So eloquently written, I had to share this exerpt from Tony, the president and CEO of The Energy Project and the author of Be Excellent at Anything. As he approaches his 60th birthday, he shared the 12 most important lessons he’s learned after six decades on the planet. Check out the simplistic wisdom of his lessons.

1. The more we know about ourselves, the more power we have to behave better. Humility is underrated. We each have an infinite capacity for self-deception — countless unconscious ways we protect ourselves from pain, uncertainty, and responsibility — often at the expense of others and of ourselves. Endless introspection can turn into self-indulgence, but deepening self-awareness is essential to freeing ourselves from our reactive, habitual behaviors.

2. Notice the good. We each carry an evolutionary predisposition to dwell on what’s wrong in our lives. The antidote is to deliberately take time out each day to notice what’s going right, and to feel grateful for what you’ve got. It’s probably a lot.

3. Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.

4. Never seek your value at the expense of someone else’s. When we’re feeling devalued, our reactive instinct is to do anything to restore what we’ve lost. Devaluing the person who made you feel bad will only prompt more of the same in return.

5. Do the most important thing first in the morning and you’ll never have an unproductive day. Most of us have the highest energy early in the day, and the fewest distractions. By focusing for a designated period of time, without interruption, on the highest value task for no more than 90 minutes, it’s possible to get an extraordinary amount of work accomplished in a short time.

6. It’s possible to be excellent at anything, but nothing valuable comes easy and discomfort is part of growth. Getting better at something depends far less on inborn talent than it does the willingness to practice the activity over and over, and to seek out regular feedback, the more precise the better.

7. The more behaviors you intentionally make automatic in your life, the more you’ll get done. If you have to think about doing something each time you do it, you probably won’t do it for very long. The trick is to get more things done using less energy and conscious self-control. How often do you forget to brush your teeth?

8. Slow down. Speed is the enemy of nearly everything in life that really matters. It’s addictive and it undermines quality, compassion, depth, creativity, appreciation and real relationship.

9. The feeling of having enough is magical. It rarely depends on how much you’ve got. More is rarely better. Too much of anything eventually becomes toxic.

10. Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, and don’t expect anything in return. Your values are one of the only possessions you have that no one can take away from you. Doing the right thing may not always get you what you think you want in the moment, but it will almost always leave you feeling better about yourself in the long run. When in doubt, default to calm and kind.

11. Add more value in the world than you’re using up. We spend down the earth’s resources every day. Life’s primary challenge is to put more back into the world than we take out.

12. Savor every moment — even the difficult ones. It all goes so fast.

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What’s the Buzz?

Posted October 1, 2010 By s.applegate

Looking at the most popular newsworthy “buzz”, on just a random weekday last month, we identified the following topics as having the most play:

* Hyundai has displaced Nissan as one of the five “most considered” automotive brands among new-car shoppers. Ford is number one, followed by Toyota, Chevrolet, Honda and Hyundai. (Kelley Blue Book)

* Forty-nine percent said the new fall TV season is “important” to them. Among those looking forward to it, 75 percent said they are excited to see the dramas; 68 percent said the same about the comedies. Many fewer, 38 percent, said they are eager to view the new season’s reality shows. (International Communications Research for Comcast)

* Forty-two percent of a survey’s men and 61 percent of its women “are worried that their partner may cheat on them at some point.” (Cosmopolitan.com)

* Fewer than half (44 percent) believe prices are lower at “outlet malls” than at other stores. (WSL Strategic Retail)

* The “fast-casual” restaurant industry is expected to have sales of $23 billion in 2010, an increase of nearly 30 percent since 2006 (Mintel)

* Cable operators lost 711,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2010. (SNL Kagan)

Pretty random? I found it pretty interesting that as a collective community, we’re thinking about what we drive, what we watch on television, if we’re being cheated on, where to get the best prices shopping, fast food sales and cable operators losing subscribers all inside of one day at the office! What’s your buzz?

For help with becoming top of mind with your prospects, contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com

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Found Money

Posted October 1, 2010 By s.applegate

Based on an American Express/Echo Research poll from August, 2010, most respondents claimed they would use it in some fiscally responsible way:

Found Money Chart by American Express/Echo Research 09/10

What would you do if you found $500?

Contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com to find out how we save our clients money every day!

