Archive for the ‘moment’ tag
Mijn agenda, die van mijn vrouw en de schoolkalender waren er alle drie vlot uit. De maand juli was voor ons het meest ideale moment om op zomervakantie te gaan. Via een “intention cast” stelde ik verschillende partijen op de hoogte van onze wensen: “Zuid-Portugal, vliegen vanaf Eindhoven Airport, in de periode van 9 tot en met 23 juli, gezinsauto”. Lees meer
I had an interesting comment from someone at an event recently. We were picking apart my Twitter stream and I was explaining my philosophy around it. He raised his hand and said, “Well, to be really honest, I wouldn’t be all that interested in seeing your pictures of bacon.” In this case, he meant quite literally the picture above, but in the larger sense, he was saying, “I want a business-focused person to follow.”
My response was that it was perfectly fair to feel that way, but that it also meant that he wasn’t likely my buyer. In my very specific case, I tend to work with companies that value personality as well as professional ability. It’s every bit as important to me that my kind of customer have an interesting personality, a quirkiness, and a tolerance for the atypical. That’s a choice, though, and it’s something I encourage you to consider.
We Choose Our Customers
Look, when we’re hungry for business, we just want to see the cash register ring. I’ve been there, and I’ll be there again. But when we do have the opportunity to consider our ideal client, it’s important to take a moment and work through that, to really determine what it is that will help you qualify who works with you or not.
In the case of media making and your online presence, what you put out there for the world to see on your social channels and your blog is what people are going to weigh into other equations when determining whether to buy from you. At the moment I’m writing this blog post, my last 20 tweets say nothing about what kind of business I’m in. My Facebook account is completely personal and not for business. My last few posts on Google+ are actually more business-focused, but that’s just happenstance. Why? Because I use social networks as a kind of liner notes for the personality behind the business.
Why Choose Your Customers?
Hold on there, Brogan. It’s a barely recovering economy and my kids have to eat. Why should I choose who my customers are? Why should I go out of my way to disqualify potential buyers?
Because customers that aren’t a fit create friction.
Simple. The deal you make when you take on a customer that doesn’t fit your personality or work style is that you’re asking for their money and signing up for however you will clash with them. This, in turn, may (will!) cause procrastination, may (will!) cause a less-than-stellar effort on your part, and will detract from the kinds of customers and clients you have more in common with. Those, by the way, are the people who will spend more with you over the long term, and who will form the core of your business relationships, not these folks you accept because you “need the money.”
Is This Crazy Talk?
I’ll let you tell me. Jump into the comments. Tell me about the times you’ve taken that customer who wasn’t really down with your particular kind of crazy. Hey, if you’ve had the opposite experience, that’s cool, too. I know someone out there wants to share some Kumbaya story about how working through one’s differences is a rewarding experience. My take? Life’s too short.
The more expansive our thinking, the easier to find help and support along the way.
With that in mind, here are ten creative hacks to help you deal with distractions and tap into opportunity.
(1.) Missing the big picture
Spend too much time in the weeds, and you’re totally immersed at the tactical level. We feel your pain. Ever wonder if what you’re doing is the right thing for you?
Big picture hack: use Prezi to map out the whole ecosystem and context around your project and spend some time looking at it whole. A flip chart would do, except you want to have the freedom to make tweaks.
(2.) Becoming me-centered
It’s all about you: your program, your book, your video, your success, your advice, your post, your everything. Flip positions, don’t hide behind passion, use it.
Other-centered hack: think about three things you can affect a week. It’s not that difficult, just listen to the people around you and be helpful without expecting anything in return. That will refocus your attention. What can you do to make things better?
(3.) Talking community vs. building it
Ironically, when community becomes yet another buzzword and crowd sourcing is a great concept as long as the project is yours, you lose.
Community hack: find an existing group of people connected by a desire to share a common experience or find a need to connect people with similar challenges and interests and help them build a community without centering it around your brand or project. Or simply connect people in your network.
(4.) Spending too much
When you delegate attention, you also delegate the ability to see and fix cost overruns, or the fact that you may be working on the wrong side of the problem.
Budget hack: spot the first signs of overspend right at the time you vet scope of work. By being very clear on what you want (your goal), you can explore different and creative ways to get there. Find a team or agency that will present more options and let them do so.
(5.) Not connecting
Are your networking and meetings a succession of happy jumps from one place to the other? There’s no moment like the present to connect. Businesses do this, too. When you keep shifting direction, you’ll never get there.
