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Inspiring Action Brand Of The Week: ThePointsGuy

This is Brian Kelly, but you can call him ThePointsGuy.

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Who is he?

Well, as he states in his twitter bio, he’s “living proof that frequent flyer miles and credit card points are not worthless”.

I was first introduced to ThePointsGuy, by our Chief Mark DiMassimo a few short weeks ago. I had just taken a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Newark. Situated uncomfortably in my middle seat, in between a snoring businessman and a mother holding her crying baby, I accumulated a total of one hour’s rest on the five-hour coast-to-coast adventure.

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I try not to let snobbish and pompous thoughts infiltrate my conscious, but with a long day of work on the horizon, I couldn’t help but peak my eyes over the seat in front of me and glare into the first class cabin.

Like a child jealous of his best friend’s toy, I thought to myself  “I want that. No, no, I NEED that.”

The idea of kicking my feet up in luxury quickly escaped my mind. As a recent postgraduate, the hypothetical of taking first class excursions is likely more than a decade away, if not more. In my current situation, it’s just outside the realm of possibility.

ThePointsGuy would say otherwise.

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ThePointsGuy would probably tell me about the different champagnes that they offer. He might even tell me about the time a personal Italian Chef named Enrico brought him a Thanksgiving meal while he was 35,000 feet above the Atlantic. But he would almost certainly tell me that he did it all by using earned miles and credit card points, before explaining that if I took his advice, I could too.

And perhaps I could. He makes it all sound so easy with his 10-step process for beginners like myself.

Brian Kelly has been taking advantage of flier miles and credit card points since he was a 13-year old booking his father’s business trips.

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This hobby of maximizing points and earning great deals only grew to an obsession when he was flying 180 days out of the year as a Wall Street road warrior. It wasn’t until people started taking notice and asking for tips and advice that he realized he could turn it into a profession, and so he did. In 2011, he kicked the Wall Street gig to the curb and started growing his site, www.ThePointsGuy.com, where he shares his unique skill to 1.5 million visitors a month.

Brian inspired action by mapping the pattern of behavior he wished to change, which is #7 on our list of the ten signs of an inspiring action organization

He knew there was an entire world of luxury travels that people were missing out on, not because they didn’t have the money, but because they didn’t know to properly take advantage of the deals offered to them. And so he sought out to change their behavior. Through his website and social media channels, he began building a following. Now, with over a million devotees, ThePointsGuy is educating the masses on how they too can trade in the hostel bed for a 5-star suite.

Bon Voyage indeed.

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 To see the full case study on ThePointsGuy, click HERE.

– James Nieman, Integrated Marketing Manager

 

Prioritize Creative Excellence

Inspiring Action

Key #8 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here.

I led a brainstorm with a new client just the other day.

Their list of “growth blocks” was so like what other marketers have said, I thought I’d share them with you (and let you in on a powerful solution):

“We have the goods, but we don’t connect with the audience as well as we should,” admitted the COO, who had previously been the CMO.

“Seems like there are two kinds of creative people — those that understand the product and those that are great at talking to the audience. Unfortunately, we’re having a lot of trouble finding the overlap,” said the marketing director, still working through the grief of the recently ended agency relationship.

The internal creative director continued: “Most people don’t define creative excellence the way we do either. To us, it’s all about results first, and yes, being true to our brand. But that doesn’t seem to inspire or hold the attention of the best creative people. Plus, how do you literally put two messages into one communication. Isn’t that going to hurt results? I’m confused …”

Prioritize Creative Excellence.

What works better for growing a brand and business: great creative or powerful sales activation?

Here’s an intensive analysis of all 700 cases in the files of London’s respected Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), which found that companies with both outperformed those with either by a wide margin.

In fact, they found the two most important factors for success were advertising spend and creative excellence (as measured by, believe it or not, awards). Of those two most important factors, creative excellence even edged out size of budget as the most important factor.

In an increasingly crowded marketing landscape, great brands win. Great brands are built by great experiences, amplified by communications that move people powerfully. Smart marketing organizations are full of great strategists and brimming with great strategies ready to be tried. Most simply fail to be executed with great, on-strategy creative.

Connecting great marketing to winning creative isn’t easy, which is why it’s not normal either. Getting two very different tribes to work together to transcend the ordinary takes specific values and skills. Check out my Inspiring Action in Creative Teams: Seven Strategies for Prioritizing Creative Excellence.

