Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Guide

There's been a lot of chatter recently about how Social Media Marketing is a waste of time. "What's the ROI?" is a question I get asked a lot.  I answer with "It depends...!" and follow up with two additional questions:

  1. What are your Objectives of Social Media Marketing?
  2. What are your Strategies?
The momentary blank stare answers the questions:  There is no plan for Social Media Marketing;  no way to measure success.

Social Media Marketing, the collective voices of individuals talking about their experiences with your brand is an important strategy within any marketing plan.  Here are the basic strategies for developing a successful social media marketing plan:

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 26, 2017

Brrrr...It's Cold Outside

-13 with a windchill approaching -20.  And that's in Celsius! was a cold run in Toronto today!

But as perverse as it sounds, I enjoyed my run this morning.  A relatively short one at 5 km's but after the slow slog through the snow on Christmas Day morning, I needed to clear out the cobwebs.  -13 C did that quite nicely.  We runners sure are hearty.  Or stupid.  Some mornings I can't make up my mind.

Maybe it's the strange thrill we get when we that driver in a nice warm car shaking her head at us running outside.  Yeah, that's it!

Truth be told, I love running in the cold.  And that from a guy who absolutely loves summer heat and especially sweating it out on a hot beach.  Just ask Dan Cumming who's seen my obsession with capturing a lounge chair on the beach at Rondel Village to catch all the sun I can.  

Running in the cold though brings it's own kind of special experience.  From dressing:  Layering up with full head and face mask;  the first 5 minutes or so when my head is screaming, 'What the...!!';  to the final few hundred metres when I can feel the icicles and frost around my face.  It's...exhilarating!

Running in super cold temperatures also means no dawdling.  Once I get my body temperature up and start sweating, stopping would be, how do I say this nicely, 'not so good'.  At super low temps my sweat seems to keep me long as I keep moving.  I'm not sure of the science involved in this but it seems to work.  

About the only challenge to running when it's super cold outside is keeping my fingers and toes warm.  I run with ski socks that generally do the trick for the 5 km runs but I just haven't found the perfect pair of gloves or mitts.  Inevitably the fingers get cold and all I can think about is getting home.  Pretty good motivation to keep moving.

And if you must ask, no, I don't do treadmills.  Never have and likely never will.  Those things really scare me!  

So rain, shine, hot cold...running is an outside thing for me all year round. Now, time for a hot shower to warm up!

Until next time...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Using Storytelling to build your Brand

Can you tell a good story?  You better be able to...your brand depends on it!

The classical reason for business success is to solve a problem for a customer.  Companies that do that at a profit grow and thrive.  Along the way they've figured out how to reach new customers while keeping existing customers happy.  It can be a magazine ad, newspaper, radio or TV, digital ad, search ranking...all depend on understanding the customer and telling a good story.  Here are some ways to use storytelling to build your brand:

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 19, 2017

Turning 60 And Still Running 2 months I turn 60!

Just yesterday I was 12 years old building Saturn rockets and collecting comic books.  I didn't run for anything!  Those 48 years sure slipped by quickly.  I sure don't feel about-to-turn 60.  Oh the waist has expanded a little, the joints are a bit more achey and I run more slowly.  But, I'm still running...

I have a lot to be thankful for as I hit this milestone:

  • Great parents.  I know we don't get to chose our parents but someone up there was looking our for my sisters and I.  Carefree Dad who depended on the rock that is my Mom to instill in us the trust in always looking forward:  Tomorrow is another new day...take advantage of it!
  • The Boys.  Now a pack of 4 and a force to be reckoned with.  Andrew, Court, Holden and Michael are dream kids.  Rambunctious and ornery but honest and dependable.  Always thinking of each other...always there to support.  Keep at it guys!  Couldn't be more proud. (Oh, and Andrew, Court and Holden's Mom, Jackie...still pinch myself that she trusted me to take care of them in their teen years).
  • Friends to die for.  Seriously.  Long-time friends from Jamaica, more recent ones from growing up in Canada and of course my running friends from around the world.  Thanks for your support.
  • Sally.  My Rock!  I'm fortunate that you decided to take on the CMO Project.  There's still more work to do but thank you so much for continuing to see the value in polishing this still rough-around-the edges work-in-progress.  All my love!!
I was asked recently if I had any running goals planned for 2018 to mark the 60th birthday milestone.  I've thought of a ton of running ideas:  From the Gobi March, a 260 km run across the Gobi Desert in China, to a 60 mile Endurance Race in Algonquin Park.  Nothing has grabbed me yet...but I've still got 2 months to go before the BIG day.

Until next time...

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Mystique of the Reggae Marathon Experience

The mystique that is the Reggae Marathon Experience transcends the fact that once you strip away the non-essentials, the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K is just a really well run road race.  Yes it's in the Caribbean in December and finishes on a white sandy beach in Negril but you still have to run 10K, a half marathon or full marathon to get to the beach experience.  What's the mystique that attracts nearly 2,500 runners from over 30 countries to travel to Negril for a ... road race?  To posture an answer, I gave this presentation at the Media Conference prior to Reggae Marathon 2017:

It's a great pleasure and privilege for me to be back here at my 9th Reggae Marathon speaking with you about our world in Social Media. I'm humbled as well with having the Reggae Marathon blog be voted one of the top 50 marathon blogs in the world. I'm just telling running stories!