Connection hack: practice this in your own home. If you live alone, find friends. Still your mind. Forget yourself and shift your attention to the other person. Start noticing how others express joy, stress, passion, interest, and so on.
(6.) Failing to attempt
You discarded the best idea you ever had, because you were too afraid to flesh it out and make it happen. Tell the truth, you thought about something, and then talked yourself out of it more than once.
Idea execution hack: do it right away. From the trivial blog post that comes to mind while driving or reading something (call yourself and leave a detailed message), to the idea that you feel will get you to the big hairy, audacious, goal. Go from 0-60 while it’s fresh.
(7.) Missing the obvious
They say common sense is not that common, after all. Do you take what you know today for granted? Have you lost the ability to unlearn?
Awareness hack: step back in time and find that place when you didn’t know what you think you know today. Lose the information you think you have, and you will see something new.
(8.) Chasing the wrong people
Those who don’t care and couldn’t be bothered. Build relationships with those who are giving you *their* attention instead. It’s a common distraction, get over it. In business, they call it the white elephant run.
Relationship hack: here’s what you do, pay attention to those who are paying attention to you. Build from there. Relationships are long term, and when you start with those who care, you’re at a tremendous advantage.
(9.) Not using serendipity to your advantage
Some of our best innovations or problem-solving have come at times of distraction, when we’re relaxed and open.
Intention hack: when you observe that you’re trying too hard, let your mind wander for a few minutes. Have a happy or fun place for it to go rest. Notice how the best ideas come to you when you’re not thinking so hard?
(10.) Forgetting to be grateful
Can we agree that this is a grave sin? This is also another good way to shift attention from how difficult things are to you can do it attitude and problem solving mode.
Acknowledgment hack: cut yourself some slack and take the time to celebrate your accomplishments. You don’t need anyone else to acknowledge them or you for the accomplishments to be real.
It’s easy to let events run their course. Use the power of present moment awareness to stay on track with your goals.
Weigh in! What are your best hacks?
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.
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Another video we did for RIM nicely captures the moment that many of us can relate to when we first get our hands on a new gadget. Here BlackBerry fans in Singapore unbox their BlackBerry Bold for the first time to much excitement.
Jeff Rohrs discusses the lunch session he will be moderating Thursday, September 6th, 2012 That includes 42 minutes of “Shotgun Sessions”. Plus he talks about a couple of ideas he will be presenting in his “10 Email Secrets that Will Help Drive Your Content Strategy” session.
About Jeff Rohrs:
A recovering attorney, bacon-lover & Cleveland sports victim, Jeff heads-up the Marketing Research & Education Group at ExactTarget. In this capacity, Jeff co-authors the SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS research series—and ongoing examination of how today’s online consumers interact with brands through email, Facebook, and Twitter. Jeff also spearheads ExactTarget’s Connections User Conference programming and SUBSCRIBERS RULE! philosophy. Over his career, Jeff has presented at a wide variety of industry events including ad:tech, Argyle’s CMO Leadership Forum, The CMO Club Summit, the eec’s Email Evolution Conference, MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit, MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit, SES, SMX, and WOM Supergenius. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jkrohrs.
About Content Marketing World:
Content Marketing World is the largest gathering of content marketing professionals in the world. Content Marketing World is the one event where you can learn and network with the best and the brightest in the content marketing industry. You will leave with all the materials you need to take a content strategy back to your team – and – implement a content marketing plan that will grow your business and engage your audience. Content Marketing World 2012 takes place on September 4 – 6, 2012 at the Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio.
Arnie: Hello I’m Arnie Kuenn, President of Vertical Measures, a search, social, and content marketing agency in Phoenix, Arizona. Today I’d like to introduce you to Jeff Rohrs. He’s the VP of marketing at ExactTarget. Hey, Jeff, how are you doing?
Jeff: I’m doing well Arnie, yourself?
Arnie: Great, great. So, I just learned that you’re in Cleveland. It’s a little bit toasty though, huh?
Jeff: It’s is. We’re about 90 degrees today and have not had a lot of rain like much of the country.
Arnie: Yeah, that’s a real shame.
Arnie: All righty. Well, we’re here to talk a little bit about Content Marketing World, and you’re going to be moderating the luncheon I think on Thursday, September 6th, which is what, 42 minutes of shotgun sessions or something like that? I was wonder if maybe you could just explain what it’s all about?
