The Best and the Worst

The best blogs or vlogs or art of any kind are an act of generosity. They offer a point of view, insight, encouragement, something interesting or even something beautiful. The worst try to sell you something: "And that's how the Dalai Lama approaches conflict. And speaking of conflict, how often have you seen people conflicted [...]

By |2018-09-09T07:48:03-04:00September 9th, 2018|Art, Blog, Business, Creativity, Humor, Marketing|Comments Off on The Best and the Worst

Differentiate

It's probably not enough to know the tax code better than most other accountants. It is helpful, it shows that you are a serious and competent professional. But in the end clients don't care. What they care about is how you make them feel. That you take the time to carefully explain a matter, to [...]

By |2018-09-02T08:04:57-04:00September 2nd, 2018|Creativity, Generosity, Humor, Jargon, Marketing, Niche|Comments Off on Differentiate

Small Things Count. A Lot.

Marketing is pretty obvious if you sell consumer products like Procter & Gamble. The color of the Tide Detergent package, the fonts used, the material selected and the "feel" of the container in your hand are all functions of marketing. As is Tide's  Loads of Hope Community Program, which brings brightly-colored tractor trailers of washing [...]

By |2018-08-18T06:48:50-04:00August 18th, 2018|Generosity, Gratitude, Marketing|Comments Off on Small Things Count. A Lot.

The Future of Retail

It is no secret that retail is dying, and the biggest problem retailers have today is themselves. They want to do things the old way. The way that used to work. Lower prices are a race to the bottom. To bankruptcy. You can't out-Walmart Walmart or out-Amazon Amazon. So what do retailers need? Engagement. Think [...]

By |2018-08-16T08:08:51-04:00August 17th, 2018|Brand, Marketing, Retail|Comments Off on The Future of Retail

Phone Books

I am not old enough to remember party lines (I am not sure they were ever used in the densely populated New York Metropolitan area) but I do remember phone books. Now a relic ignored by all and probably threat to the environment, phone books were at one time revolutionary. Before the invention of the telegraph [...]

By |2018-08-09T07:00:25-04:00August 9th, 2018|Change, Customers, Humor, Marketing, Relationships, Small Business, Social Networking, Technology, Trends|Comments Off on Phone Books

My Peeps

I got thinking about who I want to reach with this blog. Through the process of elimination I decided that it was not "entrepreneurs" or "steadies." If an entrepreneur is someone who makes money while they sleep, whose goal is to scale and sell an asset, I don't think I know one personally. I know [...]

By |2018-07-24T05:10:32-04:00July 24th, 2018|Business, Grit, Marketing, Service, Small Business, Success|Comments Off on My Peeps

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

Inside this little box are fresh, delicious, locally handmade candies and caramels. This box is a gift. And the recipient has no idea why they are special. Or who made them. Or how passionate they are about their craft. Or where to get more, for that matter. I guess the candy people just want to [...]

By |2018-05-09T09:22:52-04:00May 9th, 2018|Brand, Marketing|Comments Off on What Is Wrong With This Picture?

When is a Mistake Not a Mistake?

McDonald's recently reintroduced Chicken Tenders, a crispy fried chicken breast treat. And promptly ran out of them. For an entire month. Because they were too popular. To make Chicken Tenders one must have chicken breast meat, batter (which is mostly flour, eggs and spices) and a deep fryer. None of these ingredients are in short supply and every [...]

By |2017-12-19T10:46:05-05:00December 19th, 2017|Business, Humor, Management, Marketing, News|Comments Off on When is a Mistake Not a Mistake?

It’s Like Magic

When I regularly post blogs, the traffic on my website goes up. Dramatically. Calls for proposals also go up. Dramatically. The complexity and challenge of the work also goes up. Dramatically. Did the calls come from the same people that came to my website? I don't think so. A desire to encourage, inform or entertain [...]

By |2017-12-12T08:56:38-05:00December 12th, 2017|Art, Blog, Business, Change, Communication, Creativity, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Success|Comments Off on It’s Like Magic

Where Is the Modern Coffeehouse Scene?

