Posted On: 2005-12-15Length: 31:12
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Greetings and salutations marketing fans. This is the 20-Something Marketing Forum, an informative, engaging look at marketing and the lives of 20-something professionals dealing with realities, and of course the drama of the modern workplace. My name is Jared Degnan, your host, marketing guru and anything else that you want me to be. And as you might be able to see, we are on episode #20, which is just absolutely fantastic, exciting. I feel as if we need to do something today, but I don't know what. Well actually, first of all, a couple of announcements. As you might be able to hear right now, especially if you're an audiophile, I am currently on a brand new microphone right now. A beautiful little piece of set from Audio Professionals. And so that might be a little better for me, and a little bit better for you guys, given the fact that I've been working off a $20 desk mic for the last, oh, I don't know, we've been doing this five months now? So a lot of exciting things going on. I hope you guys are having a nice coast down to your winter holidays. This actually probably is going to be one of my last episodes of the year, depending on whether or not I can crank out a vidcast on some of my fun holiday parties that's going on right now. In fact, speaking of holiday parties, I'm in what I affectionately deem as my ten days of holiday cheer. Now most people may have like two or three holiday parties during the given season. But of course I seem to be kind of mocking tradition here, so not only am I doing a couple holiday parties, I'm doing ten of them, and I'm doing them ten days in a row, so every single day, for ten days, I am actually have some sort of holiday party. I've got office holiday parties, I've got friends holiday parties, I've got cocktail parties, I've got professional parties, I've got oh gosh, too much stuff for me to count. Anyway, but I did want to mention that today is going to be all about culture.
Now, amongst the 20 episodes we have done here, we have painted a really great picture of 20-somethings, and we've diven into a lot, is that even a word, diven? Dove? We've dove into a bunch of different topics here. We've talked about morale in the workplace. We've talked about upward management. We've talked about kind of exploring your own life as a 20-something professional. And as much as I really want to restrain myself from getting into the whole Tony Robbins mindset here, we've accomplished some pretty good things. So today I just kind of want to give back a little bit and kind of take off some of the things that I really find most interesting in 20-something lives. And that's of course, culture. And it's fair to reason that I talk about this today because it is my one-year anniversary for quitting my old job. And the old job, as you guys might have heard, was kind of the impetus to start this show. About one year ago I was working for a company called the Advisory Board. And the Advisory Board Company is a healthcare think tank here in Washington DC, and as you might have noticed, I am going to mention their name because it is one year and I feel as if I have the right to talk a little bit about what went on there. And the Advisory Board Company for those of you who might not already know is a company that very much mirrors a lot of the big five, big accounting firms, the ones that you go to work as consultant for. They work their 20-somethings very, very, very hard. In fact they had about I think close, anywhere from 80 to 100 what they call marketing associates. And your job was to spend 70% of your time cold calling people on the phone. And it's a very intense sales culture and it's a very intense meritocracy. The only caveat being is that it's a fantastic company with some pretty shitty management. And after I kind of got through with about six months working under a girl who was maybe about three months more tenured than I was and didn't know her ass from her elbow when it came to management, broke several dozen EEOC regulations for hiring and promoting people, and I won't get into that. But the fact of the matter was that it just kind of made me realize that there's so much more to being a 20-something. There's so much more that we can do. There's so much more potential. And there are too many people out there that are still stuck in a situation in which they shouldn't be in. They just kind of got to realize that they are above their situation and hopefully this show contributes to a little bit of that. And I'm proud to say that from the fan mail, from the stories I've heard, I'm really excited because it sounds like we've got some good stuff going on here.
Oh gosh. So basically today I want to talk about culture. And I'm going aptly name this episode, Episode #20, "The C Spot."
