Posts Tagged postaweek2011

Ditch the Office: Next Week is National Telework Week


More than 35,000 companies and organizations have pledged to participate in the event. According to the official Telework Week Website, this would save an estimated $2,451,069 and more than 1,600 tons of pollutants from entering the atmosphere. Where these numbers come from is not entirely clear, but it stands to reason that fewer people commuting would help save money and reduce pollution to some extent.

National Telework Week is sponsored by Telework Exchange and Cisco, which makes telepresence and communication products, as well as other tools to facilate remote working.

via Ditch the Office: Next Week is National Telework Week.

To: Non-Teleworkers

I would suggest you spend some time understanding what it would take to perform your work outside the office.  As I would explain to past staffs, just because a weather day or some unplanned disaster occurred, project deadlines remain the same.  If you and your manager, or if you are the manager, haven’t spent enough time creating a work force that is flexible enough to handle the unique demands of performing all department requirements outside of the normal office space, you will find yourself in the awkward situation of losing value to the company.

Disaster Recovery Planning

OK, maybe it’s because my first job in a large IT organization was helping implement the annual remote disaster recovery test plans that I seem to gravitate to this fact.  I ask all my clients, if your office burned down this weekend, what you do on Monday.  Close shop?  Declare bankruptcy? Put everything on hold until you get a new office leased?  What about your paper records?  How about your leads?  How about your contracts in progress? Are you’re files stored off-site, and if so how long would it take to get them back and running at the new location?

These are all questions that should bring a leader or manager to the point of understanding how important teleworking can be to this scenario and their organization.

Improved Productivity

An important factor in improving your productivity is to design a work environment that helps you accomplish your work faster and smarter then your competition.  Well how about all the time you are not in the office?  Are you tied to a paper filing system … how could you change that? (Evernote.com)  Can your assistant and team members update file and get them to your quickly? (DropBox.com) Can your team, partners, and client see your calendar and plan accordingly?  (Google Calendar)  Can you conduct training sessions without having to be on-prem at the client’s location? (WebEx) Can you brainstorm with your team, partners, and clients regardless of their geographical location? (MindMeister.com)  Can you manage your To-Do list, or better yet, can your assistant manage your list for you? (Remember the Milk).

My guess the most difficult thing to change in your work space is the paper trails you live with.  You probably have become so accustomed to getting something in paper, working on it, then passing it on.  Reguardless, it is possible to go paperless.  It’s worth the time to implement also.

My Office

Over the past 10 years I have moved to a paperless process.  That is how I had to look at it.  I focused on the process, not the piece of paper or some other physical object.  Many of the web based applications I mentioned above I use today.  It allows me to complete my client requests while knowing that all the items I need are right at my fingertips.

So what have you done to make it possible to telework or telecomute?  I’d love to compare notes some time.

Good Hunting.

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3 Comments

Marketing Lesson: Smartphones Outsell PCs


According to IDC, smartphone manufacturers shipped 100.9 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2010, while PC manufacturers shipped 92.1 million units worldwide. Or, more simply put, smartphones just outsold PCs for the first time ever.

via Smartphones Outsell PCs.

The above quote should not come as a surprise.  Change happens.  The real question becomes, “How are we preparing our clients, or shaping our projects/campaigns for this shift in the marketing landscape?”

Nostalgic Deja Vu

I was just telling one of my classes yesterday that even though the assignments are focusing on 8×11 documents they need to keep in the back of their mind the fact that their message might be seen on a small screen so always plan ahead.

This problem seems to be resurfacing constantly in the technology sector.  I can remember, in my brief stint in development, which now seems like three lifetimes ago, the revelation that the developers I worked with all had power user machines: top of the line CPU’s, memory maxed to capacity, every bay in the tower loaded with the largest hard drives that could be purchased, the biggest fasted monitor and video board that was sold at the time.  Not a real problem unless you consider the average ‘consumer’ of these developers were running on machines three generations behind, and were loaded with the least possible equipment to save costs for the company purchasing the hardware.

