Showing posts with label innovation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label innovation. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Celebrate Success With A Reboot

Success! We all crave it and love to celebrate it. But after the party ends, perhaps that's an ideal moment to reboot and hone in on what you can do better yet.

Rebooting offers us the opportunity to discover better strategies to improve our lives and our relationships. Consider the movie version Tony Stark from The Avengers. He goes from carefree, burger-gorging playboy, to growing through the many phases of just being IronMan, and, ultimately, into the blueberry-eating, sustainable design-building hero of The Avengers.

But the story doesn't stop there. Tony continues to re-define himself, his team, and relationships. Each success becomes a jumping off point for the next venture. Individuals like Richard Branson and Elon Musk do the same, and global enterprises like Google and Amazon are no strangers to this way of continuous improvement. Continuous improvement exercises are at the core of many successful organizational models globally. Strategies like Kaizen (改善) are also often employed and embrace activities that continuously improve an organization's complete infrastructure involving all employees, from the CEO to the people on the assembly line or in the field.

Celebrating the win is never more important than the action that led you there and certainly not as critical as what you do next - this being as true for science and business as it is for politics and sports. But, if your main objective is to win, well, then, you've already lost. 

Winning is only a stepping stone. If you're not talking about the next big thing, then you're talking about the wrong thing. It's about the long game. It's about healthy, sustainable living over brand and personality. It's about standing on the shoulders of giants and reaching ever higher. It's about change. Progress takes change.

So at the end of the day, by all means, celebrate your successes - frequently and happily. But when you get the chance, reboot and set the tone for our shared lives tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Inspired by Firsts

We are driven by firsts. 

Our first time to do something is spectacular. Growing up in Texas, I remember visiting the mountains for the first time. I remember my first kiss, my first car, my first dog, and even my first college road trip. Sorry, Jim, I still owe you money - what's the interest after 25 years by the way?

Public, professional, and cultural firsts are as equally exciting as they are inspiring. Our first trip to the moon, our first smartphone, our first planned mission to Mars. Ok. Maybe we're not quite there yet, but we're closer than we've ever been, and that's a first.



Firsts drive us. They motivate and inspire us. They send our brains a signal that something wonderful is or is about to happen. After all, we are, first and always, stewards of our future.

What firsts have inspired you?

Friday, January 1, 2016

We Are All Leaders of the New Year

We are all leaders. We choose to take lead of some, if not hopefully every, aspect of our lives. And although each of us is completely accountable for our individual actions, our actions ultimately serve the greater good. 

So this year, and every year . . . 

Make your interactions the most they can be. Instead of just meeting someone new or rekindling an existing relationship, find each and every way you can work together to make a difference. 

Read books, articles, & blogs that focus on innovation that matters. Not innovation that only serves to boost you, your brand, or even your industry, but rather innovation that makes a difference for human progress. 

Write. I know this is a tough one for some. Heck, it's tough for me. But you don't have to call yourself a writer to write. Just write, and I think you might be surprised by what comes out. 

By the end of this new year, we want look forward into the next, not backward, and realize that our choices matter. Because we only grow when each of us has recognized that leadership is a choice, not a fate.

How will you lead this year? What difference will you make? 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Don't Be A Tool, Be A Resource


With all the tools we have at our disposal, the greatest one lies just behind your eyes and between your ears. Your thinking self. Your mind. Your mind provides you with the ability to transform thought into memory, and long term memories into constant resources.

Taking this all a step further, we're not only resources to ourselves but to others as well. Our ability to think interpersonally helps drive us to be all we can be. We weave ourselves into the tapestry of our lives and our business. 

In business though, it's not enough to want it, you have to sell it. You have to ask:  Am I a tool or am I a resource? Am I acting for the sake of what somebody wants or expects, as quickly and long forgotten as a unitasker, or am I the resource:  the person always remembered for contributions to peers, to the industry, and ultimately, to the world-at-large.