All right. Before you get off on me and start talking about the fact that oh, he's going to talk about the C Spot, he's going to talk about the C Spot. Keep in mind that the C Spot when I'm talking about it is not some girlie spot on the who-ha that makes you go ding-a-ling. Anyway, what the C spot is really how you fit into the office. It's that sweet spot. It's that, it is that moment. It is that feeling that you are right where you need to be, right when you need to be. And that's kind of what I have found in my new office. And well, I guess it's not new office anymore given the fact that I've almost worked there for an entire year. But the idea here is that it's, you feel like you jazz. You gel. You are excited about work. It's one of those things where, I mean, it's kind of cliché, but every once in a while I'll talk to some of my friends and they'll say, oh yeah, we've got a briefing today and our bosses want us to feel as if we're coming into work and we're excited to do it. In fact our steps get quicker as we walk into the office. And I'm like, when has that ever happened to you? Anyway, the C spot though, is when you know that you've got it going on. You know that this is where you are supposed to be. And it's fun to really like examine culture as it exists just because culture is such a subjective thing. When it comes down to it, you, me and the rest of humanity knows that every office is going to be different, as I mentioned with the 20-Something Marketing Forum, we've kind of created our own culture of, freestyle feel good Tony Robbins-esque whatever, and that's good. That's fun. It's interesting. However, in your particular office place, how do you view your own culture? Is it respective, is it entrepreneurial? Is it fun? Is it uber-professional? Do you have to wear a tie? It's kind of fun because Martha Stewart of course in like one of the first episodes, "you just don't fit in." And that's, I mean that's kind of valid to a certain extent, but I mean, gosh knows that each of us have our own C spot in the, each of the elements that we're comfortable in. Some people flourish in an environment like the Advisory Board. Some people very much love the idea of going in and being put to the grindstone. They like that competition. They like the social interaction. They like the social dynamic. However, I just can't deal with that. I need somewhere where I'm more creative. And I think that a lot of marketing companies will feel that, too. I mean the thing that's interesting, I paid them lip service on the episode, and I really do want to bring it up right now. But it's Christopher from the UK, and he writes me, this is the guy from T-Mobile and he wants to know a little bit more about marketing culture, specifically marketing dynamics. Now it's kind of interesting because you look at the two different polar opposites of marketing cultures. The first of which is the Advisory Board company. Quite literally you have an environment in which you are totally sales oriented and from this sales orientation, you're always going after some very intense goals. You are, you know screw everyone else in the office place, if you don't hit the goals you don't exist. It's a work hard, play hard mentality. Then you kind of go across the spectrum here, and it's kind of interesting to look at the very first holiday party that I went to this week, and that was from my design firm. The design firm is a very little boutique firm, it's very, very fun. I love working with these guys because they're just absolutely awesome. They're excellent. But when it came down to it, they're just a lot of fun, and they couldn't give a shit about sales goals. They're all about the creative process. They're all about going out there and pleasing the client, which is just really, really cool. And I mean, different offices are going to inspire different cultures. What you can do about that is really, it's not, you really can't change your office culture at all. I mean because it is an incredibly interesting dynamic. However you can seek out an office culture from which you believe you function best in. In fact, it's kind of interesting, you go out on a job search, you kind of look at the different cultures, and you see what's, you figure out the exact questions that you have to ask in that interview to find out what it's like. In fact, probing about culture is really, really important in interviews. So I mean, based on that, it's kind of funny, harkening back to my own interview experience, I was working, I was applying to a little association here in DC, I think it was a museum association, and I was sitting down with the marketing director for the first time. He was kind of interviewing me, gone through a couple of, a couple of gatekeepers before him. And so I was sitting down and talking with him and I had a great, great conversation with him, just kind of like we're totally shooting the shit, it was a lot of fun. And he finally starts, and he picks up my resume and he says, I guess I got to read this at some point in time. So he proceeds to read the resume in front of me, and he gets down to the part, he gets to my experience, and says like, oh wait a second. You worked for the Advisory Board Company? I heard they treat their associates like crap. Now in that situation you really don't want to complain about your previous experience. Number one, because it's just bad tact, and number two, they sometimes want to test you in that respect. So I just kind of like neutrally acknowledged and moved on, but at the same time, though, it kind of registered in the back of my mind that it's, you get office environments like that. You get them where not everyone likes them. It's the Ivy League sweatshop, that's the nickname for the Advisory Board Company here in DC, and it's really quite funny. It's a great company with bad management. So, who knows?
So, that brings up actually a good point in terms of understanding your own office culture. And the best way for me to explain office culture is by examining the actual culture of your office parties. And I know this sounds really insane to a certain extent, but I mean, think about it. You've got some alcohol, you've got social interaction. This is all about how you really work with it. It's about how you and your colleagues interact. I mean, you look at an office environment that has a very intense sales culture. They're going to have a very intense, hard, lots of alcohol office party. And if you are working for a more respectful firm, you're going to have a more respectful party. If you're more creative, you're going to have a lot more fun. I mean, I was out on the Potomac River singing caroling songs with hot chocolate in one hand and a vodka tonic in the other. And that's just the fun part about it. I mean, you, office parties are the National Geographic specials of workplace culture. And I mean, with beyond all the lampshade jokes you could ever possibly make about office culture, I mean I think I do have a point here. I mean, it's an imperative to understand office culture and to understand where you're going with this.
