How To Add Thinking Time

I am on a soap box these days about the effect of no thinking time. So today I come to you with a simple way to add more time into your day: Make all 1 hour meeting 40 minutes. Make all 30 minute meeting stand-up. If you do this (at least in the meetings you have control over!) you will buy yourself at least a few extra chunks of time you can set aside for thinking. Shut your door, turn off your phone, send your computer to sleep and that’s it…contemplate a problem, noodle over the future, consider the consequences, ruminate over a decision. I double dare you to try this…You and your business will be better off because of it.

It’s The End Of The First Quarter — Do You Know Where Your Plan Is?

Have you pulled out this year’s marketing plan to see if you are still in the right ballpark and still in the game? Next week is the last week of the first quarter. Set some time aside to pull your performance reports together (especially if this isn’t done automatically) for your programs and overall performance. Gather your team together and ask yourself the following questions: Did we do what we set out to do? If no, why not? Did we perform the way we expected? If no, why not? What worked and didn’t from a program perspctive? Why? Have there been any changes internally or in the marketplace that means your plans for the next quarter need to change? If so, what & why? Do all involved teams know your plans and expected performance for 2Q07? Do you have good communications flow internally and externally to build toward maximum effectiveness? … Continue reading

Doing More With Less

The mantra of senior management across all industries, across all disciplines has become “do more with less.”  Budgets and personnel continue to be cut while the need for increased revenue and margin continues to grow. You can continue to successfully perform in the market using this mantra if you are thoughtful in how you approach your marketing resources and your management’s expectations.  Here are “10 Ways To Do More With Less.”   1. Plan. Plan. Plan. Solid performance in general comes from a good plan that serves as a guidepost for what you are doing in market.  When times get tough, you must revisit your plan and decide if your strategies are still appropriate or if they need adjusting.  This will provide your team with a beacon they can use to make decisions, set direction and apply resources.   2. Re-Evaluate Where You Are Spending It is time to go … Continue reading

Getting Ready for 2007

Wow! It is already October. Hard to believe 2006 is winding down. For all businesses the end of our fiscal year means turning your focus on the next year’s opportunities and challenges. Here are a couple of thoughts to help with this process: 1. If Marketing is responsible for writing the plan, who else is at the table? If you don’t have all of your business represented you are missing important insight. Remember marketing is about bringing all the spokes of the wheel together to present a solid product/service to your marketplace. 2. Remember you can’t create a brand only through messaging and creativity. A brand is developed over time by the complete relationship between customer and company. Too many businesses talk about “strengthening their brands” without ever looking at all of the pieces of the business. Xerox’s brand today comes from years of outstanding relationships, product and service to … Continue reading