Saturday, December 31, 2016

What Conversion is at Tier III

Making sense of the data.  Traffic, Unique Visitors, Page Views, Cost-per-Click, Conversions...lots of data from multiple sources measuring specific elements of online marketing.

"What's working?"  That's the question that Dealer Principals and their Leadership Teams need to answer so they can make better decisions.  Brian Pasch in this Auto Marketing Now Video tackles this question by looking at the quality of website traffic in addition to the quantity.  Engagement!

Chris M Morales
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Images from Negril

Running barefoot in the sand along the Beach in Negril ranks up there with one of life's great experiences.  And lucky me I get to do it every year at Reggae Marathon.  I enjoyed a couple of early morning runs with Dan Cumming this past December and if all goes well, will be back for Reggae Marathon on December 2, 2017.  

But that wasn't all at Reggae Marathon.  Once again I got to meet some interesting people.  Runners all, they heard about Reggae Marathon from friends or Social Media and were inspiried to make their own running story.  I met Alex from Cologne, Germany in the Reggae Marathon Race Kit pickup line on Thursday afternoon.  He was in Negril to full his dream: Fulfilling a Dream. 

And then of course are the images from Negril captured in hotos.  Here are a few, each one special:
Rocking the Reggae Marathon and Reggae Runnerz colours, the indefatiguable Lisa Laws. Although we only enjoyed a few moments after the race, it was nick to catch up with the lady responsible for 450+ runners from the US who make the annual pilgrimage to Reggae Marathon every year.  If you want to join them, head to their website, Reggae Runnerz.
Dan Cumming from White Rock, British Columbia (a lovely seaside town south of Vancouver on Canada's Pacific Coast) brought these two people together.  On the left is Dan's friend Al from British Columbia and on the right his friend Lawrence from Montego Bay.  Al's not a runner and he was recovering from a knee procedure yet he still made the trek to Negril to walk the Reggae Marathon 10K.  Lawrence is a runner so his travel distance was significantly less but he too enjoyed the Reggae Marathon Experience.
What began with Navin stalking me at Reggae Marathon a few years ago has led to the '4 Amigos', Larry, Navin, me and Dan who now have 28 Reggae Marathon events between us. Larry really had done 6 Reggae Marathons not the 7 his fingures indicate.  He said he was nervous but I think he was thinking about Reggae Marathon 2017 on December 2.

Men with large, sharp machettes chopping coconuts for each runner after Reggae Marathon.  Coconut water is a great natural electrolyte replacement fluid but half of the fun is watching these guys wield their machettes.

That's the Reggae Marathon Experience.  Deeply personal, addictive and made up of special unique momemts.  It keeps me coming back year after year.

Until next time...

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

2016 was a busy year.  Plans made then adjusted for the inevitable curves.  Wins to celebrate and losses to learn from.

Looking forward to an exciting 2017 but taking the time this next week to slow it down and spend time celebrating the Christmas season with family and friends. Hope you will be able to do the same.  

Merry Christmas!

Chris M Morales
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Turning 60

Turning's the new 40.  I heard that somewhere and it appeals to me as I look forward to turning 60 in 2018.  It's still over a year away but unlike turning 50, I'm looking forward to turning 60.  I may look it but I don't feel it.

So here's how you can play a part in helping me celebrate turning 60 in 2018.  I need something challenging to do. And it should involve running something extreme.  It may not be fast and it may not even be pretty but it sure will be fun.  Oh, and it should include Reggae Marathon in December 2018.  If all goes well between now and then, that year will also be the 10th consecutive Reggae Marathon event I'll have participated in.

Here's what I've noodled so far:

  • Running the Gobi Desert.  If you have to's a 6 stage 250 km 'march' across the Gobi Desert in China.  Hmmmm....
  • Run 60 events in 2018.  Yep, that's more than one per week.  If I start with the Dopey Challenge at Disneyworld in January I might just make it...4 days of running:  5k, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon...
  • Run a 60K.  There are a number of extreme running events around Ontario including an oldie in Algonquin Park.  The one that got my attention though was a 60K in Central Park, New York...
You get the idea.

And because the physical challenge just isn't enough, I want to tie this in to a fund raising effort. I've raised funds for the Diabetes Association of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and most recently for Youth Mental Health.  All are worthwhile but I'm drawn to helping young people. Again though, suggestions are welcome.

I've got the better part of a year to figure this out and I'm looking forward to your suggestions. Turning 60 sure is going to be fun.

Until next time...

