Think before you tinker, wake up from your dream, know that it’s possible to fail and more.

Strategy, results and community are things I spend a lot of time thinking about. What you’ll find this week is a series of posts that focus on just that. I hope they get you thinking about your marketing and inspire ways to move forward.

What did happen to Little Caesar’s? Marketers always think they need to tinker. Almost to prove they’re doing something even if the current program is working well. I get the desire to put your stamp on the creative and the programs, but think you really need to look holistically at the situation. Rather than blow everything up, maybe there’s an untapped application or audience for the program? Maybe it’s about engagement vs. creative. Don’t assume, like Gap did, that you gotta change the logo to move product. Sometimes it backfires. Take Little Caesar’s. Once a $2.1 billion brand, heavily diluted with extensions, campaigns and whatnot, it’s now just $1.2 billion. Pay attention to the lessons discussed here. They’re valuable.

Wise contrarian Bob Hoffman talks about the digital dream world we’re in. Where we actually think consumers want a relationships but really just want a great deal. Similar to the dream of interactive media which turned out to be notsointeractive. Time to wake up.

Perhaps my most powerful read was about the psychology of failure by Olivier Blanchard. Long but worth every word it he talks about how failure actually is an option. And goes on to talk about a personal example in which he and his team designed  a category-changing product, about as sure a success as you could hope for, only to have it killed by the CEO just before launch. Even in the face of hard data. Talk about a morale buster. He also provides examples of supposedly successful social media campaigns that aren’t. And the incompetence abounding among social media practitioners. Take the time to digest this one. h

Margie Clayman is one of the coolest people I’ve recently met on Twitter.If you don’t know her, connect now. She seems to be everywhere these days and wrote a great post about #usguys which I mentioned last Friday. And started a Saturday evening chat #Tweetdiner to provide a place to hang out on Twitter. Basically we’re the social media garage, exploring trends, issues, tactics discussing what works and what doesn’t in 140 character snippets. What she talks about is the power of social media – if you’re willing to put in the time, be authentic and reciprocate. It’s not a place for takers or the impatient.

This is a concept that I think about a lot – capturing the value of what you create. Valeria provides good grounding on approaching content creation and gets you thinking about how to translate your content into something valuable. Something that provides a return for you the creator. Tough given the amount of free content out there. You can’t just write and hope the traffic and money will follow. Especially for the independent creator. Everyone needs to think or start thinking about this. Have a strategy and a purpose. Know where you want to go with your content. There’s a bit difference between value creation and value capture.

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