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If you work on projects, much of the work is professional and useful to the intended audience, but occasionally, you look at your finished work and say “yes!”. It hits the mark and connects to the audience in an unusual and satisfying way.

EXAMPLE - Here’s a procedure I use that gives “yes!” a better chance. I write a monthly series of articles series for a local on-line resource, which profiles people in theater and the arts. The latest one hit over 275 likes on the subject’s Facebook page in the first days after publication.

  • Prepare as a team exercise – Plan ahead. Give the interviewee “homework” by providing him/her with detailed questions that will spur reader interest.
  • Sit down interview – Review the “homework” and collect other background.
  • Collect related photos/videos – Visuals always enhance the article.

It's a fact: people don't mind scrolling to read an email, as long as it's relevant and interesting. Make sure your message follows through on the promise in your subject line, and use several short paragraphs if you have a lot to say. When in doubt, challenge yourself to write less and add links that support your topic.

Worth Another Look:

In the words of Dorothy, “Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore.”

Neither are we. The pandemic took care of that. So, let us look ahead. In terms of marketing, where do we go from here? I would be very rich if I knew the exact answer to that one. But I can offer some simple advice, based on doing this for many years.

Follow your own yellow brick road…in other words, follow the trends that have risen to the top since we started the Covid-19 journey, and use this learning to help you plan your strategy for 2021.

I am not sure why this happens, but Labor Day has this effect on us.

On September 6th, we take the time to pause, relax, reflect on the idea of the “workingman’s holiday” which dates to the late 1800’s, and then we turn on the fall mindset – summer is behind us, time to get serious about what to do with business plans.

But first, a brief pause, and a prayer of thanks for the day of reflection – to thank God for blessings received, for the motivation and fire within to keep making contributions to this world we live in. May we all be motivated and determined to do what we are meant to do, to make the world a better place.

I appeared on stage as The Wizard of Oz, seven years ago, so I apologize for the shameless connection to this month’s Marketing Morsel. But the truth is things will never be the same, since the pandemic entered our lives. “Kansas” as we know it may “disappear”, but in reality, we will never conduct our lives the way we look at marketing again.

So, what do we do about it? We scramble for answers.

Renowned research company McKinsey and Company took a hard look at how Covid-19 is changing how we consumers behave in all spheres of life. And it behooves us to pay attention.

We are nesting at home more than ever, so what home comforts do we pay attention to as marketers? Shopping has been redefined as a surging on-line activity. What do we do about that? Not a day goes by that I do not figure out some household need that drives me to Amazon to click and forget, and wait for the post office to do the footwork for me. This takes a toll on local retail, so what do you, the retailer do about it? No answers here, for now just questions.

HAPPY SUMMER. TIME TO TACKLE A TOPIC THAT IS NOT TOO SERIOUS.   

I first wanted to ask, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” but could not build on that as a Marketing Morsel. So, I chose this one instead - “Is marketing an art or a science?” I guess the answer depends on which side of your brain dominates your thinking.

So let us prepare for the debate. In this corner stands the CEO. He or she is the science person. “All decisions must be based on solid data.” Left brain rules here. They conclude that the purpose of marketing is to influence the behaviors of other people. So, we rely on data about human psychology and how people react to stimuli determined by facts and figures. Data, they conclude, drives marketing decisions that are strategically more effective. Since the CEO is “the buck stops here” person, it is a good idea to listen to what is being said.

This month the dictionary is our guide to success in business. I have chosen to share some key words that keep me focused on each task I tackle and motivate me to perform better today than I did yesterday. No two of us are alike, and I assume each of us lives by our own words of inspiration. Here are a few of mine. Perhaps you will share yours with our Morsel readers as well. Send them and I will create a “collection post” on my website. Let us start with:

PERSISTENCE.

I learned a lot from having McDonald’s as a client for over 25 years. Here is an example - Founder Ray Kroc once said “Press on. Nothing in the world takes the place of persistence.”

PASSION.

Love what you do, and it will show up in the work you produce. It is always better when attacked with passion.

My wife Pat and I celebrated 60 years of marriage on April 15th. This has inspired this month’s Morsel message. It is not the normal “here’s a tip for you”, but a reflection of what dealing with the cards you are dealt mean in terms of some basic core values – loyalty, commitment, reliability, and respect. These standards apply in both life and business and keep the balance of life in proper perspective.

Loyalty and Commitment – When you sign on with a life partner, you commit fully to the “better or worse” vow and stick with it. Pat struggles with dementia now, and I must stay loyal and committed to keep us together as a couple. I have added another dimension to my life – the role of caregiver. Like everything else you want done right, it requires study and learning to do the job as best you can. This cannot be done in isolation. God has blessed me with a support team that allows me to keep the balance in my personal and business life. Special thanks to Pat’s cousin, Pat Cox, who is there for us when a “pinch-hitter” is needed when I must leave for necessary business appointments. LIFE

Let us celebrate the season by discussing the task of springing into action when you are giving the responsibility of managing a project.

So where do you begin? Answer: At the end (the goal line).

Determine a realistic date when the project must be delivered, then work backwards, and fill in all the appropriate dates. You also need to delegate responsibilities. Most projects are a TEAM EFFORT, and everyone involved needs a clear understanding of their individual responsibilities as well as a commitment to stick to the dates established.

As a project manager, you must establish a budget, set goals and objectives, get agreements up front, and then execute a plan of work with a strict timetable. Frequent and clear communication is your responsibility every step of the way.

It is March. I am Irish. So, I get to talk about something I really enjoy focusing on – The Tag Line. No business worth its salt should be without one.

The tag line is short sentence or phrase that captures the reader’s (or listener or viewer’s) attention, and it is immediately clear what your company means to the audience it seeks love from. You don’t have a tagline? Now’s the time, as Nike would say, to Just do it. This great line has nothing to do with shoes, and everything to do with why they connect with their audience.

Go ahead. Start with some brainstorm questions – How do you help people? Who are they? Why are you different from your competition?

Keep it short and simple. If you go over 8 words, trash It, and start over. Like a good neighbor State Farm is there, just made it under the gun.

I was proud to work on Mayor Capello’s marketing and vision committee a few years ago and develop the line Lebanon the Place to Grow (i.e., grow your family, your business, your education, etc.). It is still in use.

SkyLimit Marketing

SkyLimit Marketing
19 Springhouse Drive
Myerstown, PA 17067

Tel:  (717) 269-0288
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