Monthly Archives

September 2014

Different Ways to Learn

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The learning process is complicated and choosing a program can be difficult when you’re not aware of the pros and cons of different types of programs. Whether you prefer in-person or, online courses, they each have their respective benefits and challenges.

Hands-On Courses


  • Face time with instructors
  • Collaboration with peers
  • Discussions are more impromptu
  • Follows a more structured routine
  • Retaining a message is easier when multiple senses are tapped
  • Typically smaller class sizes


  • Working around a schedule and outside responsibilities
  • Typically higher cost
  • Large amount of time to invest
  • Geographic limitations
  • Social anxiety for a portion of people

Online Courses


  • Convenient when there are responsibilities outside the class
  • Cost is typically lower (especially when transportation and room and board are taken into consideration)
  • Less anxiety for individuals when writing a comment in a forum
  • Some courses are free (see MOOC for details)


  • Since online courses are still relatively new – instructors are still working on an effective way to deliver curriculums
  • Perceived value is lower
  • Discerning important content in the course for tests is more difficult
  • Harder to get one-on-one time with the instructor

If you are interested in the subject it probably doesn’t matter what route you take. You will have fun learning about something you care about and come out of the course with a perspective or piece of knowledge that you didn’t have before. The best part about learning is that we can always keep learning.

Be Direct

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In the rush to embrace rapidly emerging and evolving digital marketing channels it can be easy to ignore tried-and-true tactics like direct mail in your marketing mix. Direct has evolved as well, with much more sophisticated list/targeting methods, postal efficiencies and tracking tools and innovative print and format options.

Direct, integrated with digital channels, can significantly enhance the impact and response of B2B and B2C marketing campaigns. And it offers several valuable marketing benefits, including:

It’s tangible and tactile. You can touch and feel it. It has texture, depth and visual impact.

Message real estate. It has room to more fully represent a product, service, brand or value proposition.

It’s measurable. Direct can be designed to accurately measure response and ROI attributable to the campaign.

It’s not digital. It can be a welcome respite from the mass of electronic content bombarding customers and prospects.

It gets noticed. With less competing messages in today’s mailboxes, your piece can really stand out.

It’s preferred. Current research shows that many people (including Millennials) prefer mail to receive product information.

So, when planning your next campaign, be sure to consider direct in the mix. You might discover that what’s old is new and breathe fresh life into your marketing communications.


Reimagining traditional marketing tactics

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I received a link today via email. It contained one of the cleverest ads I’ve seen in a long time. Clever because it’s gone viral, and through humor and smarts has gotten people to share a video promoting a catalog. That’s right, an old fashioned, paper catalog.

Kudos to IKEA for coming up with a way to make a traditional marketing channel (that still works, by the way) new and, dare I say, cool?

Now, I don’t know the results of this ad. Did more people pick up the catalog? Did it sell more cabinets or tchotchkes? That’s of course important. But the reality is they did what every marketer tries to do with their marketing tactics – cut through the clutter and get engagement. Plus, they’ve elevated their catalog to the level of electronic tactics for ease of use, high definition pictures and battery life (ha!).

The point is, this is not just good marketing, but it is also a brilliant way of marrying traditional and interactive tactics and a reminder not to throw out the old tactics just because they aren’t as shiny as digital. The two can work together beautifully – like peanut butter and jelly. Or, catalog and iPad.

Here’s the link: