Working partnerships – Part III – E-Merge Interactive

I’ve been working with the fine folks at E-Merge Interactive (http://www.connectwithemerge.com/) long before they were known as E-Merge Interactive.

Barry Lee, David Smith and Kerry Brown are pretty much the brain trust behind E-Merge Interactive and I have worked with all three of these individuals for more than 25 years. I used to do quite a bit of video and audio production at Smith-Lee for a variety of clients. Dave’s wife, Sandy, is an amazing composer and gifted musician who I worked with to create award-winning commercials and videos back in the day.

But times changed and though Smith-Lee still does an impressive array of audio work, they shifted their focus more to the interactive world and formed a separate company,
E-merge Interactive, providing a full range of interactive services, primarily for B2B clients.

One of those clients is Byrne & Jones Construction. (http://www.byrneandjones.com/)

A partial look at the home page of Byrne & Jones Construction.

A partial look at the home page of Byrne & Jones Construction.

When we first began working with Byrne & Jones, their website was, to put it politely, a work in progress. Many of the sub-pages were incomplete. The home page featured rotating imagery but it didn’t really focus on key benefits of what the company provided.

And Byrne & Jones provides a lot. They’re the largest asphalt provider in the St. Louis metro area. Their sports division is one of the largest builders of tracks and athletic fields in the Midwest. They have a booming micro surfacing division, as well as perform concrete and soil stabilization work. In the past year, they also bought a company called Midwest Foundation that does marine work on rivers and lakes throughout the Midwest. (http://midwestfoundation.com/)

We recently launched a newly updated website for Midwest Foundation, a Byrne & Jones Company.

We recently launched a newly updated website for Midwest Foundation, a Byrne & Jones Company.

Over a period of time, we completely overhauled the website and began doing SEO work as well, partnering with Romondo Davis of Davis Interactive for his expertise in all aspects of social media. The Byrne & Jones blog, that hadn’t had any new posts for quite some time began getting regular entries which we pushed out via social media to help drive more traffic to the site.

Thought leadership articles and profiles of projects are now regularly posted via the Byrne & Jones blog.

Thought leadership articles and profiles of projects are now regularly posted via the Byrne & Jones blog.

Numbers have been trending upward and the growth of Byrne & Jones continues to be on the rise as well. They are a well-managed, well-run company that needed their website and social media to catch up in order to better tell their story.

Byrne & Jones is just one of the clients that I have partnered with E-Merge Interactive to help provide marketing communications. We’re in the process of launching a new website for another B2B client and there are more projects in the works. It’s been a good blend of their interactive capabilities and my branding and writing expertise.

There’s always room for more.

The business model for BloodLines Creative is fairly flexible. I work directly for clients. I also work with agencies to help with their client needs in times of overflow or for select projects. I work with in-house agencies, helping to write or produce videos. And I partner with other designers, social media providers or production companies to assist their client needs. It all results in an ever-changing, always interesting flow of assignments. I am honored to be a part of each and every one. Now, what can I do for you?

Snotes on the rise

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Snotes – not because nothing has been happening but rather, I’ve been too busy working on the account to have the time to blog about it.

Snotes stands for Secret Notes. It’s a form of anamorphic messaging that has been around since the days of da Vinci but thanks to a patented technology, allows a user to create a Snote by typing in their message on the Snotes generator that lives on snotes.com and in under a second, your message is magically created – able to be sent via email or posted on Facebook or texted to your friends.

This is an actual Snotes LoveKnots necklace featuring Chris' initials and mine intertwined together.

This is an actual Snotes LoveKnots necklace featuring Chris’ initials and mine, intertwined together.

The fun thing about Snotes is how many potential uses they have. One such use is shown in the necklace you see above. We call them Snotes LoveKnots and we’re just now beginning to take orders for them. What you see in the photo are four sets of initials – CMB, THB, CMB, THB that are intertwined together and put into a sterling silver necklace. It can also be done in gold and there are a variety of ways we’re working on to showcase the letters – raised, with colored backgrounds and with different borders.

