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Message from the MD

I founded It’s Pixel Perfect (IPP) because I believed that building a great marketing agency would improve businesses, people’s lives and, hopefully the world. In the two years – plus that has followed, my team and I have been constantly delighted by the ways in which we have impacted business while not shying away from our social responsibilities.

In the next decade, however, the competition for new revenues, new markets, new products and new services will continue to intensify. I know, that if we want to survive this period we have to operate in completely new ways, making sustainability integral to our innovation and performance.

Toward the end of 2013, I found guidance in the words of the late Nelson Mandela. He said, “there is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” It is this idea, that I used as a stepping stone toward the rebuilding of IPP. Last December, I began by reorganizing the management team around a core service to improve responsibility and accountability across IPP. We had a big clean up. We needed it! We had so many opportunities, and unless I made those hard choices, we may have ended up spreading ourselves too thin and not have had the impact that we would want. This left me with no choice but to focus on a core service, content marketing. This service would be cleaner, more consistent and would bring more value to our customers. It would allow all our services to work together seamlessly. It is still early days, and we have a long way to go, but this process will tremendously impact the we way we do business going forward.

Our dependency on technology for efficiency has single-handedly been our change maker since the start of the year. Our customers access to changes and information has been well streamlined by the use of several unique open source softwares and web applications. It is however futile to have the right resources and not have the right team members. That in itself was a roller coaster ride I won’t forget. Finding the right fit and the right balance to meet the required roles we needed in the company, certainly had its moments. We tried several interns with various skill sets and leadership capabilities. As talented as some were, we just couldn’t fit the pieces together seamlessly. I think we got the break-through when I recognized that we had to develop a team of A-Players who understood the philosophy of Performance with Purpose. After understanding that, I recreated a team with several unique roles and since then we have been on the road to sustainable growth. I know at this point that the mountains we climb will be steep, but we will climb them together.

There has been something slightly funny in the office that right now we may be known more for our philanthropic duties than the marketing ideas that we have executed for our clients. I wasn’t amused initially, because I thought our focus was being misjudged. After much thought, I realised that we were right down the path of what I had initially wanted. Social Responsibility is at the centre of our business and we won’t change that now or in the future. It is who we are. WE LOVE PEOPLE. We had our first successful charity activity in December “Give Where You Live: Christmas Treat” at the UWI Hospital. Since then, we have continued our philanthropic activities with our #LoveMore campaign and our “Give Where You Live: Toy Drive” which starts this month.

Relevant information and a lightning fast approach in delivering clients needs are key in our core service. We know if we keep our customers informed with information they NEED to know, it will help them to understand our business process and also potentially understand the changes in their industries. That is why I’m so excited about the relaunch of our blog. It allows us to execute projects for our clients, then write a blog post to explain how it works. We recognize that if we hold their hands during this time, they will hold our hands in the future.

We have observed that the financial situation of this country has placed businesses in a corner and thus they need excellent return on their investment (ROI) to meet their basic needs. They need results out of a hat like magic. Can we blame them? No we can’t. We have accepted the situation that we are in, what our customers are faced with and we are equipping ourselves with the skills, the patience, and the people to survive this period and help our clients to reach their goals.

I am proud of the progress we are making but is this the best we can do? I certainly do not think so but I know we can, must and we will do better.

- Conrad Mathison

Lessons Learned: What Jamaican Promo Girls Can Teach You About Business

Originally posted on glenford scott:

Many of us think of promotional girls as just scantily clad women who go around at events and use their sex appeal to get you to buy whatever they are promoting, but if you look past the revealing clothing (as hard as that may be) these girls can teach us some valuable lessons about business.

