The Jolt! from ckwrites 03.19.2014

When I was at dick clark corporate productions I was the Creative Director on the Boeing 777 roll out. I spent hours on the 777 assembly line, and this is not a small object – and the long-range version, the missing Malaysia 777-200 is even bigger. As my friend Lee would say, “kinda fascinating.”

For a Metrics & ROI approach to finding Flight 370, I am delighted to post a link to Nate Silver’s new site, FiveThirtyEight which launched Monday. The article is How Statisticians Could Help Find That Missing Plane. Special thanks to reader and 777 partner DSR for introducing me to Nate’s work last year.

BTW lots of expectations that the site, funded by ESPN(!), will be a game changer. (Good one huh?)


Do your clients respect your time?

“Pitches” is one of the more difficult sections to write because The Jolt! attracts a diverse audience. You are everyone from individual practitioners, to people at event agencies to corporate clients.

  • If you are part of a larger organization hopefully you have a bid qualification process in place that you use.
  • But if you are on your own you probably don’t trust yourself to ask,” is this a real deal?”

If you fall in the latter group, this is for you. It’s a seemingly simple process that packs a huge punch and will improve the odds of your proposal being accepted and respected.

Ask and and answer the following questions:

  1. Is my time valuable?
  2. Is my expertise worth something?
  3. Have I earned the right to make a reciprocal request?

If your answers are yes, then use this statement, or something similar to respond to your client:

“I can put this together, but it will require time on my part and I must get [department 1], [department 2], and [name of executive] involved. Can I count on you to organize a meeting with [name of prospect contact 1, contact 2, etc.] to discuss the proposal on [specific date]?

You have just made a perfectly reasonable request. One that your prospect can accept. One that he should accept. If he doesn’t, his message is loud and clear: “I win. You lose.”

If this sounds a lot like the Tom Searcy stuff I post all the time, it is…. What you do then is of course up to you. But IMO if you’re not answering yes you need to ask yourself if you are in the right business.

One other thought – if you don’t know who you need to meet with, you do not understand the decision-making process for your project. Not good.


Do you know how to create a sell-out event website?

Creating event websites is becoming an everyday assignment. In fact, I am working on one right now.

I like this approach, especially the last part in which the author talks about Chip and Dan Heath’s book Made To Stick which I was not familiar with. The book outlines a series of principles for creating “sticky” content which the author contends is an essential ingredient to a Sell-Out website.

3 key concepts:

Simple yet unexpected: This will require thinking like an attendee and discovering why your event matters.

Concrete and credible: The sell-out website paints a clear picture of the specific things people will get from attending your event.

Emotion and stories: People invest their time, attention and money into things that they care about and they think will make a difference for them.

Common sense – yes. Easy to do – no. But I’m working on it!

The Big AHA!

Do you like cool stuff?

Of course you do – it’s why you read The Jolt! And this fully interactive panorama shot from the top of 1 World Trade Center is about as cool as it gets.

It’s just an altogether remarkable accomplishment.

The building.

And now the photo. If you missed the double fold out cover of Time this week here it is, along with the making-of-story. Which entailed a 13 foot custom jib arm mounted to the top of the 408′ spire – and then a 5 hour series of 567 exposures stitched together into a Time Gigapan so that you can poke it, prod it and otherwise fly around Gotham like a caped crusader. The resolution is nothing short of astounding.

One World Trade Center has reclaimed the sky. And this is the view from there.

If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, New York, New York…

Metrics & ROI

Are you measuring single elements or the effect of an integrated portfolio?

There is a shift underway and this is a remarkably smart and concise look at it. The basic premise is simple – in the majority of cases, no one thing can seal the deal. No one thing can convert or move someone to action. Today it’s all about the continuum, about making investments that together create the desired outcome.

Here are some examples of the new investment-return framework the author sees emerging:

  • Invest in your brand – get recognition.
  • Invest in your story – build a narrative.
  • Invest in the community – get respect.
  • Invest in product development – keep interest.
  • Invest in assets – get earning capacity, presence and efficiencies.
  • Invest in news – develop traffic and profile.

Different investments. Different returns. All needing to be deftly judged and balanced.

Strategy and an integrated approach are essential to effectively execute and manage a plan as diverse as this… much less to build a model with right metrics to measure the results.

Marketing 501

Is the Apple model a fit for your company?

No says Allison Johnson ex-VP, Marketing at Apple. She worked on the iPod, iPhone and iPad launches as well as one of my favorite campaigns “Mac vs PC.” She has a lot to say about the role of marketing. As a bonus you get some good Steve stories and some insights into how it all worked.

The main takeaway is that Steve cared desperately about both the Product and the Marketing. As a result, marketing was deeply embedded in the product development process. In fact Allison points out how difficult it is for an external agency to have that depth of understanding and engagement.

The product is the experience – it is the brand. There is nothing separate…

She also talks about how the Apple model of one-way consumer relationships is inappropriate for most companies.

Lots of food for thought in a 23 minute video interview.

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