Let’s Take a Walk…

walking meeting, productivity, businessWhile perusing Facebook one night a few weeks back, I took note of a video that an old college friend of mine had posted. It was a talk given by corporate director and author Nilofer Merchant to an auditorium full of people about ‘walking meetings’. A topic that seemed so simple to me, yet so ingenious. I remember actually thinking to myself, ‘why the heck didn’t I think of that?!?’

We’ve all been there. It’s mid to late afternoon, your colleague wants to review that latest proposal and all of a sudden you get a case of the sleepies. You know what I am talking about….that 3 PM slump. You’re expected to come to the meeting fresh and ready to participate with great ideas, but you can barely keep your eyelids open.

The thought of sitting in a hot, stuffy conference room or an office with the door closed sends visions of counting sheep through your head.

Take that meeting outside. Yup, you read that right, take that meeting outside and start walking.

Walk the perimeter of your building, around the parking lot, heck, if you work in the city walk up and down the sidewalks with your colleagues. But take that meeting outside and just start talking. Being out in the fresh air will not only wake you up, but get the creative juices flowing.

Walking meetings promote a creative, productive and healthy work environment. Confidentiality is also another benefit, as no one else, other than those walking with you can hear your discussions. And you tend to be more relaxed. People feel that they can share ideas more freely out in the open air, making for an overall more productive discussion.

Walking meetings can be held any time of the day. First thing in the morning is a great time as well as it gets the body moving and the blood pumping.

Let’s face it, some of the best business deals and ideas happen when you least expect it, like on golf courses or while playing tennis, so why can’t the same be done when you get out and go for a walk?

Listen to Nilofer Merchant’s talk here.

Is your Marketing The Beach Boys or The Four Seasons?

integrated marketing, harmonization, collaborationWhen we talk integrated marketing, we’re really talking about harmonization. And if there’s a lesson to be learned from the varied vocal styles of two of the greatest quartets of all time, this synchronization can be created in a number of different ways.

 

Take the Beach Boys—they used the similarities in their three or four part harmonies to seamlessly blend into a rich, full sound—kind of like the sum of the parts becoming greater than the whole—which keeps you humming long after it has stopped playing.

 

The Four Seasons, on the other hand, were masters at pulling together disparate vocal pieces into one utterly engaging melody, with Frankie Valli’s falsetto delivering that unforgettable punch, making sure Sherry Baby is on your lips for hours to come.

 

So, which is your marketing program more tuned to?

Is there one consistent element that carries throughout every piece of collateral, on your website, even down to your eblasts? This common thread could be visual in nature or could be a tagline, or maybe a stylized logo supporting your company’s overall objectives. Something that when people see it they know who it’s from.

 

Or is it more a collaboration of different elements that support a larger message (think Geico here)? The elements don’t need to be exactly the same—stuffed into the confines of one graphical treatment or a key phrase that doesn’t exactly fit a datasheet the same way it does an ad—but they work together and still support the main objective.

 

Regardless of how it is done, it’s integrated, and as we’ve learned from music icons of the past, harmony in your marketing program can work different ways and still be music to our customers’ ears.

 

And if you’re thinking, “Hey, what about the Beatles? They did harmony, too!”…well, let’s save them for a post on taking the world by storm…in relation to integrated marketing, of course.