Mekate wednesdays! 10 common mistakes done in a marketing and advertising department.

  1. Ask their Agency to come up with new innovative proposals knowing that they will continue to implement just the same old traditional tactics.

  2. Develop campaigns that the Marketing Director or the CEO will like, instead of one that is really relevant to their target.

  3. Demand that their advertising agency comes up with a completely new campaign in less than a week and not even providing them with a full comprehensive brief.

  4. Thinking that the marketing brief is just a bureaucratic tantrum from the Agency.

  5. Ask their Agency to be more proactive in involving themselves with the company business but no sharing key information like sales reports, budget, up coming products, etc. because its “confidential information”.

  6. Assume that no one in Mexico (or wherever you are, for that matter) uses Internet, while at this very moment they are reading this post in this blog!

  7. Asking for one creative change at a time, instead of providing one full round of feedback to make the process more efficient.

  8. Wanting the brand manager to see the campaign first so he can ask for changes before presenting to the grouper so he can ask for his changes before presenting to the CMO, so he can ask for his changes before presenting to the CEO so he can ask for his changes…well you get my drift…

  9. Thinking that if they press their agency and media to deliver a way lower cost they are doing their job, instead of focusing on developing great campaigns that are worth a lot more than they cost.

  10. Getting mad at me for writing so frankly this post instead of asking themselves what kind of mistakes they are doing and how they can fix them.


On What side of the balance are you?

Surely you have heard that old saying that goes: “Everyone who passes through here brings happiness with them, some when they arrive and others when they leave”.

Funny? Maybe. Although not so much if we ask ourselves: “and me? On what side am I? with those who arrive or those who leave?”

I’m pretty sure that in many cases the balance inclines more than we’d like to think so towards the “those who leave” group. So here’s the question we need to ask now: What do we plan to do about it?

The sad reality is that, in part because we are used to and in part because we are selfish, typically our attention is focused on how other makes us feel (comfortable, angry, happy, frustrated, etc.) And on very few occasions do we think about how we make others feel, thus coming up with ways to make them feel good is practically a non-existent thought in our minds.

And in reality leaving others feeling better than you found them, should not be that hard. In fact, we don’t need to do great feats every single day to do so, it’s actually the simpler things that can help us add value to other people’s days:

-          How about being the first to smile? Very few things are as contagious as sharing a smile.

-          Or how about calling people by their name and showing them that you care and respect them enough to know who they are?

-          Simply being nice to others? Taking a couple of minutes to say hi to someone and listening to how they are doing will not rob you of your time.

-          Celebrating people? Definitely! We should never miss the chance to tell someone close to us how we cherish them.

And the list could go on and on, but since we have to start somewhere, here is my suggestions for next week (and all the weeks that follows): How about paying close attention to adding value to the days of every person we interact with during the week and have a simple gesture that will leave them feeling better than when we found them?

We could even recur to the classic, somewhat used, but always useful practice of putting a marble in a jar for every person we help feel better so that at the end of the day, the week, the month, the year or even at the end of our life we can remember that we did do something good for someone else after all.

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Guest Post Friday's: Your Well-Being Can’t Be Found in a Pouch of Instant.

Do I have a surprise for you today! As I had mentioned in another time, starting today, every Friday I will be sharing with you a new type of post for The daily and the not so. It will be a series of special guest posts written by some of the most important bloggers in the blogosphere today, who have given me the honor of accepting my invitation to share their thoughts as guest bloggers in my blog.
And to launch this new section we could no have a better guest! Pam Thomas from Walking my own walk.


" Your Well-Being Can’t Be Found in a Pouch of Instant.

We live in a world where instant gratification and instant results seems to be a theme; instant (or near instant) weight loss, instant meals, instant answers, you name it. What happened to taking some things slowly, putting in the effort, and exploring? Please don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing the “instant” industry or anyone who partakes in it; sometimes I like to get instant results too, however, what I have come to realize, instant answers are not always the right answers especially when it comes to our emotional and mental well-being.

Why aren’t instant answers the way to go?

