How To Handle Meetings

In most cases, it’s not always the most popular person who gets the job done.

From all my experiences in the business world, meetings are (almost) always terrible. In the absence of leaders who would set things straight, meetings flow just as unmanned ships at the ocean.

Meetings have the obligation to be productive, otherwise, it’s simply a waste of time. Of course, that’s different than building a solid and healthy relationship with your co-workers or teammates. That’s extremely important, but business meetings must be designed to be productive and getting things done.

Do you even wonder why? Businesses are supposed to deliver value in the form of physical or digital products and services. Meetings are supposed to set and refresh operational points, data, and intelligence among leaders and workers – and that won’t get done by screwing around.

 

What is a business meeting?

A meeting is any encounter between two or more people to talk about anything.

A business meeting is an encounter between two or more people to talk about business perspective, progress update, feedback receival or any subject valuable and indispensable to operations.

Here’s a common scenario that we’ve all been through:

a meeting starts to talk about subject XYZ and, for the next thirty minutes, XYZ is not touched. Instead, participants engaged in what I call “ice-breaking conversation” – which is nothing but bullshit.

I’m like him in 97.492% of all meetings I attend

How to Handle Meetings

There are ways of making a meeting productive – if you’re an executive, that’s your obligation. Meetings must be work sessions, not bull sessions.

1. Decide what kind of meeting it will be

Different meetings require different types of preparation to have different results.

If there’s a meeting to write a marketing campaign, press release or something that needs to have a draft, a member or team has to prepare a draft beforehand. Otherwise, your meeting will be filled with brainstorms and conversation that won’t get the job done.

Objective meetings are supposed to ship the necessary/requested results at a glance. If you’re developing a new product, then you may arrange brainstorm/creative sessions, modularization, operations and scaling sessions.

If you’re dealing with a crisis, you may need results even faster. Delegating the right functions to the right teams will be a key to shipping such results.

Also, leaders can set meetings to happen in strategic parts of the day. Priorities should be handled early in the week – and that’s a nice excuse to arrange an 8 AM on Monday. Brainstorming or product development events may be handled after priorities are cleared.

Informal meetings, on the other hand, could be arranged

2. Reports

If one or all members report, the meeting should be confined to that matter.

Either there should be no discussion at all or the discussion should be limited to make the points clearer. If all reports must be discussed, then they should be previously emailed or handled to each member. Also, each report should have a predefined time-space.

3. Product Development

Product development and brainstorming sessions could be disastrous if there are no rules to be respected. Here are some points that might help you organize creative sessions:

  • defining the beginning and end of the meeting. If you planned a 1-hour session, such timeframe must be followed, especially if general thoughts are leading nowhere and except if thoughts and points are being extremely productive, then such meeting may be extended;
  • documenting valuable (and only valuable) points. These are the ideas and points that should be discussed or developed in next sessions or operation meetings;
  • don’t ask for unnecessary stuff. Just don’t.

4. Use your weapons

Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and thousands of other apps are there to make your day more productive. Stick to one or two platforms and integrate them as much as necessary – one of the things I offer in my consulting hours.

Now it’s time for you to speak:

  1. How do you handle your meetings?
  2. Which strategies do you think are valuable?

Comment your answers or email me them @ brunocampos.dev@gmail.com

Do you publish online content? I strongly recommend this article.

 

 

 

 

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Quit Your Bullshit Content

One of the biggest issues of my consulting clients who already post online content is focus. The goal is increasing customer attention and engaging in a further sale, but their original content ended up wasting their own time and guiding their customer nowhere.

It’s a mistake I’ve seen in all kinds of platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Email, YouTube…

If their lead clicked to see the content, he or she would just close the window or roll the screen after three seconds. You can imagine what kind of metrics such boring and annoying content produced – even with a considerable amount of access, qualitative metrics sucked. 

Little or no customer retention, no further interest in other posts, no new subscriptions, unfollowing, and no sales. That’s all I have to deal while designing new strategies and funnels for clients.

Relieve yourself from pointless content

Design is where we should start while reviewing our content strategy. Relevance and design are fundamental traits a product must have to succeed – a brand may either supply an existing demand or create such demand.

In both cases, you need a decent marketing:

  • Customer discovery
  • Market research
  • Goals and metrics to follow
  • Channels to act
  • Languages to speak*

* Each platform has its very own language to diverse audiences. Think of a LinkedIn user and a Tumblr user.

If you’re selling an “intellectual property” product such as a book, service, courses, or even your personal brand, providing valuable content on the right channels is a must.

