Our Blog

Learn from our minds and the others that we look up to

The One Secret Thing That Every Brilliant Company Does

Break their expectations.

Their: Define your customer.  This is very important, who’s the target audience?  It’s not everyone, it’s not a large group of people, the smaller and more detailed the categorization of your target audience, the easier it will be to define their expectation.

Expectations:  What do your customers expect of your product or service?  What do they think they’re getting when they hire you?  What do they actually get when they buy your product?  What does working with you entail?  The more you can define ‘what’ they’re getting, the easier it is to set an expectation.

Break: You must exceed what ever is expected of you.  You’ve defined who ‘they’ are.  You’ve defined what they ‘expect’.  Now you must determine ways to exceed it what they expect.

If done correctly you’ll have a wildly popular company.

AKA: Over delivering, providing more

The Marketing Revolution: What You Need To Know About an Interconnected World

This is a presentation I did for Farm Credit Canada’s marketing group in Regina this Septemeber.  If you weren’t there the slides may be confusing as I like using as many pictures as I can.  If you have questions on it please don’t hesitate to Tweet me (@jephmaystruck) or e-mail me at jephmaystruck(at)gmail(dot)com.

Read More

26 Must Read Books

It’s very simple for anyone today to educate themselves on just about anything they could dream of.  On Amazon, a simple search under any topic will bring up a list of books and more importantly the average rating people gave each book.  Find the top rated books in whatever category interests you, buy the top ten rated, read them, boom instant genius.

Well it’s not quite that easy but you know what I mean.  If you don’t read regularly find a way to do it, read in bed before you fall asleep, maybe go to the bathroom more at work and bring a book with you, read at the gym on the elliptical (two birds with one stone) where ever you can, do it.  It’s one of the easiest ways to get smarter.

Here’s a list of mine from this past year, all of them on the list except for a few were outstanding.  Tweet me (@JephMaystruck) if you want more details or if you have a question on a specific book.

Read More

You Know Advertising Is Down When…

You just proved bench advertising works.Have you ever driven past a billboard and on it there’s some cliche, “hey you looked!!! see advertising does work!!!” line trying to promote the usage of billboards?

This is a sign advertising is on the decline in that area.  If it was such a great medium the company wouldn’t be foregoing revenue to put their own “hey you should advertise here” bullshit.

I’ve heard in Regina, many billboards have a 6 month wait list to get on them (though this isn’t verified) and I don’t think I’ve seen an advertisement promoting billboards on a billboard in Regina for a long time.

In Palm Springs however, you see many billboards talking about how great billboards are.  It’s their low tourist season right now so no wonder advertising on billboards isn’t in high demand.

The next time you see a billboard advertising about how good they work, you now know exactly what they’re actually saying.

Making people smile since 2013

Think You Suck At Writing? 15 Articles To Help You Become A Better Blogger

Though Saskatchewan and Regina may not be the blogging mecca we all predicted it would be, there are still many talented writers here (and many more in the making).  As an organization or individual, if you wish to grow your brand online whatsoever, Creating content is inevitable, you may as well start sooner than later.

If you take writing seriously you’re always looking for ways to get better.  The more you read, the better understanding you have of what makes a great blog and what doesn’t.  Below are some of the best posts on writing and blogging I’ve stumbled upon.  If YOU have some great articles on writing you’ve come across, don’t be afraid to leave a link in the comment below.

Enjoy.

