Monday, March 29, 2010

Are you the company theater director?

A wise and wonderful client who spearheads a successful healthcare philanthropy program described her role as theater director—the person who stages experiences between donors and her facility. I love this description and think it describes what good marketers do, too.

"I don't ask for money," she says, describing her refreshing way of viewing of fund raising. Instead, she tells the story and lets it do its work. "I know it's unconventional, yet we don't have enough staff to process all the donations people want to make to our facility."

What experiences are you creating for your customers?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Client Showcase—Pacific EP Direct Mail

The Los Angeles-based Pacific Rim Electrophysiology Research Institute, under the direction of internationally renown Koonlowee Nadamanee, MD, worked with us to create a direct mail package that included his symposium invitation and a brochure promoting this remarkable facility.

Dr. Nadamanee has developed an advanced cardiac electrophysiology procedure (EP) that offers new hope and vitality to patients suffering from EP problems. We also developed the logo for the Institute, which has offices on the campus of White Memorial Medical Center in California, as well as in Hawaii and Thailand.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The American Dream in Transition: What Americans Really Think

In his insightful book, The Way We'll Be, veteran pollster John Zogsby draws on thousands of surveys to reveal four megatrends that are shaping how Americans view the world:
  • Living with limits as consumers and citizens
  • Embracing diversity of views and ways of life
  • Looking inward to find spiritual comfort
  • Demanding authenticity from the media, our leaders and institutions

Led by today's 18-29-year-olds, America's first "global" generation, Americans are becoming more internationalist, consensus-oriented and environmentally conscious—and less willing to identify themselves by what they do or how they spend their money.

Leaders and marketers who want to better understand how Americans think and what they believe will find this a valuable read.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When an Ad Campaign Isn't the Answer

Companies sometimes rush to start an advertising campaign when they experience a loss of market share or feel a threat in the marketplace. But before they do so, they should do an assessment of the brand experience to make sure there is parity between the message and the actual experience. Ask:
  1. How are first impressions of the brand contributing to the brand promise?
  2. What is the experience of those who use the service/product?
  3. Is the packaging/facility sending the right message?

A dirty restroom in a hospital can give the impression of low quality care. A poor website can make a company look second-rate. A person who works on the switchboard but isn't knowledgable can suggest company-wide incompetence.

Before you invest in advertising, make sure your customer experience matches your brand promise.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Word Doctor—Use Shorter Words

Why use a long word when a short one will do?

For example:
Exacerbate = inflame
Fortuitous = lucky
Arrogant = aloof
Imperative = crucial
Administer = give

Too much writing is still plagued with long words that make reading tedious. While it's tempting to think one sounds sophisticated, great writers know that it is the size of the idea—not the words—that impresses.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fingers in the Sand: The Power of Images

In this moving and remarkable artistic interpretation of how ordinary people were affected by World War II, 24-year-old Kseniya Simonova uses her fingers to draw a series of images on an illuminated sand table. She won the top prize on Ukraine’s Got Talent with her artistic presentation.

The scene morphs from a happy couple holding hands to warplanes appearing, then to a tearful face of a woman whose smile returns with the arrival of a baby. We next see a woman’s wrinkled, sad face turn into a monument to a soldier, and in the final scene, mother and child bid farewell to a man outside.

In Ukraine, the war resulted in one of every four of their citizens being killed—11 million deaths. Simonova’s unusual style show us once again the power of images to move something deep inside of us—to say things that words cannot.

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