It's BUBBLE WRAP APPRECIATION DAY!!!!
A weird little holiday - how should we celebrate? The best way is to grab a big 'ole role of bubble wrap and pop every single bubble in the sheet. What are you waiting for? Let's get it poppin'.
Top 5 Marketing Trends is a phrase we hear ALL THE TIME. I usually just breeze by these articles but this time, one caught my eye. It's well-written and, I think, dead-on.
I'll give you the short of it, but read the full article here: http://tech.co/top-five-marketing-trends-expect-2017-2016-12
1. Influencer Marketing
2. Retention Strategies
3. Mobile Interactions Will Evolve Beyond Basic Apps
4. Audio Will Become A Major Player
5. Dynamic Data Will Beat Out Big Data
Fake News. It's a trending topic. But why? I still can't fathom how many people fall for these stories. I was brought up to not just believe everything I've read or heard...but am I a dying breed?
To be honest, I don't even take "real" news as fact anymore. The line between news and opinion has become so blurred it's hard to tell what is what anymore. Fun Fact: I wrote a paper in college (over 15 years ago!) on the blurring of news and gossip; this is NOT a new topic, just a trending one.
Even our current President Elect, Donald Trump, is spreading fake news (note: I'm not getting political here, just using a public figure as an example). He consistently tweets articles without checking sources, spreading misinformation. Because of his position of power, people take him at his word and then use the "news" as fact.
Seriously, whatever happened to doing a little research before you spread the word or form a concrete opinion? Are people really going to believe anything that sounds good and fits their preconceived notions?
Fake news brings out the worst of us all, especially on social media. I know several older relatives posting and defending news stories on Facebook that were clearly and completely false. While I gently let them know these stories were incorrect and pointed them to verified stories on the subject, others were quick to leap to the defense of the story and tell me to stop by "liberal nonsense". Side note: at this point, I hadn't disclosed my political thoughts, just posted more accurate information.
Clicking on the stories only led to massive amounts of the most vile comments you could imagine. People calling others the most horrible names that I would never repeat or say. All over an inaccurate news stories. Democrat or Republican, they went after anyone with a different opinion with a vengeance and fury I had never witnessed before. Furthermore, so many of these people were blatantly ignorant on the subjects they were battling over; the amount of fallacies in their argument was astonishing.
I'm sure you've seen it too so I'll stop my rant there and move on. What can we do to fix it? Let's go back to the days where you analyze things before you take a stance on an issue. Fill our lives and conversations with facts. Take any "news" with a grain of salt and research the subject. I'm ready to take on this challenge - will you join me?
Did you know today is International Mentoring Day? Well, I just found out about it, too, so don't feel so bad.
When I started to think about the subject of mentoring, the first thing that came to mind was a phrase from Sheryl Sandberg in her book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. The phrase is "Are you my mentor?" It equates a young woman's search to finding a mentor to the much-loved children's book Are You My Mother? where a young bird searches for its mother asking anything and everything that same question.
So often those of us in our career make the mistake of endlessly searching for a mentor. Thinking you will find the perfect mentor who will let you hitch their star to yours and take you to the corner office is not the answer. You're allowing yourself to believe your entire career can be based off the success of someone else's. You don't need to (and shouldn't) depend on others for your success. As Sandberg said, "I believe we have sent the wrong message to young women. We need to stop telling them, 'Get a mentor and you will excel.' Instead, we need to tell them, 'Excel and you will get a mentor.
I've had many great mentors throughout my life and my career. Some have come into my life for a small amount of time while others have seen me through it all. While very important to me, none of these have been a formal mentorship. We don't have scheduled meetings and, frankly, the word mentor has never been uttered. I've always had an unspoken knowledge that these people were there to guide me through it all. They were ready and willing to let me pick their brains. It was a mutual relationship. I was able to look up to someone who had "been there, done that," while they were able to gain a new perspective and introduced to new ways of looking at the world.
