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Posts from the ‘Work Rants’ Category

Consumption Swaps

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Inbound Marketing Certification

Nova Belote Project Manager Nova Belote Project Manager Nova Belote Project Manager

I just completed the Hubspot Inbound Marketing certification course and applied the knowledge during a work session to map sales workflow and correlating email marketing automation. One of the critical components of this program was a service level agreement (SLA), outlining marketing deliverables and sales person action items throughout the customer journey.  Documenting a formal process at the onset of the campaign ensured accountability, monitoring checkpoints, and the opportunity to optimize the campaign as new insights were uncovered.

Another key item uncovered was the lack of closed-looped reporting from sales to understand the successes and failures of capturing leads and converting prospects. Without knowing where the customer was in the decision making process, it was impossible to generate content to address specific needs. Receiving direct feedback from sales and prospects allowed for better targeting and delivering relevant information at the right time.

Hubspot Academy is a great resource for anyone who is interested in continuing education and career advancement. They have a wide selection of courses suitable for all learning levels and relevant industries.    

Thank you for this award.

Today I received the Quality Achievement Award from AmericasMart for project management service that exemplifies the principles of total quality in everyday work. It was nice to be recognized for my efforts and ethics relative to the PM discipline.

Sovaro, the cooler company doing everything right.

Abandon your atrocious red cooler now, Sovaro luxury cooler brand is doing a great job with this targeted social campaign.

Relevant content delivered via their sponsored Instagram and Facebook posts, capitalizing on data-drive insights about a specific target audience (me).

Messaging is seen by the right people at the right time in the right platforms. I commend this effort, embrace the content and even felt compelled to share this successful strategic approach.

With consumers being inundated with ‘blanketed’ ads offering products that don’t address a specific demographic need, it is refreshing (pun intended) to see this cooler brand doing social right.

Now I just need a yacht and/or luxury SUV to house my Sovaro, well played cross-promotion intent Sovaro.

5 amazing delivery services that will transform the way you interact with brands.

Delivery and subscription based services are changing the way people shop, consume and interact with brands. Here’s an overview of 5 must have delivery/subscription services and a pro/con for each.

Nova Belote review of Instacart

1. Instacart for groceries – PRO: Buy only what you need and can track your cart total along the way. Spend less money by avoiding impulse buys. CON: Personal shoppers don’t always pick a comparable replacement if something is out of stock. Trial and error with produce, for example qty 1 banana literally means ONE banana, not 1lb.


2. Amazon PrimePantry for household – PRO: Avoid shopping at Target. CON: Savings is negated by the standard $4.99 box fee (in addition to the $99 Prime subscription).


3. Caviar for restaurants – PRO: Tip and tax already factored in, no need to sign. Good selection of restaurants to choose from. CON: No complaints yet.


4. Stitch Fix for fashion – PRO: Receiving clothing items you normally wouldn’t select helps keep your style fresh. Killer variable data and imaging printing, each box feels extremely personalized. CON: Easy to exceed clothing budget, suggest opting for every other month rather than once a month service.


5. Allure Beauty Box for beauty – PRO: Avoid shopping at Target. Again, try new products you normally wouldn’t purchase. CON: Mainstream products (i.e. Unilever, P&G), would like to see more natural and organic options offered.

I’m starting to utilize these services like I do utilities, constant replenishment, auto draft, time-saving devices that don’t require much thought. Plus I don’t miss fighting for a parking spot at Whole Foods or weekend trips to Target.

Hope you give delivery/subscriptions a try and discover how you can dedicate more free time to important things…would love to hear about your experiences (good or bad) with these types of services.

Audi, I’m leaving you. Details of a brand break up.

There are two types of products that have my utmost brand affinity; shoes and cars. All other products and brands, from beauty, household and packaged foods, rotate through my life. I don’t even know the brand name of some products, just what the label color or bottle shape looks like. I’m constantly trying new brands from these categories and plus these types of products are dispensable, literally. So when one of the (indispensable) brands I’ve been living with for 12 years decides to lie, cheat and operate in a dishonest fashion, I must sadly and with great regret move on.

I’ve had to reevaluate my relationship with Audi in light of the recent VW emissions scandal. Although I’ve never owned a diesel-powered car, I have driven two VW’s and two Audi’s over the aforementioned 12 year relationship. As I come to the end of my current lease, I’m frantically and begrudgingly scrambling to find a comparable replacement. But other brands just can’t compare… I LIKE Audi, I was planning to STAY with Audi, there was nothing WRONG with Audi, except:

The disappointing news of Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s R&D Chief Engineer, being at the center of the VW investigation, along with other top automotive engineers at VW. Evidence proves they interfered with software programming in order to relay faulty data on tailpipe emission readings. The data produced a reduced reading in order to meet EPA standards. According to the WSJ, the hack occurred when the engineers were unable to deliver an engine that met the standard, and as a result programmed the deceptive device. The pressure to deliver on time, on budget and on spec was intense, new car sales were lagging and VW needed a breakthrough product in order to differentiate the company from competitors.

