Category Archives: Uncategorized

I really didn’t say everything I said

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra died Tuesday night. He was a member of 10 World Series championship teams as a as a Yankee and a three-time MVP He had 358 career home runs and was considered one of the greatest players of all time on the field.

He was also one of sports most quotable players with phrases or Yogi-isms that have become part of popular culture.

I have been using some of these Yogi-isms in facilitation exercises for years. One of my favourites in a strategic planning exercise is:

“If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll end up someplace else.”

yogiHere is a sampling of famous Yogi-isms.

On his approach to at-bats: “You can’t think and hit at the same time.”

On selecting a restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

On economics: “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

On the 1973 Mets: “We were overwhelming underdogs.”

On how events sometimes seem to repeat themselves “It’s deja vu all over again!”

On baseball attendance: “If people don’t come to the ballpark, how are you gonna stop them?”

On a slipping batting average: “Slump? I ain’t in no slump. … I just ain’t hitting.”

On travel directions: “When you come to a fork in the road take it.”

On pregame rest: “I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4.”

On battling the shadows in left field at Yankee Stadium: “It gets late early out there.”

On fan mail: “Never answer an anonymous letter.”

On being told he looked cool: “You don’t look so hot yourself.”

On being asked what time it was: “You mean now?”

On being given a day in his honor: “Thank you for making this day necessary.”

On a spring training drill: “Pair off in threes.”

On his approach to playing baseball: “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”

On death: “Always go to other people’s funerals. Otherwise they won’t go to yours.”

On learning: “You can observe a lot by watching.”

On his team’s diminishing pennant chances: “It ain’t over `till it’s over.”

On the fractured syntax attributed to him: “I really didn’t say everything I said.”


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Emoticons to explain what you really mean

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Last week I said word of mouth is still the best marketing tool available and how Social Media made it exponentially easier to engage customers in the conversation.

Have you ever had a weird response, sometimes nasty, to an email and on re-reading understood how someone might misinterpret your intent?

IMG_0058Enter the emoticon.

Thirty-three years ago Sunday , a professor at Carnegie Mellon University invented the emoticon. Scott E. Fahlman, along with other members of CMU’s computer science community, used online “bulletin boards” to share information, make announcements, and chat, Fahlman recalled in a post on Carnegie Mellon’s website.

There were also a bunch of posts trying to be funny, Fahlman writes. But the members of Carnegie Mellon’s computer science community had a hard time deciphering sarcasm from more serious posts.

“If someone made a sarcastic remark, a few readers would fail to get the joke, and each of them would post a lengthy diatribe in response,” Fahlman writes. “That would stir up more people with more responses, and soon the original thread of the discussion was buried. In at least one case, a humorous remark was interpreted by someone as a serious safety warning.”

To keep this from happening, some of the group’s members decided they needed a way to mark jokes separately from more serious posts.

“After all, when using text-based online communication, we lack the body language or tone-of-voice cues that convey this information when we talk in person or on the phone,” Fahlman writes.

His solution: using 🙂 to indicate jokes and 😦 to demarcate serious posts.

Of course, it has arguably evolved since then with an emoticon or emoji for every possible sentiment.

Sometimes it’s just easier to pick up the phone. More productive too.

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A slip of the tongue can build your business

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Most marketing experts believe word of mouth is the best form of marketing. And word of mouth from a trusted source, well, that’s pure gold.

After two years battling the lawn gods I decided to get a company to come in and weed and feed.  I happened to mention it to a friend and he told me the company he uses is excellent. I trust him so that’s who I went with and he’s right, they are excellent.

HilltopsWord of mouth. Today, the potential is so much better because of Social Media.

According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.

If consumers value word of mouth and marketers believe it is effective, then why aren’t marketers more focused on it?

“The problem is that for the last few years, marketers have been focused on “collecting” instead of “connecting.” In other words, brands are too caught up in collecting social media fans and they are forgetting to actually connect with them. Having 100 really passionate fans that love your brand or product is exponentially more effective than having 10,000 “fans” who signed up just to win a free iPad from you,” she says.

So, if you could master the one thing that consumers trust above all others to drive sales for your company — would you ignore it or leave it to chance?

So Kimberly says if you want to win the marketing race in 2015, you need to unleash the power of word of mouth.

Engage, equip and empower, she says. Be part of the conversation, give your customers a reason to talk about you and help them to share the experience with their friends.

Sound advice.


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Getting naked and making music

stephen2 By Stephen Rhodes

I don’t know Selema Gomez and I am not likely to ever meet her. She is a singer with a new album on the horizon. It seems at the tender age of 23 she has some concerns about how new albums are promoted so to provide a lift she has taken off her clothes. And on Tuesday the Internet was abuzz with the news, a month before the album is to be released. Mission accomplished.

revivalNow, I am not a prude, but I fail to get the connection or why she feels it necessary to make it. The black-and-white image shows a topless Gomez, with her legs crossed and her arms and hair covering her up for modesty. The former Disney star first posted a teaser message, saying “This is my…” before revealing the racy photo with the caption “REVIVAL,” which is the title of her New album.

In a recent interview, she said, “I’m not the best singer in the world, but I know how to translate emotion…I’m just finding my strengths now as an artist. I’m becoming a young woman and I’m comfortable with my sensuality. It’s just kind of not try-hard. It’s just perfect. I think, to me, that was exactly what I want people to see for the next chapter for me.”

All these ex Disney stars feel compelled to tarnish their squeeky clean images.

I know sex sells. 

Selena Gomez has 37 million Twitter followers, 43 million Instagram followers. Why does she need to take her clothes off to sell a record?

tapestryCarole King released one of the best selling albums of all time in 1971. Tapestry sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. In 2003, Tapestry was ranked number 36 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Carole King had no Twitter or Instagram followers and did not take her clothes off to sell her music.

In the early 70s word of mouth was enough. Tapestry was that good.


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Is your business coming out of labour?

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Labour Day represents the final push for most small businesses. A good, bad, mediocre first 8 months can become magic in the final four.

But it’s unwise to enter the final stage of the year without understanding where you are relative to where you thought you would be at this point. And if that metric is out the window at least where you are to last year.

labour pushIf you are on your plan and it’s working then great. If not, why not?  A plan that isn’t measured is not a plan; it’s a Hail Mary. So, hopefully you have some indication of where your business is not performing and can make adjustments. Look at marketing, online and traditional. Look at sales and customer service. Is it working? Get rid of what isn’t and focus on what is?

Be bold. You have time.  Talk to your staff. Talk to your customers. They can all provide input.

And, of course, track any adjustments you make.







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