Do You Anti-Capitalists and Anarchists Actually Read the News…

…or are you really that stupid?

If you have read any of my posts before, you must be well aware that I have no love lost for our current economic and political situation. Yes, business practices as we know it need to change. Yes, government practices as we know it need to change.

But over-throwing capitalism and instituting anarchy and/or chaos is probably the most simple and idiotic “solution” I have heard yet. You all deserve to be…handled.

Don’t you know how fortunate you are to be in this society? Do you actually know what anarchy and chaos is?

*Anarchy (n)– Absence of government; a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority; (this third one, which would never happen) a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government

*Chaos (n)– A state of things where chance is supreme; the confused unorganized state of primordial matter before the creation of distinct forms; a state of utter confusion

*Merriam-Webster Dictionary

To any coherent mind, neither of those states sound appealing.

Face it- Capitalism (and marketing, the language of capitalism) makes the world go round. Accept it, or leave. If you can’t do that, then come up with a better, more rational solution than over-throwing the single institution that allows you the podium to speak your nonsensical ideals.

As for your angst about the government- make it work for you. If you’re going to cry about it and march off for its destruction, please allow me the time to make my popcorn and move my LaZy Boy to get a good view of your getting eaten alive.

Capitalism controls government. Consumers CAN in fact run capitalism. It comes full circle people.

Please…open your mouths when you have something smart to say.

A Tenet of Marketing: Sell them WHY They Need it, Then Sell the Product

There is no “which comes first” question when it comes to selling marketing.

In a climate where budgets are still tight and people are not willing to spend, the argument shifts from how much marketing to do, to why do marketing.

So, to further illustrate the point, question 1 goes from:

1. What channels should we use to connect to our audience?

to

2. Why should we dedicate any dollars to marketing in a time like this?

So as communicators, we must add more ammunition to selling our industry more than our services.

Three ways that we, The Charlotte Agency, believe marketing communications should be done is as follows:

1. Affordable: Especially in a down economy, ensuring small businesses rates that will provide them the activity they need to attract more customers is crucial.

2. Available: Utilizing the appropriate channels to target an organization’s market.

3. Visible:  Good marketing guarantees that the money an organization spends on it will give it the spotlight it deserves.

Cheers!

Ten Reasons Why Your Marketing (Probably) Sucks

Let’s be honest. The economy “seems” to be recovering, and you’re not seeing the same sales you’re used to. Below are ten reasons (not exclusive) why that may be the case.

10.  You Think Marketing Costs Too Much
If several hundred dollars brings in several thousand, then what you spent doesn’t seem sobad, now does it? Marketing, like owning a business, takes risk and investment. If done right, your risk and investment are rewarded.

9. You’re Doing Unnecessary Marketing
Also, like investing, marketing only works (and works well) when you put your dollars in the right place. For example, if you’re using more than 80% of your marketing dollars on the radio to reach Generation Y’ers, I can tell you right now that you’re wasting money. Utilizing the right channels for your audience will amplify the value of your marketing.

8.  You’re Skipping a Step before Marketing
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. A 22 year old male is highly unlikely to buy a year’s worth of leggings -no matter how sweet your marketing is. Also, Gen Y females in the Northeast won’t buy a bunch of leggings in August- think about it.

7. The Intent is Absent
Why should people want to do business with you? What’s in it for them? Marketing is the language of business, so use it effectively. No one will care about your product or service as much as you do, get over it. But show them how your passion for your business will improve their life.

6. The Message is Boring
Okay, so there are only so many ways one can make a pair of jeans sound cool. But its the coolest messages that sell. Period. When I go shopping for jeans (once every 3 years) the price and logo are the two things that continually catch my eye. And because of my infrequency of jeans-shopping, I am WAY more willing to pay for a pair of jeans that look cool and are more expensive than others.

5. You Listen To the “Experts”
“Mass Marketing is Dead”, “Twitter is the new journalism”, “The Death of Print Media” – please don’t listen to that. How are these experts going to tell you how to reach your audience (ignore irony here)? The point I’m trying to say is, you should do the thinking for your target audience.  Just because there are trends occurring in the market, doesn’t mean that it needs to affect your marketing practices.

4. Your Website is Lame, if You even have One
Even if the majority of your business may be done offline, in the age of technology, some kind of online presence is becoming necessary. You don’t need to spend $9,000 on one, but a decent investment should be considered

3. Your Marketing is Inconsistent
If your customers are in a consistent cycle of rediscovering your business, you have a branding issue. Good marketing enables you to keep the same theme of your business, while at the same time you can switch up the message. Please, not both.

2. You’ve Kept the Same Marketing Philosophy Since You’ve Started
Yikes. As your customers change, your marketing should change. My needs and wants now are SO different than my needs and wants five years ago, and my purchasing habits reflect that. Are you staying up to speed?