1.  Copyblogger is like the Wayne Gretzky of blogging, here’s a great 5 step formula:  The Simple 5-Step Formula for Effective Online Content

2.  Another from Copyblogger, this one is a lot of little ideas that may help you.  73 Ways to Become a Better Writer

3. From Mitch Joel, a piece of what a blog actually should be.  He’s from Canada, he’s smart, read it.  What Is A Blog? The Question That Won’t Go Away

4.  For any writer trying to improve his or her writing needs to read this.  You’d be silly not to.  The Two Most Import Words in Blogging

5.  Ira Glass On Creativity (or, The Gap Between Our Taste And Our Work…) – Ira Glass hosts one of my favorite Podcasts, This American Life, he’s a brilliant story teller.  One of the best of our time.  Ira Glass On Creativity (or, The Gap Between Our Taste And Our Work…)

Read More

There’s No Such Thing As a Neutral Brand Impression

comic-sansEvery time you come in contact with any brand, company, or organization you either like it a little bit more or like it a little bit less, the feeling is never completely neutral.  The majority of these impressions (feelings) come from your sub-conscious mind, which makes it difficult to understand why you feel the way you do about some brands.  Just assume everything is marketing.

They way the flight attendant smiles at you gives you an impression of the airline.

The way a hostess open the door at a restaurant changes your impression of the establishment.

The way the cashier talks to you while making a purchase changes your impression of the store.

The font you use on doors in your office changes our impression of your company.

Read More

Like Sticking Post-it Notes On The Ocean: Why Sex Doesn’t Sell

Sex doesn’t sell anything other than itself.

In Martin Lindstrom‘s fascinating New York Times Bestseller, ‘Buy-ology‘, countless age-old advertising and marketing assumptions are obliterated.  Perhaps the most provocative (intentional word choice) assumption that he topples is one we’ve probably heard once a week for our entire lives: Sex sells.

Skeptical? I don’t doubt it. Let’s take a closer look before we dismiss the claim…

Lindstrom goes to the next level in ‘Buy-ology’ by going beyond observational marketing.  He draws from experiences with fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scanning to measure activity in certain areas of the human brain in response to the stimulation of advertisements.  Taking a psychological/biological approach gives his findings the credibility that many marketing practices lack.

Think about Malcolm and the Middle vs. Sex and the City for a minute. One compelling experiment from Chapter 13 of the book had viewers of each show divided into two groups. One segment from each series was shown a grouping of sexually suggestive ads during the commercial breaks for products such as beer, shampoo, and perfume. Upon conclusion of each show, viewers were simply asked what they remembered. As Lindstrom regales, the group shown the sexually suggestive ads had no better recollection of which products they were for than those shown non-sexually suggestive ads. Furthermore, viewers of Sex and the City had even worse recollection than those who viewed Malcolm in the Middle. It turns out that the sexually suggestive nature of the show actually overshadowed the retention of the sexually suggestive nature of the commercials. Hence the conclusion: “sex does not sell anything other than itself.”

So, now you’re probably asking why sex and beauty are still used at such great lengths in marketing and advertising campaigns. Lindstrom’s fMRI brain scan experiments helped him find the answer.

In advertising and merchandising (take the pictures on underwear boxes, for example) attractive models actually activate the brain’s mirror neurons, making us view ourselves as one of them. From the shelf to the till (and probably all the way home until we look in the mirror) we view ourselves as the guys in the picture and adjust our confidence accordingly. Or, as Lindstrom points out, if a woman is buying underwear for a man, she’ll have no problem picturing him as fit and handsome as the guy she sees on the box.

Two important takeaways from just one chapter in Lindstrom’s eyeopening masterpiece:

1. Sex doesn’t sell anything other than itself.

2. Sex and beauty still work in advertising by activating mirror neurons.

The 10 Fascinating Websites You’ve Never Seen

Below are some of the more interesting/creative/weird/awkward/amazingly designed websites I’ve found over the past few years.  If you have a really cool site you’d like to share please leave a link in the comments below, I’d love to see it.

Now put a helmet on cause your mind is about to be blown….

1.  Musical Hands?  I don’t even know what the heck this website is called but you can make music with the touch of a button(s).

Musical Hands

2.  Koala’s to the Max is a website that, well not at first but after you do some work, reveals something.  Go on try it out, you’ll be hooked.

