Marketing Alphabet

What does your lexicon of marketing hold? What types of words do you use in your everyday marketing operations?

Today’s challenge:  Create your own Marketing Alphabet. Fill in the blanks below, with as many for each letter as you wish.



























Profession Or Pass-Through?

What we spend our waking hours on in this all too brief life is what we ‘do.’

So when you think about what you are currently doing, is it a profession for you or simply a pass-through post?

Would you prefer to stay engaged in your doings for some time, developing a path for yourself in that profession? Would you like to leave your current post to do something else?

In both cases, the WHY is the first question we should ask ourselves. Why am I here? Why am I in this Role? What am I giving it and what am I gaining from it?

Gene Bedell’s book, The Millionaire In The Mirror nails it. He tells the reader that you can determine your own course, successfully by following some basic guidelines.

  1. Do what you really want to do.
  2. Do it really well.
  3. Get paid well for this work
Profession or pass-through?

Profession or pass-through?

Boom. If the pass through is on the way to the next step which is part of the path you’re taking, then do it. If it isn’t, chart a new direction to stay on the path, however winding it may be. As long as one step leads to another, then you’re still going forward.

Marketing is all about following the path to your customer. Successful companies create compelling marketing which attracts and leads people to their doorstep. My own path to marketing has been surprising, eye-opening, incidental and all perfectly logical through a specific lens.

My first exposure to marketing proper was during my tenure in hardware. As management, we played a part in preparing the printed ads we sent out to our supporting communities. We were listening to our customers, our staff and our guts as to what we felt would be the right items to advertise. Advertising is after all part of marketing, not the other way around.

Your path is up to you to chart. Are you pursing profession or a pass through? I wish you well in every case.

Who Makes Your Property Run

One thing I love to do when traveling is to talk with the crews making operations run. Hotel staff, cleaning staff, housekeeping, servers, bussers, bus drivers, and so forth. The people who actually physically make the businesses go.


Because they are the foundation of our country. People – hard-working, earnest, capable people – doing what needs to be done to open the doors for business. They show up, work, and – most of the time – are willing to help a wayward traveler like myself.

How do I do it?

I simply start a conversation, often with a smile and hello. I also ask a lot of questions: where’s this or that, what places do they like to eat locally, what can they tell me about XYZ….open ended questions they can always be successful in answering.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Marketing is communication. And if it were in the hands of these people I wonder how much more success businesses would experience. What would happen if all employees, staff and crew were asked how they could improve business and that input was really used?

There’s a mother lode of untapped marketing potential in every single working person.

I’ve been hired to conduct employee interviews by clients before and they are treasure chests of insight, ideas and doable tactics to improve the customer experience and therefore service and sales.

I recall a recent trip to Las Vegas, a hot bed of remarkable teams of people in the establishments there. I was headed to my room and asked an employee a question. The person was very helpful, which I anticipated from previous experience. What they didn’t know is that my goal in the interaction is to make them smile. I was successful here too. Everyone needs to feel valued; my question was one way they were successful and therefore valued by a customer.

If they help make your business go forward, tap into them. They’re ready willing and able to do so.

Are you ready?

Replace Selling With Serving

I’m a very avid reader. Perhaps just shy of voracious, maybe not…. All the same, I love reading for so many reasons. It increases my knowledge, information input is unlimited and I truly enjoy bringing ideas and images to life in my brain by reading. Applied knowledge is power so I’m stoking my own cerebral fire for use with books.

One of my go-to pros who happens to write as well is Daniel Pink. His books Drive and To Sell Is Human have both been very meaningful for me. Drive is already on the bookshelf in my office. It’s a collection of useful advice, expertise and encouragement.

Books help me reset, reframe, and learn how to – when to – why to – and all variety of education to further my life, which includes my career pursuits.

Daniel’s concept of upserving vs. upselling has fundamentally changed the way I proceed in the world.

Anytime you’re tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you’re doing and upserve instead.



Some of my waiting business assistants: books.

Some of my waiting business assistants: books.

Let that sink in and really think into it. When we educate, we serve; when we serve, we can then sell. Don’t put sales before the concept of service. The customer is always first – they are not always right. In upserving – adding value to the relationship – is where true meaning and momentum happens.

In marketing, human relations, maintenance…whatever you choose to label your work: be sure to serve.

Like I tell my clients: if I’m the right one, I’ll serve and assist. If I know I’m not the best one to serve a particular need they have, I refer, suggesting others and – that’s right – serve my clients by helping them find what they need. It feels good and is the right thing to do. We all come out ahead.

So today I challenge you: Make every interaction about serving and upserving. You want to sell? Serve first. You want to serve? You’re already cranking…simply make sure it’s not a beg or grovel. Service is about elevating everyone in the exchange.

Let me know what you experience by upserving vs. upselling. Comments encouraged below.

How Marketing Helps Business Succeed

We’ve all seen it.

A business gets into hot water due to a poor choice of ad, direction, purchase, and any number of others reasons. The honey moon comes to a screeching halt, there’s a supremely untimely recall, something is ‘exposed’ that should have been kept private….

Now What.

A sound marketing plan – already in place – will help weather that storm and help the business (if already sound) come out the other side with the ability to keep going.


  1. Marketing plans are designed and should be developed to fully cover a comprehensive take on where, why, how and when the brand is present. Said another way, if you know where, when and why your brand will show up, you can control that in large part on the front end with planning. That’s part of a marketing plan.
  2. Successful companies know a Marketing Plan is a tool to help them thrive.

    Successful companies know a Marketing Plan is a tool to help them thrive.

    Strong and regularly maintained marketing plans are foundations for businesses. Solid foundations shore up the boat of business when storms roll in – whether due to bad decisions, unexpected hiccups and other reasons. Having a solid marketing plan in place doesn’t guarantee business – what it does do is help ground and support development.

  3. Marketing plans are your ground work to successful business. Ever seen a kerfuffle surrounding a company – say a founder or employee who seems to flip out or a totally inappropriate ad released that stirs great uproar? If you have a solid marketing plan in place you 1. reduce the likelihood of that happening all together and 2. you can mitigate and manage the damage much more quickly, authentically and successfully.

Examine what you do as a business. No matter the tax structure – you’re a business. Businesses need to sell a service or good to be viable; all businesses therefore need to make money to drive their programs and goals forward.

Marketing helps businesses succeed because it is truly a foundational element of business. It’s not an extra or ‘we’ll get to it once we’re rolling’ concern. It has to be front and center for your business to succeed.

Decide what you are doing, why you’re doing it, who you are addressing, when and where those eyeballs and brains will engage and design your marketing around those targets.

When the bubble bursts, when the schmidt hits the fan, when you’re caught in the headlights – if you already have a solid and thoughtful marketing plan in place, you’ll still come out with your dignity and ability to keep your head up.

With a nod to Mr. T, I pity the fool who doesn’t have a marketing plan.