Only in politics does negative marketing work. Why?

I've been following the Republican debates and campaigns with a great deal of interest.  I've found them to be enlightening, educational and increasingly childish.  Slings and arrows are everywhere! However, don't mistake my criticism as being exclusive to the Republican candidates.  Similar sophomoric tactics are used with just as much consistency and malice on the democrat side as well.

As an American, I feel an obligation to vote during any election, whether it be for a local school board member or the President of the United States.  While I'm saddened that so many Americans seem to view voting as a waste of time, I must admit that politics is a dirty game, and it simply disgusts many potential voters.

Only in politics can one candidate change facts, twist words, and launch personal attacks on opposition candidates and their families, resulting in more votes for him/herself.  The twisted logic goes like this:  "If I succeed at making my opponent look worse then he can make me look, then I win."  A growing number of politicians are taking a "lesser of two evils" approach to campaigning.  I find it mind boggling!

Imagine if we applied similar marketing principles to our own products or services. 

How many of our businesses would succeed if we launched marketing campaigns actively criticizing our competition and misleading consumers about competitor pricing, product quality, employees and customer service, rather than simply speaking to the value, innovation and competitive advantages of our own brands?

Certainly there are some companies that choose to use questionable marketing tactics, but by and large the vast majority of businesses maintain a measurable level of civility, unlike in politics.

So why don't the rules applied to the marketing of products and services also apply to election campaigns?  The answer is simple:  Because the people who write those rules are the same ones practicing ethically dubious political campaigns!

It's a disturbing trend that is only getting worse.  Just once I'd like to see a campaign that is focused solely on the issues, not on attacking a candidate's family, mistakes made in the distant past (something we're all guilty of), or a barrage of unrelenting ad hominems.  What ever happened to moral integrity, strong character and personal accountability?  In politics none of these core values seem to be the least bit important.  While some people will criticize big business practices, big business can't hold a candle to politics when it comes to ethics, or lack thereof. 

A suggestion to all politicians:  Learn from good marketers, not bad ones.  Please...

*The opinions shared on this blog are solely those of its author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of Goodwill of Greater Washington, its affiliates or supporters.

vig•gle (vig gŭll), v. 1. to "check in" during a TV show for rewards. 2. VERY COOL!

You can always count on the Super Bowl to bring out the coolest and most innovative marketing campaigns.  This year is no exception.

Function(x), a new start up from Robert F. X. Silerman, has announced the launch of a mobile app called Viggle. According to BizReport and the Function(x) website, Viggle is "a loyalty program for television which encourages viewers to 'check in' while they're watching their favorite shows."  Check-ins are rewarded with points redeemable for products and services from program sponsors.  Users can also check-in during commercials, take quizzes, polls, and even make charitable contributions with the points they earn.

The app works with live, recorded and online TV content, and is what I call a fully integrated, TV engagement technology.

Scheduled to launch around the Super Bowl, Viggle could revolutionize how people watch TV and change the manner in which advertisers use traditional video based media.  The viewer receives rewards for watching TV shows s/he was probably going to watch anyway.  It's also a great way for networks to incentivize viewing during sweeps.  While Viggle rewards both sampling and brand loyalty, eventually we may begin to see charities running PSAs asking viewers to make a donation by trading in their points.  Afterall, it won't cost the donor anything other than time already spent sitting in front of the TV.

For parents however, Viggle has an obvious downside:  It rewards inactivity.  I have a hard enough time getting my son to remain active during Spongebob Squarepants.  I certainly don't need the added challenge of fighting with him over the rewards points he'll miss if he isn't planted in front of the TV 24/7.

Smart content providers will develop a way to integrate childhood learning and activity into the rewards program.  If successful, they'll begin to convert moms and dads into Viggle advocates.  If not, Viggle will only invite parental wrath.

However, Viggle has huge potential and I'll be paying very close attention.