Let's see, I mean, it might give you some better examples on kind of examining back on the Advisory Board Company. The Advisory Board Company had this massive, massive party. In fact they had two parties. They had one party that was for the entire firm, and then one party that was specifically for the people who brought in revenue. And that party just was absolutely off the hook. It was tons of alcohol, lots of people drunk. Dancing. The CEO was behind the bar like doling out shots. And that's just the way it was, I mean, understandable to a certain extent. It was a sales culture. It was very results oriented and wanted to kind of celebrate the fact that they brought in millions of dollars in just a short, like, course of like the last couple of days. So, now that we've kind of stated the imperative for understanding culture, kind of think back to your culture. Look at your office environment, look at your office culture and kind of decide, is it right for you? I mean most people who really enjoy their offices kind of can learn a lot from examining the office culture just simply because, you know what folks, life is too short to not have a job that you enjoy. And I'm not saying go out and quit your jobs. I'm saying, kind of examine your situation and understand where this, where you C spot it. Understand where you fit in. And if you don't like where you are, kind of make, make strides to go to the place where you are happy, folks. Cause you spend anywhere from 40 to 60 to upwards of 75 hours a week at your office. You can not not be happy.
You're listening to the 20-Something Marketing Forum.
And as you guys most often know, sometimes I record things in the morning, and as I'm getting used to this new technology, I realized that my microphone is really, really sensitive, so if you hear some banging in the background, that's folks in the back of my building off loading crap from their trucks. So, basically what I want to do here is when you reach milestones like this, the 20th episode, I've always found it more than a little useful to determine what, if anything you've learned something from the experience. And I see no reason why this particular show shouldn't be an exception to this. As much as I take pride in being able to kind of promote a really collective, informative medium through this show, I can tell you that I myself have learned just an immense amount from doing this show. From writing it every week, to listening to your questions. And that's the thing. It's like I learn a ton from you guys. The emails, the comments on the blogs, the interviews, they're all really, really important to me, I mean I guess our own internal learning processes. I'm also able to engage in a process that allows me to deliver better content through this show as well. It's kind of actually hilarious because I was talking with one of my good friends, Darren, this weekend at one of his holiday parties, and he's like, you know what, Jared, sometimes you make a little more sense on the podcast than you do in real life. And granted, this is much to my chagrin, but the fact of the matter is is that I sometimes I don't always think what comes out of my mouth in real life, whereas I am almost forced to think things through just a little bit for this podcast. So, number one, I really value your comments. I really do appreciate them and I want you to keep them coming. Also if you have an exceptional story about being a 20-something professional or a 20-something marketer. I want to hear about it. If you are doing a particular business plan, if you're starting your own business, if you're starting your own web company, if you've done a particular marketing project that you're exceptionally proud of. Email it in to me, I'd love to have you on the show. That's the point as having this as a forum. It's interactive medium. So I guess let's start off with just a couple of the lessons that I've learned.
And lesson number one is if you're got something to say, there's a real plan and a real value in planning it out. As I mentioned earlier, the things that keep on coming out of my mind, and it's kind of fun because I started off this show really not doing that much planning for it, and I think the first couple of episodes really, really, really do reflect the fact that I really didn't have anything substantive to say. I was just going out there doing it for the heck of it. But as my, as the show got a little more popular, I realized I needed to do a little bit better job outlining and organizing my thoughts, right on to the point where I was writing out every single word that I spoke in the show, which was just, it was immensely time consuming. I'd get home from work, I'd immediately hit the laptop, I'd just type out whatever I could, and I would have the entire show scripted out. And I think it did sound a little bit wooden. And now luckily I'm back to outlines now, which hopefully will aid in the show becoming a little bit more conversational. But at the same point in time, you've just got to plan out what you're going to say. I mean, in any of my projects or presentation, I've always known that you've really got to just script yourself out. If you want to say something really substantive in marketing, you've got to refine your message. You've got to repeat it back to yourself over and over and over again until you get it right. And I'm not saying that you have to obsess over it like ad copy, but you also have to kind of think about what comes out of your mouth before you actually say it. I am, I mean I am the absolute, positive, like perfect example of both the greatest thing and the worst thing about speaking your mind. And that's number one, because you get to share your thoughts.
