Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Lessons Learned

I have removed the post on the four aces because I couldn't get the photo size to work. Will continue to update this site for you as I learn how to do this. Thanks for bearing with me.

In the meantime, great stuff coming out of the privacy issues and telemarketers. Give you legislators a ring to let them know that you're tired of all these intrusions into your day with the solicitations....work from home and you find out how insidious these calls can be. An article in Time April 28, showed that telemarketer calls went from 18 million daily in 1991 to an expected 104 million daily this year! Yikes, no wonder we're all afraid of the phone....and no wonder the politicians are coming into the fray. Not even an unlisted number works anymore. Privacy managers, do-not-call lists (31 states now have this) and other devices are helping. As a marketer, I have problems with intrusion marketing. You should, too.

Alain's Home.

Thursday, April 24, 2003


An article in the San Francisco Chronicle business pages of April 6th, caught my eye when I made a trip there a few weeks ago, regarding a man who lost his job in January in the Bay Area. Not unusual in Baghdad By The Bay, but this guy wouldn't let it get him down. Chuck Weiss would stand on crowded street corners in San Francisco during rush hours in the morning and evening, wearing a suit and a billboard inviting people to take his resume. Columnist Alan T. Saracevic featured him a couple of times and just when it looked like Chuck was going to be homeless---in spite of supportive emails, some donations and several job opportunities that didn't pan out---he got a job...low pay and no benefits, but he's working.

To let everyone know of this momentous event in his life, he went back to his duty station on the streets with his billboard to share the news. Talk about perseverance. And that's the message here. Here is a resourceful man who took life by the horns and marketed himself with all the energy he could bring to it without feeling sorry for himself. He moved mountains to get that next rung in his journey. That's what good marketing is all about. Marketing is an everyday act of defiance of the circumstances you or your company finds itself in, and it takes persistence in the face of adverse market situations...including a well executed plan. All you have to do is look at Chuck Weiss.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2003


to Rick Bruner for the kind words

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This Just In

Anyone who watched the war can well remember the Iraqi Minister of "Information" and his fantasy world. I just got this from another excellent weblog by Rick Bruner. It's a great piece of satire. Enjoy!

Integrated Marketing

The Iraq military campaign we've just witnessed has a key marketing lesson, mainly that coordinated approaches using all the components of an organization and in synch can achieve success. The impressive coordination of air support, special forces, naval forces, et al. signified a major departure for the Pentagon...that territoriality is counterproductive to organizational goals. There were no prima donnas here, only goals to be achieved with whatever resources needed. Everyone is a hero in this effort. And that's a great lesson for business.

Successful businesses are those that understand that each piece of the organization is critical to the overall success. What I often find when I'm asked to consult---and close the barn door after the horse has left---is that egos and territoriality are divisive elements that eat at the core of the company's mission. I know this is a teamwork message, but isn't that why a company has all those employees and resources, so that the team can accomplish what it set out to do? But teamwork is often an illusion and very often at the highest levels. I once worked for an organization where senior management was called "Team", often the furthest thing from reality in how they responded and acted...and led.

Regardless of the point of view you may have on the war, the joint efforts of all our guys---and the leadership---were essential to the success we are witnessing. Equally important to note is that the CEO (#43 or W) let the guys with the expertise do the job unhindered with stupid meddling. Have confidence in the plan, in your team, in your leadership and let them go. That, too, is a valuable lesson from Gulf II. More on that later.

Alain's home.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Embedded Marketer

Watching the Iraq war unfold, it became very clear to me that what we need in organizations are Embedded Marketers. Marketers should be embedded in every segment of a business, even if only peripherally in some areas. But having a marketing mindset instead of a marketing afterthought as too many organizations have is what it's all about. I get calls to "fix" marketing problems after the proverbial horse has sauntered out of the barn. If the marketers had been involved in the process in the first place, there probably wouldn't be a need for all of us consultants.

So I will pursue this new phrase for a while...unless I get sued by all the companies out there who are trying to trademark the term Shock and Awe. Marketers are now "battling" it out for this phrase. A few days ago, there were 17 firms vying for those coveted words, including Sony which wanted it on the 2nd day of the war and then decided against it. Everything from lingerie to fireworks (that one makes sense at least) to pesticides. Who knows what other products marketers will think deserve that moniker to make it zing in the marketplace? Only the Shadow knows.

Now that I'm back...stay tuned for more marketing thoughts.

Alain's home.