The Jolt! from ckwrites 04.30.2014

“Hell hath no fury…” proved once again to be one of Willie the Shakes enduring insights. One can only contemplate the instant demise of Donald Sterling with an open mouth.

Not saying that the two are related, but Twitter just announced that it now has over 255 million monthly active users, 198 million mobile users, and is getting 80% of advertising revenue from mobile.

With that, here’s The Jolt! from ckwrites.


How often do you believe that the success of your pitch depends on an innovative strategy?

The Forget the Strategy PowerPoint is a Harvard Business Review critique of the C-suite types who abuse the concept and make nasty slides. But under the covers, there are some insights that we should all remember that’s summed up in the article’s concept of ‘A Big Opportunity.’

There are three components to the model.

The Big Opportunity – A window into a winning future that is realistic, emotionally compelling and memorable.

Change vision – What you need to look like to be able to capitalize on the Big Opportunity.

Strategic intiatives – Activities that, if designed and executed fast enough and well enough, will make your vision a reality.

There are some important lessons here, the biggest of which is that one shouldn’t go talking about strategy unless there is demonstrable evidence that your idea is going to make a significant difference to the business. In other words, don’t go there unless your program will have a significant impact and you can clearly demonstrate how your program will achieve that result.

Frankly, I have to wonder if aligning your program with a client’s initiative (thus demonstrating your understanding,) isn’t usually better than trying to invent your own strategy in the hopes of differentiating your offer.

Equally important is keep it short and to the point.

Read the article for the 7 characteristics of an effective Big Opportunity statement.

Effective Big Opportunity statements direct attention to an inspiring rainbow outside; they don’t feel like a finger pointing out what the managerial and employee children should be doing inside the organization.


What do you know about crafting the perfect mobile email?

Nothing? Me neither.

Until the last year or two, very few people in the event business had to concern themselves with emails. And almost no one anywhere imagined the day that up to 70% of all emails would be opened on mobile devices like your iPhone or Galaxy.

Which is why I am happy to recommend The Anatomy of a Perfect Mobile email from the good people at Litmus. Their intent is to enable all of us to create amazing mobile experiences. Personally I have yet to be convinced that a mobile experience can be amazing, but I am certain that paying attention to the 10 guidelines in this infographic is preferable to reinventing the wheel on your own.

The Infographic is divided into three sections:

Mobile Friendly Email – In which content and usability play equally important roles.

Disastrous Mobile Emails – Some of the greatest pitfalls to avoid.

Compatibility – the advice is to understand how each mobile OS will bend, staple and otherwise mutilate your email. Needless to say this is a moving target and a very steep part of the learning curve.

This is one of those brave new metric obsessed worlds where sweating the details is essential to success, if only because failure is so very well documented.

The Big AHA!

What do you do for fun?

Besides read The Jolt! and ck Curates?

Here is some real fun, The 50 Best Mobile Games: A Comprehensive Guide to Ignoring Friends and Family for iPhones and iPads. A few of these are also available for Android.

Mobile games offer interactive experiences on the devices that most of us carry every day. They allow us a bit of serenity when we need it most — in the airport, on the subway, at a questionable mid-life moment.

Of course there is a serious business reason to check these out (The Jolt! aspires to be serious,) and that is because the world is increasingly interested in gamification. And there is no better way to master the concept yourself than playing games. Serious.

The review includes a mix of free and pay-to-play titles starting at a buck, along with some gorgeous screen shots you can use to torment the Art Department. If nothing else your kid or significant other will thank you.

 Metrics & ROI

Do you have a tool chest full of visualization tools?

Most of us could use more. Because it’s not just about capturing the data. Or analyzing it. It’s about making it accessible… useful… even memorable. Which is where 30 Simple Tools For Data Visualization can come in handy if you have the prerequisite skills.

The authors say that the software in this collection was selected for their point-and-click interfaces that don’t require massive geekness on your part, though they definitely require some. These are tools not toys, and getting the most out of them requires someone with technical savvy behind the curtain.

Here’s an easy test. Read the first few descriptions. If you get it, read on. If you don’t, go make nice with someone who knows Javascript or has other mad skills.

  • There are a few tools like Dipity which enable you to relatively easily create a web-based timeline – an interesting way to present a call for papers or an entire event.

If nothing else, look at the pictures and use them to spark a discussion about what you need to communicate.

Marketing 501

Do you enjoy mocking people who overuse biz speak?

Of course you do. Tom Fishburne pens witty, New Yorkeresque cartoons under the nom de plume marketoonist. He has a fine time poking fun at the most sacred of business cows. I thought this weeks offering, innovation strategery, was exceptional. And yes that is the title, not a typo – thanks for asking.

The cartoon offers an important reminder that not everything that glitters is gold. Most of the time, the benefits of a new product, especially one that is just an upgrade or a refresh is not that big a deal. Hype and puffery won’t overcome a disappointed audience thinking “Really? That’s it?”

The most powerful way to talk about a new product or business is Plain English. The more innovative your product actually is, the less you’ll need to use buzzwords to justify it.

If you haven’t subscribed to The Jolt! from ckwrites yet, please do. Just click here – easy, peasy and done.

And please be sure to bookmark ck Curates. You never know when you might be in desperate need an alternative activity to replace the one you are not particularly engaged in.