Where is the modern Algonquin Round Table where artists and thinkers from a variety of disciplines come together to discuss big ideas? Where are the coffeehouses of Vienna where the likes of Jung, Freud, Zweig, Klimt, Loos and Adler would get together and toss about some bon mots? Where are the non-fiction Central Perk, Cheers or [...]

By |2017-10-23T09:53:44-04:00October 23rd, 2017|Art, Books, Business, Change, Communication, Creativity, Future, History, Hotel, Humor, Marketing, Social Media, Technology, Travel, Trends|Comments Off on Where Is the Modern Coffeehouse Scene?

Altruism?

Drew University last week announced that it was slashing its tuition by 20% from $48,336 this year to $38,668 next year. So what prompted this act of altruism? Economic reality. Drew, like many small private universities, has struggled to maintain enrollment while charging a higher-than-average tuition. So how can Drew increase enrollment and maximize revenue? [...]

By |2017-09-18T09:24:56-04:00September 18th, 2017|Bubbles, Children, Economics, Education, Financing, Management, Marketing, News, Profitability, Service, Trends|Comments Off on Altruism?

Gimmicks

Marketing is simply a way to get attention for your business, charity or organization. A way to stand out from the crowd, to create a story that attracts customers to your door (or website). Some gimmicks are personal in nature: Slash's top hat, Angus Young's schoolboy outfit, Richard Simmons' striped short-shorts, Steven Tyler's scarves. Some [...]

By |2017-08-29T10:32:18-04:00August 29th, 2017|Art, Brand, Communication, Creativity, Customers, Humor, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Sport, Stories, Tactics|Comments Off on Gimmicks

The Dark Side of Marketing

All virtues have a vice flip side. Thrift can turn to greed. Self respect can turn to pride. Righteous anger can turn to wrath. And so it is with marketing. Marketing is meant influence behavior, to change people. Through empathy, generosity and vulnerability, trust in the marketer grows and the student-customers can be influenced to [...]

By |2017-08-20T08:33:05-04:00August 20th, 2017|Automation, Brand, Humor, Marketing, Tactics, Trust|Comments Off on The Dark Side of Marketing

Tito’s

I was giving some thought to recent marketing successes and Tito's Handmade Vodka came to mind. Tito's is the fastest growing brand in a very crowded field, full of well-known incumbents like Smirnoff, Grey Goose, Absolut and Svedka. I hate to burst people's bubble, but vodka is ethanol. It is what comes out of the end [...]

By |2017-08-18T09:59:27-04:00August 18th, 2017|Brand, Business, Customers, Marketing, Social Networking|Comments Off on Tito’s

When Was the Last Time?

When was the last time you: Updated your curriculum vitae? Updated your website? Checked in with your best customers? Sent a thank you note? Got new photos taken? Asked for a testimonial? Increased your prices? Really challenged yourself? Made some art? Today would be a good time. Pick one.

By |2017-08-17T08:46:06-04:00August 17th, 2017|Art, Brand, Business, Creativity, Customers, Marketing, Personal Development, Professional Development, Small Business|Comments Off on When Was the Last Time?

You Are the Brand

A brand is not a logo, nor is it a clever name. It is who you are. It is what you commit to do for your customers. It is the story you tell about yourself. It is an issue of character.

By |2017-08-04T09:39:57-04:00August 4th, 2017|Brand, Marketing, Service, Trust|Comments Off on You Are the Brand

Limitations

How exactly does one market professional services? I mean, we are not creating the iPhone here, some brand new gadget with intriguing design and features. Sometimes professionals feel like they are doing the same, or similar work, day in and day out. We are bound by sets of rules, accepted methods and client expectations. Stifling, right? Not [...]

By |2017-07-31T10:09:53-04:00July 31st, 2017|Art, Marketing, Music, Service, Skills, Success|Comments Off on Limitations

The A-hole Factor

Go on, admit it. You increased your fee because you think the client is or will be a pain in the patoot. In my experience, the relationship starts off badly and goes downhill. The client has a chip on her shoulder, demands a specific outcome, or complains about your terms of service. No matter how [...]

By |2017-07-30T08:59:58-04:00July 30th, 2017|Business, Creativity, Criticism, Customers, Marketing, Small Business, Trust|Comments Off on The A-hole Factor

Creative?