But second of all, probably more importantly though, you've really got to tailor yourself to your audience. And I mean, especially when you're like me and you tend to be prosaic when you speak. Writing is an incredible medium that I really do encourage you guys to take up, whether it's a journal, whether it's writing stuff on a blog, a live journal, something just to write yourself out. Cause I mean, I didn't really start out as a writer. I mean I love to do the aesthetic stuff. I love to do presentations. I love organizing my thoughts. But until I really forced to kind of like put pen to paper, I really didn't truly realize how to organize my thoughts in a substantive manner. So that kind of actually brings me to lesson number two. Take your work seriously but never under any circumstances take yourself too seriously. And I mean this stems directly from the fact that I take pride in being a hard-nosed, pedal to the metal worker. I mean I get into work, I roll up my sleeves, and I am hitting the keyboard like for eight hours straight, much to the chagrin of some of my coworkers and my boss, who just wonders why the hell I don't take a break. But the fact of the matter is that this show has shown me a continual value of tempering yourself with the fact that you're able to laugh at yourself and believe me folks, I know what I sound like on this show. I sound like the absolute drama queen, Tony Robbins, Wanda Wisdom-esque, this is not a bad thing, Wanda. Wanda Wisdom-esque, blowhard sometimes. And I love being as hard core as I am about marketing. However, I also know that I can put out the vidcast out there that make me look like an idiot, because I'm a cut up when it comes down to it. But the fact of the matter is I'm proud of it. I'm proud of all aspects of my, the way that I work. I'm proud of all aspects of the way that I behave. And I wouldn't do that, I wouldn't do a blog or podcast if I didn't think that were true.
So, lesson number three. Take your dreams, build them up, and people will come. However, don't obsess over it or else you'll drive yourself insane. And this is kind of the whole marketing quantification question here. Every time I do something, I love to put it to numbers. And this show is no exception to that, honestly. I get into a situation where I track everything about this show. I track downloads, I track viewer mail, I track comments on the blog, and it's just, I mean it's kind of cool in one respect cause it really does give you an idea whether or not you're doing things well or not doing things well. For instance, I wasn't doing a real good job of promoting myself on iTunes for a while, and so I had to restructure the way that I was doing some of my keywords. And the challenge in that being that you can quantify yourself to death honestly. I mean, take, I mean, I would be checking my stats on the website constantly. Ok, how many people have been hitting the page? What have they been looking at? Do they like the content? And I mean, that kind of all stems from our own need to be liked in certain circumstances. But the fact of the matter is folks, don't ever let that be the ultimate measure of your success. I find that this content, my content has continually developed and it has become better quality as the episodes have gone on. And I hope this show is no exception.
And I guess lesson number four is take pride in what you do. And this is probably the ultimate lesson here. Take pride in what you do because you never know when it's going to help others. And as much as I do this for the challenge, and as much as I do this for myself, my greatest point of pride for this show is that you guys get something out of it. And it's not just the jokes and it's not just the mockery of consumer marketing sometimes, it's the reality that marketing is an art form here folks. And that marketers should view themselves indeed as artists and not as sales people. And I mean when it comes down to it, you can measure marketing, you can quantify it. But when it comes down to it, it's no good unless it can connect. And you, what use is something if you can't connect with it? I mean you go into an art gallery and you're there to be influenced. You're there to be moved by the material that's on the walls. And it's just, it's an incredible medium folks. I mean if you truly appreciate art, then trying to bring that to your marketing, try to take that kind of pride. You are connecting with people. You are sharing ideas. And what use is marketing if you don't' allow it to education and promote the values in which you hold dear. So, I know that's really kind of pie in the sky, but the fact of the matter is, folks, that we have a ton of potential as 20-somethings, and I espouse this every single solitary week on this show. And the one thing, the one goal that I have going forward for this show is that we continually learn from ourselves. That we have more people on this show. We have more comments. We have more emails. We dive deeper into specific marketing tactics. Folks, this is only the beginning and you guys should be as excited about this as I am. Because we are going to do great things. This is not just about 20-somethings learning from each other. This is about 20-somethings engaging in something, breaking out on their own, and truly, truly, truly going out there and attempting things they've never done before. They may have thought about it before, but they've never actually done it. Hopefully this show will give you the chutzpah to get out there and make your dreams reality. Folks, I am never, ever more proud of the work that I do when I hear your comments. So if anything comes out of this, please write more. Like tell me what's going on in your lives. I mean you don't have to be specific, I can not, I can disclose whatever conversations that you want me to disclose. However, this show works best when we are sharing ideas. The fact of the matter is that I've profiled race car businesses here. I've promoted websites. I've promoted other podcasters, podcast medium, and it's just, it's really exciting to see that show after show, we're constantly learning new things. So hopefully in the next couple of episodes, the next couple of months and well, into the future hopefully, we'll keep on learning from each other. So folks, that is what I have learned from you guys. So I deeply, deeply thank you for allowing me to go this far with the podcast. I thank you every single day you listen to the podcast. You download it, share it with your friends. Share your thoughts, share your comments, and I only wish you guys the best.
