MarkeThink: See Other Points!
November 4, 2016
I can understand. Every business wants to invest the least but reap the most benefits. But there comes a time where you NEED. TO. SPEND. THE. MONEY. Can it be done cheaper? Is there a better way? Sure there are. But wait. What’s your objective? Answer that and then find the most cost efficient and effective way to reach that destination. Always weigh the price you enjoy and the cost you will suffer. Are you spending wisely?
November 3, 2016
A good sleep can change the way you look at things. I am no scientist and you are smart enough to google it. What I know is this, get enough sleep and that huge thing that’s stressing you out suddenly isn’t as stressful anymore. Sleep melts stress. Skip that beer, turn off that TV, fling the book across the room and throw away that smart phone. Make love to your bed for 8 hours. What’s stressing you out?
November 2, 2016
Perhaps this is more for the newbies in life. Life is hard. Adversity builds character. If you don’t already know this, read it again. These are good things. If you respond to them in a positive manner, life gets easier as you develop more skills to deal and navigate the tough spots in life. Adversity develops your grit. With grit, your endurance gets better. It makes challenges easier to overcome. But no one can teach you these things. How tough are you?
November 1, 2016
October 31, 2016
October 28, 2016
October 27, 2016
It’s almost funny that clients create me-too products and expect the ads to make the difference. It’s even funnier that millions go into producing me-too products, and they expect to spend only a few hundred thousand in advertising to make a difference in sales. Perhaps you got it wrong?
October 26, 2016
There is a difference between knowing something by its name and understanding it. I didn’t say this, Richard Feynman did. This happens a lot in the marketing communications industry. Just watch up for the person who peppers his conversation with marketing sound bites. These are also the very people that drive up frustrations because they hide behind terms they themselves do not understand. The perfect example of it is the client who says, “This is not what I want” but can’t go on to explain and give examples of what he wants. It demonstrates a lack of understanding in the […]
October 25, 2016
October 24, 2016
It’s OK to say you “don’t know”. You need not have an opinion on everything. Building your opinion on a cursory reading of materials and a rudimentary understanding of the topic will confuse you more. It’s better to say “I don’t know.” Then invest time and effort into the topic. Study in-depth on the subject. Then form your own opinion. Before that, be ready to change your mind as new information presents itself. Are you ready to change your mind?
October 21, 2016
You want to be better than your peers? The secret is in the DO. If you take action on your plans? You are already better than a majority of people. No matter how simple some things are, people are often afraid, lazy, question too much, think too much, and procrastinate. That’s how they fall off. That’s where you come in. Action sprints ahead. It’s that simple, but not easy. Are you one of them?
October 20, 2016
October 19, 2016
Your brand is one piece. That means, it is connected to every component of your company. You can’t think about branding in isolation. You need to think about your operations, your distribution, your customer service, your financials. It is like your body. It is one piece. You cannot just think about your face. You need good a diet, rest, exercise to look good. You can’t look very good when you have diarrhea. Yeah, it’s a stupid example, but you get the idea. Are you missing the bigger picture?
October 18, 2016
October 17, 2016
Tough questions make you better IF you take up the challenge to answer the question earnestly. Think about all the tough questions you have answered in your life so far. From when you were in school to when you joined the society as a worker ant. The more tough questions you tackle, the better you get at solving them. Some questions will remain hard to answer, but you will be less afraid of answering them. I think the rewards from getting good at answering tough questions are worth it. Why are you afraid?
October 14, 2016
October 13, 2016
Your user’s experience must reflect the story that you tell. If you say you are a 5-star hotel, then deliver on the 5-star service. If you say you deliver 10mb of bandwidth, then deliver an experience that reflects that 10mb. There is no point in arguing with the user. The user experience is a rating that happens on a daily basis. And you better make sure you meet those expectations. Because perception shapes reality. One might even argue, perception is reality. How good is your service?
October 12, 2016
“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand, and walk, and run, and climb and dance. One cannot fly into flying,” said Nietzsche. Patience is a necessity for most skills. Patience itself is a skill. You can learn it. Some people become very good at it, others not so. But it can be learned. Do you have the patience?
