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Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Importance of Taking Notes

Even after "school" you will need to continue to take notes and write stuff down.  The minute it will take to write something down and get it out of your head can save you much heartache later on.  I often get many ideas when I am about to go to sleep and use to ignore them, but now I take 5 minutes to write them on a piece of paper to review when I wake up.  I had a few blog posts fell apart because I did not write them down and figured I would remember them when I wake up or even in 30 minutes.  I didn't remember, and many good ideas have been lost because of this.

Thoughts and ideas are constantly racing through our heads, and dismissed so we can focus on the current task.  Many great ideas are lost during this time, these ideas are worthless.  This can be avoided by taking a minute to write the idea down.  I take a few minutes everyday, usually when I am running, where I can focus on my thoughts.  When I get an idea I stop and get out my mini notebook and write it down.  This is when I often get ideas for what I am working on, or blog posts.  The times when I can let my thoughts develop are rare and I now make sure I take advantage of them.  Everyone should take a few minutes every day to let their thoughts develop and devote their attention into that.  

You should take notes more than just when you have an idea or a spark of genius.  I take notes now to aid in my continual education after I read a marketing blog post or watch a Webinar.  I do this because with how much I read and how many different topics it becomes hard for me to keep them separate.  I also do this because it is a handy notebook with the main points and ideas of many posts all in one place.  When I finish I ask myself what have I learned by reading this, what were some main points.  If I can't think of anything I wait a minute and try again if still nothing I reread it.  I know that their is valuable information in what I just read, and sometimes after reading for a while it stops sinking in or I stopped reading and started skimming.

Without looking or scrolling up, what do you remember about the photo at the beginning?
I would be willing to say nothing other than it was a notebook, your mind went to focusing on the text of this post and you dismissed the image as just a thumbnail photo.  By the time you finish your task (reading the blog) the idea (image) is already vague and mostly gone.  That is just another example of how important note taking can be.

Some other great posts on this subject of note taking include:
Mitch Joel's post: Take Notes

What main points did you take away from this post?  Do you take notes, how often?  How many ideas have you forgotten because you were too busy to write it down. 

Photo Credit to Brenderous who has a great idea about organizing notes which I will try to use from now on.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Marketing Idea: Underutilized Resource College Organizations

Your company is most likely neglecting a great resource that is inexpensive to use.  College Organizations, there is a college organization or group for anything you or your company needs to do or have done.  I was a member of the American Marketing Association at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.  As a member I was able to   meet with many company representatives that spoke at our meetings.  The representatives talked about their jobs, their company, and answered questions.  I was able to network with many individuals and different companies through the AMA, but that is where my relationship stopped.  These companies that spoke were helpful and informative but all came down to finding some perspective employees.  That is great for the company and the AMA members, but the company could have utilized the AMA more.

The AMA chapters participate in case competitions where they create detailed marketing campaigns for the selected company or organization.  As a member if a company asked me or the UWM AMA to help create a marketing campaign, slogan, plan, etc.  I would have been happy to do so.  All a company would have had to do was ask or make a proposal, for about a tenth of what it would have cost the company to do it the AMA could have.  I realized this and instead of waiting for a company to make a proposal I wrote one to Joe Sorge of the now famous AJ Bombers.

Part of the proposal: "An American Marketing Association fundraiser at AJ Bombers will increase the level of awareness University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee students have of AJ Bombers, while providing additional funding for the UWM Chapter of AMA. This will be done by promoting the menu and specials of AJ Bombers on campus by the use of strategically placed posters and flyers, and by word of mouth. The fundraiser will consist of promoting a new Burger of the Month, for the month of November 2009, called “The AMAzing Burger,” where one dollar of each burger sold will go to the UWM AMA."

While the fundraiser did not yield the projected results, it did increase the awareness of AJ Bombers on campus and gave me and other AMA members valuable experience in creating a marketing campaign. Most importantly it provided additional funds for the AMA so the organization could continue to provide their 
members.  So on behalf of myself and the UWM AMA I would like to thank Joe Sorge and AJ Bombers again for taking the chance with us.

So that was my personal experience with the underutilized college organizations.  

Why you should consider using a college organization?
  1. The number of college organizations and ability to find one just right for what you need.
  2. The ease of finding that college organization and making contact with the president, a simple search on the campus website for organizations should provide you with a list that you could use.  Or a Google search if you know what organization you would like to use.
  3. It provides valuable experience to the college students in the organization.
  4. Costs less than using an agency or going in house (or it should)
  5. The money goes to the organization and is used for its members benefit.
I am not saying that using a college organization is perfect for every situation but it should be considered.

Do you or your company have any personal experience?  Do you know any college organizations that would fit with what you intend to do?  Have you considered using a college organization?  Any other reasons why you would or should consider using a college organization?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Staying with the Times

This is a follow up post to When is it Time to Change the Status Quo? 

Best Buy understands the need to stay with the times and move towards selling digital so they are able to remain as an industry leader.  They also have a great understanding of social media and its importance, that is why they are one of the leading companies on social media.  There are numerous case studies available to show how Best Buy is staying current and understands the changes that are occurring in its industry and the consumers shift towards digital. One of the better ones I have found is from case studies online which has numerous case studies available.  

Another company trying to shift towards digital is Blockbuster, but it seems they have waited too long to keep up with the new competition.  They have waited until it was "broken" and needed to be fixed where Best Buy started the transition early in the digital life cycle.  

Many other industries are also seeing the need to stay with the times, while it might not be the shift towards digital.  If you are not able to stay current with the times or the industry you will face problems similar to Blockbuster.  

When should or do you make a change to how you or your company operates? Any other companies that you think are great example of staying with the times?  Any other consumer shifts occurring that could pose problems to an industry?