Sometimes those instant answers only deal with the symptoms, providing us with temporary relief. Think about it, in order to kill a weed for good you have to get to the roots, or the source. If you just pull the weed and leave the roots, guess what? The weed comes back. The same holds true with the issues that often rear their heads on the emotional and mental well-being front. Getting to the source of any issue, whether it is fear, limiting beliefs or tolerations sometimes takes time, but most importantly it takes awareness as to what is causing those issues.

Awareness really is key and if we are zooming along trying to find that “quick fix” we may miss out on the signs that lead to the awareness we need in order to find the long-lasting answers. So the next time you’re in the mood for a “quick fix” to one of life’s more complex issues, please take the time to ask yourself the following, “Would I benefit more from temporary relief or long-term relief?”

Please never discount the fact that you are worth making the effort. Take time to explore and look for the source rather than grab for the “latest and greatest” instant solution. Leave the instant to coffee, tea, and even fast food, but not your mental and emotional well-being."

Pam Thomas is a Certified professional Coach through the International Coach Federation, and her training at CoachInc.com.

She also has a Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and leads her own Coaching firm What's within you, You can read all she has to share with us at her Blog: www.walkingmyownwalk.com Don’t miss out on it!


Mekate Wednesdays! David Ogilvy 2.0

Have you ever watched David Ogilvy talking about advertising? Please invest 7 minutes of your time today and watch this video; substitute the words Direct Marketing for On-line Marketing and Direct Response for Interactive Marketing, and tell me if you wouldn't want to have him as THE ambassador for Digital / on-line Marketing today.

PS. please do your friends in advertising a favor and share this post with them.


Who do you admire?

According to the polls, the main reason why an employee might be unhappy with his jo bis the lack of recognition for his or her work. But really giving recognition to people is not the company’s fault but rather the person’s who manage it. Really, when was the last time you heard someone say the company xx did not appreciate them? What we say is: my boss doesn’t care what I do or don’t.

When we talk about not being appreciated enough by the organization we work for, we are really talking about the people who we work with. And talking about these people is that we need to recognize that we ourselves are guilty of doing exactly the same.

No? Hmmm… Exactly, to how many people did you praise last week, last month or even last year?

See? We do forget to make people around us feel recognized, appreciated and admired. And I don’t mean just folks at work but our family and friends too.

So, that’s why I decided that this week I would share with you a list of 10 persons I admire and respect and why:

-          My wife: for her huge capacity to love, for her dedication, for being ability to light up a whole room when entering it, for her ever growing strength and maturity.

-          My daughter: because the first thing she always does every morning as she wakes up is smile, a smile that lights up our days and because she is always sharing her smile and love with everyone she meets. What a great lesson for us to learn! (Imagine when she starts talking!).

-          My friend since elementary school, Mario, for his enormous entrepreneur spirit and ability to find a great business opportunity in everything, and his willingness to share his success.

-          Mi friend Fillo, because he receives everyone he meets with a smile and always has something nice to say to them that will surely leave them feeling good. I can perfectly picture him saying something nice as he reads this post.

-          My colleagues at work AnaSo, Mr. White, Aarón, Santi, Krusty, Kike and Jack for their deep knowledge of their work and their willingness to always share it and help.

-          My old boss at Grey Group Riccard, for his passion and loyalty to his company. Very few people do I know who have that kind of dedication for their organization.

-          My friend Clau for the strength and will she’s demonstrated by staying at a foreign country, creating a great life for her and her kids.

-          My high school friend Carlos for his dedication, focus, dedication and hard work in everything he does (work, sports, studied, family and friends).

-          My parents for sticking together after so many years and so many overcome challenges.

-          My guru Robin Sharma (yes you don’t need to meet someone in person to admire them) for how his lessons helped me give such a positive shift to my life.

There you have it, my personal list of 10 people who I admire and why.

It’s your turn no, write, share it here or not, but do not let another week pass without sharing it with them.


Mekate Wednesdays: Is this a great anli-loyalty program?

July 11 2008, Oh what a great day for mobile phones users in the world! And Mexico was not the exception.

The pre i-phone fever we lived the past few weeks sure made a whole lot of noise in the market place. The Word of Mouth generated among consumers, especially through social networks like Facebook and Twitter was nothing short of impressing. 
The coverage that the brand got in Mexico through their “opinion leader seeding” strategy among the community of avid technological gadgets users definitely saved the limited campaign launched by the mobile carrier company that’s selling the equipment in Mexico.