October 11, 2016
October 10, 2016
October 7, 2016
Once, a brand owner approached an advertising wizard (no, it’s not me; this one lives in the mountains) and asked how fast the wizard could make his brand well-known. The wizard thought for a while and murmured, “Ten years.” The brand owner then said he was willing to work twice as hard and invest twice the money. “How long would that take?” he asked. The wizard said, “Twenty years.” It’s a joke, of course. One I paraphrased from a scenario about a kung-fu master and a student. But you get the idea. Often times, you worry about the things too […]
October 6, 2016
Consistency – in your words, your thoughts and your actions and the quality of your work. Commitment – doing what you say you will do and when you can’t always give an alternative solution. I am sure there are a lot more. For now, work on these two. Why are your clients frustrated?
October 5, 2016
You should find out so you don’t screw up. A collection of feedback from your customers and clients will give you a pretty good idea of what your unique advantage is. One you may never have figured out but has always been there. How valuable are you to them?
October 4, 2016
Learn to be good at your work; aim to be the most competent. Someone your boss relies on to complete the task; an indispensable member of the team. Be all these before you decide whether you love your job or not. Your relationship with your work is a lot like building any relationship. You need time to forge that relationship before you know if it will develop into love. First learn to be good at it. Then decide if you love it. Are you even competent?
September 30, 2016
There is no stability at work. Don’t hope for that peaceful week. It never happens. Your job will always be to solve crises – big and small. In any given week, month or year, if you have more stable time than rocky time, consider yourself successful. The trick is to aim to have more stable time than rocky time. The aim is to beat your own record from the previous week, month and year. Hopefully, in a year you can attain more stable time than rocky time. If you do, consider yourself successful. What’s part of the package?
September 29, 2016
There are no shortcuts. Yeah, I am an idiot. I know. The shortest cut is the long cut – the hard way. All the time you spent trying to find the easy way is better spent on carving a path through the long cut. Learn to navigate your way through it. In the process, creating your own sense of direction and developing your own set of skills to navigate the industry you chose. In the end, you will have a very saleable set of skills. How about taking the long way?
September 28, 2016
If you want to know the successful entrepreneur’s secret, ask for what is not written. The things he laments to his wife/girlfriend/best friend, the thoughts that keep him awake, words he speaks in his prayers, the tears he secretly sheds in the shower – the thoughts and actions that triggers those tears, what makes his heart drop to his gut, the tempers that he throws and why, when he almost lost it and said this is it. Those unsexy things, those are the things that will teach you valuable lessons. And perhaps get you prepared for your own success. What […]
September 27, 2016
Everything seems to be casual nowadays. Every other person wants to dress casually for work. First impression matters. I am sure you have heard, you only have one chance at making a good first impression. Dress for your role. You work attire should fulfill the worldview of the people dealing with you for the first time. Yes, your skills should speak for themselves but before your skills can, you attire is doing a lot of the talking. What are you wearing today?
September 26, 2016
Most mini-crises that your company has to navigate can be overcome with standard operating procedures. One that is very detailed. Then you need those involved to have a checklist. They should internalize this. They should also have the desire, discipline, and determination to follow it in a bid to avoid these mini-crises. Do you have checklists?
September 23, 2016
September 22, 2016
September 21, 2016
Prepare for it the night before. Make a list of things and clear all emails (yeah some will come in the night, but you will end up with lesser emails the next morning.) Start early. Hit your list. It’s not rocket science. But you do need discipline. What do you do the night before?
September 20, 2016
September 19, 2016
September 15, 2016
If you delivered value and were sincere in your dealings, you will be rewarded in the end. One way or another. My friend Derek Sivers got dissed by Steve Jobs but because he had always delivered value and had his customers’ interests at heart, eventually he succeeded. Deliver value and be sincere is the lesson I learned from that story. Do you have their interests at heart?
September 14, 2016
September 13, 2016
People who are hungry work differently. They do more, work harder, press like their life depends on it. Actually, when you are hungry your life depends on what you do and how well you do it. If you aren’t as successful as you feel you should be, ask yourself if you are hungry. Are you satiated?
September 9, 2016
Every now and then you should give yourself some challenge. Then train for that challenge, if that’s what is needed. Obviously for some you don’t need training. For example, read 24 books in 6 months. You will, however, needtraining if you were to run a marathon for the first time. Best way to get you out of the comfort zone. You can, of course, do this for your marketing plan as well. How about a blitz on your weakest competitor to grab their market share? Perhaps, that’s a jolt your team needs. Is it warm in there?
