Bruce Turkel’s Blog
Lightning is often what happens when storms merge. Suddenly the sky goes from a darkening gray to gates-of-hell black. The barometric pressure plunges so quickly you can feel the temperature drop and the sky is lit up by terrifyingly bright bolts of lightning, followed by raucous booms of thunder.
Of course, this post isn’t really about boating or the weather. Instead, the storms in my story serve as metaphors.
In this case, they represent your skills and talents.
Just like when the pleasant rain showers on the horizon collide and become life-threatening electrical storms, combining your abilities also makes each one of them more and more potent and more and more powerful. And properly applied, this combination proves the old adage that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Except in this case, the whole is you. And you’re stronger, more capable, and more powerful because of that collision.
The things your clients and customers care about can be narrowed down to four things that matter. Four things that your customers care about right now. Knowing these types of simple, yet profoundly powerful things can change your business. And your life.
Today’s consumer grew up with the instant response and reward of videos games, the instant gratification of flash frozen prepared foods heated in microwaves, and a 24/7/365 communication device glowing greedily in their pocket. Tomorrow’s marketer is going to have to figure out how to successfully service people who live the lyrics to the Queen song: “I want it all and I want it now.”
Do you want more business? Face it, you’re already damn good at what you do. Working to be better at it is always a good idea but not necessarily what’s going to help you get more business, more opportunities, more clients, more money, or whatever more you’re hoping to get. Refining and promoting what makes you special to your audiences is where you’ll find more business. Here’s how…
When I last ran CEOnly, our Strategic Roundtable for business owners, entrepreneurs, and folks in the C-Suite, everyone who completed the program told me how much they enjoyed it and how much they benefitted from our time together. And of course I enjoyed hearing their kind words. But when I opened the enrollment for our new group, what I was most taken by were not simply the kind things people said, but that a few of the participants wrote back immediately with almost identical words: “Count me in!”
If you’d like to know what all the excitement is about, just click on https://ceonly.me and watch a quick, 3-minute video. And if you are interested, please do it quickly. Because as long as our alumni keep coming back for more, I’m going to enjoy the effects of their allegiance. After all, customer loyalty is priceless.
Want to know how to make everything better? Remember these five simple words: The Gallery Makes the Art. Want to know how and why that is? Read on…
What opportunities are you wasting because you haven’t innovated new ways to repurpose old things or ideas? What potentially valuable talents, skillsets, relationships, abilities, assets, inventories, patents, trademarks, or other attributes have you let lay fallow because they no longer appear relevant?
To do this, we simply need to look at old things in new ways – putting original function and associations out of our minds and instead asking ourselves, “what COULD this be and what COULD I do with it?”
The most creative works in human history were all created with the very same tools, notes, and colors, that we all have access to every single day. Every piece of Western music ever written, from Waltzes to Western, classic to classic rock, uses these same seven notes. And every piece of art ever created from Delacroix and Hopper to Damian Hirst used the same seven colors.
It’s easy to understand if you just think of creativity as putting old things together in new ways. Because combining old things in new ways, whether you start with colors, notes or your business or association’s offerings is the simple way to make creativity work for you.
On a good night the music is hot, the camaraderie is warm, and the beer is cold. But what’s best about an open mic is that playing music together provides an opportunity to build relationships between folks who would otherwise never meet. And it’s that sense of mutual enthusiasm, whether experienced on a ball field, in a city commission meeting, an adult education classroom, a corner bar or an open mic, is what connection is all about. It’s also how democratic communities flourish. And dare I say it, it’s exactly what we are missing so consequentially in today’s divided American society.
Why are more and more companies moving to subscription services? As Bill Clinton’s strategist, James Carville, taught us all the way back in 1992, when it comes to consumer responses, “it’s the economy, stupid.” People vote – and purchase – based on their pocketbooks. So, it stands to reason that companies would look to ways of holding on to existing customers as well as capturing new ones by demonstrating that they’re a fiscally responsible choice.
That being said, don’t confuse subscription services with lower costs – they are actually much more expensive to consumers and much more profitable to companies because they never end. Instead of paying once, you pay forever.
The problem with not knowing what you want is that you can’t chart a path to get what you want. Just like entering a city name in your car’s GPS will not give you directions to the specific hotel you’re planning to vacation at, using nebulous words to identify your desire won’t help you get what you want either.
During those months we worked together, I discovered how my new partner had been so successful getting our clients on Google page one. He had no insider secrets or special relationships. He had simply figured out how to work his magic by taking three courses from a guy who’d decoded Google’s algorithms. And because this guy continued to decode the algorithms every time Google made an update, the system stayed up-to-date and effective…
It’s no secret that we’re all living in partisan times. Nor is it news to anyone that social media, TV news echo-chambers, and hyper-parochial politicians and PACs all work to keep us apart. After all, it’s hard to get people to vote and fight against people they like but history shows it’s relatively easy to get angry with people we consider “different.”
It works on the playing field, and it works in wartime. The North against The South. The Allies against The Axis. The University of Florida vs. Florida State, Michigan vs. Michigan State, Alabama’s Crimson Tide vs. everyone.
It’s the same in marketing and advertising…
What is happening right now that we cannot see, hear, smell, taste, touch or feel simply because we’re so deeply submerged in our own fishponds, watching our own networks, and reading our own Sunday papers? These things might be more productive, more efficient, more comforting, and more profitable than what we think we know now? Ask Joe Jackson. He explained it all to us 40 years ago.
Sometimes it makes sense to look before you leap. But sometimes you just need to get started immediately. After all, if you don’t just do it now, you never will. Fear will stop you. Waiting for it to be perfect will keep it from ever happening. Instead, stop making excuses and just do it. No, it’s not going to be perfect, but it is going to work. As Alexander Calder said, “To an artist there’s no such thing as perfect.”
When I was invited to meet Magnus Walker and tour his collection, I thought I was going to look at some cool cars and architecture. I didn’t know that the time I’d spend with a fascinating dreadlocked and tattooed creative powerhouse would confirm my concepts of creativity, branding, and living your own life as much as any time I’ve spent working with any of my wonderful clients.
Brain research has shown that 90% of all information sent to the brain is visual. And human beings process pictures 60,000 times faster than text. Advertising has proven that provocative images matter. So if we really want to make something happen – like stopping the death and destruction caused by assault rifles – doesn’t it make sense to show it with at least one picture?
If misconceptions about real beach culture were so strong, what else am I wrong about? What other beliefs have I been carrying around for years and years even though they’re not correct? What misconceptions, limitations, and ingrained myths and fables have limited my opportunities? Where have my prejudices, biases, and delusions kept me from seeing what’s really going on? Which of my firmly held faiths, beliefs, and certainties are actually as misguided as my thoughts about California weather?
More importantly, what about yours?
We won’t spam!