Revolution of Influence

I've always felt strongly that thoughts and ideas are the great equalizer of brands. No longer do we live in an era where only the largest of companies dictate their degree of influence based on how much money they spend to get in front of more eyeballs with one more 1-way message that's all about them.

The greatest influence can now be in the hands of the most helpful, transparent and personal brands of the world. Are you ready to be one of them? Caliber's Revolution of Influence blog aims to equip you with the strategies, content know-how, tools and trends to find the path that catapults you to newfound success.

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Recent blog posts
2 members of IDEO Chicago offer words of wisdom on pushing the boundaries of design and development in between lightning rounds of pitching during Next Door's
An ad agency in San Francisco recently redesigned their site and I enjoyed it, except for the fact that all 33 members of their team for the most part were not smiling, laughing or even mustering a smirk. At all. Many weren’t even looking into the camera.

Are you serious with being this serious?

This is an industry that, at its best, can be a blast. We get to come up with creative ideas and unique strategies for a decent living. We joke, we laugh, we usually find ways to have a beer or two at the end of the day. We don’t have to often wear suits and ties. Many of us can even show up in a t-shirt and flip-flops, for crying out loud.
As college students prepare to kick off their summer with the hope of landing an internship, there’s still time for your company to design an intern experience that’s worthwhile for both them and you. When it goes well, there’s nothing like mentoring a person who has the passion for learning more. When it doesn’t go as well? There’s a reason for it. It usually comes down to the company’s lack of planning, not so much the intern candidate.

Here are four signs that you’re about to offer up a lousy internship experience:

• You see interns as “grunts.”

As a social media brand strategist, it’s often hard for me to leave Facebook out of the equation entirely in recommendations. Oh, it happens. But not as much as other social media channels that could be completely left out of the media mix.

That part of “buying in” to Facebook is relatively easy, whether that means creating a Facebook Page, choosing Facebook Ads, etc. Practically everyone I know is on it and some of those people don’t hop from social network to social network with ease. So I don’t see Facebook disappearing anytime soon. I think it’s going to be around for a while, which is more than I can say for other social media channels that come and go.
If you’re in a position to influence agency decisions, I have a simple enough question for today.

I just want to know, once and for all, if you ever chose an advertising agency primarilybecause of the fact that they won creative awards.

There’s no right or wrong answer to this. Was it a:

A) Determining factor in your decision
B) Nice support point to help justify your decision
C) A total afterthought that had no bearing on your decision

Every day I learn something new and am inspired by brilliant minds in a variety of places – articles, conferences, books, seminars/webinars, you name it.

But there’s a group of people I’ve been scratching my head about to understand the appeal. One of them has come to symbolize this group. We’ll just call him…Seth. Seth’s written many books and given thousands of presentations. There are disciples of Seth and he seems like a likeable fellow.

Yet something has always bothered me about Seth and I have to say it: I don’t get how what Seth’s saying is all that remarkable or mind-blowing. At all.
Tagged in: marketing gurus
A few years back, when I was working in a 900-person ad agency, a new Copywriter entered our group. As he set up shop in the office next to me, he asked:

“So…this Creative Director. What kind of stuff does he like?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know, what kind of copy does he typically approve? What’s easier to get through and flies with him? Does he have a style he likes to see?”

I was taken aback by the question.What does it matter if it’s a smart idea and the right kind of idea for the brand? If you’re a compelling strategist and presenter, so what if you have to sell a little harder to persuade someone to choose it?
There’s an interesting argument that’s been put forth that Chicago really, really needed to host the NATO Summit to be taken seriously in the eyes of the world. The phrase I hear most often is that, as far as branding our city goes, the presence of NATO puts Chicago “on the map.”

I guess they’re right. Before NATO, we didn’t have much going for us.

We didn’t have arguably the finest restaurant in the country, Alinea, along with ridiculously good steakhouses, Mexican food and every other ethnic cuisine.

We didn’t have professional sports teams and rabid fans certainly on par with those in New York and Boston.
It’s time to find out once and for all if that new business idea of yours was meant to fly. Or rather, get “Amplify’d.”

Next Door, the new concept from State Farm launched last year that’s part innovation lab, part community space and part café, is giving aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their ideas to several venture capital groups and angel investors.
“NBC Miami reporting that a Derrick Rose Hologram will take over as a starting point guard for the Bulls.”

“NBC Miami reports the Chicago Bulls have lost the Eastern Conference Finals to Thomas Dewey.”

“NBC Miami reporting their baseball team is missing.”
Agencies of the planet – just so you know, your label as “traditional” or “digital” or “social media” does not give you an inherent advantage of being able to relate better to any client, anywhere, at any time. Ever. It’s a label. Nothing more. And in the current state of the world, it’s an increasingly irrelevant one.

