NCCI outtakes

This morning began with Ted Koppel – not a workers’ comp expert, but a terrific speaker and highly entertaining.  So, while listening to Mr Koppel, a few things worthy of note are coming to mind.

First, while my original thought was this was, while fun and interesting, pretty much a filler, I have to say that was short-sighted.

We workers comp folks spend far too much time navel-gazing, and the chance to engage, really engage, with a very thoughtful, highly experience, and deep thinker was valuable indeed. Topics addressed included India, Pakistan, the energy infrastructure, Edward Snowden, Putin, Nixon at the Great Wall and where to find good sources for information (Mr Koppel’s favorite is John Oliver’s This Week Tonight on HBO – and yes, it is for the news content, not just the terrific delivery).

While Mr Koppel was impressive, what was perhaps more impressive was the depth and interest level of his questioners.

Kudos to each and every one who posed a question – you enriched the experience for all of us.

What does this mean for you?

It’s not about the urgent; it’s about the important.  Look up, read, listen, and not just to those who think just like you.

 

 

NOT taking risks is what’s risky

I’m talking about marketing here folks, and not the typical work comp service marketing, which is not much more than a big party at NWCDC &/or RIMS plus some folks doing RFP responses and the (very) occasional website re-do.

Nope – real marketing – creative brand promotion that dramatically raises awareness.  Campaigns that make the market sit up and take notice. Smacking them in their eyeballs with innovative, aggressive, creative messaging.

When was the last time you saw really good marketing in this boooooring business of ours?  Stuff like the Newcastle campaign?  Campaigns like Kinaxis‘ that produce brilliantly simple and quite funny brand messages for pretty dry products?

(This video on implementation as a differentiator is hysterical)

Or Microsoft’s Camp Network? (I can already see execs cringing over the “nobody eat the berries” bit…)

Not taking risks is what’s risky.  Staid, boring, yawn-inducing plain-vanilla stuff is, well, safe – if you define “safe” as no one will ever pay attention to it, so you won’t get fired.

It also won’t get you any results.

What gets results is risky, aggressive, out-there marketing.  If it doesn’t make the denizens of the C-suite at least a little nervous, its probably not worth doing.  Because it can be holy-smokes-effective, as in millions of impressions and millions in new revenue.

Let’s be clear – we aren’t talking “risky” as in “stupid”.  Not offensive, but rather “we think this works but it may not”; “this is a big departure from stuff we’ve done in the past”; “no one else in our niche has ever done anything like this”. To break through, you have to take that risk. In a world of grey and greyblue, bright orange will stand out and grab the viewer.

Which gets you their attention, for about a nanosecond.  Great marketing grabs and holds the viewer’s attention while communicating your message clearly and completely. 

And you can’t do that if you go immediately from orange back to your usual greyblue.

What does this mean for you?

Success favors the smart risk taker.