-Mark DiMassimo, Chief

 

Inspiring Action Podcast With Alec Brownstein

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The Creative Director of the Dollar Shave Club is also the guy who made himself famous with a Google Experiment that got him a copywriter job in a top agency (budget $6). His name is Alec Brownstein, and he’s also the co-author of two best-selling comedy books, an award-winning copywriter, a film director and, yes, currently the creative director at the Dollar Shave Club. Spearheading one of the world’s fastest-growing and innovative companies, he’s quickly established himself as one of best outside-the-box thinkers in the industry.

Brownstein is also the mastermind behind the above mentioned “Google Experimentan inspiring example of how creative problem solving and persistence can put you in a position to succeed. The experiment gained him some overnight fame, but more importantly, it landed him a job. Listen in as Brownstein tells host Mark DiMassimo about how an unemployed International Relations graduate with zero marketing experience was able to catch the eyes of some of the industry’s most highly touted executives.

And, if you’re into laughing, you may want to order his books HERE and HERE. These books fit perfectly on a coffee table or even a bathroom, right next to your razor which you probably got from signing up to the Dollar Shave Club HERE.

 

Each of us is Responsible for Our Own Inspiration.

Don’t settle for less. Find, ask, challenge, orchestrate, search, revisit…do what it takes to get inspired to do your best.

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At DiMassimo Goldstein, we put our values in a document we call “The DIGO Standard.” It doesn’t just hang on the walls and sit on our desks and desktops. We use it every day. People who visit often ask for a copy. Here’s yours, and you didn’t even have to ask.

Join the INSPIRING ACTION tribe!

 

Inspiring Action Podcast with Steve Harrison

Steve Harrison has won more Cannes Lions awards than any other creative director in the world. He is one of the most influential and inspiring copywriters of his time, and is the author of “Changing the World is the Only Fit Work For a Grown Man”, an eyewitness account of the life and times of legendary adman Howard Luck Gosssage. For his work, Campaign Magazine has recognized Harrison as “the greatest Direct Marketing Creative of his generation”.

Tune in and listen as Steve calls in from the United Kingdom to tell host Mark DiMassimo all about his book, his unorthodox journey to becoming an award-winning copywriter and much much more on this edition of the “Inspiring Action Podcast”.

 

Proove Accountable Media, The Way Media Should Be.

Media Agencies are operating in an old school fashion, marking up inventory, not being transparent, moving at a snails pace and not investing in the best talent. I felt there was an opportunity for an agency to be fully transparent, ethical, and to act as a true agent for the client. Built from the ground up, Proove is positioned as a challenger to the old school model and is set up to drive success for our clients in todays world.

What do our clients get from an honest agency?

No previous prearranged media, partner or data commitments…a realtime log of the daily optimizations made & a non-biased media recommendation that clearly maps back to what you need to accomplish in market. You will actually know where your media is running.

What does that mean?

Results.

Proove Accountable Media, the way media should be.

Read the full Business Insider article here.

 

What’s Your Measure of Proof?

There was once a man who refused to give up smoking until it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that smoking caused disease.

He didn’t live long enough to see the proof.

Today, there are direct (digital, mobile, SAAS, subscription, e-commerce, club…) marketers who refuse to improve their marketing success with an insight-driven multi-channel strategy until the perfect attribution model has been developed.

Every day, another one is buried by a marketer with a more reasonable measure of proof.

Is overall marketing efficiency your ultimate measure? Is making one dollar of marketing spend return two or three or four times as many customers your objective?

If so, you are an optimizer.

If you prefer perfectly attributable though small gains in discrete channels, then you’re an incrementalist.

Optimizers eat incrementalists for lunch.

Sometimes, in very big places, incrementalists work in the middle of a pyramid with optimizers at the top. Even so, they can only swim so far up before they hit a ceiling. Too late, they find that the open market is not a very friendly place for an incrementalist.

Why do incrementalists do it to themselves? Is it because they are trading upside for certainty? Is being sure more valuable to them than being successful? Is being right worth more to them than results?

Or did they just swallow a less intelligent idea of what it is a marketer is supposed to do?

Well … enough musing about the incrementalists, much as I would like to convert as many of them as possible to a life of success beyond explanation.

We are for the optimizers.