Month: November, 2009

Making the most of the weekend

Parenthood1 Comment

If you’re like me, come Monday morning, you’re often wondering where the weekend went. When you throw kids and a minimum amount of ‘couch time’ into the equation, you can easily wind up not accomplishing a helluva lot.

The problem gets compounded when there a things around the house that you really need to do such as installing those baby gates you’ve been promising your wife for months or protecting the PS3 from curious little hands.

Luckily, Digital Dads has some great advice for making the most of the weekend and still getting enough chillax time.

  1. Set Clear Goals
    The more vague your goals are, the more likely you won’t get them done. Be as specific as possible. Don’t set the goal of “make a sit down dinner.” Instead set it as “make a dutch oven pot roast for dinner.” Being specific up front focuses you even more on the end goal.
  2. Make a List (in your head doesn’t count)
    This can be on a sticky note, whiteboard or the nearest scrap of paper, but putting it down on paper makes it more likely to happen. This is extra important if you have more then one goal because you can check them off as you complete them. This gratification will help you push forward.
  3. Don’t Do Too Much
    A million tiny tasks or a handful of major ones will both kill you. Don’t give into the temptation to try and do too much. Recognize your limitations and set the right number of goals. Nothing sucks more then having to push something off to the next weekend.
  4. Tell Other People Your Goals
    When you are accountable to someone, it is a great motivator. It is very easy to tell yourself you are going to do something, but the more people you tell the more likely you are to stay focused and succeed.
  5. Celebrate Victory
    When you complete a group of tasks or at the end of the weekend when your list is all checked off be sure to reward yourself. It might be something simple like sitting down for a beer break or some time playing video games. Just be sure to congratulate yourself.
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Bum shuffle

Parenthood3 Comments

One of the best things about being a dad is watching my son discover all the cool, new things he is able to do.

Increasingly aware of what’s around him, he’s become determined to get from A to B, whether it means  climbing over mum and dad to get to the remotes or making a break for it when he sees the laundry door open.

But while most kids start off crawling, mine prefers to bum shuffle…

To any parents with kids of a similar age who also bum shuffle, I’m proposing a race. Send me an email if you’re keen!

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8 Guiding Principles of Digital Strategy

Digital Strategy2 Comments

At the Digital Marketing and Media Summit 2009, EURO RSCG’s Paul Hutchins and Sony Australia’s Michelle Hall revealed the guiding principles they abided to when developing and implementing Sony’s “The Quantum Code” promotion.

  1. Make new technology relevant
  2. Apply the KISS principle
  3. Plan, plan and then plan some more
  4. Be prepared to adapt and update on the fly
  5. It’s not just local but global
  6. Be prepared to relinquish control
  7. Don’t underestimate your consumers
  8. Make sure the experience is seamless and always the close the loop – have an exit strategy

By sticking to these guiding principles, they were able to a launch a highly engaging digital campaign that captured the imagination of discerning Bond-loving techies around the world – with nearly zero ATL support!

Lucky for you, the 8 guiding principles are not tied into any one brand and can be applied to any digital marketing strategy.

Use it wisely.

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Really simple test of home page effectiveness

Digital Strategy0 Comments

Not sure how well your home page is performing?

There’s a really simple test that I picked up from Malcolm Auld during his presentation at Marketing Week. While primarily to do with copy, it is nonetheless a simple and effective way to assess if your website’s home page is hitting the mark.

  1. Call someone with no prior knowledge of your business
  2. Introduce yourself and tell them what you do by way of reading back your home page copy verbatim

If they can understand what you do, you’ve passed. If not, it’s to the glue factory for your website.

90% – and that’s being generous, the real number is probably far higher – of corporate websites would probably fail this test. Far too often, they get so caught up with their own corporate hyperbole and double speak that they miss the point: Nobody cares about your product or service. They only care about how your product or service will improve their lives.

When you take this test into consideration with the importance that users place on good web design (of which weak web copy was likely to drive 25% of survey respondents away), you can see how critical it is to get your web presence right.

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10 Things Social Media Can’t Do

Social Media1 Comment

Amid the endless pronouncements about social media — often shortened to “social” these days by consultants trying to sound like they know what they are talking about — is the reality that social media is not a solution, or a sure bet.

Social media can’t:

  1. Substitute for marketing strategy
    A Twitter campaign, or a Facebook page that announces your weekly specials is not a marketing strategy.
  2. Succeed without top management buy-in
    Social media requires a way of thinking that includes willingness to listen to customers, make changes based on feedback, and trust employees to talk to customers.The culture of fear (of job loss, of losing message control, of change) is ingrained in corporate cultures. Top management has to want to change.
  3. Be viewed as a short-term project
    Social media is not a one-shot deal. It’s a long-term commitment to openness, experimentation, and change that requires time to bear fruit.
  4. Produce meaningful, measurable results quickly
    One of the complaints about social media is that it can’t be measured. But in fact there are many things that can be measured: including engagement, sentiment, and whether increased traffic leads to sales.Those results can’t be produced or measured in the short term. Like PR, social media marketing often produces its best results in the second and third year.
  5. Be done in-house by the vast majority of companies
    A successful social media campaign integrates social media into the many elements of marketing, including advertising, digital, and PR. Opinion and theory are no match for experience, and the best social media marketers now have more than 10 years of experience incorporating interactivity, blogs, forums, user-generated content, and contests into online marketing.You need strategy, contacts, tools, and experience–a combination not generally found in in-house teams, who often reinvent the wheel or use the wrong tools.
  6. Provide a quick fix to the bottom line or a tarnished reputation
    Social media can sometimes provide quick results for a company that’s already a star. When a well-loved company like Zappos, or Google employs social media, its loyal fans and followers pay attention.However, there’s a lot of desperation in a lot of corporate suites these days, and many companies seem been convinced that a social media campaign can provide a quick fix to sagging sales or reputation issues. Sorry, nuh, uh.
  7. Be done without a realistic budget
    Building a site that incorporates interactivity, allows user-generated content, and perhaps also includes e-commerce doesn’t come cheap from anyone who knows what they are doing.Even taking free software like WordPress and making it function as an effective interactive site, incorporating e-commerce, creating style sheets that integrate with the company’s branding, takes more than time. That takes skill, experience, and money.
  8. Guarantee sales or influence
    Unless your effort can pass the “who cares” test – and most simply can’t – your social media efforts will fall flat.And unless you know how to drive traffic to your contest, video, blog, event, etc. you’ll have little more than an expensive field of dreams.
  9. Be done by “kids” who “understand social innately”
    You can climb Mt Kilaminjaro without a sherpa guide, but why would you? Experience and perspective can make the trip easier, or even save your life.Companies trying to run social media without experienced consultants waste time, money, and reputation on their efforts. And then, sadly, many decide that this new-fangled approach doesn’t work.
  10. Replace PR
    No matter how great your website, video contest, blog, Twitter strategy, etc. you still need publicity. Or you may end up with a tree falling in the forest, and nobody hearing it.


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