Do you delight? If not, you are not in marketing.

What is marketing? Text books define it in several ways, but according to Bill Pearce, faculty at the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, marketing is the product, your store or site, the experience you give to your customers, and ultimately it is YOU and your company.

While it’s tough for us to pick the best marketer, we can find companies that create “unimaginable differentiation”  in a particular market. Pearce cited Cirque de Soleil, that has made all it’s competitors irrelevant in a short time span. The tactic? They delivered product differentiation while lowering costs by a third.

Basically, they reinvented a dead industry- circus. They went from a $100 million company to a $700 million company while their major competitor Ringling Bros “did the same thing they always did.”

Pearce  was speaking at a Phoenix marketing summit organized by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce earlier today. He said marketers shouldn’t assume nor should they care about the whiners inside your business. Instead, “use your constraints as a catalyst for change.”

Good marketers ” look at what everyone else looks at but sees what no one else saw.” They convey rational thoughts and emotions through their brands.

Ultimately, every company should ask: Do we delight? This mindset is what marketing is all about.

Finally, the truth about work-life balance!

Do you strive for work-life balance?

The truth is, there is nothing like that. According to  Jim Ward, CEO of the Phoenix Symphony “There is no work-life balance…career comes first in your priority and don’t expect family to come first.” Ward’s piece of advice went  to a group of fledgling millennials thinking about yoga, children, movies, hitting the bar and hiking after an eight-hour work schedule.

At last,  it was great to hear some truth about the mythical work-life balance from top business and non-profit leaders in Arizona. Here are some things I collectively learned from Ward, Merl Waschler, CEO of the Valley of the Sun United Way, Mike Nealy, CEO of the Phoenix Coyotes and Mary Maruscelli, President, JP Morgan Chase, Arizona. They were speaking at an event organized jointly by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce at SkySong on February 22.

  • Commit 200% to your job
  • Pick a job you are passionate about
  • Treat everyone with dignity- you never know who will help you the most
  • Community involvement is critical
  • Try to decide earlier on what you really want to do
  • Write down your goals both short and long-term 
  • Stay focused
  • Get outside your comfort zone and look at the hard spots
  • Do not get complacent- take advantage of change in your organization
  • Learn from bad decisions
  • Look for people who can move your career forward
  • Learn new things every day
  • Being scared at the helm will motivate you 
  • Set one goal you want to achieve at a job- If you can’t find anything else interesting, it’s time to move on
  • Always look for things nobody else wants to do
  • Be open-minded and honest- look for context in your decisions and arguments
  • Integrity is key
  • An overworked employee is a frustrated employee who is working against a goal that cannot be achieved
  • If you are excited and passionate about your job, you will get some balance
  • Over-communicate- always. It helps.
  • Last but most important- find time to work out