Tag Archives: Stillwater Mediauras

Never Say Never?

9 Jul

Never say never. Well, sometimes say never. Strong COEs make decisions. They don’t get stuck in an almost decision or suffer from that ongoing task force to address every possible issue pertaining to the decision that should’ve already been made. Sometimes you have to make a firm decision. Draw a line in the sand. Sometimes you have to forget the popular choice, do what’s right and press ahead with clear focus. As a strong communicator, you must listen carefully to make educated decisions and then – scary as it may be – you must make that decision and stick with it. Do what’s ultimately good for the end goal. Making the decision is only part of the success story. Communication (both listening and presenting) will get the ball the rest of the way to the goal. You’ll be a better decision maker when you’re listening well and you’ll be a better communicator when you are passionate about the decision and resulting outcomes. Be confident in your daily marketing and overall operations decisions – even the far-reaching, occasional claims for “never” and “always”. Knowing when to say never is a skill, so study other decision makers, leaders and wildly successful individuals, teams and organizations. Learn from others’ strengths and mistakes. Let that inspiration feed you as you snowball it all up – your own powerful instincts, the leading of your creator, all the input you can gather about the decision before you and the provided circumstances – snowball it all up into one big, giant, good mix of nevers, sometimeses, maybes and alwayses you believe in and communicate well. People will join you.

Drop the “I” and Identify With Your Audience!

2 Nov

I have x years of experience. I provide the following services. I sell the following products. I, I, I = blah! What reader is going to hang on to hear how awesome you are when all that’s going through their mind is a determination to find an answer to their question; a solution for their need; an entertainment for their moment? They can link away from you as fast as they linked into you. If you miss your moment to relate to your reader and engage your viewer because you’re coming from I – I – I land. Well. That’s tragic.

Here’s our Beacon marketing challenge to you for today: Focus on the reader, viewer or person you’re talking to! Make it about them. You only have so much time to make your message fit into what’s relevant to them. Replace I – I – I with you – you – you. Rephrase even the most standard of statements so your audience always gets the point in a way that’s oriented to them and not you. Shut up and listen. Engage. Have enough integrity to identify with others!

My mama always told us “You first and me too” when she was teaching us how to deal with others. Her point was that we should always be mannerly and put others first, whether we’re opening a door for someone and following them in or simply listening to someone present an idea before tossing out our viewpoint.

This “others oriented” way of living is not innate and it isn’t always rewarded, but we think it’s the way to be. Certainly, I’m telling you now today without question, it IS the way to market and effectively communicate a promotional campaign. YOU FIRST!

The “me too” amendment was also important when it came to mom’s lesson. Putting others first without ever asserting one’s own needs can be unhealthy in personal relationships. Doormats who can’t stand up for themselves can be victimized or enablers, among other things. We must be as “self secure” as we are “others oriented”.

In marketing, the “me too” is also important because you will have a chance to tell someone what solution you provide once you understand their problem, need or desire. So, your “me too” opportunity to present your side of things can actually be more on target and better received because you appropriately let the “you first” mentality lead you right into an understanding of the other person’s pains or hopes. As you deal with others, think “you first” and then feel free to communicate your needs in a way that matters to them. You first and me too.

Harsh as it may seem, people just don’t care about many of the details marketers might feel compelled to share with them. So, fight the urge to list the details about you and your brilliant expertise or years of experience. Instead, identify with what’s important to them. Take a note out and write “I, I, I” on it. Now put a big “X” over those letters. Then, write “Identify”. Then, post the note in a prominent place to remind yourself to drop your own story and, instead, seek ways to identify with the other person. What are they into? What benefit do you/your organization offer to them? Listening and identifying with others will create a huge difference in your communication and the success of your internal and external public relations.

Have enough integrity to drop the I and instead, identify! Run your business and live your life with integrity. Relate to others and eliminate the me/I in your mentality, language and ultimately, your strategic communications message. Watch language barriers that suggest a we/them or us/you way of thinking. Be on the same page – and do that by identifying with them first.

:: Here’s to a wonderful weekend for you…and I. For We! For Us Together! 😉 ::

ABCs of Marketing – D is for Determination

4 Oct

Are you doing your time or do you really have a fire in your belly to reach a particular goal? Are you determined and on target, based on a meaningful strategy? Or are you just trying to get through your days? Be determined, starting right now. Develop your vision and map out how to get there and then base future decisions on that vision.

Imagine the days of old when enthusiastic sailors and business people embarked on a journey. Whether they were well prepared or not, strong or weak, planned the right route or worked from a bad map – there were many things that could complicate their trip to the desired destination. Being determined in the beginning is one thing. Combating burnout, overcoming objections and staying the course is quite another set of challenges. Staying on target to your end goal and wisely riding the waves of change to where you might even end up somewhere better than you planned – well that’s all about having a strategy that’s true to you.

Imagine the sailor now worn out and exhausted, searching for a way to regroup. Then, there. In the distance. A light. It’s consistent. It’s true. It never waivers. The captain and all on board trust, “I can just keep my eye in that direction, keep my ship pointed that way and I’ll get to a place where I can rest up, think it through, regroup and stay the course.” A beacon. That’s beautiful. Don’t you think? 

Be determined and on track, based on a strategy. Keep your eye on the light and stay the course.

