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My Blog Has Moved!

Hello, faithful reader!

It’s so nice to know that you are returning to this blog for my marketing advice. However, I have recently released a new website and moved my blogging excursions there, as well. Please go to thedaygroup.com/blog and subscribe there to receive regular updates so we can continue to grow your business together!

Thanks for reading,


Trends 2016 [wordpress]

Marketing Trends for 2016

Yea, believe it or not 2016 is here, and the reality is that many of us have only just begun to plan our marketing and advertising for this year. No matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t seem to make those decisions in October!

Have no fear. While some opportunities have ended, others are still available to us. For the last 21 years, we’ve seen trends come and go, and just as we have learned to build our strategies around principles that are timeless, we have also learned to keep a sharp eye out for opportunities and trends that will benefit our clients. Here are a few pointers to focus on in 2016:

  • Manage your digits: It’s not enough to have a website and a Facebook page. You have to manage them. SEO for your website. A strategy for your social media. What are the digital touchpoints for your brand? Are they up-to-date?
  • Content is message: The term “Content” is now a category of marketing, not just a word to describe “stuff that goes inside.”  “Inbound” marketing refers to the practice of capturing leads through branded content that you produce and distribute (Yes, something really does go outbound first!) What can you offer to your audience that makes you stand out or increase engagement? See “Inbound Traffic.”
  • Websites are still a big deal: Even with apps, social media, and millions of options, your website is your hub, and everything else spins around it,  whether you’re the shop around the corner or a global management company. The good news is that good web has never been easier or less expensive. In a survey of online users, of all the factors that were mentioned for rejecting or mistrusting a website, 94% were design related. So, an outdated or poorly designed website spells doom.
  • Brand Partnerships: Dr. Pepper and College Football. Pillsbury Brownies and Hershey’s Chocolate. Star Wars and, well, everybody. Co-branding helps to revitalize stale brands, leverages one audience with another, and energizes new or weak brands. It’s relevance by association.
  • Doing good does well: I can’t say enough about this one. Find a cause to support that you’re passionate about and build that into your brand’s DNA. Actually support the cause in a tangible way and make a difference, then let everybody know it. Invite them to participate. Now you’ve pulled up a chair at their proverbial kitchen table, and everybody wins.


These are some of the things that have become “basics” for marketing in 2016. We’ve only scratched the surface, so let’s talk more. What are your thoughts? What do you see as a trend to take advantage of in 2016?

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David Day is a marketing coach, brand architect, and ad agency owner. He helps clients make good decisions about marketing, advertising, and company culture. Connect with David at www.thedaygroup.com.

The Secret to Productivity 3 [wordpress]

The Secret to Productivity – Part 3

Learning how to slow down and think it through is counter-intuitive for the American worker. In the advertising business, we have to be creative, which is impossible without slowing down and thinking it through. Yes, we’re naturally talented at coming up with ideas and exercising creativity, but truly good creative (we use that word as a noun in our biz) comes from deep, purposeful, critical thought.

I do my best work when my hands are busy and my mind is idle (which is way too easy for me!) When I have a creative task to complete, I’ll often do menial tasks with my hands to help me think. I can exercise, drive long distances, work in the yard, sweep the garage—anything to free my mind. The idea is to disengage from performance and begin to process.

So how do you slow down and think it through? Here are some tips:

