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Pragmatic Marketing: For the Love of Learning

I’m learning today.

Okay, I learn EVERYDAY. But what I’m doing today is especially exciting: I’m learning more about the Pragmatic Marketing Framework.

Until last week when it was mentioned by a friend at CTI Meeting Technologies, I had never heard of it. But as of 15 minutes ago, I am on fire.

Essentially, the PMF says that we should stop wasting time persuading people to buy what we offer. Instead, we should find out what they want and then build that. To do this, we have to have a whole lot of discipline around us. We have to stop doing the wrong things and start doing the right things. The PMF helps us identify those things and get moving forward with the process of making it happen.

What I am excited about and find so unique is the packaging of this concept. The framework itself is crystal clear. The interactive graphic on their website is glorious in its simplicity — and is the Google maps to your marketing journey.  Click through to it, as definitions for each of the blue squares can be seen with a roll-over.



When I was in undergraduate school at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, in their then “creative advertising” track, we learned that it’s always far easier to sell someone something they want rather than convincing them to buy something they don’t want or need. Beauty product marketers have known how to do this for years. Women want to look younger…so companies design and sell products that say they’ll meet that need. The global cosmetics industry is estimated to reach 675 billion USD by 2020, according to Research and Market’s Business Wire report from July 2015.

Steve Jobs had his own perspective on this, with his quote about Apple’s success coming from selling people things that they never even imagined. While knowing your customers so well that your products sell themselves is incredible , most of us don’t have 30 years to build a brand from a garage business to a stratospheric success. Rather…we need sales now!

There are 37 discrete strategies to the PMF, which seems like kind of a lot. However, none of them are complete mysteries, as most of us do at least some of them some of the time. They have origins in strategic planning, SWOT analyses, marketing planning, sales, and most of what we learn in business school.

“Essentially, the PMF says that we should stop wasting time persuading people to buy what we offer. Instead, we should find out what they want and then build that.” CLICK TO TWEET

Tools are no good if you don’t know how to use them, but good tools in the right hands are transformative.

As a consultant, kicking off a new relationship knowing that a staff has been coached and trained in a common framework of any kind is exciting. Once you learn the language of the framework, you can step in and apply the years of experience they are paying you for with a much higher prospect for lasting success.

In my case, I’ve been fighting uphill often to convince clients of strategies for which their entire internal structure is underprepared. Creating common ground so that we’re all pulling in the same direction takes a hellishly long time. Yet success without that is hard won and expensive.

I am over the moon thinking about how the structure and principles set forth in the Pragmatic Marketing Framework can be leveraged for even greater client success than I imagined.

Hat’s off to learning new things!

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And now for something different…Introducing YOOL

Sometimes it’s fun to mix it up a little.

After a spring and summer chock full of eLearning deep dives, M&M took a little break and visited the world of software development. Beginning in the fall, I got to drive product and brand development for a potentially disruptive and transformative new arts administration tool — called YOOL. Last week, our website finally went live and we’re getting busy with preparations to launch our first sales campaign! Woot woot!

A quasi-acronym for “Your Orchestra…Online,” YOOL was designed by orchestra administrators FOR orchestra administrators, as what essentially boils down to as a highly customised productivity suite of cloud-based tools. Perhaps it’s a sort of über Microsoft Office combined with a rockin’ library of digital assets, messaging, and payroll capacities.

At any rate, YOOL is poised to really make a difference for those in arts administration roles who are seeking ways to do more with less. No one has enough time, staff, or brainshare anymore, and I personally believe that the arts are more important than ever to our society. YOOL is a way for directors and creatives who lead companies, symphonies, orchestras, and ensembles to efficiently manage the day-to-day stuff that goes into any one single performance. It’s a chokingly huge amount of detail to manage, and YOOL helps its users share, update, archive, and plan all within a single interface

“Working with an orchestra using YOOL is a dream come true.” CLICK TO TWEET

Most of us just simply go to the symphony, opera, or philharmonic and have no idea that each one of those musicians must be auditioned, rehearsed, contracted,  scheduled, paid, and communicated with hundreds of times before they ever appear in concert. YOOL’s interface manages all of that, allows artists to create individual profiles where they can store copies of their travel documents, contracts, scores, publicity photos, schedules, and instrumentation.  For a busy musician who wants to stay as far away from a desk of paperwork as possible, working with an orchestra using YOOL is a dream come true.

This kind of technology exists in many fields — think CRMs in the business world or even LMS’ in the education space. Yet, the arts have been slower perhaps to develop and embrace the very tools that can free them up to create MORE and fuss with paper LESS.

