Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants today are known as giraffes

Chuck Norris High Kick

Did I get your attention? Never underestimate the power of Chuck Norris to get people’s attention. Or any other celebrity for that matter. The power of celebrity branding or endorsement cannot be understated these days. We see a movie star wear something, we want to buy it to be like them. We see an athlete drink Gatorade, we absolutely must buy a case of it! Chuck Norris also has done a run of celebrity endorsements. Anyone remember The Total Gym? My personal favorite are the Action Jeans, just in case you too need to high kick someone in the chin.

chucknorris_jeans

Of course, Chuck Norris isn’t the only celebrity to endorse a product. How many stars are now endorsing shoe companies like Adidas or Puma? What about athletes? How many people have just had to have a pair of Jordans or KDs by Nike? Everyone wants to emulate their favorite star or athlete, and buying what they are selling is a big part of that. If we can’t look like them, we can at least dress like them. Same with cars, or in this case trucks. I wonder how many Volvo trucks Jean-Claude Van Damme’s commercial sold?

But is celebrity endorsement just being seen wearing a particular brand? With most celebrities having several hundred followers on their Twitter account alone, celebrities also have the ability to reach a broad audience base, much more than you or I could on any of our social media platforms. Because of that, celebrities get an insane amount of money just to tweet a brand. A simple celebrity search gives us a few numbers from 2013  to put this into perspective. Actor Frankie Muniz gets paid $252 per tweet. Doesn’t seem like much, but that’s just one time. If he tweets a product 20 times, that’s $5040 for a couple minutes’ worth of work and he’s just reached 175,000+ potential customers. What about a Kardashian? Khloe earns $13,000 per tweet. That’s a whole lot of money, but well-earned because her tweets will reach over 8 million people. Companies that are willing to pay her that kind of money fully understand that if they reach just a percentage of her followers, they will easily recoup their cost.

So what does this all mean? If you can afford Chuck Norris (or another celebrity) to endorse your product publicly, it will likely cost you significantly, but the upfront cost will likely be recouped by additional customers that your own marketing might not meet. And not to be outdone by Jean-Claude Van Damme, I leave you with this video:

 

Chuck Norris approves this post! (Not really, but imagine how many followers I would have if he did!)

Chuck Norris thumbs up

 

If you like this post, check out these others:

Pokemon Go as a Marketing Tool

Yelp and Zynga – Big Business Capitalizing on Our Desire to Connect to Our Communities

Are You Unprepared for Your Next Job?

Are You Failing to Plan for Your Next Employee?

 

Books on a Screen?

I’ve always loved books. As a child, I read a dozen books each week. I read outside, inside, in the car, in the dim light of evening and well into the night. I was an English major in college, which exposed me to a whole different world of literature. I love memoirs and post modernist fiction, cookbooks and newspaper comic collections, and have favorites from every genre. I talk about reading a lot, so naturally, I am frequently posed with the question “how do you feel about ebooks?”

I am not a voice in the chorus of “save our hardcovers!”  I also, however, love having a shelf full of tangible books that I can gloat over, lend out, and dust. Just kidding, I never dust. I recognize the visceral experience that a paper book gives. I have many a fond memory that revolves around thumbing the pages and slamming the cover shut at the end of a gripping tale. It has been interesting, as an adult in this era, to watch the transformation of the printed word. There is something to be said for defending our precious, strained eyes from yet another screen. A book will never run out of battery. If you leave it in a train station, you don’t have to remotely delete your personal data. You cannot press flowers between your favorite stories on your e-reader.

However, I’ll shout it from the rooftops. I love my Kindle. http://cdn.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/eBook-Intro-Logo.jpg?b34c28

The grown up child-me, whose carry-on luggage was just a backpack full of books, loves the ability to carry hundreds of volumes at any given time in my purse. I like the instantaneousness of my electronic books. The joy of acquisition is amplified by the idea that I’ll be able to read that book whenever and wherever the fancy strikes me. While I don’t get to go fight the lines in the excited crowd for a midnight release, which was a great part of the excitement for new Harry Potter books in my youth, I am still very excited that I will have Harry Potter and the Cursed Child delivered to my e-reader immediately on July 31st.

