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Keeping up to date

8 Apr

In the corona age whilst we work from home I’m sure that several people are also considering using their ‘extra time’ for some self-improvement.

I had luckily already signed up for the Digital Marketing Institute’s Cetified I had luckily already signed up for the Digital Marketing Institute’s Certified Digital Marketing Professional program and am happily crunching through the modules.

Great stuff! Good to refresh what a marketing professional thinks she knows and to learn what you don’t.

Today featured a great webinar offered by #DMI. Luckily here in NL, we aren’t quite as restricted as other countries, and I am super fortunate to have a lovely outside space. So 1+ 1 = webinar in the sun!

#dmimember #continuingeducation #cdmp #digitalmarketing #corona #wfh

Imposter Syndrome

13 Mar

Celebrating women this month and one of the thing we often fall prey to – the Imposter Syndrome. I wrote this piece for the Amsterdam chapter of SheSays and blatant self-promotion am sharing it again here:

I was flown into Milan to help the Wunderman Microsoft Team. I had only spoken with the MD via email before arriving in the office. She had basically said yes when can you start after our first conversation based on the recommendation of hiring me by our Global Director within the Paris team. I literally went out there armed with my phone and my laptop and only my solid knowledge of how to get Microsoft campaigns out the door. When Friday came I hopped in a taxi to Linate (because Milan public transportation was having a strike) and waited for my plane. Literally, as I walked across the tarmac to board I was terrified that my telephone would ring and the MD would say, “fraud! Don’t come back on Monday!’’ But that call didn’t come. I went back on Monday, and the following Mondays for several months and no-one ever said I wasn’t a fabulous Global Advertising Director with a solid knowledge of how to get Microsoft working with Wunderman and producing great campaigns. Why? Well because I wasn’t an imposter. I was fabulous, I am fabulous. I can do it.

So, what would I tell my younger self… this year’s self? Believe. Not just I think you can, but KNOW you can. Because I think we all fall prey to these fears more often than we care to admit. And that is I believe one of the biggest factors in holding 51% of the world back.

Resolutions!

2 Jan
Image courtesty of belegger.nl

It’s that time of year again ! In between all the fun and interesting articles on predictions for 2020 we also have our resolutions. Next to our personal resolutions (mine is to master horseback archery) we could also make business resolutions. For example to be more of a leader, or even to step back and not be the 1st volunteer all the time. To listen more, to encourage and nurture more…Mine is going to be use less negative language. Not talking about being less direct – sometimes we just need to cut through the noise – nor a firm no or incorrect when needed – but negativity when you don’t need to be. Think before you speak/write/app. In this age of polarisation language is so key – and a non-negative use of language can lead to building bridges and alliances rather than immediately dividing.

It could be just the way to better understanding and relationships (and business). So worth a try? At least until the 3rd Monday in January when we all forget every resolution! Have a great 2020!

#newyear #resolutions #positive #business

Leadership

10 Nov

I have a fab talent…I can make anything about my hobbies. Because gardening and horseback riding have a lot of life lesson analogies in them.

You may have seen/heard that there are all kinds of animal mindfulness or leadership workshops out there.

Fabulous! Everyone needs to play with goats or try to trek with llamas. No seriously.

That’s the mindfulness side. Always good.

On the leadership side there are several and my favorite is of course working with horses.

Working with any animal is great because most animals will not do what you ask when blustered or shouted at. Nor do they respond well to huffing, being ‘big’ and totally not to big physical gestures.

The old adage of lead by example is something to always keep in mind.

Instagram is my new blog…

21 Jul

Who would have predicted? Well maybe Dr. Who and the emoji robots. But with the < millenials using social media as search and messaging portals, combined with a US president addicted to instant twittefication I realized that most of us are becoming instant response addicts. And the beauty of Instagram is that it’s visual so fewer pesky words to type, let alone spell correctly. I share more often but smaller tidbits. On the one hand it’s fabulous because I feel like those I care about can share whatever excites me at the moment. However it remains a tidbit, so shallow.

Don’t just embrace a channel because there is an audience if your message doesn’t fit. For those who know me, they know what they’ll find on my instagram feed.

What is Omnichannel? p.s. it’s always all about the messaging!

28 Apr

Omnichannel is the next great step since multi-channel. Wonderful – except that so many marketeers and products never fully embranced multi-channel. Sure there were some attempts to cross channel the message. My favorite being the omnipresent ”key visual”. But unless you truly embraced cross-channel messaging and plotted out the journey it’s always just plopping an add across multiple media.

Omnichannel , multichannel, crosschannel isn’t easy. Because you truly have to sit down and think about who, what, when, where and why with relation to your (different) target groups, message platforms, times, market lifecycles etc etc.

And then when you have it thought out you have to go and do it!

That’s often where we see the brilliant ambitions at the start of the project/productlaunch etc fall down. Because along the way we got caught up in everything else, decided that certain channels weren’t as prio as others, that they could be variations of etc and suddenly you’re set to go live and have no idea what the 2nd week messaging on Facebook let alone Instastories should be.

Not a problem as there are so many great shops out there to help us all get great thinking into live. However discoordinated management of messaging and partners still means that you’re set to go live and have no idea what the next steps are. And with agile firms you might not even be the one responsible suddenly.