But to our friends at Apple we say: don’t you worry, if the short campaign these guys did was not enough to limit your successful launch, their anti customer loyalty strategy sure will. Don’t think so? Picture this (this actually happened 2 days ago):

Subject: Client X


  • Has been a customer of the mobile company for more than 5 years.
  • Has 2 smartphones a TREO and a BlackBerry this last with an additional data transmission package purchased too.
  • Has done 2 packages up grades in the last 2 years to have access to the newest equipments.

Situation: he goes into one of their  “Client Service” offices with the full intention of happily doing a new up grade (yes he is once more willing to pay more) to get his new i-phone.

Mobile company sales rep answer: “I’m sorry sir, this equipment is only available to new contracts and not to current customers for equipment up grade, and we don’t even know when it will be available for them, but if you happen to have a phone from our competitor come back on the 17th with this form filled out and we’ll give you your new phone and you can keep your old number”.

Client X reaction: thinking “Should I take my business to the company with the little green elfs?”

Can you believe it? Isn’t this outrageous? I mean, I can appreciate how desperate they are to maintain their continuously declining market penetration (no wonder why) and how anxious they are to capture customers from their competitors, but at what price?

This only reminds us how we need to ask ourselves: Are we sacrificing the satisfaction of our current loyal customers who now a days keep our business profitable in order to attract new ones who might not even feel any affinity with our brand? Are we really willing to let a loyal, profitable client go in exchange for a new one so we can say to ourselves “I stole him away from our competitors? Do we really want to make that mistake?


What super powers would you like to have?

How many times when you were a kid and were with your friends or even now as an adult or when you are day dreaming or right after watching a movie of the kind, have you asked yourself: What kind of super power would I like to have? or, which super hero would I like to be?

Fly like Superman, being invisible like Sue Richards, have the strength of a 100 men like Hulk, telekinesis like a Jedi, spontaneous regeneration like Claire Benett, bionic vision like Steve Austin or simply absorbing the super powers of everybody you come in contact with like Peter Petrelli.

Hundreds of ideas come to mind when we ask ourselves this kind of question, and so many more when we ask what we would do if we did have them.

“I’d be invisible to go into the women’s dressing room” a teenager might say. “I’d fly away from home” an abused house wife could think, “I’d use telekinesis to do my job without moving a finger” others would choose, but I’d like to think that most of us would choose to use their powers to help others. I choose to think they would.

Well, I have great news for all! Special powers do exist and anybody has the potential to add them to their personal arsenal. The question that remains is: Which powers will you choose?

Here are my suggestions:

Super hearing: sorry, I don’t mean the kind where you can hear what’s happening miles away or in the room behind the concrete wall. The super hearing I’m talking about is much more powerful than that. It’s the ability to know how to listen. Being capable of remaining quiet as others speak, cancelling every thought we have in preparation of an immediate answer and listening, comprehending, understanding, sympathizing and empathizing with what the other person is sharing with you, without the need to impose your voice over them.

Super strength: No, I don’t mean the strength of a 100 men that would make us capable of lifting a building with our bare hands like Superman. I’m talking about a much stronger strength, one capable of building a life full of honesty, plenitude and authenticity: the power of will.

Super vision: yeap, not talking about being able to see over long distances, although distance in time is part of this special ability with which we’d be capable of observing every detail in our current situation and could see all the opportunities that lay in it for today, tomorrow and in the long run too.

Self regeneration: we might not be able to grow a finger that has been severed from our foot, but being able to self regenerate will allow us to recover from the great blows we might get in life. This is the ability to pick ourselves up, learn the lessons in life and put them into our “bat belt” of useful experiences that will help us overcome the challenges of tomorrow as we keep on growing and escalating towards our personal mountain top.

Telekinesis: mmm not we may not be able to move stuff without touching it and by just thinking of it, but how about the power of authentic leadership that presents us with the ability to motivate and move tenths, hundreds, thousands or millions of people towards one common objective. Special note: with this power one is required to the roll up his sleeves and be part of the action.

