Put the Phone Down

Are we addicted to our mobile devices or is there another problem? This goes way beyond staying connected to work and our email. I think there is some element of boredom. Maybe there is something to the idea of fear of missing out (FOMO). I see people walking their dogs in the morning and paying more attention to their phone than to the dog. Why can’t they just enjoy outside, look around and savor the time without being connected? When a plane lands and everyone turns their phones on, how many people go straight to Facebook? This is boredom, not progress. We are not children. We don’t have to be entertained every moment of the day. And don’t even get me started on teenagers and millennials.

How Do Tactics Support Strategies?

There is so much content being published about how to get better at tactics, but right now I’m more interested in how tactics support our strategies. I don’t want to read another, tactical, how-to post. Tell me how I can improve strategies by improving my tactics. Better tactics for tactics sake is just like producing content for content’s sake.

Running with Sand in My Shoes

Running with sand in your shoes is a minor irritant. The old running shoes I recently wore in the desert were put back into service when the sides split open on my current pair. The strange thing about the sand is that I only really felt it when I put on my shoes and when I took them off. I got used to sand in the bottom of my running shoes so quickly that I didn’t even notice it while running.

Let Storytelling Wash Over You

We get very focused on our own industry, almost creating a bubble of content and influence. You need to step outside your area of experience and pay more attention to how other industries tell their marketing stories. Everything you watch, listen to or read has a point of view and a way of sharing it. This includes whatever you are binging on Netflix. In every instance you need to let these other examples of storytelling wash over you to make what you do better.

This Pumpkin Thing Has Really Gotten Out of Hand

When is this madness going to stop? Whether this started with Starbucks and their fall seasonal drink, Pumpkin Spice Latte, it is hard to say. These orange foods have gotten completely out of hand. It was bad enough when I saw pumpkin-flavored yogurt, pumpkin-flavored Cheerios cereal and pumpkin-flavored Triscuit crackers, but who in their ever-loving mind would buy pumpkin flavored dog biscuits for their dog?

Dressing Up for Success

This morning I saw a woman dressed as Wonder Woman in the airport. She had a cape and a golden lasso. She told me that she wished she had been able to fly here in her invisible plane. She was in town for business meetings.

Transformative Properties of Water

A little bit of water, well actually a lot of water, that is used in commercial agriculture transforms tracts of desert land into fields as green as a suburban lawn.

Surprising Parallels to Life and Business

Today I went rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park. It wasn’t something I had done before, so I took an all-day introductory class. You are fully supported while you are climbing, so you don’t need to worry about falling. A successful rock climber plans out their route. They know where they are trying to get and figure out where to go before they make a move. It is a very patient endeavor where you make slow, incremental moves to reach your goal. These all sound like great ways to approach both life in general and business specifically.

Are You Speaking to Your Audience?

On the road between Los Angeles and Palm Springs is a billboard for the new Rolling Stones album. There are so many things wrong with that sentence. I’ll start with, the Rolling Stones have a new album? Really? And with more people streaming music these days, is a sign poking out of the desert really the best way to let people driving 70 miles per hour past it know about it. Unless there’s some connection with an older audience traveling to Palm Springs and this septuagenarian-led band.

There are Gerbils Powering Your Website

I met the US marketing manager for a foreign airline and he described the primitive nature of the company website. He called it a DOS website as he talked about the limited fields for entry. After clicking the giant button to purchase your tickets he said you could almost hear the gears spinning in the background. I offered that maybe they were actually gerbils running on a wheel in the background. That made sense to him.