A lot went into turning this concept into reality. We had to develop a way for the laser cutters to read the pattern that is created when four sets of letters are intertwined with each other. It took a lot of experimenting and a lot of back and forth but it’s finally been figured out and an initial batch of necklaces have been delivered to a number of people who are now getting asked, “That’s a cool looking necklace. What is it?”

It’s exciting for the wearers of the necklace to explain that it’s their initials and their husbands initials. Or maybe the initials of their grandkids.

Monogrammed jewelry is a big business in the U.S. – and this is a whole new way to do monogrammed jewelry.

We’re not just talking necklaces, either.

Snotes LoveKnots can go on bracelets, ear rings, key chains, belt buckles. And that’s just for starters.

Imagine a bride and groom using a Snotes LoveKnot on their wedding invitation. And then having it on the napkins, glasses and even the cake at the reception, followed up by Thank You cards and personalized gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen with their names and the date of the wedding.

If you’re interested in an even wider range of how Snotes might be used, visit http://snotes.com/licensing-opportunities/ and explore our three key categories: Business, Consumer Products and Education.

We are truly excited about the potential for Snotes. Teachers have discovered the fun of using them in the classroom for games and quizzes and are making plans on incorporating them into next year’s lesson plans.

Our website visitation has been exponentially growing.

In about three weeks, we’ll be attending the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. We have a very cool looking booth that will showcase our full range of Licensing Opportunities. We also have prearranged meetings with some major companies that have shown interest in partnering together that could potentially accelerate the growth of Snotes in ways that might be hard to fathom.

Snotes are on the rise. It’s going to be fun to see how this story continues to unfold.

 

 

What’s the real key to keywords?

One of John Caples most famous ads.

One of John Caples most famous ads.

Is the copywriter an endangered species?

Do people still value a well-crafted headline that stops you in your tracks, grabs your attention and pulls you into the rest of the story?

Is it possible these days to get someone to read past the third sentence of anything?

I hope so, because this is the fourth sentence.

Originally, this post was going to be titled, “At a loss for words?” The premise was simple. If you were stuck with any creative challenge that needed some big idea thinking backed by some well-crafted, on target messaging, I had a very strong recommendation for you. Me.

But then I ran across an article on HubSpot about the value of keywords, particularly when it comes to headline writing. http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/common-keyword-data?utm_campaign=blog-rss-emails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=19663780

I read through the article and it reminded me of John Caples and his tested, proven headline formulas that he published in his book, Tested Advertising Methods back in 1932. Back then, Mr. Caples came up with 35 rules to follow for headline writers. Those rules still work today – but anyone who strictly goes by the rules is doomed to mediocrity.

So now we get this modern day list featuring the most common keywords found in the top shared articles. It’s even broken down by where the keywords are appearing in different social media. What works for twitter, may not be right for Facebook or Pinterest or LinkedIn.

Amazing.

Not really. Nor is it really all that surprising to read that people sharing articles on, let’s say, Content Marketing react strongly to words like ‘Content’ or, ‘Marketing’. For science topics, we’re told to use words such as brain, smart, and future.

No wonder the role of the copywriter is being so devalued. When lists like these come out, it’s so easy to stoop to using keywords in your headline just so that the search engines can find you and your odds of being shared can increase exponentially.

So is it selling out when you include keywords like ‘keywords’ in your headline?

Yes, it is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, you are trying to get people to read what you’ve written. But the real key to using keywords is still creativity. It’s not if you use them, it’s how you use them.

And if you’re still reading this, congratulations. You made it past the fourth sentence.

If you’re at a loss for words for any of your advertising or marketing challenges, I’m here to help. To see some of my words in action, visit www.bloodlinescreative.com or wander amongst a few of my other blog posts and thanks in advance for reading.

 

 

What wearables are you wearing?

