Thinking Differently This Year

Throughout my teenage years, I loved to ride BMX. “BMX” encompasses more than the more commonly known racing aspect and includes street riding, dirt jumping, park-riding, and basically any type of 20″ bicycle expression.

During those years, I was constantly torn between the more rigid team sport of hockey and the absolute freedom of making my own rules on my bike. Now I’m not saying that there’s no room for freedom and creativity in hockey – because I’ve found plenty of that – but turning an old tree stump (affectionately deemed “The Stump Jump”) into a launch ramp or an old cement pad into hours of fun was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

The sport/art/lifestyle of BMX has progressed exponentially since my bike got stolen a few years ago, and what some consider to be more astounding than a double backflip are the results of outside-the-box thinking. Take a look at the video below and see the skill and humour behind Tate Roskelley’s ingenuity. In many areas of life and business, it’s helped me to view the seemingly inflexible *dramatic pause* as a world of opportunity.

Music: Beach House – Myth

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.

You Learn, You Live. (If you’re learning fast enough)

You live, you learn. You learn, you live.
The old adage, often used in hindsight, has now been replaced, especially in terms of business, with a new situational appraisal.  Learning is absolutely necessary for survival.

In Eric Reis’s New York Times Bestseller ‘The Lean Startup’, Reis emphasizes that (in business) “The only way to win is to learn faster than everyone else.

This can (and needs to be) applied to a business’s marketing.  Too many times, companies forge ahead with marketing plans strictly based on the mediums available and inflate their advertising budgets to execute their “strategy”.  There are (at least) three things that need to be thoroughly investigated before making any decisions. They are emphasized here:

1. YOU
Learn who you are.
Ask yourself important/hard questions
And then:

Don’t assume people will love you.

Don’t incessantly bleed brand info.

Create context, provide value, b.o.b. (bend over backwards)

2. YOUR CUSTOMERS
Learn who your customers are.
Find out who they are, where they are, and what you can do to get them to do what you want them to.
And then:

Don’t assume people will love you.

Don’t incessantly bleed brand info.

Create context, provide value, b.o.b. (bend over backwards)

3. PLATFORMS
Learn the platforms needed to connect.
Get some dirt under your fingernails. Try. Fail. But don’t waste time.
And then:

Don’t assume people will love you.

Don’t incessantly bleed brand info.

Create context, provide value, b.o.b. (bend over backwards)

In conclusion:
Don’t simply spend on advertising to create an image for your business. Spend on the human capital and processes that will make your customer’s one-on-one experience remarkable. The effect will be noteworthy and spread exponentially. Your advertising will be real.

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