Child-Like Lessons

By | Culture, Life at Daxko, Marketing | 3 Comments

While on a recent trip to Kansas City, Missouri, I made an impromptu $20 splurge. I found a Daxko-themed baby toy that, as an expectant mother, I simply couldn’t turn down.

Very excited about my find, I e-mailed a picture straight to our CEO, Dave, as a sort of show-and-tell. His response? “Very cool! Your child can put that on its resume when it applies for a career with us.”

While of course I have no doubt my baby will be just the right fit for the company—she’ll be intelligent, creative, and generally fun to be around, but of course—I suppose I have to actually have her first, and then potty-train her, at least.

I did, however, begin to think of the simple, child-like lessons one can take away as a Daxko team member.

Sharing, not necessarily in the toy-sharing sense, is very important at the company—and sometimes it’s a hard lesson to learn. Many team members have diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills, and there is often the temptation to “hoard” knowledge. As a part of the Marketing team, we’ve recently engaged in a lot of required knowledge-sharing, presenting to the team on topics we know a lot about, or have mastered really well. It’s been cool to teach the things we know, and a good requirement because, I’ll be the first to admit, this type of sharing doesn’t always occur naturally.

I guess you might call it “good manners”—and it’s a must-have to work for Daxko. It’s important to get along with team members, encourage each other, and hold each other accountable. The environment is very supportive, so there’s no shame in asking a team member: please. As in, “Hey, Dave. I would really love to have coffee with you and learn about how you got to where you are in your career.”

Child-like lessons we don’t follow at Daxko?

At Daxko, you pretty much need to cross the street by yourself. Not much hand-holding around here. It’s a good thing, because in the end, you learn to be a jump-starter and a problem-solver. Around the company it’s often said: “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.”

Well that’s just boring. And we’re not about boredom at Daxko. If anything, we’re encouraged (if not required) to color outside the lines. It makes for a brighter, more creative and unique result.

Words to live by, Daxko-style

By | Communication, Culture, Marketing, Professional Development | No Comments

In our recent visit to Dreamforce 2010 as part of our professional development allowance, some fellow Daxko teammates and I got to mix and mingle with the finest marketing brains out there. For me personally, I heard from the New York Times’ SEO and SEM strategist, got tips from Virgin America’s social media expert, and learned what Sprint is doing to enhance their data. Big time brands? Sure. But I was surprised to see that while there was much to learn from these companies, Daxko could relate really, really well.

In thumbing through my conference notes, I came across several gems—quirky quotes I’d written down and starred because they seemed very Daxkoesque. We’ll call them: words to live by, Daxko-style.

    1. “Like is the new link.”

Search engines are taking social cues. When it comes to Google rankings and analytics, a Facebook “like” or retweet on Twitter involving a link to your website is proving increasingly as important as other referral links to your site. So, let’s keep those thumbs up for Daxko coming!

    1. “Bad data is like stinky laundry.”

This one’s a no-brainer: having oodles of data is great for business, but only if that data is well-maintained and updated regularly.

    1. “Bake social into everything you do.”

Daxko does this well, but there’s always room for more cooks in the kitchen!

    1. “Fish where the fish are.”

Know your audience.
Give them what they want.
Right now.
All the time.

Other awesome takeaways I’d love to see implemented at Daxko:

  • Make cardboard cutouts of your buyer personas and display them throughout your workspace.
  • Think of recurring tweets like columns in a magazine or newspaper. Rickshaw Bags in San Francisco tweets a picture of every new bag that comes off the conveyor belt. For Daxko, we tweet a picture every time we add to the Daxko Nation.
  • Provide pre-written “Tweet this” blurbs in your blog posts—140 characters or less, but of course!—if you want to really generate interest around content. Let’s see if it works:

Tweet this–> Marketing leaders speak Daxko-style. Check out some tips at the Daxko Nation: (via @Daxko) #df10

Are you content with your content?

