Wait what? Hear me out. I spend a lot of time crafting marketing messaging. Always considering the mighty unique value proposition or the key differentiators or the Why-To-Buy statement. You know, standard marketing best practices. And I can’t help but think we might be losing something in the process. What is lost is the reason I hope you listened Serial.
Sometimes the ideas just pour out, and sometimes they don’t. When you’re coming up empty, it’s helpful to have some inspiration. I dare you to read through these four approaches to persuation and not have a new marketing idea by the end of the post.
While reading The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, I was struck by how important the first dysfunction (“Absence of Trust”) is. At first glance it seems straightforward, but it’s not. It’s not one of those touchy-feely issues. And it doesn’t have anything to do with trust falls. It’s a foundational issue that’s commonly ignored as fluffy team-building bs.
Here’s why you’re thinking about trust all wrong:
Marketing agencies use production meetings to balance the flow of client work against the available capacity on their production team to fulfill the work. Over the last two years I’ve been lucky enough to participate in an evolving production meeting structure experiment at a growing agency.
Here’s the story of trying out five different production meeting formats in order to cope with growing a team from 10 people to 23. What worked, what didn’t, and what’s still up in the air.
There’s a lot of talk about “company culture” these days. Generally companies believe they have culture if they offer employees perks like Ping-Pong tables, Nerf guns, flex time or beer Fridays. But companies who feel they can create culture by simply offering frat-house-style perks, are missing a fundamental understanding of what productive company culture is.
Working at a marketing agency is tough. It’s demanding. It’s stressful. It’s time consuming. But it’s also one of the most creative and fun places you can wind up … if you can figure out how to thrive there. Part of thriving in agency life is learning how to work productively with your co-workers.
Here are some tips that will make them hate you less.
Marketers work in a world that thrives on feedback. We are constantly working through feedback cycles, both with our clients and our own internal creative teams. Creative teams invest countless hours executing on feedback. And a lot of that feedback sucks.
Here’s why your feedback is falling short, and how you can make it better.
I’ve been thinking a lot about quitting. The idea of quitting. When people first hear the word “quitting,” they think of acquiescence, of giving up. They think of quitting jobs, and sports teams, and relationships. But, what about quitting in terms of focus? In terms of how much energy and mind space is taken up by unnecessary thoughts and tasks? What if you didn’t really need to deal with all those nagging thoughts plaguing your mind? Can you improve productivity by letting things go? What if you just quit? Just gave up on them? Just let them go? What if letting them go meant checking off that mental task? Can you complete tasks by quitting them?
If you manage projects of any type, you know what thrashing is. Thrashing is changing things on a project. It’s to beat on a design (or concept) via criticism and feedback. With thrashing, timing is everything. There’s an appropriate time for edits and then there’s a terrible (and expensive) time for edits. If thrashing happens early in a project, thrashing is a beautiful thing. But when the timing is bad and the edits come at the last minute right before launch, then you have a problem. This is when thrashing becomes the enemy of every project manager, because it will push deadlines and jam extraneous shit into your projects at the very last minute.
We tackle problems every day. Different people solve problems differently. Some tackle them head on, some take a step back and ponder, and some simply react with the first solution that pops into their head. None of these approaches are always right and none of these are always wrong. Different problems call for different approaches.