Resume Website: Writing Professional Experience

Get help on writing professional experiences on your resume website. Find tips and guidelines of putting up job experiences and gathering attention from viewers.  
The chief reason of creating a resume website is to present the career details of the candidate in bright light. Hence it is vital that the work experience section is well drafted within the resume website. Take a look at the following few tips on how to write professional experience on website.
  • Use reverse chronological order to write you work experience. Begin by writing latest work experience, while the first experience comes last. Refrain from using reverse chronological order if you have gaps in your career.
  • Introduce every work experience by writing the designation name, followed by organization name. You may give the title as designation or organization; add a colon (:) and then write the details specific to your experiences. Second option is to write the details directly.
  • Write down your responsibilities in bullet points. Mention the prominent ones at the top of the section. Make sure the responsibilities are enlisted in order of relevance and credibility. You can use paragraphs as well, though not recommended.   
  • Feel free to tweak the contents of the article as per the qualities expected by the recruiter. It does not account to falsifying the information but only a way of improving the suitability towards the job opening.
  • As you are writing for a website, you are free to elaborate the experience details and point out even the minute details within the description. You can mention all jobs from the beginning, including the internships.
  • Write a brief summary at the beginning to describe the job profile. This is good for those readers who are just browsing your website to have a quick look.
  • Writing your responsibilities in form of achievements is sure way to attract attention of the recruiters.
Do not defeat the purpose of drafting a best resume website by mentioning the professional experiences and educational qualification like a miser.  Appraise yourself and make sure you get noticed with an impressive experience!!!     

Resume Website: Writing Educational Qualifications

While writing your resume website, increase your chances at getting a job with the ideas and guidelines presented here for putting up educational qualifications.

Educational qualifications play a big role in getting you the job, especially if you’re a student or have newly entered the job market. As you gain experience the relevance of qualifications in job search diminishes but does not undervalue. However, for all newbies, education and certifications set the pace rolling for finding jobs. Hence, take a look at the following tips of writing qualifications while searching for jobs.  

·         Use reverse chronological order by listing the recently acquired qualifications first and then the past qualifications.  That means if you have a PhD, it should come first, then master’s degree, bachelor’s degree and later diploma.

·         Candidates are free to avoid using reverse chronology by listing the relevant qualifications first, even if it is some diploma. If you have gained an award for some course, you can put that up on the top of the section.

·         Write 4 important details in this section: Educational qualification, University name, Personal details, Year of Passing and Grade.  You are free to use any of the given examples to write details of your qualifications.
Format 1:
Qualifications  : Bachelor’s Degree in Finance
University         : University of New York
Year of Passing: 2011
Grade                :  Grade A+
Format 2:
Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Grade A+
                University of New York, 2011
Format 3:
Completed Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from University of New York in 2011 with grade A+

·         Knowledge is a continuous process. Hence participate in several workshops, training sessions and enroll your name for various courses, career objective to update your knowledge with current requirements.  

Gaining knowledge is of no use unless you learn to impart knowledge. Similarly, for job search unless to present and boast about your knowledge, there is no way you will get recognized. Hence, follow these resume tips and write your qualifications impressively.

Resume Website: Writing Personal Details

Confused as to which personal details to write on your website? Here is some help in form of ideas and guidelines while writing this section. 

Writing personal details is vital to connect with the audiences. It helps the viewer to understand the candidate better by getting additional information about his personal life. Here is no rigidity about the information you want to put up. You are free to experiment and note down details that enhance your credibility and portray you as a better candidate.

We have listed few details below that are usually included in this section.
Date of Birth:
Marital Status:                     
Preferred Location:

Also, you are free to explain your views and opinions about the issues relevant to your field of work. You can express your perspective about a subject and invite readers to give comment. This is an efficient way of interacting with the readers and establishing interest among the viewers.

Use the fact to your advantage that there are no rules while writing personal details. Feel free to use this section to portray your creative and make a strong impression on the minds of the readers.    

Writing Career Objective in Resume Website

Include an impressive about section in on your resume website by following the given tips and guidelines. Make sure you mention your career plan in this section. 

Career objective is the highlight of any resume. It is catches the attention of the recruiter before anything else does.  It comes right below the name and contact details of the candidate. If you are making your own resume website, then the ‘About’ section does the role of describing the career objective or career summary. Here are a few tips to start your resume with a resume objective or a career summary, for both, online resume and website.

·        Career objective should express your career ambitions and the job you desire to have. It should talk of your goals. The most popular question of any interview, “Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?” comes from this line. Hence, be careful as to what your write.
·        Keep the employer’s perspective while writing the objective. Mention how the employer will benefit from you and how your skills match the requirements of the organization perfectly.     
·        Refrain from using vague and clichéd terms. Do not include any terms that appear as mere words on the resume and do not add to the knowledge of the recruiter.
·        Keep the objective short and precise. Remove any such information that will confuse the recruiter or gives a negative impression of the candidate.
·        It is wise to create multiple career objectives if you are applying for different profiles. 
·        For a resume website the about section, combines the career objective and summary. It introduces the candidate and gives an idea about his current profile and future plans. Candidates have the benefit of writing a detailed career objective and using a unique style of presentation with websites.

