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A really practical way to increase your personal effectiveness January 25, 2011

Posted by utehagen in Personal Effectiveness, Your personal success.
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I have just found this really practical advice for increasing personal effectiveness, written by Tony Schwartz of The Energy Project on the HBR Blogs.

His simple yet powerful advice is the following:

Establish a routine where you sit down for 90 minutes of really focused work every day, with all distractions like emails, phones etc. turned off to get the most IMPORTANT thing done for the day. Decide the night before what the most important thing is and then get it done the next day.

Read the full Blog post HERE

 

Skype – this is what “loving your customers” is all about January 2, 2011

Posted by utehagen in Customer Appreciation, Delivering Happiness, Loving your Customers, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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I was very impressed when I woke up this morning to the below message from SKYPE.

They understand how important the reliablility of their service is to their customers. And as a response to the recent outage, they didn’t just try to ignore it and hope that people didn’t mind too much. Instead they came out with an apology and even a token of appreciation with a voucher. They took the great opportunity to reach out to their customers. BRAVO!

Message from SKYPE: To our valued customers:

As 2010 draws to a close, I would like to take a moment to thank each of you for your patience, understanding, and support during Skype’s recent outage.

We know how important your Skype conversations are to you and we take any disruption to our service very seriously. We are pleased to confirm that Skype is back to normal allowing you to connect with friends, co-workers, family and loved ones.

As a valued customer of Skype, we would like to offer you a sincere apology and offer you our gratitude with a credit voucher worth a call of more than 30 minutes to a landline in some of our most popular countries, such as USA, UK, Germany, China, Japan. Or spend it however you like on Skype.

Thank you for allowing us at Skype to be a part of your life. May your holidays and the New Year be a time of joy, peace, and health for you and your family.

Kind regards, Tony Bates CEO Skype

When you are not to be trusted September 30, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Delivering Happiness, Success with your colleagues, Your personal success.
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I just found this great post on the Berrett Koehler Publisher’s Blog Post.

Authors Dennis and Michelle Reina have spent decades studying issues of trust in the workplace. A commonly held misconception is that a breach of trust in the workplace has to be serious — like the CEO committing fraud or a manager being accused of a crime. The fact is that there are breaches of trust that happen daily. Here are five breaches of trust that you probably didn’t even realize that you may have been guilty of:

1. Failing to acknowledge a colleague’s efforts

2. Missing a deadline or two

3. Arriving late for meetings

4. Micromanaging

5. Discourteous, insensitive or rude behavior

From my 20+ years career in the corporate world, I wholeheartedly agree that these are all trust killers. I have seen them all happening and have worked hard to teach my people not to fall into these traps.

I recommend to click this link to read the full post

How will you measure Your Life? August 2, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Delivering Happiness, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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I just came across this very interesting article by Prof. Clayton Christensen, one of the premier Academics in the field of Innovation. I strongly recommend reading the full article here

http://hbr.org/2010/07/how-will-you-measure-your-life/ar/1

It is thought provoking on the theme of happiness and purpose in life.

This is relevant for any marketer as you choose what your business is going to be all about.

Here are the core tenants of the article:

  1. Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team.
  2. The choice and successful pursuit of a profession is but one tool for achieving your purpose. But without a purpose, life can become hollow.
  3. Your decisions about allocating your personal time, energy, and talent ultimately shape your life’s strategy.
  4. If you want your kids to have strong self-esteem and confidence that they can solve hard problems, those qualities won’t magically materialize in high school. You have to design them into your family’s culture—and you have to think about this very early on. Like employees, children build self-esteem by doing things that are hard and learning what works.
  5. Unconsciously, we often employ the marginal cost doctrine in our personal lives when we choose between right and wrong. A voice in our head says, “Look, I know that as a general rule, most people shouldn’t do this. But in this particular extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s OK.” The marginal cost of doing something wrong “just this once” always seems alluringly low
  6. If you have a humble eagerness to learn something from everybody, your learning opportunities will be unlimited. Generally, you can be humble only if you feel really good about yourself—and you want to help those around you feel really good about themselves, too.

Why marketers can’t afford to ignore Boomers (50+ aged) July 24, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Boomer Marketing, Business Opportunities, On line Marketing success, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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Just found an important posting about winning with the biggest generation of consumers on Nielsen Wire.

Winning with Boomers (50+aged) will be key for marketers world-wide, as this is the fasted growing demographic, particularly in the Western World, but also in developing markets like China.

When it comes to marketing, the focus always seems to be on youth. What are they watching… what’s trendy? As a result media companies focus on reaching consumers age 18-34 or 18-49. But by solely focusing on these groups, advertisers and consumer goods manufacturers are overlooking a group that has tremendous buying power: the Baby Boomers.