At least we were lucky to have a great software development manager, my brother-in-law, who demanded no code go into production unless it passed a speed test on a machine comparable to what the user base was currently using.  So we always kept a box in the corner of the office with the current configuration our clients had.  This created some awkward moments when the entire development team would watch as one of the developers would run the cpu/memory/video gauntlet with a piece of code that ran like greased lighting on his box.

Some Possible Action Items

Here are some things you should do right now:

  • Test your existing site: get a smartphone, get several with different size screens, and test what you currently have out there being viewed by visitors to your site.
  • Update Project Requirements: only accept work that can be used on a smartphone screen.  It will cost more, but if your site works and your competitor’s doesn’t, well that’s just priceless.
  • Update Your Marketing Plan: Think mobile.  What items in your plan can change now as this wave begins to form, rather waiting until is past you and you are playing catchup.

Let me know if you’ve encountered feedback from your visitors about your site not working on smartphones and what you did to fix the problem.

Good Hunting.

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The Social Media Universe – the Artsy Way!


I attended a Webinar with Mark Frydenberg presenting on his latest textbook “Web 2.0 : Concepts and Applications, 1st Edition” as well as Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 findings he used in his book and is using in his classes.

The Conversation Prism

This is one of the example Mark Frydenberg used in his presentation.  I found it instantly intriguing that someone took a big picture look of the social media universe and presented it a format other then lists and top 3 charts.

The Conversation Prism

The Conversation Prism

Practical Uses

I don’t know about you but trying to explain Social Media to small and medium sized companies can sometimes become difficult.  Having a visual like this one to be used in client meeting or class room settings could be invaluable.  I know I’m already planning on using it when I teach my Web 2.0 class this summer.

If you have other examples of unique ways to show newbies what’s out there in the social media universe I would love to see them.  Leave a comment with the link to the site.

Good Hunting.

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Marketing Success – Jackie Chan Style


In “Success” magazine (Success.com February 2011) I found a great article on Jacky Chan. In this articles they list Jacky Chan’s 7 Traits for Success.  I found his thoughts fit nicely into internet marketing as well.  So I’m going to take his traits but add my own thoughts to each of his traits.

1) A willingness to crash and burn

I can’t stress enough that each internet marketer should try to fail, often, and big.  Two phrases come to mind “Go Big, or Go Home!” and “Failure is an event, not a title!”  Your embrace of risk might be the deciding factor that helps you find your niche.

2) A discipline for fitness

The key word being discipline.  Fitness is needed for everyone, but in marketing, we need focus, intentional creative disruption.  We often try many tactics for our clients.  We need to perform our duties in such a way that our measurements tell us which tactic produced the results and then build on them.

3) A disdain for wasted time

As Zig Ziglar wrote in his “See You at the Top” recording your activities and understanding what it takes to create positive results in critical.  Equally important is understanding what is not helping you create success.  Avoiding time wasters are equally important then improving skills.

4) A need for alternative opinions

It’s important we seek out and study other disciplines and build on the lessons of those.  Reading materials from other continents, or cultures.   Subscribe to blogs from other marketers on other countries.  Spend time discussing ideas on twitter or in blog comments.  It will improve your ability to communicate your positions to clients and prospects.

5) A set of high expectations

Never be afraid to say “That’s not good enough” and demand more of the outcomes of your tasks and tactics.  With internet marketing it often a series of “shoot, ready, aim” moments, but that doesn’t mean we can expect some impressive marksmanship!

6) An accurate moral compass

A marketer with no moral compass is simply a politician.  Enough said.

7) A relentless sense of humor

By all means, have some fun.  If you can’t laugh and laugh hard at your work, you will often find yourself  ‘chasing rabbits’.  I know we call it work, but push the limits, always create a version of your latest project that is an exaggeration of the client requirements.  By creating this outlier, you will find your other ideas less risky and at the same time take some risks.

