In this episode I went searching for blind spots. While on the one hand I feel like I’m on the right path, I can’t help but wonder what I don’t know. Am I missing something? Is there something I don’t see? Can I even make this shift from an agency to a personality?

To find out, he spoke to three friends who all lend their perspective on what they think I can do, can’t do and a few things I wasn’t even admitting to himself.

Special thanks to John Michael Morgan, Michael Epps Utley and Chris Thomas for contributing valuable insights and thought provoking views about where I’m trying to go.

Please subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher. If you like what you hear, please rate and review the podcast and be sure to tell someone else about the show. After all, everyone is hinging in some way or another.

Last year I started writing about the concept that everything is marketing now. I even wrote a poem about it. As I’ve been hinging out of social media work and into the broader scope of marketing, I have realized one thing: we must expand our definition of marketing. That’s the only way you’re going to make it.

Marketing is no longer merely a series of tactics. It’s no longer a department for a few employees. It’s no longer the responsibility of a handful of people who have “marketing” on their business cards. It’s for everyone in your company because everything your company does tells a story.

Stories We Tell

For instance: if your customer service reps can’t resolve a simple issue because it’s against policy, you are telling the customer that your policy is more important than their business. Is that a story you want to tell?

If you sell a high quality product but the packaging looks terrible and cheap because you hired someone who was cheap (and terrible) to design it, you’re telling every buyer that you’re willing to cut corners for the sake of saving some money. Is that a story you want to tell?

Have you considered the stories your company tells in the multitude of areas that fall outside the jurisdiction of your marketing department?

These Stories Matter

You may be tempted to say that these seemingly non-marketing stories don’t matter much. You might be inclined to think most people don’t think like this and those who do are too picky or too snooty or expect too much from you. And perhaps they do, but these people also have power. Your customer has more power than she’s ever had. Not all of them of course, but plenty of do…and what makes it more interesting (or scary depending on your perspective) is that you can’t tell who does and who doesn’t have very easily.

The power comes from the reach of their relationships. You should assume that there are no one-on-one interactions with customers anymore. Everything has the potential to be shared. Assume it will be. It will save you some headaches and you may even decide (as I hope you will) that it’s an opportunity waiting on you.

It will also change the way you work because you’ll realize that everything your company does has a marketing implication from the way you develop your products and the experience your service provides to the way you treat your employees. The world is smaller now. It’s time to expand your definition of marketing.

7 Factors For Expanding Your Definition of Marketing

In the coming weeks I’m going to be unpacking this idea. There are seven elements that go into understanding that everything is marketing now. Here are the categories:

  1. Customers
  2. Employees
  3. Products/Services
  4. Experiences
  5. Interactions
  6. Insights
  7. Tactics

With a proper perspective of these seven categories, you will expand your definition of marketing and see where adjustments need to be made within the things you call marketing now and all the areas you probably don’t call marketing currently. It will change your marketing. It will change your business. It will be good.

Photo credit: “a new life” by Paul Moody via Flickr. Creative Commons license.

I’m excited to finally have the first episode of the Hinge Podcast ready for download. When I thought about doing a podcast several months ago I knew I wanted something that I could say was uniquely mine. I hope you’ll find that to be the case.

In this first episode I give some background about who I am, how I got to the point of needing to make a pivot, and what I hope all this change is about. I want the show to feel like a peek behind the curtain into the conversations that happen when someone is taking steps to change so in this episode you’ll hear some conversations I had with my wife, Melanie, as we discussed the ups and downs of self-employment and speculation about the likelihood of my success as I hope to transition into building a platform/audience around his perspective on marketing.

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Here we go. Enjoy.

You can’t trust Willy Wonka. If you’ve ever seen the end of the original movie (not the weird Johnny Depp adaptation) you’ll remember that Charlie is given the whole chocolate factory and Mr. Wonka tells him, “don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted…he lived happily ever after.”

That’s a great line for a movie but not true in reality. What we want changes. Eight years ago I wanted to become a social media marketing consultant and make a living doing it. That was back in 2007 when we didn’t even call it social media yet. The first year was hard but by mid-2008 things started moving up. By 2012 I had seen several years of steady growth and I was feeling like that Willy Wonka quote was true.

The problem with making a goal and then achieving it is that you’re not really prepared for what to do next if you actually hit the big goal you have in mind. That’s where I found myself and for the last few years I’d been searching for that next goal. Now I have it.

I’m making a pivot from a social media marketing consultant who can, in a good year, help a dozen or so companies, to a point where I’d like to help thousands, if not millions of people. It feels audacious to even write that, but it’s where I want to go. It’s where I need to go.

So I’m pivoting. I’m shifting from what I’ve known to where I need to go. Truth be told, I’ve been in this transition slowly for about two years and this new website under my name rather than MicroExplosion Media is just one step in the overall pivot. This is a hinge moment. Time to move.