If your product is a fashion outfit or a movie, for instance, you might want to communicate more visually on Instagram or YouTube. Your value ladder will be established if your product seems good and your campaigns are persuasive enough.

In both cases, offering valuable or creative content may not be enough – that’s because people are extremely bored. By being bored and mentally tired, they might need a better and continuing approach to drive an action. I’ll talk about it in the next lines.

Design.png

1. Know your Target Audience

This is always where to start when thinking about content strategy. Identifying your target audience must be a seriously made investigation, and also should be documented. Here’s what to look for:

  • Audience stereotype(s)
  • Platforms they are located (Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn…)
  • How many hours they’re online on a daily basis
  • What kind of content they consume
  • Which websites they access

Such study should give us enough information to design our publication blueprints. Different products may have different audiences. A common mistake from retailers is to advertise all their products using a single strategy, or using little differentiation patterns such as gender only.

Advertising and selling apparel to a 35-year-old woman from Boston is different than advertising and selling to a teenager from California. Make sure to map your audience.

2. Set your objectives straight

Ideally, brands should design different posts for different campaigns. Imagine Hollister advertising their new summer collection – there’s a whole campaign behind each advertisement piece. This will avoid losing track of the right metrics and showing bullshit content to a specific targeted audience.

I started to realize that keeping a campaign with organic traffic, creative and interesting posts and improving everything analyzing our customer and metrics was not enough. And yes, that’s most of the story to get your campaign to be successful.

At the end of a busy day, while analyzing some average metrics from a campaign, I realized that every piece of ad could have cognitive elements to improve customer response. In my dictionary, customer responses are sales and brand advocacy. Period.

By cognitive elements, I mean everything that’s in the body of the post. Images, text, language, colors, call to action, duration, tones, and sounds if we’re talking about a video.

So I designed three Instagram posts which had “handmade” engagement logic. I emailed our designer to increase some color tones and change some backgrounds – it was a candy store from Dallas, so we were talking about chocolate, candies, and some colorful stuff.

After 24 hours, I had all I needed in hand: copywriting was ready, three images and one video ready to fly. I posted once a day, for three days, and then I would get back to the original campaign funnel.

Online orders boosted up to 25% more than the original campaign and in-store sales increased by 34% one day after the third post.

I saw myself obliged to redesign the whole campaign using cognitive elements – it has performed fantastically well both on paid ads to capture new followers and also for the organic traffic we had already reached.

cognitive-hd

3. Act Cognitively

Well, we all do it, right?

Cognitive Marketing is not your Holy Grail. No marketing, no book, no consultor, and no formula will be your Holy Grail.

David Ogilvy once taught us that great marketing will help you sell your product – but just once. If people are disappointed and no improvements are made, they won’t buy products from you again. Also, if unhappy customers are left behind with no support, it will be even harder.

Cognitive elements will increase actions from your campaigns. It could be a subscription to your YouTube channel, following your Instagram or Facebook account, buying a product or recommending your brand to someone.

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If you want to learn how Cognitive Marketing will help brand,                                           email me @ brunocamposdev@gmail.com

 

Bad players will be thrown away

The internet and social media set new standards in the whole commercial process. People are more likely to buy from people or brands they’ve known for a while in social media, which gave them steady relevant content.

Most entrepreneurs (or fakepreneurs) still don’t know what’s really going on in marketing nowadays. Those who claim to be “experts” in digital marketing don’t even know what real marketing is about, especially in the 21st century.

I explain this very well in this article:

Traditional Marketing is not dead

The truth is: bad players will be thrown away. What do I mean by that?

  • Bad communicators won’t sell their products
  • New products by unknown brands will struggle to reach their audience and sell
  • Billion-dollar brands will disappear because they’re ignoring this movement
  • Fakepreneurs will continue to rise, and then disappear
  • Millions of dollars will still be burned in wrong advertising, then comes bankruptcy
  • Relevance is always king

No doubt all that came with the internet and the mobile world. All sorts of businesses should constantly be reviewing their marketing and communication strategies to satisfy their costumer.

The customer is eager and knows what to buy

This perhaps hasn’t been and won’t be a universal truth, but that’s how you should be handling your marketing.

Especially if you’re new to the market and won’t be burning millions into paid advertising, you should be offering high relevance content to your leads and people who follow you on social media. It’s the type of content that will make them stop scrolling their feed to read, watch and pay attention.

