Observations

Below is a collection of Dr. McGlaughlin's most recent observations (500+). Most of these observations are made throughout the course of everyday life, captured by dictation, and added to FlintsNotes.com. You can read more about the observation capture process here. The content here changes 5 days a week, so be sure to check back often. Also, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section of each observation.

Truth Revealed in the Lives of Extremists

Truth is not in the fuzzy middle, it’s hiding in the margins. It’s best discovered when studying the lives of extremists. Men like Niche, who empowered much of the thinking which produced the holocaust, took their mind to places that are still valuable for those with discernment. As Victor Frankle stated, “2 + 2 equals…

On Achievement and Physical Athleticism

In life, when it comes to achievement – but also in physical athleticism – one must prioritize the following: Being able to go where one intends (destination)Being able to go long enough to get there (endurance/perseverance), andBeing able to go fast. What’s critical here is that speed is third among the priorities.

On the RFP as Beauty Pageant

Marketing leaders and agencies, in particular,  should be aware of RFPs. Ultimately, such competitions become a "beauty pageant" gone wrong, with each vendor trying to look more attractive than the other. The effective marketer does not participate in "beauty pageants." Rather, they help the prospect fall in love.

On the Importance of Capability and Character

In the end the decision to trust someone to perform a service for you can be summarized into two questions: “Can they?” and “will they?”  Indeed, these questions thought of differently are the drivers of two positive conclusions that the marketer must achieve: the “you can” and the “you will.” “You can” translates into capability.…

On the Danger of Rebranding

You can't fix a plumbing problem by repainting the house, and you can't fix a marketing problem by rebranding the product. Never confuse art with artifice.   From a Forbes interview with Flint McGlaughlin    

On the Connection Between Brand and the Value Proposition

Brand is an impression on the mind. The value proposition is a reason in the mind (to purchase from X instead of Y). The right reason supported by the right impression increases the probability of the right conclusion, which points to the right decision.   

On Marketing as an Expedition into the Mind

Marketing should not be a battle of opinions between marketers, but rather an expedition into the mind of prospective customers. Salesmen make claims, but marketers shape conclusions.

On Conversion as the Apex Unit of Transformation

Transformation is a grand word used by everyone, but conversion is the humble precipitator of transformation. At the fundamental level, it is a stasis change "from-to," as in from prospect to customer, as in from unbeliever to believer, as in from X to Y. Ultimately then, conversion is the apex unit of true transformation.  

On Marketing and Knowing What You Don’t Know

Good science can make anyone look foolish. If you are using your marketing to prove what you know, then you are consigning yourself to mediocrity. Brilliant marketers spend their time trying to discover what they need to know. For the marketing philosopher, the only thing worse than not knowing is not knowing that you do…

On the Importance of Embarrassment

The problem with growth is that by its very nature, it creates sharp, painful contrast between "what was" and "what is"; the work/life of the past seems weak, even embarrassing. However, this embarrassment factor can be the surest indicator of progress. There is an inverse relationship between pain and growth.