Sunday, October 28, 2012

Strategy first -- but be ready to take that first step

I have been very lucky in my almost 15 years as a business-to-business marketer. IBM has given me a lot of great experiences to learn from, and more opportunities to continue moving forward. Just recently I was a key project manager for the September 13 IBM social business launch event and announcements. And I am leading an upcoming event on November 13 (what is it about launches and 13s???), "Special Broadcast: IBM Notes and Domino Social Edition Preview and Announcements".

I was using a lot of that business and marketing experience to help a very good friend of mine start a new project of his, "Swanky Lighting". He was very excited about taking his extensive experience and passion and turning it into something more, but really wasn't sure how to start. It was a classic challenge most people face in both business and personal projects: we quickly jump to the "how" and "promotion" aspects before we fully understand the "why" or "for who".

So we spent a lot of time talking about what his goals and objectives were. That foundation led to much easier choices about how to begin and set a plan for slow but steady progress.

I think about that a lot with all my projects because in today's hyper-kinetic world, especially with social media and information technology, it's too easy to succumb to magpie syndrome: jump at what is shiny or new. It more often than not leads to wasted effort or energy spent on actions that don't further your goals. There's enormous value in taking a deep breath, and going back to basics. Or as a successful director has been saying lately: "intent before action".

In my friend's case above, it not only gave him a framework for moving forward in a more thoughtful manner, but the actual energy to overcome fear and uncertainty to take that initial plunge.

What about you? Do you have an example when you've taken that meditative breath, that one-step-backward-so-you-can-move-forward moment?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

11/13: Presenting "B2B Social Media and Insights from IBM 2012 CMO Study"

I was thrilled and honored at the feedback I received from my August presentation to the Business Marketing Association Southern California Chapter, "Addressing CEO Top Priorities through Social Media Marketing and Metrics". Held at the tropical bayside Hyatt Regency Mission Bay San Diego, the audience discussion pushed the presentation and Q&A session well past our appointed hour. This was my first time presenting to the group, so getting such a positive response made all the preparation worth while.

So much so, it seems, that the BMA invited me to continue the discussion in Los Angeles! I will be taking my show on the road. If you are in the area, please join me and the BMA SoCal team for "B2B Social Media II and Insights from the IBM CMO Study 2012". It will be an early evening, two-part discussion at the Luxe on Sunset in Brentwood. An hors-d'oeuvres reception will immediately follow.

We'll further the discussion on b2b social media, updated with some new figures, and also review the results from the recent IBM CMO Study 2012. Drawn from interviews from over 1700 chief marketing officers worldwide, the study indicates social media is one of the transformational drivers of marketing.

It may not lead anytime soon to a TED Talk, but it's nice to know my peers are finding value in what I have to share.

For a sneak peek, here's a synopsis of what I presented back in August.

I'm going to the MBA 10/30 "Meet the Media Event" -- are you?

"Media and Merlot: A Meet the Media Event"
Tuesday October 30, 3:30pm-7:00pm
The Grand Del Mar Resort, San Diego CA

With the renowned success of the Business Marketing Association Southern California's Los Angeles, Meet the Media: The 'New' Newsroom, summer luncheon, BMA SoCal is doing it again! This time in beautiful San Diego when we'll hear views from the news media on how social media has impacted the newsroom and what methods are appropriate for reaching out to and engaging the media via social.  This late afternoon program will allow a relaxed setting to first hear from our panel of esteemed San Diego news professionals, followed by an early evening outdoor wine and hors d'oeuvres reception. 

Special for the MBA San Diego community, we have a special discount code available! The first 10 participants to use the special code JP-2012SCBMA1030-30 when they register online are entitled to the $30 BMA SoCal Member rate, rather than the standard $50 nonmember rate. It's first come, first served, so register online now!

For more information and registration, visit