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Monday, December 22nd, 2014

marketing checklist 300x184 Every Day Should Be Checklist DayFor the past few months, I’ve been reviewing our work processes to evaluate why, where and when we’ve hit our mark and missed.

Time and again, I’ve come to the conclusion that our processes would greatly improve with new, improved, and more checklists.

And, strict adherence to them.

We use checklists throughout our marketing engagements such as “Countdown-to-Go” checklists for new store, new product and new campaign launches, but sometimes we move too fast to please our clients and fail to either take the time to create or use a checklist. Simply put – to quote the old adage – “When we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” Simple as that!

We usually deliver high results, but with better processes the question is, “How high is up?”

How much better , faster, cheaper could we have executed a campaign if we flawlessly executed our plan leaving no stone unturned?

Well, today is National Checklist Day (sound the trumpets) and I’ve been preparing for it by reading Dr. Atul Gawande’s, The Checklist Manifesto.

Gawande makes a great case why even experts need checklists – the complexity and speed of things today make simple checklists necessary.

His belief is that the smarter we get, the more we take things for granted.  And, checklists can close these gaps in flawless execution.

Throughout his book he offers case after case examples with pilots, surgeons and a myriad of other professions.

We need checklists because we all communicate poorly. For example, the majority of us often make these three serious errors:

  • We leave out important information assuming that others know it
  • We’re not specific in our directions again assuming that others understand us
  • And, sometimes we fail to be clear and concise in our directions because we don’t want to insult others

Checklists can compensate for these failings.

Moreover, if you want to extend your intelligence and train others to do the right thing at the right time, you need checklists for everyone to follow – to keep everyone on the same page.

So, we’ve been working on detailed checklists for Website launches, email campaigns, public relations campaigns, creative briefs and more.

How about you? Do you use checklists in your profession? Are you sold on using them more frequently?

I’m sold once again. Check that!

P.S.: Here’s a checklist for checklists!

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southwest no hidden fees 213x300 Why Southwest Airlines Keeps RockingI haven’t flown on an airline other than Southwest Airlines for some time and it will be a long time before I fly any other domestic airline if I can prevent it.

Unfortunately for me for an upcoming trip, Southwest’s schedule didn’t work out so I had to make my reservation with another airline.

Without mentioning names, here’s just one of the disclaimers I encountered booking my flight earlier today, “Any change to this reservation (including flight, dates, or cities) is subject to a $150.00 change fee per passenger.”

Unreal…$150 for a few simple keystrokes?

Don’t even get me started about charging me for a preferred aisle seat!

Southwest Airlines’ Simple, Clear and Meaningful Benefit Laden Value Proposition

I wrote sometime ago about ‘Why Southwest Rocks.’ At the time, I was complementing their simple, clear brand promise of ‘bags fly free.’

Now, what do you think Southwest is promoting in their latest ‘Southwest Makes the Call’ ad campaign?

Yes…‘no change fees.’

Southwest Airlines’ clear, simple, relevant and meaningful value-added messages of ‘bags fly free’ and ‘no change fees’ are a lesson for all brand marketers.

Does your brand communicate simple, clear, meaningful benefits like Southwest?

If so, I assure you your brand will soar.  If not, it will remain grounded or crash.

Hey Southwest I wish you clear, blue skies – you deserve it – and deserve my business.

Hope to fly you again soon!

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Colussy PG Biz Front Page 10.14.11 179x300 Colussy Chevrolets Place in AmericanaChevrolet will be kicking off a huge celebration in early November for its 100th Anniversary.

And, what many people do not know is Pittsburgh’s unique role in Chevrolet’s history courtesy of the Colussy family.

Check out this story by Teresa Lindeman which we earned for our newest client Colussy Chevrolet on the front page of today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Business Section – Colussy Chevrolet, A Place in Americana.

Chevy Runs Deep In Pittsburgh, PA

Congratulations to brothers Tim and Jon Colussy who now lead the third generation ownership of Colussy Chevrolet in Bridgeville, PA for their well deserved recognition. Chevrolet’s oldest dealership in America is now in its 93rd year of operation since 1918.

It’s true when they say that Chevy runs deep. Chevy runs deep in Pittsburgh, PA and a little deeper in Bridgeville, PA.

P.S.: Here is the first Road We’re On’ video from NYC’s Mother ad agency in preparation for Chevrolet’s 100th anniversary.  It’s the first in a series and features Bridgeville, PA and Colussy Chevrolet.  Enjoy – it’s excellent.

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Young Steve Jobs 197x300 Thanks for Making a Dent in Our UniverseOur world lost a great man yesterday – Steve Jobs.

Jobs impacted my life in numerous ways through not only his great innovations and style, but also in his words.

Here’s my top 10 list of Steve Job quotes that have resonated with me over the years.

God bless you Steve and many thanks.  You’ll be missed.

Steve Jobs Top 10 Best Quotes

  1. “We’re here to put a dent in the universe, otherwise why else even be here?”
  2. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
  3. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
  4. “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity.  Simple can be harder than complex. You need to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple, but it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
  5. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
  6. Remembering that you’re going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
  7. “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
  8. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
  9. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone elses life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
  10. We don’t get a chance to do that many things and every one should be really excellent because this is our life.”

…And, one more thing!

10+.    “You know a design is good when you want to lick it.” … And, “Design is not what it looks like.  Design is how it works.”

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