Category Archives: Communication
Its the close of another year 2013. And looking back, I can definitely say that Marketing is increasingly becoming a very important function across the globe – Be it books, schools, services, organizations, individuals, social media, e-commerce, consumer goods, etc etc etc – You name it , and there are ample examples of how marketing made all the DIFFERENCE! And organizations are cognizant of it! And with that, the role of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) is increasingly becoming more important and powerful!
But then there’s the other side of the coin. The one in which as a marketing professional – I can’t help but rant about the constant pressures, advice and suggestions on cutting marketing costs year-on-year!
Don’t get me wrong! Let me make my point with a few examples of situations which most marketing professionals typically face:
Scenario 1 – Its start of the year. The time when everyone in an organization does a grand budgeting exercise. And most marketing teams work on their plans and budgets for the year. In most instances, only a partial marketing budget approval in received ; And that too 1 – 2 months into the year (So precious time is lost!). After all, time is money; and since most marketing teams are lean – This “lost time” significantly adds up to “loss of productive and tangible output”
And then when any marketing expense is to be accounted, it needs “management approval” – which involves putting up a business case, and providing explanation of Why? – What? – How?. And then comes the “approval” / “questions” / “rejection” – Again, usually delayed (So precious time lost again). All the precious time lost in waiting for approvals is completely unaccounted!
Scenario 2 – Everyone wants to go Social. Everyone wants to have a grand social media presence. Everyone wants to drive customer engagement on Social media. And they expect the current marketing teams (In most cases – who have limited / no knowledge on Social Media) to make Social a success, with limited / no additional budgets at all. Does the math add up? Of course, NOT!
Social Media is a different “Beauty and Beast” – As you want to call it! And the beauty needs to be enhanced, and the beast needs to be tamed. And that’s not the core skill of every marketer – especially if what you do on Social is “real-time” and has “global reach and impact”. So the best way to do Social is to hire consultants to guide you on how to do it OR hire experts to do it for you OR Go slow on the Social strategy. Expecting current marketing teams who don’t understand Social to define a “brilliant Social Media strategy” for your organization may not in your organization’s best interests! And then, investing in the right Social Media tools also come at a price.
Whatever you pick – It comes with good & bad – Be cognizant of this!
So coming back to why I started this post - The point is increasingly a significant majority of individuals and enterprises want to “cut down” on “marketing costs“. Some of the most common explanation is – “Go online“, “Go social“, “Go lean“
yes Sir, yes Madam -
We can look at cutting costs,
We can go online,
We can go social,
We can go lean,
But they will still cost us – in terms of minds and time (people) and tools and technology (hardware and software)
And they will come at a price – in terms of gains and losses – of customers and brand-value
Are you willing to pick up the costs?
Are you willing to pay the price?
And yeah! Till then Do you want to consider calling your CMO – Cheap Marketing Officer instead?
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” BY Milan Kundera
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” BY Peter F. Drucker
“It is all about marketing; that is where the real craft comes in. The best actors do not necessarily become the biggest stars. And vice versa.” BY Dirk Benedict
“If you have more money than brains you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.” BY Guy Kawasaki
“Marketing takes a day to learn. Unfortunately it takes a lifetime to master.” BY Phil Kolter
“Give people what they want and they will like you for now. Give people what they need and they will value you forever.” BY Simon Sinek
“The sole purpose of marketing is to sell more to more people, more often and at higher prices. There is no other reason to do it.” BY S Zyman
“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” BY David Ogilvy
Whats your favorite quote on Marketing? Leave a comment to let me know
“Passion is the genesis of genius.” BY Tony Robbins
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” BY Oprah Winfrey
“Passion will move men beyond themselves, beyond their shortcomings, beyond their failures.” BY Joseph Campbell
“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.” BY Federico Fellini
So what is PASSION?
According, to the Wikipedia, passion is derived from the Ancient Greek verb πάσχω (paskho) meaning to suffer. Passion is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. The term is also often applied to a lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity or love – to a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject.
yes, I have to agree that passion is an important ingredient in the journey of life.. And one can be passionate about anything – People (Family, Friends, etc), Hobbies (Art, Writing, reading, Cooking, Food, Dreaming, etc.), Specific causes (Empowerment of women, Wealth Creation, Primary Education, Affordable healthcare for general masses, Quality of eduction, etc.), Creating and building enterprises…
So is PASSION important in Leadership?
The BEST and most SUCCESSFUL leaders are I know are fired by passion – By day and night! In thought, word and action
Leaders exhibit passion…
Passion to solve a problem
Passion to serve a customer need
Passion to lead
Passion to learn and un-learn
Passion to create value
Passion to generate wealth
Passion to make a difference
Passion to build world class enterprises
Passion to nurture and groom next generation leaders
Passion to leave a legacy
PASSION and LEADERSHIP go Hand-in-Hand
I can’t help but end with one of my favorite dialogues from one of my all-time favorite movie “The Legally Blonde” – The graduation speech given by Elle Woods. And I will sign off leaving you with the excerpt of this.
