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April, 2021 Edition
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Advertising Your Failures

I was recently searching for something on the internet and stumbled across a company promoting products using video. Roughly five product lines were being displayed, including several products under each product line. There was a problem, however.

Each video had the same introduction screen with the name of the company displayed on each. There was no description or product name shown for any of the videos. I was looking at a nicely laid out page with dozens of videos that all looked the same.

I did know which company was offering the products due to the introduction screen of each video. There was no way to tell what each video was promoting without watching them individually. Who has time for that?

The company responsible had taken the time to include their name on the intro of each video but neglected to let us know what product each video promoted. In essence, they were advertising their failure.

I am sure the company had good intentions. James C. Collins, American author, speaker, and consultant, once stated, "Bad decisions made with good intentions, are still bad decisions." In other words, using modern techniques to market your products does not outweigh the fact that you failed to identify the products.

You may notice that I did not include the name of the company in this article. I excluded it because I may be next. I may be the next person to neglect to think something through. We all make mistakes (albeit this is a big one), so we should take this as an opportunity to learn, not point fingers. So, what did we discover?

We figured out that we should review every promotion before we submit it to the public. It would be a good idea to have someone else examine the project with a fresh set of eyes. We must do our very best to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers. They do not know everything that we know (like the names of the products in the videos). And finally, create, test, and review!

Ultimately, it is up to us to determine if a promotional campaign or display is ready for public viewing. We need to be diligent when creating, testing and reviewing each project. If we aren't, we may end up advertising our failures.

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Monthly Tip


Stickies is like those little yellow sticky notes on steroids. The program is small, free, and powerful. You can display sticky notes on your monitor or share them with others over your network.

Stickies may be attached to programs, so they open when that program opens. They can be set with an alarm, snoozed, delayed, told to sleep, and more. You can establish recurring sticky notes to remind you of events.

Stickies allow you to change the style of a sticky note or group of sticky notes. You can add images, links to websites, and files to a sticky note.

Note: the help file is in the .chm format, which is no longer allowed on most Microsoft OS's. The Stickies website offers a help section.

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