Think Small to Win Big

I’m fairly certain Pete Townshend wasn’t referring to smartphones and tablets when he wrote “Going Mobile” more than 40 years ago, but the dude was right.

Mobile technologies and capabilities have undoubtedly made leaps and bounds over the past few years. Remember how savvy you thought you looked with your BlackBerry (no offense to those who still chat via BBM)? While your Curve 3500 is collecting dust in a shoebox, your iPhone 6 is getting more play than Angry Birds. So, what’s in store for the reigning champions of digital marketing and advertising?

Mobile is no longer a “nice-to-have” in the marketing mix. As it continues to expand its role as a connection and convergence device, mobile should be at the core of brands’ digital ecosystems. However, traditional media like print, TV, and radio still attract the lion’s share of advertising budgets across industries. To put it simply, dollars spent on mobile marketing don’t add up to the time we religiously spend on our devices.

Companies need to shift gears–but not go full throttle into one direction. Mobile marketing cannot be treated like desktop marketing—or any other channel, for that matter. Mobile is more than a medium. It’s an extension of the owner; a vital personal accessory; the one you inevitably say “good night” and “good morning” to; the one who wakes you up in the middle of the night because it needs your undivided attention; the one who isn’t creeped out if you ask for directions or advice. Admit it: You are madly in love with your phone. (Fact: 75% of Americans admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom.)

Consumers who search on mobile devices are more likely to take action. eMarketer conducted a study in May 2014 and found that 50% of consumers who conducted local searches via smartphone visited the store within a day, whereas only 34% of desktop and tablet searchers combined took the trip. Additionally, 18% of local queries on smartphones ultimately led to a purchase. As consumers, our increased emotional dependency on our mobile devices is raising the bar high for brands, and it will continue to heighten as we become more reliant on products and services information that is literally at our fingertips. We frequently switch between our devices throughout the day—desktop at work, mobile on-the-go, tablet everywhere between—to search, shop, communicate, read, and accomplish tasks. We not only want, but also expect, brands to keep up with our wavering demands and quickly provide the information we need whenever and wherever we need it. With this, brands should not focus solely on mobile devices. Instead, they need to create appropriate messaging that suits their consumers’ ever-changing multi-device behavior.

Here’s the magic spell to mobilizing mobile: Marketers must tightly weave mobile into their foundational brand and digital strategies as well as pay close attention to how, when, where, and why consumers are on their gadgets in order to serve them the information they need at all the right moments. Thanks to mobile, we are able to deliver content and advertising experiences that are truly in the interest of the consumer more quickly and conveniently than ever.

Although mobile is the new cool kid on the block, marketers should not zoom out completely on its predecessors. They’re still one big happy digital family.

Strategy. Discuss.

I was assigned to a project with people I had never worked with before. We met around a conference table, made some introductions, and began assigning responsibilities. Nothing was out of the ordinary except I started noticing that nearly everyone’s role, no matter the person’s official title, included “strategy.” And it meant something different for each person.  By the end of the meeting, I had heard so many uses of “strategy” that I no longer understood its meaning.

I’ve since had time and space to recognize the thread that everyone’s “strategy” shared. It was the process of taking disparate information and condensing it into a goal. Within this definition, “strategy” adds depth and intelligence to a project, no matter its industry.  A strategic HR Professional uses “strategy”  to understand an existing team’s personalities and recruit employees with skills that will bring the team’s capabilities to the next level. A strategic mother understands the values she wants to instill in her child and plans a life around them to ensure it.

“Strategy,” according to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is “a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal usually over a long period of time.” It is a necessary preparation for success and thus tempting to overuse it. Unfortunately the word loses meaning when overextended, and its value diminishes.

A solution is to strive to define one’s “strategy.”  I challenge myself and others to take a break from the term. Next time I catch myself using the word, I’m going to define it and help others and myself understand the work I do.

A Pitch with a Hitch?

A couple of months ago I wrote about two religions that use marketing (here and here) and I used the de facto terminology for describing religions’ marketing strategies,  “retention” and “recruitment.”  These words reveal an assumption we make when religions use marketing. They are either convincing members to remain connected to and active within their religious communities (retention) or influencing unaffiliated people to join (recruitment).

