Strategic Advantage 

Marketing, Social Media and Business Strategies

Blog - The Strategic Advantage Web Log

Thought leadership for business development.

Currently browsing Traditional media


The Great Glass Elevator Speech

July 17th, 2017 by Dale Jones

Why the ‘Traditional Elevator Speech’ Leads Nowhere

As marketing and communication professionals, we’re frequently asked by nervous entrepreneurs and professionals headed to networking meetings about the best way to put together an “Elevator Speech”.

Fear not! Surprisingly and simply Willy Wonka has the answer.

First, let’s define an Elevator Speech.

Wikipedia says:

“An elevator pitch (or elevator speech or statement) is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value proposition.

The name “elevator pitch” reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.”

Back to Willy Wonka, the fictional character originally played by Gene Wilder and later Johnny Depp in the 1964 Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Incredibly, Wonka depicted the best way to begin thinking about effective ‘elevator speeches’ in his description of the Great Glass Elevator, which he called the Wonkavator.

Willy Wonka:  “This is the great glass Wonkavator.”

Grandpa Joe:  “It’s an elevator.”

Willy Wonka:  “It’s a Wonkavator. An elevator can only go up and down, but the Wonkavator can go sideways and slantways and longways and backways…”

Charlie:  “And frontways?”

Willy Wonka:  “…and squareways and front ways and any other ways that you can think of. ……”

To be effective, think in terms of your creating a Great Glass Elevator Speech that moves up, down, sideways, slantways, longways, backways, frontways, squareways.

Instead of a Traditional one-way Elevator Speech which proceeds only from the speaker to the captive, often dismissive listener.

Let’s look at a few reasons traditional one-way elevator speeches potentially do more harm than good.

For the complete article: Pay it Forward



Leveraging the ‘Long Tail’ in Your Marketing

June 20th, 2017 by Dale Jones

“The Long Tail” … a phrase that has been imbedded into our consciousness by Chris Anderson, executive editor of WIRED magazine through his book, The Long Tail.

Since gaining popularity, the term has been used to describe everything from viral media, guerilla marketing and grassroots campaigns to niche marketing and blogging.

More than just brand exposure, using ‘The Long Tail’ begins by building trust with those most likely to both listen, as well as spread your message.

The “Long Tail” as Anderson describes it is much longer, much thicker and more lucrative than any of us may have initially realized. We need to explore new niches, or go deeper into a niche we may have already found.

People are tired of buying the same old thing – cookie cutter products and or services. We all tire of being lumped together with the rest of our supposed demographic. While demographic profiling may help determine broad trends, it will never reflect the individual tastes and nuances. And, though seemingly simplistic, the time has never been better to seek and find specialized niches and market to those hungering for such.

Five Steps To Consider When Leveraging the ‘Long Tail’ in Your Marketing

1. Messaging is Critical: Using the Long Tail focuses your marketing message on clients – treating them as individuals with unique interests and needs – new niches.

2. Focus: Take the time to carefully hone a message that’s highly relevant to each of your target niches. Speak to them on their terms, not your own. It is better to reach a few hundred people who are enthusiastically listening to your message than a few thousand who aren’t.

3. Choose the correct tools to support your message: Media neutrality is key. Should you use traditional media? Social media? Or a combination of both? Use your basic research and your communications objectives as a guide; consider the types of social and traditional media tools that meet your objectives. Look at ways to extend the message from a standard press release into multiple social media venues such as video and blogs. Exploring smaller niche sites, bloggers and other influential online contributors are also critical. These are the individuals and media outlets that make up the Long Tail, where a large number of highly targeted messages can have as much impact as a single, big media marketing campaign.

4. Provide valuable content: Understand what your clients want to know and deliver it to them in a relevant and compelling way. Delivery of valuable, relevant and compelling content to your clients and on a consistent basis says you want to relationship. You want to communicate, to understand their needs and be willing to provide relevant services and products to help them.

