The Saturday Serial is an on-going management and leadership story and case based on a fictional firm and fictional characters all dealing with very real challenges in leadership and management. The intent is to stimulate thinking and discussion in a format different than the traditional "how to" blog post. Each episode includes a series of discussion questions for your consideration (or use with your team). I'll share my views on the prior week's chapter and questions in a subsequent post. Welcome to Episode 1:
Welcome to The Saturday Serial! This new series reflects my intent and attempt to share and cultivate management and leadership lessons beyond the format of a stale blog post and endless lists of "10 ideas to... ." While I love writing the Management Excellence blog and the first 1,025 posts are testament to my commitment, I've wanted to experiment with the serial and management fable format here for a long time. Beginning with my first episode, "Welcome to ACME John Anderson," you will meet a growing cast of characters facing a series of very real management, leadership and career challenges in this fictional high-tech, global conglomerate and its various units and divisions. Enjoy!
There's a lesson in this situation for any airline or business striving to differentiate in a world where almost everything seems to be some flavor of vanilla. The best marketing always has been and always will be relating to people as individuals and creating a warm, memorable experience.
It amazes and disappoints me all at the same time how many businesses have no clue what their customers really need from them. This problem is epidemic in the technology world (consumer electronics and business technology) in particular, where feature, function and price wars continue to dominate the landscape in spite of the reality that most of us buy for reasons other than feature, function or price.
While I admit to being one of those people who views the idea of running as much more attractive than the actual running part (thus far, I've been satisfied to pass runners on my Specialized Road Bike, thank you), I’m blown away by Nike’s strategy with their Digital Plus business and specifically, their Nike+ program for runners. If you are not a member of Nike+ or, if you are not familiar with it, put on your strategy and marketing glasses and take a close look at what they are doing to differentiate, build communities and increase the dialogue with their customers.
This one is tongue-in-cheek, laced with a great deal of hyperbole and fueled by a strong sense of outrage over the proliferation of bad pricing programs and even worse customer support tactics.
Guest Marketing Post-Succeeding with Video: I'm not alone in my video-phobia, and in comparing notes with many of my colleagues, it seems we all struggle with the same issues. We also agree that the benefits of building a video presence strongly outweigh any of the personal reasons for avoiding this. To support our efforts, I encouraged Amber Wallor and Edgar Mourans, the two pros behind Left Hand Marketing and the drive to help small business owners and even hapless actors like me build a video presence, to offer us some guidance. Here's a free e-book and some encouragement from Amber and Edgar.
I’ve been an unapologetic critic of the money losing and seemingly customer hating airline industry for many years. Anyone who has flown a million miles or more has a good view to the workings of this flying bus business (with apologies to bus companies), and the view is mostly unpleasant. (Not always, just mostly.) Imagine my surprise when I deviated on my return trip from my normal dealings with United, and flew Delta, and I actually enjoyed the experience. I checked my calendar and it wasn’t April Fools Day or Halloween, so all of the truly good natured, helpful and smiling Delta employees might have actually meant it. Here are 7 observations and some lessons for all of us worth sharing:
Imagine my surprise when in a fit of insanity, I picked up the phone the other night….right after dinner (well, I answered because the caller i.d. indicated the Hotel Chain’s name, and because the troops had the dishes will in hand), and I ended up on the receiving end of an old-fashioned marketing bludgeoning. Seriously, Hotel Chain! You think so highly of the relationships with your clients that you’re engaging in tactics like this to reward them for years of business.
Every week, I share three thought-provoking management posts for the week. Fair warning: I take a broad view of management, so my selections will range from leadership to innovation to finance and personal development and beyond. This week's selections feature content on why you need to know more about Baldrige, rethinking your ideas on measuring marketing ROI and the powerful impact of Social Business on your firm's reputation and ultimate success.