The dawn of the e-book brought about a wave of fear from bibliophiles everywhere. However, the data seems to say we have nothing to fear. While there has been backlash of the digital age (RIP Borders and B. Dalton), it seems that we are in a happy middle point. Phillip Jones of The Guardian said it beautifully in his post on the relationship between e-books and printed books “[readers] have proved to more promiscuous and more flexible in what and how they read than anyone predicted.”

What are you reading?

If you want to read more Ruckus MBA blog posts, you can find them here!

Behold, The Last Gasp from the Republican Party

 

Evolution

This is it. The last gasp of breath from the Republican Party. The long standing cancer plaguing the party has finally overcome all the remaining vestiges of conservatism and replaced with a group of media hungry side show freaks. Enamored by their antics and hurting from being passed over in the new economy, angry and under-educated people of the U.S. flock to the loudest and most obscene of individuals because they are just desperate for a change. Sick of being talked down to and with the realization that the fruits of their labor will never be rewarded in this lifetime, many have nothing left to lose as they have already lost their American dream. This current situation should not be a surprise to anyone who has paid attention in the last decade to the advancing drumbeat of anger after the election of President Obama alongside a Libertarian undercurrent.

Columbia Daily Tribune

So how did the Republican Party get here? The 2008 election of Barack Obama stunned the Republican Party and shook it to it’s core as the outdated polling mechanisms predicted a win for Mitt Romney. The hard-line focus on socially conservative values and oppressive stances left many bored and uninspired within the walls of the party. Licking their wounds after the election, the Republican plan was to obstruct all federal government activities and to take on libertarian causes at the behest of the loudest factions of the party. In a true Machiavellian fashion, far right libertarians then asserted their power over the party through the intimidation and threat of establishment party leaders.  Enabling  libertarians to speak for and through the Republican establishment allowed the sentiment to get stronger as anti-government claims were repeated through conservative echo chambers on the internet and within the free media outlets catering to this narrative. This allowed the disease to fester and gain political ballot legitimization and momentum under the protection of a lifeless and gutless party. The Republican Party could have evicted these extreme members and their ideas and forced them to find their own platform and party ticket for discourse, but alas the Republican message was non-existent and over time a new conservative narrative was written for them.

Libertarian factions in the Republican Party have steamrolled members of the establishment.

The Tea Party Patriots, Minutemen, 9/12 groups, Birthers or the Sovereign Citizens have now taken over the Republican Party and devolved it into an Libertarian movement with lots of guns and whole lot of anger. This is no longer just a Libertarian movement, it may further devolve into Fascist revolutionary movement where the cult of personality of a single leader is actively encouraging the overthrowing of democratically held positions through threats, intimidation and violence. These are not just coming from a few fringe characters anymore, these are widely discussed topics about how to remove democratically elected people from public office. These Machiavellian beliefs where the ends justify the means are dangerous to democracy and to anyone who stands in their way, including other established members of the Republican Party.

With the changing demographics and global mindset of the electorate, the Republican Party may no longer be able to actively compete in national elections for president. Essentially, the Republican Party has been castrated from within because they fed a terminal cancer for years and now party insiders wondering why the treatment is not working. Go ahead and bring forth the priest for the last rites of the Republican Party. Behold, the last gasp.

 

Team Ruckus

4 Easy steps to get active behind a desk

scaleA vast majority of work these days involves sitting behind a computer. In today’s busy digital work environment there just isn’t time to be active. Long hours, little movement, staring at a computer, does this sound familiar? Is it really a surprise that people are less active than they were twenty years ago? Blood pressure is rising, cholesterol is rising, and waists are growing exponentially. So what can you do? The first step – eat better. Ok, maybe that’s just not going to happen for some of us. I’m a realist; I try to eat healthy, but it just doesn’t consistently happen. Exercise however can be a catalyst to change, even healthy eating. But we have to start small, and plan for it. Here are four easy steps to start getting active.

keep-calm-and-get-up-get-moving-12

1.       Get moving! Seriously. There are a lot of ways to get moving throughout the day. Park further away from work. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Consider getting a fitness tracker. Fitness trackers are a great way to count how many steps you are taking and turn it into a game. Many fitness trackers even have online groups that you can participate in.