Continue reading “Bad players will be thrown away”

Here’s Why Shopping Malls Are So Important in Brazil

This article originally featured in The Market Mogul. I’m an author there! Check it out: http://themarketmogul.com/brazilian-shopping-malls/?hvid=4HwCkU


The Brazilian house of representatives archived on August 2, 2017, an investigation that could possibly impeach President Temer. The main accusation is passive corruption in a scandal involving Joesley Batista, CEO of the JBS conglomerate. For a matter of fact, many brands that Brazilians consume daily are part of Joesley’s conglomerate.

Let’s take a quick look in Brazil:

  • Former President Dilma was impeached in 2016;
  • Actual President Temer could be investigated and impeached;
  • President of the house of representatives – Rodrigo Maia, who would become President if Temer was impeached –  could also be investigated and impeached;
  • There are almost 70,000 homicides per year in the country – and nobody talks about it;
  • 15 million people are unemployed.

Hopefully, the economy started to react after important decisions made by Temer administration. Inflation was reduced from 11% to 4%, federal expenses were legally reduced for the next 25 years and Real valorized.

 Now, how to profit in such chaotic scenario?

Continue reading “Here’s Why Shopping Malls Are So Important in Brazil”

Traditional Marketing is not dead

The internet is a baby universe. It changes too fast for book authors to explain it and we have little control or prevision over it – in five years, everything can change (again!). Ten years ago we had a different environment:

  • Bad smartphones in customer’s hands (iPhone was just getting started);
  • Scarce amount of apps to download;
  • Low mobile connectivity;
  • Email was the biggest thing in smartphones (or PDAs, we forgot about that term);
  • Online shopping existed, of course, but 99% of it was through computers using a now obsolete infrastructure (the UX was effective at that time, but today it wouldn’t be attractive or useful at all – just to explain that almost everything changes in terms of design).

Today, online retail is five or six times bigger. We can do it from our mobiles or even smart watches. Amazon’s 1-click ordering can get a product shipped in our homes in thirty minutes – it is handled through robots across the warehouse to a drone that will land in our yard.

Traditional Marketing is not dead

And it won’t be.

Digital Marketing is Traditional Marketing applied to the digital environment. The internet brought little transformation to the essence of marketing, but digital marketing specialists and gurus tell you that digital marketing is brand new and you can throw away all your old marketing books. They’re talking bullshit. Run from them if you want the real thing to your business. Their thirty-dollar e-book is filled with motivational advice, communication tips (poorly developed) and more bullshit – it won’t make your business grow from advertisement.

The internet changed the way we communicate and we’re sharing more. You are constantly looking for human recommendations of products, so you can make a better decision. That’s why you go to TripAdvisor and Yelp! to learn about hotels and restaurants. In this new environment, personal decisions are essentially social decisions.

In early stage of interaction between companies and customers, traditional marketing plays a major role in building awareness and interest. If the interaction grows, customers demand closer relationships with companies – digital marketing rises in importance. Driving action and advocacy are big roles of digital marketing.

Loyalty to your brand is the most significant status you can have, even if a non-buyer advocates your brand – and this is possible. Tesla electric cars are well respected and advocated even by non-buyers. We have a new customer path and it is not necessarily a fixed customer funnel.

Most digital marketers are only communicators

And most of them are amateurs.

Marketing requires metrics and effective plans to sell your product. This is the essence of advertisement – to sell your product and, if it’s good enough, have a loyal customer that will advocate your brand.

David Ogilvy stated in his Confessions that good advertisement could sell bad products – but only once. Back in the 1960’s, Ogilvy knew exactly what is still happening nowadays. Creative geniuses arise from scratch with $100 on Google Ads, redirecting you to their template page. There, you will find some killer advanced marketing techniques like:

  • How to get 100 k followers on Instagram;
  • Learn my killer marketing approach;
  • Subscribe to my mailing list and get my e-book about the killer push strategy…

99% of those geniuses have no intrinsic value. They’re not real marketers. You can buy 100 k or more followers in any media you want, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to sell. Your organic rate will be zero – and good sales come from organic people that follow you.

Communication by itself is not marketing. Tips on how to post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is communication – there’s no consistent path to have customers, keep them loyal and expand profits. Offer, demand and sales process – this is marketing.

Traditional + Digital: the Real Thing

The integration between both is the real differential – some businesses can even disappear or build no visibility if they don’t integrate.

Marketing always starts with segmentation. Companies divide the market into homogeneous groups according to their demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral profiles. Segmentation is followed by targeting – selection of segments that the brand is engaged to pursue based on their fit with the brand [targets].