I write about YOOL here not just to crow on a very cool product…rather I write about it as a reminder that taking on new stuff can be really exciting. And taking a break from working on the usual to dip into something completely different feeds me and my work in ways that I sometimes forget are necessary to stay fresh and relevant. Pioneering isn’t easy, and it can be really exhausting. But it also brings with it a feeling of accomplishment and delight that I know perks up my step and brightens my eyes. It also opens me to learning opportunities and a wider outlook on the ever-changing world around me.

Do you have a YOOL in your life? What is it and what difference does it make to you as a learner and producer?


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Transforming Credentialing with Digital Badges: CESSE 2015

For those who attended “Transforming Credentialing with Digital Badges” last week at CESSE 2015 in Norfolk, here is a pdf download for your perusing pleasure! Please be sure to give intellectual credit when using beyond your own personal reference — a reminder that Dr. Tracy Petrillo from EDUCAUSE, and the research team of Dr. Daniel Hickey and Dr. James Willis from Indiana University were contributors to what you see here.


As always, please leave your thoughts and contributions in the comments area below, and don’t hesitate to reach out directly with any questions!


Engage Learners by Giving Them What They Want

Thanks to everyone from the #CESSE2015 attendees in the Education & Training and Publications tracks for attending yesterday’s session on needs assessments. What a great conversation and what a delightful audience! You made it really fun to lead our conversation🙂

For those who’d like to follow-up or who didn’t have a chance to attend, here are the slides from that presentation — if you want to use these for any purpose other than your own personal reference, please be sure to give intellectual credit to Muzik & Muzik (and/or other references), and please drop me a line or comment to let me know how you’re using them! Note: This is an automatic PDF file download of about 2 MB.


If you’d like to discuss how M&M can help you with structuring, administering, or analyzing a needs assessment within your organization, company, or department, please let us know!

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Getting our conference on: CESSE Annual Meeting in Norfolk

In just one short week, M&M will be taking part in the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE) annual meeting in Norfolk, VA, July 14–16, 2015. It’s been a pleasure to serve as members of the Education and Training track this year, along with some really wonderful and dynamic colleagues!

Last July (2014) was M&M’s first experience working with CESSE, when we participated as conference sponsors. In this capacity, we had the opportunity to take part in the full complement of sessions, networking events, and meal functions — as well as the sponsor marketplace. It was a perfect first dip into the CESSE pool and we were almost instantly recruited to participate as content contributors for 2015. A huge win for us and we were really excited.

As a member of the 2015 CESSE Education and Training program committee, Donella is leading/chairing two sessions on M&M’s behalf:

Engage Learners by Delivering What they Want: Focus on Needs Assessments, Wednesday, July 15, 11:30 am–12:45 pm (joint session with Publications track)

Transforming Credentialing with Digital Badges, Thursday, July 16, 11:30 am–12:45 pm

Mathias Posch, President of ICS (International Conference Services) Events will join in on the session on needs assessments (“Engage Learners…”), sharing his perspectives and experience on working with a number of global associations to design and administer needs assessments that lead to the development and delivery of functional and effective programs.

Dr. Tracy Petrillo — the Chief Learning Officer for higher-ed powerhouse organization EDUCAUSE — will lend her voice and expertise to our session on digital badges. Tracy has been part of EDUCAUSE’s efforts to establish badge programs in support of both member engagement and continuing education and was a featured panelist at 2015’s SXSW-EDU conference in Austin.

If you’re attending CESSE in Norfolk, please check back to this blog for additional pre-session postings, resources, and follow-ups! See you there!

Karen Hyder on Shifting Delivery for Virtual Learning

via Technology & Training: Karen Hyder on Moving to Virtual Classrooms.

For those who attended our recent talks at PCMA’s Convening Leaders and IAPCO’s Wolfsberg Seminar, you might remember discussion about looking to the “learning sciences” for the next big trends in hybrid meetings/events and content management/delivery.

Ms. Hyder’s blog post on the move to virtual classrooms presents an appropriate and welcome emphasis on the shift from face-to-face to “virtual” learning spaces.


Think, Strategize, and Apply: No More Hiding Behind Technology!

Muzik & Muzik were honored to present earlier this month at PCMA’s annual Convening Leaders conference and IAPCO’s annual Wolfsberg Summit. The talks we gave at each conference were on different topics, yet some common themes ran throughout both. One of those themes was the way in which learning environments are shifting in 2015+ to focus less on technology and more on best practices in education and behavioral science.

In our talks, we only had a brief amount of time to comment on this forecast — with that in mind, we wanted to share this article just released by the eLearning Guild.

The below links to a long-ish read that digs deeply into some of the psychology of what learning environments must incorporate in the near future. It’s a very affirming reminder that we no longer get to default to a sexy new technology to solve our problems. We will have to think, strategize, and apply our best practices to create real knowledge!