W.I.P., Tips, News and Honeysuckle

Friends and colleagues,

Once again we won the Best, Smartest, Marketing Firm, Ever Award from the Intergalactic Brand Ruling Council of Elders.  Full disclosure:  no we didn’t. There’s no such accolade.  But don’t we all like to think we’re better at what we do than anyone else?  I think the top organizations do and they work obsessively hard to communicate their unique value to their customers, prospects and employees.

Toward that end I’d like to share some recent work, tips from the field and news.  And I’d like to ask you do the same with us.  Because that’s what friends and colleagues do.  Right?

In any event, let me know what you think and what you’re doing to set yourself apart.

Now to the main course:


  • Write like Hemingway.   That means short sentences in short paragraphs.  It means writing with purpose and passion.  It means writing what something is rather than what it’s not.  It does not mean (listen up creative folks) writing drunk during a bullfight.
  • Design to communicate.  Obvious, no? Then why are we seeing so much design for the sake of design.  Graphics should facilitate communication, not impede it.  Make sure the design of your marketing communications complements messaging.
  • Read it aloud.  Most effective marketing copy “reads” conversationally.   But the only way you’d know that it is to read it aloud, preferably to others.  I guarantee you’ll find ways to improve what you’ve written once you hear it.
  • Consult Maslow, the marketer.  Actually he was a groundbreaking psychologist.  But if you spend 20 minutes understanding his hierarchy of needs (click here) I think you look at your next customer acquisition and/or social media campaign differently.
  • Get thee to the post office.  Mail volume is down considerably.  And while this may portend the end of direct mail in the long-term, right now it means there is a lot less competition in one of the most measurable, scalable media channels available.
  • Make integrated, life-cycle marketing standard operating procedure.  By coordinating the consumer’s end-to-end experience, companies should enjoy revenue increases of 10-20% and bottom line increases of at least twice that.


  • Welcome to new clients Bloomberg; New York Presbyterian Hospital; Office Environments (a subsidiary of Steelcase); Partner Advisors, a firm which develops and manages partnerships with financial services companies; and the Westport Weston Family Y.
  • Our social media and search engine optimization practices collectively grew almost 100% last year.
  • Two women at the Westport Weston Y mistook me for Mark Wahlberg yesterday.  But one made to sure to add “if he was 20-30 pounds heavier”.  Still not sure if I should be pleased or insulted or both.


Color authority Pantone recently announced that its color of the year for 2011 is an intense pink it calls “honeysuckle.” Implications for the modern marketer?  Well, none that we can discern.  But now I know what color tuxedo I’ll be wearing to my cousin’s wedding this April.

That’s all for now.  Be well and be good.

P.s.  Rather not receive these occasional missives?  Just let me know and we’ll cease and desist.

W.I.P. (Work in Progress):

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