Be a resource for your peers.


Helping them understand a different point of view, helps everyone. And since not everyone learns the same way, read, write, & explore new ways to envision the world around you. 

Be a resource for your business plan.

Walking the straight and narrow is a helluva lot easier than making waves, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't splash around. Take an innovative approach to your business model.


Be a resource for your customers and clients.

Today's customer may want a quick fix, but that's not all they want. They want to know more. They want to be more. They want to inspire and be inspired. And since you're the customer too, help others be the game changer you want to be.

Be a resource for your industry.

Profit keeps the business model alive. Given. But when you put money first, you've burdened the industry with the chore of ignoring you for fear you're always trying to sell something. When, in fact, all you're trying to do is be the change you want to see in the world.

Be a resource for the World.

We live, every moment, with each other. And at the end of the day, we can sell for the sake of profit or we can sell whatever makes the world a better place to live in, now and in the future. Reinvent sales and change the story.

Be a part of the story. It's your story. And whether you choose to or not, it doesn't matter because you're already a part of the world around you. Be yourself, but be the best version of yourself. Ready. Set. Go.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Innovations Are Not Solutions

I watch, you watch, we all watch & listen. We observe. And that observation drives innovation. Innovation, however, is not as a solution, or even a means to a solution. It is rather a catalyst of change. 

Now change doesn't imply that we try to change all at once. We couldn't do that even if we wanted to because the world around us is always changing. Instead, change embraces the idea that when we challenge the world around us with new ideas - new innovations - we evolve. 

What's more important yet is that we continue to push those boundaries. Just like the world never stops turning, we never stop changing. We learn to appreciate that what's better in the moment, isn't an end-all, be-all solution.

Take time to make changes. Bike to work, use a motorless mower, recycle. If it's not a hassle to take time to brush your teeth, why would it be difficult to always keep reusable bags handy?

Walk a different path. Don't try to be something you're not. Don't try to be the next Google. There's already a Google. Take the road not taken. 

Plug in to the world. Plug into the choices you're making. Plug into what may be a solution for everyone, and not just what benefits the individual in the moment.

Focus on the future. There is no greater cause or inevitability than our future. We can explore the past and the present all we desire, but the future marches on, with or without us.

Do what you can, when you can, how you can. Observe. Learn. Change. Grow. And when someone says:  because we've always done it that way, ask, Why?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Marketing Reminds Us

You've achieved success and earned the privilege of meeting your customer. They've come in, contacted you, or expressed interest in your product or service. So? What's next? 

Unlike sales, marketing is your first opportunity to demonstrate what you offer. It gives you the chance to set yourself apart from others. Because of this, marketing is as much a reminder for you as it is for anyone else.

Marketing reminds us of who we are. Think about who you were yesterday. Think back a year. How about ten years? You're not the same (or at least I hope you're not). You grew. Your business grew. Appreciating we all do, why would you offer the same conversation today that you did yesterday?

Marketing reminds us to innovate. Research & development are as vital to our collective successes as they are to us individually. Continuous improvement strategies help us improve and realize our goals. But it's our innovations that keep the conversation going. 

Marketing reminds us that we're never alone. Individuals and groups reach out to others to grow. Individually, or even as singular business model, we may offer a well conceived product or service, but it's through organizational & industry alliances that we really make a difference, for ourselves and others.

Marketing never stops. Marketing is the reminder.

What does Marketing remind you to do?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Social Media Teaches Us

In Marketing, it's important for business owners, small in particular, to integrate and aggregate ideas as much as possible, as soon as possible. Your time is valuable. And, since you can't avoid Social Media Marketing as a necessary business development tool, it's important to remember that Social Media teaches us to:


Deal with opinions:  You're going to have them and that's okay. How you express or respond to them is another story. Don't dismiss the bad in favor of the good, and always, always respond to everyone and every situation.

