Throwing stuff at people getting married – a new angle

Really interesting to see that someone has come up with the idea of confetti impregnated with wildflower seeds.  Many churches hate confetti because of the mess it leaves.  However, this new product biodegrades leaving wildflower seeds to grow.  Cute. Clever. Appropriate.

Couple of lingering thoughts though.  Firstly, how long before it biodegrades/turns into flowers (is there a mess of paper for six months?).  Secondly… what actually grows?   I note that we are dealing with a Dutch company here.  Great opportunity for segmentation from sweet peas to marijuana!

See the company at:–grow-confetti/-101


Marketing and risk… where is the new value?

As marketers we have many constraints.  However, in an ever changing world we have many new avenues to explore which can be thought of as either limiting factors or the source of new value dependent upon how we approach them.  Here are two 2013 reports which show business and  economic risks that provide the context for all our activities.  I’ll leave you to identify the sources of new value for your company or organisation.


World Economic Forum.

Here are the top 10 risks ranked in the  AON report:

Risk Description Risk Rank – 2013 Risk Rank – Projected 2016
Economic slowdown/slow recovery 1 1
Regulatory/legislative changes 2 2
Increasing competition 3 3
Damage to reputation/brand 4 8
Failure to attract or retain top talent 5 5
Failure to innovate/meet customer needs 6 4
Business interruption 7 11
Commodity price risk 8 7
Cash flow/liquidity risk 9 10
Political risk/uncertainties 10 6

Very worthwhile downloading the full report, or executive summary, (both free)  from the AON website address above.

Looks like innovation will remain a key critical success factor for some time.  And hopefully as marketers this is one of our key skills which we can contribute towards company dynamic capabilities in managing the uncertain future.  Got to be worth a Board position for that alone?


How to get a quick “feel” for your new students’ expectations

What do your students want from you?  How will they judge whether or not you have been successful in delivering what they came for?

Here’s a way to  get a quick “feel” for sentiment around this at the beginning of a course.  The following picture is from a flip chart structure I use at the beginning of term (in this case it was an MBA year) to ensure I have a context for where students want to go on their journey…. which may or may not be what I had in mind when I created the course!

Essentially visual, this tool allows students to prioritise (not just list) what they are looking for – the bottom third of the pyramid is where they write their “Must haves” from the course, the middle third is the “Nice to haves” and the pinnacle is the “icing on the cake” or in other words where we can exceed expectations.  On the top right is a sun where the rays of light can be the social context for their studies – what will provide them with an enriched, non-academic, experience during their period of study?

Experience of doing this many times with a number of different groups suggests that there are some very common student expectations when they arrive.  The photo below is one such real example and chosen because it is typical of the sort of responses given.  Of course, reviewing this at the end of the year, assuming you’ve delivered on these things, will help ensure you stay on track for a great student experience.