Last year while sitting on a balcony at our hotel riding out a rain shower, I was asked a simple question, "What's the Reggae Marathon Experience?".  And you know, even though I'm a regular here each December, and handle social media, I was stumped in giving a succinct and concise answer.  Oh I went on of course about the unique pre-dawn start and the post-race beach bash including the dash into the Caribbean.  But I didn't have a simple answer and it gnawed at me.  So as any good social media person does, I asked our fans to tell us what the Reggae Marathon Experience meant to them as a way to get to the essence.  On our blog and in social media we shared the stories from a number of runners who responded.  These 3 stood out:
  • Jane S from Michigan.  She's been coming to Jamaica for over 20 years but this year will be her first time at Reggae Marathon: 'Running is my time for thinking and meditating about life's journey...Reggae Marathon is the perfect race for me'
  • Keri W. from New York has been coming to Negril to run Reggae Marathon since 2010.  'Running is my therapy...and I do it with my friends. Reggae Marathon is one of the friends I meet up with each year in Negril'
  • Martina C. from Kingston, Jamaica has been running Reggae Marathon as well since 2010.  'I began running as a way to lose weight and spend time with my's now evolved as a therapeutic way to push myself mentally and physically...I celebrate at Reggae Marathon.

'Friendship'. 'Achievement' 'Celebration'. Those were the common themes.  So today when you ask me the same question,  'What's the Reggae Marathon Experience?", I'd answer with more confidence, 'Reggae Marathon is the catalyst that allows each of us runners to achieve something greater than we can achieve, at any other race'.

Reggae Marathon in 2009, my first and only full marathon, was where I achieved my personal goal of finishing a marathon.  I was willed on by people who I'd met only days before who sat in the blazing sun for hours waiting patiently for those brief moments in the finish chute.  Special, yes;  Mysterious, for sure!

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 12, 2017

All you need is love...and a good run

All you really need is love...and a good run.  Ahhh...a good run!  Nuff said!

Actually, you need the love and support of a good spouse.  To put up with the early morning rising if you're a morning runner.  And in my case, putting up with me hogging one of our bathrooms with my winter running gear.  We live in a other place for it.

Yeah, I need love all right...but then, it does help with the Crazy!

Here are a few other running sayings that caught my attention this week:
OK so I'm carrying a little extra weight.  And the waist size could be a few inches smaller.  Overall though everything else is a A One!
With respect for those who do use gym facilities, I've never had the habit of going to the gym.  I've gone swimming but only to recover from a running injury and when training for Triathalons.
But this is the real reason I run.  Running keeps the stress manageable.  I can tell you I solve problems while running and that would be true sometimes.  But mostly I run to keep sane!

Until next time...

Sunday, December 10, 2017

How to build a marketing plan

How does one go about developing and executing a marketing plan?  These 6 components are the essential elements
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 5, 2017

Weekend In Negril

What a great weekend in Negril!  I had a great time running Saturday morning of course but that was only the tip of the iceberg!  It began with the flight last Wednesday...
  • I flew direct, non-stop to Montego Bay for the first time ever to get to Jamaica for Reggae Marathon.  I arrived almost too quickly...barely had time to listen to my full music selections and watch the movie! I'm not complaining of course...I got into Negril early enough to go for a swim before catching up with Dan Cumming over supper.
  • The drive from Montego Bay to Negril has become a touchstone for me.  Crazy, busy airport and drive through Montego Bay that eases into a smooth drive along the coast road.  I always look out for the water wheel in Tryall, the stop-and-go drive through Lucea and Green Island...that means we are only miles away.
  • Beach, beach, beach!  After a hearty breakfast each morning of Ackee and Saltfish and lovely Blue Mountain Coffee, I settle into my Negril routine:  Lounge chair feet from the water for the morning siesta.  Lots of sunscreen of course but I could lounge here all day...I usually do!
  • The post-race photo with Dan, Navin, Larry and I.  This year we made it 30 Reggae Marathons between us;  it was my 9th consecutive!  I can't say enough about these guys.  We trash talk all year online and only meet up in person at Reggae Marathon.  Larry won the Challenge by-the living with him for the next year!
  • The Beer Bus pub crawl on Sunday afternoon was...well, let's just say we got waaaaay off the beaten path for this one!  Our driver took us to two extra special bars:  One owned by his wife...the other by his Ex-Wife!  Only in Jamaica
I spent the week as usual at Rondel Village.  Great, intimate, family-run resort right on the Negril Beach.  The sunsets are spectacular but so are the sunrises, this one with the Super Moon...
A great weekend in Negril. Another year done and a new one to look forward to...

Until next time...

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Anatomy of a Professional Sales Rep

What does a professional sales rep look like?  She is knowledgeable, organized, active and always looks for ways to add value for her customers.  She's a very good time manager always on guard against time wasters while looking out for ways to be more efficient.  She looks like this:

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