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By Dr. Burt Smith September 30th, 2014

Ready..fire…aim isn’t such a bad approach to strategy. Sometimes you simply don’t know if something’s going to work or not unless you try it. Trying, then, gives you FEEDBACK you can use to adjust the PLAN and get better next time.

Remember, it’s a process: Plan, Organize, Implement, and Control.

For some, the really hard part is the implementation. That fear of “launching” before everything is perfect, which often means not launching at all. For others, the hard part is objectively going back and examining the outcomes so the lessons derived can be used to get better next time. What simply can’t be stated strongly enough is that it is a PROCESS!

Make a point of embracing that and I think you’ll be amazed at how much sooner you make forward progress, and how much faster you get the ultimate, longer-term RESULTS you’re looking for.

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” – Wag the Dog (Movie)



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Let’s quit TOGETHER!

By Dr. Burt Smith September 24th, 2014

CVS Brochure - available in stores

CVS Brochure – available in stores

When I first wrote about CVS’s decision to end its sale of tobacco products, I praised how the decision honored their mission. I also had some concerns about how Wall Street would react to CVS’s decision, which essentially meant that it would be foregoing several million in revenue as it said goodbye to tobacco products. At least at the time of this post, it appears that the market agrees with this repositioning as a “health” company, as their share price has steadily marched onward and upward over the past few months.

CVS is now going all-in with its mission-focus of being a resource for wellness, demonstrated by a name change from CVS Caremark to CVS Health.  And they’re filling the void left by removing tobacco from its product offering by stocking store shelves with nicotine gum and other items categorized as “cessation aids,” which is a fancy way of saying “stuff to help you quit.” One example can be seen in the photo to the left.

I’ll also mention that when I noted the empty shelves behind the counter as I talked to the manager of the CVS my family uses and asked what reactions customers had demonstrated to the change, he said that overall it’d been very positive.

Bravo, CVS!

Every generation needs a new revolution.” – Thomas Jefferson



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Put it in writing, please?

By Dr. Burt Smith September 17th, 2014

For most business communication, I’ve always preferred e-mail. The main reason I like it is because it offers you a “digital trail” if you ever need it. Plus, the process of putting things in writing is just good for bringing clarity to your own ideas and position in some cases.

Forbes author Jayson DeMers takes it a step further by offering 10 reasons why e-mail should not only trump phone calls, but why phone calls are essentially a waste of time!

You can check out why he says that here.

Even if you don’t “Amen” what he suggests, it’s still worth a look.

There is nothing like writing to force you to think and get your thoughts straight.” – Warren Buffett



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Booker - next 9 exits BIGGER

Booker, Texas (Population 1,593)

As a person who’s from a small town myself, I hate to start this entry by saying something insulting like, “There’s a little town in Texas…” but I think if I referenced Booker, Texas as a “small town,” not only would they not take offense, they might even consider it a compliment.

Here’s why I say that…

Booker is town of just under 1600 people. Like a lot of towns in the Texas Panhandle its tallest structure is a grain elevator, and like a lot of towns in the Panhandle, it’s neatly kept and populated with good folks. As you enter town on the east-west highway that runs through it, you’ll see a sign that looks a lot like those you’d see on any interstate that reads, “Booker – Next 9 Exits.” As you might have already guessed, there are 9 North-South streets you’ll pass as you go through.

Dang clever y’all!

There may be any number of marketing lessons here, but to me it’s just a good reminder that whatever you do, you should worry less about what anybody else thinks or about trying to be like somebody else, loosen up, get comfortable in your own skin, and just enjoy the journey.

If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.” – George Bernard Shaw


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Amazon is using its packing tape to promote its new product! (Click to enlarge)

Amazon does a lot of things right when it comes to delivering value.

Just as a full disclaimer, as I’ve noted here before, I’m a satisfied customer to such a degree that I don’t mind being an ambassador for their brand.

Their new venture into the Kindle Fire phone will be interesting to watch, but what’s already caught my eye is one of the many ways they’ve chosen to promote it. Take a look to the left and you’ll see how  they’re using packing tape as a promotional tool.  Not too shabby.

No sense letting that valuable marketing real estate go to waste, I reckon!

Reminds me of this quote:

Why pay a dollar for a bookmark? Why not use the dollar for the bookmark?” – Steven Spielberg