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4 posts from February 2015

What makes me think... remembering David Carr

So many good ideas and observations have surfaced from the late, great David Carr today. I was not always a fan, but everyone is sharing their favorite clips, and I am blown away by the insights he achieved. 

Tq-120822-euReading the clip below, which says that literature helps us understand things we cannot experience, brought back an important memory for me. After I quit Ogilvy for the second time, I was very bitter and confused about how to work with passion inside an organization. Hypocrisy and pettiness confronted me everywhere I turned. I met a wise older man at a meeting and I commented that I hoped the next generation wouldn't have to experience the same confusion and disappointment as I had. He shook his head and said everyone would have to learn it the same way. 

Now, I think everyone is fated to have their idealism bruised to some extent. That is a part of growing up. But the years-long frustration which wasted ten years of my career was not fate. Today I work hard to create a professional legacy for the people who want to work with passionate enthusiasm. We can build a better place to work. 

NY Times: David Carr by the Book, 2014-Sep-22 by Pamela Paul

If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?

Probably “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. I came of age just as the Vietnam War was ending and all of the vets I knew were so ruined or freaked out that I had no understanding of what they had been through. The book taught me that literature could explain things to me in a way that I could understand. It’s not like being there, but putting a prism of words on the experience of others turned it into something I could see or at least imagine.

In building a relationship with email, go to your customers' space in your head

Maintaining an email-based relationship with a prospect can be very grueling. "Checking-in" emails just don't work. News from our own companies are usually too self-serving. To engage someone by email, we should first sit and think ourselves into their office... even if we've never been there. What's going on in their world? It used to drive me crazy that I didn't know specifics, but news about their city, their industry, their culture works just as well. Of course, sales people have used sports team connections for years... not gonna work for me, but restaurant news can! Tq140115fd

Chicago Creative Space: How a Travel Magazine Helped Build a Company Culture, 2015-Jan-19 by Lou Barreiro

I started to go through each [travel magazine] issue to find articles on places where Performics had offices in. The next time I would reach out to each individual, I would share with them some cool places near them that were being featured. Response times immediately improved, as did turnaround times for the info I needed. Crazier yet, I started to form relationships with these global contacts. I went from being the nagging minion to someone that these people actually looked forward to connecting with.

Is Friendship Being Changed by Social Media?

My assumptions about friends on social media were up-ended by this story in The Atlantic. A well-connected artist decided to get to know her 600+ Facebook "friends" better. Much to her and my surprise, many casual connections were excited to extend their friendship off-line. She visited and photographed them, usually in their homes.  Tq131020td

My hunch is that social media give us a chance to extend our social life to people we would have liked if we had met them in real life. Also, we can maintain permanent online profiles that help people reinforce their memory and understanding of us. We may really be raising our number of personal relationships in a revolutionary way. 

The Atlantic: How Real Are Facebook Friendships?, 2015-Feb-4 by Jacoba Urist

“Can you really know somebody if you’ve never seen their home?” Hollander asked. “To me, when I started, a friend was someone whose house you knew, someone you had eaten dinner with, but now I’ve realized that might not be as important to the definition of friendship.”  She felt an immediate sense of connection to the Facebook friends she visited, even those she had never met physically—as did they, she believes, evidenced by the high participation rate.

When do we get to print the marketing?

For most of us marketers, printing has become a luxury. We don't avoid printing because we think people don't enjoy it (when done properly). We don't avoid it because it isn't profitable (when done properly). We avoid it because it requires a capital outlay and a risky expense that we can avoid by putting our message out digitally.  Tq-120807-dm

NY Times: Catalogs, After Years of Decline, Are Revamped for Changing Times, 2015-Jan-25 by Rebecca R. Ruiz

Some of their catalog forays, however, barely resemble the traditional merchandise book. These days, retailers are employing devices like adventure tales and photo spreads of wildlife to catch a shopper’s eye, hoping to secure purchases online or in a store.

Luring a specific customer base seems to be part of the strategy underlying J. C. Penney’s surprise announcement this month that it would revive a home goods catalog in March, three years after the struggling company discontinued all such mailings. Its new version will focus not on recruiting new customers but on reaching existing ones, according to a spokeswoman. Whether the company will resume a regular schedule for sending out seasonal or general merchandise catalogs remains unclear. ... 

With “so much clutter and information overload,” said Rohit Deshpande, a professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, “just getting attention is the hardest thing to do right now for brands. It’s conceivable that trying catalogs again is a way to do it.”

Mr. Deshpande said research showed that frequency helped consumers process marketing messages, but some studies suggested diminishing returns after three advertisements.

“The issue has always been: What do we have to do in order to get mind-share and not bore people?” Mr. Deshpande said. “Or, worse, turn them off?”