It’s always all about the messaging – who, what, when, where, why. Basically everything Drayton Bird and David Ogilvy ever said ever is always true.

Gardening (both literal and metaphorical)

13 Apr

18 months ago we bought an allotment – for those in the US a city garden. Truly a great plot of 200sqm within the city proper and only a few minutes from the house. I commented recently whilst enjoying an afternoon of sun that the garden we had taken over was a metaphor for my career.

It was a mess when I first viewed it. Unloved, uncared for and with some slight attempt at order. Now 18 months later there is form, order, grace and beauty. If I do say so myself.

All down to planning and execution. The execution through sheer grit and determination (and planning) being the key point – professionally.

The one downside of gardening – professionally – is that one never gets to stay and harvest. You can only hope to see how it goes by following the collegues and projects you worked with/on.

The other downside, even if you see the ‘harvest’ one year – is that you expect to move on to new pastures. Nothing is quite as exciting professionally as tilling new soil and making new plans.

I think I’m a sheer grit & dertermination (execution) junkie…

Shameless self-promotion

13 Apr

It’s been a while…the muse had left town and I was a bit busy promoting other businesses. However a recent incident reminded me of the importance of ‘self’ promotion.

That self is in inverted commas for a reason – because self is also your business.

When you’re a 1-woman-band then it’s one and the same. I was so fortunate to parlay my shameless ability to self-promote into successfully promoting 4 editions of the Affordable Art Fair Amsterdam – and now as I need to once again promote the brand Kris Clark I have been pondering ‘self’ promotion and once again astonished at how many small businesses do not see marketing themselves as a key thing to do AT ALL TIMES.

I can’t ben sweet and nice about it – MARKETING IS IN EVERYTHING. If you build it they will not come! You need to promote. Always promote. Not random PR posts, not sporadic news and definitely not ”we’ll get the marketing intern on it’.

How do you expect clients to find you? The virtual world is just like the old fashioned brick world of the high street. If people don’t know who you are, what you do and where to find you they won’t. And you can never rest on your laurels of yesteryear.

Granted it is a bit scary – and typically the Calvinistic north or Europe isn’t very good at blowing their own trumpets.

Luckily <insert shameless self-promotion here> there are some mighty good consultants such as yours truly out there to help.

Marketing ”Exclusiveness”

2 Jul

I have a confession to make and I am also going to drop a big ”oh wow” on the marketing profession.

Confession – NO CLUE WHAT A DOLE WHIP IS. No honestly – I spent 22 years in the USA but on the Northeastern Seaboard and I don’t think I have even ever eaten a DQ. So recent posts about some Dole Whip something now being at Disney World just means wha? So why am I telling you this? Because I have noticed over the years of travelling back and forth the upsurge of homogenous branding. When we were growing up outside of Philadelphia WaWa, Tastykake, Guernsey Cow these were local and regional brands and if you went on vacation to even Ohio they didn’t know them. To which we thought – poor you. You treasured local treats – like Salt Water Taffy you could only get in Atlantic City.

But then brands decided to trick you – here comes the ”oh wow”. See in order to expand your market you have to make sure the consumer wants to buy your product. So, what do brands do, they create a demand. In the age of the selfie it’s actually easy. You simply create ”exclusiveness”. You tell John Q that even though he has never ever had a Krispy Kreme in his life and these are technically only available below the Mason Dixon line that they are way better than any other doughnut ever. You John Q are not part of the club unless you are enjoying our product. And joy of joys we are opening a franchise cookie-cutter establishment near you soon. Move over KrispyKreme we kids from the block know that nothing will ever beat Felix’s fresh on Sunday Morning with the exception of the doughnut shop in Hershey (which I hear has closed).

Funny thing is – exclusiveness is just an extension to the concept of ”demand’. Way back in the dark ages a company called Cabbage Patch had pretty most the ugliest dolls you have ever seen. These things were not moving off of the shelves. So, what did they do? Ingenious. They removed them from the shelves. They made them scarce. They said ”get them now they’re going quick”. And bam everyone wanted one next gift buying season. The reason I feel this is wrong is that whilst there are some genuinely fabulous global brands – there are a lot of things you should be asking yourself if it is really an improvement? Is it really fabulous that the local farmer’s market is closing down to be replaced by a strip mall of homogeneous brands you can get anywhere?

It’s not only ruining palettes (IMHO) but we also no longer have a decent control of ingredients. How can we protest Monsanto and then get same as everyone else food? If you buy corporate solutions you become a part of the product yourself. Not completely wrong but thinking first is warranted.

Remember to market internally!

2 Jul

We spend a lot of time working on our external shell – how the world perceives us, our products, our services. We think about our corporate vision, branding, website, letterhead, signature etc. We are very polished in marketing ourselves externally. But how about internally? My friend and former colleague Hank Poot wrote several posts about the engaged employee and the actual loss in profitability by companies by people who ”just do their job”. I say take it one step further – and people this isn’t news – make sure to market yourself internally. All those great values we write down in value ladders and pyramids, do all of your employees know and embrace them ?

Do they get it? Have you reviewed it lately? Have you checked it on the work floor? You’d be surprised how many people say ”yes” and either have their own interpretation or don’t actually get it. And as marketing is in everything and nothing sells better than a true story making sure everyone has the same story is crucial.

It’s kind of like ”undercover” boss but then without the cameras. Enjoy the journey.