Category Archives: Marketing


This is the only thing that matters in partnerships.

The 4 C’s

  • Customers
  • Competitors
  • Collaborators
  • Co-operators

branding…mostly a feeling…

Branding is all about how people feel about your company. Your brand is the collective experiences of the customers and prospects who have researched your product, bought your product, used your product, seen your ads, browsed your website, or talked with or met with your people. So, it follows that while you have crucial influence over your brand, you don’t have control.

Your brand isn’t your logo. That’s a graphic symbol that will evoke your brand. generate whatever feelings people have about your product and company. You can trademark a logo, but that only will keep someone else from using it or imitating it too closely should they think that doing so would be to their advantage…because of your brand.

Your colors, typeface, and style aren’t your brand. Again, symbols.

Branding is hard. This is why so many meetings where you talk about your branding devolve into arguments about the logo, the colors, the symbols. To talk productively about your brand, you have to have a vision for how you want people to feel about you and then know something about how they actually do feel. You need to have been listening. This is hard.


media and messages

Marshall McLuhan famously explained that “the medium is the message.” Although his context was not my context, the idea still applies perfectly.

Over and over again, I observe that marketers of all types make the mistake of not fitting or adapting their messages to a new medium. Every medium has its own requirements and imperatives for being used most effectively. If your messages are not re-shaped and stylized to fit some medium other than the medium of origin, your message will lose impact and focus.

The ephemeral nature of the live spoken word may require that you use more words to let listeners follow the thought trail and keep up. The persistent and referential nature of the written word allows you to tighten up the prose because readers can go at their own paces and re-read as necessary to maximize absorption. This is a big deal for marketers, where every medium counts and where you should always be concerned about bang-for-buck metrics.

Respect every medium. Use its unique potential in your messaging ensemble.

adaptive marketing

Changes AheadI don’t know if this is a new term or not, but it sure fits real life. I have witnessed both businesses and nonprofits fall from market dominance because they didn’t adapt to changes in their markets.

Stuff changes…all the time. There’s nothing easier than becoming lulled into a false sense of security by good times. Everything you touch turns to gold. Everybody loves you. But that’s bound to change when you least expect it. The trick is to expect it.

Every organization ought to have a change agent. This is someone who is on the lookout for changes in the market who can begin planning strategies for dealing with change. This will be a visionary CEO many times, but CEOs are often known for becoming the biggest fans of the successful realities they helped create. Whoever your change agent is, he or she needs the support of the CEO or other power in the organization because theirs will be a tough job: always ready to remind anyone who needs to hear it that things are changing and changes in the organization need to start happening…yesterday.

Video’s the Thing

If you’re not using video to the max, you may not be doing any marketing at all to speak of. Get with it. Explore your inner Fellini or Ken Burns. Video ups web page stickiness a ton.

15 Stats You Need to Know About Vine and Instagram Video.

A really good How-To video on video marketing…take it away, Tom!….


word cloud - public relations

It really is all about marketing. Problem is, most everyone seems to have an idea about what marketing is that’s way too narrow. Some think it’s synonymous with selling. Some focus on advertising and promotion. Many in the nonprofit world think marketing is irrelevant altogether. Continue reading relationing?