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August 2007

Everybody must get paid.

I'm preparing to do payroll. As part of my personal program of productive procrastination, I thought I would delay this task with a little blogging. Whenever it's time for payroll, I start to think about the price "P" of the marketing mix. It's a natural, because it is a most practical reminder of the importance of gross margin, which is a function of price. I read a book not long ago, Pricing on Purpose, in which the author talks about methods for stratifying prices, so that you can get higher prices from customers/clients/situations in which the tasks or goods have…



That's objective, goal, strategies, measures. It's one of the strategic tools we use to keep from wasting resources. Sometimes we have so many forms and strategic tools, that people feel like it restricts their creativity. Of course, we need to remember that our creativity is not the point of what we do; we should be focused on enhancing our client's business. Besides that, certain constraints actually enhance creativity (for example, check out how a creative cornerback uses the sideline). Anyhow, the OSGM is a linear/waterfall tool that helps us put first things first. Everything is subservient to the Objective-the reason…


An old favorite.

This morning I read the story of Samson and Delilah in the book of Judges. There have been a lot of songs written about that story. The Grateful Dead did one, I think. But my favorite is "Hallelujah," by Leonard Cohan..."she tied you to a kitchen chair, she broke your throne, she cut your hair..."As I read the Samson chapters, I was amazed at what a huge jerk this guy was. And yet God used him to achieve His purposes, and blessed him. So that gives me some hope. I may be a jerk, but I never burned a field,…



You have a personality, no matter what they told you in high school. We've been doing branding for a long time, and we've been studying brands even longer. And we know two things to be true (at least two). One, everything is a brand-even if it is not packaged and promoted as such. And two, every brand falls into one of five personalities-sincerity, excitement, ruggedness, sophistication, or competence. My Aunt Evelyn is the embodiment of competence. My dad is sincerity with overtones of ruggedness-this caused him some anxiety as a math teacher, but served him well as a scout leader.…


Cool, breezy, ninety-four degrees.

I was just outside, and I noticed that it was getting a little cooler-at 94 degrees! Last week we set a record-five days in a row over 100. So, 94, by comparison, is a little cooler. But anyone who thinks the words "cooler" and "94 degrees" in the same thought needs some sort of adjustment in perception. This must be what it's like to be a boiled frog.


New Biz Contest.

We do this thing several times a year. We call it "fun day." It's always the last Friday of a month with five Fridays. And it usually involves some sort of competition. The other day I had an idea. What if we have two prospective clients, both looking for a new agency. We split into two teams, one assigned to each prospect. We do simultaneous new-business sales presentations on that day. If one of the clients selects our agency, that team wins a prize. If both client select our agency...we've got ourselves a new business strategy!So any volunteer clients? The…


Who's in charge here?

I know it's not me. Maybe it's the client. But if you ask the client, he says it's his boss. And if you ask the boss, she says it's the owners. And if you ask the owners, they just want an ROI, which goes to the customer. And if you ask the customer, they really don't care about your company; they just want some soap that works. And how do they know if the soap works? It makes lots of long-lasting suds (which doesn't really have anything to do with the working of the soap) removes the soil or stains…


Bugs Bunny

I was shocked to learn that GW, a brilliant young creative professional, is neutral regarding Bugs Bunny. I didn't think anyone was neutral regarding Bugs Bunny. Hmmm.I love a lot of things about Bugs. He doesn't get upset in stressful situations (like when Marvin the Martian is going to destroy the Earth with his space modulator, or when Elmer Fudd is hunting wabbits). He is kind to those who are weaker than he is. He is respectful, but not overly so, to those who are stronger than he is. But here's my favorite part...Bad things happen to people who attack…


Short Friday.

The way we set up our schedule, we work a half hour extra most days, and then we get a half day off (4.5 hours) every second Friday. Today is a short Friday. Woo-hoo.To be honest, some of us are usually here for at least a couple of hours in the afternoon of a short Friday (right now it's 3:02-office closed three hours and two minutes ago). But even at that, it's pretty cool. You can work in relative quiet, because nobody is here unless they have a specific thing they're here to work on. You don't get too many…



Marketing communication is inherently secretive. People have ideas that are only valuable if nobody knows them until its too late to do anything about them. The first mover's advantage is debatable in the product arena. But it is fact in marketing communication. If I have an awesome campaign line, and you find out about it and put in out there before I get to, you have reaped the entire potential value of my idea. This creates and interesting paradox. Marketing people tend to be the types of folks who like to talk. Some like to share. Others like to brag.…


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