Posted by: Chad | October 18, 2014

Anniversary Weekend on the Coast

Anniversary weekend is usually a trip to the mountains, but as we looked forward to the weekend, our choices were a rainy 60 degree weekend in the mountains or a sunny 90 degree weekend on the ocean. We went ocean. Leaving Saturday morning, we hit Tybee Island, Savannah, Charleston and Sullivan’s Island before returning home Sunday night. Here is the weekend through the eyes of my new toy, the Sketch Master app

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Posted by: Chad | September 3, 2014

Dear SwarmSquare

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Dear SwarmSquare,
I don’t know how to say it, and I’m not really good at this, but we have to break up. I know, we have been together over 4 years, and it seemed like a perfect match, but it is just not working for me. You have changed, it’s like you are two different people, the one I met, and now, I don’t really feel like I know you. I remember when I couldn’t get enough of you, now, it’s different, I don’t want to see you in your fancy new outfit …. I want the old you back. You think you know what I want, but you don’t. It used to be easier, I told you where I was, sometimes we hung out, sometimes we didn’t. Now, you are like a stalker, you seem to know where I am, all the time, and try to tell me what to do. I just don’t get the new you, and I don’t want to try to figure you out. So, for now, we are done, if the old you ever comes back, stop in, well throw one back for old times sake.

Sincerely,

Chad, the recovering location-based tool addict

Posted by: Chad | July 6, 2014

16 Days In Europe

At the end of June, I was fortunate enough to take a nice long vacation to Europe.  You may have seen a few pictures on my Instagram Feed, but here a few highlights of the trip.

Day 1 – A day in Barcelona after an overnight flight.  Highlight – The grounds of Museu Nacional Artde Catalunya (MNAC Art Museum)  … and the blue cheese pizza at Bar Piranya

Ouside the MNAC - Art Museum in Barcelona La Rambla Barcelona DSCN0643

Day 2 – Travel day

Day 3 – Arrived in the port of Marseilles, France and drove about an hour to tour the small villages of Provence.  We toured the villages of Gordes, Roussillon, Bonnieux, Lacoste and Menerbes.

Provence 1 Provence 2 Provence 3

 

Day 4 – Arrived in the port of Villa Franche.  Visited Nice, France and Monaco.

Nice Monaco 1 Nice Monaco 2 Nice Monaco 3

Day 5 – Arrived in the Port of La Spezia.  Took the train through the villages of the Cinque Terre, stopping in Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia and my favorite, Manarola.

Cinque Terra 1 Cinque Terra 2 Cinque Terra 3

Day 6 – Rome and Vatican City.  We visited over 30 historical sites, including St Peters, the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Sistene Chapel.

Day 7 – From Naples, Italy, we visited Positano, Sorrento and the ruins of Pompeii.

Naples  Day 1 Pompeii

Day 8 and 9 were travel days.  By the end of Day 9 we were in our apartment in Girona, Catalonia, Spain.  We spent some time that evening exploring the Rambla and the Jewish Quarter of Girona.

Girona 2 Girona

Day 10, 11 & 15 – We traveled by bus to the Mediterranean.  Day 10 & 15 to L’escala and Day 11 to Pala Frugell and on to Calella.

beach 1 beach 2 beach 3

Day 12 – The kids took a day off, so Jennifer and I walked the old city walls of Girona and toured Els Banys Arabs De Girona (the Arab Baths).

Girona 11 Girona 12

Day 13 – We took a bus to Figueres, Spain and toured the Dali Museum.

Dali 1 Dali 2

Day 14 – We took a bus to Olot, Spain and walked to the top of Volca Del Montsacopa (an old volcano crater)

volcano

As I mentioned before, Day 15 was a Mediterranean beach day, and although Day 16 was a travel day, I had to count it so I could tell future nightmares of our travel through the Barcelona Airport.

(all photos were taken by Chad)

 

 

Posted by: Chad | June 5, 2014

My yearly Chicago trip #BMA14

This one is for the marketing types.  If you are looking for the one where I threw a watermelon off a roof, go HERE

 

Once again I was fortunate enough to attend the best B2B marketing conference of the year … Where b2s’s going! #BMA14

The conference was filled with great speakers, here are my favorite moments and best lessons from the event:

1. A great talk from USG CEO Jim Metcalf, with an assist from Greg Gumbel.  Who would have thought drywall was so interesting?

