The Story of Romo

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On a recent business trip I stayed in a Marriott. The experience was great. The room was like almost any other hotel room; it was nothing special. The fitness center was adequate, but nothing special. Minor things went wrong. There was no coffee in the lobby one morning. The weather was miserable. Did I say the experience was great?

What made my experience great was the staff. The folks at the front desk not only met my requests, they thought of the next step that would allow them to do even more than I asked. I asked a staff member about local restaurants, he offered to have the shuttle take me to one. There were many instances like this.

On the hotel shuttle to the airport for my return home, I engaged the shuttle driver in conversation. His name is Romo. I complimented the attitude of the staff. Romo said, “I work for a great company. When you stay with us, you are our guest. You pay our salaries. We will do anything we can for you. If you need something from me, just ask. I will do it.” When I got off the shuttle at the airport Romo said, “I hope you stay with us again soon.”

Marriott gets it right. They understand the importance of their customers. More importantly, they push that understanding to the front line. Kudos Marriott!

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The Plan

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What is the most important thing you need to do today?
Go get that done.

Now, on to planning and strategy. What is the most important thing you need to accomplish tomorrow? What do you need to do today to meet that goal? Get those things done. What is in the way of tomorrow’s goal? Remove those obstacles. Do you need the help of others? Ask today. Tomorrow they will likely be working on their own goal.

Expand the above. What is the most important thing you need to accomplish next week? Next month? Next year? In your life? Know what you need to accomplish each day to move toward those goals. And, know what obstacles you need to remove.

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Rethink competition

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Internet Marketing Genius

We all have competitors. And, competition is good, right? Many in the business world think of competition in terms of war. The competition is the enemy. We battle them for customers or for market share. We attack and counterattack with ad campaigns. We are out to win the war against our competition.

But, competition makes us better. Competition is good for the marketplace, and especially for the consumer of our products. Perhaps our competitors are more like a dance partner. We watch each other. We try to anticipate what they will do next. When we watch closely and make the right moves, we look great. They watch us and make their moves. We feed each other’s growth. We make each other look good. An audience forms, and wants to watch us succeed.

Listen closely to the music. And, keep your eye on your dance partner. Always dance better.

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Marketing Strategy and Mobile/Social

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Marketing is about getting a message from an organization to a group. It is important to be strategic about the content of the message, and the method by which it is delivered. As marketers we must go to where the correct audience for our message is now; we must be followers. I often see marketing that attempts to lead the audience to where the marketer wants it to go. This method is seldom successful.

Where is the audience? A huge and growing segment is on mobile. In its most recent financial report, Facebook announced that monthly mobile users were 680 million, an increase of 57% over the prior year. And, for the first time mobile users surpassed desktop users in the fourth quarter of 2012. Mobile is impacting other social media – Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest -  in a similar manner.

Consumers are becoming more mobile savvy as well. According to ComScore, in July 2012 nearly 86 million people 18 and over visited online retail destinations using their smart phones and mobile devices. Typically, mobile display advertising outperforms other forms of online advertising. If the audience is mobile, and mobile works, as marketers we must put our message on mobile.

Where will the audience be next? We need to attempt to figure that out. But, more importantly, we need to be where it is now. Mobile is both where a huge audience is now, and is, due to continued explosive growth, where it will be in the foreseeable future.

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Defend your image

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I opened my email this morning to find a marketing email that really got my attention. The email was laid out well, and had a good message. Because of the nature of my profession, I get many such emails every day. This particular email was for a company that builds web pages for businesses. It stated facts about the company’s vast skill set and strongly pointed out its attention to detail.
At the top of the email, on the very first line at the top-right (one of the most prominent positions in an email) was the line “{ENTER ATTENTION GRABBING CONTENT HERE}”.

Obviously this company used an email template, and failed to replace this instructional text with content. I am not sure I believe the company’s statement about its “attention to detail”.

In marketing, proofreading is essential to defending your image.

used under creative commons license Roger Creasy Digital Marketing

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Just Ship Already

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There is always room for improvement. There are always those tweaks that can make your project perfect. There is always tomorrow for making it a little better before you call it finished.

Image Source: Richard Masoner.

Fear is a driving force for improving it tomorrow instead of shipping it today. We fear our book, sales presentation, painting, piece of music, report on last month’s financials, whatever the project is, is just not quite good enough. So, we put off calling it finished until tomorrow.

I firmly believe in continuous improvement, and that there is ALWAYS room for improvement. But, we must decide to call it done and ship it. Better yet, we need to set a deadline for shipping at the beginning of our project. And, we must stick to this self-imposed deadline. Commit. Tell someone at the outset, “I will finish this by ____”.  By speaking your deadline out loud to someone, you firm up your commitment. When the date comes, call it finished and ship it.

Here are six things about deadlines (live lines) by Seth Godin.

I could write more, but, I’m at deadline….

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Practice and be Excellent

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Will Durant summarized Aristotle’s philosophy on excellence by saying, and I am paraphrasing, you are what you do, so excellence is a habit. There is a lot of wisdom in this statement.

Those who are truly great at anything make it look effortless. Michael Jordan’s skills on the basketball court were almost always graceful and perfect. Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma  coax sounds from their instruments that can invoke tears in the listener. Zig Ziglar could walk on stage and convince an audience of thousands of anything he wanted. Did Michael, Itzhak, Yo Yo, and Zig simply begin at the top? No. All top performers got where they are through repetition and honing of their skills. Practice.

To be great at what you do takes practice. Do you practice?

Think about any skill you have; how did you develop that skill? It was through practice.

So, how do you obtain excellence? Through practice.  Excellence should be your goal. Do not expect to always BE excellent. Expect shortfalls. But, do expect to move toward excellence. Review your days, your encounters with others, your movement toward your goals. Becoming good at what you do takes incremental improvement. It takes change and growth. It takes practice.

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Be Positive

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A positive attitude is contageous. Be a positive and encouraging force to those around you, especially to your team. In any business, and especially if you are involved in sales, things are often tough. But, put on a happy, positive attitude, and you will see things change.

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