Call everyone out:  No one likes being called out, but we all need to be. There are plenty of examples of this thought but certainly nothing more comparable than being a parent. Managing a business is a lot like being a parent.

Recognize the youngest person in the room:  Well, young may be relative, so how about:  recognize the person with the freshest idea at the time - not necessarily the best idea, but certainly the newest & the boldest - even if it's as quickly dismissed as it is heard.

Most importantly, it's critical to stay on the innovative & early adoption side of technologies, tools, & resources. This is true even if you have a dedicated team managing marketing and influencing your brand. And all of this is just the start because Social Media Marketing never sleeps and never stops. 

What does Social Media teach you?


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Where Does Marketing Begin?




Whether you are a solopreneur, a start-up team with a new innovative concept, an existing business looking to revamp its business model, or an industry specific non-profit organization:


Marketing begins with the individual. Marketing is as much about the individual as it is about the collective whole. It all begins with ownership and executive leadership and touches every staff person, subcontractor, supplier, and, ultimately, customer.


Marketing requires planning. No matter the size of the business or organization, having a Marketing Plan is just as critical as a Business Plan. It is a supplemental piece that is a tool for monitoring & measuring Marketing both internally and externally.


Having a separate Social Media Marketing Plan can be a good supplemental component of the Marketing Plan.


Marketing weaves itself throughout every business, market, & industry. From Advertising & Business Development through Sales & Customer Service, Marketing plays a huge part of business growth. It touches each and every employee, customer, and business relation with satisfaction at the root of success.


Marketing is a process of Continuous Improvement. Just as a Business Plan sets long term goals that takes into consideration our ever-evolving world, so must the Marketing Strategies. It’s not enough to adopt in business, you have to adapt.


Do you want to be seen (or have your business seen) as an innovator, an adopter, or a laggard. This will impact your business growth as you are viewed through the lens of the customer’s, employee’s, and public’s perception.


The Takeaway: Marketing is responsible for breathing life and changing the direction of how every person, business, and organization grows.


The impact of technology and innovation changes too rapidly for anyone to boast a solid solution to Marketing know-how. The best anyone can offer for marketing solutions guidance is an outline of where marketing is today and, more importantly, to encourage you to always ask:

Where is marketing going tomorrow?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Better Marketing Through Change

In Marketing, if you're not changing everyday, you're failing yourself and the business or organization you represent. Marketing is about sharing, internally and externally, to help your business grow. And the best way to share is to adapt and change with the ever-evolving Marketing landscape.

This type of change might seem expensive or daunting to think about with everything that's out there (and on the horizon). However, changing with Marketing trends in today's business climate is not only necessary but also unavoidable. Adopting newer technological tools & resources will help ensure Marketing success by:

  • Streamlining employee happiness, nurturing the desire to stay and grow with the business or organization.
  • Providing worthwhile resources for all employees to better the overall business model, processes, and practices.
  • Letting the customer know you care about the products and / or services you provide and that you are leveraging all of the Marketing resources you can to better their experience.
So how do you stay on the cutting edge of marketing yourself and your business or organization? Here are just a few ideas:

Be an innovator. Be on the innovative and early adoptive side of technology to help gain market share. Be the person, be the business, that represents the best of what's out there and shares in the effort of what is yet to come to make the market better.

Stay in tune with Marketing trends. Read daily about Marketing trends and write about your take on incorporating newer Marketing tools and resources as they relate to your market or industry. When was the last time you commented or shared a blog or news story that had nothing to do with your market or wrote a white paper that has everything to do with your industry?

Be a beta user. You don't have to take on every new Marketing resource out there. There isn't one perfect CRM (Customer Relationship Management) resource or smartphone or tablet that fits every business in every market in every industry. But there's no harm or misspent time in being a beta tester of multiple options to see which one(s) fit you best.

