When the sun rose this morning, I was feeling a bit less like myself. The week has been a busy one to say the least. Although I’d slept a good 7-8 hours, I felt mentally, emotionally and physically drained. I snoozed my alarm five times and woke up feeling tired, dull and unmotivated. I cooked breakfast slowly, somehow managing to burn the eggs as I waited until the last minute to get in my car to drive in rush hour traffic down 75 to the office. I was burnt out by breakfast.
Some might see this as a millenial/generational issue or simple laziness, but days like these are upsetting to me- not because of the feelings I get in these moments, but because of how awful I feel for allowing myself to feel unmotivated. But something I need to work on is understanding one thing: and that is that I’m human. I can’t wake up every single day feeling full of energy, inspired, creative and ready to take the bull by the horns. While I’m still accepting this truth, I will continue to pull my butt out of bed and put my game face on and try to remember that it’s okay to not alwaysbe and feel 150%.
As I reflect on my day, my week and my perspective, I start to think. Are things really that rough? No. Are things rough in comparison to the things I’ve been through thus far? Not really. Did I decide that I wanted to grow in my career at a fast pace? Yes. Can I help that I care so much about my career and being someone someday? No, I was born with this feeling inside. I can’t help that I care so much. I can’t settle for being average, for riding the wave or for being stagnant. I constantly want to be moving forward, one step ahead, always “on” yet somehow always dreaming. It’s a blessing more than a curse, and to get through this burnt out feeling I get when I have crazy busy weeks, I like to over indulge in things that make me feel like I’m right where I need to be. Motivation for me starts with five simple things:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: this book is one I’m still reading, but there are some really powerful insights into what I may be doing wrong, how I could change my perspective and how the most successful people think. The book is very empowering and motivating, and it makes me feel more educated every time I put it down. It addresses issues in every facet of life – not just career, but also relationships and family. I love this book and will read it over and over until hopefully one day I can be a living example of the philosophies in this book.
Super Soul Sunday: my mom got me hooked on Oprah at a very young age. I wasn’t quick to latch onto her new network, but there are now two shows I LOVE watching: Undercover Boss and Super Soul Sunday. I watch this show in the mornings as I get ready for work, it’s such a great way to start the day on a positive note. On SSS, Oprah interviews some of the top entrepreneurs, writers, and philosophers in the world. She’s had the owner of Whole Foods, the author of “Wild” which later turned into a hit film with Reese Witherspoon, the CEO of Starbucks, the author of Eat, Pray, Love just to name a few. I recently was impacted by something the CEO of Starbucks said in his interview. He talked about the importance of vulnerability in leadership. Basically it’s not always about being right or being perfect, but allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I could write a book about how much I love this show, and it’s not just for the ladies. If you want to learn something from someone who’s figured it out, I suggest recording this series and watching it.
Networking Groups: every time I get together with a group of career-minded people outside of work to talk about the work we do, I always leave feeling refreshed, motivated and full of new ideas. It makes me feel as though I’m not just bettering myself, but also creating ideas in which I’ll contribute to the company I work for. Attending these groups and learning from the members in these groups is such a positive thing for anyone’s career. I highly recommend that everyone, no matter what industry, joins a professional group or two.
Good Friends & A Glass Of Wine: one thing I’ll never be bad at is relaxing while spending time with friends and a glass of the good stuff. Sometimes when things get rough, a simple glass of wine and a long time friend to converse with is all I need to get my mind off the troubles of the day or week.
Pray About It: this should be first, but I’m tired and not ordering things properly tonight. I pray for the happiness of others. I pray for my family. I pray for my friends. I pray for every person I work with. I pray for my clients. And I thank God for all the good things in my life. The last thing I pray for is the strength, the guidance and the knowledge to get through the daily problems I will face. A simple “thank you/help me Jesus” never fails me.
If I want to accomplish anything, it would be to share my small struggles in hopes to help you with whatever struggles you might be going through. Maybe you’re my age, trying to make your way in this world, trying to find yourself or just trying to find what makes you happy. I hope my writing and my stories encourage and inspire you. Please share with me in comments below how you find motivation in your day to day life, I want to hear from you!
