Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Ahhh, The Glamorous Life.

How would you like to be famous? Go ahead, pick your particular celebrity idol. Whether it’s a movie star, a sports hero, a musical superstar, or a billionaire businessperson, wouldn’t it be nice to be in their shoes for a day?

Well, the truth is – maybe, maybe not. While it seems like it might solve all of your problems if you had their lifestyle, notoriety, (and especially their money), if you look closely enough, there might be a few downsides to that image of fame and fortune.

Let’s consider a list of potential issues that a famous person might have to deal with that ordinary people never have to think about:

1. This first one’s a biggie – Lack of privacy.

Being from Chicago, I remember the days when Michael Jordan owned the town. (Heck, a significant case could be made that he owned the world, but then Kobie Bryant and Le Bron James fans might have a differing opinion.) Michael couldn’t walk down any street, anywhere, without being mobbed by fans. It could get really annoying, really fast, if you couldn’t enjoy a meal in your favorite restaurant, go to movie, or spend a day at the park with your kids without being continually accosted by fans, even when most are well-meaning.


2. How do you know who your real friends are?

When you’re famous (and rich), long lost relatives suddenly show up at your door, on the telephone, or wherever you happen to be. Believe it or not, you are the only one who can help them with their money problems, lack of a job, or just about any other problem they have. It doesn’t matter that you have your own set of problems – and your own life – you are now the answer to their prayers.


3. The pressure to always perform.

Didn’t think about this one, did you? Have you ever sat in a major league ballpark or sports stadium and really watched fan behavior? It isn’t always adoring. Sure, it’s all good when you hit a homerun that wins the game, or sink the championship winning basket. But, how about when you’re batting under .200 and haven’t had a hit in five straight games? How would you handle the string of insults directed your way by those same fans that were cheering you last week? How many of us are under that kind of pressure in our everyday lives and jobs? Sports heroes make the money they do because they can do what they do, day in and day out. Do you really want that kind of pressure every minute of your life?

And that leads us to…

4. Learning to live a normal life.

Now here’s where the rest of us often have an advantage. After all, is anything in the life of a celebrity really normal? By the very fact that they have the fame that they do, and have the money they do, they never get to experience a lot of what we consider everyday normal activity. Most of us don’t get the same kind of forgiveness for making life’s mistakes. We aren’t held up on a pedestal and given special treatment. We, unlike them, learn quickly that there’s no such thing as  for anything and everything we decide we want to do. And that, my friends, can lead to some potentially rough experiences when our hero meets a barrier that his status will not transport him over.

So take another look at this very brief list of celebrity perks. Then ask yourself, are they really better than the life I already have? You just might surprise yourself at how blessed you already are!

Some Random Thoughts on Work

While I was stuck in traffic en-route to work the other day, I found myself daydreaming about what I liked and didn’t like about my day-to-day existence in the world of work. That mental exercise led to me asking myself some “ivory tower” questions about our marketing and advertising world;

  • Wouldn’t it be great if you could spend as much time as you thought was necessary to ensure that the project you were currently working on was perfectly executed?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice to know that a customer was willing to grant you whatever budget you believed was necessary to complete their marketing campaign?
  • What if every day that you went to work you knew that you could throw yourself wholeheartedly into completing that particular day’s plan – without having to interrupt yourself to deal with unanticipated issues? (Yeah, like that would ever happen!)
  • How would it feel to know that every vendor you dealt with was every bit as committed to solving your customers’ problems as you are?
  • What if you could always furnish your customers with a hard and fast completion date for every advertising/marketing project?
  • What if everyone in the business world treated others the way they want to be treated?
  • Is it even possible to completely tap into everything we know about marketing and advertising as we work on any given campaign? (Or do we have to live with the fact that we’re only human, and that frailty makes us overlook or forget things?)

I know that this “perfect world” will never actually exist. But I like to think that I do my best to answer a lot of these questions in the affirmative. Somehow though, outside events seem to be a constant impediment to getting everything right, but hopefully they always drive us in the direction of doing the best that we can with the time, budget, and talent allotted to us. That is really all that we can ask for…and all that we can ask of our colleagues. For me, getting close to that standard is usually more than enough and very satisfying indeed.


