Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Madman, craftsman, critic

January 7, 2010

With more and more businesses participating in social media, the pressure to be creative is getting intense.  Now every tweet needs to be interesting.  Every blog post, a ‘wow’.  And so everybody wants to know: Does Robroy have a process for that?

Hold on, let me check.  Why, yes, here’s something.  I call it the Madman, Craftsman, Critic process.  Catchy name, I know.  You can use Madman, Craftsman, Critic (or Madwoman, Craftswoman, Critic) to develop everything from business growth strategies to sales presentations to marketing content, tweets, blogs and more.  It also works for paintings and poems and love songs.  And Robroy posts.  Anything creative.  But only if you are willing to concede that you have three strong-willed personalities within you who all want to dominate the creative process, and it’s your job to keep them in line.  They are:

1. The Madman

His cheeks are tight and bright from holding back gales of laughter while dashing around the room goosing people.  The Madman is you at your irrepressible best.  Your passion, your spark, your zest for life.  He loves what he does and is inspired by finding original ways to express it, regardless of what anybody else is doing.

2. The Craftsman

After the wild hilarity has blown over, enter the Craftsman.  This is your technical side.  Fastidious, skillful and proud, the Craftsman makes logical sense of what the Madman has left behind, which he measures, cuts, joins and assembles into something structurally sound and useful.

3. The Critic

“Gentlemen, gentlemen,” says the Critic, peering over his glasses.  “Your masterpiece is stirring, indeed, but riddled with errors.  A detail is missing here and here.  And the surface must be rubbed, sealed and smoothly coated.  Really, gentlemen.   In the future, I insist we bring me in sooner.”

This is you and your high standards.  Ultimately accountable for whether the thing works or not, the Critic controls quality in matters large and small.  It would be a disaster to involve the Critic too soon in the creative process, as he would scold and nit-pick and criticize his brothers until they broke his glasses and made him cry.  Another common mistake is letting the Madman hang around so long that he burns it all down with his hair.  Finally, try not to allow the Craftsman to start or finish the project, as it will end up technically perfect, but emotionally stiff as a board.

Madman, Craftsman and Critic, in that order.

But, hey, you’re creative.  How does it happen for you?  Have your Madman/Madwoman leave a comment below.

Generosity on a budget

December 10, 2009

You know you’re cheap when, year after year, you put off buying holiday gifts or cards for your most important clients until it’s all over and everyone’s forgotten, including you.

Robroy had his frugal Scottish heritage to blame for this stingy procrastination.  I never could stand to “invest” in cups and hats and shirts with our logo splattered all over them.  With so many unique individuals on my list, I wanted to give thoughtful gifts but didn’t know how.  The holidays made me feel terrible, until …

… I heard about LinkedIn recommendations.

A LinkedIn recommendation is your personal endorsement of someone you know, posted where all of your social network and theirs can read it. Recommendations on LinkedIn are personal and yet professional.  They are brief and yet long-lasting.  The tool lets you make your contacts look great in front of their peers.  And did I mention it’s free?

The only catch is, you have to take a minute to really think about the other person.  Really ask yourself, What impresses me most about them?  What’s their strong suit?  Be generous.  A few words from the heart can be very powerful.

So what do you think?  This is a pretty big gift.  Can we afford it?

(read more posts below)

Dangerous marketing

November 20, 2009

So-called marketing professionals!  Will you cool it already with the clean, slick, well mannered marketing campaigns?  You’re making a dangerous mistake.

Think about it.  When you were a kid, what did you do for fun?  If your best friends were anything like John Bertaux, Mike McCarthy and Bill Diehl, you set up plywood ramps for your bike.  You rode standing up, pumping your legs to build up speed.  When you hit the ramp, you launched yourself high into the sky … arms locked, knees shaking … and landed on the driveway, skidding to a stop.  The crowd went wild.  You were the man.

Now in our 40s, our generation is “the man” and “the woman” in a different way.  Many of us are responsible decision-makers in our companies.  We put out RFPs.  We hire vendors and sign purchasing orders.  Yet we’re still daredevils at heart, and we need to push ourselves to the limit from time to time, or life’s no fun.  If your marketing can’t spark our imagination, if your salespeople can’t rev the throttle and really get us fired up, you will fall short of your goal every time.  You’ll hit the front of the ramp and flip over your handlebars and break every bone in your body.

But at least it will be cool!

(Read more posts below.)

Almost perfect

February 26, 2009

Even in the worst economic times, everything can go right for a business. You can have a great Web site that generates a great lead, which becomes a great initial contact on the phone. You can have a great responsive salesperson who follows up on the lead, listens well, creates a great solution and cranks out a great proposal. You can get a great price, have a great roll-out and follow-up. But if your accounting department is obnoxious when collecting that first payment … Or if the tech treats them poorly when they first call for service … Or if they leave messages that go unreturned … Any one of these could kill the relationship. Hours and hours of hard work, not to mention the $50K you spent on the Web re-design, wasted. It all goes up in smoke.

There’s no such thing as perfect.  In business, that’s no excuse.

From a conversation with Creston Owen, CEO, Falcon Communications, January 2009

What would hip-huggers do?

January 27, 2009

Hot marketing experts have come out as one in their hip-huggers, shaggy cuts and t-shirts to tell corporate America to get into social networking or die.  So corporate America signed their people up for Facebook, paid trainers to show them how it works … and watched productivity take a plunge.

So it’s no wonder if corporate America is leery of the hip huggers’ new message: Get on Twitter or die.

This time, though, they might have a point.

Twitter is like Facebook – a real-time bulletin board that reaches audiences across the globe instantly.  But Twitter is different, or can be.

You can follow celebrities (Robroy doesn’t).  You can follow colleagues in business (Robroy does).  You can follow childhood friends (Robroy doesn’t).  You can use it to improve your craft (Robroy does).  The way I improve my craft as a business consultant and writer is by utilizing Twitter’s research and knowledge sharing aspect.  I approach Twitter like an informal lecture series on the sidewalk in front of the Student Union.  You can stop by for a few minutes between appointments and make your verse heard.  Or you can hang back and learn something.

Whether Twitter spells life or death for corporate America, we’ll find out.  Meanwhile, the hip-huggers are enjoying being “followed” in their tight jeans as they blog about it.