Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Doing Away With Managers

Zappos.com has long been a beacon of "customer service done right."  They have an enormous focus on culture and taking care of the customer.  Zappos is also known for being "a little weird," which is a title that they like.

But this will be interesting.  Zappos is about to make a transition to flatten their organization by getting rid of managers.  This is not a lay-off.  It's a way to take out the hierchy. 

I am not sure how I feel about this.  What do you think?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Putting Goals on Paper

"You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight." - Jim Rohn

Each year at this time, I spend some time and mental energy setting goals.  I want to make it a point to let my mind know what I want the coming year to look like.  Sometimes I achieve the goals I lay out for myself and sometimes I don't.  But most of the time, if they are specific enough, I do.

You probably know that studies show that people who set goals and write them down are more likely to reach them.  So why do so few people do that?

Let's do it this year.  We have a few days before the start of 2014.  What do you want to accomplish?  What do you want to do?

Write it down.  Put it in a place you can see it...everyday.  Look at it!  Now, let's go make it happen.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Becoming Your Own Superhero

The wonderful thing about the internet is that sometimes you come across something that is both funny and inspirational.  As we begin to wind down 2013 and get ready for 2014, I think this is a cool message. 

Check out this video (yes it's worth the time) that reminds us the power in each of us.

As you begin to set goals and objectives for the coming year, make sure you are ready to tap into the Super Hero in you!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Decide For Yourself

One of the things that I (and it turns out society) values a great deal these days is "original thought."  It becomes so apparent that this is rare when you skim through Facebook right now.  A large majority of people (it seems) define themselves by being either for or against the latest public controversy. 

Quick thought as we approach the holiday:

1)  Stop defining yourself as being "against" this or that.  Be PRO-stuff.  Many of us define ourselves by what we don't like, don't eat, don't believe in, etc.  Start to define yourself by what you LOVE!  It's amazing what happens when that is your focus.

2)  Stop getting caught up in the pop topic du jour.  These public media (and social media) storms do nothing but drain your time and energy about topics that have (literally) no bearing on your life.

So the challenge for today is to share a thought that is your own...about a topic that you choose.  Ready?  Go!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Never Too Late

One way to stand out in the crowd is to do something BEFORE everyone else jumps on board.  You get out in front of it and are the first to make an impression.  Sending out Thanksgiving Cards is a great example of trying to get across your message, but stand out in the process. 

Another way to stand out is to do it later.  This is not always a great thing to brag about I suppose.  But in the case of saying "thank you" to our customers and employees it is better than nothing. 

So if you just simply got to busy to recognize those folks that mean a lot to your business, late is always better than never. 

So consider standing out this year by thanking these folks AFTER the holidays.  You are sure to stand out!

Some Holiday Fun

For those that read this blog with frequency, you know we like to give you ideas and make you think.  But we also want to make you smile!  So with that simple goal in mind, please take a moment to enjoy this holiday video from us at Hasseman Marketing!

Please enjoy...and let us know what you think!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Top 5 Marketing Voices of 2013

It's time for the heavily anticipated, first ever, Hasseman Marketing "Top Marketing Voices of 2013!"  We have been combing the internet for the best of the best.  As a company, we have spent a great deal of 2013 looking for interesting voices from the business world to educate and inspire us.  Now we are excited to share our TOP 5!

Drum roll please...

5. Joe Pulizzi:  Joe is the author of Epic Content Marketing and the owner of Content Marketing Institute.  (According to his Twitter bio, he says he is also obsessed with the color orange...FYI).  Joe Pulizzi has been extremely important in the way Hasseman Marketing has just begun to go to business.  His book is full of great ideas on ways to use content marketing (a term he has helped to shape and promote) to build your business.

 4.  Jeff Haden In searching for great articles and content to share each and every day, one voice kept coming to the top.  Jeff Haden has a great writing style with a casual voice and is not afraid to have fun...and make fun of himself.  He tells stories from his experience and often takes on topics that provide insight...and a smile.  You can find Jeff Haden as a Linkedin influencer and writer for Inc.com. 