Photo Credit to Big C Harvey

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An Open Letter to Perspective Employers

This post is a continuation of my blog post I am a Position Player.

Disclosure this is very much a rant blog post to get out my frustrations of not being where I expected or wanted to be almost one year after I graduated. 

Finding that perfect job or any job right now is frustrating.  To help understand some of the frustrations I recommend you read this post about the Young, Educated, and Unemployed. You are looking for an entry level employee who can do a lot more than any entry level can and 3+ years experience be realistic, that is not entry level.  I understand there are people who have this experience and are out of work, but try to make the posting for them not a recent college graduate.  Also experience isn’t everything; sometimes it is better to have no experience.   I am able to do a lot but not everything in your job requirements, and I am aware of the hassle of hiring an entry level employee who doesn’t know everything… but that is what makes me entry level.  My experience and education has taught me a lot.  And my continual education has taught me even more.  I don’t want to be micro-managed but would like to have someone I can go to for advice or help.  As mentioned in, My Promise to Myself I have many areas of expertise in which I am comfortable working in.  I am also trying to add a My Resume to my blog… but honestly it’s not turning out good and still needs a lot of work.  In the mean time you can see it here on my LinkedIn.  Soon I plan to go into the two marketing agencies in Appleton I would love to work for and give them an offer they can't refuse.  I have done my research on the companies and know what they do and that I can do that.  I am almost to the point of working for minimum wage just so I can get more experience and get a relationship with the agency.  I am close to the point of no longer waiting for a job to open and going and make the job.

Thanks for sitting through my rant.

Raymond Lutzewitz

Sunday, October 10, 2010

When is it Time to Change the Status Quo?

This post focuses on only one aspect of business, change or the need for change with the introduction of social media.  Change is a difficult decision because a majority of people do not like change.  A lot of businesses are changing their approach in reaching customers and are venturing out into new social media markets.  While others are weary of this change and keep doing the same thing.  There are three contradicting approaches to businesses.

The first is don't fix what isn't broken; keep doing the same thing until it no longer works.  These are the businesses who have steady sales and wait to change something until they need to.  This is a dangerous approach where you are waiting for something to go wrong before you fix it.  Instead of repairing a small leak they wait until it bursts and turns into a flood.

The second approach is stay with the times; do what the other businesses are doing.  Once your competitor(s) is successful on Twitter or Facebook you join in social media as well.  With this approach you remain close to the competition but always a step behind.  That wait gives you the extra time to see how the new strategy is working for the competition so you can adopt their strategy, alter it, or ignore it.

The third approach is to be a trend-setter and a first mover.  This approach is being the first to get and use the latest technology or strategy.  They might be unproven and risky but that extra risk may hold a great reward.  By being the first mover you will have a step up on the competition, one in which they might never catch up.  With this or any approach it is important to not only adopt the new (social media) tools but to stay current with the changes and evolution of those tools.

So which approach works best, that will depend on your industry and companies preference.  Each approach has its pros and cons, some more than others.  But in this current environment of constant change keeping everything the same is at the very least not going to improve your business.  You don't need to make a big change, in fact it is better to continually make numerous small changes. People tend not to like change especially a large change, many small changes help ease the transitions.  There is no perfect business, formula, or strategy each and everyone can be improved and refined.  By remaining content with the status quo you are hurting your chances for growth and improvement.

A similar blog post talking about change (or lack of) from

Which strategy does you or your company use?  Is their another approach?  When should or do you make a change to how you or your company operates?  This post mostly applies for marketing, advertising and sales, what other areas would fit?

Photo Credit to Chapendra

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Promise to Myself

I have been neglecting this blog badly as of late and other blogs, still read my favorite few and what others linked on twitter.  This has to stop, today I went back into my Continual Education and have been watching the Inbound Marketing Summit today.  I have stopped well, slowed down, because with my new job I have less time to spend reading the latest news and posts or viewing webinars.  My current part time job is just that a job and I have stopped what I was doing before so I could get my perfect job and be ready for it, I was content.  That is until I got my paycheck and realized this would barely cover a car payment and that was the, pardon my language "shot in my ass" that I needed.  I am back on my proper path and determined once again.  What my new promise to myself includes

  • Continue to write blog posts - Personal posts such as this during the weekday when I have time and the drive AND a weekly marketing related post EVERY Sunday.  I will write that post in advance to post at 5 am each and every Sunday.
  • Get back to my old ways - Watch and participate in Webinars, Read and discuss marketing bogs, monitor my LinkedIn daily, continue to search and apply for jobs that suit me.
  • To remain hungry -  Keep my drive and intensity until I get my perfect job.
  • Determine what that perfect job would be, should have done this before but it keeps changing.
How you can help
Help me find my perfect job that is in marketing/ advertising (outside of sales, I can do sales but do not enjoy it).  I also understand that I may need to have that sales position so I can move horizontally in the company and am willing to do so.  Something that will let my creativity flourish, a copywriter, account executive are two examples of that.  Where I can utilize my current skills with Social Media.  Because of my limited experience it would have to be an entry level position.  Some of my areas of expertise and where I excel are: 
Advertising -  Consumer and B2B in Print, Social Media, Billboard, and Transit.  
Design - Branding and Identity.  
Promotions - Increasing Visibility, new product launches, Rebranding and new campaign launches.
Public Relations - Event Planning/ Management, Social Media
Planning - Strategic Development, Marketing Planning, Integrated Marketing Campaigns
I can do much more but that is where I am comfortable and have experience.  If you know of any jobs that would fit that please let me know you can email me at if you or your company has an opening or know of one please let me know.  

The other way you can help is by reminding me/ hassling me to make sure I wrote my weekly marketing blog.

Thank you