2. The Video that Phil Clement, CMO, AON showed us … did you see it?

3. The strongest statement of day 1 … CMO Gary Briggs from Facebook told us that more people are using Facebook on mobile than will ever use it on a desktop … my thoughts … as mobile takes over, marketing space shrinks, our message has to be better, and different.  The tables have turned, customers will use their device of choice to find what they want.

4. Greg Olson and his Twitter team were in beast mode all week, if you want to see the best Twitters of the event, check him out at @digitalolson

5. The best panel discussion of the week was Jeffrey Hayzlett from Bloomberg TV, who brought the C-Suite on the road.  To wrap up his session, he asked each CMO for one word in marketing moving forward … by the end of the week, those 4 words pretty much summed up the week … Personalization, Relevance, Mobile and Cloud

6. Heather Teskey, VP-Strategy & Marketing from Hallmark Business Connections gave us the most beautifully polished and mezmerizing 15 minutes of the week, she challenged everyone … what are you passionate about? what can you be best at? what is your hedgehog?

7. Tim Washer mixed some comedy with marketing and gave us the single best slide of the week

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8. Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy Officer & CMO @corpv,  talked to us about “the hammock” in the sales process.  At the beginning of the sales presentation you have 70% of your customers attention, as the presentation continues, attention dips to 20%, then you pull out … “in conclusion” and your customer gives you his full attention.  Salespeople need to get better in the meat of the presentation and close “the hammock”

9. Jill Rowley, THE social selling expert, tells us that 78% of sales people using social media outsell their peers … my thoughts … social is another way to connect, if potential customers are there, you should be too

10. The #1 Highlight of the week was Gary Vaynerchuk for lunch.  Gary tells it like it is, the first F-bomb was dropped 38 seconds in.  We also walked away with the best and most actionable advice … key messages from Gary:

  • Market like it is 2014, why use old tools and tactics, use 2014 tools!
  • Triple down on what you are good at
  • Personalize – we heard many great stories about how Gary takes care of individuals
  • depth not width – the days of casting a wide net are over

11. 3 things NOT to do with Marketing Automation: select too quickly, consider too few and start too small (from @BMAGlobal14)

12. We heard from the BMA’s YP’s (Young Professionals) and got some prospective from them both during the conference … and after

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13. Jay Baer kicked off day 3 with a thought provoking talk

  • Ask yourself every morning, is your marketing so useful that people would pay for it?
  • Be nice, it pays
  • #b2c is training your customers to expect more from business
  • Do we know specifically where our customers learn, and are we present there?

14. Author Brent Adamson told us your number one competitor is your customer and their ability to learn on their own.

I have had the pleasure of attending this conference for 7 years, each year build on the previous year and each year becomes “the best ever”. A special thanks to crew that makes this week memorable every year … you know who you are

 

 

 

Posted by: Chad | January 11, 2014

Clients, Agencies and Trust

Recently I was taken aback This morning I was punched in the face by a piece I read on client/agency relationships.  Here you go Hank, here is the link you probably wanted lnkd.in/mp8Crs  .

Hank, sir, if what I have read is true, bottom line, you do not trust clients.

I am on the client side.  I do the marketing for a medium size manufacturer/distributor.  I have a budget.  I work with 3 (yes 3) local agencies.  I market B2B.  I chose these agencies based on quality, service, trust, and of course, cost.  I believe that I use each agency for what I know they do GREAT.  They understand my business.  If one of them brings me a “free” idea, there is either a yes, or a no.  There is no theft involved.

These relationships did not start with RFP’s, fake budgets, free ideas or agency reviews.  They started with friendships, referrals and TRUST.  If I work with an agency (or any other partner for that matter), I trust them, and I want them to trust me.  I want them to do the right thing and I will do the right thing.

Hank, there are more clients like me, than like the ones you describe.

My advice to agencies:

  • build relationships
  • engage your clients, personally, professionally and consistently, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on LinkedIn and face-to-face.  Find a soft spot.  Do they like the banter on Twitter? Do they go to an association meeting the second Wednesday of the month?
  • Your friends and family typically do not rip you off, if you treat your clients as such, they will not either

My advice to clients:

  • agencies are partners, it is a two way street
  • if you work appropriately with agencies, they can be a beautiful addition to your marketing department
  • working with an agency is not a transaction, be nice

I will step down now. #OffSoapBox

Posted by: Chad | May 30, 2013

Persuasive Technology …. User Experience

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I am at a Marketing Conference.

But, not just any conference, I am attending #BMABlaze, put on by the International Business Marketing Association. The best conference I attend yearly.

Second session, second day, it hit me in the head, an idea that completely baffled me.