Jeff: Sure. So, we did this last year at the inaugural Content Marketing World. Basically over lunch, Joe Pulizzi and his team line up about five to seven speakers and I serve as kind of an MC. The idea with the shotgun sessions is to get some really great thought leaders in content marketing.
Both authors and folks, who are in-house perhaps at a particular company, to just distill their thoughts down into a short format, in really digestible bits that folks can enjoy over lunch. We give extra points for those folks who can be entertaining or cause folks to laugh. So it’s fast, it’s furious, and it makes for great lunch time conversation.
Arnie: Yeah, it does. I remember I was there last year and I just thought, how are they going to pull this off? It was great. It was amazing that people kept to their time frames.
Jeff: Yeah. I love that format. That’s a fun format especially when you have a multi-day conference. So, you’ve got multiple types of formats. You’ve got panels. You’ve got keynote speakers. It’s just a great one to kind of throw in the mix, especially over lunch, when people do need some filler while they’re eating. Then they want to foster conversation with some of their peers. This really just stirs the pot right in the middle of that.
Arnie: Yep. I don’t know if you know yet, do you know who any of your seven guinea pigs might be?
Jeff: I don’t as of yet. I suspect I’ll be finding out in the next few weeks as Joel distills that out to me. But we usually kind of assemble that group virtually. Just kind of bring them up to speed on the format, and then challenge them to really bring their best in that short period of time.
Arnie: No planning allowed.
Arnie: All righty. Then you’re also doing, I’m going to read the session here, “10 Email Secrets That Will Help Drive Your Content Strategy“. The title I think pretty much describes what the session is all about, but I’m wondering if you might be willing to share one or two secrets with our viewers?
Jeff: Yeah. I won’t spoil too much, in part because I like to reflect on what’s happening kind of in the moment, the month or so before an event. Because often you’ll see some things in kind of current marketing that will point to some additional secrets or additional things we may want to share.
But I think one of the – I don’t know if you want to call it a secret, I will for purposes of our interview if you’ll give me that latitude – but one of the secrets is that an email subscriber and that whole mentality of being a subscriber, is very akin to being print subscriber.
Even in this day and age of decreasing print subscriptions, even in this day and age of social and mobile, the expectation when somebody is actually signing up to receive email from you is that of a print subscriber. So, if you think about what you do when you sign up for a magazine or something, right?
You’re signing up and you’re giving somebody your address. You’re giving them something of value, right? Your credit card or whatever the cost of the magazine is. It creates an expectation that you’re going to receive unique content delivered to your doorstep.
When you look at email, even in this day and age of very filled inboxes of fragmented communications across text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, email, apps, in-app communications, the expectation of consumers around email is still very in-line with those print subscriptions.
We can take advantage of that as marketers. That is to say that we want to make sure that we’re establishing a cadence. What is the expectation of our subscriber and are we meeting it that we set?
If we’re going to change it, how can we communicate that to them so the expectation is changed or morphed? Secondly, are you giving them any unique content? I think in the rush over the last couple of years to get social we’ve given a lot incentives for people to become fans on Facebook without any depth of meaning about what that really means or what the return of investment is for us.
With an email subscriber, however, they give you an email address, right. A uniquely addressable, I can reach you Arnie. Right? That is a different thing. When they sign up for email, they’re expecting that they’re going to kind of get the best of the best.
I think a lot of brands kind of forgot that. They forgot that this is a different crew. This is a different sort of hand-raising, where they do want it delivered to their doorstep and they want it delivered in a fashion that is perhaps different than social media, different than mobile.
I think we’ll all begin to understand this better in the next couple years as, number one, consumers become more set in the ways they use all of these fragmented channels and also as they become more set in their ways as to how they use the devices. I think we’re just at a really unique moment in marketing where you have the devices explode.
We’ve gone desktop to laptop, to smartphone, to tablet, at the same time that you’ve had the channels explode. Where you’ve gone from email, to instant messaging, to text messaging, to social messaging and Facebook, where it’s one to many, to social messaging and Facebook where it’s one to a few, to something like Google Plus, to something like Twitter.
That’s a lot to process. As people are processing that and they’re experimenting, they’re coming back to email.
So another secret is that people are actually reverting back to a comfortable format that doesn’t change on them all the time. They understand the email inbox. So, if you can really align with their expectations and understand that they expect some exclusivity, you’re going to get a better ROI out of those audiences.