It doesn’t matter what scenario you plug it into, it’s always important to have a strategy. How do I define strategy? In short, it’s simply a plan. In long, a well thought out actionable item designed to improve or increase something (i.e. sales) that includes a goal, steps in place to reach that goal, and lastly ways to measure the success of the strategy put in place.
Strategy is the bread and butter of marketing and advertising, but often times looked over. I can’t help but often wonder why this is so? I’ve come to a few conclusions based off observations of others and even myself: lack of focus, too many tasks at hand, a level of comfort, use of copy and paste strategies, lack of innovation, use of strategies that were created five years ago that are no longer relevant and/or engaging, lack of creativity, auto-pilot mode kicks in and poof there it goes; right out the window.
I’m definitely not perfect and am willing confess I sometimes hit walls. The good thing about working on a team is that if I can’t find a solution or come up with a different yet creative way of thinking or communicating, I can collaborate. To me, this is simply a fresh approach to the amazing reward that comes with planning, brainstorming and organizing thoughts into one gorgeous, electrifying, profitable and STRATEGIC marketing plan. It’s simply what we do, and that’s why we love it!
So…why strategy? Well, here’s a thought: have you ever wondered how a business is started? One of the first things an entrepreneur does (well a smart one) is they put together a business plan – or strategy – if you will. Typically it outlines the concept of the business, finances, timelines, marketing plans, goals and how the goals will be reached, products/services, markets served, and staffing of management and key employees. An entrepreneur comes up with a great idea or product – but in order for it to play out the way they envision it, they must put together a plan. If any elements are missing from the plan, they most likely will miss the mark, won’t reach the goal, and sometimes, unfortunately…. completely fail.
The same idea applies to a marketing plan. Marketing largely contributes to a companies success. Alongside the sales team, it sells the product or service. Without a proper strategy, marketing simply doesn’t work.
How do you come up with a good strategy? Depending on what tactic you’re going after, the first thing to do is research in order to have a better understanding of current trends. The way we view media and are served ads has changed and continues to change at the most rapid pace ever in history. With the super fast pace of changing technology, it is a MUST to stay on top of the newest, latest, greatest advertising tactics and platforms. Magazine and newspaper circulation is on the decline, physical pieces of mail that go inside your mailbox outside on your street have decreased, live TV viewership is heading south, mobile device usage is on the rise and has been over the past decade. Traditional advertising mediums such as TV stations and newspaper companies are opening new departments specifically for the digital ad space. Google, Bing, Yahoo, pay per click ads, display ads, online video ads and mobile app ads are more present than ever before. Staying on top of the trends and learning how these platforms work, how their algorithms perform and who they’re reaching is the biggest and number one way to stay on top of your marketing strategy. Hire an advertising agency that has experienced, qualified leaders in their digital departments if you need advice and help pulling your head out of the sand caused by this sudden dust storm they’re referring to as the digital revolution. Or, if there are budget limitations hire someone who has worked in these agencies.
Once you have a solid understanding of the current advertising trends and platforms, the second most important thing to have is a strong, actionable message. Who are you going after? What are you trying to tell them? What do they want? How will you give it to them? Do they know you have something they might need? How do you make them realize it? Consumers are losing focus. With Mom on her iPad looking at Pinterest recipes, Jimmy on his Android listening to Jay Z, Sarah on her MacBook chatting it up on FaceTime with her friend traveling abroad in Spain, Jane on the Smart TV watching Netflix and Dad on his iPhone watching video clips on his SportsCenter app, it’s important to catch these people’s attention who are getting more and more used to getting what they want when they want by a simple tap and slide of a finger. With the right messaging, you can break through. Think about your product. Think about your target audience/consumer. Creatively yet strategically marry the two.
Lastly, there needs to be a timeline in place with actionable items to follow through with. Set the goal, list out what needs to be done in order to reach the goal (tactics), and next to each tactic list a date it needs to be done by. During the process, be sure to check in on these important dates to make sure smaller tactics are being done. At the end, it’s always important to reflect and look for benchmarks of both success and failure of the strategy. Take what you learned both good and bad and refine your next strategy. As you’ve heard, with time things get better, stronger, smarter and quicker. Efficiency is the goal but without innovation, creativity and strategy you’ll never reach ultimate success.
