Blog Archive

A Tale of a Tower and a Toonie

Branding Brought to New Heights  I’m writing this from my room on the 17th floor of the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Directly out my window is the famous but somewhat dated CN Tower.  VISUALLY BRANDING A COUNTRY The CN Tower, which opened in 1976, is a communications …

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Take Your Turkey and Stuff It

Being thankful is not enough — get your giblets going TOILET SEAT COVERS That’s how I knew Thanksgiving is coming. You see, we usually host the extended family Turkey Day dinner at our house. My wife plans for days and works for hours cooking a fantastic meal, which we devour …

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The Power of Care

People are attracted to businesses and organizations that care THE POWER OF PRAYER  It was 5 a.m. in Los Angeles when I checked out of my hotel, got in a cab and headed to LAX for my flight home. The driver, Emanuel, was from East Africa and came here six …

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Put Some Show Business in Your Business

STARS ON HOLLYWOOD BLVD You know the Walk of Fame in Hollywood? Beatles followers will be glad to know that Ringo finally got his star recently. And they’re moving the scattered Fab Four next to each other. But I digress. I was in Los Angeles recently attending the Solar Power International …

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Features B2B Websites Need (and Ones They Don’t)

Does a manufacturer need video? Does a service company need to be on Facebook?  We work with many business-to-business firms (B2B) that struggle with what to do with their websites. One thing is for sure: B2B websites are sales magnets. Nearly eight out of ten prospects visit your website before …

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A Profile of Your Customer*

“I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been uplinked and downloaded, inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low life. A …

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Practice What You Preach or Change the Speech

A local hospital, a state rep and an oil company need to learn this DO AS I SAY The worst direction a parent can ever give a child is “Do as I say, not as I do.” In other words, if Dad tells the teenagers not to drink or smoke, …

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Nine Rules for a Successful Trade Show

THEY’RE BACK Trade shows are making a comeback. Companies are starting to get back out there and display their products and services. Others are sending people to go and learn about what is offered. As much as trade shows have been maligned in recent years (due in part to the …

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Successful Marketing: Know What You Can’t Do

You’ve probably heard the famous Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” GOOD MARKETING ADVICE While this prayer brings peace of mind to many suffering souls including me, …

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Adapt…or Die Not Trying

Business models that seemed ideal just a decade ago are obsolete. Don’t wait until it’s too late to make a change. Not many people like change. Most naturally resist it until there is no choice — and then only change as much as they need to in order to survive. …

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Presidential-Style PR

I attended President Obama’s visit to V&M Star Steel last week as part of a project we’re working on for the expanding plant. Although the President was, as usual, a terrific orator — it was the White House organization and “travel team” that impressed me from a marketing perspective.  IT’S …

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What’s So Special About FREE?

IT GETS YOUR ATTENTION It’s kind of like being on vacation with your wife and stumbling upon a topless beach. Even if you have no interest, you gotta look when you see the word FREE. WHY DOES FREE STILL WORK? Nothing has been more overused in ads than the word …

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20 Things Research Will Tell You. Two Things It Won’t.

If you don’t conduct research, if you don’t ask the “dumb” questions…YOU are dumb.  Ordinary organizations don’t ask the questions they should be asking. Why? Because they believe they already know the answers, or  the answers are not important, or it’s too difficult to get answers, or it’s too expensive. …

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The Clendenin Combination Theory

I was on the therapy table of my favorite chiropractor, Dr. John Clendenin. He was helping me with an injury I sustained during one of my athletic “misadventures.”  This kind of injury is common among males who get older but never actually grow up. One of my vertebrae was out of …

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The Message Is Still the Master

MEDIA SCHMEDIAI’m as guilty as any communicator out there. Everyone is all lathered up about Social Media, WOM (Word of Mouth) and other buzz-word/new techie tools of the day. All the focus is on MEDIA. Somewhere along the line, marketers have forgotten that the MOST IMPORTANT element in a campaign …

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Your Website Will Rock, Your Business Will Roll

Big Shot Beat Down So I’m showing a prospective client some streaming video on a website we built. “That’s cool,” she says. “Who built the website?” Ha ha…we did, of course. “You build websites?” she asks. I stare. I’m shocked. For once in my life, I’m speechless. She beat down …

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A Marketing Man’s Perfect Day

Someone asked what I wanted for my birthday. “One perfect day,” I replied. 5:00 a.m. Alarm radio comes on playing my favorite jingle. I smile, then I smash the alarm and go back to sleep softly singing, “If I were an Oscar Mayer wiener, everyone would be in love with …

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What Are We Doing?

So we’re heading toward the office of a client for a meeting. We were in the historic Halle building in Cleveland. It was a beautiful fall day, and Jeff Mamula, our Director of Business Development and I had just walked up to the third floor on the open sweeping staircase …

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I was thinking….“What If?”

Maybe the time for these ideas has come. Or maybe not. What if we had no limits? I was watching the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebrations on TV. Everyone was wearing top hats that had a huge NIVEA logo on them. They were being interviewed under a NIVEA banner …

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The Biggest Trends of the Past Decade and One to Watch in the Next

2000–2009 BROUGHT BIG CHANGES Every decade has events and developments that have significant impact on society in general and business specifically. Who would have thought that after the “dot-com” boom of the ’90s, this decade would bring even bigger changes? DECLINE OF NEWSPAPERS Rarely has an industry seen such a …

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