As a response to this monstrous deceptiveness and highly unethical behavior, I’m taking action and leaving Audi. I’ll have to unsubscribe to Audi’s social properties, local event notifications and merchandise catalogs (thankfully Audi only makes one type of shoe and it’s a Toms…). This big ticket brand and I had inseparable affinity and were striving to maintain a lifetime consumer loyalty, loyalty that could have spanned generations. Everything will be changing over the next few months as I painstakingly research another brand to fall in love with.

If anyone has suggestions on an automotive brand who would be a good match, I’m open to trying something new. European with impeccable design aesthetic is preferable.

The Curse of Know-it-all-ism

Ad folk know, working in this industry is not for the faint of heart, thin skinned, clock-watcher kind. It is challenging, competitive and unpredictable and for all of these reasons, quite appealing to certain personality types.

The agency workplace is (should be) comprised of the best and brightest talent who are all striving to achieve some form of greatness. Whether it be generating the best, smartest work or leading your department in adapting and responding to the evolving marketing landscape.

With the constant emergence of new departments breeding new disciplines, there is no shortage of so-called ‘experts’ anxious to tell you things you don’t know about some micro-niche topic. Side note; I’ve always struggled with the term ‘expert’ relative to advertising, probably because I’m secretly jealous of people who have the luxury of spending a majority of their day researching, learning and keeping abreast on emerging trends/technologies. Realistically speaking, no one knows how or what new products and services will emerge in the next five years, the technology for these services hasn’t been invented yet…

Returning back to the topic of know-it-alls.

I’m always looking for ways to advance my career, I watch countless webinars, I read topical publications, I peruse through my professional network to see what topics my peers find interesting enough to share. I’ve come to the realization that even after working in this industry for over 15 years, there’s a ton of stuff I know nothing about… I wish I had time to learn everything but there’s simply too much topical knowledge out there for one person to absorb.

So, I’m here to tell you that it is okay to admit (and even announce) that you “have no idea”, it’s actually quite refreshing to say “I don’t know” out loud. I hope people know that I’m humbling myself on purpose because I am human and as being so, learn by experience, mistakes and collaboration with others.

Look at it this way, if you already know everything, you have clearly hit the glass ceiling (e.g. roadblock) in your career and it’s perceived to be that you are operating in a stagnant environment with no learning opportunities available. This is extremely bad, how can you possibly progress/evolve if you’re the biggest fish in the pond or the smartest person in the room?

Alright then. Let’s suck up those egos ad folk and admit that we simply ‘don’t know’, it would be a refreshing infusion of human character in this sometimes mechanical churning of the machine we call advertising.

Now go learn yourself something.

Copyright Infringement!

Hate to tell you this but…

weightwatchers_fail I am thoroughly entertained at the advertisements targeted at my demo; cleaning products, air fresheners, embarrassing issues, etc… Stumbled on this beauty of a banner the other day. The product, a weight loss program offered exclusively online (innovation at work here).  The goal, to get you to not order fried food while chugging down caloric infused cocktails. The visual, a Photoshop hack job featuring a light post, the word ‘Cafe’ and a gigantic woman standing next to a miniature menu board with an interesting 2D perspective. I mean, did the designer even try or is he/she so ashamed of the work produced they just do what the account service rep (or even worse, the client) tells them to do?

Damn folks smarten up a little. I suppose you can’t expect too much from a company that generates revenue by avoiding the simple equation for successful weight loss (diet+exercise). Put down the buffalo wing, step away from the bar, go for a walk with your dog instead.

I Paid $$ – It’s now officially on.


After what seems like an eternity of planning, studying, researching, networking, etc…I am finally hunkering down to take the PMP Exam offered through PMI.  It’s been a long journey filled with discovery, self improvement, career enhancement and reality checks. I’ve chosen the appropriately fitting date of April 15 for my exam date, I figured this day will be filled with enough financial energy to propel me forward and enable me to obtain a passing score. I’ve dished out cash for study materials, paid the annual fee for PMI membership, plus paid for annual membership to Atlanta Chapter of PMI

I am dedicated at least one hour a day to study and one hour to a PMP related activity. Now it’s time to impose self discipline and rigorous study habits in order to meet the 4/15/13 deadline. I hope to post official results (i.e. passing score and PMP certificate) shortly after the deadline. Wish me luck!