Archive for October 2009

logo-topEarlier this week I went to the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (ISMM) conference: Successful Selling ’09. I’ve been a number or times before and there is always something new to inspire, entertain or steal (in terms of content) from the assembled speakers.

Upon registering I was given the token bag that held the conference program and other marketing material. Of course, the conference bag had to be branded for the event and over the front was “THE INSTITUTE OF SALES AND Marketing MANAGEMENT” together with their coat of arms (Yes, they really do have a coat of arms).

Now the fact that all the words were capitalised, except for “Marketing”, intrigued me. Was this a subtle indication that the Institute thought “Marketing” to be the lesser sibling when compared to “SALES”? Or perhaps this was the result of some branding exercise involving focus groups and blue sky thinking. Or was it just a mistake?

Then I remebered back to last year’s conference and last year’s bag. It was the same last year –  with “Marketing”lowercase and “SALES” capitalised. I also remembered that I spoke to the folks on the registration desk, and some of the ISMM staff the previous year as well, enquiring as to the reasons. The asnswer was really interesting and to summarise “No one knows”! Yes, that’s right no one in the ISMM (remember this is a professional body that – in part – supports marketing types) knows why it is like this. Nowhere else in the literature or on their website can I find the same branding. You will find a few other ways of branding the ISMM – but not this one. So, strangely, no one at the ISMM is responsible for brand identity or consistency. Other than to do the same thing this year as last year.

If this is intentional, then to me, it just looks wrong. Daft in fact. But there seems to be no one responsible, interested or senior enough to listen – or worse – do anything about it.

Must be because the SALES types are in charge and the Marketing types do what they are told to.

Does this add anything to the debate on the definitions of “sales” and “marketing” and the relationship between them?

Hot-desking is a common occurance at the work place where staff are regularly in and out of an office and there are more people than desks. The idea is that you don’t “own” any specific area or desk. The office is set-up so that you can sit, work and be productive on any desk. Busy exectutives and sales staff are often those that hot-desk as a result.

As I work from home most of the time (when I am not at a client’s office) I have a room set aside that I call my office. It’s just a desk, some computers and shelves full of files. You know the sort of thing. This is where I go to “do work”. When I am not working I can leave my office, shut the door and switch-off from work mode.

Over the last few months I have been experimenting with working in other areas of my house,  that’s one of the benefits of a laptop and wi-fi access to the internet.  I can work pretty much anywhere I want to. I don’t really need to be in my office to be productive. So, I have worked in the kitchen, on the dining room table, a desk in the garage, on the sofa , in a spare bedroom  and in those few warm days during July (sometimes referred to as “summer”) outside in the garden. And guess what? I think my productivity has improved as a result.

Working in a different space and location, even though I am still in my own house, has made me work differently. I can’t quite put my finger on why though. Maybe my brain is enjoying a different working environment? Maybe the chagne in routine is a benefit? But what does seem to be happening is that my thinking changes when I change the location I am working in. What might have been a problem in one area of the house becomes and opportunity when working in a different area.

If you work from home – try hot desking – and see what happens.