Happy Weekend!

Being back in school for my MBA is prompting me to take a look at some other areas of corporate life, so enjoy some different perspectives on your weekend!

For the accountants, shareholders, and CFO types: How CEO Compensation is Wrong – Forbes

For advice on a stinky dilemma in the office: How to Tell Someone They Smell Bad – Corporette

For the social media and tech-obsessed: Ralph Lauren iPad App- Mashable

For those who need some networking tips: How To Network When You’re Shy – WSJ

Have a happy weekend!

Clicks and Conversions

Prior to my arrival in my position, the company set up some ad campaigns for Google AdWords and Yahoo AdCenter. Yahoo AdCenter has since been converted to Microsoft AdCenter, and we’ve been having some issues with our number of clicks. We can’t really determine if the migration caused some issues, or if our clicks are just down this year. I think it’s some combination of both. In addition to attempting to track our actual ad clicks, we’re also having issues tracking the conversion from clicks. Why? Because, sad to say, we don’t have any call to action associated with our ads! I’m working on correcting this problem, but the ads have been running without any type of call to action for about a year already! There’s no “visit our website” or “call us and mention this ad” anywhere. We’ve also been lax in asking people about the referral source when the sales team follows up with customers, so we have little or no information about how effective our ads are. I’m on an information crusade for 2011, complete with surveys of every customer to ask, “How did you hear about us?”, analytics on any emails we send, and updating all the ads we’ve got running.

The lesson that’s been further confirmed? Measure, measure, measure! You can’t forget the measurement piece when you’re creating and implementing Marketing campaigns. It’s more costly to try to add this key information hind-sight, so take time on the front-end to effectively implement measurement tools for your campaigns.

Going Back to School

I started my MBA degree at the University of Texas at Dallas this semester! I’m doing the part-time program in the evenings, which should take me about 2.5-3 years to complete the required 53 hours. I’ve got 7 hours this semester, comprised of Financial Accounting for 2 credit hours the first 8 weeks, Managerial Accounting for 2 credit hours the second 8 weeks, and Consumer Behavior for 3 credit hours for the full 16 weeks. The good news is, I only have to take two classes concurrently this semester. The bad news is, the accounting classes are accelerated, and accounting is not my strong suit! I’ve known I wanted to go back to grad school since high school, so it was only a matter of picking which graduate degree to pursue. After hours of research, I determined that the MBA was the most profitable endeavor. Why not the Master’s in Marketing you ask? Let’s take a look at a few of my reasons for toughing out the core hours  (consisting of all the general business class AGAIN) over pursuing the subject I’m most passionate about professionally:

All the jobs I want ask for the MBA. For marketing, the tipping point in experience for the “good job” is 5-7 years experience. In addition to 5-7 years of experience, all the jobs I want also prefer or require the MBA. As in most fields, managing people and implementing strategic, long-term plans is the next rung on the career ladder. These positions don’t require more “book knowledge” of my craft, but rather overall “business” acumen and a different way of thinking. The MBA is a well-rounded degree that teaches me to think about the big picture issues facing managers, in addition to my operating knowledge of Marketing.

The MBA puts me on a career track vs. an academic track. From what I’ve seen and discussed, the Master’s in Marketing is more for those seeking to advance into the academic world. Because it dives deeper into one subject, most people pursuing the Master’s in Marketing ultimately end up in academics, helping to research and shape the theory and abstract aspects of Marketing. While I enjoy going down the rabbit hole occasionally, I’m passionate about helping real companies and real people find real solutions. I know that while theory backs a lot of my day-to-day practice, the true impact is coming from tangible steps and measurable action items.

Higher earning potential. Let’s be honest… most people pursuing a business degree are looking to increase their earning potential. While I enjoy gaining more knowledge, I can do that for free at the library, the internet, or any number of organizations and seminars. The formal education in an MBA increases my earning potential more than informal education, and this increase occurs sooner than if I keep going on a path of just informal education through more experience. Again, because the MBA puts me on a career track, I’m going to earn much more much sooner than if I was on an academic track, which requires years of service to gain tenure and a high salary.

I’m excited to get back to the “pure” study of business and Marketing, and I’m already seeing some gains in my work on the job as well. I’ll be posting some insights, struggles, and tips while I pursue my MBA, and I’m looking forward to 46 more hours until graduation!

A Few Changes on the Blog!

Now that I’ve broadened my scope, I’m excited about some of the changes I hope to implement over the next year. Let’s take a look at some improvements, shall we?

1) More pictures: While I enjoy writing semi-long editorial content, I realize that can be pretty boring for a lot of readers. At the end of the day, we’re all fascinated by the bright, shiny objects… and in today’s blogosphere, that means pictures!

2) Posting more regularly: Since I’ve enlarged my box, I’ll have more room to run around, which should result in more brain exercise for me… resulting in more content for you! I’ve been on a 10 day posting cycle, which is incredibly too long for a blog, so I’m hoping to get it down to more like 3 days. Don’t hold me to this one just yet… these things take a little time!

3) Intersecting personal and professional: For most of us, our personal and professional life, schedule, brand, and activities are intertwined. And, like most corporate dwellers, this intersection presents challenges and accomplishments that I think deserve some discussion. How do you juggle the husband, the job, and “me time”? When should you write that thank-you note? What is that sales person REALLY thinking? Is the “rat race” worth it?

4) Spanning different communities: “Corporate” includes a lot of different types of people and subjects, and I think I can learn a lot from the whole community. My goal is to be able to bring in content and analysis from different corporate communities, in hopes that we can all learn from each other!

I’m hoping to pick up my involvement with the blog, as I’ve found it to be a great source of inspiration and documentation for the past year. It’s amazing the connections you can make when you take the time to look for them!

Musing Marketing is now Consciously Corporate!

After a year on the blog, I’ve noticed that there’s many things in business that I would love to discuss. Unfortunately, they are not all directly related to Marketing, and I’ve felt a little constrained by the limited scope of my blog. Therefore, I’ve decided to broaden the scope to include all things business, from education, to etiquette, trends, and of course, marketing. Marketing is my expertise and passion in the business arena, but I’m constantly noticing and considering all things corporate. I hope you’ll enjoy the expansion of the discussion, and when business is your life, you can check out Conscioulsy Corporate!

Feature Fail?

I’m working on a media plan for another country, and found the following claims in their media kit to be pretty humorous:

1) “7,000 copies are distributed to retail shops by Junk Mail Distribution”… I’m sorry, did you just use a company named JUNK MAIL DISTRIBUTION as a selling point for choosing your publication? Junk Mail means it’s JUNK, as in, not valuable. I don’t know that I would really go about naming my company “Not Valuable Distribution”, even as a tongue-in-cheek phrase.

2) “Employs the services of an experience proof reader, therefore blatant grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and the use of slang is correctly managed”… do your competitors forgo services of a proof reader? Are errors standard in publications, so this sets you apart? I would assume you’d have your publication proof-read before sending it out.

Neither of these seem like selling points to me, but I’m still learning about the market. Maybe most other publications do have errors, and maybe that market sees more humor in an ironic company name. Either way, I’m thoroughly enjoying the international media kits I receive!