Koala's To The Max

3.  Interactive Triangulation is a website where, well, you interact with triangles.

Interactive Triangulation

4. Eye Candy is a psychedelic journey best viewed after a Cypress Hill or Neil Young concert.

Eye Candy

5.  Don’t Click It is a website where you navigate around by moving your mouse, not clicking at all.  It’s difficult, try it out.

Don't Click It

6.  Avoid the Red Dots, that’s all you have to do, check out this website.

Avoid The Dots

7.  Larry Carlson’s Medijate is a wild  cross between One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and a tight and bright party.  Make sure your speakers are one before you visit this site.

Medijate

8.  RainyMood.com is a website that just plays a loop of rain.  Why you ask?  Well it’s relaxing of course.  Who doesn’t like to fall asleep to the sound of rain?!?

http://www.rainymood.com

9. Simply Noise is a free site that plays, noise.  Yup, white noise, pink noise ans brown noise.  You can make it oscillate like a fan or put it on a timer for nights when you can’t sleep.  First a Rain site now a noise site?!?  WTF people? I’ve had it on for the last half hour (brown noise) relaxing. giver it a try.

Simply Noise

10.  Auditorium is a game using sound, I warn you – it’s addicting.

Auditorium

Do you have a site that’s fantastically awesome?  Share the link in the comments below. 

Me love you long time.

 

Explode Your Community (While Avoiding Casualties): 9 Ways To Get REAL Twitter Followers

Many people and businesses start on Twitter and don’t have much of an idea as to how to get followers or start interacting in a way that will add value to their lives or add customers to their business.  The first step is thinking of it as “growing community” rather than “attaining followers”.  I mean, you could simply follow a thousand people then unfollow the ones who don’t follow you back OR even pay someone on fiver.com to get you 3000 followers by midnight (but, actually, please don’t. stay tuned for a rant on the subject).  What’s the use in having a false following of unengaged, unconcerned people who will never engage with you in an enriching way and never set foot in your establishment? Here are some actual, helpful tips – that when executed in a genuine fashion – can get your community growing:

1. Pick A User-Friendly User Name

If you’re going to be identified and recognized by your name, make sure your twitter handle is your name.  If you need to add in underscores or numbers due to your name being taken, do so at the end of the handle to ensure it’s still easily searchable and can auto-populate when people are mentioning and searching you.

2. Search For People To Follow

Searching for current and potential contacts and customers can be as easy as searching your business’s name or searching a hashtag with the airport code for your city (ie: #yqr = Regina).

3. Know the Lingo

Know it but don’t become a slave to it.  Maintain your own personality!

4. Know Who You’re Interacting With

Taking the time to read the bio and recent tweets of a person you’re replying to or striking up a conversation with can make the difference between a message that is remembered  and a message that is forgotten or received negatively.

5. Add Your Twitter Handle To All Signatures

Show your existing contacts that you’re on Twitter by including it at the end of email messages and putting it in your LinkedIn profile

6. Reach Out

We’ve heard of many reputable marketing and business people actually making a list of people they want to get to know on Twitter and taking an intentional approach to interacting with over time in order to build mutually beneficial relationships.  Try it.  Times are changing and people are more receptive to this kind of interaction.

7. Promote Others

Want to get your own tweets retweeted and encourage people to interact with you? There’s no better way to do so than to first help others out by answering their questions and spreading their value-laden work.  While doing so, make sure you don’t water down your content by relaying sub par, non-remarkable content.

8. Share Your Best Info

Value, value, value! Before hitting the tweet button, ask yourself if what you’re tweeting will be of any benefit to the people who will read it.  If it’s not funny, informative, or remarkable, think twice. If it’s only going to be of interest to a few people, consider tweeting it at them directly or choosing a different medium.

9. Practice Etiquette

Avoid correcting people’s grammar and trolling others. Err on the side of positivity. Negativity can get you unfollowed faster than Usain Bolt can complete his final 50 metres.

Page 31 of 32« First...1020...2829303132