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Sharing Online Content

Posted October 1, 2010 By s.applegate

There are a number of reasons that people feel compelled to share content but the primary reasons according to an August 2010 study by market-research/consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey revealed the following:

Reasons for Sharing Online Content Chart

The online poll reported 39 percent of women and 25 percent of men said they were “highly likely” to share online content with friends, colleagues or family members; 41 percent of women and 46 percent of men are “somewhat likely” to do so.

Types of Content Shared Online Chart

It may come as no surprise that the most frequent method for sharing content with others online is through e-mail, 86 percent. Facebook ranks number two with 49 percent and only a few, or 4 percent, report using Twitter.

For more information or help with your strategic media planning or buying needs, contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com.

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Commercial Confusion

Posted October 1, 2010 By s.applegate

According to the recent poll conducted by Adweek Media/Harris Poll, over half of all respondents reported that they were not confused by commercials very often. While older subjects tended to report greater confusion, 16 percent of young adults, age 18-34 reported feeling this way “somewhat often.” This aligns closely with the 45-54 age group that reported 4 percent felt confused “very often” and 14 percent “somewhat often.”

Commercial Confusion Chart by AdweekMedia/Harris Poll

Understanding was greater among the 35-44 age group, where only 2 percent reported being confused by commercials “very often,” 11 percent “somewhat often.”

Advertisers and the ad agency community alike can also appreciate that so few of the respondents said they simply don’t watch TV commercials and that there was little variation by age. 13 percent of the 55 and over group reported that they don’t watch commercials compared to 10 percent of each other age group in the survey.

For more information or help with your strategic media planning or buying needs, contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com.

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Digital Post Office?

Posted September 2, 2010 By s.applegate

In the fifties and sixties, people couldn’t imagine a world without milk deliveries. Just like it’s hard to imagine life without mail carriers today. It’s time. Thinking of it from both a marketer’s and consumer’s perspective, it would rid the world of spam forever and who wouldn’t love that, (aside from spammers)?

At the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Innovation Symposium last month, some of their largest customers stressed the need for the post office to start playing in the digital sandbox. It makes sense from a practical and financial standpoint – the U.S. Postal Service reported a net loss of nearly $2.5 billion for June 2010, an increase from the $1.3 billion reported in the same period last year.

Selfishly, a government sponsored entity would be able to get the ISP’s to support uniform standards for allowing rich media back in the email inbox. While there are a few reputable Email Service Providers (ESPs) that have great certification programs, the USPS could standardize this tomorrow.

They could even provide the non-profit senders a discounted rate like they already do for mail. If you give Disney, Macy’s, Target, Wal-Mart, and all the other major direct to consumer marketers an ability to use JavaScript in the email inbox, it could vitalize the ‘honest broker’ role the USPS plays today…and kill all the spammers overnight. What ISP wouldn’t want this…other than Google?

For more information or help with your media planning and buying needs, contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com.

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2010 Holiday Marketing

Posted September 2, 2010 By s.applegate

The smart marketers are probably doing a number different things this year, but we believe segmentation will play a larger role than ever before. To help marketers with that, the Simmons Retail Shopper segmentation targeting system details six individual segments of shoppers that marketers need to consider:

Virtual Shoppers: Twenty-six percent, the majority of this American consumer segment, go for the bargains and use the Internet to help find discounts. Interestingly, one of the Mosaic USA2 types that indexes the highest for this particular segment is America’s Wealthiest.

Status Strivers: Twenty percent think that shopping is fun and recreational; they like to browse as much as buy, and they’re willing to spend the money and time necessary to keep up with trends. In contrast to Virtual Shoppers, the Mosaic USA types that comprise this segment include several lower-income groups, revealing the aspirational nature of status striving.

Upscale Clicks: Seventeen percent of shoppers in America are knowledgeable consumers who buy either in-store or online, always carefully research purchases online first, and shop around and compare prices before buying. Several suburban and urban Mosaic USA types make a strong showing in this group.

Just the Essentials: Fourteen percent of Americans make up this group of consumers who primarily purchase necessities; they know what they want and are not impulsive shoppers. In contrast to Upscale Clicks, rural types make a strong showing for this segment.

