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I’m a little behind on sharing some great reading, but here are some highlights from the past couple months.
- Finding an extra 15 hours in your week. Seems the Marketing Minute posted all the great marketing blogs out there, and the next question became “How in the world do I find time to keep up with all that?” Here are the answers. Pooping productivity is especially key.
- Turning Points: How I Became a Consultant. Steve takes a look back at the moment he realize it was time to do it himself. The entire post is excellent and enlightening, but I believe this quote sums it up: “If I was going to fulfill my professional desires and drives, and add maximum value, I had to “create it myself,” and not vainly hope that someone else would conform their business to my ideals, or custom-create the perfect position for me.”
- Early Retirement is a False Idol. The norm is to slave away during our “working years” so we can finally enjoy life later because we don’t have to work. However (as quoted in the post): “Why does the idea of work have to be so bad that you want to sacrifice year’s worth of prime living to get away from it forever?”
- Focus on the Goal, Not the Mechanics. If you’re requesting the help of a designer or other creative service, don’t micro-manage the process. You obviously aren’t an authority to begin with, or you wouldn’t be asking for help. Be the champion of the end-goal, make it clear to your partners, and let them, the messengers, craft their message. As Jay Moonah is quoted in the article: “If you are working with an agency, what you need to help your agency partners understand is WHAT you want to accomplish, not HOW they should do it.”
- Here’s $1,000 to Quit. John cites a post on the new-hire policy of Zappos, a growing online shoe retailer. They offer any new employee $1,000 to quit within the first week. Why? Read the post. It’s smart, and probably quite cost-effective.
- Did You Know? – Brand Loyalty. Insightful quick stats on the price and profit of increased usage by repeat customers. Fascinating. For example, did you know It costs 7 times more to get a new consumer for the brand than it does to get a current consumer to make an incremental purchase?
- Not Even Cocktail Napkins Are Safe. Advertising on napkins at bars? C’mon . . . .
Posted in Weekend Reading
Tagged advertising, Bars, Brand Loyalty, Branding, Business, Consulting, Creative Agencies, Design, Graphics, Hiring, Human Resources, Life, Marketing, Marketing Stats, Napkins, Passion, Retirement, Time Management, Web Design, Work, Zappos
The other night, my parents visited for dinner. As the night was coming to a close, I noticed something in my house that I’d never noticed before. It was a white box on the wall, near the fireplace. My dad and I fiddled with it, until the white box fell off the wall, and the electronics of this mysterious gizmo were exposed. We still didn’t know what it was. Then my wife suggested that it might be where the actual sound of the doorbell emanates. I tested it, and she was right.
I’ve lived in this house now for more than two years. I have very conservatively walked past this white box 12,000 times. I’ve never noticed it, never looked for it, never thought about it.
Here’s the point: It doesn’t matter how much exposure you get with your audience if they don’t care about what you’re exposing them to. They’ll still never notice you.
Similar posts on Brett’s Blog:
- Advertising Is Not Dead
- What Can 30 Seconds Do?
Perhaps you’ve seen this ad make a comeback in the rotation of some of your favorite shows lately:
It’s a catchy commercial, but what’s special is that it originally took the screen in Spring 2005. Now, three years later, it’s made a comeback.
So, what’s that tell us? Is Diet Coke lacking the creative juices to improve with something new, or are they wise enough to go back to something that, apparrently, worked? What do you think?
Great reading from the past few weeks – enjoy!
- Charging By Project, Not By the Hour: If you keep up with my blog on a regular basis, you know I’m anti-hourly rates. The Freelance Switch, one of my favorite new blogs, nails it on the head in this post. In Skellie’s words, “Setting up timers and staring at a clock can feel a little like office work.”
- Spitzer Can’t Communicate His Way Out of Sex Scandal: Common Sense PR captures the uselessness of damage control in the Eliot Spitzer ordeal. As Eric begins, “There are times when the public is willing to forgive the indiscretions of public figures. This ain’t one of them.”
- The Power of Free Samples: Interesting study using instant formula samples given free to new mothers as they left the hospital. I’m not convinced this translates well into many other industries, but it’s still intriguing.
- The 8 Types of Creative Directors:FUNNY! I actually like the 8 Types of Bad Creative Critiques more.
- The Proper Way to Throw a Golf Club: Because we all need to get better at this.
- Advertising’s Legendary Letter by Bill Bernbach: It was 1947, and a young creative director saw the writing on the wall for his now big ad agency in an industry that was still in its adolescence at best. Very inspiring, and still very relevant. My favorite quote: “The danger lies In the natural tendency to go after tried-and-true talent that will not make us stand out in competition but rather make us look like all the others.”
- 11 Ways for Web Designers to Gain Exposure: Useful, common-sense tips on how to get the word out if you’re a web designer.
- 6 Reasons to become Self-Employed: Wisebread shares some pretty good reasons for doing it yourself in the business realm. I think the most appealing to me is no vacation days.
- A Simple Formula for Follow-Up: Ever get stuck in copying and pasting a follow-up email to prospects and clients? Ilise thinks you’re missing out – here’s some good advice on little things that could make a big difference.
Similar Posts on Brett’s Blog:
Posted in Weekend Reading
Tagged advertising, Bill Bernbach, Business, Design, Elliot Spitzer, Entrepreneurship, Free Samples, Freelance, Graphics, How To, Marketing, New York Governor, Promotions, Public Relations, Self-Employment, Small Business, Web Design
I’ve never heard of Gnarls Barkley, and I probably never would’ve seen their video on MTV (does MTV still play videos?), unless I hadn’t see this on Yahoo today.
And Yahoo wouldn’t have bothered unless Gnarls Barkley had broken the rules (with crazy strobe light effects). They would’ve been just another band trying to breakthrough. It wouldn’t have been home page worthy.
In just catching up on the surface, I don’t think the band intended for their video to violate the Harding Test. It just happened that way, and now we’re hearing about it.
Is there a rule or accepted ritual you could break to get this kind of attention? Not a gimmick, or a ploy, but just good ol’ fashioned pushing of the envelope?
Here’s the video. It’s been viewed 258,000 times. Think that would’ve happened if they hadn’t broken the rules?