What Bob Dylan can teach us about work, making decisions

After Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature last year, it took him two weeks to respond to the academy and accept the award. Most deemed the lack of response as inappropriate and disingenuous, but a recent article from Inc. sums it up perfectly:

“But Dylan taught us something different: Thoughtful responses are always better. Thinking before speaking or acting helps us to put into words what we truly feel over time, not just the first emotion that strikes us. It keeps us from simply getting caught up in the day-to-day, going through the motions in a way that wastes time in the end. And it inspires us to stop and listen to those who disagree with our opinion, instead of getting upset or snapping back.”

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot reflecting on what drives me and others to make decisions. Over the course of my career, I’ve been lucky enough to have co-workers, bosses, and friends who support and share great advice about my direction and goals. I’ve also been faced with challenging decisions and have encountered others who don’t share the same vision as me. And while all these influencers (positive and negative) have been a huge part of my career trajectory, ultimately, when pressed to make a choice for myself, I never really took the time to sit and focus on what my thoughts and feelings were.

Dylan has learned not to immediately respond to the energy and opinions of others. Instead, he listens, reflects, and then reacts. It’s important to take time to process and truly understand the impact of our choices and words.

As further inspiration to listen to our inner voice and do what makes us happy, here are a few of my favorite Dylan quotes/lyrics on work, success, and others’ opinions:

  1. “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”
  2. “Well, I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them.” – Maggie’s Farm 
  3. “Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
    Too noble to neglect
    Deceived me into thinking
    I had something to protect
    Good and bad, I define these terms
    Quite clear, no doubt, somehow
    Ah, but I was so much older then
    I’m younger than that now.” – My Back Pages
  4. “You lose yourself, you reappear
    You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
    Alone you stand with nobody near
    When a trembling distant voice, unclear
    Startles your sleeping ears to hear
    That somebody thinks they really found you” – It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
  5. “I ain’t a-saying you treated me unkind
    You could have done better but I don’t mind
    You just kinda wasted my precious time
    But don’t think twice, it’s all right” – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

Measuring the waste in digital advertising: Lessons from Atlas

First. This quote: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” Sound familiar? :)

Atlas was Facebook’s answer to the Google’s Double Click ad exchange. Their goal was to identify real people vs. bots on web and mobile, which can drive up the costs of digital ads. Atlas proved successful in this task. The trouble with the platform, as they found out, wasn’t the technology, but that users aren’t really engaging with banners or exchanges. In reality, only two formats deliver significant value: native and video.

Makes sense when you think about it. What content do you engage with the most on your mobile device? Whatever comes up in the center well. And what content do you engage with most on your desktop? It’s typically video or some other native content. Marketers, especially in the non-profit arena, would do well to invest wisely in these forms of digital media rather than using exchange networks or other, harder to measure mediums.

Fans not seeing your Facebook posts? You’re not alone.

This is an issue a lot of page admins are seeing. Because of the number of organizations and brands who have created pages as a way to promote their business or cause, Facebook has adjusted their algorithm so that the average user isn’t inundated with content from pages vs. seeing updates from their friends and family. (There are also a lot of theories that Facebook has done this as a way to force pages to pay for advertising.) Unfortunately, this means it’s harder for non-profits and pages still trying to build a following to get their message out there.

There are a couple of ways to help ensure your messages are seen by your fans:

  1. Make sure they like and follow you.
  2. Get more engagement on your posts. When fans engage with your current posts, they will start to see more of your future posts on their news feed.


How Facebook’s New Call Now Button Can Help Your Hospital Marketing

Facebook ads can be a quick and inexpensive way to boost your hospital’s brand awareness or drive users to a particular spot on your website. Starting late last year, Facebook added Call to Action buttons, making it easier to define your desired call to action. Unfortunately for hospital marketers, most if not all of the available calls to action were not applicable to achieving desired goals.

Today, Facebook added another Call to Action button option to it’s line up: Call Now. Why is this important to hospital marketers in the digital space? Even though most hospital websites have vast online physician directories, many with request an appointment forms, it is difficult to track how many users visited a page and then called or emailed to make an appointment. A direct phone number to a call center or physician office can quickly provide you with your ROI and how many appointments were made as a direct result of the campaign.

In addition to Call Now, Facebook offers the following action buttons:

  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch Video

Hospital marketers: Do you use Facebook ads as part of your marketing strategy? If so, will you start using this new call to action feature, or will you continue to drive your user to a website?

Email marketing…. What’s predictive analytics got to do with it?

A study conducted late last year found that US marketers are mostly relying on data like demographics and geography to segment audiences for email marketing campaigns. How 2012! The reason for this limited segmentation? Only about 28% of email marketers have a centralized database for customer info across channels.

Customer Data Attributes/Metrics Used by US Marketers to Segment Audiences for Email Marketing Campaigns, Dec 2014 (% of respondents)What do we need to better target our customers? Predictive analytics – using “statistics, machine learning, data mining, and modeling to analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future events.” If used correctly, predictive analytics for list segmentation can help us marketers reach our direct audience.

How do we get these analytics? This will be easier for retailers and other sales-driven businesses, who can work with their sales teams to plug into platforms like Salesforce or Marketo. As noted in this article from Inc.Marketing Sales = Magic.

If you work in marketing for a hospital, it will be tricky to plug into EHRs and other data sources. Many hospital marketing teams are bypassing the issue and developing homegrown CRMs to create customer profiles.

In either case, it’s clear that segmenting audiences using data already available to us is crucial to email marketing strategy. How do you use or plan on using predictive analytics?

Best Image Size Resources for Social Media

imagesizeImage sizes on social media channels can be hard to keep up with. Here are some of the best resources I’ve found for finding image dimensions for ANY social media channel you might need – profile pics and cover/header photos included;