All For HIM Marketing Solutions Inc.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blog Moving

Hey Followers,

I'm in the process of moving my blog. I will no longer be posting to

Look for my future posts at

Right now it may seem kind of barren, but, after a couple of slow blogging months, moving my old posts to there and posting new thoughts for you to read are a priority.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Phone Help From Google

Grand Central is now open as Google Voice. This free service has great features. They are currently only letting former Grand Central users get numbers, but you may sign up to receive notification when it's opened to everyone.

I played with my new number yesterday and love the ability to place "call me" widgets on websites, so that visitors can contact you without getting your number. It also rings my office phone and cell phone simulaneously allowing me to answer in my car or at my desk. The best thing is that it transcribes the voice messages to texts and sends me an SMS message as well as an email so I may listen or read it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Babies On Skates

I saw a video on YouTube a few days ago that featured some toddlers rockin' roller skates to a hip hop beat. It was a plug for Evian to show how drinking water (in particular Evian water) would make you feel young and energetic.

Great job Evian. They have grabbed the attention of millions. I noticed it being a feature on news broadcasts this morning and do to the viral nature of the video, it's been riding in the top 10 on the Google Trends charts nearly all day. Cleaning up on views. By creating a funny video that people can relate to and making it easily circulated on the web, they've gained a great viral advertising campaign. I doubt the need to air the video in the US will even arise. By the time it hits the air waves, most will have already seen it due to the viral - if I like it, I'll spread it - nature of the web.

Below is the video that is creating a realm of new Evian (naive in reverse) water drinkers.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Genius: The Title

If you've seen my business card or read my FaceBook, Twitter, or LinkedIn profiles, you may have noticed the title listed - "Marketing Genius".  There's a really simple story behind that.

When my brother and I began All For HIM Marketing Solutions Inc., we were asked our titles by our accountant while filling out legal documents.  We looked back and forth and considered it a funny situation because we've always joked about the 1-5 person businesses where someone calls themselves the CEO, President or some other ivory tower sounding name just to give their ego a boost.  This was the opportunity of a lifetime for us.  If we had the invitation to create our own title, and could boost our ego with it all we wanted... why not be geniuses?  Done.  My official title with AFH Marketing Solutions is: JC Riley - Marketing Genius.

Until lately, I've never caught any flack about it and most considered it light hearted and humorous.  That is until last week.  Someone saw my title as Marketing Genius on my LinkedIn profile and decided to post a FaceBook comment on the matter that generated some responses.  
Here's the deal.  It's great to hand my card to someone who notices the title and asks about it.  I get to smile and laugh about it with them.  Then the normally say something like... "I'll remember that".  To which my reply is... "That's the idea behind it.  What else would you expect from a Marketing Genius?"  :)

"a person who influences another for good or bad"
This is what I do.  I help people consider all of their marketing options, decipher the best plan of action for them, and help them move in that direction.  My job is to influence people.  I choose to influence for what I believe is best for them and stay in the good.  Not my fault that someone decided to question my use of a word before first finding its meaning.  You can tell by my punctuation and spelling that I'm no English major.  That's why I turned to Merriam-Webster.

Last but not least.  Thanks to this person for commenting about it on line and drawing responses.  It made you talk, which made others talk.  Kind of viral, huh.  That's what marketing guru Seth Godin might call remarkable.  Seems like it worked even with those questioning the move.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What Is It About 15 Minutes?

I was talking with a friend yesterday when the subject came up of how people measure time.  I'm not talking about how long a second or minute is.  What I mean is how perception correlates with certain incremental time values.  We came to the conclusion that 15 minutes is a major time value.  What is it about 15 Minutes?
  • Waiting in the doctor's exam room. - A 5 or 10 minute wait is fine but once 15 minutes is reached, your temperature boils and you feel devalued and mistreated as a patient.
  • Showing up for a doctor's appointment. -  Less than 15 minutes late and nobody cares.  Once you've surpassed the 15 minute mark, you must reschedule your appointment.
  • Business Meeting. - Show up 10 minutes late and your counterpart will likely say something like "I just arrived too".  Let the minute hand strike 15 and you'll receive a phone call wondering where you're at.  
  • Meeting a Client - Show up 5 minutes early and the person you're meeting with will begin to prepare for your appointment.  Show up 15 min early and your client will feel rushed and as if you're pressuring.  They'll also likely stall you until after your scheduled meeting time.
Just an observation here.  I also believe this time buffer is shrinking due to the instant real time world that the net has given us.  

My general rule of thumb is to never be late to a meeting and to never arrive more than five minutes early.  This generally means arriving in plenty of time to allow for any unexpected slow downs.  But then sitting in the parking lot until the 5 minutes prior mark is reached.

Your thoughts on the subject?


Monday, April 27, 2009

Jesus And the Internet

What do Jesus and the Internet have in common?

Let me explain this way...  My mother always told me that Jesus could see everything you did.  Now she could say that Jesus and the Internet see everything you do.  You can find just about anything in a person's history on the web.  There are eyes and ears attached to fingers clicking away on keyboards everywhere.  They provide a great commentary about your every decision that you or your organization make.  Chances are that someone somewhere will record your moves.  Unfortunately, they're much more likely to record the mistakes you'd rather get past than the successes you'd like to define you.  

