Posts tagged #Marketing

The Care & Feeding of Creative Professionals – Part 3

What are some of the common mistakes that you see people who seek a career in any of these fields make as they pursue that career?

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  • IMPORTANT: Young creatives think they understand the client and the agency. They think they could do 'all of this' better and will often not stick around long as they seek to emerge from this boring chrysalis of doom and make the coolest agency ever — and it will have a beer tap in the kitchen (and a foosball table). 

  • If in the rarest of circumstances you find someone that believes in your clients, is great at what they do, is well liked by the clients and can show a consistent effort – place golden-handcuffs on them ASAP and bring them up in the org chart. NOTE: this person is usually a woman.

  • We hate revisions. Client: "Well, what do you think of this design?" Us: <thinking> I think it's fucking brilliant bitch, that's why I'm presenting it. </thinking>


"As I’ve moderated ideation sessions over the past two decades, I’ve noticed one shocking point about creatives. They tend to come up with far fewer ideas than everyone else. 

It’s not because they can’t; it’s because they become too attached to every idea. Rather than jot it down and move to the next, creatives keep working on and rereading their own ideas. 

You know which discipline consistently comes up with the most ideas? Developers."Dave Linabury

This point is well suited for this conversation. Creatives (as outlined above) often get too attached to a concept. Therefore, external (of the creative department) concept sessions are not only valuable, but they're also essential.

ANY PERSON can make an idea great. It could be the front desk guy, the janitor or CFO. Create a think tank session, even if it's just one time, where anyone can participate. 

EXAMPLE: I was working a project for the US Navy, we were to create an immersive experiential training simulation for them. We emailed everyone and asked if anyone in the office had any insight into training, past or current. Turns out that friend of the agency had a family member that had a lifetime career of creating these types of scenarios. We brought them in and the project rapidly took off from there. Had that room been simply creatives folks with no real-world experience, I believe our results would have been a failure.


You might ask yourself at this point "how is this helping me avoiding mistakes?" It usually takes years for people to come to the understanding that most mistakes 'take a village' to create. The better you understand yourself, and those around you, the better you can apply your skills to actual work.


Lastly, I think it's important to add that this is not a list of deficiencies, or short-comings – it's who we are as a people. Creatives are a very special breed of people, we create emotion, education, allow others to journey through our visions to unexplored destinations.

Journalism Marketing (Part 1.): It Ain't the Same As Free Speech

Content marketing. Brand journalism. Journalist Marketing.

Call it what you will, but the fact is that more and more businesses are cranking out editorial content to spread their messages and reach the ever-growing online audience.

With all this advertising framed as “real articles,” maybe the time has come to we govern these practices with real laws.

Here’s a scenario:

You read an article online talking about a revolutionary alarm clock that promises that it will help you sleep, monitor your REM time, stop snoring, fix sleep apnea, and create efficiencies in your sleeping habits. Sounds awesome, right? But of course there is no such thing. Therefore it's a lie and it's bound by certain legal parameters that make it illegal for you to market fraudulent information. This protects you, the consumer. It also protects (and holds harmless) many products that cover themselves head-to-toe with legalese. Nevertheless, at its core it was still a lie.

I'm a (self-proclaimed) marketing subject-matter expert with the bulk of my professional experience in the "inbound"marketing spectrum. I have pretty solid working knowledge understanding of the mediums, channels, tactics, and various strategies required to maximize results. The type of "branded articles" we’re talking about here is often referred to as "native advertising." Fundamentally, I don't have a problem with this style of content and use it frequently in my marketing initiatives. Properly deployed it looks foundationally like the following:

Interesting Title About a Like-Minded Topic

Notification: [the following article is an advertisement]

  1. Set up the problem, or define the situation.
  2. Talk about the various aspects of the situation — the educational “meat,” one might say.
  3. Answer the problem, or justify the situation in a light that is even further to the reader's benefit — here's often where you might plug a brand, product, or education to support your point.
  4. Summarize, and in some cases, apply transparency such as "while there are many types and styles, we suggest you do your own research to get the best results."
  5. Advocate sharing the article to your network or forwarding to a friend.

Boom. It’s an ideal scenario where you've not only constructed original content, but you've further given your opinion on a brand and direction for best results. So what's wrong with that? Not all that much, actually. Some argue that placing the article into a pool of content that's not backed by a brand, product, or education could be subversive. But I disagree IF the content is formatted in a way that if you REMOVED the marketing language it could still stand on its own as an article.

Where the wheels have come off is when content, disguising itself as journalism, takes on the role of swaying opinion with lies.

"Well Justice that's called ‘propaganda,’ and it's been used for thousands of years."

I won’t debate that. The issue is that the medium, culture, and accessibility of this misinformation is specifically to manipulate a directive without any transparency. The even bigger problem is that these delivery vehicles are being created to look, act, and deliver to you in a fashion that feels both natural and trusted.

Let’s pretend for a minute that a man comes to your front door with a DHEL uniform on. He has a package and waves, indicating you need to sign for it. You open the door, he hits you in the head with a hammer, buries you in the back yard and begins to live (as you) in your home.

Seem farfetched? That model in a digital world is called "Identity Theft" and the DHEL wasn't a misspelling.

In the real world, we saw subversive tactics during this year’s presidential election. Many of us were floundering between two candidates that you're not quite comfortable with, and we were being pounded with articles titles, and memes, and friends we thought were normal. Suddenly you're debating demonic possession. When there it is the “brass ring” of lies jumping on your fight or flight mechanism:

  • Security
  • Rape
  • Misogyny
  • Healthcare
  • Terrorism

All wrapped in a legitimate-looking wrapper of your favorite news website or blog — thereby providing the trust and security you've come to embrace in your decision-making process. This drives to the core of your psychological makeup as you unknowingly take the bait back to your home. In many cases, as with the marketing techniques that were used in the election, you may still not truly understand that the core of your passion for one candidate or another may very well be predicated on a lie.

... in part two I'm going to cover some additional suggestions that in all likelihood will never happen. What do you think we should do?

Posted on November 30, 2016 and filed under Advertising, Brand, Social Media.

110% Blogger Outreach – Lessons from #IBM

You wanna be one of the cool kids in the marketing lunchroom? Then you damn well better have a blogger outreach program. This is a micro-PR concept in which you research popular bloggers within the context of the client you are trying to promote. More often than not, you want to share a product or service with the blogger with the intent of getting a positive review or mention.
Posted on September 23, 2012 and filed under Blogging, Business, Process.

Non-linear Routes of Contemporary Campaigns

WARNING! - If you don't live in the haus of marketing I'd respectfully advise you skip this post because it will bore you to tears. Ahhhh, guilt free. Remember that thing you keep talking about in meetings but you never do? No – I’m not talking about doing more cardio. Although that’s not a bad idea.