I think you see some brands who are beginning to understand that. They’re also understanding that you don’t have to just be singular in your communications through that one channel. You can begin to leverage email, to improve the engagement metrics on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest. That these things can work in collaboration with each other. It’s not a rock, paper, scissors where one is going to destroy the other.
Jeff: So, that’s kind of a little taste of what we’ll dig into. I want to try and be very practical, but also dig in and share perhaps some case studies with folks that might resonate.
Arnie: Well that’s excellent. I thought I’d seen a slide that your associate Joel Book has and a couple of his presentations that shows the explosion of the communications channels. Just the slide is exhausting.
Jeff: Well, that’s actually our number one most requested slide. Joel and I put that together a few years ago. It’s a very simple slide that shows you the eight or so tactics that marketers had in pre-1990.
Jeff: Then you look at today in 2012 and there are well over 40 to 60. The reason it’s requested is that a lot of CMO’s, not just directors or managers of marketing, want to print that out and give it to their CEO, and say, “See this is the challenge we’ve got. Yes, we can do more with less, but when you’ve got more channels and more devices, somebody’s got to be manning the ship.”
This is why I think it’s very important for all marketers to recognize this period of time is very different because everything is shaking out. It’s very hard to make long-term proclamations when consumer behavior and usage is unsettled. It’s unsettled, principally because they just haven’t had enough time with these devices. Look at the tablet, right. I mean when the tablet came out, I remember a lot of folks carrying them around with them all the time.
I’ve now noticed a lot of those people don’t have the tablet with them, they have the smartphone. They realized, for their behavior the smartphone was the better device. But then when they’re in a meeting and they need to take notes, or when they’re at home and it’s prime time, the tablet’s becoming a prime time device. That’s something you can only learn with experience, and personal experience, making decisions for yourself.
Jeff: So, that’s going to shape everything that content marketers do. In my world, it’s going to shape the way that we think about the means of delivery and communication of that content through these different channels.
Arnie: Yeah. That’s great. Well, that’s all the time we really have. I encourage everybody to go and hear the other eight secrets that Jeff’s going to have in his presentation. If you didn’t go to Content Marketing World last year, I really encourage you to go this year. I don’t know about you Jeff, but I think it’s one of the best events that I’ve attended, and I go to a lot of events every year.
Jeff: Yeah, I love it. Whether you’re official title is content marketing or something else in marketing, it has a lot of great stuff that’s relevant to you.
Arnie: Yep. It’s super. Well thank you for your time, I appreciate it.
Arnie: I will see you in Columbus in a couple of months.
Jeff: All right, will do.
Arnie: Thanks, Jeff.
With the London Olympics now in its final days, Fast Company's Co.Design blog has an interesting interview with two executives from Wolff Olins, the design firm behind the much-maligned (though, by some, avidly defended) Olympic logo. Brian Boylan, the firm's chairman, and Ije Nwokorie, its managing director in London, explain some of the reasoning behind the branding, and look back at some of the critcisms, too. A few highlights:
Boylan: "The mark itself came from an energy grid we drew of lines that moved around, contained within a rectangle, which we stopped at one particular moment. This was used in a very random way to create a pattern, so this idea of freeform is right at the heart of the brand. The typeface very much links back to that. We never recommended anything with horizontals or verticals—it was always slightly to one side, to make people look at this thing and think twice. We used the term 'prescribed anarchy'—it wasn't [that] we just wanted to draw something spiky."
Nwokorie: "When you do something like this you expect to get a very mixed response. … The critical reviews tend to point out the rules we've broken, and in that sense they tend to be correct; the only disagreement is whether those rules need to be broken. Take a look at the attacks: 'It's too dissonant.' Absolutely, the dissonance was intentional. 'It doesn't reflect any of London's famous landmarks.' Absolutely, the world knows about those, we don't need to tell them. 'It's too urban, it's too young.' Absolutely. It's really interesting that even though the tone might be off, they shine quite an acute light on exactly the points we were trying to make."
How do you feel about logo now?
Figures out today from eMarketer estimate that in the U.S., just under 82 million consumers, or 26% of the population, will access social networks from their phones this year, rising to nearly 117 million by 2014. But if you are a social networking startup that sees that low-penetration figure as an opportunity, be aware that at the moment Facebook has all but cornered the market, and that the market is slowing down. Facebook today accounts for 85% of all mobile social networking activity, and that proportion is only growing: eMarketer projects that Facebook will account 87.4% by 2014 — or four out of every 10 mobile users and nearly two-thirds of smartphone users.