And we don’t use “retention” and “recruitment” to describe non-religion brands’ marketing efforts.  Traditional brands (1) create ads for “awareness” and “acquisition” goals (2). They inform a person of a product’s existence (awareness) or compel him or her to purchase it (acquisition). From a widely recognized beverage brand like Coca-Cola to an unknown tech startup to a nonprofit with an average level of recognition, these terms are used almost universally. Religion is the exception.

The different words we use reflect a view that religion is authoritarian. Both “retention” and “recruitment” describe a relationship with a clear power dynamic where the religion marketer exerts power over members and non-members to “retain” or “recruit” them. In contrast, the customer is the beneficiary in a non-religion marketing relationship. The customer gains knowledge through “awareness” or product through “acquisition.” Our speech attributes more unscrupulousness to religions than giant corporations with marketing budgets in the billions, even though many reliable surveys reveal that Americans trust clergy more than advertising and marketing professionals (3).  Perhaps the inconsistency between how we talk and what we think is the result of a strategic campaign the industry ran to improve a profit-driven image, whereas the language for religion remains honest and true to marketing’s goals. As a marketing professional, it sounds like the job for a good PR team.



(1) For lack of a better term, I use “traditional” to describe a brand that is not a religion. Feel free to reach out to me with a better term.

(2) From my research and conversations, albeit limited, I have found the retention/recruitment and awareness/acquisition divide to be somewhat consistently applied in the product and religious marketing spheres.

(3) See, for instance, these Gallup and GFK survey results.

Insight Summit Series: Digital Advertising

We’re excited to bring you the sold-out Insight Summit Series on Digital Advertising on March 20, 2013. We teamed up with Marquette University for the first time to host this one-day conference to a crowd of five hundred digital professionals and students.

The summit will feature thirty of digital advertising’s greatest including Marquette alum and industry experts from renowned companies and organizations throughout the Midwest.

Unable to attend? Follow along below.


Advertising is the greatest industry. Ever.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I can’t tell you how proud I am to say, “I work in advertising.” The outside perception is that all of the people in advertising are fun, creative and outgoing, work in loft-style offices and wear jeans and sneakers. Well, they’re right. We do. However, beyond the stereotype we carry, there is so much more to it than that. You know it, and I know it. We are an interesting mix of people in all areas of expertise, under one roof.

Every day I walk by the strategists and planners who can define everything and anything, down to why you chose to wear Converse on Tuesday.

Every day I talk with the art directors and designers, who translate messages, concepts and ideas into images, pictures and art. Most of them know Lorem Ipsum by heart.

Every day I see the media team who speak a second language of acronyms: CRM, SEM, DMA, CPM, GRP and CTR. OMG.

Every day I run into the producers, who miraculously manage to secure locations, wrangle talent, make sure there is beef jerky at craft service and of course, control the weather, because they, together, are God.

Every day I work with account service teams who are truly the hub of all communication in the agency. Putting client needs first, they usually forget to eat lunch. And sleep. Wait, they don’t sleep.

Every day I see the PR folks who know way more about AP style than Microsoft Office.

Every day I walk by the studio production artists who are always ready to lend a hand with a smile, even though it’s the client’s 26th revision.

Every day I pass programmers who design code, write new code, understand existing code, modify existing code and verify that existing code still works. All under the influence of Mountain Dew.

Every day I work with magical retouchers who can transform a Pontiac into a unicorn—because they can.

Every day I see the highly caffeinated social media crew, who run around with laptops in hand all day, thinking 20 tweets ahead of you.

Every day I work with the ladies of accounting who help organize the potlucks and tirelessly remind us about our timesheets, while proudly sporting Packers sweatshirts.

And, every day I see my favorite, the writers. They get people to act using only words. They come from all walks of life and always find a way to make me laugh. Hell, I like them so much I married one.

Like I said, the outside world thinks we’re fun and creative. In fact, according to a recent study (to be unveiled next week) in Ad Age, 69% of consumers do think that advertising has the power to make our world a better place. Some said that it would be a fun job to have. They are correct (again). We do have fun.

So there you have it. We are surrounded by the most amazing group of people on the planet and the fact that I realize that makes me feel pretty good. How do we ever get bored in this business? The answer is, we don’t. We wear jeans, we swear and we’re paid for our unique thoughts, squeezed fresh from our brains. We’re in advertising, and it is good.