I recently received a resume from a local college student that will be graduating soon and is ready to enter the world of marketing.  After reviewing his resume, what was my next step?  Google.  I decided to see what I could find on this guy from the web.  Hey, if web search is what we do, I need to be sure my team doesn't embarrass AFH Marketing on the web.

So, what did I find on the young job seeker?  Well we got quite a laugh out of a pretty silly mishap he had with the police and a college party a few years ago but he's since been quiet as far as police scanners go and has been working on more promising press for himself.

My goal is that when someone searches for JC Riley or AFH Marketing, they find plenty of things that would assure them of how our organization is able to aide them in their growth venture.  I'd rather not spend my energy explaining the crazy story of what happened with the cops.

How do you and your organization stack up?  Search yourself before someone else does.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Don't Do Nothing

I'll take today to refer you to some words from Seth Godin about what companies should do in the tough economic times.  It may seem safe to do nothing in slow economic times but the organizations that grow will try something new and triumph over those who do nothing.  Making their seemingly safe stall cause them to lose in the end.

Do something.  Anything.  But don't just try to wait it out and do nothing!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Don't Be A Gas Pump

Have you ever wondered why pre paying for gas slows the pump?  Not the entire time but it seems to take just as long to pump the last 25 cents as the rest of the pre paid amount because the pump slows as it nears the end of my purchase.  

  • I wonder how many people say forget it and leave with 10 cents of paid for gas left on the meter.
  • I also wonder how much extra revenue this brings to a gas station over the course of a year (10 cents at a time).
  • More importantly I wonder how many customers are frustrated with the process like I am.
  • Businesses should give their customers the same great service at the end of a transaction as they do at the beginning.
  • Too many businesses are ran like gas pumps.
Don't be a gas pump.  


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Know Your Role

Many businesses struggle with this.  Does yours?

Wal Mart and 7-11 know they provide terrible customer experiences.  Picture yourself standing in the endless line at Wally World while the under trained employee struggles to scan and bag the basket full of goods 5 people in front of you.  Meanwhile you notice that only six of the fifty available registers are manned.  Or, you swing in to buy gas and need to wait in a huge line at the 7-11 to pre-pay for your gas, all the while knowing you'll need to wait in that same line again to receive your change when done filling up.  Does it bother you to see the 3 or 4 employees roaming the "convenience" store while only one is serving customers?  I can't name one person that loves these experiences.

So why do you and I continue to use these venues?  They know their role in the market place.  They have convenient locations and generally low prices.  The clientele they're after are willing to trade some customer service for better prices.  

Now, shop at the Buckle.  You will have an employee dedicated to helping you find what you need and rarely wait to be served.  However, you'll pay around $75 for an entry level pair of jeans and $30 for a t-shirt.  Their customers are willing to pay a premium price for the experience they gain by shopping there.

Do you know your role?  What trade are you asking your clients to make?  If you require a premium price, you should provide a premium experience for your customers.  If your customers will receive anything less than a premium experience, they will expect to be compensated for that in form of a lower than competitive price.  Most industries have a hard time providing both the best experience and the lowest prices around.  If you can't you should pick one and exploit your choice.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Down Goes Starbucks 2

I've had a ton of people contacting me about last weeks post, Down Goes Starbucks.  So, I thought I'd expand a bit on some of the conversation I've been having with people about it.

Starbucks has lost site of what they are selling.  People do not show up to buy a $5 cup of coffee.  They became loyal to a $1.50 cup of coffee in a value pack with a $20 experience for the low price of $5.  When they buy the pack, they just associate it with the cup of coffee.  The coffee is great but not the real reason the company took off so fast.  There are other places that make great coffee.  Starbucks thought people loved the coffee so found a more efficient way to focus on getting more coffee into more hands when in the very process they eliminated the reason people bought it.  This is a mistake that's easy to make in any organization. 

For instance take many of the large churches that have sprung up in around the country in the last 15 years or so.  They coupled an awesome, eye and attention grabbing worship service with a great spoken message and a plethora of activities members could get involved in.  They grow and ad other locations or worship times.  Next thing you know, they have members that are extremely diversified and the only thing they absolutely have in common is the spoken message they hear.  So, that becomes the only common ground it's members are sure to share.  The speaker is the coffee.  Great but not the only great speaker out there.  Next thing you know, though, the organization is finding a more efficient way to get that speaker into the hands of as many people as possible.  This means cutting some of the intangible things that created the community that really drew the people in the first place.  

The organization begins to plateau as the arrival of newcomers slows and only the nostalgic remain to fantasize about the days past.  They are lucky enough to have made relationships when community was a huge focus.  Whereas those newcomers rarely stick due to lack of programs and activities to help them plug in.

What are your customers really buying?  Is it your product, service, relationship, atmosphere, memories created, or some other intangible.  Focus on that, even if it's not what they talk about, it may be that which can't be measured that's truly bringing them in.