15 minutes and a whiteboard


The whiteboard I used for my Digital Download presentation last month.

What do you do when the people you work with don’t understand your job or what you do? I’m guessing a lot of us can relate to that in some form or fashion. This has been a question that my team has been trying to figure out it while working with other parts of the marketing department at my office. We’ve found that there is inconsistent knowledge with our colleagues on various things digital. Search Engine Optimization. How web pages are created. Knowing what user experience is as a discipline. Having a basic understanding of the social media landscape in 2017. These are just a few examples, but the short version is that some peers didn’t understand what we work on or how things get done in our area. (I have this same issue but on the opposite side when it comes to certain other departments at Allianz;  I am no expert when it comes to the inner working of the hedging or actuarial groups.)

Unsurprisingly, this has made it tough at times for us to have conversations or collaborate when peers don’t understand core parts of marketing technology, our processes, the different media channels, how we evaluate and use metrics, etc. Like any kind of relationship, ideally you should strive to know or understand where other side is coming from or how they operate. Continue reading


The calvary isn’t coming


SXSW wrapped up a little over a week ago and this marked the second consecutive year that I wasn’t able to make it down to Austin. Changing jobs and having a kid will do things like that. Even though I wasn’t there, I have been trying to catch up on presentations and keynotes from the conference. One speaker from SXSW 2015 that I particularly enjoyed was filmmaker and actor Mark Duplass. Continue reading

confessions of a public speaking convert


Until a few years ago I hadn’t been one to embrace public speaking, and it’s mainly because I don’t necessarily strive to be in the center of attention. I like being a part of activities or work or events that are very public, like producing concerts or being a radio host or creating marketing campaigns, but I get more enjoyment when I am behind the scenes. Continue reading

it’s not always what you say, but how you say it


Last week, a co-worker and I met up with a former Best Buy colleague to grab a drink and catch up.  When he worked at our office, our former colleague was known as one of the best presenters in the department.  He had a knack for being able to pull together seemingly disparate pieces of information and weave them together in a story that would be insightful and easily understood.  If you wanted to get feedback on a presentation, then this was the guy you wanted to know.  To this day I still keep an archive of some of his PowerPoint decks on the desktop of my computer.

Now he works for one of the big three consulting firms and over happy hour he told us about the crazy amount of resources that consulting firms have on hand to support the creation of PowerPoint presentations.  If you are looking for a particular slide template, just dig into their humongous  archive.  If you need some number crunching done on an Excel document (that has thousands of lines of data) to help prove a point, then you just get the analytics team to run the numbers (which they can do in their sleep) and turn around in no time at all.  If you need someone to clean up the presentation and perfect the timing for all of the animations, then hand it off to the team whose entire role is just to produce client facing PowerPoint files.  On the surface it seems pretty wild that companies have teams that are dedicated to cranking out that kind of work, but it makes sense when you realize that some of the primary outputs for big time consulting firms are presentations and recommendations. Continue reading