vivoactive

These groups foster a sense of accountability and competition. How many people don’t like to say “I walked more than you today! Better luck tomorrow!” Stand-up meetings also can help. Consider organizing a stand-up or moving meeting rather than a traditional one where everyone is sitting. This is a great way to add a few steps!

racewalking

2.       Exercise on your lunch break! Rather than spending your lunch eating, try to get moving instead. Go for a walk. If you’re a little more motivated than that, go for a run. If you happen to work near a gym, go lift weights. It doesn’t matter if you hop, skip, run, or play a game of basketball. Anything you do to break up the monotony of the day and get moving is a step in the right direction. Plus, you can always eat lunch at your desk later.

3.       Stand at your desk!

varidesk

Raise your desk or consider purchasing a top mounted sit/stand desk such as a Varidesk. The investment is worth and your waist will thank you! Even sitting on exercise balls are better than the alternative.

4.       Take a break every hour or so to stretch and move. Besides your eyes thanking you, it feels good and a good stretch goes a long way. Get up and walk down the hall to get something to drink. Go up/down the stairs a couple of times.

Try all of these to get moving. Try none of these. Come up with something different. It doesn’t matter how you get moving, the important part is to just get moving!

 

Are You Unprepared for Your Next Job?

Team Ruckus

By: Team Ruckus, Willamette University Atkinson School MBA for Professionals Program

If you read the above title and thought, “I have not even thought about my next job,” this is your wake up call. In competitive employment markets, you need to actively manage your career trajectory or you will be left behind, and fast. Being smart or technically superior is no longer enough to make your mark in today’s business.

In previous generations, the length of employment in an single industry was an indicator of experience, loyalty and dedication. In today’s employment market, it is often seen as stagnation in a career as your experiential learning wanes. Leaders do take notice to career trajectory when evaluating the benefits of potential hires and internal promotions. Working in the same job for more than 3-4 years discourages your further growth. The good news; you can break the cycle and change your career trajectory starting today.

Forget about longevity, diversity of experience matters.

In the recent article, Eight Career Skills You Need to be Competitive in 2016, by Stephanie Vozza, published in Fast Company Magazine, the author points out you should diversify your mix of hard and soft skills to maximize your career advancement. The article suggests that enhancing your global mindset and managing among diverse cultures and within diverse environments will prove to be of significant value to show  adaptability in your work. A willingness to learn and seek opportunities paired with strong, agile communication skills are vital for you employer to envision you in positions of higher authority. Finally, your ability to delegate work that can be handled by others not only improves your time management, but also encourages the growth mentality among your staff. These skills in combination will show your true leadership potential and your readiness to take on the next business challenge.

Get the attention of the boss and outshine the competitors
Get the attention of the boss and outshine the competitors.

In today’s business organizations, these skills will help to differentiate you among all those vying for the job. Do you have what it takes to meet the needs of your next job? Are you ready?

 

 

http://www.fastcompany.com/3055352/the-future-of-work/eight-career-skills-you-need-to-be-competitive-in-2016

http://www.manpowergroup.us/campaigns/talent-shortage-2015/

http://www.fastcompany.com/3061702/the-ultimate-guide-to-hiring-original-thinkers

 

Of These Advertising Marketing Agencies, Which Industry Leaders Have Name Recognition?

Team Ruckus

This is a digital marketing experiment by Team Ruckus with Willamette University’s MBA for Professional Program.

Of these advertising marketing agencies, which names do you recognize?

Ogilvy & Mather, Wieden+Kennedy, 72andSunny, IDEO, iProspect, Razorfish, Ruckus, Edelman, Interbrand, Wunderman

Copy and paste the survey link to choose.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YB3H3X9

 

 

 

 

 

Pokémon GO as a Marketing Tool?