Original Traditionalists: Thirteen percent are loyal to their brands, stores, services and country. They’re knowledgeable, are the most environmentally responsible group, and incorporate green practices on a regular basis.

Mall Maniacs: Ten percent of shoppers in America are not just consumers; they’re “try-sumers.” They like to try new products, stores and styles and connect and interact with preferred brands, and shopping brings enjoyment to them. As revealed below in our ethnicity section, Hispanic Mosaic USA types index strongly for this segment.

Even though sales projections for this year’s holiday season are modest at best, the consumer marketing machines may actually appear “noisier” than in years past as budget dollars are deployed in a much more concentrated, holistic way against only the best prospects for a brand.

For more information or help aligning your strategy and tactics, contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com.

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The Resurgence of Radio

Posted September 2, 2010 By s.applegate

According to a recent report from Katz Media Group, spot radio sales for the third quarter are up 15 percent over last year and there’s no sign of slowing down in the fourth quarter, pacing at 50 percent growth based on business booked to date. Six of the seven reported category are showing double digit increases:

From a geographic perspective, the West region, while still showing increases, trails the other reported regions.

While this is obvious great news for the radio industry, we believe it’s simply a reflection of the long overdue alignment between smart marketers and the industry itself since radio begins to more effectively leverage their various multi-platform delivery opportunities.

For more information or help to jump-start your media plan, contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com.

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Best Ever Social Media Campaigns

Posted September 2, 2010 By s.applegate

Social media is just a tool to make creating a viral or buzz-worthy campaign easier. You have to have a compelling and interesting enough message that make recipients want to share with a friend. Here’s the top 5 from Forbes list of 20:

#1 “The Blair Witch Project” 1999

Movie site Box Office Mojo reports that the film made more than $29 million during its first week of wide release. It has generated about $249 million to date worldwide.

#2 Blendtec: Will it Blend? 2006

According to Jeff Robe, Blendtec’s director of marketing, the videos have done more than boost awareness of Blendtec blenders. Home sales of blenders have increased 700% since November 2006.

#3 Old Spice “Smell Like a Man, Man.” 2010

Old Spice spokesman Isaiah Mustafa was popular in TV commercials, but what really made this campaign an interactive hit was the recent Web-based element with Mustafa responding to questions submitted by fans on Twitter and other social media outlets in as many as 180 Web videos this summer.

#4 Burger King: “Subservient Chicken” 2004

Created to promote their TenderCrisp Sandwich, the website received 15 million hits in the first five days.

#5 Pepsi Refresh 2010

This campaign gives people the chance to obtain funding for charitable ideas. The idea(s) with the most votes wins. The Forbes judges highlighted the use of “Refresh” as a way for Pepsi to push toward a new identity while still maintaining its youthful image.

Personally, I liked OfficeMax: “Elf Yourself” but that only ranked #7 on Forbes list, even though it managed to create 122 million elves during the 2006 holiday season! What was your favorite social media campaign?

For more information or help with your media planning and buying needs, contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com.

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Much Ado About Social

Posted August 2, 2010 By s.applegate

In April of 2010, eROI conducted a study of more than 500 marketers that revealed nearly 60 percent of organizations assign less than five hours each week to social media management related tasks. From a company standpoint then, social media is one of the least involved marketing programs.

When they asked marketers which metrics they measures with respect to social media, 65.5 percent indicated growth/declines in friends and followers; 59.5 percent said traffic from social networks to their site; 39 percent said mentions. Measuring new leads (35.7 percent) and sales (28.5 percent) were lower on the list. What isn’t shown here is that 20 percent of respondents said they don’t track anything at all.Marketers in the study also shared what their goals were for social media. The vast majority use social media for brand awareness followed by increasing leads and driving an increase in sales.

So you might be saying, “Yeah, but these are the big brands that can afford the resources to develop an impactful social media program.” But I would tell you that even if a company feels they’re too small or too busy to undertake a comprehensive social media program, start small. Treat it as a test or an experiment, where you develop goals and objectives and measure your success. There are many, that’s for sure, so start with one of the “big three” – Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. As you master each one that is important to your business, determine how to integrate your efforts with the next one in line before you actually tackle it. What is most important is that you provide a quality user experience.

For more information or help to jump-start your social media program, contact Applegate Media Group at 887.515.5557 or info@applegatemediagroup.com.

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