Everyday I try my best to extract a few lessons and learn from life experiences as I go along, so I can become a true student of life, this post is inspired by the time I spent in Negril for the independence weekend at RTI. From my trip to RTI I observed and interacted with a few promotional teams for the weekend event namely Rough Rider Condoms and Boom Energy Drink promotional girls and at all the parties I observed how just a small group of promo girls can control the entire vibe of an…

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Lessons Learned: The Best Way To Help Others Is To Help Yourself

Originally posted on glenford scott:

I was watching a Jay Z interview on his YouTube channel Life + Times and he said something I found very profound and that I agreed with fully. When asked about him being accused of not being charitable enough he said “my presence is charity” now this may sound egotistical at first glance but it carries a lot of genuine truth. What he meant by this is that just by him doing what he loves, making out of a violent community and being hugely successful he is inspiring others (myself included) to do the same and in essence helping them get out of their situation.

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I agreed with this fully because in my life I have many people who i admire greatly and they have never given me a dollar or sat down with me and given me advice, nor have they directly contributed to my community. Yet just by…

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Have an Inspiring Week

Originally posted on My Life on Screen:

It is Friday July 26 and I woke up at 6:30 this morning to write this blog. My past week was one of my most inspiring ones thus far in my life, and I want to share the highlights with you.

On Tuesday night I was talking to one of my friends about my dreams and what I want to do with my life, and into the conversation she asked me a simple but profound question. One that I know many people ask themselves daily: “How can I find my passion, how do I find what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life?”

At any other point in my life I may have been unable to provide a sensible response, but my experiences over the last few months had prepared me for this one question.

Surely there is no one way to find your life’s passion…

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5 Things We Can Learn from Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail

By Kishmar Shepherd – My Life On Screen

Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Jay-Z fan. I love his music, his character and what he means to young black men all over the world. To me Jay-Z represents success, triumph over bad situations and constant personal growth.

He has set a good example for anyone to aspire to but today I want to talk about his new Album MCHG and what messages creative people can get from the songs on the album. My boss always says “Success leaves clues” so let’s see what clues we can pick up from the great Hov.

“Bright lights are enticing but look what that did to (Mike) Tyson.” – Holy Grail

Don’t be blinded by your success –

As artists, sometimes we struggle for so long that when success comes we get carried away in it and lose ourselves in the hype. This has happened to a lot of creative people who become successful and find it hard to remain creative or inspired. Remain grounded in the good times and the bad.

“I just want a Picasso in my casa, no my castle.” – Picasso Baby

Aim high and know what you want out of life. In order to reach a destination we must decide where it is we want to go. In the song Jay Z raps about what he wants out of this life, his goals are lavish but at least he knows what he wants and is more likely to get it. Our goals may not be to own a Picasso but we should have some clearly defined goals and say them out loud, don’t be afraid to tell other people what you want. This is part of the speaking into being Christians talk about. What do I want? I want to win an Oscar.

“Don’t be good my ni**a be great” F.U.T.W

Don’t settle for being good, we should always strive for greatness. But what is the difference between good and great, what is that defining piece of the puzzle that takes one from ordinary to extraordinary? For this industry there is a different defining factor, there is not one formula that will work for everything, but one thing is for sure, hard work and never settling will take you further than share talent. Always strive to be greater than you are today and your greatness will come to you.

“My uncle said I’d never sell a million records, I sold a million records about a million times” – Crown

Don’t let other people put parameters on your success. You are not limited by what people say you can do, you are only limited by yourself. People may not always believe in your dream but that does not mean it will not come true. Some of the world’s greatest men were once considered mad for attempting things others thought were impossible. Yet these things have been accomplished through will, power, determination and belief.

“No guilt in giving clear a n**** conscience out, no guilt in receiving, everything within reason.” – Nickels & Dimes

As artists we should not be afraid to give to others without asking for returns. This is not to say we should work for free; or give away what we earn but I believe that everyone in a position to, should help others. The other side of that is that we should not be embarrassed to receive from others. Sometimes we let our pride prevent us from taking gifts, this may come as money or even advice.

And there you have it, my 5 pieces of advice which I got from Jay-Z’s new album. I am sure there are lots more messages we can get from the album along with the great music.

Enjoy the album.