“So what’s a wearable?” you ask.

For many people, myself included, it’s a Fitbit – one of those bands that wrap around your wrist that measure your steps each day – and if you want it to, the number of calories you take in, the number burned, the hours you sleep and even how well you slept. And that’s just for starters.

Fitbits are getting more and more advanced. They need to – because the market is getting more and more crowded with wearable technology.

Currently, there are close to 300 different wearable technology products in the marketplace. Plenty more are on the way.

Apple is getting closer to launching its Apple Watch – perhaps as soon as later this spring and then we’ll have a whole new set of Dick Tracy imitators talking to their wrists to communicate where they are and what they’re doing and using their wearable to pay the bill, text their friends, measure their heart rate and tell them whether they should go left or right at the next corner to find their way to whatever uber-hip place they’re heading to next.

Cell phones will become so yesterday.

Well, not for a little while at least as you actually have to have an Apple smartphone in order for your Apple Watch to function beyond merely being a watch.

It’s weird. Cell phones made wearing watches seem obsolete as all you had to do was check your phone to see what time it is and these days, it seems no one goes anywhere without their phone in hand or at least in pocket. Now the cell phone may get wiped out by the watch. Which will in turn be made obsolete by some other form of communication.

Google is still trying to recover from their soft launch of Google Glass – the eyewear that allowed you to video what you were seeing, or take photos, get directions or a variety of other tasks – all while wearing a very weird looking set of glasses that didn’t really function as glasses – in fact, if you wear glasses, you wouldn’t be able to wear Google glasses at the same time.

My first look at Google Glass reminded me of the Steve Martin movie, “The Jerk” where he turned into a millionaire thanks to the invention of his Opti-Grab glasses – that ultimately caused the wearers to become cross-eyed.

I could see similar things happening with Google Glass – with them somehow causing your right eyeball to endlessly look up and to the right or perhaps there might be all sorts of lawsuits emerging because people were checking their emails while walking into open sewer holes or wiping out trying to record what it’s like to go cliff diving or hang gliding or whatever.

It’s interesting that the early wearers of Google Glass were called Glassholes.

It’s not easy to be an early adopter.

Rest assured, though, Google will figure it out. And soon, we’ll all be wearing something that measures our heart rate, our steps, our breathing, our pulse, our caloric intake and that provides directions, advice, reviews and instant contact with all our many, many friends on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, SnapChat, twitter, flickr, digg, stumbleupon, reddit, mixx, gather, diigo, newsvine, connectedy and whatever other social network we use to avoid actual human interaction.

We live in a connected world.

If only we could all get back to connecting one-on-one with people.

No wearable device necessary.

Information contained in this post came from an article written by Sam McMillan in the March/April 2015 edition of Communication Arts magazine and from numerous Google searches.

 

 

In praise of Constant Contact

I recently began email marketing BloodLines Creative on a limited basis via Constant Contact.

I know that if I really want to gain more exposure for the range of advertising and marketing communications services that BloodLines Creative can deliver, I need to push that message out to a larger audience.

I’ve had great success with a very targeted mailing piece featuring a bright red envelope with the message, “Careful. This package contains Blood samples.” Inside is a mini-portfolio/case history of some of the work I’ve done along with a customized letter in which I request a meeting to discuss the marketing or advertising challenges the recipient may be facing and how I can help.

But if I really want to grow my business, I need to expand beyond single mailing pieces and email marketing makes great sense. I get spammed all the time with emails and I know that my email messaging may just be adding to the pile so I’m trying to keep the messaging interesting, a bit playful and at least ask the recipient to learn a little more about me with links to my website, to the work featured in the email, this blog and my LinkedIn and twitter accounts. Here’s the most recent email I sent out a few days ago. http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Looking-for-better-results-with-your-communications-.html?soid=1112085120362&aid=9HTQXf7UFBs

I did all this with the help of Ed Madden and Barry Lee at E-Merge Interactive. (http://www.e-mergeinteractive.com) I can’t say enough about how much they have helped me on my interactive journeys. They were the ones who recommended I try Constant Contact so I did and set up a 60-day trial basis.