So which one of these traits caught your eye?  Which of these traits are you doing well at?  Which one of these traits do you need to work on?  I’d love to get your feedback.

Enjoy!  Good Hunting!

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YOU 2.0 – The Storymaker


For the last several weeks I’ve been thinking about the concepts of influence, purpose, drive, and accomplishment.  As it turns out the topic naturally surfaced while reading books, reading blogs, posting my comments on blogs,  the podcasts that happen to be next on my iPod nano, and even the keynote speech at the ‘Opening Days’ event at the college I teach at.   I simply couldn’t escape the topic so I started documenting my thoughts and this post is the outcome.

Storymaker vs. Storyteller

“Chance favors the prepared” – Louis Pasteur

The term “Storymaker” surfaced in a Duct Tape Marketing podcast in which the authors of the book Content Rules were being interviewed.  The podcast itself was not about this topic solely but rather the concept of preemptive content creation planning and activity  out before it happens and making a story out of it.  The premise was that ‘content rules’ and the best content comes from a planned approach to the situation at hand.

Around the same time, the Manager’s Tools podcast had a topic on “assumptive goal setting” which immediately had me thinking about the Storymaker concept.  In this case they were talking about managing projects and staffs but it easily fit into the thought of managing situations you are in.  Before we begin a set of tasks, let’s say talking to  Southwest Bell on a problem, we would make certain assumptions of what we want to accomplish and how we will do it and of course how much we are willing to spend in time, energy, and resources.

As you can imagine, I listen to podcasts when I’m on the move (much to the disgust of my wife who thinks I’m being very rude!).  But at the same time I ran across the above two podcasts, I also was reading Zig Ziglar’s “See You at the Top”, and as it happens, I was in the section on Goals.  This is a great book to get if you still can find it.  I know it’s dated but well worth the search and addition to your library.  Oh, and i have to throw in a little inspirations from “Clue Train Manifesto” as well.

Here are some of the characteristics of a Storymaker:

  • Intend to Make a Story –
  • Build your Assumptions
  • “That’s Not Good Enough” is a phrase spoken often
  • Finds meaning and purpose in everything
  • Believe every next event can be a work of art

Important: You are the SAME

You are a brand.  Your brand hasn’t changed.  I don’t want anyone thinking they have to change who they are.  (I fully expect you will change something when you think ahead before doing something though.) I’m not asking you to reinvent yourself, simply understand how your role impacts others in your story.  You now have the ability to influence others more then they have in any other time in history.  Technology has opened the door to allow a common person (small brand) to interact with large company (large brand) and shape the outcome by using tools like social media.  We have moved from the time of Word of Mouth to Word of Keyboard to Word of Friend List / Followers / Subscribers / Contacts.

If you Make a Story that is sharable, compelling, and inspiring, you have a stronger likelihood of having your social network share that story then if you are simply passing along a story.  If your social network passes it on, your influence is now exponential rather then the old linear word of mouth.

It is a matter of INFLUENCE.  It is a matter of improving your influence.  Chris Brogan had a great post on “Improving Your Influence“.    It’s also good to understand that technology now has the ability to help you understand how you are doing with your reach by using simple reports.

Thought Provoking Quotes

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose” – Viktor Frankl

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“With definite goals you release your own power, and things start happening” – Zig Ziglar

“No matter what your job is, no matter where you work, there’s a way to create a project (on your own, on weekends if necessary), where the excitement is palpable, where something that might make a difference is right around the corner. Hurry, go do that.” – Godin (emphasis added)

Application

Ok, so what do we do with this?  How can you take the Storymaker concept and apply it to YOU 2.0, the brand?  Can we take everyday life and transform our navigation through it from a passive, powerless, storytelling existence to a assumptive, empowered, storymaking role?

