The Jolt! from ckwrites 02.19.2014

Hoping that all of my East Coast readers are staying warm and powered up.

For those of you enjoying the Mac 30th festivities, there was an article in WIRED about a “Dating Game” skit we did at the 1983 Apple Sales Meeting. A very bright young writer decided that it made perfect Valentines Day fodder.

Tech Time Warp of the Week: Watch Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Play The Dating Game

And here’s The Jolt!


Are you doing an effective job of differentiating yourself?

There is a growing amount of research that suggests that most buyers can’t tell the difference between competing agency offerings. That’s what makes this article, 5 Steps to Find and Own Your Differentiators, so important. The other reason is because it tells it like it is – differentiation is hard to do.

Here are the 5 steps.

  1. Choose an approach for differentiation. There are two – a conscious approach to create differences which requires top-down buy in; and the discovery of existing differences.
  2. Assess possible differentiators through market research. This is all about understanding audience priorities.
  3. Identify the differentiators you want to pursue.
  4. Validate them with the marketplace.
  5. Live it. This is all about how the brand manifests and influences in every hire, every project, every contact.

You have to live your differentiators every day, working and acting in ways that are consistent with them.


Are you aware of some of the new free market research tools?

Knowing where to find what you need is always half the job.

Three stood out for me on this list. – use this when you are researching a client or prospect and you want to understand more about how their business compares to their competitors. – is from Moody’s. It’s good for macro trends that effect not just your clients but your portfolio.

mPact – topic searches are a way to learn what people are saying online about a topic, client or their competitors.

The others include the SEC for 10-Ks, the free Hoover’s (a definite go-to) and for all sorts of data.

Let me know what your favorite tools are and I’ll publish a list.

The Big AHA!

Are you using 3D printing?

I’ve been following the evolution of this technology for a few years now. It is just beginning to find application in the event industry. I have no idea about time or costs to use these tools as compared to traditional alternatives, but as you’re about to see, it’s a great way to create the kinds of one-offs which are the essence of a memorable event.

Right now there is a 3D Printshow in NYC with 58 vendors which includes both a gallery and a live fashion show.

According to Mashable:

The range of creations, from art and human body part reproductions, to life-size comic-book heroes, building-sized beams and fashion was stunning…

The link includes a nice photo gallery – and if you’re playing catch-up or want to learn more, there’s a tutorial.

This is the event program if you are in the City and have a chance to stop by. Some nice links in here.

Metrics & ROI

Are you really more productive when you multitask?

You sure? Because the research behind this article found that:

  • Multitaskers experience a 40% drop in productivity across the board.
  • Take 50% longer to accomplish a single task.
  • And make up to 50% more errors.

Don’t feel bad, you are not alone. 92% of all respondents “confessed” to multitasking during meetings. And what were they busy doing? Checking email (69%), working on unrelated projects (49%) and eating (44%).

It’s all laid out in glorious detail in the infographic.

But here is why I put this article in Metrics & ROI.

This survey was sponsored by FuzeBox, a company that provides real-time communication and collaboration services such as videoconferencing.

Unfortunately there is nothing here about how FuzeBox solutions increase engagement, except to say that videoconferencing makes attendees pay more attention. The problem of course is that statement applies to all videoconferencing, not just the FuzeBox version.

Says the CEO, David Obrand:

“Evolving workplace dynamics have created employee engagement and productivity issues that require executive attention in order to optimize individual and organizational performance”

Ya think?

Marketing 501

Are you building winning teams?

Here is the premise:

A truly great staff is made up of different types of people, placed in the positions they’re best at. Building your content marketing team is no different; you must select the best combination of players with different core strengths.

The article suggests that the winning team includes people who can fulfill each of the following roles.

  • Marketing Strategy: The Giver – they buy into the company strategy, internalize the mission and can put long term goals ahead of short. Managers not leaders.
  • Content Creation: The Savant – intelligent, creative, and love to learn. They often have a penchant for literature and are commonly brilliant writers.
  • Creative Direction and Design: The Matrix Thinker – are artistically expressive and creative individuals. They are constantly absorbing information from everything around them and have a strong ability to think in the abstract. Combined with their ability to connect the dots between seemingly random ideas, this makes them excellent problem-solvers who can conceptualize new products and processes.

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And bookmark ck Curates – – you never know when you’ll need an alternative activity to the one you are not particularly engaged in.