My original email list had about 250 names but the 60-day trial only lets you send out to 100 contacts. That’s okay. I figured if I didn’t get any angry rebukes or messages back, that I could move forward with the broader list once I actually became a subscriber.

What I didn’t expect was the personal attention that Constant Contact has lavished upon me from the moment I signed up.

A day after I signed up for the trial run, a customer rep called me and introduced herself. Her name is Karen Bennett. She lives in Colorado but was raised in England and her accent made her a bit difficult to understand at first. Karen told me she was here to help and answer any of my questions and blah, blah, blah. I largely ignored her first initial call. But then she called again, wondering why I hadn’t sent any emails yet and could she help me in any way to get things going. I assured her the problems were all on my end as I was trying to reduce the number of contacts and get things worked out with all the links.

So we sent the first email to my 100 contacts and it was opened by 42 of them and we had 15 click throughs on the links which is a very good number and only one person opted out.

That seemed pretty good to me so we sent out a second one this week and though the amount of people who opened went slightly down as well as the click throughs, they’re still good numbers and I can also see who opened the first and the second and maybe, just maybe, they might think of BloodLines Creative as a strong source of creative support for their particular needs.

Then Karen called me again. That was three calls from Constant Contact asking if they could help. This time, I was all ears. Karen told me about how I could link the emails to my Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter accounts. I didn’t know that I could but I did and suddenly, that email had a lot more exposure.

She also told me how I could create my own QR code to put on all those accounts that would take them to my Constant Contact emails and how I could create follow buttons as well. All things I still need to do – but all things I didn’t know I could do until Karen told me so.

This is what customer service is all about.

This is how you get customers who aren’t even paying customers yet to blog about what a great job the company is by having service reps who really want to help their customers grow.

They know that if their customers experience success, they’ll grow right along with them.

Same premise as what I’m doing.

I’m ready to grow. And I’m ready to help.

What can I do for you?

 

 

 

 

10 New Year’s resolutions for 2013

Now that we’re three days into the new year, perhaps many of you have already broken your New Year’s resolutions.

Here are 10 more New Year’s resolutions that you can break in the coming weeks and months.

1. Resolve to clean out your emails and reduce your inbox. I could be considered an email hoarder. I have emails going back more than a year. Sure I could open a file and save them. I could just as easily delete them and plan to do so with a daily email purge of 100 or more of my saved and sent emails until I’m back below 100 again. Get ready delete button. You’re in for a rough ride.

2. Resolve to reach out to at least one friend from your past once a month. And don’t do it via email or Facebook. Pick up the phone. If they’re in town, arrange to meet. I’ve lost track of so many high school and college friends but every time we re-connect, it’s been a great experience. It’s so easy to drift apart – but it’s just as easy to re-connect. Do it.

3. Resolve to begin making a daily to-do list, as well as a weekly to-do list. There’s a certain sense of accomplishment you feel when you cross something off that list. Writing this blog post was on my to-do list for yesterday and it got pushed to today. But it’s soon to be crossed off and it’s on to the next accomplishment. (Not that I’m calling what you’re reading here any sort of accomplishment.)

4. Resolve to read one more book this year than you did last year. For some of you, that will mean reading a book. That’s okay. For others, it’s continuing a great habit because a good book is time well spent – whether you read it on a Nook or a Kindle or the old-fashioned way of immersing yourself in a true page-turner. If you’re really adventurous, read a book relating to your industry. If you always read fiction, try an autobiography.

5. Resolve to see at least three or four of the Oscar winning films of last year – look a little deeper than best picture. Have you seen the best documentary? (Undefeated) How about the movie that won best director? (The Artist) Or best visual effects? (Hugo) That’s three movies I haven’t seen right there. Of course, I didn’t get out much last year but now they’re all probably available on Pay-Per-View.