Like Ripples in a Pond: Driving Brands with “Why”



The Golden Circle. It’s how author Simon Sinek visualizes a person’s decision making process. The “why,” representing a higher cause, directs the outer circles. The “how” ring, or value proposition, and the “what” ring, the process that realizes the “how,” are intuitively guided by the Circle’s core, the “why.”

Successful businesses and leaders, Sinek says, follow this pattern. They start by giving people a reason to believe in them before offering practical details.  As a brand, Apple started with a purpose: to challenge the status quo. This “why” drove the design and innovative technology found in all Apple products — the “what” and “how.” In turn, people believe in the company’s cause and allow their actions to follow. They overlook Apple’s executional blunders (ex: the antenna on the iPhone 4 and Maps in iOS6) and continue to believe in its cause and show religious-like devotion. The pattern can even be seen in historical events. As a civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gained prominence for his beliefs and convictions, not the specific plans he laid out for achieving civil rights. Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech (not “I Have a Plan,” as Sinek jokes) attracted over two hundred thousand supporters who believed in his purpose and allowed it to guide them to DC. His legacy lives on well after the passing of Civil Rights Act just as Apple’s will even after their market share wanes. Sinek concludes, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do.”  Communicating from the inside out drives behavior and creates long lasting relationships.

Recent studies in psychology and biology reveal the distinction between meaning, the “why,” and happiness, the outer two rings. Achieving meaning is allowing the “why” to drive the “how” and “what” and often necessitates a person to sacrifice along the way.  On the other hand, happiness is an emotion for the present. It is achieved by fulfilling fleeting needs and desires and then it fades as a person’s needs change, much like how a business’ “what” and “how” must evolve as the culture and technology around it change. The pursuit of meaning, researchers find, often counteracts “happiness” but ultimately leads to increases in overall well-being, life-satisfaction, and self-esteem.

We as marketers often speak about creating long-lasting and meaningful relationships with our customers. Advances in our understanding of the human mind point to the necessity of a brand or company standing for something people can relate to, believe in, and trust. This purpose, the “why,” should be the starting point for a brand. The details will follow.



In Our Hearts

Some of you may know or remember Jim and Tracy Xavier. While working Christian Louboutin uk at Laughlin Constable, they met and fell in love. Now married with two lovely daughters, they continue to grow within their Christian ministry. After spending many years serving the Lord within the United States, they recently relocated their family to Japan Christian Louboutin outlet to continue their work.

As you can imagine, the recent quake and tsunami shook their discount golf equipment world. They report that they are safe, but heart-broken for the loss that is felt all across Japan. Their work in Munakata-shi, Fukuoka continues although “the event stirred Japan to its core. Recovery will continue for years to come.”

They covet your prayers for their family and the people of golf clubs

Satisfaction May Be Satisfying. But Excitement? That’s Exciting.

I had the pleasure of being in a meeting this week with two co-workers who had recently bought the iPhone 4 and were using the time before the meeting started to get some questions answered. The looks on their faces as they discovered new features was priceless. Big smiles – bordering on giggling.

We’ve all seen this iPhenomena in action. And there are many real world – non Apple – examples, from Netflix streaming to OnStar. Excitement is going mainstream. McKinsey & Company released a report last month titled Wow! Exciting Customers, Creating Value. It’s central premise: Satisfaction may retain customers, but it doesn’t attract them.

If your brand is looking to grow, you need to stop thinking in terms of good and start thinking in terms of great.

Technology is a double-edged sword. The same force that is making it easier for competitors and categories to settle into a pattern of symbiotic parity is also making it easier for that environment to be recognized as such. In many ways, technology facilitates more ennui than energy. And that should be a wake-up call for brands.

While we can all agree that a brand is a valuable asset, The Trouble With Brands reports that most consumer brands are not creating value. And a brand is a terrible thing to waste.