We have explained some tips on writing career objective in about section of your resume website. Feel free to use your creativity and explore different writing and presentation styles.  

Tips for a Successful Semester


You know the drill...on the first day of every semester, you're happy to be on campus, your hopes and confidence for academic success are high, and you are certain that any old behaviors, personal drama, job demands and/or family responsibilities that previously held you back (in high school or in a previous semester) will no longer be an issue.  THIS

USP for Resume Website

Lead your way through the competition by making a USP for your resume website. Be sure to get a unique identity and advantage over competitors with these tips. 

As the trend of creating a personalized resume website catches up with all job seekers, the advantage of possessing a website against other candidates will be lost in the competition. Hence, before you get caught in this situation and struggle to find a USP for your site, you would better start with the preparation from now. We suggest you a few ways.

What is USP?
USP means unique selling point. It refers to creating an identity for your website that will help the site visitors distinguish the website from that of others. It includes adding content and performing such SEO work that it improves the interaction between the candidate and the visitors.         

Tips to add USP
·        In addition to the professional information, candidates can add personal opinions and experiences on the site. It adds a personal touch and shows the commitment and involvement towards work by the candidate.
·        Mention personal work experiences by citing case studies. You can write about the problems you faced and how you resolved it. Suggest tips on managing time, labor force, profits and law compliance together successfully.
·        Provide links of your website on popular social networking sites such as twitter, Facebook, Google buzz, etc to improve the reach of your website.  
·        Appoint communications manager to ensure a good online repute for your name. Make sure you remove any pages from the internet that have the capacity to ruin your position in the job market. Refrain from putting any personal information.     
·        Post small write ups commenting on the recent industry trends. Encourage readers to express their opinions on your comment. This will ensure more viewership and followers for your website and will add to your online image.   
·        Make sure you dedicate a different section for these details. Do not let it jumble up with your resume details. Or else, the recruiter will consider it as redundant information and ignore the vital details on your website.

There tips were to give an idea on what can be done. You are free to innovate and create your own USPs for your resume website. As long as the information is professional and portrays you in positive light, I believe it should be sufficient.   


Okay McDonald's, can you back up your healthy lifestyle message?

McDonald's recently announced that it is extending its Olympic sponsorship through 2020, with an emphasis on the McDonald’s Champions of Play program which will promote "healthy eating and active play for kids", according to McDonald's EVP-Global Chief Brand Officer Kevin Newell. 

McDonald's has also signed on five-time U.S. Olympic medalist swimmer (and mom) Dara Torres as its global ambassador for the program.

I've defended McDonald's in the past when it was unfairly attacked by irresponsible groups and parents who lacked personal accountability.  But I've also been critical of the fast food chain for failing to recognize who it really is and what it represents to the consumer

The Champions of Play campaign presents McDonald's with another opportunity to be as transparent as possible with consumers while promoting a healthy lifestyle.  I'm not coming down on McDonald's for selling food that isn't generally accepted as "healthy", since I think that parents must always be held more accountable for the lifestyle choices they make for their children then McDonald's should ever be.  However, if McDonald's is going to attach its brand to a healthy lifestyle message, then it had better be prepared to back it up with healthier food options and a renewed level of transparency for its unhealthy offerings.

Champions of Play ambassadors, like Dara Torres, also better be able to defend their support of this campaign and explain how McDonald's food plays a role in a healthy lifestyle for kids.  Dara, please say you didn't accept this role simply for the big paycheck. 

While I applaud McDonald's for sponsoring athletic events for children, I don't think that's enough when you're promoting a healthy and active lifestyle while selling unhealthy food.  The product contradicts the message.  Based on what I've read, McDonald's doesn't seem to be making any changes to its menu, other than adding some British flavor to its London carte du jour during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

C'mon Ronald, don't let me down. You have to do better than that.

*The opinions shared on this blog are solely those of its author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Goodwill of Greater Washington, its employees, supporters or affiliates.

Tips to make a Video Resume for the Resume Website

Prepare a video resume for your resume website and stay updated with the current times and job search methods.  Follow the tips to create an impressive video resume.