5. Take a position as a thought leader: Achieve a unique identity – demonstrating leading-edge knowledge. Make your potential and existing clients feel wiser, smarter and safer in your hands. Whenever possible, provide them with news, video, links and other valuable content. The more trustworthy your approach and the more genuine your shared interest, the more receptive your audience is likely to be.




CEO as Brand? The Power of Executive Communications

October 20th, 2011 by Dale Jones

A Fortune magazine editor once observed:

“If you want to analyze a corporation, read its financial statements. If you want to plumb its soul, talk to its chief executive.”    



Companies spend fortunes establishing and promoting their brands, only to ignore one of the most profitable brand weapons in their arsenal: the CEO.

 Surveys show companies with a well known, positively regarded CEO perform better in the stock market.  However, it is very important for CEOs to be known by potential key stakeholders such as the media, employees, clients and the public for reasons beyond the price of a corporation’s stock. A positive CEO profile will improve morale, recruitment and sales.

Even though CEOs are themselves a brand, many companies waste this asset.

1. Communicating Knowledge

Knowledge is not effective unless it is communicated. The proper way of communicating is not only through speaking, but includes proper dress, body language, social etiquette, media relations, government relations and investor relations.  All of which sum up to public relations. The effective CEO needs to convey a command of strategy, and consistent vision to both internal and external audiences.

As a CEO, one must be able exude a consistent, credible persona to your stakeholders. This is achieved through appropriate, strategically timed publicity campaigns, commentaries, articles, interviews, public appearances, press conferences and so on.

Such communication is about bringing your values to life.

“40% of my time I communicate our company’s credo”

- Jim Burke, former Johnson & Johnson, CEO 

 For the entire article:



Bury The Hatchet

October 4th, 2011 by Dale Jones

The phrase (idiom) “Bury the Hatchet” means to forget about arguments and disagreements . . .

It appears traditional media and social media are at war with one another and that’s not the answer. We need to move past the arguments and disagreements.

Some companies believe that just because social media answers some of their most pressing needs with regards to communication and marketing, that they should abandon traditional media. We all recognize the importance of harvesting a social media presence, but the biggest mistake we see in a company’s effort to implement a marketing strategy is their approach.

ArtistotleA well designed integrated marketing strategy should take note of Aristotle’s statement: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” For optimum results, social media should be integrated with traditional media.

Social media has become an extremely important part of how businesses market their brand, products and services. Traditional media carries with it a great deal of credibility and although it may not create the same kind of buzz that social media creates, it is a very important contributor to the success of business. You must understand how to integrate social media with traditional media into your advertising, public relations and direct marketing campaigns.   

In order to succeed, you must be open to new ways of thinking about integrating your social media and traditional media.

If someone builds you the framework and a process for integrating your social and traditional media, you can apply it over and over again.

For the entire article



Today’s Marketing Model is Broken

August 3rd, 2011 by Dale Jones

Marketing is changing and it’s time you considered your options.

Whether you’re a large corporate brand like Audi, IBM or a small business trying to make it in this economy – you need to recognize how marketing your business is changing and how you can change to improve your business. 

What are the issues?  What are the answers?  See our 5 Steps to a New Marketing Model.

Watch this video for more.




What would your business look like tomorrow if your best customers left you for a competitor?

July 28th, 2011 by Dale Jones

You’re still in business.

Testimony to the realization: You are smart and you know how to survive this economy.

You realize your best customers are being courted by your fiercest competitors, both online and by traditional methods.

You’re holding your own and keeping them happy.

You must have the service mentality, marketing know-how and fulfill a niche that safeguards your business from losing your top clients. Or do you? Do you know for certain?

Recently, Guy Kawasaki, former Apple chief evangelist, tweeted about a study posted on Social Media Today called “Social Media case study: Broadcast vs. Engagement in forums”.  The study’s premise made a strong case: the traditional marketing concept of broadcasting a message at a market is less effective than building an engaging, interactive campaign which seeks the active involvement of the target audience. The study indicates a strong increase in views, and especially in comments, occurs when a promotional campaign that makes claims is changed to one that asks questions.

Kawasaki’s conclusion: “Why not do both?”

For the entire article: