Join Alan Kay and me for our next one-day workshop: The Betternxt Manager’s SF Toolkit Workshop: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
9:00am – 4:30pm
Centre for Social Innovation Spadina
215 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T 2C7
Alterna Savings Meeting Room, 4th floor
Price: $299 ($269 early bird price, by April 7)
For more information: www.betternxt.com/workshops
Leadership career development can mean a lot of different things…improving your mentoring skills, becoming more adept at dealing with difficult people, and even seemingly simple stuff like learning better decision-making. Building a Solutions Mindset helps to develop all of these leadership skills in tandem.
Solution Focus is an approach – a set of tools – that you can plug into your current practices and skills. Betternxt gives you access to a broad range of ways to use the approach in everyday ways.
This practical 1-day workshop — in a collaborative, hands-on learning environment — helps managers and leaders like you who want to:
Price: Before April 7 $269; After April 7 $299
For more information: www.betternxt.com/workshops
We’ve needed this for a long time. Now when you get that great idea in the shower, capture it, and brainstorm some more!
Alan Kay and I are pleased to announce the launch of our very first one-day workshop —The Betternxt Manager’s Solutions Focus Tool Kit — on Saturday, January 18th at CSI Annex in downtown Toronto.
Alan and I started Betternxt Academy to augment to share Solutions Focus with business managers and leaders. You can read more about Solutions Focus on the Betternxt blog: What is Solutions Focus?
In a recent Ad Age cmo strategy post (“The Newest Marketing Buzzword? Human.”), the irony is in the sub-title: “Companies Increasingly Trying to Adopt Characteristics of Their Customers in Order to Be More Likeable.”
Huh? You mean one characteristic of the customer is that s/he is human? Does this mean that some of their customers are not human? Or, does being human now mean something different now? Is it a demographic trait, like ‘watches prime-time sports on TV,’ or ‘plays lotteries’ or ‘eats more vegetarian meals?’ In that case, some customers could be described as being more human than others, some might over-index on ‘human.’
If this is the dawn of the “human era for brands” brands could start by just asking customers simply what’s working well for them in their experiences with the brand and where there might be an opportunity for change. Instead of “Do you measure your call center on how quickly they get off the phone with customers?” Actually, I do want to get off the phone with call centres quickly.
If customers start throwing around the word ‘human,’ then maybe that’s an opportunity to probe on what they mean by being human and what might be better or different in the future for them if they felt the brand was more human than it is today.
There have been so many articles, how-to’s and tips from email marketing blogs and newsletters on how to cope with Gmail’s new way of organizing your inbox. Here’s a good summary of the situation in the New York Times: Retailers Fight Exile From Gmail In-Boxes. But finally I received an email from someone actually doing something about it. I don’t know, maybe lots have, but this is the first one I have received making explicit how I can ensure I “Never Miss a Travelzoo Deal.” Pretty simple. I bet it works.
I love workflows and seeing what the processes, sequences and tools other people use to get stuff done. The origins of ‘workflows’ are software and manufacturing, the realm of engineers and programmers. In 2002, David Allen created workflows for regular folks with the Getting Things Done system. It has since been adopted by millions, in one form or another.
But more and more today you can search for something + ‘workflow’ to get beyond the basic how-to’s to see the actual step-by-steps: “first do this, then do that,” etc.
I love listening to the Mac Power Users podcast with David Sparks and Katie Floyd. Each week they discuss Mac OS and iOS workflows and the tools they and their guests use to get stuff done with Apple technology, whether its running a law practice, producing music or parenting.
It follows from my interest in workflows that I get a kick out of seeing what people have in their bags, what they carry around with them as indispensable, literally or figuratively. If you enjoy this too, search #thingsIcarry on Slideshare.
I had some fun looking at the stuff I carry and uploaded this:
New data from Crain’s BtoB Magazine underscores need for brand differentiation, better targeting and segmentation strategies, and more visibility into marketing program performance across the entire marketing funnel SAN FRANCISCO, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Crain’s BtoB Magazine today shared results…
Ben Furman talks about the challenges and opportunities to improve happiness in the workspace using Solution Focus techniques.
I couldn’t bring myself to tweet this, like they suggested (see pic below), but I do love some of LinkedIn’s more recent marketing tactics. They are really stepping it up, and its going to be fun to watch where they go this year. Here are some predictions from other blogs:
As for me, as a direct marketer, I have always wondered why LinkedIn hasn’t teamed up with Dun & Bradstreet to enhance data on D&B’s lists. Imagine the possibilities for B2B direct mail and email prospecting.
Viraj Patel is an up-and-coming marketer, currently with Harley-Davidson Canada. He is also a former student of mine at the Canadian Marketing Association’s Direct Marketing Certificate Program. Yesterday he sent me an email with a link to this article, suggesting it might be useful for future classes: How Obama Raised 60 Million By Running A Simple Experiment, by By Dan Siroker on the Optimizely blog. Optimizely is a commercial web set optimization service, and the article (now more than 2 years old) may be self-serving, but what an amazing and easy-to-understand example of the role that testing plays in conversion marketing!
In his email Viraj said:
“I think the article shows a quantifiable result of conducting testing, and proof that it is worth the investment in resources. Another thing I found quite interesting, was how accessible a solution like this is to businesses of all sizes. The low cost to implement something like this allows even small organizations to run testing.”
I couldn’t agree more.
At a recent North American SFCT chapter meeting in Toronto I had the chance to workshop a concept I am developing to make marketing planning easier.
Marketing planning is the process of developing a roadmap to guide an organization in achieving their goals. Its derived from the organization’s vision, mission and business plan. It identifies the products and services to promote and sell. It defines how resources will be allocated to meet objectives; it identifies financial implications. Its pretty important: yet, we don’t make enough time for it because we get too caught up in day-to-day management of activities and fire-fighting. Because we don’t set aside time for planning, its not fun when we do it; its hard work, especially the most challenging part of it: setting objectives and developing corresponding strategies.
The truth is, its not so much the plan itself that’s important; its the planning. Taking the time away from day-to-day tactical management is where the value is because it gives us a chance to just think about what we’re doing and what we should be doing. It gives us a chance to identify the questions. As James Thurber said “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”