The discussion was devices
and user experience
and content
and persuasion
and, of course, marketing

On a slight tangent, the panelist spoke of a refrigerator, a refrigerator with a computer chip in the door. This chip technology had the “intelligence” to:

Record when you open the door, track what you took out, put that item on a list, order that item from your grocery store. You eat and you pick up (or get delivered) your groceries that have been shopped for you.

I typically embrace technology. But, I can’t lose the human touch, I need human interaction. As we discuss mobile, social, data, habits, trends and technology this week, consider reality.

750 of us have come together in person, to learn from each other, yet we are hearing more and more about tools and technology that separate us from human interaction.

I will go to the grocery store and pick out my own flour tortillas.
I will pick up the phone and talk.
I will leave my bubble that technology and tools create.

Posted by: Chad | March 11, 2013

Has it really been that long?

Very recently, I ran into a ‘social media’ tool that reminded me of my love/hate relationship with social (mostly hate).

Over 3 years ago, my friend Scott posed the question, “Can You Quit Social Media?” http://www.mediaemerging.com/2010/01/08/can-you-quit-social-media/.

My answer was, “not entirely”.  Since then, I have been more in the camp of, “Show me a good business purpose and I’ll bite”.  So, from there, I am slow to try and even slower adopt personally.  For me personally, I have never found that social medium that I want, really want.  The one that I could not quit.

Until I met you  .. I love you YELP

Yes, I know you have been around for years and I didn’t notice.  But, I did now.

Why the sudden love?

  • you play well with iPhone, especially your maps
  • I need to find a restaurant for upcoming travel, bookmark it, and map it later, you are there for me
  • you let me make a restaurant reservation, right now
  • you are so much more that a place to eat
  • monocle is cool (doo-rag and shades cool)
  • you help me know what I am getting into, I like to know what I am getting into

So, I will amend my answer of 3 years ago to, “If all social tools had the real life value of Yelp, no I would not quite”

Don’t miss the watermelon incident here: http://wp.me/pEsfI-cU

Because every post needs a picture

Image

Posted by: Chad | September 9, 2012

Throwing a Watermelon off the Roof

You ever wonder what would happen ….

No, probably not …. either way …. anything for the kids

Posted by: Chad | July 27, 2012

The Orange Cone

Just look around, it is everywhere

    

    

    

Posted by: Chad | July 19, 2012

Slayer vs. Cheesecake … on a hot day

This past weekend, I once again had the opportunity to go to a great metal show.  I have been spoiled for the past 2 years, as a friend of mine scores tickets to the best heavy metal concerts on the east coast (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Death Angel, Iron Maiden, Slipknot, etc).

The day started with a 4 hour drive to Atlanta and a pregame meal at The Vortex.  The Vortex was an incredible burger joint, here is my review on Yelp.  While at The Vortex, a friend of ours, back in Charlotte, posted on Facebook, “Nothing like a good cheesecake on a hot day”, thus the blog post name.  Between PBR’s and a Buffalo Burger and a Slayer concert, we were now thinking about silky smooth cheesecake …. well, no, not really.

We were actually in town for the Mayhem Festival.  It was an all day event, but we were there to see Anthrax, Motohead, Slayer and Slipknot.

     

Anthrax headlined the 2nd stage and did not disappoint.  Once again I had the best “seat” in the house (front row center on the rail) from the opener, “Caught in the Mosh”, to the close, “I Am The Law”.  It was the 4th time I have seen them in 2 years, and it never gets old.

Before Motorhead started, As I Lay Dying got to play a few songs …. there was a bunch of screaming.  And, they gave a very poor attempt at the wall of death …. they did not pull it off.

Next up, Lemmy.  It was my first Motorhead concert, and at 66, Lemmy can still rock, opening with “Bomber” and closing with “Ace of Spades” and “Overkill”

Slayer was next.  Slayer is the loudest band I have ever seen.  They were the best band at the festival.  They opened with “Disciple” and “War Ensemble”.  “Seasons in the Abyss” came a bit later and blew everyone away.  The show ended with “Angel of Death”, “South of Heaven” and “Raining Blood”, which may have been the best 3 consecutive songs I have ever seen at any concert.  This was the 3rd time I have seen Slayer in the past 2 years and I will go the next time they are in the area.  Awesome.

Slipknot closed the festival, it was my first Slipknot show.  Slipknot was …. interesting.  A bit of a carnival.  they put on a good total performance, though a bit goofy at times.  Closing with “Surfacing”  …. a fan favorite.

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