The 12 Days of Marketing

xmasTime to get in the holiday spirit!  Here are the lyrics I came up with this morning, please feel free to comment and add your own.


On the first day of marketing, senior management gave to me, complete marketing buy-in (as it should be).

On the second day of marketing, my printer gave to me, two proofs delivered.

On the third day of marketing, my agency gave to me, three concepts on strategy.

On the fourth day of marketing, my online firm gave to me, fourth ranking on Google.

On the fifth day of marketing, my big boss gave to me, a five-fold budget increase.

On the sixth day of marketing, sales gave to me, six collaborative projects.

On the seventh day of marketing, my digital agency gave to me, a seven platform campaign.

On the eighth day of marketing, my research firm gave to me, eight focus groups.

On the ninth day of marketing, my followers gave to me, nine tweets re-tweeted.

On the tenth day of marketing, my target influencers gave to me, ten brand recommendations.

On the eleventh day of marketing, my PR firm gave to me, eleven positive pick-ups.

On the twelfth day of marketing, my sponsored athlete gave to me, twelve mistress …. errr …. great endorsements.

Read and Recommended (Dec 11)

Here are a couple of articles and a blog post that caught my attention over the past few weeks.

Internet beats TV to become world’s favorite medium

(BizReport) A recent global study into attitudes towards media and advertising found that the Internet has pipped television to the post as the world’s favorite medium, according to media tracking firm, Synovate.

What to watch for in 2010

(Eric Weaver’s blog) As 2009 comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what I’ve seen this year, and consider what will be top of mind for 2010.

Marketers jump on e-reader bandwagon

(MarketingVOX) For now, e-readers are strictly a retail play – for $259 and up, a consumer can purchase a device – along with the content to read on it – from Sony, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. That, however, has not stopped marketers from planning for the day when these devices – which In-Stat says are poised to grow into a $2 billion market by the end of next year – will eventually provide mobile advertising opportunities.

Strategic Planning – Key Components

Early in my marketing career, I was fortunate to participate in corporate strategic planning sessions. From these sessions, I truly learned the value of creating a proper strategic marketing plan, outlining a company’s vision, mission and objectives, as well as strategies and tactics to achieve the objectives. This planning discipline has stuck with me throughout my career, I have employed it at every company I have worked at – achieving success in the process.

Here is an overview of the key components of a strategic plan.

Vision Statement

An overarching inspirational, and statement that outlines an organization’s desired state, or how it wants the world in which it operates to be.  It is a clear statement that is focused on the future.

Mission Statement

Often confused with a vision statement, a mission statement is more oriented towards the fundamental purpose of an organization. It provides direction with regards to process, and the desired level of performance.


Objectives outline the desired goals and outcomes to be achieved. Ideally, they should be clearly defined and measurable.


Strategies are the plans, or methods, that will be employed to achieve the objectives.

Tactics and Timing

The specific actions underlying a strategy, and the timeframe against which they should be executed.

Often, companies develop strategic plans on an annual basis.  However, given the increased velocity of change and innovation in today’s world, I recommend revisiting and revising strategic plans on a quarterly basis, if not more often than that. Doing so will enable companies to be quick and nimble with regards to competition, and enable them to more easily evaluate and pounce on opportunities as they arise.

Here is a strategic planning template, in PowerPoint format, that I really like.

Click here to download. (ppt, 184kb)

Happy planning!

Award Winning Cannes 2009 Commercials

Recently, I had an opportunity to attend a screening of award winning commercials from the 2009 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.  Many of the commercials are available on YouTube, click here to view a selection of them.

I thought I would share a couple of my favorites.

Read and Recommended (Nov 20)

Here are a blog post and an article that caught my attention over the past few weeks.

Will Oprah’s Move to Cable Dampen the ‘Oprah Effect’?

NEW YORK ( — Oprah Winfrey’s decision to end her long-running syndicated program is a bet on the future of TV — that niche cable channels, with their dual revenue streams from advertising and subscriptions, will be a more stable media base, and that technology will allow any content provider to reach its core audience in a more direct fashion without having to be seen at a certain time of day and on a certain channel. But the move may end up diminishing her power as a mover of products.

When data and decisions collide

(Seth Godin’s blog) Until recently, most of the decisions we were called on to make were based on hunches, insight and a little bit of data. Occasionally, a field like direct marketing would develop into something quite data-driven (“I don’t care if you like mailer one, Smythe, mailer #2 did three times, better! Number 2 it is.”) but not often.

Read and Recommended (Oct 23)

To keep abreast of the latest trends and changes in marketing and social media, I believe it is very important to scan through other blogs and articles – and learn from the experts.  Inspired by Briana Tomkinson, a Strategist at Fjord Interactive, I intend to share articles of interest on here from time to time.

Here are a several articles and blog posts that caught my attention over the past couple of weeks.

Why It’s Time To Do Away with The Brand Manager

BATAVIA, Ohio ( — Managing a brand has always been a slightly odd concept, given that consumers are the real arbiters of brand meaning, and it’s become increasingly outmoded in today’s two-way world. That’s why a new report is going to recommend changing the name “brand manager” to “brand advocate,” and fundamentally changing marketer organizations in response to the onset of the digital age.

The report, due out next week from Forrester, finally puts the onus on marketers to change their structures — a welcome conclusion for media owners and agencies who keep hearing how they should change, but often complain that their clients have done little to shift their organizations to cope with an increasingly complex world of media fragmentation and rising retailer and consumer power.

Social Media and the Gentle Art of Management

(Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation blog) If there is one question that circulates around boardrooms, organizations and enterprises, it is: how do we manage Social Media from a management perspective?

