Entries Posted By Jeff Welch

Research May Bring Comfort, But Inevitably Must Lead to Risk

Six years ago I was sitting in one of those Internet cafés you see in tourism towns in developing nations. This one also had a fax machine, and I was there waiting to receive a fax from my real estate agent, sipping coffee, admiring the decayed colonial splendor of Antigua, Guatemala. I was about to pull the trigger on what was for my family a pretty big lifestyle change and a significant financial risk.

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Dead Ducks Remind Marketers to Heed the Apathy Curve

Thanks to the proliferation of media and the Internet, we live in a world where we know a lot about a lot of things. We know about the last five northern white rhinos on earth. We know how two guys climbing El Cap go to the bathroom. We know things we shouldn't know and we know things we don't need to know. Unlike just a few generations past, we know many, many things that have little bearing on our actual lives. This makes it harder to care about things that do.

Knowing has a curious relationship with caring. And this relationship is particularly important for marketers to understand.

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The Risk of Undervaluing our Great Walls

"Yellowstone is to us, what the Great Wall is to you," said one of my Chinese tourism counterparts at our recent meeting in Beijing. This shouldn't be a revolutionary concept to a Montanan, but his Confucious-like delivery of such an obvious truth stuck with me all the way to this post. It was the sort of simple pronouncement that makes you say, "Well, duh," yet delivers an amazing moment of clarity at the same time.

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There is No Such Thing as Corporate Social Responsibility—It's All Just Marketing

You are defined by who you do business with as much as who you don't do business with. And it's both unrealistic and a mistake to target everyone. More businesses of all kinds should wear their ethos more proudly. They should align themselves with particular causes because that's how you create a passionate customer base. It's not some distracting corporate social responsibility initiative—it's basic marketing.

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Specialists Abound, But Who's Leading Them?

Complexity. That's where the analogy between building a house and marketing begins. Loads of specialists each working on their own little piece of the project, on their own schedule, with a tedious list of deliverables. Coordinating all those moving parts can be brutal. And the risk of screw-up is large. The dream home can quickly turn into an over-budget, over-delayed nightmare of bad taste and crappy materials. Sound like any marketing efforts you've worked on?

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