Category Archives: Marketing


My mom refers to times in our lives as “seasons.”

“This is a busy season,” she’d say. Or a “challenging season,” or a “blessed season.” You get the idea.

I’ve always liked the concept of seasons. Because, just as seasons change, so do times in our lives. Seasons only last for a period of time, so do times in our lives. Seasons are also beautiful periods of time and despite how difficult one might be, their beauty is always present. Summer will always be about sunshine and the beach for me. Fall is all about festivals and apple picking. Those things never go away, regardless of my well-being in them.

Know that there is beauty in every season. It is meant to be soaked up. It’s also merely a blip in time. It’s tough and it’s good. Sometime both. Sometimes actually neither.

No matter what, though, the next one is around the corner.

New Production Value Expectation

Watch this – BBC’s intro/commercial for the Olympics.

We see this level of production value in movies all the time. But more and more, we’re seeing this level of production value for short content spots like commercials.

This is becoming/will quickly become the new norm.

This is the type of content that people will expect to see on any screen, in and out of the home.

Not Easy

At the halfway point in the year, I don’t know that I’ve ever had a more challenging half of a year. It has been one filled with great transition, great sacrifice, great opportunity, and great fulfillment. Funny how all of those are typically always entwined. Nothing is easy, at least when you want something so bad. I’m not talking about a client, or a particular job, or a title. I’m talking about being your best self.

In the face of so much transition, so much adversity, so much overwhelmingness, it’s easy to lose perspective. It’s easy to lose who you are. That’s the challenge. Not the work, not the responsibilities, not anything like that. It’s resisting the urge to cut corners, to do what’s easiest or most well-received, to be guided by the wrong things, to compromise your core.

This is not easy.

But it is the way it must be done. If you want it bad enough.

People, Organization, Work – Pick 2?

One of the first anecdotes my mentor told me when I started my career was, “Time, Money, Quality – pick 2.” For those of you in the business, I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before. And probably made jokes about it. Because, while the point is – you can’t have it all, more often than not, the push for delivery is to bring it all. It’s a never-ending challenge in the business of making and delivering stuff. But in the end, really, there is always a sacrifice.

I’m leading a huge transition at work right now and I’m finding the same sort of challenge. But it’s a different set of 3. I’m finding that the pillars of any group/organization/team are:

“People, Organization, Work”

People being the actual talent that makes up the team. There is an inherent dynamic that you must be aware of because it directly affects – positively or negatively – the culture of your team/organization.

Organization is actually the workflow, the process, the how things get done.

And the work is the work. It’s the stuff that you make.

In huge periods of transition, I feel like the struggle is the same as it is in delivery. Maybe even moreso. You know you have to reasonably focus on all of the 3, but at the end of the day, at any given time, something is sacrificed. Might just be for a day, might be for a week, might even be for a month. But which is it?

I’ll tell you which one I always try for it NOT to be.

Always, always – people. People are the key. If we get that right, everything else will be right. Just takes longer to do it, which is really where the challenge comes in. And, of course, you don’t want to overburden your existing people, because presumably, they are the right people.

So, the pick 2 thing – I’m still figuring it out. It’s a dance that changes on a daily basis. But the 1 I’m grounded in and try to always pick and not sacrifice is the people.

Do you find the same challenge out there? Would love to hear your stories, if so.

Quiet Giants

11th Screen | The Interactive Out-of-Home Blog

As I watched my daughter ‘graduate’ from first grade last week, I was amazed by a number of things –

1) despite trying to ignore the cliché, time really does fly and just like that, my daughter is going to be in the 2nd grade

2) the genuine love that the teachers and the students have for each other was palpable

3) each of the children is so different, and while all there for the same thing, the teacher had to find how each student learns and adapt accordingly

4) a simple mantra that might have been over some of the students’ heads, but it wasn’t over mine – “Quite Giants”

The teacher talked about “Quite Giants” – those who can do anything they put their mind to, but don’t beat their chest and brag and boast and say look at me. They quietly go about their business and accomplish deeds of giant proportion.

Quiet Giants. I love it.

I don’t know about you, but I have met my fair share of people who yearn for the spotlight, who want everyone to know that they’re the smartest person in the room, that they deserve all the credit, etc, etc. Regardless of the work they do. That is way overshadowed by the need to say, ‘look at me’ in all situations.

Then, there are those who plug away each day, focus on the challenge that is right in front of them, get resourceful, make things happen, and could ultimately care less about whether or not everyone knows or sees what they did.

I am not talking about wallflowers. You have to be active, you have to be communicative, you have to make an active contribution to the team. I’m talking about people focused on the right things – giving it their all, addressing what they’re dealt, and coming out with the best work product. Not with the best me product.

