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From all of us here at Francis Moran and Associates, happy holidays and the very best for 2014. We will resume our regular blog postings on January 2.

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Planning for the New Year

By David FrenchBusinessmen-in-conversation

I was recently sitting at a hotel bar and overheard a circle of businessmen talking at a nearby table. I couldn’t help listening in. What I heard spaced over about an hour was strangely familiar:

  • I thought I was going to get rich when I put my new patented invention on the market. Why isn’t it happening?
  • It seemed like a good idea to copy my competitor’s layout. Why am I being sued now?
  • I wrote some code like what I need now at my former employer’s business. I think I will check my old laptop and use it again.
  • Let’s put our daughter and son’s names together and use that as our trademark. I’m sure “Mercedes-Ben’s” will stand out in the marketplace.
  • There’s no point in checking name registers in the United States; we’re never going to sell product in the U.S.
  • Mike is our key man in sales. I’m sure if he invents an improvement to our product that this will belong to the company.

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Great articles roundup: Social media, content marketing, marketing strategy and startups

By Daylin Mantyka link

It’s Friday and so time again for our weekly roundup. This one happens to be the last of 2013. Over the week, we’ve read great content from Social Media Explorer, Marketing Sherpa and Startup Professional Musings.

All I want for Christmas is…for the 80/20 rule to be abided by

All Tracey Parsons wants for Christmas is for marketers to be better marketers. More specifically, all she really wants is for the 80/20 rule to be followed and abided by. Sure, social media platforms can be a marketer’s dream, but there’s no reason to push your brand’s greatness over and over again. Be smart and provide value. That’s all Tracey asks for.

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Damn it, Beyoncé: Now all the pundits will say marketing is unnecessary

By Francis Moranbeyonce

It didn’t take long after music megastar Beyoncé dropped her latest release onto Apple iTunes with no advance warning or usual hype-fest for the armchair pundits and marketing deniers to trumpet that marketing was now dead. It’s a variation on a theme I excoriated a few weeks back where the same know-nothings tell young companies they don’t need to do marketing, they just need to go to SXSW.

In fairness to the NBC article linked above, it does go on to acknowledge that Beyoncé is a never-ending marketing machine who has spent the better part of 25 years building one of the most forceful brands in the entire global cultural marketplace. And in fairness to Kevin Roberts, the Saatchi & Saatchi CEO who was ever-so-briefly quoted in that article, his point was much less about what Beyoncé did and more about the new power consumers enjoy in the marketing equation that obliges brands to build relationships with consumers rather than just bark at them. ”She delivered intimacy. She delivered social connectivity. She delivered a transaction you can buy,” Roberts said in the original Bloomberg news piece from which the NBC article took a single provocative snippet.

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Five keys to your presentation success in 2014

By Anil Dilawripresentation

The good news: 2013 was a good year for most businesses.

The bad news: Most business presentations delivered in 2013 still sucked.

Whether it’s an investor pitch, an elevator pitch, a customer update or an important sales presentation, here are five ideas to help make your presentations remarkable in 2014:

1. Engagement – Most presenters are content experts. Great presenters focus on engagement as much as they focus on content. Your audience wants more than just good content. They want you to be interesting. They want more than the same old boring business presentation. Interactivity, stories, examples and anecdotes are all engagement tools that will enhance your presentations.

2. Better slides – Not more slides, not more stuff on your slides, just better slides. Effective slides have limited text on them and can be consumed in seven seconds or less. Your presentation should not be an attention-seeking competition between you and your slides. It’s often said that many presenters are at their best during the Q&A because they’re not handcuffed by a slide. Think about that the next time you’re trying to get your slides to work for you, not against you.

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Recent Comments

  • Bob Bailly : Your new mode of working means no face to face interaction yet you call yourself empathetic. How can removing yourself from daily human social interactions and possibly understand what makes other people tick. Research from UCLA suggests messages conveyed face to face are understood primarily by reading body language (57%) and tone of voice (35%), and that words convey only 7%. By interacting only through computer based non-video technology is like weightlifting only using your right forearm.

  • Anna : As a freelancer who spends much of her time on the computer writing, I find that I have a brain which connects empathically to people despite how much time I spend on technology. In fact, I am not happy being immersed daily in what I called 'imposed' social interaction (social interaction brought on by having to interact with co-workers). Such social interaction used to make be egregious, used to make me dislike co-workers, and have a generally negative view on work life. Furthermore, people like me who are generally empathic can 'hide' in our homes and be safe from others while we work; safe from their criticisms and aversions, safe from bullying and harassment. Furthermore, our talents as writers, photographers, or whatever, flourish absolutely under one important condition - freedom. I support moving work to an online domain because I see also how harmful the 9 - 5 is for people; how it drains them, how its endless cacophony of alarm clocks and ringing bells--lunch hours and lunch rooms, forced staff retreats and uncomfortable interactions with bosses--is killing them. I support allowing technology make us more efficient, happier. I support voluntary--not forced--interaction. I support eliminating the workplace altogether and creating NEW modes of working, either from home or through community-based platforms such as outdoor spaces.

  • 5 Ways to Engage With Your Brand Voice - icuc.social : [...] “A strong company voice on social media should emphasize the company’s values, objectives and key differentiators that set it apart from its competitors. These can be expressed in the tone of the communication and the content that is shared with community members and the target audience.The best social media voices are communal, grammatical, dialectical, authentic, original, contextual, relevant, timely, persistent, responsive, helpful, generous and more informal. A company’s social media voice should only be changed if absolutely necessary and should maintain all of these qualities. Any change should be preceded by lots of information explaining the change to community members to ensure they know it is deliberate and that the company isn’t suffering from some form of instability, which jeopardizes relationships.” [@TechAlly, Francis Moran & Associates – via Francis Moran & Associates] [...]

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