Born between the years 1946-1964, the oldest of the Boomers are beginning to retire. But today’s middle aged and older consumers are different than their predecessors.  Boomers are an affluent group who adopt technology with enthusiasm (think about the number of parents or grandparents who regularly send e-mails or upload photos to Facebook and other sites). They have also shown a willingness to try new brands and products and services.

Boomers should be as desirable for marketers as Millennials and Gen-Xers for years to come; they are the largest single group of consumers, and a valuable target audience. As the world continues to age, reaching this group will continue to be critical for advertisers,” said Pat McDonough, Senior Vice President, Insights, Analysis and Policy at the Nielsen Company.

At a time when most analysts are predicting much slower growth in consumer spending, manufacturers and marketers need to look at every opportunity to grow market share. Boomers can represent tremendous potential to those who know how to reach them.

To read the entire article, go to:

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/why-marketers-can%E2%80%99t-afford-to-ignore-baby-boomers/

Important Marketing Lessons from Neuro-Science July 24, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Boomer Marketing, Marketing 101, On line Marketing success, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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I just found this article on the Nielsenwire.

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/measuring-the-buying-brain/

It is a good reminder that Neuro-sciences have helped to reveal the secrets of how the human brain works. This includes how we humans make buying decisions. Any Marketer needs to understand the important implications of this.

SEEING is BELIEVING: Among the five senses, vision is the most pronounced and the brain will discount information that is not in concert with the visual stimuli it receives.

SMELL leads to EMOTIONS: The sense of smell is quite powerful too, as it is the most direct route to emotions and memory storage. Being linked with a pleasant, iconic smell can significantly improve a product’s success in the marketplace.

“monkey see; monkey do”: Mirror neuron theory says that when someone watches an action being performed, he or she performs that action in his or her own brain. Activating this mirror neuron system is one of the most effective ways to connect with consumers.

Defining Differences
While human brains are remarkably similar, there are some fundamental differences such as age and gender that affect how we respond to stimuli.

The Boomer Brain:  After age 50, the brain becomes less able to screen out distractions, presenting a huge implication and a great opportunity for marketers.  Young people respond to positive and negative stimuli, but older people more strongly to positive stimuli. Another key trait among older adults is the tendency to overlook the negative. They indicate that, when presented with a negative message, older brains can “delete” the NOT and remember it as a DO over time. A real world example of how this neuroscience discovery is useful for marketers is when crafting a message for the Boomer Brain, say “Remember the milk”, not “Don’t forget the milk”.

The Female Brain: The female brain has four times as many neurons connecting the right and left hemispheres, greatly enhancing its ability to process information through both rational and emotional filters—a fact that must not be ignored when crafting a message.

NeuroFocus CEO Dr. A. K. Pradeep, is the author of the forthcoming book, The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind, which provides the knowledge and the tools necessary to help marketers understand how to appeal to the subconscious on a very practical level by covering the five major areas of neuromarketing practice: brand, products, packaging, in-store marketing, and advertising.

To learn more about the book and to discover how neuroscience is impacting the making, selling and buying of projects, visit NeuroFocus.com.

Four Ways to generate quality Leads – any Industry July 1, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Business Opportunities, Marketing 101, On line Marketing success, Traffic and Lead Generation.
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Great Article from Chris Chariton on Media Post Performance Insider.   http://tiny.cc/2b05g

It doesn’t matter which Industry you are in, one important tactic to grow your business is to find leads for potential new customers. And it isn’t only quantity of leads, but importantly also quality.

1. Produce (or reuse) relevant content. Content is King in today’s marketing environment and remember that if you have quality content, then don’t hesitate to reuse it after a certain amount of time because it will be News to new leads.

2. Support campaigns with targeted landing pages

3. Try a new marketing tactic.

4. Work with media partners who deliver leads.

How to get the best creativity to build your business July 1, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Delivering Happiness, Marketing 101, On line Marketing success, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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I just found a great Blog Post by Jim Stengel, former Chief Marketing Officer at Procter & Gamble with his 8 tips on how the get the best creative work from Agencies.

Read his Post at:   http://tiny.cc/45s2x

This is also relevant for Entrepreneurs because it talks about being passionate about what you are doing, your product and service and to think about how it can serve a higher purpose in improving people’s lives. This will inspire you to be your most creative and if you are using the help of Agency Creatives, it will be very important for their creativity as well.

To be able to think about a higher purpose, you need to know those that you are serving (your customers) better than your spouses or others that are significant in your life. You can only serve people if you know what will make their lives better.

And as I described in my earlier post ( http://tiny.cc/j4xnd ) about happiness and health, serving a higher purpose is what actually makes us as human beings happier and healthier. What a perfect win-win situation.