In Hot Pursuit of Quality

You would have had to be on a remote island somewhere in the last couple of weeks to have escaped the launch of the latest technological marvel – the iPhone 5.  In fact, it’s been downright difficult to turn on the TV, computer, or radio and not be immediately besieged with the latest updates on sales or the current lengths of the lines outside of Apple stores.  It seems as though we just can’t get enough of whatever device the largest company on the worldwide stock exchange is currently offering.

Have you ever stopped to think about why this is happening?  What is it that makes these hand-held multi-media wonders so incredibly appealing?

Now I know the obvious answer will be that it’s “staying in touch with my friends and my work,” but surely there’s more to it than that.  After all, a simple “no feature” phone with messaging capability will handle 99.9 % of those communications issues, and no one has to stand in lines for two days and two nights to get one of those.

Maybe you’d say it’s about being first to have all of the new features and the bragging rights associated with that score.  OK, that’s somewhat understandable. But wait a minute!  Isn’t Apple itself saying that there isn’t all that much that’s different about this new phone? It’s just that it supposedly does everything better!  Again, that might be a drawing point for a lot of people, but how do you “brag” about that?  “Dude, isn’t it awesome how paying for my Starbucks Latte looks on a ½” longer screen?”

No, I definitely think there’s something deeper behind all of this. I’m not trying to speak for all of you “First Adopters” out there, but I do think you might be onto something that DOES make these technological wonders so popular – even if you’re not thinking about it at the moment of purchase.  It’s the fact that these devices are so incredibly simple to operate, and they look so elegant as they go through their paces.  In other words they are “beautiful in their simplicity.”

From my point of view, just maybe this is part of what makes them so darn appealing. Not unlike a trip to McDonalds, where you know that what kind of quality you are getting, no matter which store you go into, and you can depend on the product to consistently please you.  Plus, your current wants are satisfied in a clean and dependable environment.

With that premise comes another speculation – is simple becoming the new quality in our minds?  It sure seems like anything that delivers our “desire of the moment,” in both a fast and trouble-free way, seems to find the quickest pathway into some special place in our hearts and minds.  Consider for a moment how many of us are still recording our favorite TV shows on a VCR?  I think I can safely say that the DVR just might end up being considered the “product of the century” for a large portion of the population.

So Apple lovers, this last two weeks has been about as good as it gets in your world.  For the rest of you out there, what product or service scores this high on your Quality Meter?  Give us your thoughts, then….



Teamwork – Always a Reliable Business Practice

We KNOW that the year is 2012 and we KNOW that the marketing and advertising sites are filled with blogs and articles about all the latest social media technology, tools, tips, and strategies.  But we also believe that it often pays to get “back to the basics,” when marketing your company, products or services.  Let’s talk about one of those key “basics” today – teamwork.

One of the attributes we pride ourselves on is a sense of teamwork.  For us, it means utilizing the skills of every member of our firm to help our customers, no matter what service we are performing for them.  We make it a daily practice to bounce our ideas off one another.  We find that any marketing strategy can benefit from effective examination through the eyes of a diverse group of people.

Within our group, everyone knows each other well and can always feel comfortable seeking out the unique perspective that every member brings to the table.   We’re not saying that these discussions always lead to a breathtaking “aha” moment, but we firmly believe that this day-to-day practice provides substantial benefit to our customers.

One recent example of our team’s effective teamwork is the redesigning of our own website.  Initial ideas for the structure and design were created by our Art Department.  Those designs were explained, reviewed, and “story-boarded” with colleagues who worked in much different departments, i.e. analytics, on-line ad posting, and blog writing.  Each of those colleagues contributed critical pieces of the site’s content, after which further revisions were made.  When all of the pieces came together into a cohesive whole, the project was placed back into the hands of the web designers and developers to refine the technical aspects of the finished site.  Just before the new site launched, we conducted another review of the complete concept by all of our staff, resulting in further “tweaks” to communicate key ideas.

We are admittedly biased, but we believe that our newly completed web presence more clearly conveys what we want it to say, thanks to the honesty, candor and originality of our team members.

Teamwork may not be one of today’s “high-tech” concepts, but we are firm believers in its value.  While we believe in staying close to the cutting edge of technology, we know that our day to day work benefits from blending technology with tried and true methods, such as teamwork.  We are convinced of the intrinsic value of every member of our devoted and enthusiastic staff and regularly invite them to contribute their talents and energy to every project that we take on.

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