7 Things To Do During College To Gain Experience

By Oshane Reid – Reid Reality

Do not wait until you leave college to gain experience. These are 7 things to do to position yourself for a better working life after college.


Part-Time Jobs
Seek employment when you have free time and on weekends. This will provide much needed experience and put extra cash in your pocket.

Internship
Seek internships during summer and on holiday breaks. We are young vacations shouldn’t be our top priority at the moment. Experience is what really matters.

Volunteer
Volunteerism is of paramount importance, one can garner wealth of opportunities from this while playing a vital role in your society.

Work on Campus
There are jobs on campus, but you have to search and enquire about these opportunities. In addition, try and seek these opportunities as soon as possible because they are limited, go even before the semester starts.

Leadership & Student Organisation
Join clubs and societies, this will provide much needed networking and build productive relationships. Participate in extra-curricular activities as well to further grow your network and contribute to your University.

Networking
Do I need to stress this? Get around, shake hands, meet new people and build your connections. It used to be “who you know” but it has changed to “who knows you”.

Meet New People From Different Backgrounds
This will give you a wider scope of life and appreciation for different backgrounds. In addition, ideas can be manifested to build empires and Fortune 500 companies.

By O’Shane Reid

@OShaneReidPR

10 Principles of GOOD Design: Braun & Apple

By Glenford Scott – GSCOTTY.COM

In today’s world of business, design is just as important as whatever magic your product can do, it adds tremendous value to a product and it captures a buyer’s attention better. Companies like Apple due to the strict rule of it’s legendary founder Steve Jobs and his right hand man John Ive have inherited design as a core function of their products if I can say so following always a minimalist view on design and has been copied by many companies who wish to emulate their success. So nowadays people expect to see a well designed product whether it be a physical product like a phone or not physical like a website, good design sets you apart from the pack and increases your value proposition to your customers.

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But even the great Apple had to learn its design principles from someone, and that someone is legendary German industrial designer Dieter Rams. During his tenure Mr. Rams outlined that there are indeed principles that you have to follow in order to create what he dubbed as “Good Design” and these principles come in the nice round number of 10.  They are as follows

1. Good Design Is Innovative : The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

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2. Good Design Makes a Product Useful : A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product while disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

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3. Good Design Is Aesthetic : The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

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4. Good Design Makes A Product Understandable : It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.

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5. Good Design Is Unobtrusive : Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

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6. Good Design Is Honest : It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

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7. Good Design Is Long-lasting : It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.

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8. Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail : Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.

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9. Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly : Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

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10. Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible : Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

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“Things which are different in order to simply be different are seldom better, but that which is made to be better is almost always different.” – Dieter Rams

“My goal is to omit everything superfluous so that the essential is shown to best possible advantage.” – Dieter Rams

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Summary Of Lean Start-Up/ Lean Startup Methodologies

By Glenford Scott – GSCOTTY.COM

A few months back I stumbled upon a book that as a budding entrepreneur, would change my outlook on the process of building and running a company. I was a bit happy to know there is a scientific method to what I consider the wild Art Of Entrepreneurship, this scientific method is known as The Lean Startup pioneered by Mr. Eric Ries. This book makes you feel like a young wizard learning new magic tricks within every chapter, but it can be quite a long read and you may forget all the important points outlined in this great book.

So here’s a summary of what I consider to be the backbone of lean startup methodologies.

The goal of a startup is to figure out the right thing to build- the thing customers want and will pay for as  quickly as possible.

A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty. The key to operating under these conditions is to gather a group of people and investors that can make the build-measure-learn cycle as fast and effective as possible.

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You can only learn if you can validate your learning with data or experience. So product development is not a department within a company, but a series of hypothesis that you need to test. The minimum-viable-product is the basic learning tool that you test your hypothesis on; it is the most stripped down version of your product that will help you learn what you need to know. After BUILDing the MVP you MEASURE and LEARN from it and make adjustments where necessary.

