One Step at a Time: A Look at Organizational Change

Change - Business ConceptI still find it amazing when I’m speaking with leadership of a business or organization about either joining their team or consulting their expectations to provide detailed plans on how I can revolutionize their organization and make some immediate changes for the better. I understand the urgency of moving your organization forward especially if you’re in the position of needing some immediate change. My answer is traditionally until I know and understand all the moving parts; I’m not prepared to give you detailed plans on change in your organization. During our conversation, I may lead some questions based on information I’m hearing, but that’s only me seeking more information to understand better the operational position the organization is in.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when making significant changes to the operations of an organization is that it’s not as simple as just making a change. When you change something, it affects people’s day-to-day ability to do their job. Also, if you don’t clearly vet the change and for some reason you become unavailable or leave the position, you’re now leaving the organization more vulnerable then when you arrived. So it’s essential to understand the affects your changes will have on all personnel and the organization. Here are my “baby” steps needed before I start to make actual recommendations to the organizational structure. Continue reading

Pass the hat: Why it’s essential to have a diverse skill set in today’s marketplace

skillsI find it ironic when hiring managers still focus solely on an individual skill or trait of a potential employee and not the bigger picture. One of the first pieces of advice I received in my professional career was “find what you’re good at and do it better than anyone else.” In the beginning, that’s what I set out to do but quickly realized that’s not who I am. I have found in today’s marketplace how essential it is for leaders to hold multiple skills and learn a variety of trades. I once had a billion dollar retailer tell me in an interview when asked what I desired to do, that I couldn’t do both things I’m interested in. I have to choose one or the other because they are two different jobs. Perhaps if you’re looking for a career solely in large corporations but for the majority of Americans that work for small businesses and non-profits, it’s not enough to be an expert in one area.

With some organizations, especially in the non-profit sector, I was always told that you need the ability to wear multiple hats. Even in small businesses, it’s common for an individual to be in charge of multiple departments while having your own list of duties. Last year, when I was in the middle of my MBA program, I had a decision to make. Do I get a marketing concentrated MBA where my last five courses would be all marketing or do I switch to a generalized MBA so I could learn more about finance and human resources? I’ve spent the last ten years in marketing, and there’s no doubt I could have picked up new marketing tactics and strategies to make me stronger in my marketing career. I felt if I was truly serious about moving into operations/management, I needed to learn more about human resources and finance, so I decided to get a generalized MBA. Continue reading

Fire Your Marketing Director, Hire a Customer Experience Expert

Marketing Directors are overrated. I know I’ve been one. Whether you’re marketing products or services, it’s time to have your customers generate your marketing plan by developing initiatives around the customer experience. The days of just understanding marketing and how to retain new customers are over. It’s essential that your marketing expert have a clear strategy on how to communicate to customers and how customers can provide feedback on their experiences. Below are three things you can implement in your customer experience strategy to get you started.

Survey Strategy 

Having a survey strategy allows you to retain ongoing important information about your products and services. There’s a few ways this can be implemented. Making sure the survey link is at the bottom of each of your employee’s email signatures. If your company does a newsletter, making sure there’s a button available for customers to provide feedback. Lastly, focus on an onboarding survey. Something developed that you can provide a customer who recently had an experience with your organization whether they just signed up, interacted with your customer service team, or any other interaction. Continue reading

Marketing Mania: How Politics Shifted the Art of Persuasion

Uncle Sam Horizontal SignWe’re in full election cycle right now and it seems as if candidates will say or do anything to get the nomination for their party. I’m a political guru. I know this is marketingguru.co, but perhaps I should have politicalguru.co as well. I love and hate politics all in the same day. I love the idea that individuals have the dedication to their country and ambition to do something only 44 people have done in the history of this great country. The knowledge the must have (or should have), the constant rallies, meetings, and townhalls, the press, and everything in-between, campaigning is hard. I commend any individual that has the willingness to become an open diary whether for good or bad. This is politics. I love it.

Too bad that’s not it. When you’re eyeing the highest office in America, it doesn’t come without scrutiny of your past. That’s when the nastiness of comments, attacks, and marketing takes place. (Finally he’s getting to marketing) When I started this blog one year ago, I focused on integrity and how Christians should conduct themselves when it comes to attracting and encouraging through marketing. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this same philosophy. Just last week, I was confronted with just how easy it is to use marketing to be dishonest or deceitful. I had someone ask me to send an email encouraging a campaign to correct a typo in a previous email I sent. I immediately recommended this was not the approach I wanted to take but just as in most request, I considered it. One of the challenges with national political campaigns is the candidates don’t always know what’s happening within their campaign. Even so, the individuals in charge of their campaigns should understand the integrity of the candidate and align their decisions with the decisions of what the candidate would make. Continue reading

The Great Communicator: Understanding Communication Demand

Communicate Communication Telecommunication Connection Calling CThere use to be a time when it was okay not to check your email but once a day and depending on the industry you work in, communication demand is still a concept that’s foreign. Communication demand is a metric I developed to measure an industries expected demand on an individual’s communication efforts. For example, if you’re in sales, then your communication demand is typically much higher than someone that works on the floor of a manufacturing organization. Communication demand highlights expectations when it comes to communication whether it’s internal or external.

In my personal and professional development, I found more success setting my communication demand higher than the average individual working in my industry (marketing). Traditionally, marketers already have high communication demand because of this notion that all marketers must be constantly connected. This is true for me. I am constantly connected whether it’s by email, social media, or voice. If I where to analyze my response rate with any communication message directed to me then I would say my average response rate is less than an hour. Why do I do this? Because I found success and a welcomed response when I’m quick to respond. Continue reading