The Importance of Peer Feedback (Even from the Boss)

 

Even Grammy Award winners need feedback. Everybody needs and craves feedback, whether you think it or they admit it, regardless of their accomplishments and success. This point was reminded to me when I recently went to see Grammy Award-winning John Legend (Stephens), from my hometown of Springfield, play a homecoming show in support of his brother Vaughn’s “be about it” foundation. It was a great show.

For an hour, it was just John and his piano. Halfway through the show, John told a story. A while ago, Jimmie Fallon had a Bruce Springsteen tribute week. The show called and wanted John to do a tribute. He thought it was a little out of the expected. Most people, including John, didn’t link “the Boss” and “John Legend” together. (I think John might underestimate himself – my Pandora app pairs him with Ray LaMontage and Griffin House (another Springfielder – he literally goes with anything. But I digress).

They came up with a dark and jazzy take on Bruce’s 80’s pop hit “Dancing in the Dark.” It gave the song a completely different feel. And it  was completely awesome.

John hoped that Bruce would like it.

The Roots, the audience all seemed to like it. But nothing from the “Boss.” Not a note. Not an email from one manager to another. Not a tweet. Nothing. John was concerned. He really wanted him to like it, or at least to know that he didn’t hate it.

A week went by. A month. Then a year. Then there was another tribute to Bruce. He was being recognized as the 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year. John received a letter signed by the Boss. He had heard the version and really liked it. In fact, he wanted John to perform it at the ceremony.

Even Grammy Award-winning artists need feedback. More than just the acknowledgement, that he liked it meant a lot to the artist. It didn’t take a lot of time. But it would have meant a lot to the artist to have had it much earlier. But the important thing was that eventually came.

When people do things for your or produce things that you enjoy, recognize their efforts. It will be good for them and for you. You might be the spark that helps them create more of what you enjoyed in the first place.

Here is John’s rendition of the Boss’ Dancing in the Dark.

This entry was posted in Creative Marketing, High Bar Marketing and tagged Bruce Springsteen, feedback, John Legend on March 20, 2014 by Devin Meister.

Growing a New Audience

grown an audience - like bamboo

About three years ago, my next door neighbor planted a pot (pot, singular) of bamboo in the corner where our yards adjoin. The plan was for the bamboo to serve as a border. It quickly did that. Little did we expect that the bamboo had an ulterior motive: to take over the United States, starting in the Midwest. More specifically, our back yard. It’s now moving west and will arrive in Chicago in the near future.

Growing a new unintended audience - like bamboo

One morning last spring one of my kids looked out the window and asked “who’s that strange lady in our backyard?” Turns out, it was not just a lady, but several ladies from the local Chinese restaurant. They were cutting bags full of young bamboo shoots. My mother tutors at the local literacy center and the ladies were her students. This gets us 15-25% off an all ready ridiculously cheap order and a friendly “How your mommy?” when I visit (which makes me wonder about my mom’s teaching skills).

a new audience arrives to pick bamboo

Through their conversation, it came up that I had bamboo growing in my backyard. Apparently outside of our backyard, it’s hard to find fresh bamboo in our area, for now. From what I can see the situation is quickly changing. But every day for a couple of weeks afterwards, there were varying numbers of local people of chinese descent cutting bamboo. Bags and bags of bamboo left, without making any appreciable visual difference.

So, while the bamboo was intended as barrier, it found a completely different alternative use with a completely different audience through my “network.” The same thing can happen for you and your content if you follow the same steps.

Young Bamboo Shoots

  1. Plant new unique and original content in places where it can thrive.
  2. Let it grow. Watch over it, but don’t get in it’s way.
  3. Tell your network about it. While you might think you know your audience, don’t limit your thinking or assume that somebody might not be interested.
  4. Share it. When people are interested, be gracious and share. And thank them. Even when they block you in your own driveway.

Making your product and content, you might have an intended purpose. Your audience, intended or not, might discover it and take it in a whole new direction. You can learn and grow with it.

This entry was posted in Content Marketing, High Bar Marketing on November 4, 2013 by Devin Meister.

