airline passengers

And the Oscar for “best forced apology by a CEO” goes to… United Airlines and Oscar Munoz! I continue to be shocked by the poor response of United Airlines to the plight of Dr. David Dao, who was forcibly removed and injured by a Chicago “aviation security” officer because he refused to leave the plane. Let’s look at United Airlines’ response timeline: Before the incident- Instead of offering more money than they originally had to find passengers willing to be bumped from the airline so…Continue Reading “United Airlines’ Response to Forcibly Removed Passenger Represents the Worst of Corporate Communications”

hiring a marketing consultant

In-House Marketing Teams Are Strained Marketing managers are under constant pressure to provide more and better results. With tough competition and the rise of data, execution of a cohesive marketing strategy is vital. But when there’s no time to plan, how do you know what to follow through on? No matter their level in the organization, marketers spend so much time on execution that resources just aren’t there for research and planning. This is why it’s so critical to engage an outside marketing consultant for…Continue Reading “Marketing Strategy Should Come From Outside the Department”

Marketers, To Be Innovative, Stand Out

Mere competence is not enough. There are plenty of “average” marketers out there in the world. So what do you bring to work that makes you more effective than them? If you can’t answer this question, you’ve got a problem. And today, marketers, your clients need you to come up with innovative new approaches and ideas more than ever before. There’s too much competition out there to deliver the same old product, diminishing returns will take over. But before you can do this, make sure…Continue Reading “Marketers, To Be Innovative, Know Yourself First”

Communication Barriers at Work

And neither should you. Org charts create artificial barriers and silos between teams. And much of the time, they get in the way. It’s irrelevant if you’re a manager or employee, or what part of the department you’re in, or whether you “should be talking to” that person who could really use your insights and advice. Just do it already, and damn the consequences. What’s the worst that could happen? You might get fired. So what? That just means you shouldn’t have been working there…Continue Reading “I Don’t Give a Fuck About Your Org Chart”

Terrible bosses spy on their employees

The Quickest Way to Destroy Your Business Good bosses can lead your team to achieve so much. But bad bosses… wow. How bad? Here’s a cautionary tale from my own career. My first job out of college sixteen years ago (technically I started working in 1991, but still) was with a startup in Tucson, Arizona. This fledgling company attempted to compete with the Sysco’s of the world, breaking up the near-monopoly in foodservice distribution. It failed – a story for another time. My role at the…Continue Reading “Worst Boss, First Boss”

Marketing when your product isn't so exciting

Marketing is Hot Stuff, Right? Models, lingerie and fashion shows. What could be sexier than working for literally the hottest store in the mall? At 21, my first “real” marketing project was to create a promotional postcard for the manager of our local Victoria’s Secret. Yep, this is it, I thought at the time. The start of my long and glamorous advertising career. Yeah, No. I got it half right. My career has been long, and winding, but maybe not so flashy. At least not…Continue Reading “Five Ways to Market “Unsexy” Products”

chip cards

Chip Card, or Watching Paint Dry? By most accounts, the switch to EMV, or “chip” credit cards here in the US hasn’t worked out so well. Right now the roll-out is uneven at best. I make at least half a dozen payments a day with my credit and debit cards and the experience is pretty random. Will I insert the card into the reader, or slide it? Will there be a crumpled, hand-written note on the card machine that tells me what to do, or…Continue Reading “Will EMV Slowness Make Apple Pay More Appealing?”

coffee scoop

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE coffee. I’m a local coffee guy, but If there’s one coffee chain that I have a soft spot for, it’s Caribou. 16 years ago, I was freezing in downtown Minneapolis and found their shop by sheer luck. I’ve been a fan ever since. Unfortunately, Caribou hasn’t always been the best at developing and nurturing relationships with their fans on social media. In fact, they had a huge fail right when it mattered most. Store Closings Lead to…Continue Reading “Three Ways Caribou Coffee Went From Fail to Win in Social”

Here’s what I’m reading this week, and I think you should too. B2B Marketing What the Engagement Crisis Means for Social Media Marketing Agencies Focus on what really matters. What Every Enterprise Marketing Team Can Learn from Surfers Stay flexible! Microsoft’s LinkedIn acquisition underscores potential in enterprise social media Is it really going to work, or will we be reading about a $26.2 billion failure in a few years? Small Business SEO Tips: How Mention Increased Search Traffic 373% in 6 Weeks Want to learn the…Continue Reading “What’s New in Marketing, July 5, 2016”

Family Video Storefront

In-Person Video Rental is Dying. What Should Family Video Do Next? Why do companies keep on running with the same business model when market trends point to their industry reducing itself to nothing? Take brick and mortar video rental. There’s a Family Video right down the street from where I live, but I haven’t bought anything there in years. The physical video rental market is declining by double digits every year. Competitors like Redbox have taken major expense out of the business model (labor, physical space) to offer bare…Continue Reading “What’s the Endgame for Family Video?”