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Christmas presents under the treeWhat are marketers wishing for this December? I know, I know . . . We all want more hours in the day, bigger budgets and better ROI –but unfortunately, those kinds of things are just too difficult to wrap! Here are a handful of more practical ideas I suggest you add to your holiday wish list this year.

Mobile devices. Marketers today are always “on.” We have to be. Even when I’m not “at work,” I’m thinking about strategies, planning tactics or running through the numbers on a new initiative. Of course, most of us are now always “on-the-go,” too. No one is chained to a desk anymore, and if you’re like me, you’re often traveling to meet with clients or to collaborate with colleagues at industry events.

Nomads like us need information that’s easily accessible and as portable as possible –and that’s why a full-feature smartphone is a must-have for anyone in marketing today. What’s more, I have to add that I’m now a big fan of the iPad, as well. I estimate that these days I reach for my iPad instead of my laptop about eight out of ten times. I find it’s more convenient and more intuitive.

Productivity apps. If you want to be productive while you’re on-the-go, you need the right apps. I use a marketing app to access my content, look up customer profiles, and even check my spend and performance –anytime, from anywhere that I can use my phone. That kind of accessibility isn’t just convenient, it’s empowering. Remember this: Access = Productivity = Results.

The iTunes App Store is loaded with general business and productivity apps, too. If you need help narrowing down the selection, see PCMag’s favorites listed in the article, The 100 Best iPad Apps.

Angry Birds subscription. Even if you’re equipped with great apps, no one can be 100 percent productive 24/7. Read the rest of this entry »

barrel of monkeysThe month of December offers marketing leaders an important opportunity to look back and reflect, even while we set our sights to the future with plans to do even better.

As you take stock over the next few weeks, make certain you add these three essential items to your To-Do list for the New Year:

1. Get rid of monkeys that aren’t yours. As I have mentioned before, I keep a crystal bowl of plastic monkeys on my desk. They serve as a reminder of the valuable lesson I learned from the Harvard Business Review article “Who’s Got the Monkey?” The take-home message was this: Marketing leaders need to understand when to be a linebacker and when to be a coach. We need to recognize the fine line between knocking down roadblocks and disempowering.

Take the time this month to clean house and reassess. Realize which problems are yours –and which ones aren’t. Get rid of monkeys that aren’t yours, and you’ll be a more effective leader, while you build a more effective team.

2. Jettison one piece of old baggage. Read the rest of this entry »

Black-friday-walmartBlack Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and the results from last week offer excellent insights into how the marketing landscape is changing.

Marketers, take a good hard look.

Clearly, the data shows we’re working in the midst of a revolution, where empowered consumers have control and the marketing function is evolving into new, uncharted territory.

So, please, don’t keep serving the leftovers. Don’t head into 2012 with last year’s ideas, the ones that may have worked once, but have now lost their appeal.

To help illustrate my point, take a look at these key take-aways from Black Friday 2011:
Read the rest of this entry »

Girl with SantaBlack Friday is evolving. Like all else in marketing today, this day-after-Thanksgiving consumer tradition is morphing right before our eyes –and no one is quite sure what will finally take shape. At this point, only one thing is certain: Mobile is heating up the competition, as some online retailers are aggressively promoting mobile-only discounts designed to lure customers away from Back Friday bargains at their favorite brick-and-mortar stores.

Gilt.com, for example, will start promoting mobile exclusives at 6 am on Friday. The members-only designer label online retailer usually starts its sales at noon. But, thanks to mobile, the Gilt Groupe now expects its best Black Friday ever, Andy Page, president of the Gilt Groupe, told The New York Times.

Ditto for Amazon.com, where shoppers already can find discounts online at the Black Friday Deals Store. According to its website, the nation’s biggest e-commerce site is poised to poach even more brick-and-mortar customers with innovative mobile apps.

“In addition to offering great deals on some of the season’s hottest products, we will be watching Black Friday advertisements online and offline to ensure we’re meeting or beating the best deals out there,” Sally Fouts, senior PR manager at Amazon.com, said in a press release. “Shoppers who do decide to brave the crowds and the long lines in physical retail stores on Friday should use the Price Check by Amazon app in order to make sure they’re truly getting a good deal.”

Of course, brick-and-mortar retailers are getting into the game, too. Read the rest of this entry »

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