Archive for January, 2013



How to Market to Your Multiple Audiences

Messaging is critical in any marketing campaign. The wrong message to the wrong audience and all you your effort is a miss. No organization has only one audience. Even if your organization has the most homogeneous target audience, say retired male teachers, it might be at different levels of engagement with the organization: some have never heard of it; some have just been exposed to your services; others are members; and you might even have a volunteer force that helps you fulfill your mission. Since budgets are always tight, the temptation is to create materials (brochures, mailers, email blasts, visuals) that communicate to the entire target audience. Unfortunately that seldom works. What to do then? Identify your stakeholders. Every marketing campaign my company puts together involves a strategic session where we identify the target audience(s) and their level of engagement or commitment. Know who they are, their motivations, and the…

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What Should You Stop Doing?

“Every leader must learn that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.” That’s what I came up with after the lady asked me to write down my favorite quote. Nothing had come to mind but that statement. That was it. Of all the books I’ve read and of all the people I’ve studied, is that THE quote? Come on. But it has stuck with me over the past few weeks since the incident. As I think back in my professional career, I have lived and continue to live that statement. As a matter of fact, the more I’m able to apply it to my life, the more successful I become. I remember the first time that I decided to stop fixing the office printer early in my career. Yes, I could do it, but so could someone else and my time was best served elsewhere. It’s not…

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How to Form a Great Partnership

Partnerships are important part of business as well as ministry. Great partners can help you grow while a bad one can be the death of a dream. While we can easily form a partnership, it takes a long time to break one apart, sometimes with dire consequences. Here’s what I consider before going into a partnership with an individual or organization. Trust. If there’s no trust then you should never, ever go into any kind of partnership. If you get the feeling that the other party is waiting for you to mess up so they can get the upper hand on any situation, run for the hills. Respect. Whether it be business or personal, if you don’t respect the leader of an organization, then you shouldn’t create any kind of partnership, no matter how beneficial it looks on the onset. Once, I went to work for a man because I…

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Trust and Competence: Leaders Must Have Both to Succeed

Some people you trust with your life. Some people you know will get the job done. These are two essential qualities that every leader looks for in building their organization. But unless you find both trust and competence in those whom you lead, you don’t have a dynamic team who can grow your business, church, or not-for-profit. As a matter of fact, without trust and competence, the only thing you have is a mess in your hands. The trustworthy and yet incompetent is often the first to be hired and the last to be let go. After all, who does not love someone you can trust, someone you know will have your back and whom you do not have to worry about what they are “up to?” However, his inability to perform and deliver will catch up with him and the entire team. Sure, he’s a likeable person, but in…

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Why Your Next Diet Will Fail

Chances are you have started a new diet this week. And chances are it will fail.  I recently heard a man describe his failed diet attempt with what he called a “food coach.” His predicament is unfortunately the norm and not the exception. After seeing a friend lose close to 40 pounds, this man decided to join the same program and hired his now thinner friend’s nutrition consultant, which he named his food coach. During their first two-hour call he got the marching order on what to do for the first week, including keeping a log of all his caloric intake while using his coach’s advice on what and what not to eat. At the end of week one he had gained 7 lbs.  During the second call, his coached fired him. “Whenever you are ready, you can call me, “ he recounted the conversation to several men as he…

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Choosing Best: When Good Is Not Good Enough

Sometimes we need to say “no” to a good idea so we can say “yes” to the best idea.  Stephen Covey puts it this way: “It’s easy to say ‘no!’ when there’s a deeper ‘yes!’ burning inside.” While that approach to both business and personal life might make sense, and we see the validity in waiting for the best, that is no easy task for those of us living in our immediate gratification culture. We often sacrifice the best on the crucible of the good. After all, no one was ever penalized for coming up and executing a good idea. But by choosing the good, we forfeit the satisfaction, exhilaration, the mountain-top view of what only the best can provide. So then why do we settle? Here are a few reasons I do it. I don’t know what I want. It’s easy to say yes to a marginally good idea, business,…

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New Year’s Resolutions Revisited

Most people who make new year’s resolutions don’t follow through with them. Statistics say only 12% of those do see their resolutions come to fruition.  I say we need a change of perspective. As a marketer, I’m a big fan of re-purposing, re-packaging something that’s still useful but has been rejected by an audience because it’s perceived as no longer relevant. Our current new year’s resolution fits the category well. Maybe we should call it an annual refocusing, but no matter the label, here’s why I think we should stop and think through what we’re doing: Make sure you still want to go where the tracks lead you. It’s easy to realize you need a life change during a crisis. If any area of your life, such as your career, marriage, or finances are in deep trouble, you know it’s time for a major overhaul. But what happens when you’re…

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