“On our very first day at Harvard, a very wise Professor quoted Aristotle “The law is reason free from passion”. Well, no offense to Aristotle, but in my three years at Harvard I have come to find that passion is a key ingredient to the study and practice of law, and of life. It is with passion, courage of conviction, and strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world, remembering that first impressions are not always correct, you must always have faith in people. And most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”
“Decision Making” Skills are important for any leader; and sometimes this can be the one and only thing that truly DIFFERENTIATES you from others, and DETERMINES your level of success..
For any leader, the following aspects of decision making are key:
(1) Speed at which you can make decision (under normal circumstances)
(2) Speed at which you can make decision (when in the HOT SEAT)
(3) What do you rely on for decision making (data & analysis or intuition or a combination of both)
(4) How you communicate your decisions with those who need to know?
In an attempt to understand what others had to say, I did some research. And found some great quotes which I am sharing on this blog.. Some of them are really food for thought from the wise!
“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.
The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.
If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.”
― Deepak Chopra,
Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”
― Peter F. Drucker
“The greatest accomplishment began as a decision once made and often a difficult one.”
― Michael Rawls
“You will rarely make wise decisions if you surround yourself with fools”
― Rasheed Ogunlaru
“Many people fail in their career, business and relationship, and others get stuck because of their inability to make quality decisions.”
― Nkem Mpamah
“Accepting trial and error means accepting error. It means taking problems in our stride when a decision doesn’t work out, whether through luck or misjudgment. And that is not something human brains seem to be able to do without a struggle.”
― Tim Harford
“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ‘ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome’. You must be willing to fire.”
- T. Boone Pickens
“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.” – - Dr. Robert Jarvik
“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.”
- Jim Rohn
“It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.”
- Antony Robbins
“More than anything else, I believe it’s our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny.”
- Antony Robbins
“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader.”
- General George S. Patton
You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.”
― Michelle Obama
Over the recent past, I have been surprised to find a great deal of marketing material in public toilets (in malls, at the movies, etc.) – Initially, I was surprised to even find posters, banners, even audio clips, etc. in public toilets. From soaps to laptops to clothes to footwear to exciting deals – They were all there! Initially I was surprised. But as I observed more consciously over the past few weeks, I recognized that it was intentional, and also probably a BRILLIANT MARKETING STRATEGY!
Here’s why? – The Number 1 Challenge of MOST MARKETERS today is to get “CUSTOMER ATTENTION” to what you have to say… Simply because (1) Everyone has so little time; and (2) There are just so many options for any customer.. – So how do you get “customer attention” to what you want to say.
As I think logically, I guess a public toilet is a great place to get “CUSTOMER ATTENTION” /”AWARENESS” / “INTEREST” to what you have to say. Here’s WHY?
(1) People have time, and their “eyes” (& “ears”) open : A public toilet is one place where many people are usually found waiting, i.e., they generally have time (& no specific agenda or nothing specific to do apart from wait for your turn). And in most instances, you probably don’t really like to indulge in small talk with others. So you find many people idly looking at the walls, mirrors, ceiling, etc.
Now as a MARKETER, if you recognize this window of opportunity (say 30 seconds to 3 minutes) to get customer attention on your product / service, you can use this time effectively
(2) Mobiles are a NO-NO : The other real challenge for most marketers is to get people to look / hear to what they have to say; and mobiles can be the real “villain” in getting customer’s time and attention. (I mean I know of people who call their mobiles their only LOVE in LIFE!).
Here’s the good news for marketers – The “villain” is usually not in the picture in a public toilet. Most people (at least from what I know) usually don’t like to use their mobile phones in the toilets (Again, I personally know of exceptions here, But then there are exceptions to everything in life)
So as a MARKETER, if you recognize this window of opportunity when your target customer is without his / her mobile, you can use this time to create awareness on your product / service
(3) People are usually relaxed : The other challenge for most marketers is to connect with the customer when he / she is probably relaxed / open or in a neutral state of mind (People will more likely to listen or see any marketing material when they are relaxed / less stressed). Most people are usually relaxed after they use a public toilet, and hence are in general in a reasonably “open” state of mind to listen / see what’s around them.
So again as a MARKETER, if you recognize this window of opportunity when your target customer is relaxed, you can leverage this time to generate interest in your product / service
These are the positives; and there are some negatives too
But then it is an opportunity to “connect” with your customer…
So, what’s your view on MARKETING in Public Toilets
Leave a comment to let me know
Looking back at my life for the past few years, the one thing that has made a REAL DIFFERENCE is CLARITY on my PRIORITIES.
I don’t think I was so clear about my priorities till a series of events (which included loss of a loved one, becoming a mother and a couple of other “life-changing and thought-provoking” events) compelled me to introspect and reflect on my own life.
