Posts by phyllis:

    Miley Cyrus: what marketing folks can learn from her

    September 3rd, 2013

    We marketing folks are always looking to make a big “splash”, aren’t we?

    We want our stuff to go “viral.”  We want to be experts in the field with our “thought leadership.”  We want to “lead the pack.”

    But there can be a downside to this kind of attention, as we’ve just seen with Ms. Cyrus, from her provocative performance at the VMA Awards Sunday night.

    So here are a few things we can learn from Miley Cyrus’ performance, and the backlash of attention she’s receiving:

    People respect substance from other businesses.  Saying something with no substance and no point except to be provocative is the worst possible way to engage a potential or existing client.  You could argue that Miley’s performance was sensational for sensation’s sake – no compelling lyrics; no clear-cut message to the performance.

    Shock value is a short-term solution and will not gain  you long-term followers.  After a while, when your repeat performances are just more and more shocking, clients and prospects will start to ignore your messaging (unless your audience is teenage girls and boys – ha!)

    Originality and sincerity go a long way with a company’s reputation.  Following what others have done, and doing the same old thing can really limit your ability to connect sincerely with your audience.  Focus on being original, and speaking sincerely about topics you have unique knowledge, and people will come back for more.

    If you’ve read this far, then I applaud you for humoring my attempt to gain readers name-dropping someone who’s hot in the press right now!  But Miley’s performance (which I watched on YouTube the day after) really did make me stop and think about how this type of “show” would play out in the business world metaphorically.

    This performance was a cautionary tale for marketing folks who want to push TOO hard for their message to become “viral.”  That’s the takeaway we can focus on.




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    No excuses for this laid-back fishing gal

    August 22nd, 2013

    IMG_0466Here’s another installment in our Getting to know our Buzz12 staff series.  This week we talked with our Content Manager, Lisa Sudderth: Read the rest of this entry “

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    Compulsive list-maker and picky pizza eater

    August 15th, 2013

    me2To continue with our series of getting to know our Buzz12 staff, we recently interviewed Sharon Neill, our Social Media Asssitant. Read the rest of this entry “

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    Killing mockingbirds, gambling, and mozzarella

    August 8th, 2013

    ashleyIn another installment of getting to know our Buzz12 staff, we interviewed Ashley Prewitt, our Manager of Accounts. Read the rest of this entry “

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    Beekeepers, leeks, and Netflix

    August 1st, 2013

    Lori BeekeeperWe recently interviewed Lori Culpepper, our senior Content Manager.

    What she had to say surprised us a little:

    1. What’s your favorite thing about your job? I get bored easily, so I really like working with a variety of clients on a variety of tasks.
    2. What is your favorite book? I can’t choose just one and even narrowing it down to three is hard, but “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb, “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood and “The Giver” by Lois Lowery. Read the rest of this entry “

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    From the rooter to the tooter

    July 22nd, 2013

    (This was originally posted July 2012, but it’s a big favorite so we’re reposting it today).

    I was early for a client appointment recently down by the airport. I decided to drive around a little, to kill time.

    That’s when I came across Sweet Daddy’s barbeque, with the tag line “from the rooter to the tooter.”

    After laughing hysterically for a few minutes (I do have a 14-year old boy sense of humor), I pulled over to take a photo.

    Why did it make me laugh? Why did I find it so interesting? There are a few reasons: Read the rest of this entry “


    What’s your “Rib Wench” job?

    July 8th, 2013

    RibsI was the Rib Wench in my college days at Country’s Barbeque in Auburn.

    I went around passing out ribs from a giant bowl on “all you can eat Thursday” rib night.  I also picked up the bones of eaten ribs.

    Or for some people, my apron-covered chest was the backboard for people “banking” ribs as they threw them toward me into the bowl.

    Folks – if that don’t teach you humility, I don’t know what will.

    That said – I actually look back on that time in my life with fondness.

    It was in that job that I learned how much I enjoy serving people, and making them happy.

    It certainly wasn’t a glamorous job, but my customers loved sitting in my section, and enjoyed the superior service I provided.

    My customer’s delight was like a drug to me.

    That job steered me toward a marketing background and the professional services industry, where I could make people happy for a living.

    It helped  spur my desire to start my own company helping people be successful marketing their businesses.

    I guess being a Rib Wench wasn’t half bad after all.

    Phyllis Neill is President of Buzz12, an advertising agency in Birmingham Alabama, servicing small to medium sized businesses. You can find more scintillating blog posts by Phyllis Neill at

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