Companies Seek Social Butterflies

(The Toronto Star) Calling all wired-in twentysomethings with a flair for Facebook and a talent with Twitter: You can make a career out of your perpetual online presence. As employers have moved to crack down on staff using office time to post photos to Flickr or tweet ruminations about their misadventures, the savviest companies have instead mobilized their cyber social butterflies as a key part of business strategy.

10 Reasons to Attend TrendCity on Sept. 23

The League of Kickass Business People continues to grow in Vancouver, and we will be hosting our second event on Wednesday, September 23 at Cossette in Yaletown. Here are the top ten reasons why you should join us!

1. Learn about what’s happening and what’s changing from our kickass speakers, with Kirk LaPointe covering media, Eric Karjaluoto on design, Ginger Grant talking about branding, and Paul Melo on style and fashion.

2. Engage, converse and share ideas with fellow mid and senior-level visionaries, innovators and headline-makers.

3. Angele Beausoleil, our moderator extraordinaire.

4. Become part of a dynamic, growing but exclusive group.

5. Enjoy our open, somewhat contemporary event venue.

6. Expand your network, meet a unique and very diverse group of trendsetters.

7. Unwind, relax and indulge in delicious food and beverages.

8. Join us for more more mingling post-event, location to be decided.

9. Have fun. If the weather cooperates, we will make use of the patio.

10. Show off your trend awareness and expertise to your coworkers the next morning!

For more information about TrendCity, and to register, please visit

I hope to see you there!

Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow

Swing dancing at an event I was at in NYC.

Swing dancing at an event I was at in NYC.

Starting this weekend my Saturday nights will regain some normalcy, with the return of the Stomp it Off! swing dance at the Legion Auditorium on Commercial Drive, hosted by Jungle Swing Productions. Vancouver has a thriving swing dance community, which in a sense, just might be one of Vancouver’s best kept secrets. Swing dancing represents an absolutely fantastic opportunity to socialize in an open, fun and inclusive atmosphere, while also getting some exercise and letting loose on the dance floor.

For those of you who haven’t danced before, you might be surprised to know that most dancers in the community are in their twenties and thirties. Personally, I have made some great friends through dancing, friends who are very forgiving of me and my two left feet!

So, why should you consider dancing? Well, here are some benefits that come to mind.

Expand Your Social Circle

Swing dancing really is a great way to meet people. You don’t need to have any dance experience whatsoever, or have a partner to dance  with. There is a free drop-in lesson at the start of each dance, and you rotate around, giving you a chance to dance with everyone at the lesson. Coming on your own? No worries!  The atmosphere is very social, you will be asked to dance.

Learn Something New

Are you looking to pick up an new activity or hobby? Just a warning, swing dancing is very addictive!  The dance at the Legion is very beginner-friendly. Contrary to popular belief, you do no need to have experience before swing dancing. It is not a competition, it is an opportunity to have fun.  If you try it, and you like it, there are several great local companies that offer swing dancing lesson series. Consider checking out Rhythm City Productions.

An Inexpensive Night Out

Cover for the Stomp it Off! dance is only $10, or $8 for Jungle Swing members, and it includes a free drop-in lesson. I don’t know if you’ll find better value anywhere in the city.  Interested in going for a drink (or two) as well?  There is a bar downstairs, and a group of us often make the trek down at some point in the evening. There are also plenty of dining options on Commercial Drive, should you wish to grab a bite beforehand.

Listen to Great Music

Stomp it Off! brings in the best DJs in Vancouver, and there playlist is sure to keep you on the dance floor.  What’s more, very few weeks Stomp it Off! hosts a live band.

Keep Fit

Needless to say, swing dancing is also a great way to get some exercise. No, it’s not cross-fit or a Jane Fonda workout routine, but dancing is an excellent complement to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Saturday night’s dance runs from 9:00pm to 1:00pm at the Legion Auditorium at 2205 Commercial Drive, with a free drop-in lesson at 8:00pm. I hope to see you there!

Watch Your Step


While out for an evening walk last weekend, I came across an ad from Telus on the sidewalk. A good example of guerrilla marketing – the ad was unexpected and unconventional, it caught my attention. Intrigued, I checked out the Telus web page when I got home. The page  details several environmental actions that  Telus is taking across the country, through their phone recycling program.

Made to Stick

Made to StickWhen communicating, are your messages getting through to recipients in the intended manner and tone, with the correct understanding?

Communication is one of the most important skills to learn – it is necessary in so many facets of life. Strong relationships with friends and family, as well as with colleagues at work, all depend, to some degree, on effective communication.

In their book Made to Stick, authors (and brothers) Chip and Dan Heath present an overview of six key elements that can make a message “stickier” – that is, more memorable for recipients. Not surprisingly, the elements can be summarized using a simple acronym that is easy to remember, “SUCCES”.

In general, effective messages tend to be at least several of the following:

Simple. They are tangible and can easily be processed and understood.

Unexpected. Think for a moment about some ads that you’ve seen. Have any caught you off guard? As outlined in a recent blog post, a bus shelter ad for the movie District 9 certainly did!

Concrete. Language is abstract, but life is not. When possible, try to be concrete and tangible in messaging. Avoid industry lingo or slang, particularly when communicating with an audience who might not be familiar with the terminology.

Credible. Internal and external credibility are required to get a message across.

Emotional. How can we make people care about our ideas? We need to create empathy and appeal to our audience  – taking into accout who they are.

Stories. Stories stimulate and inspire, and they tend to withstand the test of time.

If you get a chance, I definitely recommend reading the book. Chip and Dan also have a regular column in Fast Company.