Thinking back, one of my first mentors was Hope Atuel, my manager at my first "real" job. She taught me the importance of doing what you say you will and when you say you will. I'll never forget what she said to me on my first day "I believe when you stop learning, you start dying." From that moment on, I knew she was someone I would want to emulate in my career. She was passionate, making ranks in the boys' clubs and she knew her stuff. I worked for Hope for about a year, a relatively short amount of time, but she taught me so much. In case I've never said it, thank you, Hope.
Another one of my mentors is Nick Belcore. Nick and I have worked together for over 10 years and I began officially reporting to him about a year ago. Again, I never formally asked Nick to become my mentor but he is and he knows it. Nick came from a very different industry so his perspective on conducting business is quite different than mine. He is very formal, wearing suits every day; the audio-visual industry is the complete opposite but his systematic way of doing business has taught me invaluable lessons. His door is always open to me, whether it's personal of business advice. He's spent countless hours answering questions, weighing in on issues and giving me general guidance. For that , I am thankful.
The list of people (to whom I am immensely thankful) who have provided guidance in my career is long. I am grateful that I am now able to mentor younger women in our industry and I hope they are finding our relationship as fulfilling as I am.
P.S. Check out the Women in Consumer Technology's Connect Circle. This formal program is FREE to join and is made up of small groups of women looking to connect, learn and grow together.
Did you ever find a quote that sticks with you and you can’t stop thinking about it?
“Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologising for my wild.”
- Nikita Gill
As I ponder the quote, more so I ponder why it speaks to me so loudly. One of my career struggles has been balancing finding my voice with managing others’ opinions of an out-spoken woman. I can imagine many others have struggled with this exact issue.
When I started my career in the AV industry, I was in my early 20’s. It quickly became obvious that this was a male-dominated industry with ceilings for women to shatter. Not to say I was not welcomed – quite the opposite, in fact, but, as with most industries, there is a struggle being the minority. Being in this environment was somewhat intimidating to me; I struggled to find a voice. In fact, I came very close to leaving when my boss told me I was being too meek and it was time for me to take charge. Instead of letting this get me down, I took the statement as a challenge and rose to the occasion. It was as if he had given me permission to take my place in the industry and I was ready for it.
Speaking up, ensuring things were getting done at the office, made my life easier. Suddenly tradeshows were running smoother and people were paying attention when I spoke up. Not a shock to anyone but me. You have to give yourself permission to take charge – I didn’t give myself that until someone told me I could. Whatever it took, it made a big change in my life.
After some smooth sailing years, I was told I needed to “ask” people to do tasks instead of telling them. It was a shot to my heart; for those who know me, I am always polite – please and thank you accompany all requests. So why did these comments bother me so much? Because I am very sure this same criticism would not have been said to a man. Why did I need to ask people instead of direct them?
That is the first time it occurred to me that a strong woman can be viewed as a threat. Here I was, working hard, ensuring projects were completed but I was being chastised for not saying “will you please do xxx” instead of “please do xxx”. I thought about this a lot – not only because it went on my official review but because I concluded this criticism did not have merit. I was doing my job and doing it well. It was not the time for me to regress and ask permission to get my job done; that’s not an efficient way for anyone to work. I had taken a long time to find my voice and I’m not going to let it go.
So, no, I am not going to apologize for my wild. I’m going to embrace it. I hope you’ll join me.
I've said it time and time again - MY TEAM ROCKS! Each and every one of them works hard every single day. I'll just be honest - they get shit done. Whether it's a last-minute request or a long-term project, they don't miss a beat. They're great time managers and super creative which is a hard combo to find.
I know this, now you know this and I'm happy to say the AV industry knows this because we've been crowned Sales & Marketing Team of the Year from Residential Systems.
I'm immortalizing their names below - feel free to connect with them on LinkedIn.
Lawrence Campbell, Digital Graphic Designer
Megan Dutta, MarComm Manager
Rachael Hinds, MarComm Associate
Yesenia Martinez, MarComm Assistant
Mila Tulchinskaya, Sr Graphic Designer
Kelly Yuen, Marketing Specialist
Megan A. Dutta