Change is not a burden; it's a gateway to our future. What technological tools and Marketing resources do you find most useful today and which ones are you excited about integrating tomorrow?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Don't Get Caught Marketing With Your Pants Down

Being transparent in marketing and business is critical. This is especially true considering the public perception of your Marketing is (or at least, should be) found throughout the business model. However, it's equally important to never get caught with your pants down in Marketing.

People today are plugged in everywhere they go. Their digital quick capture cameras and social media smartphone apps are ready and waiting to have a reason to post your dirty laundry. So, unless you have a PR department or consultant on staff ready to play spin doctor, it's important to protect your transparent self and your business as much as you can. Here are a couple of tips:
  • Be prepared with a Marketing Plan and marketing strategies that are meaningful and purposeful to you, your staff, your market, & your industry. Marketing strategies should easily be assessed, evaluated, and streamlined every year when the Marketing Plan is revamped.
  • Don't get left behind technology-wise. Spending too much time trying to catch up with the latest technological trends long after they've had their hay day, hurts staff productivity and, ultimately, eats away at the bottom line of revenue.
  • Always strive to be on the cutting edge of innovation. This doesn't meant that a business needs to have a Research & Development team. It just implies that your business is perceived as the one of the first in your market or industry to incorporate innovative business tactics.
  • If you say you're going to do something, then do it. Empty promises & white lies always have the potential to tarnish the public perception of you and your business. This is applicable at all levels, for all personnel, and at all stages of the business model. This will help solidify you as a thought leader.
What marketing strategy tips or suggestions do you have that help a business from getting caught with their pants down?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Marketing Your Super Powers

From R.E.M.'s hit song, "Superman", to the much adored, Oh the Places You'll Go!, we are constantly reminded of how much impact each of us can make on others. Marketing streamlines this thought pattern and gives a reason to make our interactions with others more meaningful.


Effective Marketing is like having a superpowerIt's not just about what you know. Knowledge without being shared is just useless information ready to be forgotten. Marketing is a reflection of how our actions make the world a better place.

Marketing focuses on your strengths, personally and professionally. Each of us possesses a special talent. Sometimes we know it well, and sometimes it's hidden from us just waiting to be discovered. Either way, once we are in touch with our inner strengths, we can apply them as key motivators for our marketing success.

Practice Transparent Marketing. Marketing isn't about what you have done or where you are now. It's about where you are going, as a person and as a business. Sure, we take what we know and we apply it, but we also have a responsibility to grow and, in turn, help others grow. Our super powers must then be used for the Social Good, and our marketing has to reflect this.

Find Marketing guidance from the Scientific Method. In Marketing, we think, we act, and we grow just as we hypothesize, research, and test to find appropriate Marketing strategies. And, just like the ever inward and the ever outward studies of scientific thought, we should always analyze and research new ways to improve upon our methods.

Marketing has a steady gaze toward the horizon, always read to put the future in focus. And just like entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology, Marketing revolves around forward thinking. It changes the world we live in and makes it a better place.

Set your sights on your future. Where is your marketing taking you?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Marketing Strategies Are Only Part of the Marketing Plan

In my marketing experiences, I find it scary how often businesses don't have a formalized written Business Plan, much less a formalized Marketing Plan. I talk to a lot of business owners, particularly small, that say they have it all up in their head. But how can a business be effective without a standard to measure themselves by?

As part of a formalized, written Business Plan, the Marketing Plan (a supplemental, formalized written document supporting your Business Plan) sets the precedence for the year's marketing goals.  At a bare minimal, a solid Marketing Plan will include objectives and strategies to measure the results.    Assessing and evaluating the results for financial and inter-departmental alignment is also important to revamping a Marketing Plan, but these considerations are completely dependent on a business' planned aims and Marketing Strategies.


Like other small and independent business owners, I make lots of mental notes in addition to more carefully, thought out marketing strategizing. In today's evolving marketing world, however, this is not enough.  It is necessary for businesses to review and manage their marketing strategies, objectives, and action items daily or even multiple times a day.  