Author Jim Collins uses example after example of how strong leaders carefully plot their course and then, with devotion and determination, they stick to that plan. Stillwater investment and insurance guru Patricia Huffman was recently talking about how so many young families WANT to make a plan and they don’t get around to it until they’ve lost some crucial opportunities. Worse, some people make a plan and then change the course so often that no plan ever reaches as positive a destination as the potential. Many professionals today don’t have to “imagine” the burnout, regret and Monday-morning-dread that consumes us when we’re not taking a proactive position to live with intention and determination! They don’t have to imagine, because they’re living it every day. STOP! No matter what your position or rank, you can set goals and be on mission. Pick yourself up and set out with refreshed hopes and renewed clarity.

Whether you’ve got “I’ll get around to it, but right now I have to…” disease or you have “Well, but what about that new idea” rabbit chasing disease, your marketing success will be weakened. The best marketers work hand-in-hand with operational executives to lead the company and all audiences in the same healthy direction. Audiences will watch you when you know where you’re going. Your sense of purpose gives employees, customers and everyone in between a sense of commitment and clarity, fueling efficient success.

Set out on your journey with your destination in site and a determination to get there! Get help along the way and work as a team to make sure your intentions don’t waver and your efforts aren’t threatened. Reach success one day, one project, one person at a time. ::

ABCs of Marketing – C is for Creative and Comprehensive

27 Sep

No matter how creative your designs are and ingenious your strategies may be, they aren’t going to work unless YOU’RE WORKING THEM! You have to have the entire comprehensive picture coming together for any creativity to really count. So, they (creative & comprehensive) go hand-in-hand.

Getting creative :: Sometimes getting creative means a fresh start, breaking loose, taking the lid off of what IS to think about what COULD BE. Break the status quo. Try something new. Start by reaching out far and wide. Make sure no “norms” are holding the creative spirit back. Then, we challenge you to go back to the basics. Think function and clarity. Creative designs that are cutesy and make the brand’s owner all thrilled because it “looks so snazzy,” can be failures if people can’t see them, remember them and act on them. Get creative, funky and totally jiggy with it. Then jump back into reality and see if your creative solution still works to press ahead. If so, WINNER!

Keeping focused on a comprehensive plan :: An awesome, clear and catchy brand that goes on some business cards – great. If it’s carried out into a look & feel for the online presence and other communications tools – now you’re talking! Creative solutions must be used, pumped out into the world, put into action. Comprehensive operational plans that work cohesively with strategic communications will always be more successful. PR and marketing efforts must intertwine with operational goals and the organization’s current and future direction. Creative deliverables and a series of completed tasks aren’t going to work unless YOU work THEM. “Working” them involves employing an intentional, comprehensive plan of action and tracking your results.  The best “strategic plan” will take you nowhere if it never moves past the binder of wish list documents and into a workable, achievable action plan about which your team is passionate.

Take Creativity and Comprehensive Marketing mentality to an organization-wide discussion. :: Your team’s commitment and your clear leadership will be crucial to the success of a creative, comprehensive, effective, efficient way of marketing. Having an opportunity for creative expression is helpful for every personality style and job description. Accountants and programmers need an opportunity to invest in the creative messaging, so don’t leave everything in the laps of your graphic designers and/or marketing reps. A team approach will not only create greater commitment but offer your normal “creative team” invaluable insights to keep the campaign grounded in the daily operational realities of the organization. Giving your team an opportunity to know where you’re headed with operational  contribute to creative direction will increase effectiveness in an overwhelmingly positive way.

 

 

Meet Beacon Designer Kylie Vincent & hear her take on Beacon’s “C is for Creative and Comprehensive” approach: http://youtu.be/jKM_U5mOTQU

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Beacon ABCs of Marketing – all Mediauras

21 Sep

Beacon ABCs of Marketing - all Mediauras

Download the “Stillwater Mediauras” app and scan these letters to get quickie videos on the ABCs of Marketing! If you’re on your phone now, click this picture to go straight to the download.

Introducing Stillwater Mediauras and the Beacon alphabet

18 Sep

Not long ago, we were still giving the “Yes, you do need a website” speech. For some, we have helped determine if QR codes had any value to the overall strategy and helped educate the region about apps (industry-specific and general media). More recently, we’ve enjoyed helping people understand how interactive television advertising can be. As the medias are all meshing together and mobile applications continue to be on the rise of demand, Mediauras are going to be a great tool for you. So, our creative team has now mastered the ins and outs of that app’s potential so we can help you understand the best ways for creating and using auras – or linked videos that match your brand and tie to the physical world. In doing so, we’ve created…dundundun…

a Beacon Mediauras Alphabet that is fully linkable within the Stillwater Mediauras app.

See http://www.DefineYourAura.com for details. If you’re on your iphone/ipad as you read this, it’s simply http://itunes.com/apps/stillwatermediauras. Here’s a video about Stillwater Mediauras http://youtu.be/wwhbv6IWSwI and here’s a super quickie video about how it works http://youtu.be/fvuS8Vfodzs. We look forward to helping you in any way and rolling out the Mediauras app for other regions very soon. Call Lane “the Aura guy” Bruder at 405.624.5018 for a quick, complimentary conversation about your QR codes, Mediaura presence or other app ideas. Also, after much prodding from my team, a quick blog of marketing advice based on the the ABCs of Marketing we sometimes reference is on the way. So, keep an eye out right here. :: Our best to you ::