Etienne in Canadian Executive Quarterly

A vanity post today 😉

I just received my hard copy of Canadian Executive Quarterly.

The magazine is committed to highlighting the best practices of business and organizational leaders in Canada. They showcase knowledge and strategies proven to stimulate growth and position Canada for global success. They typically showcase a diverse spread of executives from successful entrepreneurs and non-profits to corporate governance to multinationals. Since I do not necessarily fit any of these usual profiles (I consider myself a heretic marketer trying to help SMBs to succeed in a new environment), I was surprised to see my story featured in their publication.

I did a phone interview with them last Spring and… I almost forgot about the next step which was an eventual publication of the article. 😉 Now I am really proud of this interview because I shared a lot about my vision of modern marketing especially for SMBs. Basically, I talked a lot about the things you can read on this blog but the main emphasis was on the importance of online development for SMBs to become and remain more competitive against global brands. I am really proud because, like it or not, a lot of Canadian decision makers still rely on traditional magazines and paper publications to identify new schools of thought and ideas that will help them grow their business. They rarely turn to bloggers when seeking for credible info. Sorry but that is a reality we need to overcome…So I am really proud that my ideas and thoughts about marketing in SMBs are featured in that publication that is going to be read by thousands of entrepreneurs, marketers, CEOs and so on.

Canadian Executive Quarterly is a printed publication, therefore, you will not be impressed by their web site… But still, you can get the article here in their viewer. If you actually want to READ the article, you might want to download the pdf to be able to zoom in the tiny characters! Here it is: Canadian_Executive_Quarterly Etienne Chabot Fall 2009

By the way, you can subscribe to the printed version of this magazine for free here.

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Parental Advisory-Explicit Lyrics

Here is my Friday Light Post to make smile a little bit. It is not marketing related and there are no marketing lessons to draw from that video! Nothing. Just plain entertainment.

Steel Panther Official Band picture

Steel Panther Official Band picture

For those of you who had the chance to enjoy Motley Crue Smokin’ in the Boys Room video and Van Halen’s Hot for Teachers, Warrant, Poison, Winger and all the other glam rock bands of the 80s, you will enjoy this video. For the younger, watch it  for your personal growth. It is good to know that not so long ago, a bunch of men with make up, long curly hair and leggings ruled the music scene. ;-). For the older, aren’t you happy to see that a bunch of Californian decided to play the nostalgia card and haunt your kids again with satanic music?

The song is Death to All but Metal by the Steel Panther (And yes it is a real band with a real web site also!).

In their lyrics, they « discuss »  50  Cent,   Dr.  Dre, Eminem, Kanye  West, Mariah  Carey,  Goo Goo  Dolls,  Blink  182,  our poor Britney just to name a few. The video alos features Sarah Silverman who is one of the funniest, irreverent woman in America.



This Week’s in 5 Tweets

Ok. As usual my Friday post is lighter. This week, I decided to share with you my Top 5 Tweets. As I am a marketing guy. They are marketing related. You can take it as my « pre-digested past week on Twitter ». Highlights of 140 characters or less. 😉 Some great links here. Enjoy.















Successful marketing is based on a premise of mutual trust between 2 parties.  Buyer needs to trust the seller. Basic principle. Without a minimal level of trust, you cannot market a product, an idea, a service, a foundation, a candidate, etc..

The US economy has reached historical low levels. Canadian economy is also hurted by the economic downturns that affect our friends south of the border. No big news here.

In order to reconstruct the US economy (and indirectly improve Canadian economy), President Obama needs to rethink and rebuild the US financial system.  Its repair is fundamental to stop the meltdown we all witnessed over the past 18-24 months and to re-inject confidence at the consumer level.

Last Wednesday, AIG executives accepted to receive  bonuses that will be paid with the $700 billion bailout money provided by US government or, if you prefer, US taxpayers. To me, it is a complete non-sense.

Dear AIG executives, yes, these bonuses were in your contract. Yes, you negotiated it. Yes, legally, this money is yours. But, we are not talking about money here. We are not even talking about you. What is happening right now goes far beyond a bunch of lucky executives. Stop being egocentric and refuse that money. Refuse it to help your financial system. Refuse it to help President Obama. Refuse it to help your country. Refuse it to help the reconstruction of confidence in the US economy. Refuse it to help you. Refuse it to help your kids, our kids.

This country can be repaired. And it starts with you. Put back trust in the system and this could be a new beginning

Authenticity is the beginning of trust and trust is required to reinforce any relationship whether it is between 2 individuals or 2 groups of individuals.

Be authentic. Be trustworthy.

Elton John or Heart? I went for both!

Since I spent the past week in Las Vegas, the world’s capital of adult entertainment, I had the wonderful opportunity to see  2 shows from music industry icons which had international success in the 70s and 80s and still influence today’s pop and rock music: Elton John and Heart (yes, yes the band with the 2 Wilson sisters 😉 ). Let me share with you the main highlights of these 2 fabulous musical experiences.

February 6th, 2009, LasVegas Hilton: Heart

heart-in-vegasI have always been a big Heart fan. I remember my teenage years listening to their 80s greatest hits like « Alone » and « These Dreams ». Still today, I listen to their music a lot and my kids love it too. I never had the chance to see them live though. They do not come to Quebec City nor Montreal very often…

The show was a total blast. They are one of the few 80s band that aged well, even if many of their songs featured Casio synths during that period… Let me also tell you that Nancy Wilson ages pretty well too ;-). Ann had a very crisp and raunchy voice and did well the whole show. I literaly had goose bumps when she threw those high pitch notes.

