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A Mile In Your Customer’s Shoes

Have you ever received a followup call from a doctor asking how you were feeling? I haven’t.

But what if that happened?

What if you tweaked some part of your customer’s path that allowed you stand out from similar businesses? What if it delivered unexpected delight?

Who or what could you emulate that has already nailed one of those steps? And could that become part of your brand?

It’s common for large companies, such as an airline or FedEx, to devote resources to mapping customer journeys or creating customer profiles. But what about enterprises that lack the resources or don’t know that considering a customer path is important in the first place? Or that there even is a path? Read more

Permission To Be Demanding

You’re hiring a designer or marketing person and can’t wait for the process to unfold.

Or…maybe not.

Most likely you have some uncertainty. You don’t know how to choose a consultant. You’ve never been through the process. You don’t know which questions to ask. You don’t speak the same language. You’re worried about money. You have a committee to please. You’ve got your other work to do.

Oof. Read more

Is your committee-run project like oatmeal?

Oatmeal, while healthy, is also an off-white blob composed of distinct particles loosely hanging together by a gelatinous substance.

Sounds wonderful, right?

Now picture a real meal, a dinner plate with a juicy seared steak surrounded by roasted potatoes, sautéed greens and wild mushroom compote.

They’re all in it together but the steak is the meal’s leader. The steak wouldn’t be as effective without its supporting cast. A one-person-led project can work, but it can also lack the pizzazz and ideas that a group of people bring to the table, each with their own perspective and expertise. (Assuming the team was  selected to create a balanced and broad understanding of the subject at hand.)

But the problem with teams is that many are unfocused and lack a real decisionmaker — someone who can keep the project alive with decisiveness.

How does indecision kill your efforts? Read more

The RFP: Make it a Win-Win

The RFP (Request for Proposal) signals opportunity for a creative firm! They’ve made it to your list of qualified firms. You’ll have multiple options from which to choose, pouring over creative samples and price ranges. Sounds like a win-win for both parties?

Not really.

For every creative firm that sees opportunity, another sees a cost to avoid. For every client that sees opportunity, another sees it as an onerous task that derails their real work, and is confused about the process.

The process might seem to favor the creator of the RFP. But there are hidden costs. Even the best-run RFP process has built-in flaws. You can get the most out of the process if you recognize the built-in flaws and costs, and then use workarounds. Read more