Blog

April 2013 - PS Insights

INSIGHTS

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Steve spoke at the Media 360 Mega Summit last week. 250 circulation managers of small- and mid-sized-market newspapers. Their job is to sell newspapers. But as one of the other speakers so aptly observed: “In this environment, the most important sale you’re going to make every day is inside your own building.” Internal marketing is one of the most important new developments in business today. Do you pay enough attention to “internal selling” to move your agenda forward?

“THAT BEING SAID…”

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Have you noticed how many euphemisms there are for negating everything that went before? Like “yes, but…” and “that being said…” and “I agree, however…” What they’re really doing is politely dismissing everything you did or said. We find it a bit obsequious at best, disingenuous at worst. Can we go back to simple declaratives (“I disagree—and here’s why.” “I hate that because…”) and stop trying to be “management polite”?

FOMO

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Paul was recently interviewed for an article on FOMO. He had to look up the  acronym (“Fear Of Missing Out”) before commenting on the phenomenon. He was struck by the fact that he had obviously missed out on FOMO having devolved into an acronym. Are you fearful about missing out or are you increasingly ticked off about the proliferation of acronyms? Or both? Can’t we just use language to talk to one another?

VINE TIME

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New social networks have generally hit their stride in response to big events. Twitter was elevated from a seemingly trivial mini blog forum into a vitally important purveyor of news during the Iranian elections a few years back. Now Twitter’s new video service, Vine, just emerged as an important social documentation source with the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings. If and as you innovate in the social space, ask yourself, what crucial role can my social initiative play?

ON YOUR SIDE

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Hats off again to Dove and Agency Ogilvy on their latest entry in the Real Beauty campaign. A really fresh idea shows a forensic sketch artist drawing subjects twice—once as described by the subject and again as characterized by another individual instructed to have a conversation with the subject. The third party sketches are universally more flattering. The film is totally on brand. And the implicit message is what do you do to elevate your self-perception and personal performance?

TEN MOST HATED JOBS

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Shelly Palmer’s column last week featured a blog listing The Ten Most Hated Jobs. We think it won’t surprise you that three of the top ten were: #2 Director of Sales & Marketing; #3 Product Manager and #10 Marketing Manager. Their chief complaint in all three cases was “lack of direction from upper management.” We sometimes wonder if upper management means absent management. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with these jobs. What is it you can do to help enable these jobs to be fulfilled better and with more job satisfaction?

THE MAGIC TIME SLOT

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Talk to theater professionals and they’ll all tell you the best time to audition is between 11am and noon. Earlier than that and the judges are parsimonious: they’re afraid to give high marks to the first few people because they don’t know who else they’re going to see. After lunch, ennui and boredom set in and there’s a desire to “make a decision.” So the magic time is the hour before lunch (but not too close to their actual break). It works for actors—is it also true in your business when you’re pitching?

ONLY TWO TO A CUSTOMER

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There’s an old expression: “there are only three things in business. Fast, cheap and good. The bad news is you can only have two of them at once.” We watch so many clients, businesses and (we’re embarrassed to admit) sometimes even ourselves constantly trying to get all three. And every time we do, we run into this seemingly immutable law. Which two of the three do you go for? And in what circumstances?

CUBICLES

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At long last it appears that work cubicles are being torn down. What could be more dehumanizing? Yet they have been a standard means of space optimization for junior people for years and years. Open plans, table farms and multiple environments are increasingly replacing the confines of the cubicle. Welcome to the new way of working. What are you doing to encourage productivity, interaction and worker satisfaction?

START ME UP

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When Microsoft launched Windows 95, they paid The Rolling Stones a barrel full of money, bought the rights to “Start Me Up” and plastered the airways for a month. Poof. 90% of the world installed Windows 95. Today, Windows 8 requires real advertising. Competitive advertising. A recognition of how the landscape has changed in 18 years. Is your marketing keeping up with the reality of your markets?