Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough." Albert Einstein

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

"If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." Henry Ford

Today's image: Moon For Masako by ~EvidencE~ Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

The product is the marketing
Do things worth talking about

Gordon McLendon got it right. The Old Scotchman, one of the true wizards of 20th century wireless, gave his managers much wise counsel, including this precious gem: "Get people to talk about your radio station."

Long before business writers and marketing mavens first hit on the now vogue notion of "word of mouth" marketing, McLendon and company were holding multi-metro clinics on manufacturing buzz and taking it to the bank.

Today most broadcast managers are preoccupied (overwhelmed might be a more honest characterization) with the crush of daily affairs. The urgent is getting all the attention and in the process it's the important that is being neglected.

On the day job, in our work with radio, television and new media managers, we are witness to the production of outstanding results including some amazing, remarkable ROI. Without exception, those results are produced by starting with a single serious focus, an obsession with the product.

In our experience, these winning managers share attributes which set them apart from others, here now are four...

1. A mindset that encourages and rewards risk taking, appreciates failing faster as the secret sauce of innovation.

2. A respect for talent, a deep understanding that creativity is a renewable resource.

3. A daily dedication, a drive, which keeps them fresh, on fire and pathologically competitive.

4. They love and honor their craft. Accordingly, they have fun, consistently bring their A game, come to play and play to win. They do work that matters, things worth talking about.

Our best advice continues to be summarized in one simple declarative sentence...

"All that's important is what
comes out of the speakers
and on the screen(s),
everything else is a footnote."

Please allow me to again suggest that you read The Design of Business by Roger Martin [Amzn info]. Following are three paragraphs taken whole from that writing. My thanks to Roger Martin.

"Some contexts don't reward repetition, structuring, and planning that are the hallmarks of mastery. Those nonstandard contexts require the creation of a new approach or solution; they require originality. Originality demands a willingness to experiment, spontaneity in response to a novel situation, flexibility to change directions as information dictates, and responsiveness to opportunities as they present themselves, even if they're unexpected. Rooted as it is in experimentation, originality openly courts failure. It's important to become comfortable with the processes of trial and error and iterative prototyping, or you'll be tempted to focus on the less risky mode of mastery, to the exclusion of originality.

Mastery without originality becomes rote. The master who never tries to think in novel ways keeps seeing the same thing the same way. In this manner, mastery without originality becomes a cul-de-sac. By the same token, originality without mastery is flaky, if not entirely random. The power is in the combination."

Martin's thesis concerns combining proof-based analytical thinking with possibility-based abductive thinking (Charles Sanders Peirce's "third form of logic"). His writing makes the case for the advertising put forth in the subtitle of his book, "why design thinking is the next competitive advantage." At the end of his writing he offers this thought...

"As you grow more sure-footed and adept at maintaining the design thinker's balance, you will gain fluency in both the allusive poetry of intuitive discovery and the precise prose of analytical rigor."

Readers are leaders: - Best Books of 2009 - Top 10 Books: Business & Investing, here. AdAge - Book of Tens: 10 Books You Should Have Read in 2009 by Matt Kinsey, here.

Congrats & cheers: Uber-cool media entrepreneur Rob Barnett, Warren Chao and their hard-working, wicked sharp My Damn Channel gang, winners of the first ever New Media Minute Award of Excellence [more info]. Well deserved. (Stay tuned...these guys are just getting started.) Radio programming ace Scott Shannon named VP, Programming for group operator Citadel. If you're keeping score, that's day job number five for the exceptionally gifted Mr Shannon. His other gigs include hosting the highly rated WPLJ breakfast show where he also serves as PD. In his spare time Scott is the mid-day star of the True Oldies Channel where he again doubles up, serving with distinction as the net's chief creative officer and principal architect.

Bonus: Rethinking How Broadcast Media Uses Research by Tom Webster, here. Kudos, Tom. Seems to me we have a bunch of smart people preoccupied with study, comparative analysis, interpretation and serious discussion related to the old answers when they should, instead, bring intellectual rigor to a critical pursuit of discovery - finding the new questions. Roger Martin said something that relates here "...(the reliability-driven colleague) sees the future as the enemy and the past as a friend."

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