Adding a video resume to your resume website is a great idea to make a lasting impression. Video resumes are personalized and hence help to present the profile to the recruiter convincingly. Follow the given tips to put up a video resume and strengthen your job application.    

Video Resume
·        Wear professional attire while recording your video. Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed and fit you perfectly. Refrain from wearing party clothes or loud colors.
·        Do not wear any makeup or accessories during the video recording. It portrays a loud personality of the candidate and distracts the recruiter from noticing the vital points of the video resume.
·        Use a camera with a good resolution. Maintain eye level with the camera so that it appears like a direct conversation with the recruiters while viewing. Record the video from the best angle that gives a clear and complete image of the candidate
·        Ensure appropriate lighting to the set. Make certain the candidate’s face is not shadowed and the viewer can see his facial expressions clearly. Test a combination of lights beforehand to get the perfect lighting.
·        Begin your video with a polite hello. Make sure you greet the viewer and name the job you are seeking or applying for.  Include the source of reference and your total experience within the introduction.
·        Do not read the hard copy of your resume as it is. Describe your career profile by highlighting the details relevant to the job in an interactive way. Emphasize on your knowledge and qualities that will improve the organization’s productivity.
·        Conclude your video resume on a courteous note. Thank the viewer for his time and attention. Express the eagerness of meeting for an interview.
·        Ensure the span of the video does not exceed 5 minutes. Make certain you cover up vital details within first 3 minutes.

Video resumes can be an effective tool of making a job application provided it reaches the right audiences in right manner.  Follow the tips to make sure your video resume does the trick for you.

THE word for marketers in 2012: Agility! recently shared the opinions of 32 leading digital marketing strategists on what to expect in 2012 and beyond.  I thought that all of their predictions were insightful and valuable.  However, one in particular grabbed my attention as I read it, thinking to myself, "yes, this is me"!

It was the prediction shared by David Brussin, CEO of Monetate.  He says:

"The missing ingredient for every CMO in 2012 is agility, and the biggest trend Monetate sees for marketers moving forward is finding ways to add agility to their marketing operations. Agility is essential to running a world-class marketing operation, and the fact is that a lot of marketers feel overwhelmed with the pressure to meet quickly changing consumer expectations. In daily operations, marketers are constrained by their internal systems, and they’re frustrated that they cannot consistently and effectively execute on what consumers expect. They are being challenged to handle complex ideas and be relevant across new consumer touchpoints, and they are also challenged to meet rapidly evolving business expectations as well as the market expectations of consumers thanks to social tools."

As I was reading this, I really sensed that David felt my pain!  He hit the nail on the head!

The struggle to remain relevant with the consumer due to rapidly changing technology, combined with the constant (and rarely met) need for resources and data to maximize performance and measure success, is an ongoing battle. 

Not only is every good marketer always working to understand ever evolving strategies and marketing channels, but s/he is also constantly selling the value of each new channel internally if s/he wishes to add it to the organization's existing portfolio. 

More and more I fear, marketers are being judged on the results of campaigns for which proper measurement tools are not provided.  In today's fast paced environment, many businesses are no longer interested in "strategies".  They're looking for tactics.  They are short term thinkers.  For example, they want to use social media without understanding how to to use it or whether it is even the right option for their business or audience. 

I remember sitting down for an interview with well respected social media strategist Toby Bloomberg a few years ago.  She asked me why we decided to use social media at Goodwill.  I responded that I didn't understand the use of social media as a marketing channel at first because I was trying too hard to develop a social media strategy instead of incorporating social media into my marketing strategy.  Once I decided to slow down and determine if it was a good fit for our objectives, the benefits of using social media and its strategic implementation became very clear to me.   But how often do we find ourselves (in any profession) acting before we think because we are moving so quickly simply trying to stay on top of technological, demographic and economic changes?

A good marketer should always gather as much data as possible before making critical decisions. But a marketer also needs to be agile and able to trust his/her instincts and experience because other tools are often not available and/or time is in short supply.  Marketers usually have a lot of balls in the air.  Sometimes I think the best marketers have ADD because to spend too much time on one thing means something else is going to suffer.

Agility isn't a characteristic today's marketer should have.  It's a characteristic today's marketer must have!  But s/he must also be able to take the time to stop, exhale and research whenever possible before making important decisions that will impact the bottom line or brand reputation.  If you don't, you'll be shooting blindfolded and will miss the target far more often than you'll hit it.