"Your job is to develop and execute Local Marketing programs that the Store Managers will endorse and support". That was my job description as Field Account Executive on the Speedy Muffler King Account. And with that I was "Over the Wall" and running on my career in Advertising:
Automobile Marketing: Brand and Retail; Local Marketing
Automotive Service: Regional and Local Marketing
Franchise Operations: Store Operations, Product, Brand and Local Marketing
Digital Marketing: Digital Strategy, Web, Social Media Marketing
The word 'embedded' was not in current use then but that's how I was briefed on my first day. I had to understand how each store operated so that the marketing and promotion plans could be executed in-store without slowing down the operation of the store. Trying to sell-in a program to Senior Executives without that basic understanding was a sure recipe for disaster. We didn't do that often.
From that briefing, I basically moved into my Client's offices attending Marketing and Operational meetings. I headed out to visit stores in my teritorry with the Regional Operations Groups. We travelled to every store spending time in each to learn the nuances of the local market. Then back in the office I worked with Media, Creative and Production to develop specific marketing programs for each store. Success: Local Promotion executed in Winnipeg that increased same-store sales by 7% during the promotion period.
I built on the lessons learned on the Speedy Muffler King Franchise business when I moved to Cossette Communication Marketing to work on the Passport International Automobiles Account. Passport was the Canadian experiment set up by General Motors of Canada on how to reach Import-intending consumers...30% of Canadian consumers who were per-disposed to considering and purchasing Imports. (Note: Cossette was responsible for transitioning Passport into Saturn when GM brought that brandto Canada). These were greenfield Dealerships set up to sell cars and trucks from Isuzu of Japan and Daewoo from Korea. At Cossette we were responsible for all Marketing and attended and participated with the Passport Operations team very closely.
My job was to set up and manage the local Dealer plans as well as the Regional Dealer Association Marketing. I was responsible for calculating the Local and Regional Advertising Budgets (percentage of the sale price of each vehicle), developing the Local Marketing and the Regional Dealer Association Advertising. I met with each Dealer learning how each Department worked and contributed to overall revenue and profit: New Vehicle Sales, Used Sales, Service, Parts, Business Office (Warranty) and Finance. I met with local media and combined that learning with Local market dynamics and then developed the Local Marketing plans that were endorsed by the Dealer and his/her team. Success: Year-end Clearout Program that ended ahead of schedule allowing for an early launch of new models.
At Dairy Queen Resturants of Canada, first as Regional Marketing Manager then as Director of Marketing, I learned how the Franchise Business works. A pre-condition of my job was to attend the 3 week New Franchisee Store Operation Training at Head Office in Minneapolis. And I had to pass the program! This program was a comprehensive Operation Training Program in which we learned everything about how to operate a Dairy Queen Store: Hiring and Training Staff, Financial (Business and Operating Budget), Marketing. There were daily classroom sessions and exams and in-store training where we worked at every station in a typical Dairy Queen store.
I learned how a Marketing program impacted the operation of a store. If a program slowed down the speed-of-service it was doomed to failure.
Marketing at Dairy Queen worked closely with the Operation Team. I attended all Corporate Management Meetings and led and ran the National Canadian Advertising and Marketing Program (CAMP). I was responsible for National, Regional and Local Marketing and Advertising Budgets and Programs. Success: TV Hamburger Promotion that increased Food sales in traditional soft-serve markets by 6% - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Cheeseburger
MacLaren McCann was responsible for all General Motors Brands and the GM Dealers of Ontario. As Group Account Director I was responsible for all Budgets and Marketing Programs for the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Pontiac and Cadillac Dealer Associations. My job required me to understand the sales objectives of each model nameplate for all markets and Dealers in Ontario and develop Retail Advertising and Promotions that would help 'Move the Metal'.
To get the job done I attended all the Sales and Operational Meetings at the Ontario Zone (the Sales Arm of GM) to understand the Sales goals and objectives. I met with all the Dealers individually to understand the challenges in each market. Then I worked with Agency Media, Promotions, Events and Creative Teams to develop specific Advertising. Success: First successful Cross-promotion with Walt Disney World to sell past-model vans. Sales increased 6% without need for deeper discounts.
