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Tracey Parsons

Let it go

by · March 16, 2015

Our customers are getting more and more savvy and honestly fed up with our tactics. We make an effort to impede their progress at every turn. We have ads in front of them all day. They know we are subsidizing their free social networks. They go out of their way to skip ads, block posts, and so on. In fact, a Pew study from 2013 that said 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints.” The number 1 reason: hackers. The number 2 reason: ads! We were put in the same bucket as hackers, friends.

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Raising the bar: Customer relationships

by · March 13, 2015

The past few months I have been a little focused, some may say obsessed, with lowering the bar. From my post on creating less content to my ideas on having a point in your social media marketing. I’ve been talking about being more deliberate, I’ve encouraged people to lower the bar in terms of being useful instead of human and being a trusted resource instead of a thought leader. Well, today, I want us to raise the bar on one thing: customer relationships.

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9 reasons your social recruiting strategy sucks

by · March 2, 2015

Author’s note: I am cold and tired of winter. This post is particularly cranky

Social recruiting has been around for quite some time. In fact, I remember developing my first social recruiting strategy about 9 years ago and it involved MySpace (hello, dating myself!). And sadly, not much has changed in this time. Social media is such a huge missed opportunity for recruiting. With over a billion people using social tools, the chances are really solid that your purple squirrel is out there and they are using one of the many social channels.

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Fire your social media team today, and hire Leslie Knope, instead

by · February 24, 2015

For the last seven seasons, I have seen the light. And she is Parks and Recreation’s chief of everything awesome, Leslie Knope. She could do any of our jobs way better than we can. Thank God, she’s fiction. In case you don’t believe me, here are 14 reasons Leslie can run circles around all of us; enjoy!

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My Inner Crybaby Is Crying Uncle

by · February 17, 2015

Awards season is ad season, as well. What began with #Downerbowl will end with the Oscars, and we will all be able to see that this year, the theme in agency land was creating emotion. Much like a few years back, it was trying to convince brands to be human. Both of these themes are really close to being successful, yet they miss the mark in my mind. A brand cannot be human. It should instead try to be useful. It is more attainable and reasonable. A brand is not human; it is a business. And if it is a good business, it offers products and services that are useful to people. Therefore, useful should be the place from which the brand communicates. As for creating emotion, this one was soooo close I could taste it. The miss was this: creating emotion for the sake of emotion is manipulative and off-putting.

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Don’t know your KPI? Prepare to fail

by · February 9, 2015

It’s true, I can get pretty preachy about stuff from time to time and sometimes, I admit, some of my ideas are lofty and esoteric and occasionally unrealistic in practice. I can be very pie in the sky about a lot of stuff. Whatever the case, I know I get pretty soapbox-y about measurement. I happen to feel that measurement may be the most important issue of our time as marketers. The world is so omni-channel and ambient that it is overwhelming to start implementing measurement strategies, practices, and tactics. I get it. It’s like trying to build a car while you are in a NASCAR race. It doesn’t feel feasible. But, despite this, it is going to be mission critical that you get measuring right now.

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You heard the very expensive crickets. Now, hear this.

by · February 3, 2015

Much has been made of real-time or agile marketing. In fact, I wrote a little post about it myself some time ago. But recently, agile has come up time and again and it is something that we are actively adopting and training on here at SME. So what is agile, you ask? Well, agile is inspired by the agile software development principles of evolving requirements and solutions through collaboration. It is about flexibility and responding to changing audience needs and requirements. Think learn -> ship -> learn -> ship and so on. In an agile environment, you move quickly and respond to results based on data and direct feedback. These same principles are being adopted in the discipline of marketing as well. What may have been called real-time marketing a year ago is agile marketing today. It is flexible and always learning. It is about being nimble in your approach and constantly optimizing based on results.

My friend and colleague, Danielle, recently shared this article: “How to Craft an Agile Marketing Campaign”. It’s a solid how-to piece that you should read. But when I think about these principles for a large-scale enterprise, agile has a few hurdles to cross before it is widely adopted. Which is a huge risk for large-scale enterprises. The risk is this: Your scrappy competitors will beat you to agile and will know more about what works faster, giving them a competitive advantage.

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Is making magic killing our careers?

by · January 29, 2015

Over the long weekend, I had some time to reflect on last week’s post on how hard it is for organizations to keep high performers because they make magic. I’ve come to realize that making magic might actually be a career limiter. Never once in my career making magic have I thought that it could be holding me back. Reason being: magic is magic, and people in the C-suite don’t speak magic. They speak profit and loss. It is a common problem with marketers in our relationship with the C-suite. We do not speak the same language. So, it begs the question, is the magic a reason we are not elevating to the C-suite as quickly as other disciplines?

We’ve all read the reports that tell us that CEOs don’t trust marketers (unless they are marketers who measure). In fact, AdAge pointed out that in 2013, of the 9,800 board seats at Fortune 1000 companies, only 38 are held by CMOs. And I am relatively sure that the number hasn’t grown 60 fold in the last two years. So, could it be the magic? Let’s explore some of the ways conjuring is holding us back.

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The Curse of High Performers

by · January 15, 2015

Making magic is something that high performers do. They have a knack for conjuring amazing results for their managers, clients, and team. High performers are crafty and they make it look easy. And everyone adores them. The problem with your high performers… they’re going to leave you. They’re going to leave you because you expect magic, and when they deliver time and again, you know what happens: these magic makers get fewer accolades and worse yet…less budget. Yes, the magic makers in your organization get less budget because they can do so much with so little that they get less… therefore, they’re going to leave.

I have banged my head against the wall about this for years. I will never understand this. Ever. Because my brain doesn’t work that way. Here’s how my brain works. When I get magical results…I want to invest MORE into that thing that drove the magic…not less. I want to replicate that magic across everything I do. Conversely, when something isn’t working…you know what I am not going to do? Throw more money at it. A campaign with zero recall is not a success no matter how many awards it garners. Yet, we keep making them. I do not understand.

What can we do about it? Well, I happen to have a little soapbox here at my desk and I would like to pull it out and make a little four-part rant.

<rant>

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About Tracey Parsons

Tracey Parsons

Since 1995, Tracey has been developing digital solutions. Currently SME Digital’s lead strategist, she continues to be dedicated to bringing cutting edge, thoughtful and measurable solutions to marketers. With more than 15 years in digital, Tracey not only brings vision, but the tools and strategies to execute against complex next generation concepts. She has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands to develop and devise cutting-edge social, mobile and digital marketing practices.

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