Here are some thought:

  • Work – in the next week, month, year – plan out what story you would want to tell, not only that, but what story someone starting in your field would be motivated by and willing to embrace as an example of how they want to be seen. Analyst, Assistant, President, Janitor – makes no difference – Make A Story!
  • Sports – Plan out your story, game by game, season by season.  Create a story that someone starting in your sport would be motivated by and willing to embrace as an example of how they want to be seen in the future.
  • Society – create a story for your community.  Write a story that motivates your fellow citizen to get off the sideline and become a positive player in their world.
  • Self – Your next chapter begins today.  Decide now what you want written about your life.  Become a motivation to your next generation.  Be something that others would be willing to emulate.  Create a story that others would want to share.

I would love to know your thoughts on this post.  Let me know what stories you are now planning to create.  Become the Storymaker, leave behind the storyteller.

Good Hunting.

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6 Comments

Customer Experience Investment Opportunities (Revisited)


[Note: this is an older post but the “Ill Advised Investments” example came up in a recent meeting and brought a smile back to my face so I’m recycling the post.  I’ve also added another great quote from Godin as well]

I love the way Seth Godin’s mind works. In a resent post, “How much extra for nice?” brings up the critical point of how much we are willing to pay for better service but reminds companies that creating this environment costs a fraction of what people are willing to pay. The benefits can last longer.

I also read another great thought from Seth Godin as well:

No matter what your job is, no matter where you work, there’s a way to create a project (on your own, on weekends if necessary), where the excitement is palpable, where something that might make a difference is right around the corner.

Hurry, go do that.

Godin in “What are you working on?

Beneficial Investments

In a recent post, I identified three example of customer service excellence. How much money was budgeted to create this customer service environment? These types of examples have a lasting benefit that far outweighs the cost of implementing them. If companies can recognize this before dismissing these opportunities, the rewards have an exponential effect.

Some examples:

  • Hiring the right people
  • Having the right people perform jobs they love to do best.
  • Continuous improvement of the customer experience at all levels of the company
  • Reward excellence and avoid promoting people out of their natural strengths.

Ill Advised Investments

Although I agree with Seth’s premise, as consumers, here are some examples in which we should avoid paying extra to have someone be nice to us!

  • $100 to the Police Officer at a traffic stop – will only produce untold number of stories for your grandchildren around the campfire, sometime in the distant future.
  • $100 to $10,000 to the triage attendant at the local Emergency Room – will get you absolutely nothing at all except a lighter wallet.
  • $100 turned in with your exam – results may vary, but don’t expect them to be positive.

So do you have any beneficial or ill advised investments to share?

Good Hunting!

See also:

Great Customer Service and Peer Recognition

Customer Service Excellence Examples

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2010 in review [ROI HUNTERS BLOG]


No sooner did I post a comment about the shortcomings of WordPress.com stats then I found this in my email in-basket from the ‘stats helper monkeys’ of WordPress.com.    You can see by some of this analysis how it might be difficult to perform the following analysis:

  • Geo specific information – to help identify where geo targeted PPC advertising might be most effective.
  • Path Analysis – I want to understand if they stay for more then one page then where are they going.
  • Entry / Exit Stats – which pages are the stickiest, which exit pages do I need to work on.
  • Time Spent Stats – I love to understand what’s working and what’s not.  Outliers are the most fun!
  • Time of Day Stats – When is  my site being visited the most, this might affect my PPC spending habits.

Stats Monkey Helper Info

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 12 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 80 posts. There were 5 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 42kb.

