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Ramblings on Cycles and Phases August 30, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Project Management, Trends.
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In a recent book review I read, the author proposed that the Big Bang might be cyclical. The premise is that given enough time, everything in the universe starts over again. Man, that is like, totally cosmic. That is a long cycle for sure. We have some time before the cycle is complete and begins again. Until then, the universe will keep expanding.

Having a repeatable cycle is also beneficial on a smaller scale. Like our daily routine. We humans are creatures of habit.  Typically, we do not like change. This is especially true in business – we like having a predictable and repeatable process. There is the challenge to keep it from boring rote execution. Management types appreciate working with knowns as opposed to unknowns. Having that consistent process cycle is a good thing.

When managing projects, I like having distinct phases (i.e. – discovery, planning, execution, etc.). Managing phases and cycles across multiple projects can be challenging yet also very rewarding. I enjoy the interesting challenge of having a cycle of multiple projects in different phases. Those situations keep you focused!

I think we are entering a business cycle where things will accelerate. Companies that are properly positioned with resources and good business processes can take advantage with increased sales, market share and ultimately, profit.

What phase is your company currently in? When the boom cycle starts again, will you be ready?

Ramblings on Social Media August 9, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Grab Bag, Trends.
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You can find lots of information on the state of social  media.  Everyone not only has an opinion, but, is also willing to share. Myself included. There are posts that talk about the rapid pace of change, how social media is still evolving, what is the latest and greatest trend and so on. I submit that at this point, we move past that. Yes, it changes. Yes, it moves quickly and yes, we have tools to connect and share very easily. In all the maelstrom of change, let’s  remember the basics. Like common sense – which, isn’t always common. Below is a post from a Linkedin groups that is worth sharing. The comments are from Robert Fleming, President of the eMarketing Association.

Here are Robert’s 5 points of where we are with Social Media:

1. GOOGLE+ JOINS THE FRAY – Expect to see more and more social channels emerge, most will fail (although not Google+), so focus on what has critical mass today. That would be Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Linkedin. Rule number 1 – Focus.

2. READ YOUR TOC’S – Build a great page, fan base or whatever and then get kicked off the network, by the network. Do you want to run a contest for Facebook Fans, woopsy daisy, read the Facebook TOC’s on contests or you may just be out of a contest and a Facebook page. See the article below, if you are promoting via a contest on Facebook: (Rule number 2 – Read and understand the TOC’s)


3. SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERTS ARE WRONG – Some of the time. Hey, everybody is (ok, even me). In a media channel moving as fast as Social (25 million+ users on Goggle+ in a month), things are constantly evolving. Rule number 3 – What is right today may be wrong tomorrow.

4. ADVERTISING IS STILL ADVERTISING – No matter what the channel or media, some things never change. You have to grab attention, persuade, and measure in virtually all advertising programs. There are different approaches for Television vs YouTube, but the objective is the same, to sell your brand, service or product. Rule number 4 – the basics of advertising are timeless.

5. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A SOCIAL MARKETING PROGRAM – No you don’t. Especially if you are not willing to devote the time, money and energy necessary to do it well. Rule number 5 – All marketing programs require energy, poor marketing can can be worse than no marketing and actually hurt your product, service or brand.

I find these are refreshingly straight forward, candid and on the mark. Common sense, even. Don’t forget what you know. Maintain focus. I especially enjoy Robert’s take on # 3 above : ‘what is right today may be wrong tomorrow’. So, keep watching and be aligned with changes.

What’s your take? How will you influence where social media goes?