Segmentation and targeting are from traditional marketing and it doesn’t change on digital.

Here’s what the traditional marketing approach help us on:

  • Segmentation and Targeting
  • Brand positioning and differentiation
  • Strategic Marketing and Selling Approach
  • Value-creating services and processes.

Here’s what digital marketing help us on:

  • Customer community satisfaction
  • Brand awareness and clarification among community
  • Co-Creation from customers and communal activation
  • Collaborative Customer Care

Remember when you had a problem on your iPhone or Mac, you googled about it and ended up reading a forum page from Apple? That’s collaborative customer care – a cheap but valuable approach that companies can have. Loyal customers get engaged by helping others and also help on co-creation: Apple knows what’s wrong with their products and can have a glimpse on what customers really want.

Brands that really have value deeply understand online + offline interaction among customers.

 

 

 

 

Paradigms: fear and decisions

It must be already clear: all you think, speak and decide is guided by your inner-paradigms and that is your mind’s dogma to deal with your daily actions. Even though your dreams are shaped by them and all you do in your life has only one reasoning: to make sense to your own paradigms. They tell a lot about yourself, what you have been thinking and doing recently and, above all, what you’re afraid of.

In synthesis, if fear happens in a big part of your day, it guides your thoughts, goals, actions and dreams. In a practical sense, fear will drive your decisions: go out or not, buy what you wish or not, change your life or keep in the same forever, travel or stay at home… Unfortunately, I watch hundreds of people in this position. The absence of strong decisions generates most part of the revenue of the antidepressant industry.

Decision is a key part over the course of life. Trade your car is a decision. Move out of town is a decision. Being financially independent is a decision. Reading this article was a decision entirely yours and it is now affecting you somehow.

All this blend of words becomes information that are interpreted by your brain and stored in one of your three sorts of memory, relying on the paradigms you have at this very moment. If you have paradigms that make you find these words interesting, their key concept will be stored in your intermediate-term memory and, if you develop it for more time, it will grasp in your long-term memory. If that happened, congratulations! You have just built a new paradigm and it will affect all the ones you already have.

 

Through an insight like this, many left their insecurity behind and started having solid decisions on what they really want. Obviously, for a paradigm to be embedded  in our mind it has to be developed for some time over a set of actions. But relax, all this is done for you automatically, your big brain does to you. In a conversation, for instance, you don’t spend hours picking the words in order to your sentence make sense. They are selected by your mind in a fraction of a second, handling you a fluent chat. The same happens to your acts, your paradigms will guide you through your whole life.

Online publicity: a real core business

The internet opens brand new markets and demands to explore and create on a daily basis. Digital marketing is a very powerful area to explore: it makes consumers buy advertised products and the people behind it are needless of a four-year degree to be in business. Instead, a creative mind and a sensitive understanding of the purpose are the substantial requirements.

1) The purpose

But what is its purpose? Results. Increased sales is what makes pre-internet companies seek digital marketing. For most startups today, this sort of publicity is the only reason why they profit (and also a great product).

Bigger profits are the motivation for companies to produce innovations. It’s not a romantic purpose, but any attempt of business that act otherwise will fail. According to David Ogilvy – the father of advertising – “if it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative”, that’s a quote I always have in mind when I’m dealing with sales.

2) Social media marketing

Social media is the real Columbus’ Egg of the moment.

It’s such a powerful resource and in a personal level. While checking out your friend’s vacation pictures, you also pay attention to the advertisement right after. Through your cookies history, sometime you’ll access one of those and make someone profit. And, of course, Facebook is profiting at all times.

A Facebook page is almost mandatory for most businesses. Even big ones, like Microsoft and Apple branches, use the network for advertising services and apps. So why shouldn’t you?

# Your store can be attached to your page. Find more on http://www.facebook.com/store.tab/

3) Email marketing

Email was vastly used for marketing years ago and is still interesting for some niches. As users and automated mailboxes consider email ads as spam, there’s a big chance that it won’t be opened.

A subscription list is still an efficient way to keep your clients always in touch with your company and new services and discounts it offers. Anyway, this subscription should be engaged in your webpage through a simple “sign up” or during a cashier sale as many retailers do.

# The best strategy is a deep understanding of your niche. Speaking to your clients, conducting surveys about daily habits at home and work will help you get a better advertisement planning. If you know they’re on Facebook all day, then you have a direction to go.

What else?

# Google AdWords 

#Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

 

Camps.