Do some good

seinfeld_christmas_spirit1

Okay, just this once you have my permission to ignore Jerry. Now go out there and do some good. Merry Christmas one and all!

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Up and lit

Up and litMy wife and I like to play a game around this time of year. We call it “Up and Lit”. If your Christmas lights are up, we’ll it has been very cold in some areas of the country so we’ll let it slide. However, if your Christmas lights are still up and lit, it’s really time to let it go and move on. You’ll thank me later (or at least your neighbors might).

Stop the crummy commercials

Watching the movie A Christmas Story during this Christmas season has reminded me how important having a meaningful dialogue with your customers can be.

You’ll remember in the 1983 movie Ralphie drinks gallons of Ovaltine and patiently awaits his Little Orphan Annie decoder pin so that he can unscramble the message only meant for Little Orphan Annie Secret Society members. After excitedly writing down the secret code from the radio program, Ralphie escapes to decode the message in the only place where a kid can get some privacy…the bathroom. Ralphie decodes the message: “BE SURE TO DRINK YOUR OVALTINE” after which he disappointedly exclaims:

Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a b****!

Marketers can learn a lot from Ralphie’s experience.

When you have your customer’s trust and approval for a two-way conversation, don’t revert back to more monologue!(self-serving, crummy commercials) Effective marketers know that having a meaningful dialogue with their customers is what builds a strong connection to their brand. True dialogue should create value for both the marketer and the customer. In order to do this, marketers need to do three things:

  1. Listen more than you speak
  2. Understand the customer’s point of view from a micro level (see point 1)
  3. Turn off the corporate conversation “firewall” to allow authentic and interesting conversation to reach the customer

Customers are begging to have meaningful conversations with brands they love and trust. Please, please, please…stop with the “crummy commercials”!

Bagels and Expectations

So today was bagel day in the office (I heart bagels). I grabbed a raisin bagel and spread on some deliciously sweet strawberry cream cheese…or so I thought. It turned out to be a sun-dried tomato bagel that I spread on the deliciously sweet strawberry cream cheese- not the best choice on bagel day.

When your mouth can already taste the sweetness of the raisins and you bit into a sun-dried tomato, you get a bit of a surprise. Don’t get me wrong; I love sun-dried tomatoes when I am expecting to bit into a sun-dried tomato.

Surprises can be good when they meet or exceed your expectations. But when a surprise fails to live up to the expectation, its like a child opening presents on Christmas morning and saving the biggest box under the Christmas tree for the very last…only to find out it’s full of socks. Trust me, it’s disappointing!

Office Holiday Parties

Ah, yes. It’s that wonderful time of year again for the annual holiday office party. This one night can either be a step up for you in your organization or a tumble backwards into the abyss of being the poster child for office water cooler humor (a very dark and lonely place).

Whether you are looking for love, strategically hobnobbing with the execs, or simply trying to exact revenge on Steve in accounting for last year’s holiday party snap shot of you puking on the boss, try to p-a-c-e yourself this year. Remember, with social media on the Internet taking off like it has… the world could be watching!