3.  Richard Branson The founder of Virgin, Richard Branson has been impossible to miss in 2013.  From the cover of business magazines, to his daily blogs of inspiration, to the best damn Airplane Safety video ever, Richard Branson is a great inspiration to anyone that is looking to push the envelope.  I look forward each and every time I see a new article written by or about him!  He inspires us to not think out of the box...but to think without the box!

2.  Seth Godin:  Seth Godin has been referred to as the "Father of Modern Marketing."  I am not sure if he wants that title, but his knowledge and vision is unrivaled.  His blog (which he somehow continues to churn out thought-provoking posts each day) is a daily motivational watering hole you should be drinking from.  He is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, mentor and compelling agitator.  One of the things we love most about Seth Godin is he is an original thinker...and he challenges.  Awesome. 

And the number one marketing voice in 2013 as determined by our panel of experts is...

1.  Gary Vaynerchuk:  Gary is the leading voice in Social Media today.  Gary is obsessed with hard work (he calls hustle), creating content, and establising context in the digital world.  His new best-selling book (Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook) is a must read for any business owner or business marketer that wants to break through the clutter.  But the brilliance of Gary Vaynerchuk, is that he gives SO much on the front end (he calls these Jabs), when he asks (his Right Hook), you trust him!  We feel like we KNOW Gary.  Seriously.  He has no idea who we are.  But he has provided so much content through videos on his YouTube Channel, blogs, etc., that we have a relationship with him. 

It's an All-Star Cast of business leaders and writers that are sure to provide education, inspiration and motivation for your business!  You're welcome!

We would love your feedback!

Create An Impact Through Joy

With a tagline and mission of "Delivering Marketing Joy," you might expect we get questions about where that actually came from!

Obviously we enjoy what we do...and enjoy bringing it to the people.

But here, our owner Kirby Hasseman explains where the idea came from...and how you can implement "joy" into your organization.  

What do you think?  Can we bring joy to the world?

No Grand Gesture Necessary

When someone does something for us we feel a cultural need to "do something" in return.  This is a real pull called the Rule of Reciprocity.  We feel the need to, at the very least, say "thank you" in a genuine way.

But sometimes the person, the family member, the customer has done so much for us that we feel the need to make a grand gesture to show our appreciation.  The challenge with this, especially this time of year, is that grand gestures are hard.  They are expensive and they take lots of time.

So in many cases we put off the grand gesture long enough that it becomes nothing.  We we do nothing to say "thanks" for the act that we were so appreciative of.

A grand gesture is not necessary...but a thank you is.

Don't put so much pressure on yourself to blow them away.  A sincere gesture of thanks will go a LONG way in showing your appreciation.  But do it today.

You will be glad you did...and so will they!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Put Down Your Phone...Be More Happy

I recently heard cell phones and social media sites compared to addictive drugs.  Though I immediately discounted the claim, after some reflection, I think there might be something too it!  You get a quick boost when you check in at the beginning.  You can become attached to "checking in" with the phone all the time...to the point of absurdity.  And as you are reading this, you are probably saying "Hey...I can quit any time I want!"

Sound familiar?

Well this study from Kent State says if we want to be more happy, we need to unplug. 

"A Kent State University study found that people who are constantly connected to their cell phone are less happy than those who can detach.

Intense cell phone use is also linked to heightened anxiety and a feeling of obligation to keep in touch."

Our very own Jeff Wickerham struggled with this recently when he challenged himself to "put the phone down."  As he said, it was harder than he thought.

So with the holidays nearly upon us, here is the challenge.  Make the commitment to be "more present."  Who knows, you might like the 3D people just as much as the ones on the small screen.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Finding Your Sunshine

Growing up I always knew that I was more happy on sunny days.  I was able to be outside and play.  I was not a kid that wanted to be inside during a gloomy rainy day.  As I grew up I learned that there were scientific reasons that I was happy on sunny days.  Sunshine reduces stress and depression by causing a release in endorphins.  

So it was not just me! 

But later I heard Stephen Covey say that we did not need to rely on sunshine for a good mood.  As he said, we could "carry our own sunshine" with us.  I loved this because I was not interested in being tied to the weather for my mood and productivity.

I love what Jeff Wickerham is talking about here.  Jeff has found that music can be his "sunshine."  He points out that it lifts him up and boosts his soul.  Great stuff. 

