Word of the Day

I got comments twice the other day about using “big words”, and I’ve had this happen many times throughout my life. I don’t think I use big words, but apparently my vocabulary is cause for comment. The aforementioned comments were a result of my use of the word “tangential” and “conundrum”. I was asked to spell “conundrum” and give a definition. This prompted me to say that I’d come back with more words, and we could have a word of the day! I think today’s word will be “proclivity”, and tomorrow’s word will be “mitigate”. Again, I don’t think either of these are big words, but I could be wrong.

Did you have $10 words in elementary school? Because I did. My teacher liked to explain that words have value, and if you use bigger words or more specific words, you add more value to your writing. Thus, “everyday” words were only worth $1, words from our vocabulary list were worth $5, and any fancy words we found on our own were usually worth $10. We didn’t actually get any money, but she frequently referred to our assignment requirements with phrases like, “Use at least one $10 word and one $5 word.” Granted, we were in second grade, so even $10 words weren’t THAT interesting. I still talk about $10 words, and I always get funny looks when I mention it.

If nothing else, $10 words give your writing a little flavor, spicing up the everyday blog post just a little. The only caveat (should “caveat” be a word of the day?)  is making sure you’re understood, and using fancy words sometimes detracts from the meaning (think jargon-laden technical writing or legal writing.) So, readers, any ideas for a word of the day?

Is This Real Life?

Kileen, Ashley (Me), and Angeline (thanks to Angeline's husband for the photo!)


I had the pleasure of meeting some bloggers this weekend in real life, so I thought I’d post a picture. Angeline, from The New Professional, is taking a cross-country adventure to make the move for her husband’s new job, and she and her husband stopped in the Dallas area for a few nights. Kileen, from Cute and Little, joined us for some coffee and conversation. This is my first blogger meet-up, and it was really cool to meet both of these ladies in person. It’s definitely a little odd, because you feel like you know them from reading their blogs, but you haven’t actually met. We had some great discussions about world travels, job opportunities, and housing options. It was great to connect with these two talented bloggers in person, and I look forward to more meet-ups in the future!

I’m Back

Well readers, it’s been a bit of a bad streak here on the blog, as I was out sick over the weekend and into the earlier part of the week. But, now I’m back, so I’ll be posting something interesting this afternoon… check back for the insights!

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!

What Non-Profits Can Learn From For-Profits

Dear Non-Profit Organizations,

Please take a moment to invite someone you know from a For-Profit organization to lunch. At this lunch, you will ask them all the ways they make their business successful. Then, you’ll take all these tips back to your “business”, incorporate them… and be successful!

I’ve been a little frustrated with several non-profits lately because they don’t seem to understand that non-profit organizations face many of the same challenges as their for-profit counterparts. For instance, both are generally trying to reach a niche target audience. While for-profit businesses tend to put some emphasis on defining and reaching this target audience in practice, non-profits seem to deal with this in only in theory. For example, we received a door hanger the other day that was pretty confusing, and, as a Marketer, a little funny. The mailer was written completely in Spanish, showcased two Caucasian people with blue eyes on the front, and was distributed in a location with a fairly low population of Hispanic people. In fact, the “minority” population is mostly Asian in the area of distribution. It makes no sense to send the message that you want to increase your service to the Hispanic community by distributing this door-hanger. The message in the text needs to match the message in the photos, and the overall message needs to match the demographic make-up of the geographic location.

Further, I volunteered for one non-profit that seemed to take the simplest task and make it incredibly complicated, thus wasting valuable volunteer hours. In their minds, they were “saving money”, but they failed to realize that often time is money when it comes to non-profits. Instead of trying to save a few dollars by turning a 1 hour task into a 2 hour task, it might make sense to spend the extra money and use your man-hours somewhere else. Businesses know that time is a valuable commodity that must be factored into decisions, but non-profits seem to leave this out.

Finally, it seems a lot of non-profits give very little time to Marketing in general. This is partly due to points one and two above… they don’t take time to really choose a segment to serve, and they think Marketing costs too much money. Their for-profit counterparts know that it takes money to make money. If you don’t know that a non-profit exists, how are you supposed to donate? If you don’t realize the merits of one non-profit over another, how are you supposed to decide which non-profit is most deserving of your attention? Non-profits should take time to understand who they benefit and why those who donate care about helping the charity. This information can help them target their Marketing and increase their funding for their cause. By neglecting analysis and Marketing, many non-profits may be losing out on significant donors.

Non-profits do good work, and they need the funding and volunteer hours to continue serving the community or helping the cause they’ve dedicated themselves to. But blunders in “business savvy” may be costing them valuable assets. I think a For-Profit should treat a Non-Profit to coffee and advice every so often!

What’s Wrong With the Crust?

I just had a quick dinner at Cici’s Pizza, a place you go for the value, not necessarily the taste. While sitting at my table and tossing my crust onto another plate, I looked up and noticed something interesting… the bus boy was carrying a whole tray full of crust! I’m generally a pretty big fan of bread, but I rarely eat my crust. Apparently, a lot of people choose not to eat their crust. I started looking around and noticed that everyone had one plate piled high with pizza, and another plate piled high with discarded crust.

This begs the question: could Cici’s improve their margins by putting more cheese on the pizza, thereby reducing the amount of dough that is wasted on unwanted crust, thereby causing diners to eat fewer slices because they are eating more of the slice? If I have to eat 5 slices because I discard almost 1/4 of every slice, wouldn’t it make sense to find a way to get me to eat more of each slice? Maybe cheese is more expensive that dough, but if people are eating more slices, they’re having to use more cheese anyway. Another cheap solution might be to add garlic butter like most of their competitors do. I generally eat my crust if I have some garlic butter to dip it in, and this option might make people finish their crust and eat fewer slices. My survey of one and observation of a few tells my common sense that surely there’s a way to improve things in this situation! Do you toss your crust?

Pardon the Hiatus

Alas, posting weekly takes time! I have caught up a little and will do my best to post weekly as promised. This breaks my #1 rule about social media avenues… post REGULARLY. Otherwise, you leave your readers wondering what happened. Eventually, they start to fall off because they aren’t sure when you’ll be back, and they are frustrated with the lack of content. I was a little absent from Twitter as well, but I am trying to post at least twice a day. There’s always so much interesting information to check out when I’m checking my updates, and I get distracted with the great content.

I will have a new post up soon, and again, please pardon the hiatus!

Welcome to Musing Marketing!

Welcome to Musing Marketing, my foray into the professional blogosphere. I’m learning to view the world through a marketing lens, and I hope that what I see will inspire others to contemplate marketing. I am planning to post commentary, book reviews, and general interest items weekly. For now, I’m taking it one post at a time… enjoy your stay at Musing Marketing!