Secrets to winning with Aging Consumers June 21, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Boomer Marketing, Marketing 101, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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I just read a very insightful article on Mediapost:

Understand What And How The Consumer Thinks by Jim Gilmartin

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=130551&lfe=1

If you want to be successful with your business endeavors, you must understand the demographic trends that are a fact of life: the Boomer Generation is coming of age, they are starting to age, and therefore the majority of your potential customers are changing in terms of their needs. What worked for you 10 years ago marketing to them, will no longer work. Therefore it is critical that you spent the time to really understand how the Boomer generation thinks and therefore how to relate to them.

As human beings move through the different seasons of their life, their deep motivations change completely.

I highly recommend to read the referenced article and to stop and spend the time to understand your aging customer base.  It will have a positive reflection on your turnover and bottom line, whatever your business is.

How to be healthy and successful June 16, 2010

Posted by utehagen in Delivering Happiness, Marketing 101, Understanding Customers, Your personal success.
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I just found the below information on the Harvard University Medical School Health Beat. And while it talks about personal Health, my experience of more than 20 years in the corporate business world tells me that this connection also exists for organizations, teams and companies.

And also: only a happy, healthy person can be truly successful.

Now: think about it as a MARKETER — this gives you tremendous insight into our potential customers. What can you do with your product or service that will help your customers to feel good, to fully engage and to do good? Always think about these BENEFITS, they are in the final end why people buy a product or service.

The happiness-health connection

Want to improve your health? Start by focusing on the things that bring you happiness. There is some scientific evidence that positive emotions can help make your life longer and healthier.

But to produce good health, positive emotions may need to be long term. In other words, thinking positive thoughts for a month when you already have heart disease won’t cure the disease. But lowering your stress levels over a period of years with a positive outlook and relaxation techniques could reduce your risk of heart problems.

Pathways to happiness

In an early phase of positive psychology research, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson of the University of Michigan chose three pathways to examine:

  • Feeling good. Seeking pleasurable emotions and sensations, from the hedonistic model of happiness put forth by Epicurus, which focused on reaching happiness by maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.
  • Engaging fully. Pursuing activities that engage you fully, from the influential research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. For decades, Csikszentmihalyi explored people’s satisfaction in their everyday activities, finding that people report the greatest satisfaction when they are totally immersed in and concentrating on what they are doing—he dubbed this state of intense absorption “flow.”
  • Doing good. Searching for meaning outside yourself, tracing back to Aristotle’s notion of eudemonia, which emphasized knowing your true self and acting in accordance with your virtues.

Through focus groups and testing hundreds of volunteers, they found that each of these pathways individually contributes to life satisfaction.

Things that won’t make you happy

People tend to be poor judges of what will make them happy. While most people say they want to be happy, they often believe in myths or carry assumptions that actually get in the way. Here are some widely held myths about what will bring happiness:

  • Money and material things. The question of whether money can buy happiness has, for more than 30 years, been addressed by the “Easterlin paradox,” a concept developed by economist Richard Easterlin. His research showed that people in poor countries are happier when their basic necessities are covered. But any money beyond that doesn’t make much difference in happiness level.
  • Youth. Being young and physically attractive has little or no bearing on happiness. In a study published by Richard Easterlin in 2006 in the Journal of Economic Psychology, not only did being young fail to contribute to happiness, but adults grew steadily happier as they moved into and through middle age. After that, happiness levels began to decline slowly as health problems and other life problems emerged.
  • Children. Children can be a tremendous source of joy and fulfillment, but their day-to-day care is quite demanding and can increase stress, financial pressures, and marital strife. When ranking their happiness during daily activities, mothers report being more happy eating, exercising, shopping, napping, or watching TV than when spending time with their children. In several studies, marital satisfaction declines after the first child is born and only recovers after the last child leaves home. Personal relationships of all types are important, however. In studies, being married, having more friends, and having sexual intercourse more often are all moderately or strongly associated with happiness.

How do you know if you’re in flow?

  • You lose awareness of time. You aren’t watching the clock, and hours can pass like minutes. As filmmaker George Lucas puts it, talent is “a combination of something you love a great deal and something you can lose yourself in—something that you can start at 9 o’clock, look up from your work and it’s 10 o’clock at night … .”
  • You aren’t thinking about yourself. You aren’t focused on your comfort, and you aren’t wondering how you look or how your actions will be perceived by others. Your awareness of yourself is only in relation to the activity itself, such as your fingers on a piano keyboard, or the way you position a knife to cut vegetables, or the balance of your body parts as you ski or surf.
  • You aren’t interrupted by extraneous thoughts. You aren’t thinking about such mundane matters as your shopping list or what to wear tomorrow.
  • You are active. Flow activities aren’t passive, and you have some control over what you are doing.
  • You work effortlessly. Flow activities require effort (usually more effort than involved in typical daily experience). Although you may be working harder than usual, at flow moments everything is “clicking” and feels almost effortless.