Behind Every Good Leader Stand People WAY Better Than Them

It’s about time I did something like this.

So my partner, John Dermott and I have been at this whole “running a business thing” since January 2009. We’ve experienced highs, lows and “what the heck just happened”s  and I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences for the world.

But to say that it was just us two doing this, would do my entire support system a huge injustice. So with that being said, I want to give a quick shout out to those people behind the curtains that have helped us chug along.

First, all those business leaders and entrepreneurs in my life that shared their enthusiasm in seeing two young guys sprinting to their dreams. You all are awesome.

To my parents. All the late night phone calls, reality checks, business advice and overall life lessons that have shaped me into the businessman I think I am.

To all my Moon Area High School and Elon University friends who are shocked that John and I are not wildly successful yet. Thanks for the high expectations and I promise we’ll deliver.

Of course, to the big guy himself, my partner Johnny D. His creative mind and talent is second to none, and we’ll take over the Charlotte marketing community soon enough.

To all those stupid banks out there- Bank of America, Wachovia, Bank of Granite, First Citizens, Bank of Commerce, to name a few. Thank you for pissing me off so much to realize that instead of messing with you idiots, we’ll go private. Go on wasting that stimulus money and shunning small businesses. Never liked you in the first place.

Last and certainly not least, to a special little lady. Only been a part of my life for a little bit, but when I needed a smile, you delivered. And I thank you.

There, now that’s out way. Haha, and just because I thanked you all now, doesn’t mean we don’t need you anymore. You all make us successful. Also, if I have forgotten you, please feel free to yell at me, I probably deserve it.

Cheers,

DW

Generation Y: Woodstock Generation Light?

“Life Livers”

“Living in the moment”

“Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” -Ecclesiastes 8:15

I don’t know about you, but when one is talking about the Woodstock crowd, and the latter half of Generation Y (Millenials), I believe the phrases above apply to both.

Millenials are intelligent, entitled, and spoiled (I know, I AM one) and have never experienced any real hardships- unless you count this Great Recession. I do not recall ever worrying about my future, and don’t really forsee that ever happening. All of my friends live life to its fullest, regardless of what the consequences of our actions may be.

So how do these factors apply to marketers? Below are a few tips (some obvious) when targeting this growing demographic:

1. The Eradication of Brand Loyalty:

No brainer. If you live in the moment, you’re not going to go out of your way to get a certain brand of french fries. Whatever is in the forefront of one’s consideration sets will more than likely win the battle at the end of the day. Of course, like any rule, there are exceptions.

2. Willingness to Express Opinion:

Hence the birth and progression of social media. This generation wants to be heard and will be by any means necessary.

3. More Risk-Seeking:

Especially in this economic environment, with those of us between the ages of 19-29…what have we got to lose? Show us your most edgy, off-mainstream, bizarre ideas, and we’ll give you an audience.  One cannot say they are living life to the fullest if they are doing the same thing over and over again. Be as diverse and targeted as you can, and you’ll be rewarded.

4. Group Focused:

“Be a part of the wave”, is more like “Be a part of OUR wave”.  We don’t look too fondly on the fogies before us, nor the squirts behind us. To us, we’re the beginning and the last of a dying breed. The Alpha and Omega of this lovly country. No offense, that’s just how it is. You can’t expect to tell us that “we’re the future of the nation” a ga-zillion times and have it not sink in.

Hopefully this either reinforces what you already thought, puts a new perspective on what you previously thought, or totally blew your mind, haha. In whatever case it may be, thanks for reading.

Cheers.

Why Marketing Communications and the Perfect Beer are alike

From going to networking event to networking event, I have noticed one thing when it comes to our lovely industry: we all share a wonderful appreciation for the adult beverage (all in moderation, of course). So as an informal ode to it, I devised several traits that both marketing communications and beer have in common. Enjoy.

1. Takes time to be perfect:

Like a medium bodied lager, or the hoppy, aged ale, a marketing communications tactic that is satisfying to the palate takes time, effort and talent. No random person on the street can be a brewmaster. Likewise, no random person can write or create a solid MarCom plan.

2. Can take different forms:

Who can stick with just one type of beer? Can one really give up the heavy-bodied porter, or the stout with the caramel and coffee aftertaste? Or the Belgian wheat? Keeping your taste buds entertained and guessing makes the experience of consuming so delightful. The same goes with marketing communications. Writing a press release, creating copy of an ad, building a business plan all take a different piece of skill. Also, a marketing plan for a bookstore will be completely different from a marketing plan for a hospital, right?

Marketing communications enables professionals to deal with all sorts of public relations, advertising and marketing situations. Don’t shy away from the different forms, enjoy every single one.

3. It is not for everyone:

To say that beer is for the masses would be foolish. There are some who prefer the taste of a wine cooler, others a neat glass of scotch. Others just do not have the taste for beer. And others still may have a family or physical issue that prohibits this kind of drink in their diet.

Not every organization needs the whole spectrum of marketing communications. If someone is trying to sell you the whole she-bang; be weary of them. What engineering firm is going to dedicate its communications to Facebook? Is a plastics company’s stakeholders really going to care if project managers change out the plates and update them on Twitter? Be relevant.

4. Catch the Eye:

There is a beer out there called “Arrogant Bastard.” Come on, who wouldn’t want to have a taste? And then there is Victory’s “Golden Monkey”, in quite a cool-looking label and the elixir inside is just as captivating.

Messages need to be catchy and attention-grabbing to succeed. But you all know that, so I’ll move on.

5. It’s 5 o’ clock somewhere!

” Beer. Not Just for Breakfast.” If you want it, need it, or just feel like making room in your fridge, there is no reason not to crack one open and enjoy.

Marketing communications will always be needed; whether in one’s personal or professional arena, well-crafted messages will continue to make the world go round.

That’s it, have a good weekend all! And have one for me.

Cheers!

DW