By | Communication, Culture, Marketing | No Comments

Content is such a buzzword right now. These days, for your company to have a successful web presence, you not only have to produce content, you have to produce a lot of it, and often. On top of that, it’s expected to be compelling and relevant—and if you’re smart, sometimes open-ended and semi-controversial. Content and its concept, however, aren’t new at all. They have just found a new, digital home.

For me, I began in the world of content back in the fifth grade as editor of the Panda Press. Our little newspaper staff knew our audience and what they wanted to read about, i.e. the latest offerings from the school store. Later I moved to the high-school newspaper and eventually my college newspaper. Somewhere along the way, I landed in magazines, where at Southern Living I got to write about everything from people to pillows.

But the print content world, as we all know, has taken a downturn. Fears of no more magazines, no more newspapers are looming. Thankfully, though, for some stranded former newspaper and magazine workers, there’s a place for our content packaging skills: the web! In fact, the art of content packaging is in increasingly high demand.

A group of Daxko team members is this week attending Dreamforce 2010 in San Francisco, where 30,000+ people have gathered for, essentially, at least 300,000+ meaningful conversations. So far, I’ve learned some great tips—and have been reassured that Daxko is moving in the right direction. Here are two topics that stood out:

Overheard tip #1: Stop thinking like a marketer/advertiser. Start thinking like a publisher/socializer.

At Daxko, we have the socializing part down. And the setup of our new website (note rotating content boxes on the inside pages) not only paves the way for more organic content, but it also prompts us to keep content updated and relevant.

What’s next for Daxko? You’ll soon be seeing a lot more new content on Daxko’s website, and you’ll be hearing about it a lot more on our social media sites.

Overheard tip #2: The purpose of your homepage is to get people off your homepage.

Bingo! The new does just this, as we now lead site visitors through a self-identification process.

What’s next for Daxko? Leveraging our landing pages and making sure their content suits the needs of site visitors is key. So far, so good!

What’s Your Tradeshow Personality?

By | Culture, Marketing, Technology, YMCA | No Comments

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ve no doubt heard about DAXKO’s recent visit to the YMCA’s General Assembly where we had the opportunity to meet thousands of attendees. Like any conference, one of the more interesting things to do is cruise the vendor exhibit area – if nothing else than for the cool freebies.

For someone like me who doesn’t attend a lot of tradeshows, it was interesting to observe the different ways people engage (or don’t). If you’re manning a vendor booth, you learn pretty quickly that everyone has a unique tradeshow personality. Here’s what I experienced…

  • Family – The best is when DAXKO is greeted with hugs and squeals by those we work with every day, but only get to see at a conference once a year. Think family reunion! All recent kid and pet pictures are whipped out immediately. Followed quickly by plans for drinks later to catch up on old times.
  • Talkers – You have the occasional person walk up and start talking even if they have no idea who you are or what you do. They want to hear your story, talk about football, or anything else on their mind. Very unlike the person who came to talk to you for one reason, gets their information and is on their way, it’s never a problem to strike up a conversation with a “talker”.
  • Avoiders – How do you identify someone as an avoider? They walk at break-neck speed by your booth. Try their best to not make eye contact. Flip their lanyard over so you can’t see their name. Or pretend like they’re having an important conversation with their fellow avoider… even though it’s obvious theyre not.

My question to you is… What is the best way to approach these different groups and engage in conversation? Some of my tactics this week were…

  • Stand in the middle of the aisle, so they’re forced to either walk around you or talk to you.
  • Flash my pearly whites and say, “Hi. How are ya’ll doing?” Sounds pretty simple, but when you emphasize “y’all” with a precious Southern belle accent, you get their attention.
  • Offer them anything free. Free always works… always.
  • Ask what organization they’re with as you invade their personal space and flip their lanyard over.

I’d be interested to hear your ideas for approaching these folks.  Hit me in the comments.