Communication Barriers at Work

And neither should you. Org charts create artificial barriers and silos between teams. And much of the time, they get in the way. It’s irrelevant if you’re a manager or employee, or what part of the department you’re in, or whether you “should be talking to” that person who could really use your insights and advice. Just do it already, and damn the consequences. What’s the worst that could happen? You might get fired. So what? That just means you shouldn’t have been working there…Continue Reading “I Don’t Give a Fuck About Your Org Chart”

Terrible bosses spy on their employees

The Quickest Way to Destroy Your Business Good bosses can lead your team to achieve so much. But bad bosses… wow. How bad? Here’s a cautionary tale from my own career. My first job out of college sixteen years ago (technically I started working in 1991, but still) was with a startup in Tucson, Arizona. This fledgling company attempted to compete with the Sysco’s of the world, breaking up the near-monopoly in foodservice distribution. It failed – a story for another time. My role at the…Continue Reading “Worst Boss, First Boss”

What kind of world do you paint for your prospects

“To hell with facts! We need stories!” ― Ken Kesey Storytelling is vital to today’s marketing. Do you make a connection with your prospects and customers through storytelling, or are you still stuck in the world of “speeds and feeds” as we used to say in tech? Especially in B2B (business-to-business), there’s a gap between who companies think they are trying to reach versus who they really need to reach. And who they really need to reach are people, not companies. There’s an unspoken belief…Continue Reading “Marketing Story Is Key To Reach Head and Heart”

Marketing when your product isn't so exciting

Marketing is Hot Stuff, Right? Models, lingerie and fashion shows. What could be sexier than working for literally the hottest store in the mall? At 21, my first “real” marketing project was to create a promotional postcard for the manager of our local Victoria’s Secret. Yep, this is it, I thought at the time. The start of my long and glamorous advertising career. Yeah, No. I got it half right. My career has been long, and winding, but maybe not so flashy. At least not…Continue Reading “Five Ways to Market “Unsexy” Products”

chip cards

Chip Card, or Watching Paint Dry? By most accounts, the switch to EMV, or “chip” credit cards here in the US hasn’t worked out so well. Right now the roll-out is uneven at best. I make at least half a dozen payments a day with my credit and debit cards and the experience is pretty random. Will I insert the card into the reader, or slide it? Will there be a crumpled, hand-written note on the card machine that tells me what to do, or…Continue Reading “Will EMV Slowness Make Apple Pay More Appealing?”

freelance work

In-house marketing departments are being tasked with more and more difficult projects, especially in the digital space. It’s no wonder they are hiring out to keep up. From apps to creating an omnichannel customer experience and developing new products, the world for marketers is more technical today than ever before. At the same time, marketing departments are under constant pressure to reduce the size of their staffs and budgets. More work, and tougher work, needs to get done with less people. As a result, marketing departments are hiring more outside…Continue Reading “Marketers Rely on Outside Agencies More Than Ever”

coffee scoop

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE coffee. I’m a local coffee guy, but If there’s one coffee chain that I have a soft spot for, it’s Caribou. 16 years ago, I was freezing in downtown Minneapolis and found their shop by sheer luck. I’ve been a fan ever since. Unfortunately, Caribou hasn’t always been the best at developing and nurturing relationships with their fans on social media. In fact, they had a huge fail right when it mattered most. Store Closings Lead to…Continue Reading “Three Ways Caribou Coffee Went From Fail to Win in Social”

Here’s what I’m reading this week, and I think you should too. B2B Marketing What the Engagement Crisis Means for Social Media Marketing Agencies Focus on what really matters. What Every Enterprise Marketing Team Can Learn from Surfers Stay flexible! Microsoft’s LinkedIn acquisition underscores potential in enterprise social media Is it really going to work, or will we be reading about a $26.2 billion failure in a few years? Small Business SEO Tips: How Mention Increased Search Traffic 373% in 6 Weeks Want to learn the…Continue Reading “What’s New in Marketing, July 5, 2016”

Family Video Storefront

In-Person Video Rental is Dying. What Should Family Video Do Next? Why do companies keep on running with the same business model when market trends point to their industry reducing itself to nothing? Take brick and mortar video rental. There’s a Family Video right down the street from where I live, but I haven’t bought anything there in years. The physical video rental market is declining by double digits every year. Competitors like Redbox have taken major expense out of the business model (labor, physical space) to offer bare…Continue Reading “What’s the Endgame for Family Video?”

iCloud for Windows Control Panel

It’s Possible to Sync Between Byword on iOS and Your Favorite Windows Markdown Editor I’m way late to the game, but I just started to create my blog posts with Markdown instead of plain text or directly in WordPress (what’s Markdown?). Working with Markdown is great, frankly. My main problem was to come up with a workflow that… worked. I Want Simple, Not Complex I want to be able to create my posts on my iPhone and my Windows PC and have the files completely in…Continue Reading “How to Create a Blogging Workflow from Byword to Windows and Back”