When building or leading or working on a team, my experience has been that these Quiet Giants are the X factor. They need to be active participants and need to compliment each other so that when the spotlight is shining, someone (or ones) can step in. Or speak up. Or lead.

In the end though, it’s the giant work and giant contribution that speaks louder than any words can.

Ten Minute Trials

I just read a post by one of my favorites, Seth Godin. In it, he talks about leaving behind artifacts. Most of the time, when we’re busy meeting, tweeting, emailing, there is hardly anything tangible to show for it. Certainly not something that can be looked back upon to record how you were, what you said, what you thought, what you actually made. But what if, just in 10 minutes, you had a place to record what you found, what you thought, what was on your mind?

This is one of the powers of a blog. Thoughts. Words. Opinions. Rants. Joys. Artifacts. A record.

The only problem is time. Darn time. It takes time to formulate thoughts into coherent sentences that someone can actually take something from. Not to mention the time it takes to decipher whether or not it is worth writing about in the first place.

But I love the idea of 10 minutes. Just 10 minutes to leave behind an artifact. And just 1 thought. That’s all it really needs.

So, I’m going to try it out. I don’t know how frequently I’ll actually be able to keep it up, but looking at it in this way enables me to feel a little less pressure. It’s almost freeing in these terms. We’ll see.


What’s really “King”?

Some say big ideas are king.

Others say content is king. This is a popular one.

Know what I really believe is king?


It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are over and over again. And/or how good your content, and even more, how good your work is over and over again. And/or how good you do a particular thing.

If your relationship is not strong and you do not nurture it and grow it, all of the work and all of the big ideas and all of the content can go away in an instant. Literally.

It’s just so important to take the time to create important relationships and then to cultivate them and grow them. It takes time. It’s not a flash in the pan. This is what makes it hard.

But this is what also makes it sustainable.

This is what makes it king.

Keep the Flame Burning

Passion is like a flame that burns inside you.

That flame is the thing that can keep you going, despite whatever else is going on. Too much this or that.

As long as the flame is still going, you can rely on it to rejuvenate you.

Recognize what this flame is inside you, what keeps you going.

And whatever you do, never let it get extinguished. If it does, it will be incredibly hard – maybe even impossible – to re-ignite.

Flames allow us to do what we do and more than that, to be our best selves.

Do whatever you can do to always keep your flame burning.

DOOH + mobile + social is not always THE great formula

Digital billboard + mobile + social

I think this is a great formula. The holy grail, in fact.

This is where I see the real potential in truly using the places and things around us to engage. Not just through one, but all three.

ING recently created one such experience in Germany:

Here’s the thing – the problem right now is not whether or not the technology can do it. The real problem is cost and complexity. This is what prohibits scale. But you can even see how compelling something like this could be out in the real world, and then the reach it could potentially have in the virtual world. It’s a combination that could really spark engagement beyond an “experiential” level – something that we could see as a normal part of our everyday lives as we go about the real world around us.

Here’s the other thing, which to me, is more interesting. The tie-in between virtual basketball – regardless of how novel it is and how integrated the experience is – and ING is completely lost on me. They indicate that they wanted to “demonstrate how easy and efficient banking can be” with ING, but how that idea manifests itself through a virtual free throw is beyond me. I get that they wanted to reach a younger demo, but even still, is this demo going to remember ING is the one that brought this experience to them? It just seems too disconnected.

So, something like will get attention for sure. Right now, only a relative few might use it. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before more “non-technologically-curious” people would interact with something like this. But, the bigger concern should be to remain on brand. This, along with great technological integration like this, will be the true holy grail.

On brand communications/idea + integrated technology solution

This is where it’s at.

Great Words About Innovation

I read a great interview today with Ad Age’s Agency Executive of the Year, Bill Koenigsberg, CEO of Horizon Media. It was a glimpse into how he views innovation. It’s a short interview, so I’d encourage you to read it. There were a couple of points that stuck out at me:

1.” The entire media ecosystem has upped its game in innovation, but there is a yellow flashing light and those who innovate are going to win the land grab as we move into the future. And those who don’t will be left behind.”

2. “A lot of people think of innovation as a tactic, but it is a culture, and you need a recipe for it. You need the right people to drive innovation, the right tools and technology derived from insights on where innovation is born, you need the right environment.”

Make no mistake, if you want to succeed, much less thrive as a brand steward, you must always push – push to do something better, bigger, or new from yesterday. Gone are the days of setting and forgetting. It takes a purposeful approach in every aspect of your business. It is risky. It is uncomfortable. It might not always be successful. But these are the requirements now.