September 8, 2016
Sadly, there are marketers that plan all year. That’s the truth. They execute perhaps 3 tiny campaigns, if you can even call them that – in a year. The rest of the plans are just never good enough, never too sure. These people are better off executing all the plans they have written, making some mistakes, collecting the learnings and making new plans for the next year. Sometimes executing the marketing plan for the year is like turning up for work every morning. You just turn up. You don’t think too much. Is thinking hurting you?
September 7, 2016
Take note of the signs and keep adjusting. No, that doesn’t mean reading your horoscope daily. It means to look out for the patterns in a bad day. At least some can be traced back to you. You can make those adjustments. Those adjustments made frequent enough will minimize the frequency of bad days. Really. How many good days do you have?
September 6, 2016
Be intentional about each and every one of your marketing activities. What is it supposed to achieve as a primary objective and perhaps a secondary objective. Then evaluate based on that. All else is a bonus. If you got your primary objective, it is a success. Even if you didn’t achieve the rest, it is not a disaster. Create another plan that can achieve the objectives you did not get to. How do you get more?
September 5, 2016
September 2, 2016
September 1, 2016
Hard work in the office is discomfort, not pain. Work stress is discomfort, not pain. Learn to deal with it. Grow up. Don’t give up. Stop ranting, stop quitting. Stop being a softie. Work stress is not real stress when compared to other stress you will be exposed to in life. A loved one being diagnosed with cancer is real stress. Your mortgage payment is late is real stress. Medical, education and food bills to pay and holding two jobs to afford to pay those bills is real stress. Learn to grind. Toughen up before life gives you real lessons. […]
August 30, 2016
The TV is dead. Blogs are dead. Long articles are dead. Email marketing is dead. Everything is dead to the uninformed. Everything is dead to the ignorant. Everything is dead to the closed-minded. Everything has a role. Each role can help attain a certain objective. Have you even tried?
August 29, 2016
Most people think once you are a grown up and join the workforce, you can make your own choices. Part of those choices includes not doing the things you don’t like. Working life is stress and anxiety laden – loads of it, on a daily basis. Being a grown-up is a skill no one told you about. Yes, it is a skill and you have to learn it. Learn to be a grown up. Being a grown up means learning to do things you don’t like. That’s why you grudgingly file the tax return, tolerate the dinners with in-laws and […]
August 26, 2016
August 25, 2016
August 24, 2016
August 23, 2016
August 22, 2016
August 19, 2016
August 18, 2016
When you are impatient, angry, frustrated, disappointed. Take a deep breath, go for a walk, distract yourself, and think about the repercussions. You know this already. Just a friendly reminder. There is no need to make that phone call, respond to the Whatsapp group, that FB post, show that middle finger to the driver in front, reply that email. It’s not worth your time. Choose your battles. Your energy is finite. Is it really that important?
August 17, 2016
A prospect from a huge conglomerate called recently. They asked if we were willing to pitch for a project even though they knew we do not pitch. After a few phone calls and explanations, they understood why we took the stance. We gave them an alternative and asked for them to try it. 20 minutes of credentials, 30-40 minutes of discussion (get-to-know-you and how the agency and client can work together in the project, perspectives from both sides). One hour tops. They were great listeners. They took the suggestion. Today we counted at least 4 agencies there. Showing what they […]
August 16, 2016
People carry their credentials with them everywhere they go. Sometimes out of necessity for example when trying to establish credibility. Other times, it is not very necessary, it’s just plain old ego trying to manifest itself. So long as you still carry those credentials and are hard at work at it, then fine. Use it. But be very careful about using them if you aren’t ‘at it’ anymore. For example, you cannot tell your friends at a party that you are a martial artist just because you earned a black belt in ‘whatever-do’ 20 years ago and have not since […]
August 15, 2016
August 12, 2016
To work smart you first need to work hard. Gems of wisdom and short cuts only appear for people who have been hard at work in their art. But I am a struggling entrepreneur. Don’t listen to me. Got to go, have to work harder to put bread on the table. How hard do you work?