The brands that do create value? They have energy – defined as vision, invention and dynamism. That dynamism “creates excitement in the marketplace.” And, according to the authors of the study, it’s the most immediately visible of the three components. Excitement wins again. Three important reminders about this increasingly important brand equity:

  • Exciting is not extreme satisfaction. Satisfaction is a hybrid of rational and emotional factors. It is a need. Excitement is emotional. It’s a motivation. Don’t try to satisfy your way to excitement.
  • Excitement gets people to talk. Another McKinsey gem: Word-of-mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. So surprise, fascinate and delight. If you’re about to invest in something that won’t incite sharing, it’s time to at least press pause to consider if that investment can be better spent.
  • Excitement does not have to be dramatic. It can live in the little things. Intuitive functionality. Elegant solutions. A cookie on your milkshake’s straw.

The trick for brand managers? Make the journey to Wow! shorter. Because in this case, it’s the destination that matters.

Interested in more stuff I find interesting? Follow me @casey_flanagan on Twitter.

Discount tiffany jewelry

tiffany and we expect another positive report from ovti this quarter

The stadium’s roof is open and football commentary can be heard coming from inside. After leaving the city, the tracks wind their way through national parks, passing famous sites including Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge, Yosemite Falls, the Rocky Mountains and Mesa Verde. Native American villages, pony express stations, hot air balloons and covered bridges dot the landscape.. tiffany jewelry outlet

Can a family override a donor’s wish to contribute his/her remains to science?Yes. Tissue banks make it very clear that it is important to discuss end of life preferences with the family members who will be responsible for arrangements after the death of the donor. The idea of a loved one dissected may be very hard for a grieving family. tiffany jewelry uk

Then apply eye shadow. Darker colors make for a smokey effect. Going with a three toned color palette, begin with the lightest color on the bottom of your lid. This cast is a bit odd because they seem to have all been going around to different shows lately. Jake Pavelka is on the cast and everyone knows him as “The Bachelor” who has said he isn’t just wanting to be television. Penn Teller is on this season and he was on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Vanilla Ice is also cooking and he has been on every reality show out there including a few of his own.. Discount tiffany jewelry

You must stop beating yourself up for whatever you feeling or needing. Those closest to you may not be able or willing to meet your needs, but this does not mean your needs are not valid. Tell yourself: though my sister doesn want to listen to my sadness, it okay for me to be sad. tiffany jewelry

In the same skillet, add some cooking wine (about 1/3 cup), a tbsp of drained capers, 2 tbsp of lemon juice and let the wine cook down. Add 2 tbsp of butter, sauce ready when butter is melted. Spoon on top of fish.. Alex describes food the way most discuss art. Before Chef Guarnaschelli snagged her own Food Network show, The Cooking Loft, I loved hearing her skillfully shaped notes as a judge on Iron Chef America. (And I definitely look forward to hearing her commentary on FN’s new show, Chopped, this January!) So it was a total no brainer what restaurant got my vote for our special dinner.. Discount Tiffany

The high price becomes one of the most barrier for ordinary people to get a piece of Tiffany Co jewelry and there are some online stores which sell discount Tiffany jewelry, so there is another problem came into people’s mind. How do I know if my tiffany company jewelry is real? When people buy genuine tiffany jewelries, it’s natural for them to expect that the quality is worthy of the price. There are unscrupulous jewelry stores, especially online, that will try to pass off their merchandise as being made by the Tiffany Company.

The Revolution Is Televised. Just Not Always On TV.

A very important anniversary passed last year. And as far as I’m aware, it passed with minimal fanfare. We were all too engrossed in Mad Men. TiVo turned ten.

I bring this up for a few reasons. First, it seems like a anniversary worth recognizing. (TiVo ranks right up there with the iPod, iPhone and Twitter for changing my life for the better.) Second, despite the drum beating by the doomsayers, the thirty-second commercial is not dead. (It’s changed. For the better.) Third, it’s worth acknowledging we were all – or at least I was – too busy to notice.

Habits are changing dramatically. Strategies, too. That’s not news. So it should come as no surprise that it seems we may be at the beginning of another revolution. By the end of next year, eMarketer projects 86.6% of US Internet Users to be Online Video Users. That would account for an almost 40% increase in five years. But the under 25 set is already blazing a farther-reaching path.

According to new report from Retrevo, 29% of the Under 25 set reports watching TV online “all” or “most” of the time. Include “some” in the equation and the number shoots up to a whopping 83%. This next – trend-setting – generation continues to watch TV. Four out of five of them just might not be using a TV to do so.

The revolution is being televised – in new and exciting ways.