Apropos of my post on modern marketing, I saw the strangest thing yesterday. A billboard on U.S. Route 1  in Lawrence Township. Advertising an Advertising and Marketing company. A billboard is relatively expensive and it is designed to market to a large audience, so it is most helpful if your customers are well, everybody. Big [...]

By |2017-07-28T11:05:47-04:00July 28th, 2017|Art, Blog, Business, Marketing, Service, Social Media, Tactics, Trust, Value|Comments Off on Creative?

Give Backs and Take Backs

I am sure that you have received a request for a Give Back. Can you do the project cheaper? Or faster? I learned a long time ago that if you decide to give something back, you should take something back. "Want it cheaper? I will need more time," is my standard answer. I recently heard [...]

By |2017-07-23T14:30:06-04:00July 23rd, 2017|Business, Marketing|Comments Off on Give Backs and Take Backs

What’s It Like?

What's it like when someone calls? What's it like when someone enters your place of business? What's it like when they speak to your staff? What's it like when they speak to you? What's it like when they buy from you? What's it like when they receive your product or service? What's it like later, [...]

By |2017-07-13T07:42:01-04:00July 13th, 2017|Business, Communication, Customers, Marketing, Small Business, Trust|Comments Off on What’s It Like?

Modern Marketing

The days of mass marketing are dead. Ok, maybe not for Proctor and Gamble or Ford, but it is dead for any business whose customer cannot be defined as, "a breathing human being." Which is, if we are honest, most of us. There could be no larger waste of money for a small business with [...]

By |2017-07-10T07:21:39-04:00July 10th, 2017|Customers, Marketing, Service, Small Business, Success|Comments Off on Modern Marketing

Etsy and Irrationality

An example of my personal irrational decision making: I recently ordered several handmade and vintage golf ball markers on Etsy. Some have cool skull and crossbone logos and some are made of unique materials with a motto, my initials, etc. I love these silly things. Do I "need" them in any way, shape or form? Heck [...]

By |2017-05-17T13:18:19-04:00May 17th, 2017|Art, Business, Creativity, Customers, Marketing, Profitability, Small Business|Comments Off on Etsy and Irrationality

Kick Start

I have not been blogging lately. Instinctively I know this is wrong. I am resting on my laurels, as it were - today's business is due to yesterday's marketing. Which begs the question, what about tomorrow's business? And you know what else? I missed the creative side of it. But life is funny. As I [...]

By |2017-05-04T08:44:13-04:00May 4th, 2017|Blog, Business, Creativity, Future, Marketing, Personal Development, Skills, Small Business, Social Media|Comments Off on Kick Start

Semi-Random Thoughts on Success and Happiness

Want success and happiness? Do these things: Smile. Say thank you. Be responsive. Be friendly. Take a personal interest in your coworkers and clients. Stick to your knitting. Not all work is right for you. Develop a list of professionals you trust and refer, refer, refer. The client you refer will be impressed with your [...]

By |2015-05-07T10:08:45-04:00May 7th, 2015|Business, Customers, Gratitude, Health & Wellness, Hobby, Humor, Marketing, News, Personal Development, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Profitability, Service, Skills, Small Business, Success, Wealth|Comments Off on Semi-Random Thoughts on Success and Happiness

Know Thyself

Gagliano & Company is a small business. A boutique firm, if you will. There are only three of us: Miss Sophia, Office Administrator, bookkeeper, preparer of paperwork and utility fielder; Miss Kim, Researcher extraordinaire, datakeeper, spreadsheeter and report ninja; and Yours Truly, the Wearer of the Turban. As a result, our capacity is limited. We [...]

Stay Classy

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a terrible thing. A viral marketing campaign that raised awareness and a pile of money for the ALS Association is a good thing. But things are getting a little, well, silly. Celebrities and politicians, anxious to demonstrate their sensitivity, are jamming YouTube like the Three Stooges trying to get through a door. But [...]