August 11, 2016
August 10, 2016
August 9, 2016
August 8, 2016
It’s easy to opt out when the going gets tough. When you seem to have lost thepassion and can’t find your purpose. It does not look like there is a way out. Even when it is tough, turn up. Sometimes, just turning up is the solution. When you turn up enough, you will realize your passion and purpose again. Is quitting going to help?
August 5, 2016
August 4, 2016
August 3, 2016
August 2, 2016
Today you should stop and ask yourself if you are one of those people who ask for opinions to validate answers you already have. Ask if you are the person who stands ready to change your decision when you hear something that gives you a different perspective. Expert opinions have great value. But only if you know how to value it. Why did you ask?
August 1, 2016
It’s OK to dream a little. Get excited and sometimes just never execute them. What is not OK is to make dreaming such a habit that you never execute. Sometimes dreaming is just one of the many ways you begin to curate the many dreams you have. Give up on some so you know which to pursue. Start by writing them down. Shortlist them. Choose the one that you keep having recurring dreams on. What refuses to go away?
July 29, 2016
Gurus can change their views too. Because a guru can be exposed to different things in their life that forces them to become wiser or to re-evaluate their earlier point of views. Gurus need to improve too. And that improvement may mean having to apologize for less than perfect views earlier. Give people room to grow. Gurus included. When did the guru say it?
July 28, 2016
July 27, 2016
Learn to feel happy for people who achieved their goals, even if that person is your enemy. When you respect the work that went into getting that hot star she aimed for, your goals becomes easier and faster to reach. Don’t put your efforts on the pedestal and flush others’ down the toilet. Respect hard work with wholeheartedness, regardless of the person or the field. That’s your missing ingredient. Can you be happy for others?
July 26, 2016
July 25, 2016
Some agencies (or consultancies) are run on the restaurant business model. You know where you are the patron and the agency is the restaurant. You see the servicing guy or gal as the waiter. They literally wait on you and serve you what you want. Nothing wrong with that, if that is what you need and that is how they run their business. Some other consultancies are run on a medicine business model. You know where you are the patient and the consultancy is the specialist doctor attending to you. Sure, you can dictate the way you want to be […]
July 22, 2016
Wealth not shared is wasted. Knowledge not shared is wasted. Wisdom not shared is wasted. Time not shared is wasted. But once these are shared with you, you must in turn share them. You must learn to cherish them and use them. Otherwise, it is wasted on you. What do you give?
July 21, 2016
July 20, 2016
Discipline and commitment are very hurtful words. Especially when you don’t have them. They force you to look at yourself. They usher you to confront your laziness. Because, “I have no time” is an excuse that commitment and discipline do not accept. These two words only understand “make time”. You are where you are now and unhappy with your lack of progress because you won’t dare to stare commitment and discipline in its eyes. Are you just plain lazy?
July 19, 2016
Read, write and think. Just because you have left school doesn’t mean you discard these. Be a self respecting professional. Read up all the required reading in your line of work. Yeah, like required reading your professors lists for you. Even if you did not attend college (or uni), you should know the required reading list for your industry. Being a good reader makes you a good writer. The more you read, the better you write. The better you write, the better you think too. Having good oratorical skills does not mask your lack of intellect, the shallowness of your […]
July 18, 2016
Because over the years, an expert would have developed a way to look at the important factors and disregard the non-influential ones. An expert may come off as presumptuous when arriving at a decision quickly. It is precisely because of the expertise developed over the years that the expert can isolate the important factors quickly. To you, it may be a fast 10 minutes decision (and a fast 10 minutes decision cannot be good, can it?) But the expert took more than 10 years to develop that skill she used in the 10 minutes. Do you know what is important?
July 15, 2016
Routines are good. It helps takes thinking out of every mundane situation. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are routine. It’s written down so that the whole unit need not spend an astronomical amount of time thinking and deciding on a routine scenario. To cut time and speed efficiency, learn to have routines and standards. Not everything needs to be customized and personalized. This isn’t an excuse to be lazy. This is thinking ahead, so time spent thinking can be spent more on stuff that needs thinking. One way to do this is to set a timeline. When the deadline hits, decide […]
July 14, 2016
Well, by doing what you have to do, to do what you have to do. Most people know what is necessary for them to do to be better. But most choose the easy way. Develop some mental grit and toughness, that’s the first step. Once you have the mental fortitude to face the challenge, taking an actionable step is easier. What are you made of?