  • Go dark. Shut down the computer, phone, and TV. Get in a private spot without interruptions. Don’t fall into the trap that your “Smartphone is your window to inspiration” or some other bogus line. It’s a time, energy, and creativity sucker. It’s a tool, nothing more. Nobody ever came up with a great idea while posting photos of cats. Disengage for a short time. Facebook will be there when you come back.
  • Target an issue, problem, or question. If you have a problem to solve, define the problem clearly before you start. If you need to be creative, decide on what you want the creativity to accomplish. What is needed? What is missing? It’s ok to let your mind wander a little, as long as you don’t start daydreaming.
  • Ask what, not how. When you think it through, try to avoid the mind-numbing trap of answering all the questions. Just answer one: what. What will work best? What will solve the problem? What do you want it to be? What is the best scenario possible? Put it out there and deal with the how later. You’ll be shocked at how easy “how” can become when you have the full force of your creative energy behind it. (see The Creativity Process)
  • Write it down. When your solution or idea comes, jot it down even if you don’t think you need to. When you think critically, your brain releases chemicals (endorphins, adrenaline) that make it sharper than normal. Two days later, you won’t have that advantage, but you’ll have your notes.
  • Do it daily. Take 15 minutes each day and tackle one issue. Learn what process works best for you and perfect it. If you don’t do it daily, it may take more time to reconnect when you start. Sometimes it takes several days of disconnection from your work to get back into “think it through” mode. For me, it’s about 3 days. I need that time to decompress, gain some distance from the question, and then clarity and focus comes back. Hint: This is why God made vacations. Take them! One of the worst things you can do is NOT take time off.

Dan Sullivan, Founder of The Strategic Coach series, says we should consider shifting to a 4-day workweek to be more productive. He believes that disengaging from the grind of work on Fridays to rest, think, and process (think it through) is more productive than a 5 or 6-day workweek.

Whatever you do, take some time to slow down and think it through. Then take some time to tell us how it went. I would love to hear from you, so please comment below with your thoughts and ideas.

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David Day is a marketing coach, brand architect, and ad agency owner. He helps clients make good decisions about marketing, advertising, and company culture. Connect with David at www.thedaygroup.com.

The Secret to Productivity 2 [wordpress]

The Secret to Productivity- Part 2

Last time we talked about one of the biggest secrets to being more productive: slowing down. When we take the time to slow down and think through our task, relationship, or our life in general, we become problem solvers, idea generators, and creativity factories. When we don’t, we’re just taskmasters, using more energy than we create and growing more tired and emotionally drained.

So, why don’t we slow down and think more often? I’ve been thinking about that…

  • We don’t see the need. We get praise, reward, and recognition for what we do, not what we think, so naturally we gravitate towards performance rather than process. The irony is that without slowing down and thinking it through, the chances of success drop dramatically.
  • Busy-ness looks (and feels) impressive. If someone looks busy, they must be important. The guy on his cell phone in the school hallway while his daughter is on stage must be important, right? The person who has 9 things on his calendar today must be in high demand, right? But- ask the daughter what she thinks of her dad. Then check that calendar again – are all 9 events truly productive or just there to fill gaps?
  • We don’t understand it. “Think? What do you mean? I think all the time!” Sure, but that kind of thinking is almost involuntary, where strategic thinking is more purposeful, focused, and dimensional. Problem-solving, critical analysis, and creativity cannot happen without focused thought. It’s more like meditation or study but doesn’t necessarily follow a format.
  • We don’t know how. If you’ve never slowed down to “think on purpose,” then you may think you don’t know how. But you actually do! You do it when the issue is critical enough. You did it when you wrote that report, thesis, or term paper. You did it when you built the swing set in the backyard or when you researched your new car.

In my next post, we’ll discuss HOW to slow down and think it through. Before you read it, do yourself a favor: Take 15 minutes, clear your calendar, get in a private place, and just think. You can doodle or take notes if you want, but think. Don’t DO anything. I’ll bet you have a very hard time. I do. But if you do it, I’ll also bet that you come away energized with a new idea, thought, or solution. Worth a try? Comment below and let me know how it goes—I’d love to hear your story.

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David Day is a marketing coach, brand architect, and ad agency owner. He helps clients make good decisions about marketing, advertising, and company culture. Connect with David at www.thedaygroup.com.

The Secret to Productivity [wordpress]

The Secret to Productivity – Part 1

Like most of us in the communications business, you’re probably moving at the speed of life, knocking out your to-do list and moving to the next project. I can hear John Wayne in one of my favorite old movies The Cowboys: “Saddle up, boys, we’re burning daylight.” It seems there’s never enough time in the day to get it all done.

