokesperson (the voice) for your organization.  Plan accordingly and share the plan so everyone clearly understands their role in your social enterprise.  More importantly, empower your people.    

Are you prepared to invest in your people to build a team of Knowledge Workers?

Discussion Welcomed!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Consumer Mosaic

Viewed an Expedia ad while watching the Australian Open.  Shows a man and his cute little kid in a tiger outfit going on holiday.  No woman.  Should I assume the man is a single dad?  A good example of how marketers are connecting with the current consumer mosaic. 

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I first read about the consumer mosaic back in November, 2015.  Denise Morrison, CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, advocated that the portrait of the current U.S. Household is changing.  Consequently, she believes that advertising movements should be customized accordingly to better connect with consumers.  Some primary examples of the consumer mosaic are multicultural homes predominately Latino, Asian and African America; single parent households, L.B.G.T. (e.g., same sex households); adult-only households (with or without pets).  Campbell Soup’s “Made for Real, Real Life” TV campaign is a forerunner how marketing movements need to morph and think beyond just targeting demographics (a.k.a. buckets).    
Is your marketing department working on connecting with the new consumer mosaic?

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Popcorn Pinch Point

Have you seen Star Wars yet?  More importantly if you did catch the film, were you able to endure the popcorn lines?  You could have saved a whole bunch of nanoseconds with your new popcorn app. 

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In 2015 I wrote about Chill’s rolling out their NoWait app.  Their guests will be able to check out availability/wait time to be seated thus minimize the time they spend waiting in line.  Consequently, I was not surprised to learn two major multiplex theater chains, AMC Theatres and Regal Entertainment are going to utilize similar technology so their customers will now avoid the “popcorn pinch point.”  Moviegoers can preorder/prepay food and beverages from their smartphones.  The multiplex chains are banking on the reduction of time customers spend in line will result in increased concession sales.  For the record: 50 percent of ticket sales are returned to the studios. Concession sales from approximately two-thirds of the moviegoers that actually purchase food and beverages account for profit margins of 85 percent or higher.

Why not download your popcorn app today and avoid concession stand gridlock the next time you go to a multiplex theater?

Monday, January 11, 2016


“Acknowledge the past, embrace the current, create the future.”  – Eleanor Matorin

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My muse celebrated a significant birthday last week.  When I asked what her secret was she shared the nine words of wisdom captured in the opening blink.  Then she paused and replied: Dewar's.

Happy longevity muse!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Paper Dinosaurs

Last week I received Sherry Lehmann’s holiday wine catalogue.  I am in their data base ever since I gifted a family member in New York City.  By law, Sherry Lehmann cannot ship to Pennsylvania.  Given I am an advocate of digital marketing, are catalogues paper dinosaurs?

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Being a wine connoisseur, I cannot pick on Sherry Lehmann.  From the time when I made my first online sale from them, I am constantly blasted with their emails and latest specials.  Their emails are not personalized which is a sign they are not utilizing the latest marketing automation technologies.  If they were, they would have a mailing address capture in their data base for all the people living in Pennsylvania and the other nine states to where they cannot ship by law.  Consequently, they would be able to kick out of their system the need to mail their catalogue, thus save a considerable expense.     

Once again, I challenge another company from whom I received a catalogue which I first wrote about back in August, 2014 in a post titled Marketing Waste.  This company specializes in shipping supplies with over 30,000 products printed in a catalogue of over 600 pages!  The dinosaur in the room is ULINE.  I have never purchased a product from ULINE, but every year I receive their enormous catalog.  And every year, I march it down to the trash room in the basement of my building.  A prime example of marketing waste!  Marketers need to rethink how best they are going to reach their existing and future customers.  Right now, marketing automation technologies provide cost effective solutions.

Maybe next year I will recycle my ULINE catalogue and regift it to a business associate.    

Are marketing catalogues paper dinosaurs?


Friday, December 18, 2015

Social Brands

We are about to experience the week before Christmas 2015.  Three retail brands are dominating social media conversations and engagement.  Surprise: According to one source, Walmart, Target and Amazon did not make the top three. 

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Shareablee, a social insights company released their holiday season social scorecard.  Their rankings are based on an analysis of shares, comments, retweets and reblogs on major platforms – Instagram, Facebook,Twitter and YouTube.  Despite a drop in Black Friday posts, there was a 26% increase in engagement and a 170% increase in actions.  However, the debate continues whether social engagement actually translates into sales.  We will have to wait until after the holidays when sales data will be published.

The three top social brands in order: Nordstrom, Macy’s and Sephora.  

Did you socially engage with a popular retail brand this past month?