Most people are absorbing traditional media and digital media at once. I think we can agree that a whole lot of people use the Internet and a significant portion of the population is using social media. The fact you choose to concentrate on one of those is perfectly fine and good. Really. But to suggest that the fact that you specialize in those areas in and by itself means you are best at it is blowing smoke up a prospect’s rear end.
I had to take a moment to pause and reflect on the first 100 posts of this blog. When I think about what I’ve learned and how those will influence my next 100 posts, 10 things come to mind that may also be helpful for you. I wonder if you’ve felt the same way on some of these points or would add some about your own blogging experiences? If so, let me know about those in the comment section below.

Advertising is a Cubs fan’s best friend

Posted by on in Media Trends
I suppose this day was bound to come. Maybe deep down, those of us who are Cubs fans all knew it. Here we lie at the inevitable moment where our grand old ball park meets the revenue demands of the modern day and the only way to maintain its existence in a new era is to adjust.

It’s uncomfortable. It’s unpleasant. And it’s absolutely necessary.With Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Fenway Plan,” the Cubs potentially could gain in the neighborhood of $150 million in advertising and sponsorships from Wrigley Field and the surrounding streets.

It’s a thought that causes excitement for a marketer and terror for a baseball purist. A time where advertising settles into the role of Bad Guy, and people begin to get emotional about the future with a mixture of fear and anger. Some say Wrigley is beautiful and that the addition of a Jumbotron in right field or a lot more ads would be horrible. Some say it’s a wreck and are all for change as long as they don’t have to pay for very much of it at all. And some dare to suggest that the Cubs should move to the suburbs and knock the stadium down altogether. I wager most of those in the last category are the same bright minds who said the Bears should play in Gary.
Since there’s just a week remaining, time is ticking down on your opportunity to get into the Art of Marketing Conference on Tuesday, April 24th at the Chicago Theatre. If it isn’t already sold out yet, follow this link to read our past post on further details and see how you can grab a special discount off the ticket price as a Chicago Brander reader. Should be a great day of social media insights from Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Mitch Joel and others. Can’t wait!
I thought it would be fun to imagine what would happen if the three biggest titans of advertising — Leo Burnett, Bill Bernbach and David Ogilvy — came back to civilization for one week to provide their views on our modern day developments, most notably social media. Their lunch meeting might sound like this:

Bill Bernbach: Gentlemen, great to see you again.

David Ogilvy: And you, old boy. How was everyone’s week in getting reacquainted with the world?
If you’re walking around Ogilvie Train Station and Union Station recently, you’ve seen these ads from Tropicana draped literally all over the station.
There are the hanging banners. The overhead billboards. The ads on the steps. And wrapped
around a pole. And on the floor.
Being the first to launch an idea in the business marketplace often gives you a great head start as a leading authority, but it doesn’t guarantee long-term success. Because one thing is for certain: The minute you think of it, the next minute someone else is going to try to get in the game with something better.

Take the e-coupon market, for example. There’s Groupon. There’s LivingSocial. And now we have Google getting into the action with Google Offers.

All with slight differences but all still functioning from the basic premise that each day you have the opportunity
It sounds hilarious. Ridiculous. Insane. Because the reason so many of us can relate to this funny but painfully true video is that we have heard such things prospective clients have said in order to get out of paying nearly as much money. In addition to these, I have echoes of phrases like “sweat equity,” and “if you do this for me, I know a lot of people…” embedded in my brain.

So if you’re a purchaser of services and believe you’re being slick and savvy in wanting to pay for a taco when you ordered the filet mignon, you’re not. When you’re purposefully trying to screw the other party, that’s crossing a line from good faith negotiation into being less than professional and respectful.
No matter what side of the left or right you sit on issues, the actions of one candidate pose a good lesson about where social media should rank in terms of political campaign clout.

Even though he’s running a distinct 3rd (or 4th if you were looking at his results here in Illinois), it’s a tad mystifying to me that Newt Gingrich has decided to pour so much of his budget into social media at this late stage of his campaign. Not that this is a bad move at all but the timing of it is unfortunate for him as it appears in his case that using social media seems like a method of last resort when campaign staffs get slashed and budgets dwindle. If so, that’s a lousy view of how to use it. If we didn’t learn anything from 2008 politics, it’s that social media has officially arrived as a standard and absolutely essential component of any campaign’s success, Republican or Democrat.

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  • "Dan did a great job crafting our website's language as well as developing our brochure. His work was top notch and very impactful. We really appreciate the way he worked his "magic." Dan has our strongest recommendation."

    Michael Casaburi, CEO at Revulus Growth Partners
  • "I hired Dan to freshen up the writing on my website, and am delighted with the results. Dan GOT what my consulting business is about in a way that I hadn't experienced from anyone outside my field! More importantly, he was able to take that understanding and write clear and compelling language about my services – AND suggest format changes to the site to make it more effective. I highly recommend him."

    Dina Petrakis, Renovation Coach, Littlerock Construction, Inc.
  • "Dan is not only a person with creative ideas, he is a professional with high intelligence and integrity. He has tremendous energy and technical acumen. Dan is is focused and loves what he does...creating brands and building relationships. He is always willing to offer a helping hand and brings a strong dynamic to any team he is on. I highly recommend Dan to any company that is seeking exposure, growth, financial results and brand development."

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