By k | February 28, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

A study done by
Avi Goldfarb at the University of Toronto
and
Catherine Tucker at the MIT Sloan School of Management
shows that complementary ads
(i.e. ads that tie closely to the blog post or site topic)
are three times as effective as regular online ads.
Highly visible ads
(i.e. ads like pop ups or full screen ads)
are twice as effective.

Do not do both though.
Their study states
that doing one OR the other
is more effective
than combining the two.

The researchers believe
that combining the two tactics
causes concerns about privacy.

That makes sense.
When I see a pop up,
I think the ad is addressing me,
as a prospect,
directly.
If that ad was too specific to my needs,
it would raise concerns.

By k | February 27, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A new Catalyst report
uncovers that
three times as many women (19%)
as men (6%)
lost their executive level jobs.

The Wall Street Journal
felt the difference was due to the small sample size.
Ilene H. Lang, president and CEO of Catalyst,
stated that
“gender-based stereotypes about
leadership during tough times and
limited access to informal networks and mentors
may be partly responsible for the disparity.”

I’d be extremely curious to see
what those executive positions were
(this was not examined in the report).
Human resource and marketing executives
are more likely to be consolidated
with other departments
than say…
operations or sales.

Studies by Catalyst
reinforce my first hand experience
finding that
“women often choose staff jobs,
such as marketing and human resources,
while most senior executives and board positions
are filled from the ranks of line managers
with critical profit and loss responsibility.”

Is it gender that is driving the job losses
or responsibility?

By k | February 26, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Steve Strauss has a great post on branding

“Look, there are 27 million small businesses
in this country alone,
and that is not counting
the countless number
of websites and competitors
you will encounter overseas and online.
So why will a potential new customer
choose you over the competition?

One reason, a main reason,
is that your have
a clearly identified unique value proposition (UVP)
and that UVP is relayed in all that you do –
from your site to your signs,
from your store to your social media.”

Notice he said A,
not one billion,
A unique value proposition.

Because that’s the trick with being different.
Be different in one area,
and you’re innovative.
Be different in all areas,
and you’re strange.
Customers can’t relate to you.
There’s too steep a learning curve
to use your product.

Unless you have the time and financial resources
to push customers over that curve,
be different
but not TOO different.

By k | February 25, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I spend $10 a week
participating in the office lotto pool.

Playing the lottery
doesn’t make sense financially.
The odds of winning are very, very low.

So why am I part of it?

Because participating
in the office lotto pool
DOES make sense… for me.
It is a quick way of announcing
that I am part of the team,
that I am one of them.

Normally I don’t get asked
to participate
until months into a contract.
It is a signal
from someone on the list
that I’ve gone from an outsider
to being one of the team.

So I don’t shrug off that signal.
I participate
and amplify that belonging
to the others.

By k | February 24, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

My author buddies and I
have multiple names,
multiple identities.
Many people on the internet
have these split personalities.

And sometimes it gets people
into trouble.

A buddy of mine
recently got nailed to the wall
because she gossiped about an author
to the actual author.
The author was using
her reviewer pen name online.
The gossip was not based on fact
and my buddy not only ruined a relationship
with that author
but with many people who witnessed
the confrontation.

Don’t gossip (period)
but especially don’t gossip online.
You don’t know
who you’re talking to.

By k | February 23, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A buddy wanted a change to happen.
There was resistance
(there always is).
The executive team said it wouldn’t work.
They didn’t want to allocate manpower to it.

So my buddy did it on her own time.
She didn’t do all of it.
It was too big of a project.
It would cost her
too much time and money.

What she did was
that part of the project
the powers to be
thought would fail.

The first try did fail.
So did the second.
She tweaked after each attempt.
Finally she had it consistently working.

THEN she presented it
to the executive team.
She got buy in for the entire project
and the rest is company history.

If your company is failure unfriendly,
if you can,
test high risk parts of your project
on your own time.

By k | February 22, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

This week,
I directed two beginner writers
to a call for submission
that I, myself, was targeting.

Another writing buddy
claimed I was nuts.
Why would I encourage someone
to compete with me?

Because…

A) Many will be encouraged,
few will actually do.
Dreaming is, yes, free
but doing is very rare.

and

B) Doers are rarer than projects.
If I did encourage someone to DO
and she snagged a spot
I had my eye on,
I know there will be other spots.
It isn’t the end of the world.
And I’ve increased the value of that contact.
I know the beginning writer
and she now knows even more people.

Encouragement may cost in the short term
but in the long term,
it is free.
Encourage someone today.

By k | February 21, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I estimate
that whenever I have to break from writing,
it takes me at least
one half hour to find my groove again.

One half hour
every time someone asks me a question
or the phone rings
or I receive a request
I can do ‘later.’

Most creative people
(artists, marketers, product developers)
have the same recovery time.
It is painful,
especially when we’re trying to be creative
on tight turnaround times.

What I do is shut my door,
unplug my phone,
and disappear from the world.

Do you allow your creative people to do this?
Do your creative people,
regardless of titles,
have, at the minimum,
offices with doors on them?

By k | February 20, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A manager is transitioning
her group from data processors
to analysts.

She has told her team
that if coding doesn’t appear correct,
they should investigate and correct it.

One of the first decisions
was to override a coding
made by a senior person.
It resulted in a large expense
being paid by an incorrect company.

The manager didn’t yell.
The manager didn’t blame her staff.
The manager congratulated the staff member
on making the decision,
holding it up as an example,
and then coached her
on how to make a better decision next time.

Will she make a better decision
next time?
Likely
but more importantly,
she’ll make a decision.

By k | February 19, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A controller announced
she was leaving the company today.
She was EXTREMELY happy
that she’ll be leaving
at the end of next week.
She isn’t going to another company.
She simply doesn’t want to
work for this one.

I suspect that most of her staff
will be interviewing
in the very near future.

This is great
if it is what the exec team wants.
It is not so great
if they need a transfer of knowledge
and a stable employee base
during the transition.

If your manager
can’t keep her joy low key
over the two weeks or more,
let her advise the transition team
from her home.