POKEMON GO_full

Pokémon GO has been the topic of discussion recently in a lot of circles, including marketing and social media. Why is it such a conversation piece in marketing though? The idea is simple – use the location-based feature of your smart phone and search for Pokémon creatures while walking around. When you find them, you can catch them digitally on your phone with a PokéBall. But is it simply the phenomenal rise of Pokémon Go from a Google April fool’s day joke, to a full-fledged app that is taking the world by storm? Or is it something more? Pokemon go influencing marketing local business by Conrado Langer on creativeagencysecrets.com eludes to something more. While this app has created an insane amount of value for Nintendo’s stocks, there is more to it. As a small business owner, there is a form that can be filled out to request a PokéStop at your business location. There are actually many methods to use Pokémon GO as a marketing tool. This article is a nice step into the world of using location based gaming platforms as marketing tools and lists just a couple.

Sources:
Conrado Langer, 15 July, 2016. http://creativeagencysecrets.com/pokemon-go-influencing-marketing-local-business/

 

Are you failing to plan for your next employee?

Team Ruckus

Since January 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports a growing chasm between the number of jobs available and the limited talent pool. For some employers, if this continues, the future does not look rosy.

The Manpower Group 2015 Talent Shortage Survey states a staggering 1 in 3 employers currently have difficulty filling positions and 33% of employers report they are unable to fill jobs because of a lack of applicants. Nearly half of employers believe the shortage of talent will have a medium to high impact on their ability to meet business needs in the future. A June 2015 article in The Guardian newspaper headline reads:

“Growing skills gap: 80% of small businesses can’t find qualified staff”

Have I scared you yet? Good. Here is some good news. It is not always about pay alone that attracts the top talent.

Look outside your usual recruitment channels to attract employees.
Look outside your usual recruitment channels to attract employees.

Think of your customer. What do you know about your customer? Do you meet your customer’s current and future needs? What would you do if your customers started walking away from your company and new customers were not offsetting the loss of your old customers? How would your company react to that? If you are finding difficulty hiring qualified employees, they are not applying for your posted positions or your retention rate is high; you need a new strategy. If the same were happening to your customer base, you would take evasive action. You would refocus your marketing and find what attracts new customers. Why is that? A competitive sales market is virtually the same as a competitive employment market. Either you can be a leader in premium wages, in creative differentiation or in employee satisfaction. Choose your strategy.

 

http://www.manpowergroup.us/campaigns/talent-shortage-2015/

http://www.manpowergroup.us/campaigns/talent-shortage-2015/assets/pdf/2015-Talent-Shortage-Infographic.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jun/22/skills-gap-small-business-qualified-staff

 

 

Yelp and Zynga: Big Business capitalizing on our desire to connect to our communities

The best way to reach customers in today’s digital world is through social media. How, though? One commonly believed differentiator is whether the company helps people connect or now.

Connecting people

Does simply connecting people really help the success of a company though? If the company’s revenue stream is generated simply through advertising, then yes. The more people you connect, the more advertising you can pump through. If you are selling a product or service though, it is more complicated than that. Let’s compare a couple companies: Yelp and Zynga.

yelpzynga

Since 2004, Yelp has grown leaps and bounds. Yelp was founded to help people find local businesses. In 2016, Yelp had a monthly average of 21 million visitors through the Yelp App, and 69 million visitors through the mobile web. Yelp is a stand-alone app that provides this connection between people and businesses while selling ads to local businesses. So they make money off of advertisements, but the core of their business practice is around connecting people.

Zynga creates social media games. Their mission is to connect the world through games. Zynga primarily makes its revenue through selling virtual goods in-game. Current worth of Zynga is estimated at around $500 million, putting its worth at less than that of its office building in San Francisco. Yelp on the other hand is worth $3.5 billion. Both companies operate in industries where there is a fair amount of competition. So what is the difference?

confused

 

Maybe it’s not as simple as helping people connect. Both of these businesses do that, just in different ways. Maybe it’s how they connect people that is important. Zynga connected people already using social media platforms, just with a different service. Zynga now has its own platform, yet still can’t seem to realize the revenue stream that they once had. What gives? Why can’t Zynga recover? Maybe it is the customer service aspect? Yelp on the other hand connects people to a service, through their own app. Yelp also seems to have great customer service. Maybe the key is connecting people to strangers. Only time will tell…