Now, What if one person could absorb all this special abilities plus some others like humility, charity, honesty and many more at once? I’d call that power Integrity.

So the question remains: What kind of super powers would you like to have?


10 common mistakes made in advertising and media agencies

Any similarity with real life is NOT accidental.

1- To think that their job is to make advertising campaigns, when in reality its creating new ways of connecting the solutions any given brand has to the people who really need them.

2- To think that the client (the advertiser) is never right and don’t know what he wants, instead of making an extra effort to closely listen to what their client is asking for. I’m sure that if you do this you’d be surprises at how much your client actually knows.

3- To think that the advertiser is just the account executive’s client and not the rest of the agency’s staff. How many times have you heard someone in the creative or production team tell de A.E. something like “tell your client…” The client is the Agency’s client not just the A.E., if it was believe me he would not be working as an A.E. but rather as the owner of the Agency.

4- To think that the only person responsible of doing PR for the Agency is the president of it or the PR director if there happens to be one. In ad agency everybody should be responsible of keeping a great image and providing an excellent experience, from the CEO to the receptionist and the waiter who elegantly serves coffee and snacks during meetings. Great opportunities can come from any person, provided that they have their eyes wide open and their disposition always present.

5- To think that creativity is the sole responsibility of the creative team. En any advertising and communication agency, each and everyone ought to be great creative thinkers, no matter what functional area they work with.

6- To think that an art director does not needs to be a good writer, that a copy writes does not have to care about design, that an account executive knows nothing about advertising and that a strategic planner just does focus groups.

7-  To thing that digital media is there just for their leisure and fun and not to leverage them and make them a strong part of their campaigns. How is it exactly that they spend so much time up loading and watching and sharing videos in YouTube, chatting in their IMs, Googling information and people, up dating their status and reading their friend’s status in Facebook and they have not thought about getting their brands involved in this communication platforms.

8- To think that the mission of a media agency is to accumulate purchasing power to be “stronger” negotiators and squeeze the commissions and rebates from media networks, when in reality their mission should be to help their clients access and leverage the right media (not the most expensive) that will best help them contact their most relevant audience directly.

9-  Acting more and more as stock traders, dedicating more resources to bringing the money in and less into actually doing their real work which is being a great source for excellent creativity and communication solutions.

10-  Criticize that the advertisers never want to innovate but when they end up presenting a new campaign the keep talking about the 30” TV spot, print ads, Outdoors and radio, while the leave all the innovative media to the “Below the line, direct or interactive people” to work with innovative media.I have to ask: Can agencies today really afford to still auto segment themselves in this old “ATL/BTL” fashion, instead of acting like true total communication organizations?


We are looking for #4: Directors who don’t want to manage.

This post is dedicated to Gerardo González, who a few days ago shared with me the new challenge he is facing and which I’m sure he will overcome easily. By the way, you can listen to Gerardo’s radio program every Friday and Sunday nights at: www.msnstudio.com.

We are looking for directors who do not want to manage but rather know how to lead.

We are looking for directors who do not want to accumulate all the empowerment of their groups in them, but rather delegate and maximize the talent of his teammates.

We are looking for directors who don’t want to have people who works for them, but rather put themselves at their service.

We are looking for directors understand that they can not manage people as objects property of the organization, that is called manipulation.

We are looking for directors who are thus convinced that one cannot manage people, one can only lead people.

We are looking for directors who stop reflecting the payroll as a fix expense in the books and start listing it as the investment in talent that it really is.

We are looking for directors who don’t want to run things from their private corner office, but who rather are in the center of the action leading, teaching and learning as well.

We are looking for directors who don’t want to tell their people how to do what they have to do, but rather inspire them to do is.

We are looking for directors who are not just expecting that their team dedicates their life to the organization, but rather dedicate the organization to the lives of its employees.

We are looking for directors who are less worried about reporting numbers to the stockholders and are more focused on sharing these with their team.

We are looking for directors who will stop measuring results at the end of the year to see how the company is doing and start checking how each and every person is doing every day, after all they are the ones who will make the organization successful at the end of the year.

We are looking for directors who do not want to keep all the information, knowledge and experience to themselves because they are afraid of losing their power, but who on the contrary, want to share all they know with their team and surround themselves with people who might even be more skillful than them, because the real talent of a leader is not in how much they know, but in knowing how to bring the best in people out and that includes their knowledge and experience too.

