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November 2, 2018

If a campaign fails but no one is there to measure it, did it ever really fail?

Years ago, while spending some days in a hospital (never mind why, it wasn’t my fault), I roomed with a retired junior high school math teacher. When he introduced himself as such I recoiled, shaking off some nasty memories. But as time passed, with little else to do, we began conversing.

October 11, 2018

Read this 3 times (it's short)

Marketers (at least good ones like us) keenly appreciate repetition in our messages. And we’re on it. It’s been reported that a city dweller sees up to 5,000 advertising messages per day. And that was over 10 years ago. We're not repeating our messages because our audiences are thick headed. It's tough out there. Repetition is the necessity of a business landscape that is oftentimes cluttered.

A Clumsy Ballerino

Time was, you had a choice of getting your newspaper in the morning or afternoon. The “old” newspaper business is all but dead, gasping in the wake of digital news. And the afternoon papers were first to go in an industry that has been massively impacted by the transition. I was proud to be a part of that old era, and the lessons learned were enduring and invaluable.

September 25, 2018

Go-to-Market: It looks easy, doesn't it?

I once drove demand generation globally for four product programs. Each program had a marketing director who led a small team of marketers. They were responsible for product use cases: disaster recovery, applications, databases, and business intelligence. The marketing directors developed unique value propositions, messages, proof points, customer success stories, and target lists of buyers and influencers for their programs. They also provided direct support of sales activities, and served as industry pundits. And, they came to me to generate demand so their programs' value could be measured in leads, opportunities, and sales revenue.

It was chaos.

September 17, 2018

High-class Jeep Problems

I’m fortunate enough to own two Jeep Wranglers, both of which I’ve had since new. My “old” one is a 2000 Wrangler Sahara. The “new” one is a 2009 Wrangler Sahara. And the 18-going-on-19-year-old is now relegated to “fun.” I keep it parked in the garage with the tops off (it came equipped with both hard and soft tops), and just drive it when the weather is suitably warm and sunny. (And it's not too far from home, because it's a little unreliable.)

Perspectives of an Evolving Worker

The author in a "democratized learning and teaching" session on "Take Your Dog to Work Day."
Infographics are great communication tools. I really enjoy creating them, and as a marketer I've seen great results from them. (In a future post I'll share more of this experience.) For example, here's a cool one that I stumbled across on a topic we can all relate to.

April 5, 2018

A Man of Stone

50 years ago today I was a young boy at my home in East Tennessee. I was sitting in our living room reading a book.

March 29, 2018

When do trade show T-shirts make sense?

I once witnessed a spirited debate between a campaign strategist and a marketing agency presenter. The presenter was one of the best direct marketing minds at perhaps the greatest agency of that time. (I won’t name names, but the agency’s founder wrote the book on “being direct.”) The subject of the debate was offer repetition. (Nerd alert.) The question: should every direct marketing touch contain an offer?

March 2, 2018

5 Things Every Resume Should Say -- And 3 Things They Shouldn't

This post originally appeared at as a guest blog for a careers firm that is entirely focused on SAP staffing. It became their most-read blog from 2017.

What matters to SAP recruiters and hiring managers? What do you know of SAP technology and how well do you know it? Ultimately, it’s your case to make, but here are five ideas for doing so in the most compelling way – as well as a few pitfalls to avoid along the way.

ROI @ QBR: Tactics vs. Campaigns

Marketing ROI discussions are de rigueur at quarterly business reviews (QBRs). And the parade of pundits is close behind, alternatively equipping and lashing marketers with knowledge, opinions, and analyses on how to measure and improve ROI. For example:

February 22, 2018

Who's In Charge Here?

I saw a link to this article recently: "9 bad manager mistakes that make good people quit." It’s one of many I’ve seen about mistakes companies or managers make that alienate employees. It must be a popular topic.
Articles like this necessarily oversimplify a complex network of issues, boiling them down to a pithy copywriting exercise. And lest I be guilty of sucker punching the article's writer, I confess I've done much the same.

February 14, 2018

My “Reel Life” Discovery of 1950’s Worship

After my father’s death in 2009, I found a box of reel-to-reel audio tapes in the garage of his home in the California desert. I had seen them pretty much all my life, most of that time in a battered plastic bin on a closet shelf or stacked in the garage. I can’t recall the last time I saw a reel-to-reel tape machine, so I had never heard the tapes. But Mother (she died in 2011) once told me they were recordings of my father’s sermons.

February 12, 2018

Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Headline!

Few things in business are more sorely needed or appreciated than a good story. And it’s gratifying to this marketing storyteller that companies seem finally to have figured this out. Storytellers are at last being recognized by the corporate world, as marketing and other business leaders seek more compelling ways to cut through the clutter and convey brand value.

January 24, 2018

Or, not so great.

Just for laughs, these are some small reflections of mine on my life as a business person (in my case, a marketer), looking back on a career that now spans several decades. I’ve put them in the form of a “top 10” list – for reasons that will soon become clear.