What is the thing that boosts your mood?  What activity helps you "create your own sunshine?"  It's important to know because there will be times when the clouds roll in.  By taking part in your sunshine activity, you can boost your mood and productivity on your own.

Great stuff Jeff.  And yes, #smileon.  :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Delivering Marketing Joy...It's For Real

It has become an “in thing” these days to take shots at the promotional products industry.  Respected business people, legislatures and writers have recently questioned the necessity for these items.  There have been proposed laws decreasing the amount that can be spent on these items (an $18 billion industry) and “controversies” questioning their place in budgets.  Mark Cuban (who I love) even wrote that startups should never invest “in swag.”

It’s all poppy cock.  (And I say that not just because it’s fun to say “poppy cock.”  It’s also true!)

The fact is Promotional Products are a proven advertising medium.  They work.  The best part is, more and more studies are not only showing they work.  These studies are showing they work more effectively than other advertising channels.  Organizations that want to promote themselves should be looking to spend MORE of their advertising buy on promotional products…not less.

What’s In A Name?

I can hear the skeptics now.  “You don’t need tchotchkes, or trinkets and trash.  Those are a waste of money.”  

These demeaning names frustrate me.  Forget the fact that these people discredit what I choose to do for a living.  That’s their prerogative.  What bugs me is that it affects their effectiveness.

So let’s start with the name.  First up, stop call them crap and maybe you will stop choosing crap.  When you stop choosing crap, these products might represent your brand better.  Some of my best clients have even taken to calling them “premiums.”  That’s great because it changes the way you brand yourself on these items.  Let’s face it, the products you choose say a lot about your company.  

So by taking a little more care in what you put your brand on, you will immediately have better luck with products that affect behavior.

Do They Work?

I am sure every form of advertising is accused of “not working.”  As I heard once, “Just because you can’t put the ball in the basket, doesn’t mean there’s a problem with basketball.  Maybe you’re just not good at it.”  

Promotional Products do work.  Many of us have known this for years.  But more studies are coming out all of the time that prove it.  That’s the best thing about marketers getting more interested in measuring ROI.  We are getting facts to back up the theory.  Here are just a few from a study released in 2010:

Work Too Well?

The great irony is the other side of the coin is it can be argued these products work too well.  Don’t believe me?  Well look no further than the laws written to limit the amount of promotional materials that can be given in the healthcare industry to Doctors.  These laws were put in place because Big Pharmaceutical companies were creating “undue influence” over these Physicians.  Now some will argue that these laws were put in place because of free trips, game tickets, and extravagant dinners. 

Maybe so.

But then why legislate the kinds of products that can be given to doctors’ offices?  To put it simply, these laws were created because promotional products were having a huge influence on healthcare decisions.  

The goal of any marketing campaign is to affect behavior change.  When you can implement a campaign so effective that it needs to be legislated…you may want to consider that strategy to promote your organization!

Promotional products have been around since the late 1800’s and I think sometimes this is part of the reason the results are discounted.  Everyone wants to know the newest, hottest ways to reach customers.  You should!  

But don’t sleep on the power of promotional products.  Now more than ever, you need to include them in your marketing mix.   

Monday, December 2, 2013

Things to Say to Colleagues Today

There is really almost never a bad way to say "thank you" or to recognize someone for a job well done.  (I was going to say there is no way, but I am sure someone can screw it up!:)

Here Jeff Haden tells you a few things he wishes he "would have done."  No reason you can't do them today.  Really...today.

Making someone feel valued costs you nothing.  Make the time and lift someones day by letting them know how they have affected yours!

Be True To You...and Your Brand

There is so much venom in the business world today, it is sometimes over the top refreshing to see (or hear) someone handle themselves (and their competition) with dignity and grace.  Jim Koch did that recently on a radio talk show. 

This cool article tells the story of Koch recommending a competitors beer for a callers specific need.  Very cool and very genuine.

The great lesson this article gives is for companies to "know themselves."  It's tough because no one wants to lose a customer.  But both Koch and Southwest in this article understand that they can't please everyone.  You have to respect those brands that know who they are...and are genuine in their pursuit.

It's nearly enough to make me want a Boston Lager.  :)