Category: Learnings

Silver Bullets vs Magic Beans

It’s no secret that we live in a life-on-demand kind of world these days. If you want it now, you pretty much can get it now. Fast food, movies and TV shows on your computer, jumping on a plane in a moments notice and going just anywhere in the world – you know, all those …

Ignorance Can Be Your Greatest Asset

My folks are here visiting from the homeland (that’d be Dallas, Texas) and in thinking about how to be a good host, I remembered a special I saw on HGTV a few months about about A Man Named Pearl. Pearl Fryar is in somewhere in his 70s and lives in the small town of Bishopville, …

It's the culture, stupid.

Culture. It’s a concept that is tossed around a lot these days – especially when people are trying to figures out what makes an intriguing company tick. Tony Hsieh preaches it when he talks about the magic of Zappos. There are consultants who promise to teach you how to change one or create one. Books …

Abolishing Time Sheets follow-up: Interview with Ron Baker

He’s Ron Baker. And he’s the inspiration behind Brains on Fire abolishing timesheets back on January 1, 2009. Ron stopped by the office last week and our CPAs, Kathie Conway and Brandy Amidon, asked him questions that we received from Twitter (thanks to @petelbury, @swirlingmedia, @etb_writes, @ddcronkh, @inkinmama) and threw in some of their own. …

Lifetime Customer Value

Disclaimer: Spike is not a metrics guy, nor does he play one on TV. There were a lot of great nuggets from WOMM-U a couple of weeks back, but when Ted Wright asked, “What’s the lifetime customer value?” in his session with John Moore, that term got lodged in my noggin’. And obviously it’s still …

Be Social Media Agnostic

It’s something that Geno‘s been throwing around lately: being social media agnostic. At least at the beginning of any project. And by that, I mean not jumping into tactics. Because tactics will bog you down – quickly. If you think a Twitter account or a Facebook page are going to solve your communications problem, then …

Being True to Who You Are

Caution: potential horn-tootin’ ahead. With this whole pain-in-the-ass financial thing going on out there, I’ve been studying shops in the creative services field with a close eye. Because it is so incredibly easy for us to break ranks and waver in out beliefs. Even as we pull out of this mess of a downturn, we’re …

Find the Quiet Leaders

What a whirlwind last week was. The first half was full of friends, kindred spirits and the 3rd annual FIRE Sessions. And the second half was an amazing Word of Mouth Marketing Association Conference in Miami (and the Ritz, no less!). So many great people, different perspectives and a lot of great conversation. And as …

The Fire Sessions 2009 – Part 3 of 3: Parting Words of Wisdom

Olivier Blanchard, the Brand Builder himself, has been kind enough to cover the 2009 FIRE Sessions. Here’s what he captured: For this, the third and final post in my FIRE Sessions 2009 coverage, I thought I would keep things simple and share with you some of my favorite slivers of wisdom, flashes of insight, and …

The Fire Sessions 2009 – Part 2 of 3: Passion, Clarity… and Grizzly Bears

Olivier Blanchard, the Brand Builder himself, has been kind enough to cover the 2009 FIRE Sessions. Here’s what he captured: In Part 1 of our Fire Sessions 2009 coverage, I talked a little bit about the crucial role played by culture in creating relevant, remarkable, engaged businesses. With all the talk about tools and technology …

The Fire Sessions 2009 – Part 1 of 3: The Haka and the Culture Virus

Olivier Blanchard, the Brand Builder himself, has been kind enough to cover the 2009 FIRE Sessions. Here’s what he captured: A few weeks ago, when Spike invited me to participate in this year’s FIRE Sessions, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t really know a whole lot about what …

History Lessons of the Boombox

flickr photo credit – aka Peabody OK, be honest when was the last time you thought of the boombox? I would have to say at least 10 years ago, that’s when I retired my JVC boombox. But as I was driving home several weeks ago, I caught “A Eulogy for the Boombox” on NPR-All Things …

If you do all the talking, you miss a lot.

The other day I was on the phone with a wise friend, who reminded me of something I often forget: Don’t talk so much. He wasn’t talking at me, but he was talking to me about someone he’d like me to meet. He said, “You’ll like him, he’s a little rough around the edges and …

3 Things Marketers Can Learn From Swine Flu

Absolutely nothing. Okay, okay. Not nothing. But thanks to our good friends in the media, it’s all we’ve been hearing about for weeks now. And let’s be clear that I’m not a doctor or expert in diseases, so keep that in mind. So I’m not going to talk about what can we learn from the …

I'm a Thought Leader, Too! Do You Believe Me?

Don’t get me wrong, being considered a thought leader is a great thing (not that I’m one, I’m just speaking in general here). You can write bestselling books, pen articles, or have a blog that boasts thousands of readers and people will listen to you because they consider you a thought leader in your field. …

A Brand's Best Friend – Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, Geno posted a primer to his talk in San Francisco at the New Comm Forum about the new way to define brand ambassadors. And in talking to some of our clients, we’ve come to realize that the best way to really look at brand ambassadors is as a best friend. …

Fast Food vs. Home Cooked Meals (in Marketing)

Ah, fast food. Every once in a blue moon I’ll crave it. Go get it. And then pay for it dearly by feeling like crap for the rest of the day. And then there’s home cooking. Yummy. We all have our own stories of what mom or grandma or dad or Aunt Gertrude used to …

Do something small

That’s right, I said it. Small. The marketing and PR worlds are filled with people trying to do something big. A big social media campaign. A big TV and print rollout. Big media blitzes. Big. Big. Big. We are an industry obsessed with it. Because the bigger, the better, right? But guess what we’ve learned …

A day at the beach

Imagine several families traveling together have stumbled upon the beach for the very first time. When I say first time, I mean these folks have never seen the ocean before. They didn’t even know it existed and aren’t really even sure what it is. But hey, it’s a beautiful day. The sun is high. The …

The terms of your customer's terms

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve learned (or at least heard) that the tables have been turned and now is the time that companies need to meet their fans on their own terms. But when you think about it, that’s a pretty big blanket to throw out there. Because everyone is different. And if that’s …