Meanwhile, growth in social network on mobile is slowing right down, from 50% in 2011 to 18% by 2014.
Basing estimates on a variety of survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, historical trends, company-specific data, and demographic and socioeconomic factors, eMarketer analysts found that smartphones are completely dominating social networking activity in the U.S. at the moment.
Some 95.5% of all users are checking and updating on their statuses on higher-end devices, it says. In other words, the different efforts we’ve seen from the likes of Twitter and Facebook to make their services friendly to lower-end devices are almost certainly mainly being utilized outside the U.S. Overall, in a separate piece of research, eMarketer notess that 116 million people in the U.S. will own and use a smartphone monthly this year, 43% of them Android devices.
EMarketer projects that by 2014, the percentage of people in the U.S. using social network sites on their phones will remain a minority activity, with 36.2% of users accessing sites (among the mobile population, the number is about 10 percentage points higher, at46.3%) . This shows that while the figure is growing, and indeed needs to be a consideration for companies like Facebook, PC-based access will continue to account for the majority of use in the U.S.
Indeed, eMarketer estimates that the number of Facebook mobile monthly active users this year will be around 70 million people. That works out to less than half of the 186 million MAUs that Facebook reported for June 2012 in the U.S. and Canada (Facebook’s worldwide MAU figure for June 2012 is 955 million).
Although we are still at a relatively young stage in the market, the landgrab for social mobile might at the same time be closing off: eMarketer notes that growth is slowing down by quite a lot in the next few years.
In 2011, it was growing by 50%; this year that will come down to 40%, and by 2014 “the number of mobile social networkers will increase by just 18%” although it does point out that this is “still in the healthy double digits.” It notes that mobile Facebook usage (as it dominates the space) “will have a similar growth trajectory.”
Yesterday, Bryson Meunier spotted a new test in Google’s mobile search results where they label smartphone-optimized pages with a little smartphone icon in the search results. Here posted some low quality images but Yoshihiko Yoshida has some better quality images which I am sharing here:
Google confirmed this test telling me:
Weâre experimenting with ways to optimize the mobile search experience, including helping users identify smartphone-optimized sites. We donât have any more details to share at the moment, but thank you for checking in.
Since Google offered up their official recommendation on mobile SEO, this is a good indicator (if you see the test) to see if your site is indeed implemented properly for Google to recognize that your site is smartphone optimized or not. There is no such feature in Google Webmaster Tools as far as I know. There are mobile sitemaps, but that is used for feature phones.
I am also pretty sure Google had a similar implementation, of labeling phone friendly pages in the search results, specifically for feature phones. Moving it to smartphones is neat, although I am not sure if Google will add this clutter to the page or not in the future?
So you’re pro gay rights (or just plain old human rights). And (say what?) you also happen to love Chick-fil-A’s food. Well, up until a few weeks ago, that wasn’t a problem.
But then the CEO had to go and open his big mouth and now gay rights supporters have to give up their love for all things juicy chicken and pickles on a soft bun, waffle fries and OMG peach milkshakes. whhhhhhhyyyyyyyy *shakes fist at sky*
Look, no matter how much you support gay rights, you may have a breakdown and in a weak moment throw some Chick-fil-A down your gullet. But it’s ok, you can now repent with the Chick-Fil-A Confessional. And, you even get a penance, like donating to LGBT organizations.
So don’t be so hard on yourselves, chicken lovers.
Ekaterinburg, Russia has a serious problem with street fights between the Chavas (sort of like gang members) and (believe it or not) hipsters that have all of a sudden become so popular in the city, the Chavas feel threatened.
It has gotten so bad local city blog, It’s My City, decided it was time to take a stand. To do that, they came up with a super creative idea to capitalize on the exact moment when the Russian Army (tanks and all) parade through the city practicing for the Victory Day Parade.
The concept was simple actually: just hang banners claiming the Hipsters took back the right to hang out in the city over the areas where the tanks would be driving. Take videos and picts and twist it to create an online campaign that looked like a Hipster Revolution.
Apparently it worked too, creating so much buzz the government tightened security and made it safer for hipsters to walk the streets. Check out the video to really see the brilliance.