The 19 Oaks Business Growth Blog

Jeff Ryan

Recent Posts

Your Brand's Most Important Asset

Posted by Jeff Ryan   

Ask a CEO what their most important asset is and they’re apt to say “our people,” “our service” or “our products.” But as important as those things are, they can only contribute to the company’s success if they operate within the framework of something even more important: A defined and shared sense of direction.

Read More

Topics: Company Culture


Why Vision and Purpose Statements Really Matter

Posted by Jeff Ryan   

When we hear news about a company’s decline or demise, one of the reasons cited most is some variation of this: They lost sight of who they were.

Read More

Topics: Company Culture


The Four Commandments of Selling Products Online

Posted by Jeff Ryan   

One of the greatest advantages of learning to write product copy for catalogs is that it prepared me for writing online content in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

I've learned that most websites are terrible at selling products for fundamental reasons. These reasons can all be overcome by adhering to the following four principles:

Read More

Topics: Marketing, Sales


Great Brands Don't Restart from Scratch

Posted by Jeff Ryan   

 

The Best of Intentions, the Worst of Results

Great brands almost never reinvent themselves whole cloth. Rather, they evolve to meet the needs of the customers that already love them.

I recently listened to a presentation by Deb Cavanagh, Senior VP Marketing forTalbots. Her cautionary tale is one that's been played out through a variety of organizations, but is worth revisiting.

Read More

Topics: Marketing


A Watershed Event for the City of Portland, Maine

Posted by Jeff Ryan   

A cleaner Portland harbor for work and play

In a world where we often hear how dysfunctional government can be, a case of things working well is happy news indeed.

Read More

Topics: Maine


How to Write a Great Headline

Posted by Jeff Ryan   

I always had a gift for writing headlines. In fact, I got my first writing job because I kept yelling headline ideas over the cubicle partition that separated me from the Creative Department, until the staff begged their boss to hire me.

I’m good at writing headlines for two reasons. The first reason is that I love playing with word forms. Turning over phrases in my head comes naturally to me. I constantly critique other companies' creative materials and play the game of how I might tackle the same challenge. It keeps me sharp and aware of what’s going on in the marketing world and beyond.

Read More

Topics: Marketing


Advertising Rule #1: Annoying People isn’t a Good Strategy

Posted by Jeff Ryan   

Red Sox advertising tipsI am a Red Sox fan.

There is almost no way possible that I will ever become a Chevrolet fan.

What’s the correlation?

Read More

Topics: Marketing


Engaging Membership & Asking for Money Aren’t the Same

Posted by Jeff Ryan   

As a member of a number of nonprofit organizations, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend over the last few years — an incessant drumbeat of pleas for money that threatens to drown out the most important message of all: Why I joined the organizations in the first place.

Why did this happen? There is no question that the recession put the squeeze on nonprofits. A 2009 survey of 2,279 nonprofits by the National Council of Nonprofits reported that while demand for services is increasing, nonprofits are facing escalating operating costs and decreasing revenues, including a decline in individual contributions.

Read More

Topics: Nonprofit


We Are All Our Own Media Companies

Posted by Jeff Ryan   

I learned the craft of being a professional writer within the walls of one of the world’s largest catalog companies. In those days, catalogs were our primary means of advertising. We hardly did any radio or newspaper ads (and when we did do print ads, we designed and wrote them ourselves). Our entire integrated customer experience hinged on mailing catalogs and having customers interact with human beings on the phone or in our one retail store.

Back then, we really were our own media company. I was fortunate to work in an environment rich in both creativity and measurement. The effect of my words was on full display every day—in sales, letters, phone calls (and eventually, e-mails).

Read More

Topics: Marketing, Social Media


A Hiker's Guide to Company Culture

Posted by Jeff Ryan   

Your business is a journey

I have had the honor of hiking over 8,000 miles in my lifetime, mostly on long distance trails including the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. I used to think that "life out there" was oh so different than my life in the working world, particularly as a business owner. But I was oh so wrong.

Read More

Topics: Company Culture


About 

We want to help you grow your business. 

We write helpful articles about sales, marketing, media, Maine and more. 

Leave a comment to let us know what you think! 

Subscribe below.

Subscribe

Most Popular