6. Resolve to set aside a minimum of 15 minutes a day, every day to speak to a family member without the TV on, a cell phone or laptop open and no distractions. Fifteen minutes sounds measly and it is. Set your own total and see if you can maintain it. Too often, it’s easy to be distracted by other things around us. Focus on your family. You’ll be glad you did.

7. Resolve to exercise in some way, shape, manner or form. I’m somewhat of a workout fanatic. But not everyone is. Take the steps. Park a little further away. You’ve heard all this before. In fact, forget I even mentioned this one. You know what you need to do and some silly sentence in the middle of a blog isn’t going to change your mindset anyway.

8. Resolve to wake up 15 minutes earlier four times a week. Get a jump start on your day. Create that list. Eliminate those emails. You’d be surprised what that combined extra hour of awake time can do for you. You won’t miss the sleep – and if you do, that’s what Saturday afternoon naps are for, anyway.

9. Resolve to learn something new that will lead to greater productivity – whether it’s for work or around the house or whatever your favorite hobby or passion happens to be. I continue to explore inDesign and photoshop. I should sign up to take a class. In fact, I should resolve to take a class. What new thing can you learn?

10. Resolve to begin following this blog by filling in the little box in the top right that says Follow Blog via email. I admit, you’ll have more emails to delete so I could be part of your problem. And I may detain you from reading a book, spending quality time with your family, contacting an old friend, exercising or seeing one of those Oscar-winning films. I only post about twice a week though, so if you’re getting up 15 minutes earlier four times a week, you’ll still have plenty of time to spare.

If you’re going to try any of the above, I highly recommend #6 and #2. The rest … well, do as you please.

Happy New Year or as I like to refer to it, Happy Lucky ’13.

 

Nine reasons why this could be my finest blog post ever

I’ve been reading up about blogging.

It seems my blog posts could use some improvement. Search engines don’t like my headlines. People don’t share my content or re-tweet my posts. I rarely post pictures. Perhaps most important, this blog lacks focus.

I drift from politics to advertising to St. Louis-based topics to musing about the Rams.

What is the point and how in the world have I managed to garner more than 12,000 views in less than a year’s time?

I love to write. Though I do advertising and marketing communications by day, I haven’t turned this blog into strictly an advertising and marketing communications forum.

I know it’s critical that I be seen as a thought leader in what I do. Here’s my thinking on that – I am a thought leader, it’s just that not all of my thoughts lead back to advertising or marketing communications.

Howard Gossage, (http://www.lacreativeclub.com/gossage.html) my favorite ad man of the 1960s, had a famous saying that went like this, “People read what interests them. Sometimes, it’s an ad.”

I have updated his saying for my own selfish purposes to, “People read what interests them. Sometimes, it’s a blog post.”

So where are my nine reasons you might ask?

Blog posts score much higher when there are lists. With that in mind, I present the following:

9. This post contains a specific message to all my Facebook friends – thanks for wishing me a Happy Birthday yesterday and to those of you who didn’t, I will happily accept your belated birthday greetings as well as belated greetings for the one-year anniversary of BloodLines Creative (www.bloodlinescreative.com).

8. It also contains a link to my BloodLines Creative LinkedIn page (http://www.linkedin.com/company/2461797?trk=tyah). It would be great if you could follow that as I’m in the midst of adding content and services and continue to seek companies that are looking for Big Idea Thinking on a limited budget.

7. I’ve included a picture! Here’s a shot of Steve Meyer, holding the certificate he received (suitable for framing) and the hot little sports car that I gave away for being the 1,000th viewer of my blog on January 24, 2012.

6. There’s also a link that I encourage everyone in St. Louis to visit. It’s called Rally StL (http://www.rallystl.org/) and its pursuit is a noble one that I wholeheartedly endorse: coming up with ideas to promote St. Louis in whatever way, shape or manner you propose. November 14 was the start date for idea submission and if you go to the link you can learn more about the program and submit your own grand scheme to prove to the world what a great place St. Louis is to live, work and raise a family.

