May 21, 2015

Gliebers Dresses: The Prawn Tower

As you know, Gliebers Dresses is a fictional story about a Catalog Executive Team. If this is not your cup of tea, why not do a Google Search to learn about how Adobe is hiring actors to read white papers in podcast form (or click here, your choice).

Welcome to the Gliebers Dresses Executive Conference Room.

Glenn Glieber (Owner, CEO): Ah, Memorial Day weekend. The memories. I hope you all have plans. Remember, your staff are free to leave at 3:30pm today.

Meredith Thompson (Chief Merchandising Officer): I already sent my team home.

Glenn Glieber: It's nine in the morning.

Lois Gladstone (Chief Financial Officer): It's a merchandising best practice, Glenn.

Glenn Glieber: Oh.

Pepper Morgan Pressley (Chief Marketing Officer): Did you see what Gwen Wilson wrote on her blog this morning?

Meredith Thompson: I get her posts in my in-box every morning. Fascinating stuff.

Roger Morgan (Chief Operations Officer): She's an idiot blogger.

Pepper Morgan Pressley: She's what?

Roger Morgan: An idiot blogger.

Pepper Morgan Pressley: She was an Executive for a decade at our biggest competitor. I think she knows something about our industry.

Roger Morgan: Please.

Lois Gladstone: Please tell me this doesn't have anything to do with Woodside Research.

Roger Morgan: It has everything to do with Woodside Research.

Meredith Thompson: I'm leaving.

Glenn Glieber: You're what?

Meredith Thompson: Have a nice weekend, everybody. (Meredith collects her papers, stands up, and walks out of the conference room).

Glenn Glieber: She can't do that.

Lois Gladstone: She excused her staff early, so she's just adhering to her own holiday weekend departure best practice.

Glenn Glieber: I should get HR involved.

Lois Gladstone: HR reports to Roger. Ask Roger to stop Meredith.

Glenn Glieber: Roger?

Roger Morgan: So I was at the Woodside Research Aspire Conference last week.

Lois Gladstone: The what?

Roger Morgan: The Woodside Research Aspire Conference. I'm sure you followed along on Twitter. Hashtag Aspire.

Lois Gladstone: Can I leave, Glenn?

Glenn Glieber: Shhhhh. I want to hear about this hashtag thing.

Roger Morgan: Woodside Research collected every thought leader in the industry, and put them on the stage to share their vision of the future.

Lois Gladstone: How does Woodside Research decide who gets to be on the stage? Merit? Profit generated for clients? Rampant client growth?

Pepper Morgan Pressley: You pay Woodside Research $25,000. Then you get to be on the stage.

Roger Morgan: The fee keeps the idiot bloggers off the stage.

Pepper Morgan Pressley: Gwen Wilson is not an idiot blogger.

Roger Morgan: The thought leaders at the conference disagree. 

Lois Gladstone: Thought leaders?

Roger Morgan: You know, the smartest people in the industry. They share their thoughts with the audience. They try to stretch the minds of brilliant attendees. People like me, for instance. It's an invigorating way to spend a day in the Bay Area, I'll tell you that much.

Lois Gladstone: If I wanted somebody to lead my thoughts, I'd join a cult.

Pepper Morgan Pressley: Thought leaders don't actually lead. They tell people what to do, then they stand far away while their ideas fail in the real world.

Roger Morgan: Do you know how exciting it is to rub shoulders with the smartest people in the industry?

Pepper Morgan Pressley: We spend every day with you, Roger. It's like a little slice of heaven.

Roger Morgan (looking curiously at Pepper): For instance, I was standing next to the Prawn Tower, chatting with Nate Carson.

Pepper Morgan Pressley: You were what?

Roger Morgan: Chatting with Nate Carson.

Pepper Morgan Pressley: The other thing.