The busiest day of the year was October 15th with 37 views. The most popular post that day was Google Groups: Team Collaboration Tool.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were ifreestores.com, bigextracash.com, en.search.wordpress.com, theappleblog.com, and bigblenderoftech.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for or current resident, current resident, great customer service examples, brand manager, and customer service excellence examples.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Google Groups: Team Collaboration Tool September 2008
3 comments

2

Customer Service Excellence Examples August 2008
10 comments

3

Or Current Resident? May 2008
2 comments

4

Marketing Warfare: The iPad Battle April 2010
19 comments

5

Motrin, Social Media, and the Brand Manager’s Bad Day November 2008

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No Top 3 Country Visitor Stats for this Blog


Sorry, with WordPress.com at this time it can’t be done.

WordPress.com Is Great

Firstly let me say that I love WordPress.com.  It is now my platform of choice for introducing web sites with web content capabilities to small companies.  Many of my clients are Mom & Pop shops, small non-profits, or small for-profits with less then 50 employees and no IT staff to speak of.  They might already have a site, but haven’t updated it in years.  They don’t have the discipline in place to update their own sites on a regular basis, let alone a web development package to update their legacy site.

WordPress.com becomes a great inexpensive proof of concept tool.  I can show the staff how a web site should be updated, by the staff, as frequently as needed.  I can remain an admin to their site so I can fix any minor problems that occur or answer any questions on capabilities or limitations.  If the client sees results that prove valuable, I can then walk them through the analysis of moving to a hosted WordPress.org site or a custom built site from scratch.  (You can guess which one usually wins.)

I like WordPress so much I’m in discussions with the college I teach at to use WordPress.com and a WordPress.org installation for a CSS and Advance CSS class I want to teach.

Marketing Shortcoming – Stats

If there is one area that vexes me while I am navigating my clients through the proof of concept is the lack of decent stats.  WordPress.com provides the basics: Page Views, Referrers, Top Posts & Pages, Search Engine Terms, Clicks.

Items I would love to see:

  • Geo specific information – to help identify where geo targeted PPC advertising might be most effective.
  • Path Analysis – I want to understand if they stay for more then one page then where are they going.
  • Entry / Exit Stats – which pages are the stickiest, which exit pages do I need to work on.
  • Time Spent Stats – I love to understand what’s working and what’s not.  Outliers are the most fun!
  • Time of Day Stats – When is  my site being visited the most, this might affect my PPC spending habits.

Possible Statistic Solutions

I’m sure WordPress staff have heard all this before but I want to add my two cents.  For anyone that uses some of the different log analyzing tools out there this is nothing new.  The following seem reasonable to me:

  • Upgrade Existing Default Package – maybe there is a add-on which could be implemented for WordPress.com that would bring it up to modern marketing times
  • Google Analytic Tool – possibly some hitch in ‘Tools’ or ‘Settings’ that allow someone to put their unique site id in a field and WordPress would fill in the blanks behind the scenes.
  • Log Export Utility – either on demand or on a timed event the site logs would be sent to the admins so they can manually run the logs against their own log analyzer (webalizer, etc.)

Even with the stats shortcoming I still would use WordPress.com as a starter web site for smaller clients.  The ease of use and the fast indexing of content by Google make it a very strong tool to begin the processing of understanding exactly what your company needs.

Good Hunting.

PS.  I’ve gone round and round on changing the title of this post to be more gracious to WordPress.com but I got the idea from the DailyPost.WordPress.com so I wanted to keep the “List three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.” question theme alive in my post by focusing on the 3 top countries that visit my blog.  Since I could not answer that question, this post was created.

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WordPress 2011 Blog Challenge


As of 2011, I’ve decided I want to blog more.  I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a week for all of 2011.  My commitment is to this blog but I also post on 8 other blogs so it will be interesting to see how this desire to discipline my time and writing will all work out.

My biggest problem has been making this a priority in 2010 to set aside the time to choose a topic and create a stream of thought that is a benefit to anyone who may stumble upon my site.  Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments (comments really do make the effort seem worthwhile) and likes, and good will along the way.

Good Hunting

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  • Reading Goal

    2020 Reading Challenge

    2020 Reading Challenge
    Tim has read 2 books toward his goal of 36 books.
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