A basic outline of meaningful Marketing Strategies should at least include:
  • having a predetermined tracking & measurement system in place
  • analytical resources to measure audience engagements & marketing trends
  • a system of interpreting these trends and engagement measures for re-alignment and continuous improvement
With these and any other effective Marketing Strategy considered, revamping the overall Marketing Plan can be part of revamping the Business Plan which at least needs to be annually.  If a business has the personnel to make Marketing Plan adjustment more often, there are ideal times. These vary by market and industry, but might include:
  • Nationally recognized holiday, election, & vacation seasons
  • Changes in principal personnel and key decision makers
  • Significant market and industry changes that might have major financial or legal ramifications
Changes to the Marketing Plan in these situations need to be assessed and revamped both before and after these adjustment periods.  More importantly, these changes assume that a business, business owner, or key decision makers are in touch with their market and industry enough to see the need for change ahead of time and act accordingly.

Managing Marketing Strategies is just as critical as developing a Marketing Plan.  However, it is important to understand the difference between having effective Marketing Strategies and having those strategies support the Marketing Plan.  Understanding this distinction will help a business make timely & effective determinations that impact the overall Business Plan.

Marketing Strategies Are Only Part of the Marketing Plan - Market Integrations

Friday, September 28, 2012

Social Media Marketing Classes at TechLove Coming Soon!

Social Media Marketing Classes at TechLove Coming Soon!

posted by Stirling Morris
Market Integrations is partnering with TechLove to offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced Social Media Marketingclasses in Albuquerque!

Located just east of Nob Hill, TechLove is a great venue for these classes.  The facility offers the Albuquerque community a place to share their love for technology, innovations, business, music, and art.  

Find more information about TechLove visit them at www.techlove.us, and for more information about the Social Media Marketing classes dates and times, subscribe to Market Integrations Events.  

Social Media Marketing Classes at TechLove Coming Soon! - Market Integrations

Opening Doors in Marketing

There are so many doors I have opened in my life and my career. Remarkably, the one that changed my business perspective the most was being a window and door salesperson for commercial buildings. That experience opened my eyes to sales & marketing in ways that I still think about today.
You can have a building with expansive walls of glass, walls with only a few punched openings, or even (on rare occasion) no windows. However you can never have a building without doors.  Doors can serve multiple purposes, but like good marketing, each door represents a gateway of opportunities. On one side of the door, there is a business that is ready to work with and serve the world outside, and on the other side is a world of possibilities.
Opening doors in marketing means going beyond just opening doors for business - that's the easy part.  As a successful product representative, I learned two main strategies. First, that Sales & Marketing are unconditionally intertwined. Second, I learned that there is always a door to open if you know where to look. And, man, oh man, are there all sorts of doors to fit any given marketing situation.

Doors for Prospecting
Salespeople are typically the first face a prospect sees outside of direct marketing. More than cold calling or leaning on existing clients that treat you well, sales & marketing starts with networking. And, I'm not referring to the online networking.  Successful sales & marketing people join industry specific (and in some cases non-industry) organizations and groups.  
Taking it a step further, successful sales & marketing people also get involved on Boards & Committees. By doing this, customers and prospects perceive them as attentive and caring thought leaders and not someone looking to market their business' name by just showing up.

Doors for Educating
As a sales & marketing person in the construction industry, I learned the best client is the one that never pays you - the Architect / Engineer / Designer. By marketing your product and services to the key decision makers, in any industry before final plans are made, you will ensure more opportunities. This could be through online webinars, being a key note speaker at a professional event, or with a focused lunch and learn style presentation.
Doors for Rewards
Direct marketing is great, but when it involves giving a prize, well, nothing beats that. This could be done through a direct mailer scratch-and-win game piece or online with a check-in promotion from a location-based social media platform. Additionally, marketing doesn't stop after a business sells a product or service to a customer either. Effective marketing is continuous and catches the customer both immediately after their purchase and even months after.
A business can't discount Internal Marketing either. Continuous improvement programs are great, but opportunities for rewards, recognition, and advancement will help ensure marketing success.

