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Hi, I'm Jeph. I love helping people make smarter business decisions. I help companies stand out. I consult, speak, facilitate and do project work on new marketing strategies (word-of-mouth, customer service, and social media). My consulting company is JephMaystruck.com Research & Consulting. The marketing industry is changing very rapidly and the only way to stay on top of it is by a philosophy of continuous learning. Do you have an information strategy? Are you learning faster than the world is changing? If not, we should talk. Learn more here: http://jephmaystruck.com/marketing-strategy/ Follow me @JephMaystruck

Marketing Yourself in Awkward Situations

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Yeah we get it, everything we do is marketing ourselves yadda yadda yadda.  But what do you do in awkward situations where there is a bit of tension built up?  You know, those situations where it could end up good or bad?  How do you get the other person on your side and trusting you?

Joke around with them.  Humor relaxes people and says “hey, I’m not nearly as bad as you think I am”.

Example 1: I play hockey, I usually hate refs in hockey, I usually yell at refs in hockey, not this time.  For the first time ever in my life that I can remember, while sitting in the penalty box, quite angry at the ref to say the least, he made a joke about what I did to get the penalty.  I had no choice to laugh and to start liking him.

Example 2: The Pastor at my church has a great sense of humor, after the service you can’t help but smile and laugh with him while he makes his remarks as everyone is leaving the sanctuary.  You feel a different connection with him because he makes you laugh.

You don’t have to be a comedic sensation, that’s not what I’m after, but if you can smile and make a comment that gets a laugh out of me, we’re already connecting on a different level.  
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Something is Awry at the Hill School

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Your website is the story you want to tell the world.  Do you have a purpose for each page on your site?  Do you know who your intended audience is?  What are you trying to convince them of when they visit your site?  If you can’t answer these questions it becomes blatantly obvious when we view your site.

For the past five years the Paul J. Hill School of Business at the University of Regina has entered the JDC West competition.  JDC West is the largest student run academic case competition in Western Canada which includes prestigious schools such as the University of Alberta, Asper School of Business, and Sauder School of Business.  The complete list can be found here.

The Paul J. Hill School for the past three years have finished in second place.  This is no small feat by any means and it truly shows the quality of students that the school is producing.  For reasons beyond my comprehension you can’t find a link on the School’s website to this competition.  Not just a second place finish, they also raised $21,390.12 for charity and the faculty is more concerned with course offerings?  Something is awry.  If I want to find out about programs offered I’ll search for them, they don’t need to be the first things I read.
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The New Generation

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I consider myself a part of “the new” generation.

Tell us to go somewhere and we won’t go.

Tell us to watch something and we’ll turn off the TV.

Tell us to wear something and we’ll choose to go naked.

Tell us to do it your way and we’ll find a better way.

Tell us to be a part of something and we’ll avoid it with all costs.

Tell us we can make more money doing it your way and we’ll go volunteer somewhere else.

Tell us “this is the norm” and we’ll disagree, we have our own norm.

Tell us to believe in something and we’ll make up our own belief’s, because we can.

Give us the opportunity to be innovative and creative, and we’ll surprise you every time with what we can do.

How are you managing the new generation; by telling or by giving?

Photo Credit: Anissa Thompson

Profitable or Passionate?

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This past week I had the pleasure of working with a friend I met in University.  He has since graduated from the film program at the U of R and now owns his own business called Living Sky Media.  Riley doesn’t charge an hourly rate for filming and editing video.  He can’t.  If he did, his clients would either;

a) Pay an absurd amount of money because he works on a project until it is perfect (or very near perfect) not worrying about time.

or

b) Pay a seemingly miniscule per hour rate to account for the extra time spent making the video great.

When you are passionate about your work time doesn’t matter.  For Riley, he’d rather put in the extra effort to make the video amazing whether he’s getting paid for it or not.

Most financial and business consultants would say this is a terrible business model because it does not amount to being profitable.  If Riley’s main goal was to be profitable he wouldn’t create such amazing video’s.  Now I’m not saying that being profitable is a bad goal to have but putting your passion before profit is something that many people do not do in business.  
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Don’t Be Earl

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Social media isn’t just about Facebook and Twitter, though they both have proven to be among some of the best tools to carry out your internet networking fantasies. Opportunities will pass you by if you are not monitoring what others are saying about you and your organization and engaging them in a conversation.  Communication on the internet is only increasing in speed, if you choose to ignore it, you may lose.

Could you imagine if the next time you took your car in for an oil change, they told you about their customer comments section on their website; where if you leave a comment about how the service was, you get 10% off your next oil change?  Would you leave a comment?  Would you read what others have said? Please let me know below

What if we could hold companies accountable when they provide an unsatisfactory product or service?  What if you could look up what others are saying about the restaurant you’re going to tonight?  What if you looked up a new hair salon and this came up: (click on the picture to make it larger, this is what actually came up in a Google search for this hair studio)

People are going to talk about your company whether you like it or not, it’s up to you to decide what you’re going to ignore them or engage them.
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The Growth Strategy of a Church

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At one point in history someone figured out that if you customize a product or a service for a certain group of people it works better. Demographic segmentation was born.

Malls have kids stores, women’s stores and shoe stores.  Television has old movies, rated R movies, and kids shows. Restaurant’s have a kids and seniors menu.

I have had a problem for the past couple of years; I would like to see Church gain popularity towards the younger generation (13-25 year-olds), sadly I believe the opposite is true. It’s not just “society’s” fault, I think the Church could be doing a better job.

Church doesn’t customize very well, sure there’s a daycare and Sunday school but a congregation is usually made-up of people anywhere from the age of 12 or 13 all the way to 80 or 90 years old.  Is there any other time in our lives that people 70 years apart in age can truthfully find meaning in the same message?  Possibly some movies or spectacular entertainment productions but for every other part of our lives, organizations have improved their service to cater to certain people.

The answer I receive when I mention my argument is always; “the Church shouldn’t have to cater to you, you should just like it.”  I believe it’s that attitude that turns our generation away.
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