fbpx

Marketing

It’s Time to Take Video Calls Seriously

Friends, when we started to use video at the onset of COVID, I advised to be thoughtful about how we present ourselves.  We are now 8 months into COVID and video calls are no longer a novelty.  It’s time to take video calls seriously.  One company leader I spoke with said that it is now REQUIRED for pitch meetings that those participating have lights, a green screen, and decent microphone.  Over the top?  No, it’s not.  Here’s a screen capture from that drove me to write this post.  It time to CARE about what others see (laundry day!) and hear when we’re on video.

It’s time to step up to well lit, clear sounding calls that make a positive impression.

Is what I’m recommending complicated?  NO.  Extravagant?  Here’s the budget:

– Light ring for face lighting:  $35 to $200 (other lighting options, $100 to $200)

– Bluetooth headset with boom mic:  $35

– Green screen:  $100 to $200,  (with a thoughtful, uncluttered background, you can get by without that)

—————————————————–

TOTAL, to look and sound pretty good:  $70 to $425

Do it already.

“Luxury Shopping with Purpose”

I saw this ad and it stopped me cold.  At first glance, I thought it meant that people were luxury shopping AS a fulfilling purpose in life.  “Wow,” I thought, “with the chasm between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ growing larger every day and the societal ramifications of that, this feels wrong.”

Intrigued (and not wanting to be off-base in this blog post), I visited the company’s website and learned that my first impression was mistaken.  The company sells luxury items and then donates 20% of the proceeds to worthwhile organizations that support girls.  The last line of their intro video says, “Your choice of where to shop matters.”  Another video says, “Improve the lives of children around the world by buying what you love.” In the video, the Olivela founder seems sincere, and I’m pretty confident that she is.  Certainly, it’s a much more authentic version of, for example, car dealers who say, “for every (name the brand) sold, we’ll donate $200 to (name the charity).”

But this whole trend of building a business based on the differentiation strategy of donating money – money spent by customers – really gives me pause.

I asked myself, why don’t I like it?

My conclusion is this… it’s the direct tie of donations to sales.

Contrast the above example to a company like Patagonia. Patagonia’s mission-driven approach (supporting environmental causes) is different because Patagonia doesn’t conditionally tie its good work to sales.  While Patagonia can of course conduct environmental efforts because of its customers, this is not its sales strategy.

If you are looking for purchases that improve the world, check out Colorado’s Women’s Bean Project.  And listen to the PROCO360  podcast episode with its CEO, Tamra Ryan.

I am in the Tribe: “Buffaloes”

I was following a car driven by someone who wasn’t particularly focused on moving along.  Clearly, the driver was texting, or in some other way distracted from the business of getting where she was going.

I was miffed.  Then I saw a CU Buffs sticker on her car and I relaxed.  I’m a Buffs football season ticket holder and both my sons, my wife and I have degrees from CU.  I recognized my dismissal of frustration because of the sticker – and thought, “this is weird.”

Maybe not.  Coincidentally at the time this happened I was (really!) re-listening to the book, Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins by Mark Schaefer.  And as I write this, I recall Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, and I’m reminded that as I seek to do business with someone new, it’s so important, and gratifying, to explore how we can authentically connect. Go Buffs!  #GoBuffs  @CUBuffs

 

 

We Aren’t Our Best Yet

In contemplating my most recent podcast with Matt Hyder, Founder of Recoup Fitness, it occurred to me that he’s come such a LONG way.  He graduated from high school with a 1.9 GPA and failed at four businesses.  Now, still in his twenties, Matt has a company that will grow from $850K in sales in 2018 to over $6 Million in 2019.  Matt’s focus remains on learning and getting better – good thing. 

His early career – Fresh Prince of Bellaire.  Later in his career, brilliant, poignant acting.   

Now that I have experience and improved skills, I have to remind myself that people don’t start out at their best and sometimes not even close to their best.  Even harder than that, is the painful truth that I still make mistakes that beg, “shouldn’t you be better than THAT” by now?”

 

Artificial Turf vs. Real Marketing

I just read The Marketing Rebellion – the Most Human Company Wins, by Mark Schaefer.  His premise, wonderfully brought forward, is that customers – not the business – drive successful marketing now, and increasingly will going forward.  I was struck (and entertained) by the extreme antithesis of that approach in the ad shown below.

I laughed at the irony in this ad: ARTIFICIAL TURF JUST GOT REAL.  It’s a cute headline, but it’s an example of a company that isn’t even aligning its own claims with its promises within one ad – how can this be putting the customer in a position to be the company’s marketing voice?  To me, companies that aren’t seeing the customer (and not advertising) their way to grow, create HUGE opportunities for those who build a business around what Schaefer calls “The Marketing Rebellion.”

Scroll to top