As I go down memory lane and look at my own life; and also see people around me, I note the following:
(1) A vast majority of individuals DO NOT have clarity on their priorities in life – Be it as a part of their personal life or professional life. So if you ask yourself or someone to list the Top 3 Priorities for the day / week / month / life / home / work, majority will struggle to respond. And those that do will not be so sure about their answer.
(2) Those individuals who do have clarity on their priorities in life don’t translate these priorities into everyday action. For e.g: In my priority list, health and fitness was a TOP Priority. However, if I looked at my everyday routine, I had not really factored any time for any physical exercise. So, there was a fundamental gap between Thought and Action.
(3) A vast majority of individuals have too many items on their list marked as TOP Priority. And hence over a period of time (say monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.) – They are not able to show or see or demonstrate any visible / tangible difference in progress. And hence wonder what went wrong and where?
The other important aspects about PERSONAL PRIORITIES are:
- Your priorities are personal to you – No one can decide them but YOU!
- Your priorities WILL change as you journey through life – Be aware of these changing priorities and model your life accordingly!
How can CLARITY on your PRIORITIES help YOU?
Having clarity on your priorities can help you in umpteen numbers of ways. From my personal experience, the most important one’s are:
(1) Focus: If you are clear on your priorities, it enables you to focus better on what you’re doing. Simply because you know what’s TOP on your priority list and what’s not can be truly empowering; and can aid you to focus on the task at hand.
(2) Decision Making: Decision Making becomes a lot simple and easy if you have clarity on your priorities. You know whom to say Yes / No to and Why?, You know what can / can’t wait and Why?, You know
(3) Letting-Go: Many times we hold on to things simply because that’s how it’s always been or because we don’t know any other way or because we don’t know what else to hold on to. But the minute you have crystal clear clarity on your priorities – You will recognize what you really need to hold on to, and letting-go becomes a lot easier – in the emotional and intellectual sense.
(4) Expectation Management: Many of us live our lives living up-to “expectations” of others. Nothing wrong with that, but maybe it is also good to live of our lives up to our own “expectations”. And your expectations of yourself become a lot clearer if they are driven by your priorities of life!
(5) Saying NO: NO are two simple letters, but form an extremely powerful word. NO can make our life so simple if we just use them more often. And yet the fact is that most of us complicate our lives way too much simply because we find it so hard to say NO. And why are we conservative in the usage of NO? – Because we are not used to saying it or we worry too much about the implications of saying NO.
But when you have clarity on your priorities, it is a lot easier to say NO. Simply because you know that what’s being asked of you does not figure in your priority list, so it’s better to refuse! This one benefit is probably the most liberating!
The fact is all the above are critical for anyone playing a LEADERSHIP ROLE. And hence being clear on your PRIORITIES is of paramount importance for any LEADER
Call for ACTION Now
(1) Write down (on pen & paper preferably) your TOP 3 priorities for your Personal Life
(2) Write down (on pen & paper preferably) your TOP 3 Priorities for your Professional Life (Ignore if you don’t have an active professional life)
(3) For each of these priorities, ask yourself
- “Are these PRIORITIES taking you closer to your GOALS”
- “Are you taking any specific action on a regular basis (daily, weekly, etc.) to address these priorities?
(4) If yes, Great! You are on the right path. Best Wishes and Good Luck to you
(5) If no, then Pause & Reflect. And make the required course corrections. It is NEVER too LATE!
As I end, I’d like to leave you with a few quotes on prioritization from the wise.
“Action expresses priorities.” BY Mahatma Gandhi
“Good things happen when you get your priorities straight.” BY Scott Caan
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” BY Stephen Covey
One of the most important characteristics of “great leaders” is the fact that they have mastered the ART of DELEGATION. I call it art because art is usually considered as something which involves SKILL and IMAGINATION, and trust me! You need both to master DELEGATION.
As I look back at my own career, and observe the delegation patterns of some of the leaders I have worked with, I recognize the following:
* Knowing what task to delegate and to whom is a great virtue for any leader. Simply because when a leader delegates work, he / she should have a realistic assessment of the capabilities of the individual the task is being delegated to, should trust him / her and should be willing to take complete responsibility for the outcome of this delegation.
* The BEST leaders delegate at least 80% of the work. What this simply means is that they have identified a “competent, trust-worthy and efficient” next level leadership : Which is an important aspect of growth and succession planning
* Knowing what NOT to DELEGATE is also very important for any leader, as this is a clear reflection of the “individual VALUE” you bring to the table as a leader. If all your work can be done by your next level of leadership, then either you are “redundant” in your role OR you are ready for the next rung in the corporate ladder
* As a leader, you should be cognizant of the co-relation between “delegation”, “responsibility”, “authority” and “ownership” – And should be able to clearly distinguish these in your own mind, and to those you have delegated work to.
* Many leaders have been at the firing line simply because of wrong decisions in DELEGATION! As a leader, if you get this wrong – It could cost you your job and your reputation!