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News

CES 2016
Now that I have enjoyed some time away from the smoke filled casinos, long taxi lines and never ending bad blue blazers of CES 2016, I felt I needed to reflect on what was trending at the show. I am always amazed at how the Consumer Electronics Show continues to grow not just in size but in new industries and as they say, "connecting the dots" of mankind's thirst for living a more fulfilling life through technological advancements. As I trolled each and every aisle (no small matter as you know if you have every made the show), I wasREAD MORE
6 Tips on How a Celebrity Social Media Influencer Can Build Your Brand (and sales too)!
The noise..  There is so much of it. Traditional advertising. Direct response. Email Spam. Being Cookie'd. Everyone "knowing" my search habits, my buying habits, my sleep patterns, ahhhhhh!!!!!! With all of this clutter and the never ending work day, how are brands going to impact their consumer and anyone with a predisposition to engage the conversation before they plunk their credit card or Apple Pay to purchase something? Well, for my money, I say go through a very in-depth analysis of who your consumer is, what are the psychographics that make them who they are and therefore a good matchREAD MORE
entrepreneurs
I have been an entrepreneur for over 20 years now. I started my business in 1995 with a $3,000 tax refund check and the self belief I could do something better than anyone else, even if I didn't know what that "something" was. That is the true spirit of being an entrepreneur. You see an opportunity, seize it, make it your own and run with it. But increasingly, that is not enough. The following are my 5 Fundamentals that most entrepreneurs lack: 1. Long Term Belief: Entrepreneurs are very emotional about their idea, company and opportunity. That emotion usually has peaksREAD MORE
I Turned 50 Today! Here Is Why I Still Think I Kick Ass!
Youth vs. Sales Experience For all of you other half Centurians, we need to stick together. These up and comers with no real sales experience think we are ready to be knocked off the wall. I say to hell with that, we have what the next generation doesn't... yet. Experience! That's right I said the E word. When we were young and fearless, we thought experience was a code word for old people with no new ideas. While there is some truth to that, what I know today, you can't get at Wharton, Stanford or Harvard. I have been inREAD MORE
networking
In 2013, I found myself on the verge of bankruptcy. I split with a company I was doing business with and it created a huge financial hardship. 50% of my company’s revenue was derived from this relationship. My fixed costs and overhead were predicated on the revenue I was generating through this company. I was lending my company money from my personal savings accounts and it was quickly running dry. I met with my financial advisor and discussed many options. Should I hire a consultant? Develop other business partnerships? Take out a bank loan? My advisor Lanny Bynum of Burns andREAD MORE
charity-events
Last night I had the distinct pleasure of being in attendance at the stunning Beverly Wilshire for the 45th Anniversary celebration of the Sheba Medical Center! The medical center is what I would call the last bastion of cooperation of Palestinians and Jews in the Middle East. The Medical Center doesn't turn away anyone in need and has the most advanced medical facilities under 150 acres in the world! To hear the stories of wounded Israeli soldiers after stories of children from small towns across the border was inspiring and I was honored to be there. I was not thereREAD MORE
direct-response-marketing
In 1995, when I started my first agency the concept of direct response marketing was really pigeon-holed to infomercials. Short or long form, infomercials from either the As Seen On TV companies such as the granddaddy of them all, Ron Popeil's Ronco to smaller firms with their one great product. Back in the day, companies like Ronco owned the airwaves. The diversity of products from Chia pets shaped like President's faces to meat injectors, endless ab tightening products, Chop-O-Matic, Pocket Fisherman, egg cookers and hair spray that covered male pattern baldness (swear Ron Popeil invented that too). The demographic was "blue hairs" andREAD MORE
Country music remains the hottest genre second to none in terms of popularity, music downloads and concert tickets sold. Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood; the list goes on and on. Many of these country music stars are crossing over in ways they never have before like Carrie Underwood launching her own activewear line or Trisha Yearwood hosting her own cooking show on Food Network while writing NY Times Best-selling cookbooks. Don’t forget about ole Zac Brown who has his own TV show co-hosted by his celebrityREAD MORE
hiring-celebrity-spokespeople
This isn't a scientific analysis, just what is on my office white board. The type of celebrities being requested continues to be all over the place because each company has it's own corporate culture and brand identification. Although the world of hiring celebrity spokespeople tends over time to be one of copy-catting, there are still unique factors that each company and their agency weighs when deciding who can best represent the brand to a core of consumers with a predisposition to buy their products. The following are the top 5 industry categories in ascending order who are in search for a celebrityREAD MORE
5-tips-for-hiring-celebrities
Booking celebrities has been part of my business for over 20 years. Big names and small. We have booked Hilary Swank, Pele, Martha Stewart, Mario Lopez, Bethenny Frankel, Jen Selter, Venus Williams, Danny Glover, Arnold Palmer and Sir Richard Branson to name a few. As Donald Trump said, there is an "art of the deal". It starts with the 5 tips for hiring celebrities you should always consider! Tip #1: Be honest about your budget! Everyone wants the biggest, best, most famous star with the biggest social media, but that comes with a price tag. Don't be so cock sure that just becauseREAD MORE
corporate-consulting-market-share
Change for the sake of change, is never a good thing. ESPN, the industry leader in creating, covering and analyzing sports and sports programming is making some moves. I find it refreshing when an industry giant is proactive not reactive. It would be so easy for ESPN to just sit on its corporate ass and funnel the cash into Bristol, CT. Part of this is a response to Fox Sports and the network sports programming. Part of this is minding the shop, so to speak. But the truth is, there is a history of excellence and a desire to workREAD MORE
brands-killing-social-media
I think to be great in anything you need to stay ahead of the competition, know what is trending before it becomes common-place and be creative in your thought process. In my position as an industry advocate and analyst I hear and see a lot of things, most of it is just pontification by middle-aged white executives espousing the same shit they have for 30 years with a new coat of paint on it. Barf! But sometimes, when the stars align I hear something that I think to myself, now that is a really dope idea! I read an articleREAD MORE
donald-trump
I know, many of you are sick of hearing about Donald Trump. While some of you can't get enough. What a paradox in American pop culture and politics. Now clearly Mr. Trump is not the 1st celebrity to be elected to office (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, John Glenn, and the most famous of them all, Ronald Reagan to name just a few). Why is Donald Trump leading the pack? What are the analytics telling us and what is just common sense? The polls I have read this weekend show that his lead is strengthening in several key categories including women,READ MORE
customer-acquisition
What every brand covets is an educated consumer with a predisposition to buy their products and/or services. Unfortunately, very few brands and their agencies have a solid plan that works for customer acquisition via social media. Sure, sure, every social media agency will tell you about the one client they "blew up" their client's Facebook or Instagram numbers. But on average, most digital agencies have limited success, can't replicate the success they have and are very much in the business of new client acquisition versus client performance. That is harsh. And time and time again I hear from clients, friendsREAD MORE
social-media-marketing-strategy
I must say, I have been an evangelist for many social media stars in the last 3 years. Usually in the health and fitness category. These women aggregate huge audiences and they do it unbelievably fast! The growth rate of a sexy social media star who knows how to build a "community" will surely outpace corporate America 10,000 to 1 on platforms such as Instagram, Vine and YouTube! It's clear why. People, especially teens, like hanging with good looking people via social media. They follow people that in real life would probably not hang out with them. Millions of teens follow the youngREAD MORE