Chaos or craftsmanship… which do you choose?

Years ago, I read a great article about the art of putting together a set of construction documents. (I wish I could still find it, but Google and I failed this time around…) Whatever. The point of the article was a quality set of drawings can influence the care a builder puts into the construction. I was skeptical at first. But as I read it again, it made sense. The author compared a poor set … Read more

The one about caves, cornfields and customization… (continued)

Yesterday, we talked about exploring caves and how it relates to your marketing. The lesson: Make sure you’re exploring those niches within your market to build deeper relationships and get better results. Today, I’ll tell you how tripping through a corn field brought up another great marketing lesson to share with you. As a quick summary, this past weekend I went caving with my son and his Boy Scout troop in Maquoketa, Iowa. A great time was … Read more

The one about caves, cornfields and customization…

This weekend, I had two big “firsts” every Iowa boy should experience… (A lot sooner in life than I did.) Climbing through caves and traipsing through cornfields. And, wouldn’t you know, I managed to churn up a couple valuable marketing lessons along the way. Down and dirty I was with my son on his Boy Scout trip to Maquoketa, Iowa. Known for their state park featuring some great caves to explore. But our scout leader … Read more

Make it easy on me…

The other day I was on the road listening to a marketing podcast. I listen to a lot of them, so I can’t remember which one at the moment. Anyway… The host told a story about a company who hired a designer to update their successful magazine ad. But after the new ad ran, the response dropped to zero. Why? The new design had a coupon the customer had to fill out (same as the … Read more

[Rule] Do what you say…

Yesterday, a potential vendor stood up our whole office for lunch. No apology. No email or call to cancel. No nothin’. He’d set up the lunch-and-learn with us two months ago. But he didn’t show up. I know. No big deal, right? We all got our own lunches and went on with our usual business. But you can bet he won’t get another chance in the near future to steal another lunch hour from us. And … Read more

Are you letting your marketing go to the dogs…?

Yesterday, we started looking for a new dog. And we found it’s not an easy thing. Here’s the story… Six weeks ago, we said goodbye to our German Shepherd, Dag. He was 11 years old and, despite other claims out there, he actually was the best dog in the world. Don’t believe me? Dag was born and raised for a year in Germany. Then brought to the US by a breeder and trained for another … Read more

“Strive to do the deeds…”

The walls of my office are lined with books. Some are books on architecture and art. But most of the shelves are filled with books on business, marketing and copywriting. But I’ve still got a small section devoted to self-improvement and inspirational books. Words to lift me up and guide me when I need that sort of thing. In life and work, you need a little guidance from time to time. (I know I do.) … Read more

“Tear it ALL down and start over…”

This past weekend, I took a guided tour of a farm that’s been set up as a “CRP.” (I’ll explain what that means in a moment…) Now, I’ll be honest. Even though I’ve lived in the Midwest my whole life, I know very little about farms or the country. I’m just a city boy. But this unexpected tour I found myself on was very interesting. I didn’t understand everything the farmer/engineer named Larry was telling me. But … Read more

Reading Neil’s emails is like washing your face…

From: 5,000 feet due west of the South Skunk River Friday, 6:30 a.m. “My way of learning is to heave a wild and unpredictable monkey-wrench into the machinery.”  — Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon   So, the other day I read this article about why you should wash your face every night. No, I don’t wear makeup, but I did learn a thing or two you can use…      (Actually, this is a frequent discussion … Read more

Killing your marketing budget [continued]

In yesterday’s post, you started looking at ways to effectively kill your bloated marketing budget. I told you about my concerns for our building industry and the state of building product manufacturers’ marketing strategies. Then started to list some proven methods you can start using to kill off that pesky marketing budget so nicely your boss will thank you for all you’ve done. Today, let’s look at a couple more… Method #2: Always keep ’em … Read more