5. Since I’m sharing all these links, I thought I’d also share a plug for my current two favorite integrated marketing firms in the St. Louis area – TOKY (http://toky.com/) and Atomic Dust (http://www.atomicdust.com/). They’re both doing amazing work and they make me jealous and no, I’ve never done a single freelance job for them. I just love to see St. Louis-based companies do great work and these two are far from the only ones – there is a creative revolution going on in St. Louis and I’m proud to tell others about it.

4. The last link I’ll share is one that I’ve had a personal involvement with and it’s been refreshing to see this program begin to take off in schools across the nation. It’s called the CyberBully Hotline (http://www.cyberbullyhotline.com) – it’s a service provided by SchoolReach and it’s designed to provide kids in school an anonymous means of reporting bullying – which is huge when you’re a kid and you’re afraid to tell your parents or a teacher face-to-face.

3. Anyone who reads these lists hoping that the reasons get better, the lower you get is in for a surprise.

2. Having an odd-number of reasons for some reason pulls in more people than doing a top ten list.

1. Now that you’ve made it to the bottom of the list, perhaps you might be saying, “this couldn’t possibly be his finest blog post ever.”

I said it could be.

And that’s the surprise.

A big, fat turkey of a post, right before Thanksgiving.

Have a safe and happy holiday and remember those in need.

Share your wealth.

 

 

A rare post about the work I’ve been doing

Starting your own business is an adventure.

Providing integrated advertising and marketing communications to a wide range of clients is even more of an adventure especially when you have to be the new business developer, the creative director, account service guy, marketing strategist and the overall linchpin to keep things rolling.

Things started off kind of slow – I had to completely overhaul my old website and make it much more functional. Then I needed to begin to reach out to contacts and seek new business. One thing I have learned, no one is waiting around hoping to give you business. The world goes on every day and unless you’re out there pursuing and selling and then delivering once you get an assignment, you won’t be asked back to do more.

You have to deliver. Every assignment you get needs to be the most important assignment you’ll ever have.

I have been fortunate so far in that I have worked on some very good pieces of business. I’ve had the opportunity to do things I’ve never done before. I’ve had clients call me back for repeat business and that is the most rewarding part of all. They value what I’m delivering.

So who is all this work for and let’s see some examples of it. Some of it’s on YouTube. Some is hard to miss as you drive by locations containing the new window displays we’ve done. Other work is online or in the hands of customers. But before showcasing, I need a thing called permission.

I hope to obtain it in a few days or so and then post the work on both my BloodLines Creative website and on my BloodLines Creative Facebook page – which, if you haven’t, I would love to have you visit and like it.

And if you haven’t subscribed to this blog, please do so.

I really enjoy writing it. I enjoy it even more when I know lots of people are reading it.

Have a great week and if you live in San Diego, oops, I mean St. Louis – I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful run of weather we’ve been having.

 

 

Better get busy on Pinterest

Another day zipped by today. And I fell that much further behind in the Social Media world.

I have a twitter account but I don’t tweet often enough. Normally, I tweet these posts and the occasional good article I run across when scanning LinkedIn or other tweets from people I follow. Rarely do I comment on twitter unless I truly have something significant to say and I guess I don’t feel very significant very often.

My foursquare account remains relatively dormant. From time to time, I’ll check in but I figure who really cares whether I’m visiting a restaurant or a Cards’ game or whatever. I figure foursquare is more for travelers who are looking for new places while in new cities. I think I was mayor of the gym in the building where I worked previously. That was quite an honor to have. I imagine I could be the mayor of the Des Peres Lodge if I tried hard enough but I just don’t quite get what the point is. Could anyone tell me?

My new Facebook page for BloodLines Creative at least has the new, updated look and I like it. Problem is, only 28 other people like it as well. I can’t even get enough people to like it to get some insights shared by Facebook on my activity.

