Knowledge=Power, Google=Knowledge, Does Google=Power?

When your brand is used as a transitive verb, adjective and participle, I believe it can be unequivocally said that you have reached the highest status of brand recognition.

Obscure Childhood SongsThe absolute monopoly Google has over what we know and the access to information came to light the week before last when Google suffered a service outage. I needed to look something up, went to Google it and became completely lost. Google was down. The path to the knowledge highway was inaccessible. This short outage resulted in a 40% global dip in traffic. In my long Internet career, this was only the second time that Google had failed me. The first being when I tried to find a version of a childhood memory of “A Quarter Has a Caribou on it”, and now this. Continue reading

I’m not a plumber!

So I had a leaky toilet at home and thought, no problem, I can fix this myself with a rubber washer, a wrench and 5 minutes.

PlumberHa ha, that could have solved the issue but I turned the nut in the wrong direction and the porcelain bowl cracked. After the swearing stopped, it was clear that I had to buy a new toilet and install, after all a family of five needs two washrooms, trust me.

No problem, I went out and bought a new toilet and wax ring, watched a video on YouTube and installed it myself. I thought I had it, but sure enough it leaked and then the swearing started again. Continue reading

We Came, We Dug & We Planted!


Contrary to popular belief, I do leave my desk once in a while – but only for the best of causes!

On Thursday September 18th, Cory and I had a fantastic time at the first annual Telpay for Trees Event in support of Tree Canada’s Partners in Planting Program.

In working with Telpay, I got to see first-hand their commitment to environmentally responsible and sustainable practices.  Last year, they even launched their ‘Save a Tree – Plant a Tree” Program to encourage their customers across Canada to adopt similar practices in their own workplaces.  The program also recognizes customers who have chosen to use electronic means for their payments instead of cheques, envelopes, stamps and couriers – thereby reducing their carbon footprint.  For every 100 electronic bill payments made, Telpay will plant a tree in their honour. How great is that!

At the event, we all worked hard (trust me, I know I did!) planting over 150 trees at FortWhyte Alive.  Thanks to Tree Canada, we were all well-equipped and well-educated on how to plant properly. At the Post Plant Reception, we were serenaded by Telpay’s own house band Telpay and the Direct Deposits, and combined with the stunning views at Fort Whyte – the evening could not have been better!

Here are a few photos from the event:

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What’s in a name?

Earlier this year, an online (direct) bank, operating in Canada, was acquired by one of the Big 5 chartered banks and as a result, was required to change their name. They reached out to the market, almost 10,000 people, and consequently changed their name. The new name allowed them to stay with their past colour scheme, yet create a brand image that was new yet maintained what they had done before.  A little of the new and more of the old.

Branding-errorsTheir name, along with their marketing, is, as their CEO has said, is “unique, bold and innovative”. I would add that it has been pervasive, so much so, that I had to think for a minute to remember who they were before the name change. The marketing message has pretty much remained the same … helping Canadians save their money. But a little over 6 months later, for the life of me I could not remember who they were before.

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Flying Solo, Coupled Up, or It’s Complicated – It Pays to Know Your Customers’ Status

Crafting a successful marketing strategy involves many different factors – arguably the most important of which is to understand your target audience.

Married-handsAs a business owner, if you don’t have some basic understanding of the lifestyle, habits, and purchasing tendencies of your customers and potential customers, you’re behind the eight ball, to say the least. Companies who take the necessary means to appeal to their customers socially, emotionally, and intellectually, are rewarded with loyalty and unbridled enthusiasm.

While target audience identification has always been an important element, when I received this article in my inbox, I started thinking about the vast number of factors that make up our individual buying personas, and how they can change over time.

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Are You Recruiting with Your Website?

The recruiting world has been evolving in the last couple years thanks to the growth of LinkedIn and sites like Habitually, job seekers will sign up for e-blasts from these outlets or routinely check them.

These sites are, unquestionably, great for getting exposure in your search, but they should not be your only source for posting – rather, you should be using your own website as well.

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Lessons Learned from a Dragon

Opportunity and decision making. These two key elements of business were part of the keynote luncheon speech by Jim Treliving this week at Bomex.

Jim TrelivingI was fortunate enough not only to attend this fantastic presentation, but to meet the man himself. I was fairly certain that I would never have the opportunity to make the statement “I met a Dragon”, however I’ve found myself stating it with pride.

Jim Treliving is a Manitoba success story. Raised in Virden, he began his career with the RCMP. While stationed in Edmonton, Jim tried pizza for the first time, saw and opportunity and made a decision. That decision led to his success as the Chairman and Owner of Boston Pizza. In addition to this and a multitude of other businesses, he is most known as one of the dragons on Dragons Den.
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The Evolution of Language and Your Marketing

While studying at Ryerson University, a few buddies of mine reflected that, with the growth of instant messaging, there needed to be a better way to express emotion in text.

At this point, Internet writing was still in its infancy, before writing in CAPITAL LETTERS MEANT YOU WERE SHOUTING or that bold or italicizing were preferred methods for emphasis.

The one we really concentrated on, however, was sarcasm. Sure, we were surly folk who had a shared keen sense of humour, but there was validity to our plight.

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Traditional marketing isn’t quite dead

Several years ago, some of our industry pundits were indicating that the traditional methods of advertising and marketing were no longer of value and all of your marketing spend ought to be put into social and online efforts and something called community based marketing.

Whileimages732V1PS4 it is true that more and more buyers are doing their research online and gathering the information they need to help make a buying decision, and some even buy online, staying top of mind means being seen and heard in a variety of formats and places.

Today, it is all about creating and maintaining awareness of your company, its products or services and how they can help the buyer with their emotional and logical needs. The challenge is that attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and you now have only seconds to register with your future customer or they will move on.

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The Placebo Effect of Marketing

parts-of-human-brainI find the placebo effect in medical and research scenarios fascinating. I’ve read books about patients with fatal diseases who have cured themselves using only their thoughts and I recently watched a documentary about a study in which people were served what they thought were alcoholic drinks and became intoxicated. The only thing was they were not being served alcoholic drinks!

Yes, the power of the mind is very real indeed. The relationship between the mind and body is what drives our every move. An innovative marketing campaign can utilize the power of the mind to influence purchasing decisions.

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