About Me

Call me to see if my approach fits your issue.

What’s your cathedral?

Vision takes time. But these days, who has time to stop and think? Doodle, noodle and create? Under the pressure of monthly sales goals, daily metrics, quarterly earnings we get us so caught up in the now that we neglect to take the long view of our enterprise–to build something that pays dividends. In business, this still matters. It matters more than ever, in fact.   Building an asset is a exercise in delayed gratification. A great example is a cathedral in Florence, Italy designed over 700 years ago. The plans included a dome that lit up the sky. The problem was, no one at the time had the engineering skill to build a dome like the one envisioned for the Santa Maria del Fiore. 150 years later, Fillippo Brunellschi presented just such a design, and it was magnificent. Workmen labored on a building they’d never see completed in their lifetime, but must have believed in the vision for a structure that today visitors to Florence flock to see. The mantra of business today is speed. But how often do we get so caught up in the “tyranny of the urgent” that we neglect to contribute to something bigger than the immediate; so eager to try new things in response to market pressures that we forget we’re building something meant to last? What are you building today that you may never directly benefit from? A team? A game-changing product? Do your plans make time for things to germinate, or are your daily activities and deadlines stealing the long-view in exchange for the immediate? Make time for both, or one day you’ll...

2014 Performance Review

Self: Yeah, so, that blog post just before this one? You know, the one about blogging once a month? How’s that going for you? Me: ummm, well. Not so great. Self: Noting: [did not complete] Official response: Stay tuned for 2015. Big things coming!  ...

Reading Marketing Tea Leaves: The Future State of Marketing

Reading Tea Leaves: The Future State of Marketing. I’ve been immersed in the future state of marketing for the last 4+ years. A lot of doing—not a lot of talking about it, but Hitch is back. You’ll see new content here about once a month made up of real-world cases, some theory, many marketing experts and a little swag. If you see things that interest you, chime in. If there are brands or marketing agencies doing work you’d like to highlight. Tell me. Since my last post (4 years ago, seriously!?) A client hired me. (That’s PART of the doing.) I’m still there and loving it, but I’m entrepreneurial and just can’t stay away from my own sandbox ideas. Hitch has always been one of those sandboxes: an outlet for creative marketing problem solving. I put on the first ever TEDxBellingham and started momentum for the next one. Played a lot of music with my band. Sat in with others and this continues to restore my sanity. And I generally love living in the Pacific Northwest. If you live in or around here, you get it. If you haven’t – come visit! But don’t move here—it rains a lot. Since we last chatted this happened: Social Media made a lot of noise. A lot of “mavens” and other alliterative-termed experts popped up. Many of them are probably Wal-Mart greeters now. Big Data: was the next frontier that drove conversations and revenues. Still does Marketing Technology has a lot of folks buzzing (for good reason). ChiefMarTec is a great blog, BTW Elon Musk built the Tesla-S and it’s well known...

So, what’s the deal with Hitch?

I’ve gotten this question a lot in the last few months from clients and agencies. Since May I’d been doing an extended consulting gig with one of Hitch’s first clients, McNett Corporation. McNett is a leading outdoor company based right here in Bellingham.  I was having a ball working with them and I suppose I was offering some real value, because they offered me a j-o-b. In most every other circumstance, I would have run away screaming.  Have a boss?  Go to some building every day? I haven’t worked for someone else for a decade. The answer would have been NO. Hell no, in fact. Except to these guys.  McNett is a great company with great people and a big vision and all the pieces just fell into place. So what now? Most of my working life will be consumed as Vice President of Marketing for McNett–but I’m not sunsetting Hitch. I’m not actively looking for new clients, but I’m not turning the lights off either. Why? I’d like to continue to be a resource to clients who are in need.  In some cases, recommendations or questions can be answered without a protracted search, so my email and phone # are available.  In other cases, I will still take limited engagements on a case by case basis. I’ve sincerely enjoyed working and getting to know all of you.  I’m still running in marketing circles (boy am I) and will continue to work at keeping that network alive. I’ve communicated this to my agency partners and all of my clients, but I’ll leave this page up for now, if for no other reason than...

Marketing in a cost-conscious world

In the marketing world, Big gets its butt kissed. Big has money, so Big has power–on the client and the agency side. When Big talks, everyone listens. Global brands need global partners and world-wide reach; no one can argue with that. Your $300 million account needs some earnest eye-gazing and sweaty hand-holding. And for that amount of cash, everyone wants in. It’s a complicated, deal-making world. But what if your brand doesn’t live in that world? Maybe you’re a start-up, mid-sized or challenger brand. You’ve got no plans for offices in London, Sydney and Mumbai. You don’t need the added layers and expense, the fancy dinners and box seat perks. And your $3 million budget would scarcely get you a returned phone call from Big Agency. How, then, do you get access to innovative thinking and people who can help move your brand and business forward? Focus your search on the level of talent, not the size of the firm. Small agencies house some of the sharpest minds in marketing today and represent a great value in a cost-conscious world. What’s small? That depends. Small could be a national level shop of 50 people or it could be the ex-president of one of the Bigs who just started a new two-person firm. Here are some things to consider as you start your search: Look at your immediate and long term goals.  You’re looking for partners you can grow with–not just ones who can get those first few projects off your desk, right? An agency relationship should be treated with the same due diligence you’d apply to bringing on a new...