The following is graphic, clinical material. News and commentary proving once and for all reality does indeed bite.
Ok and before we head into the home stretch today with the game plan, I just want to make a couple of announcement, and actually they're more like fun tidbits of news, updates, if you will. First of all, if you guys have been listening to the show for a long time, you remember that I spoke with one of my good friends, and I think officially have to refer to her as Natasha right now, so Natasha was looking for a job and she was interviewing with one particular company. She is a broadcaster, or she will be officially. And she was actually just interviewing for a job, and this interview process went on for six bloody months. It's a brand new start up in Washington DC, it's very exciting for her, and I'm very, very excited for her. Because it's just a great opportunity. And it's just one of those, it goes to show you that guys, if you're looking for a job and you're just kind of building yourself up, just keep in mind that it sometimes takes a long time. I mean I went into my job and basically I was working as a temp for four months straight before they finally said, ok, we'll keep you full time. So I really do have to tip my hat to Natasha and she did take my advice, in fact she consulted me constantly. So if you guys have any comments or are you yourselves doing a job search, go ahead and email me, firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what we can do in terms of helping you out. Cause apparently I like to give out free advice, and that's some of my best content. Anyway, also speaking of job seekers, I'm actually going to start something new here. If you have a job in your company that you're looking to fill, send it on over to me and I will probably be more than glad, depending on a couple of different like small requirements, be more than glad to like shout it out to our group, because I think that we do kind of share the same ideals, the same goals here. So it's kind of cool to actually share opportunities like this. So, this actually goes out to all the "peeps" in the Scottsdale, Arizona area and my good friend, David Fir, I think I pronounced that right. But he's been listening for a long-ass time, and he has clued me in to a really good opportunity within the next 30 days out in Scottsdale, Arizona. They're looking for sales professionals and store supervisors for I believe it is a retail tanning salon and so it's actually got a pretty good start price, start price, it's got a good start salary, and actually really, really, really good opportunity if you're a good salesperson. So if you're interested in this, contact David at lovehealthsuccess, that's all one word, at Yahoo.com, or you can email me directly at Jared@20somethingmarketing.com. But probably better if you email him directly at email@example.com and he'll schedule a time to meet up with you and talk to you. So that'll be a really cool opportunity for any of you guys out there in Scottsdale, Arizona or in the area that are looking for a job currently. And that seems to really kind of wrap it up. I don't want to go too long because I know with this new technology, with the new microphone I am really going to end up like blabbering a lot because I don't have to really worry about the constraints of the technology. But for the game plan today, folks, and as this is a momentous occasion, do yourself a favor. Write down something that you want to do. And this is kind of an exercise that I go through with some of the people in my business fraternity. Write down some of the things you've always wanted to do. Things that you think would be awesome. A project you would like to engage in. A speaker that you would like to get in. Just do something. Let your mind wander. And I'll give you a great example of this. I was talking with one of my friends and she was putting on a professional programming tract for my business fraternity. And she was really having a hard time trying to figure out what the heck she wanted to get, and so I said to her, you know, if you had an ideal speaker, who would it be? And she told me someone, and she's like, I would never be able to get that person. Well, folks, I'm here to tell you that, I mean as stupid, and as "Tony Robbins" as it gets, it really does make a difference if you decide to convert on that dream. And so what I told her was like, you know what, ask nicely. Market yourself. Use what you know and go out there and try to get him. There's no harm in asking. So what I want you guys to do, and what might be a really cool idea for you guys, is to write something out. Write down what the hell you want to do. Maybe it's starting a business, maybe it's starting a podcast for gosh sakes. Go out and do it and then figure out how you're going to accomplish that dream. And I know this is really, really Tony Robbins, and I don't like to do this. So all I want you guys to do is go out there, accomplish your dreams because you know what, there's a whole wide world out there, and folks, I'm here to tell you that there is just an enormous array of opportunity and all that's waiting for is you to go out and grab it.
So as always, ladies and gentlemen, I wish you guys a very, very happy holidays. Send your comments, questions, and emails to Jared@20somethingmarketing.com. That' Jared @ two zero something marketing dot com. Go the website at www.20somethingmarketing.com and at this point in time I don't give a shit if you spell it twenty, or actually spell it out twenty something marketing dot come, cause it's all the same as I just purchased that domain as well. So if you guys have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to give me a call or an email at that address and I would love to talk to you. And as always folks, I wish you guys a beautiful, beautiful holiday season and a great new year. And I will catch you, as always, on the flip side.