For the last 9 years I've been actively involved in Digital Marketing, particularly Social Media Marketing. At Entrinsic as Group Account Director I was responsible for the Social Media Marketing Strategy for their Business and Home Owner Business Units. I attended their Operation meetings to learn the business: How Mortgage rates and Business Service Fees were calculated and what were the key trigger points that consumers looked for. Success: SmartSteps for Homeowners Online Community that increased awareness of BMO Mortgage Brokers and was a key driver in increasing higher-value Mortgage business
For Reggae Marathon, the premier Road Race Event held in Negril, Jamaica every December, I handle all Social Media Marketing: Blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. While there are other road races in Jamaica, Reggae Marathon is the only event that attracts runners from other countries. Thus our efforts support the goals of the Jamaica Tourist Board in Marketing Jamaica abroad. Reggae Marathon is also seen as a premium event for promoting the growing tourism trend of Sports Tourism. Success: Reggae Marathon's Social Media Marketing has resulted in year-over-year registration growth while reducing paid media spending.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chris M Morales
I had planned to replace these well worn Puma running shoes a few months ago. With focus and determination I went shopping at my local running store. I tried on a few pairs, ran up and down in the store and decided not to buy a new pair. I may be tempting fate but these Pumas feel even better now that they are so well worn. Is it possible that I have hit the sweet spot with them?
For sure they look great! You know sometimes you look at a pair of running shoes and they just look plain ugly! Not these. They have the right level of detail and colour coordination that gives them that 'just right' look. I know that form is supposed to follow function...it's nice when form equals function.
Sally says I'm thinking and talking about this particular pair of running shoes way too much. Given the amount of miles they've gone, she won't let them into the Apartment. She barely lets me keep them on the balcony. Yes they do have a high odour. I call it character...she calls it stinky!
Yes I've pushed these Pumas past their best-before date and I know one day soon I'll have gone one run too many. But till then, I'll keep on running.
"Running back to Saskatoon" only has an accidental and coincidental connection connection to running. The story..
One of my favourite albums is the Guess Who's, 'Live at the Paramount'. Back in my teens I played that record to death with an emphasis on 'Running Back to Saskatoon'. Headphone meant my family didn't go crazy with the repeated playing. These were the days before Google Maps so actual printed maps, photographs and magazines were the only way to see what the City looked my like without actually vitising.
I moved on from that album and thinking about Saskatoon once I hit university and college. Imagine my anticipation many years later when as an adult I visited Saskatoon for the first time to visit some friends who had moved out there. We'd driven from Toronto and as we headed up the highway from Regina I was humming the chorus in my head over and over. I was well into running by then and couldn't wait to head out for a run along the South Saskatchewan River.
So if you don't know 'Running Back to Saskatoon' or haven't heard in some time, Enoy:
There are a number of interrelated elements that need to mesh together in order to optimize how a web site performs. From the Analytics where you gain insights into traffic and behaviour to the architecture of the site itself...how easy is it to navigate...Search Engine Marketing needs constant nurturing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chris M Morales MarCommTO
With thanks to Kate Bush, I was humming the song, 'Running up that Hill' on a recent morning of hill repeats.
The line I kept singing in my head over and over, "And if I only could, I'd make a deal with god, and I'd get him to swap our places. Be running up that road, be running up that hill...with no problems".
Last week one of my co-workers showed me how to do Planks. There we were in the middle of the office dressed in business attire with the rest of the office looking on doing...Planks! For something so deceptively easy, it was brutal! After barely 20 seconds my arms were quivering; After 40 seconds I failed!
A few months ago I challenged my friend, Larry Savitch to an Abs competition: At Reggae Marathon this December Larry and I will doff our tops on the beach in Negril and compare Abs. Larry is a few years younger than me but that's not what makes this crazy. Larry works as a Trainer at a Corporate Gym. He already has Abs. I on the other hand sit at a desk working on a computer all day. I have never had Abs. How do I get myself into these things?
But with Planks, I now have a secret weapon and I plan to use it fully. Starting today Planks will be a part of my daily routine. I've already started pre-run stretching to loosen and open up my hips so a few minutes Planking will be no problem. I'll be following the 5 minute Plank Workout in the illustration above. After my 40 second first Plank experience I have a long way to go but I'm not scared.