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Online Marketing 101

SEM, SEO, Social Media, Email, Conversion Rate...the acronmys are enough to drive you mad!  All in the name of Online Marketing.  When I get the 'full glaze' look from a client when talking about online marketing I remind them that it's not about the's about what the technology delivers.  Here's an Infographic that was shared with me that explains online marketing:

Chris M Morales
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Falling off a cliff

It didn't start well at the 15K race in September.  And at about 5km my performance fell off the cliff in a completely unexpected manner.  I walked more than I ran the final 10K and was a mess 'running' to the finish.  I chalked it up to a one-off.

Since then my earlier morning runs have gotten more challenging.  Especially starting out.  That's always tough of course but it was taking a couple of km's before my breathing would settle down. Lots of heaving to pull in air but just not converting like I used to.

Caught a nasty cold in the interim.  Visited my Doctor who checked out the chest...all clear.  She prescribed an inhaler but that didn't help.  

Strange is the best way I can decscribe my experience at BMO Field for the Grey Cup game in November:  Lots of stairs to climb and I had to stop at each landing to catch my breath.  Huh?  I'm a lifetime runner.  What gives?

The final straw happened in Negril at Reggae Marathon last weekend.  I was well rested, felt well trained and was looking forward to a comfortable run.  It started well but then I fell off the cliff. About 2 miles in I lost control of my breathing and started slowing.  Dam! "This is not my day" I quickly surmised and adjusted to walk/run for the balance of the race.  I felt like hell and that was confirmed by both Karen Savitch and Dan Cumming when they passed me on the road:  "You look like all right?"  "No...yes", I think I mumbled, determined to save enough to have a 'strong finish'.  Getting my 8th consecutive Finisher Medal was a strong motivator.

I visited my Doctor last Friday and laid it all out.  "No running!"  was her immediate command.  "Not until after we get the results of the tests".  Yes, I've got a battery of tests scheduled over the next week to see if we can to the bottom of this.  It may be something simple...that's my hope...because it sure isn't fun looking at the world from the bottom of the cliff.

Until next time...

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Reggae Marathon Experience

Larry, Karen, Dan (Al behind Dan) capping off another Reggae Marathon 
What the heck is the Reggae Marathon Experience?

This past week at Reggae Marathon in Negril was my 8th consecutive time in Negril. Because the date of the Reggae Marthon on the first Saturday in December coincides with an annual Family Christmas Party I've missed the family back home.  I did manage to participate via a Facebook Live Video call but I chose once again to spend the weekend with my running family.

This year at Reggae Marathon joining Dan and I at our Negril home, the ever wonderful Rondel Village in the centre of the beach strip was his non-running friend of 51 years, Al.  Dan is persuasive and determined...he got a non-runner to make the long trek from Vancouver to go to a...running event in Jamaica!

After the usual talk and family catch up that Al sat through stoicially, we got down to more serious matters.  "What makes the Reggae Marathon unique", asked Al innocently.  That's all it took to get us started.  That and a couple or three cold Red Stripes as we lounged on the balcony outside Dan's room.  And it was one of those questions that Dan and I were stumped at first in answering succinctly. We talked for hours about the usual things that we experience at Reggae Marathon:

  • The running of course.  We're runners and getting to race at 5:15 am in the dark on a Saturday morning with 2,300+ other crazy runners is a memorable experience.  But we've all had our share of race starts.
  • Vacationing on the beach.  7 miles of white sand is nirvana for a beach lover and match that up with warm Caribbean Sea water lapping gently on the sure and I don't know if gets much better than this.  But then I've been to Bondi Beach.
  • Runcation!  That must be it.  Lisa Laws and the Reggae Runnerz have coined that phrase to more directly explain the combination of running + vacation.  But...I run on all my vacations.
On to dinner to continue the conversation...
  • It's the post-race party.  Fresh-cut coconut, Red Stripe beer, swim in the Caribbean right outside the finish area. we're getting somewhere but still not the 'it'
Then it came to me this morning while running barefoot on the beach with Dan courtesy of a chance meeting with Gene Collier on the bus to Negril last Wednesday:  "It's fun".  Gene is the 62 medal man...he completed 62 endurance running events in 2015. That's more than 1 per week!  I asked him why and his simple answer was, "It's fun".  

I love running because it is fun for me.  The mental and phsycal toughness learned from a lifetime of running.  Overcoming obstacles, setbacks and life challenges...all learned from running experiences. Planning and thinking about the next run.  Looking forward to meeting up in person each year in Negril with my running family...totally fun!

The Reggae Marathon Running Experience is fun.  It's a once-a-year experience that takes a lot of planning to make happen.  In between life can sometimes get in the way but through our friendships and with the help of Facebook, we somehow always seem to make it to Negril to have fun

Until next time...