July 13, 2016
July 12, 2016
Most people plan out their goals. But not many plan out what they need in order to achieve those goals. Ideally you would have all the skills and knowledge to achieve those goals. But let’s be frank here, you aren’t likely to have all of it. Sure, you can employ people, ask for advice and such. But it helps a great deal when you have some form of knowledge. Have learning goals. What do you need in terms of skills and knowledge to achieve your goals? What do you need to learn? Then take a course, read a book or […]
July 11, 2016
The adage that “There are no stupid questions” is not true. The smarter ones know this adage is to encourage questions. The stupid ones take this as a license to be lazy. Get some base knowledge for the things you will be involved in. Whether it is visiting a tourist site or getting into a meeting or taking a new course. Then ask questions to clarify and further that base knowledge.
July 5, 2016
Here’s how you should look at your bad days. Especially if you like being a hero. Bad days are tests. All heroes – factual and fictitious ones – go through their journeys of bad days. They overcome their quota (mileage varies on this one for different heroes) of bad days or string of bad days and they become even more badass heroes to us. Bad days (or weeks or months or years) are battle scars. They are bragging rights. They are hero badges. Be glad you are blessed with bad days. How many badges do you have?
July 4, 2016
July 1, 2016
Bigger, faster, stronger – these have become default measurements in your mind. You have made it a habit to measure things according to these. But bigger, faster, stronger may not be better for you. Decide early on what is better for you. Then measure based on that. What would be great?
June 30, 2016
Start complimenting each time you get good service, when people go out of the way to help you, when people did more and did better. Compliment these people and better yet, let their bosses know. This to me is better than complaining about bad service. What good does your complaint do?
June 29, 2016
June 28, 2016
June 27, 2016
Data is fickle. You can manage data a certain way to support the ideas you want to sell in a presentation anyway you like it. You can build a religion around data you want to believe. Let experience drive your decision. But if you have less than 10 years of experience? Data is your friend. And oh, that old lady in the meeting with the experience? She is your best friend. What evidence do you seek?
June 24, 2016
June 23, 2016
Most people want to have opinions. Some love to give their opinions whether solicited or otherwise. But only the rare few want to do the hard work of havinggood respectable opinions. It’s much easier to hide behind, “Oh it’s my right to have an opinion” than to do the hard work – reading, researching and sometimes reviewing your own stubborn views. Murder your own views when necessary with the intellectual humility of a drug discovery scientist when new evidence shows that your opinion is downright deplorable. The path to respected opinion is a hard one. Take it anyway. Do people […]
June 21, 2016
You learn from a structure so you can liberate yourself from a structure. That’s why you are repeatedly being told to learn the principles. Principles are taught in a structure to make learning easier. Once you have learned the principles, you don’t need the structure. You follow and apply the principles. Can you tell the difference?
June 20, 2016
June 17, 2016
June 16, 2016
June 15, 2016
There are many things that are difficult to put in writing as part of the business deal. Of course, you should always strive to include every scope of work possible. But when it is not possible, when the dynamics of business necessitates that there is a little room for negotiation, a bit of give and take, and ad hoc requests – what do you do? Well, what you do is build what Charlie Munger calls a “seamless web ofdeserved trust.” When there is mutual trust, there will be minimal reliance on the process and the papers and the sub-points. That […]
June 14, 2016
“I’m not entitled to have an opinion on this subject unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people who are supporting it. I think that only when I reach that stage am I qualified to speak.” – Charlie Munger Are you a subject matter expert?
June 13, 2016
June 10, 2016
Don’t ignore the obvious. Just because you feel your challenge is complicated, doesn’t mean the answer needs to be complicated. As if complicated answers are the only real answers. No one knows you? Deploy a medium that gives you the most reach. Want to engage? Execute something that will get them to react hand, foot and mouth. Shiny words and claptrap won’t solve your problems. Why are you deaf?
June 9, 2016
Making it better doesn’t mean implementing your suggestion. It’s simple to understand but difficult to implement because you will always feel whatever that came from you is better. Some quick and dirty questions to keep your ego in check: Does it help meet the objective better than the other options offered? Do I have expertise in this area? Will my suggestion simplify or complicate? Just because you are adding more suggestions doesn’t make something better. Sometimes, shutting up is a better option. What’s your agenda?