The revolving door of marketing spins so fast that some businesses find that they're on the way out quicker than it took them to step in.  When considering marketing improvements, it seems that if a business isn't always on the cutting edge of marketing options, they're bound to be left behind. There are always new doors to open.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thinking About Tomorrow's Marketing

Finding the right person or outsourced business partner to effectively market a company is critical to business success. Marketers represent the constant public face for a company's brand and image even before salespeople get involved.

So what does a business consider when conversing with a person or company that claims to live and breath marketing?

Being on the cutting edge of marketing

Marketers, in today's technological world, need to be on the cutting edge of what’s coming out the day after tomorrow, not just tomorrow.  When conversing with marketing partners or marketing employee candidates, a business shouldn't let the conversation spin around how to leverage today's technologies and online resources. This is an important consideration, but, even more importantly, a business should also ask what technologies and online marketing resources are coming the day after tomorrow.  

An effective marketing person needs to have gone beyond just reading and conversing about tomorrow's resources. Marketing people need to be using online marketing resources in Beta form. Even if the technology or online resource goes bust, at least the marketing person was there to see it rise and fall and learn from it. Innovation and technology are so intertwined any more, that this will give a business insight into whether the person they're talking to has marketing know-how.

Letting go of fads and fashion

It's not about Android being better than Apple or Google+ being better than facebook.  Each of these corporations pride themselves on being innovative and are continously working to strengthen their Research & Design departments to improve the technological world of tomorrow.  

It is, however, important that a marketing person or company understand all of the technology and resource options that each one of these corporations offer, even if they don't use them personally or professionally.  Apple makes great products and has done a tremendous job on being at the forefront of tablets.  So much so, that I know many business people that refer to all tablets as iPads in conversation.  Beware of fashionable technology.  Blackberries were considered the cat's meow in the business community but where are they now?

Networking, online and off

Being engaged online is an obvious must for marketers.  A good marketing person or company should be on, if not just aware of, every engagement platform online.  Like volunteerism, an effective marketing person will be actively interacting, not just signing up for the sake of signing up.  

But, when it concerns marketing without the internet, it seems a lot of marketers may fall short. Holding clout online is important, but it doesn't mean they can represent a business in face-to-face situations. A marketing person needs to write well, speak well, and make effective presentations. If a marketing person can meet this minimum criteria, everything else will fall into place.


There are many important considerations when trying to incorporate the right marketing employee or partner for a business.  The best marketing fit is the one that is actively engaged, not married to one type of technology, and one that never stops thinking about tomorrow.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tech vs Tech and the Effect on Innovative Thoughts

With so much information online, funneling through news, blogs, and social media, it amazes me that any one person in any given industry can stay caught up with innovative changes, much more ahead of the game.  But does this saturation of news and opinions have a negative impact on how even an average person perceives & discusses technology and innovation?

Recently, I listened to a speaker discuss moving beyond cookie cutter blogs and ideas.  In one of his slides, the speaker compared a Verizon commercial to an Apple commercial.  The general idea was to describe the power of words and pictures over an audience.  This was not necessarily an apples to apples comparison (no pun intended . . . ok maybe a little one).  
A commercial comparing Apple to Google's Android technology would have been a far fairer comparison considering that Verizon sells models from both companies.  And, even then, it's not about Apple being better than Google or vice versa.  I find it ridiculous when people do this.  Both companies are awesome and are making tremendous strides to show us all of the wonderful,innovative places technology can take us.

When a company starts to place its business and financial well-being ahead of its innovative practices and passion to explore ways to improve human lives, then they start to struggle.  Microsoft and facebook have done bang up jobs of this in the last few years.

Ultimately, though, it's not about Android being better than Apple or Google better than Microsoft.  It's about humanity shedding itself of its competitive nature in business to help keep technology evolving.