In short, putting together or refining strategy is an ongoing process that should never take the back burner. There’s many exciting things happening out there in the world of marketing and advertising and more tools than ever to make it successful.
The fun thing about marketing is you can apply a lot of the same principles to business in general.
And just to further dwell on my statements above regarding mobile usage, this entire entry was written on an iPhone 6 with WFAA on mute in the background. But don’t worry. I’ve already scheduled an appointment for my carpal tunnel screening. Happy Monday y’all!
The Twitter revolution is upon us. Teens, pre-teens and young adults are doing it- twittering and tweeting all day long (yes-I like to call it twittering). All the hype caught the attention of many fortune 500 companies and popular television shows. Business owners are learning the benefit of using Twitter to raise brand awareness and generate leads. It’s become apparent that the value of the hashtag is higher than ever. #GetWithIt or #GetLost.
Twitter in a nutshell: born in 2006, the most current social media platform used to promote oneself or one’s business in 140 or less characters per tweet (message).
Personal Impact? I get the most current news before it’s ever aired on TV, written in a newspaper, or blogged about online. I prefer to follow the nationwide news networks such as The Associated Press @AP, @CNN, @FoxNews and CNN Breaking News @CNNbrk. I also follow local networks, such as @WFAAChannel8, @Fox4, @CBSDFW and @NBCDFW. I knew about the missing Malaysian airplane before Malaysia even knew it was missing. #Whoah (not really-but close).
I also use it to keep up with my Twitter-saavy friends who tweet about their Chipotle burritos, favorite song lyrics, today’s #OOTD (outfit of the day) or last weekend’s festivities. Sometimes I wish I had more time to tweet my daily activities. *Sigh*
Ever heard of live tweeting? That’s fun too: you can tweet with real live celebrities while your favorite TV shows are on air. I have successfully done it and am proud to say Amy Yancey of AE’s Flipping Vegas and I tweet. Just because it was once doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. She follows me.
Business Impact? The good news is, nearly any size business can use Twitter in the same way. Who wouldn’t want to join in on free brand awareness? It isn’t hard to come to the realization that nearly every major brand has a Twitter handle. The possibilities are endless. Delta created a Twitter handle specifically for customer service. They answer questions and complaints from customers through tweets. McDonalds gives out free prizes through their twitter handle. That’s right- FREE! #OMG #SuperSizeMe Levi Strauss & Co. tweets about current sales and promotions going on in stores. Learn about upcoming sales at favorite clothing stores before anyone else! Need some humor in your life? Oreo uses their Twitter handle to tweet pictures of Oreos featuring funny messages throughout the day. Brand awareness at its finest. Note to self- don’t scroll through Twitter feed during mid-afternoon productivity lull.
But wait – there’s more! Now you can ADVERTISE on Twitter. Crazy, right? Wrong. The strategy is very similar to Facebook if not identical. You can target as broad or as narrow as you please. You pick your main goal whether it be profile views, site views, engagement, leads etc. Finally you decide whether you’d like Twitter to automatically optimize the campaign/budget for you – or if you know how – you can manually optimize. These days you can advertise practically anywhere online. Except Instagram. They still think they’re too cool for all that (unless you’re Disney or Fossil). We shall see if this changes.. LinkedIn has also started swimming in the advertising pool. This should take off pretty quickly as it is also set up in the same way as Facebook and Twitter. Back to the main topic.
How many people use Twitter these days? According to DMR (Digital Marketing Ramblings), there are approximately 255 million Twitter users as of April 2014. Facebook still has a remarkably larger amount of users, coming in at an estimated 1.28 billion users as of April 2014. Instagram has almost tied with Twitter: 200 million users as of March 2014. Another one you might be familiar with: Pinterest, which has 70 million users as of July 2013
Join the revolution. Follow the me at @MaryERobb 🙂
It’s strange when you’ve been a natural writer your whole life but suddenly, a few things change, and you suddenly can’t think of anything you feel the need to write about. Sometimes life throw you curveballs, but I’m not one to give up on what I love and what truly makes me happy. While I’ve been silent the past couple of months, I’m promising myself it won’t last.
Stay tuned for updates as I find myself again through these changes. Updates will come. <3 XXXO