Here’s a little secret that some of the most productive people in the world know. It’s not rocket science, and it’s not the fountain of youth, but nevertheless, it’s wisdom that comes from experience: slow down.

Like the saying goes for military snipers, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” If you want your next year to go smoothly, every now and then you’ve got to slow down in order to get it all done. Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?

Slowing down on purpose in order to mentally and emotionally “digest” has become a rare activity for many of us, and we can see the consequence of it in our world: agitation, anger, depression, and yes, lack of productivity. We get busy doing and we forget to slow down and think it through. The human brain was not made to simply control the body. It was made to think deeply, creatively, and strategically. Deadlines and urgency cause us to neglect this truly artful element of strategy.

When we pause long enough to really think creatively and come up with a plan or solution, we actually create more energy than we use. Have you ever come up with a really great idea and then fallen asleep from boredom? Probably not. You get pretty jazzed about it, right?

To be productive in 2016, you need to include time in your day and in your week to slow down and think. Clear the cobwebs. Get clarity. Dream. Imagine. Plan. Ask “what if” instead of “how.”

In my next two posts, we’ll examine some of the reasons why we typically don’t slow down and think, and I’ll share with you some tips on how to slow down and think it through. Until then, if you need help, just comment below and I’ll be glad to connect with you. If you’d like to send me a private email, just go to http://thedaygroup.com/contact.html.

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David Day is a marketing coach, brand architect, and ad agency owner. He helps clients make good decisions about marketing, advertising, and company culture. Connect with David at www.thedaygroup.com.

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Brands That Build Business

Branding is a widely used but largely misunderstood term in the advertising world. Some seem to think that branding is simply “getting your name out there” or “putting your logo on it.” They believe that getting the business and closing the deal should be left up to the sales team.

So, why do we see so much money, time, and energy being spent on branding?  You see company brands everywhere without a sales pitch or even a call to action. So how does branding affect sales? Why should I spend my resources on my brand? Shouldn’t I focus on sales? Consider this:

Brand recall directly affects sales.

People tend to buy brands they are familiar with. In fact, they typically will consider only three options and choose the one they feel best fits their buying paradigm. My personal belief is that the top three brands recalled by consumers in any category of business get 70 percent of the sales in that category. Why do you think there is a global race to be in the top three online search results? Recall means revenue.

Branding builds trust.

When buyers are familiar with your brand, they tend to trust it more. Even when a competitor’s product seems like a better fit, consumers trust the brands they are familiar with because they believe the risk is lower when buying from a stable brand.

Branding builds reputation.

Buyers today want to know your company isn’t all about itself. Companies that give back, contribute to a cause, or operate with a philosophy or culture that they can identify with tend to last longer and have more consistent sales. TOMS® shoes is a great example. Their “one-for-one” program says that for every pair purchased, TOMS® will donate one pair of shoes to someone in need. As of 2014, Tom’s was rated the 10th largest shoe company in the world.

Brands outlast products.

When the market shifts or changes and you want to promote a different product or grow a new segment, a well-known brand carries you forward. Strong brands can get “horizontal” much easier than strong products. Sony began as a manufacturer of magnetic audiotape and today is a global leader in consumer electronics with multiple products, including a movie distributorship.

Brands build loyalty.

Buyers are creatures of habit, and when the brand experience delivers, repeat customers are born. Loyal customers are becoming more rare, but rest assured, they belong to the brands that deliver and exceed customer expectations.

In short, branding is about psychology and human behavior. Purchases follow beliefs, and beliefs are formed from experiences. Brands deliver more than products or services—they deliver an experience. And when done well, that experience will create trust, loyalty, reputation, and sales.

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David Day is a marketing coach, brand architect, and ad agency owner. He helps clients make good decisions about marketing, advertising, and company culture. Connect with David at www.thedaygroup.com.