They just did the  major hits that have played on top40 radio stations over the past 30 years or so. Here is the set list I had the chance to hear and see:

Wild Child (that was not the best choice to rock the audience upfront, IMHO)
Magic Man (Sounded great, nice electric guitar)
Straight On (My dear Valerie would have liked to be there since that is her best Heart song)
Love Alive
Mistral Wind

You Wreck Me
(took a few seconds to identify this Tom Petty cover but Nancy did a great singing performance)
Dog & Butterfly (to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the song. One Word: Magic. Ann and Nancy did it acoustic)

These Dreams (With Nancy on the mandolin, a different version but very well executed)
Alone (One of the best vocal performance of the two sisters, Ann on the main and Nancy doing the backing vocals0
Love Reign
(Wow, what a great way to exploit the E string of a Les Paul!, Unbelievable!)

Encore One
Going to California (Heart is probably the best band still alive to render Led Zeppelin songs. This one was a nice surprise for me)
Crazy on You (This song left a permanent imprint in my musical memory and this show just crystallized it)

To sum up: An unexpectedwonderful evening . The unexpectedness of this show  may explain why I had such a great evening even if I was by myself! I still have goosebumps…

February 11th, 2009, LasVegas Ceasar’s Palace Colosseum: Elton John, The Red Piano.

elton-john-red-piano-adElton John is another music icon and altough I am a big rock and metal fan, I can appreciate his musical talent and unique melodic skills. Again, this evening was unexpected. My colleague Annie and I decided to go see him the day of the show! We have been lucky to get tickets and it was one of our last chance to see that unique stage set created by Designer/Photographer/Video Clip producer David LaChapelle.

LaChapelle did an amazing job to visually give us an overview of Elton’s career and complement his songs with background images and videos. You will witness a few blow-up stage props,  giant roses (that might be interpreted as something else),  bananas and cherries (to simulate a man’s toy), a pair of breasts and many other neon flashing signs about the Vegas adult entertainment scene.

Elton opened the show with the piano chords of  « Benny and the Jets » . Sound was great and Nigel Olson drum kit was beating in my heart. Elton did ALL his major hits as « Rocketman »  which means a lot to me. Pay attention to these lyrics written almost 3 decades ago… He  also did « Someone Saved My Life Last Night » and the images that were projected on the back screen were so special. I suited perfectly he lyrics. One of the highlight moment of the show was  « Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting »  when he asked all the people in the front rows to join him on stage. A great moment! Then he played one of my favorite one: Tiny Dancer. Although I did not appreciated that much the slide guitar on this one… I would have liked better a piano only version.

Then Elton entered in few explanations on some lyrics of the songs he did with Bernie Taupin, candidly saying that even after 40 years of singing them, he doesn’t get the sense of some lyrics. Very funny indeed. This is when I learned that the song  « Daniel »  was in fact a song about war. Bernie Taupin’s first draft of the song made clear the war aspect in the first verse of the song but Elton cut it to shorten the song and elimating its reference to war at the same time…

The show ends with  « Your Song » and big LOVE air inflated letters. See attached picture taken with my Blackberry at the end of the show.


I was really pleased to see these 2 musical icons in less than 5 days. That is one of the good side of Vegas for music lovers like me who are not really into gambling!

Welcome to Las Vegas/ Bienvenue à Las Vegas

I just landed in Vegas yesterday after a looooooooooog trip. Thanks to Air Canada. I was waiting for my luggage at the baggage claim when I saw this big billboard with this big booby bimbo inviting me to try her machine gun at The Gun Store. Even if I come to the USA quite often, I always have mixed feelings when I see such ads…

Je viens d’atterrir à Vegas après un voyage extrêmement long. Merci à Air Canada. J’attendais pour mon bagage au carrousel #2 de l’aéroport quand j’ai vu ce gros panneau publicitaire avec la fille aux gros tetons qui m’invite à aller essayer sa mitraillette au Gun Store, à 2 pas de la strip. Même si je viens aux United Steaks assez souvent, je ressens toujours un malaise quand je vois ce genre de pub….

Ad at Las Vegas Airport Carrousel 2

Ad at Las Vegas Airport Carrousel 2

On clarity

« Out of the mouth of babes »… they so often say when a child just blurts out the truth. In this case, we should say « Out of the drawings of babes »…

Look at the following drawing handed by a first grade girl to her teacher as a homework assignment. 

when-i-grow-drawing1What are your first thoughts? Not so nice ;-).

Let me explain the whole story behind that picture. 

After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:

Dear Ms. Davis,

I want to be very clear on my child’s illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This drawing is of me selling a shovel.

Mrs. Harrington

Thanks to my friend Andrea T. who forwarded me this picture as a joke. However, after a good laugh, it made me think about something interesting.  We, as marketers,  do not pay enough attention about how our messages are understood by our audience. We assume they understand what we want them to understand. Whether it is online, on TV, radio, paper or even in face-to-face conversations.

I receive and I watch tons of creative ads that are certainly funny or original but,  I am often struggling to identify what is the message the advertiser wants me to recall from its ad.

I am certainly not the only one.

To me,  an unclear message equals noise and waste of money. Did you work on your USP recently?

PS: I will do a post on the importance of having a clear USP in a future post. Be sure to come back.