By |2014-08-28T08:36:38-04:00August 28th, 2014|Charity, Creativity, Humor, Marketing, Social Media|Comments Off on Stay Classy

Cognitive Dissonance

They spent billions building the place. They bought huge tracts of land and hired artisans from all over the world to make fantasy come alive. They took two dimensional images from comic books and moving pictures and breathed life into them. They spend a fortune marketing, selling, booking, maintaining, and staffing the place. Not counting [...]

By |2014-04-22T10:23:11-04:00April 22nd, 2014|Customers, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Success, Trust, Value|Comments Off on Cognitive Dissonance

What’s Your Story?

Last fall I received an email from my Alma mater, Vanderbilt University, asking if I would be interested in interviewing prospective students from the area. Vandy had never asked me to do anything before, so I agreed. Nothing happened for months. Then, in the middle of January, the emails came fast and furious. In all, [...]

Pitfalls

Go to any diner in New Jersey and order a salad. Odds are the salad will come with olives. Odds are those olives will have pits. Olives with pits are not a bad thing. In fact, I enjoy them. The issue is more of a social one. To eat the delicious olive, I must first [...]

By |2013-08-29T06:19:17-04:00August 29th, 2013|Business, Customers, Marketing, Real Estate, Service, Success|Comments Off on Pitfalls

The Art and Science of Making People Feel Special

I am endlessly fascinated by creativity in the real estate world. I had the opportunity to spend some time recently with John Sims, Chairman and CEO of Marketlogics, a firm that provides creative real estate market advisory services for residential home builders. John's personal philosophy is simple, "People want to feel special. We figure out how [...]

By |2013-12-02T14:07:45-05:00August 23rd, 2013|Art, Creativity, Customers, Demographics, Marketing, Niche, Real Estate, Residential, Skills, Success|Comments Off on The Art and Science of Making People Feel Special

Are You a Real Pro?

It is a sad state of affairs in professional services. Many are real pros that use their ingenuity and creativity to serve their clients. Sadly, some professionals fall short. Here are some reasons why: They don't stretch themselves. If they haven't done it before, they don't want to do it. Or even hear about it. The [...]

By |2013-06-03T06:46:42-04:00June 4th, 2013|Business, Marketing, Personal Development, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Skills, Small Business, Success|Comments Off on Are You a Real Pro?

What’s All This I Hear About CRM?

Back in the 70's, the late, great Gilda Radner played a little old lady character on Saturday Night Live name Emily Litella. Emily Litella would appear on the news with an editorial reply, angry and confused about a news item that she invariably misunderstood. "What's all this I hear about Presidential Erections? I say it is best [...]

By |2013-04-18T06:29:38-04:00April 18th, 2013|Marketing, Small Business, Time Management|Comments Off on What’s All This I Hear About CRM?

Four Reasons to Avoid “Systems”

If someone claims to have a "surefire" marketing/sales system, walk the other way. Here's why: The system is unlikely to be a fit for your business. Or for you personally. The system will force you to do and say things that are unnatural for you. Even if she is not conscious of why, a potential customer will [...]

By |2014-09-25T09:25:59-04:00April 11th, 2013|Art, Business, Creativity, Marketing, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Profitability, Risk, Small Business, Social Media, Social Networking, Success|Comments Off on Four Reasons to Avoid “Systems”

What Everyone Needs

Everyone needs oxygen. Everyone needs water. Not everyone needs your product or service. That's a good thing. You can't reach the whole world anyway - it is way too expensive. Leave that to Coca-Cola. It is far better to find your niche and master it. Hone your skills until you are the "go to" person in your field. Have [...]

By |2013-04-09T13:46:40-04:00April 9th, 2013|Marketing, Niche, Profitability, Skills, Small Business|Comments Off on What Everyone Needs

LinkedIn Tips

I am a big fan of LinkedIn. It is a great source for news, business and personal improvement tips, marketing, networking and job seeking. But I can't help notice that some people just don't seem to get it. Here are some examples: If you are serious about your business or profession, let me suggest that photos [...]

By |2014-07-24T11:47:11-04:00January 28th, 2013|Business, Communication, Customers, Humor, Marketing, Professional Development, Skills, Social Media, Social Networking, Success|Comments Off on LinkedIn Tips
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