1. Your Marketing Doesn’t Fit Your Product or Service
Haha, worst scenario EVER. If your talk doesn’t match your walk, then it’s not the customers that have it mixed up…it’s you. An engineering firm is not going to have the most edgy ads and messages out there. Nor will a successful fashion magazine be totally primp and proper.

Though I’m sure this post coincides with all the other “Expert Marketing” hoopla, to have it broken down without the stupid marketing jargon may prove to help those that need marketing assistance the most.

Comments encouraged. Cheers.

Taking the “Age” Out of “Agency”

I have a dream that one day, marketing communicators will not be judged on the quantity of time they put into the industry, but the quality of work they created.

I have a dream that one day, the powers-that-be in the marketing industry will no longer base success on how long they’ve had an account, but how the brand itself has grown.

And finally, I have a dream that more new businesses will take chances on new marketing firms, because new establishments deserve new agencies that encourage and run with new ideas.

Ageism- unfortunately a more than common practice in the marketing communications industry. And we are all guilty of it. The seasoned executive looks down wearily at the newbie structuring a press release, and the web-savvy newbie sits uncomfortable and frustrated as the seasoned executive struggles to create a Facebook page.

Times are changing, folks. Why can’t we focus on ideas and talents now instead of age and experience? Don’t get me wrong, experience is necessary in certain aspects, but I am from the school of thought that if the talent is there, the experience will follow.

Don’t get sucked into that silly, old-fashioned thinking. If you want something new, be daring and find those fresh-thinking practitioners that are risking their necks to pioneer change in the industry.

A Modest Proposal: Changing the Voter System in America will Benefit the Nation*

Let’s face the facts:
An overwhelming percentage of Americans do not exercise their “right” to vote
-The average American takes American history and their freedom(s) for granted
-The way voting is done in the U.S. could be done more efficiently

 The solution: Give everyone the right to be able to vote, by taking a short test proving they have the mental capacity of making an informed decision.

 This solution would not only create a better, informed voter base, but it would also eliminate costs, voter error, and improve the way civil studies is taught in schools.

Why is this concept so far-fetched? When immigrants come to America, they must pass an exam about the U.S. and its history to be an American citizen, why should us ‘natural citizens’ be any different? (sidenote, I got a 97 out of 100, aw yea)

 If one astutely reads the Federalist Papers, some of our forefathers (James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton- in case you didn’t know the authors) were deathly afraid of the majority (the American people) voting for elected officials. That’s why the Electoral College was created, so the informed few could overrule the uninformed mass in federal government elections. True story. Things were a little bit different back then though- the majority of the people had little experience in political affairs, bias media outlets and had little to no knowledge of their current or prospective elected officials- wait, maybe things weren’t THAT different after all.

Below are a few reasons why a national exam to exercise voting should be considered:

 Creates incentive:
No one in the U.S. is allowed to operate an automobile without proving capable, right? What’s the difference in choosing people that represent how one’s quality of life will be? People do not realize the power they have until it’s gone. So why not take it away? Making people learn and appreciate their power of voting can:
-Improve civil studies departments in high schools across the nation
-Create a broader base of informed citizens
-Encourage more people to vote because they crossed an obstacle (the exam) to do so
-Empowers the voting base and takes away power from the incumbent elected officials

 Eliminates the Free Rider Problem (“free rider” defined as one who takes no effort to learn about the situation, but votes based on no real data or information):
Free riders- a problem seen constantly in the free enterprise environment. Applied here, those free-riding people who either refuse to take the test, or take the test and fail, don’t vote. Therefore eliminating the risk of officials being elected by those who don’t know or understand the situation.

 Eliminates Dead Weight Loss (DWL defined as those people who have the right to vote, but don’t, the value of all lost votes):
Like the first reason, because the exam creates more value in a person’s right to vote, the voter turnout will more than likely increase. If turnout does not increase overall, than the number of “informed voters” (though an unreasonable metric at the present) will increase.

 Lowers Costs of Elections:
The exam will undoubtedly decrease a percentage of those who are currently voting. But with that being the case, the costs of reaching the masses will decrease, making it easier for apt leaders to run for office.

 Now this solution does not guarantee that the right decisions will be made and the right leaders will be elected. No, this solution only lowers the risk of the wrong decisions being made, and the wrong leaders being elected. Now write to your Congressmen and push for this to be created!

*Caveat: A totally satirical post. Yes, I am fully aware that implementing a test for American citizens to vote goes against the very foundation it was fought for. But seriously people, read about the history and background of political situations before you open your mouths. You don’t sound patriotic…you sound stupid. I think it’s a slap in the faces of those whom are informed to have their decisions to be weighed the same as the morons who “vote with their gut.” And if you’re offended by this post, then I guess you’re one of them.