Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Top of the morning, Marketeers,

This week we have a ridiculously simple and to the point lesson:

NEVER LIMIT CREATIVITY.

When you are in a brainstorming session ANY idea is a good idea. If someone is inspired by a picture of a duck at their desk - let them have it there.

The absolute best ideas, thoughts, innovations and strategies may not come from something right off the top of your team's head, but it may be a derivative of an idea that passes through multiple stages of refinement.

Too often we become structured in what we say because we are afraid of how off-the-wall ideas will be received or reacted to. No idea is too crazy, no notion too 'out-there'. If you limit these creative outlets with on-the-spot rejections, you are not only killing creative momentum at that moment, but you are eliminating the possibility of creative ideas in the future due to producing a trained condition based on past experiences of negative feedback.

Let the ideas flow, allow creativity to flourish - and your campaigns will follow.

Until next week...keep practicing.

CCI

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shibby,

What's the fine word this week, fellow marketeers?

That is simple...the word is "consistency".

Once you have determined what your underlying purpose is to your marketing initiatives, the only way to make that purpose count is to have it ooze from EVERYTHING you do and everywhere you appear.

This may seem like a simple lesson - but the truth is, SO many organizations drop the ball when fulfilling this part of their marketing plan.

The underlying reason for this failure is that businesses believe they have covered off this need when they create a logo and plaster it on everything they do. This is a large part of the process, but this is the EASY part. 'Easy Consistency' is comprised of the following:

1) Business cards
2) Letterhead
3) Fax Sheet
4) Email Signatures
5) Envelopes
6) Labels
7) CD Covers
8) Brochures
9) Flyers
10) Pretty much ANY print material related to your company.

This level of consistency is ESSENTIAL, but it is the easy stuff. It should be made up of the same logo, the same font, the same business name, etc. - across the board on everything.

But, once this is done, business tend to forget the next level - the 'Hard Consistency'. Hard consistency is having your pre-determined purpose emanate from EVERYTHING your business does. Some 'Hard Consistency' areas are:

1) The words/tone used by everyone to answer the phone in your office
2) Keywords utilized in emails/letters to potential clients/existing customers
3) Dress/Appearance during business meetings
4) Articulation during face-to-face meetings and phone conferences
5) The way co-workers in your own company interact with one another

This is just a short list, but it is these things that serve as the meat to the potatoes...the easy consistency is the first impression - the hard consistency is the depth of your company.

Eat, drink and market merry.

Keep practicing,
CCI

Monday, March 3, 2008

Top of the morning (or afternoon or evening depending on when you're reading this),

Today's point is simple:

Market with a social conscious.

That may seem like an over-simplified purpose - as there are degrees, classes, seminars and theses spent on analyzing this exact concept - but perhaps that is the problem...we convolute social awareness in the capitalist markets. As our good friend K-os said "It seems complicated 'cuz it's really so simple".

Actually being - and not just seeming like - a socially conscious organization, shows your clients and peers that you are a leader in your respective market, but you are not bigger than the market itself. Promoting events, milestones, holidays, etc. shows that your company has a place within the big picture, but is not arrogant enough to think you are the big picture yourself.

A perfect example of this is the Budweiser ad for the troops in Iraq:







This has nothing to do with beer - but it is the right thing to promote - appreciation for the men and women who perpetuate the rights and freedoms Americans enjoy every day.

It is a fine line to toe when companies begin to market products in an irresponsible way. Sure, crazy ideas and creative hooks can sell more of a product - and this our underlying purpose, right? - but, it is more than Even beer producers include disclaimers that remind people to not drink and drive and to drink responsibly.

There is power in promoting an ideal - be it hope, inspiration, gratitude, etc. - in such a way that it has nothing to do with the actual product or service you are pushing. You are pushing responsibility and honor and purpose - and those are the most powerful sell points of all.

Be socially conscious - it is the right thing to do.

Keep practicing.
Peace,
CCI