Roger Morgan: They had this eight foot tall pyramid of prawns. Oh my goodness. You just stuck a toothpick into a prawn, put it on your plate, dipped the prawn in cocktail sauce, savored the flavor, then repeat. I'll bet it took the two thousand attendees a good four hours to take down that Prawn Tower.

Glenn Glieber: Was it anything like the vat of popcorn shrimp at the Golden Corral? Because let me tell you, it doesn't matter how many vans of Sr. Citizens they bring in there, they're not going to get to the bottom of that vat!

Roger Morgan: Then there was the chocolate waterfall. They made it look like Niagara Falls!

Lois Gladstone: Did they send any of the thought leaders over the falls in a marshmallow raft?

Roger Morgan: I'm trying to make a point. When you go to an event like this, when you rub shoulders with people like Nate Carson, when you pay an additional $750 to sit at a breakfast roundtable sponsored by Omicron and you chat with thought leaders about engagement and personalization and relevancy in the modern era, you come to realize just how special Woodside Research is.

Lois Gladstone: We spent $2,750 of Glenn's money, plus travel expenses, so that you could rub shoulders with thought leaders and eat prawns?

Glenn Glieber: He spent my money?

Roger Morgan: You bean counters, you're all the same. In fact, one of the thought leaders gave a three minute lightning lecture ...

Pepper Morgan Pressley: A lightning lecture?

Roger Morgan: You know, one of those quick-fire sessions where thought leaders rapidly offer their guidance in a progressive and fast paced setting.

Pepper Morgan Pressley: Ugh.

Roger Morgan: Anyway, he gave a lightning lecture titled "Bake the Beans". He gave five quick tips for disarming your Chief Financial Officer, who he labeled, "the biggest stumbling block to omnichannel success in the modern enterprise." Did you know that, according to a Woodside Research report, 77% of marketers are fed up with the way the CFO limits the ability of the marketing department to do their job properly?

Lois Gladstone: I'll bet 100% of CFOs are fed up with employees wasting company resources to attend marketing nerd prom.

Roger Morgan: She feeds right into the narrative, doesn't she?

Pepper Morgan Pressley: Are we about done here?

Roger Morgan: I haven't even had a chance to share facts about the cataloger happy hour.

Pepper Morgan Pressley: Catalogers have a reason to be happy?

Roger Morgan: Bill Blatt from Hex Graphics shared a best practice case study about a large retailer mailing one catalog, just one, back in April. He says that one catalog is a symbol of the potential re-birth of an industry. We're really well positioned for the future, when you think about it.

Lois Gladstone: You've been telling us for the past six years to mail fewer catalogs. Now you're telling us we're well positioned?

Roger Morgan: If a printer tells you that paper is making a comeback, you have to believe the printer has your best interests at heart, right? Why would a vendor lie to you? It's like when social media experts tell you to focus on engagement, or when email vendors demand that you focus on personalization. They're leading your thoughts for a reason!

Lois Gladstone: They sure are. I'm leaving.

Pepper Morgan Pressley: Me too.

Roger Morgan: The two of you don't want to participate in the future, do you?

Glenn Glieber: Hold on, you two, let's hear Roger's vision for the future.

Roger Morgan: Really?

Glenn Glieber: Go.Tell us what our vision is.

Roger starts thumbing through papers on his desk, looking frantically at various reports from Woodside Research.

Glenn Glieber: I don't want to hear what somebody else thinks about the future. I want to hear your vision of the future.

Lois Gladstone: He's not capable of saying anything unless a vendor or a research brand first authored the sentence.

Roger continues to look at various documents. He is sweating. His cheeks are red. He has red blotches on his neck.

Pepper Morgan Pressley: Alright, it's been fun. I'm going to leave and join Meredith. Have a nice weekend everybody.

Lois Gladstone: I'm outta here, too.

Glenn Glieber: We haven't heard Roger's vision yet.

Roger Morgan: I think I left the Woodside Research report on marketing in 2025, sponsored by Omicron, on my desk. I'm sorry. I'll bring it next time.