I know what Facebook will say. You need to be more active! And I do. Problem is, I’m trying to be quite active in a number of other activities as well – like finding and keeping new business and helping other companies with their own web initiatives. It’s tough to tell them to “do as I say, not as I do.” Because I don’t do enough.

I’m in all these groups on LinkedIn which is great – but every day my email inbox is full of various messages from various group members with all sorts of stuff that rarely applies to anything I’m doing. Yet I feel obligated to at least scan the topics, because on occasion, there is useful info to be found – sometimes I even tweet it! There is one group I’m in called ‘Advertising Professionals’ and someone in it had the great idea to ask, “What’s your favorite motivational quote?” To date, there have been about 500 responses. And that little button that LinkedIn has that says, “Click to stop following conversation” – it doesn’t work. So I’m trapped in some sort of strange purgatory where every day there are new motivational quotes that are anything but motivating. Maybe I should tweet about that.

Which brings me to Pinterest. I kept reading how it was really taking off and how much fun people were having on it so I looked into it and discovered that I had to be invited to join. So I asked Hannah Johnson, a former workmate of mine and now one of the best bloggers that I know to recommend me and she happily did. I signed myself up. That was about two weeks ago (maybe three, because time sure flies when you’re having fun) and to date, I have not done a single thing other than open my account. I haven’t created my profile, posted any pictures, told about any hobbies or whatever you’re supposed to do on it – basically, I am a Pinterest failure. And over the last few days I have received notice that I now have several people following me.

I apologize to all of them. I’m going to do something on it some time, and hopefully soon.

So please, follow me on twitter. Like my bloodlinescreative FaceBook page. Follow me on Foursquare, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Of course, I barely even mentioned accounts like Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo and Skype. I’m on all of them – and at this point, doing virtually nothing on any of them. But follow me. Or send me photos or videos or just Skype me and let’s chat. We’ll have endless hours of fun.

And none of us will ever get anything done.

How willing to change are you?

I had an interesting meeting this morning with a fellow entrepreneur. He’s a few years older than me and we were both lamenting how much the advertising business has changed since our early days.

He had worked for a variety of agencies and had an extremely successful career – not that this is past tense at all – he has a very successful career right now though he’s no longer directly involved in the agency business. He was just saying that he feels as if he’s forced to do social media these days – there is no other choice if you’re going to be involved in the communications business.

Obviously, there are still many agencies doing mass media advertising. But mass media no longer rules in our world. It’s so much more important to engage your prospects now, involve them in your brand – whatever your brand may be. The Cokes and the Buds and the Fed Exes all need to be out there generating brand awareness, delivering on whatever brand promise they may have – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Experiential marketing is key – immersing your brand into people’s lives, creating new user experiences and carrying on an on-going dialogue with your audience are all vital in today’s marketing world. One-way communication, simply telling everyone what you have, is no longer enough. A simple corporate website is no longer enough.

Everything is evolving and seemingly changing at a more accelerated pace than ever before. How exactly is the technically-challenged old guard supposed to survive in this new world? You gotta roll with it.

Many times, I feel like I was grabbed, blindfolded and tossed into the deep end of a pool and no one ever bothered to teach me to swim. I’ve flailed about quite a bit, but recently feel as if somebody tossed me some water wings and I slipped them on and I’m staying afloat. I’m trying on a daily basis to learn more. We all need to be life-long students, forever learning, forever searching for new ways to do things. I don’t lament that in the slightest.

I wish I could be working on some major broadcast spots right now. I wish I could be working on more radio spots for I truly love the theatre-of-the-mind that great radio needs to be. But I’m not. So I will continue to learn more about Facebook marketing and read up on Pinterest – because it’s out there and I need to know about it and how to utilize it if it seems right for any of my current clients.

I’m willing to change because change is good. It makes you grow. It keeps you from getting stale.

How about you?