Don’t Call Me Francis

“Stripes” movie image from: https://www.democraticunderground.com/1018347426

Names stick. A classic scene from the movie Stripes is the introduction. One character introduces himself and says, “My name is Francis Soyer … but everybody calls me Psycho. Any of you guys call me Francis, and I’ll kill you.” After the rest of his rant, the drill sergeant quips, “Lighten up Francis.”

Anyone that has ever had a name or nickname that they didn’t like can relate. But whether you like it or not, name association can be powerful. That’s what Chrysler is experiencing with their truck line, and it doesn’t look like it is going to change anytime soon.

Read more about the challenges Chrysler and other top brands have faced in rebranding their companies and products here:

MY NAME IS RAM … FRIENDS CALL ME DODGE

What Would the ‘Mad Men’ Say Now?

EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAID THEN.

Every fan of Mad Men knows that the ’60s brought unprecedented transformation to the marketing world. 

Today, we’re experiencing a nearly identical marketing revolution driven by a plethora of maturing digital and social platforms, mobile, and changing habits.

The one thing that hasn’t changed for marketers is the need to grab the attention of the audience at the right time and place.

In 1965, Dennis Higgins interviewed five stalwarts of the marketing industry and compiled his findings in, The Art of Writing Advertising.  Check out  some excerpts that are relevant to the challenges marketers face today in the original post, Insights from the Real ‘Mad Men’, published Aug. 4, 2017 on http://www.wilsonadv.com/2017/08/insights-mad-men/.

Listen to the Women (and the Data)

Companies are striving for diversity because teams with a wide range of perspectives have more experiences and insights to draw from, making them more flexible and innovative in their problem solving. It’s even been shown that teams with more women perform better. However, achieving that team composition has been slower in some historically male-dominated segments than others. This excerpt is from a post published on Aug. 1, 2017 on the Teradata PARTNERS blog, Listen to the Women (and the Data).

Transformation with a Capital “T”

“Right now you have an opportunity to fundamentally change the business model of a company and create a very different business, one that is more competitive and compelling. If you don’t do, it someone else will.” From some sources, a statement that bold would be filed in the “heard it all before” basket. But when the source was practicing big data when it was a little thing and Teradata was a startup, has 29 PARTNERS behind him, and more than 120 PARTNERS conference presentations to his credit, you’d be wise to listen.

This excerpt is from a blog post originally published on July 21, 2017, on the Teradata PARTNERS blog, Transformation with a Capital “T.”

 

Creating an Destination? Build an Audience First.

“If you build it, they will come,” was a great line for a movie, but it’s a hopeful strategy at best. With so many things competing for our time, hoping you break through the noise isn’t a strategy at all. Building an audience is a proactive approach that connects your brand with the customer, and it’s happening all over. See how three companies built their audience first, then moved them to their destination. 

Read more in the complete post, published on the Wilson Advertising blog on 6/29/2017.

The First Step to Creating a Destination? Building an Audience.

YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE — AND SHOULDN’T TRY (ISN’T THAT A RELIEF?)

Everyone has a different personality. There are those you seek out at a dinner party and others you trust in a pinch. They are probably not the same person.

The same is true with brands. Every brand has a personality, but that doesn’t mean everyone will love it all of the time. In fact, if a brand tries to be all things to all people, chances are it won’t mean much to anyone. The middle has proven to be a less than ideal place to be for a number of brands recently, from J.C. Penney to the Gap. It’s better to have a strong core of supporters than a field full of passive bystanders that don’t actively dislike your brand, but don’t love it either.

Read the complete post, Why Brands Need to Sharpen Their Focus, published on June 22, 2017, here: http://www.wilsonadv.com/2017/06/brands-sharpen-focus/

 

The Cloud is Sexy – You Need Protection

If there has been a buzzword in the data and analytics world that has received as much attention as “big data” it is “cloud.” It’s fresh. It’s hot. It’s full of potential. And like a hacked celebrity phone full of pictures, people can’t stop talking about it, even when they don’t fully understand what they are talking about. The result is that myths and misconceptions can arise and be difficult to dispel.

The previous excerpt was first published on the Teradata PARTNERS blog on May 30, 2017, The Cloud is Sexy – You Need Protection.