We are looking for directors who don’t necessarily hold a degree from Harvard, Stanford, ITAM or UP, but who did have a home education based on principles like honesty, charity and humility.

We are looking for directors who do not want to manage, but who rather like to lead.


Wednesdays of Mekate: Interactive marketing is not a medium its a discipline.

Yeap, I have been working on Interactive Marketing for a few years now, at some point in time as an advertiser, at others in some ad agencies and now in Google, and I must confess there is something that, even though I’ve always thought, I now have the need to speak it out loud:

Interactive Marketing IS NOT A MEDIUM! It is a discipline!
Now you, yes all of you, who also work in this industry, be honest: Aren’t you sick and tired of having the big majority of advertisers underestimate what today is, and tomorrow will be even more, the main vehicle to connect and interact with consumers? Why is it the vast majority of marketing and advertising professionals still don’t understand that the consumer has profoundly changed the way they behave and interact and that they don’t do things the old way (like 5 years ago)?

Ok this time I do not want to go into this discussion, let’s leave it for another post.
For now what I’d like to do is share 4 simple points why I argue that Interactive Marketing is in fact a discipline:

1. Strategic thinking: Sure we’ll still use media planning tools and software to estimate the size of audiences and other concepts like reach, but this will definitely not be enough. We cannot limit ourselves to simple media flowchart anymore. To really be relevant in the new world consumers today live in we must be as strategic and creative as great advertisers with the likes of David Ogilvy, Lester Wundermand or Leo Burnett used to be. Can you imagine the things they could have done had they had the communication platforms we have available today?

2. Firsthand experience and becoming part of the conversation: One common trait between great adverting and marketing professionals is that they never settle with the regular statistical reports that so many organizations provide today, but they rather spent a lot of their time engaging in direct conversations with real consumers in the real world at places like super markets, malls, parks, etc. asking tough questions, researching and testing, finding out what motivated and what limited consumers regarding their preferences and purchase decisions. Now a days, us who work in this profession have the enormous advantage of having multiple platforms like YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace, Orkut or Hi5 who which we can subscribe and through which we can engage again in real conversations with people who actually do purchase our brand, so we can listen to them, observe their behaviour and learn what moves thems, what they think of our grand, How it makes them feel and even what their future interests might be. In the words of Mitch Joel: “Its like having your own free personal Focus Group!”

3. Time investment: Of course joining the conversation will require a lot of time, commitment and discipline form your side, but really…Is it not absolutely worth it, if that is going to give us and firsthand inside look at the way consumers see us? A few days ago a friend of mine who also works in advertising asked me how I could come up with so much “free time” to write my blogs, read other people’s blogs, e-books and books, plus be active in FaceBook, YouTube and Twitter, all at the same time. My answer was simple: I don’t have any free time to do it, I rather see it as being and important part of my job and a key activity to promote my professional and personal development, the only thing is that I enjoy it so much that it hardly feels like work. And I’m
pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels and thinks like this. Well I’ve even heard of airlines hiring people just to monitor and be active in Facebook!

4. Metrics: Never before has it been so important and accessible to measure, track and analyze the results of everything we do with our marketing communications. And I’m not talking just about on-line media, but about every effort, because in fact every action in any media can and should have an impact in other efforts within the same campaign. We can no longer treat each media and tactic as isolated actions where TV works just to create brand awareness and has nothing to do with generating traffic to your website. What would you say to a campaign where this to mediums were completely synchronized and your DRTV call to action was to Google the brand’s site instead of showing for 2 seconds a small super with a long URL worthy of the best riddle in the world. “But metrics is something that we’ve been doing with ad tracking and Nielsen for the longest time!” you might say, but is that really enough? What good is a series of cold reports if one does not has the discipline to analyze and understand how each result affects directly other results?

So there you have it, my 4 points why I say that Interactive Marketing is in fact not a medium but a discipline. I’m sure there are lots of people who agree and some other who will not, whatever is your position, welcome to this conversation.

Want to read more about Mekate? Visit: www.mekate.com

An important note.

The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.