No matter what hypothesis you test, don’t forget to test two hypothesis:

  1. The Value Hypothesis tests whether a product/service really delivers value to customers once they are using it.

  2. The Growth Hypothesis tests how new customers will discover the product.

Asking yourself these questions before adding more features:

  1. Do customers recognize that they have the problem you are trying to solve?

  2. If they was a solution, would they buy it?

  3. Would they buy it from us?

  4. Can we build a solution to the problem?

Success is not delivering a feature. Success is learning how to solve the customers problem. You can’t do this without A LOT of customer interaction.

MEASURE: first establish a baseline of relevant metrics with an MVP- conversion rates, sign-up rates, trial rates, payment rates etc. Second, adjust the product to improve these rates. Third, if the product features/marketing can’t be adjusted to make these rates into a business, PIVOT.

Tools to help measure: Cohorts help you figure out what customers are doing what on your site. the more granular the data, the more actionable it can be to figuring out what features you should add whether to pivot. Split testing means putting different versions of a product to sets of customers to test whether a different feature has a desired effect.

For organizational purposes make sure measurements are actionable, accessible and audit-able. If not there will be a gridlock, in difference or dispute.

Actionable: when an employee sees a report about a specific metric, it’s essential that they have some idea how to replicate the result in the report.

Accessible: Everyone in the company understands how to read them, everyone in the company has easy access to the latest data.

Auditable: It should be possible to translate the summary numbers in the report back to actual customers who generate them.

PIVOT: You built, you measured, you learned and the relevant metrics aren’t getting any better. It’s probably time to consider a pivot. Options are the following

  1. Customer problem pivot. In this scenario, you use essentially the same product to solve a different problem for the same customer segment. Eric says that Starbucks famously did this pivot when they went from selling coffee beans and espresso makers to brewing drinks in-house.

  2. Market segment pivot. This means you take your existing product and use it to solve a similar problem for a different set of customers. This may be necessary when you find that consumers aren’t buying your product, but enterprises have a similar problem, with money to spend. Sometimes this is more a marketing change than a product change.

  3. Technology pivot. Engineers always fight to take advantage of what they have built so far. So the most obvious pivot for them is to re-purpose the technology platform, to make it solve a more pressing, more marketable, or just a more solvable problem as you learn from customers.

  4. Product feature pivot. Here especially, you need to pay close attention to what real customers are doing, rather than your projections of what they should do. It can mean to zoom-in and remove features for focus, or zoom-out to add features for a more holistic solution.

  5. Revenue model pivot. One pivot is to change your focus from a premium price, customized solution, to a low price  solution. Another common variation worth considering is the move from a one-time product sale to monthly subscription or license fees. Another is the famous razor versus blade strategy.

  6. Sales channel pivot. Start-ups with complex new products always seem to start with direct sales, and building their own brand. When they find how expensive and time consuming this is, they need to use what they have learned from customers to consider a distribution channel, e commerce, white-labeling the product, and strategic partners.

  7. Product versus services pivot. Sometimes products are too different or too complex to be sold effectively to the customer with the problem. Now is the time for bundling support services with the product, education offerings, or simply making your offering a service that happens to deliver a product at the core.

  8. Major competitor pivot. What do you do when a major new player or competitor jumps into your space? You can charge ahead blindly, or focus on one of the above pivots to build your differentiation and stay alive.

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Where does growth come from?

  1. Word of mouth

  2. As a side effect of product usage

  3. Through advertising

  4. Through repeat purchase or use

Three Engines Of Growth

  1. Sticky Engine: you add existing customers at a rate that exceeds the rate at which they leave. Key Metrics: Customer Adds, Customer churn

  2. Viral Engine: New Customers bring more than one new customers to service. Key Metrics: The viral co-efficient.

  3. Paid Engine: The cost of acquiring customers is less than each customers value to you. So you spend money on services like advertising to drive growth. Key Metrics: Customer acquisition cost/customer value. The lower the number, the faster you will grow.

Checkout the man himself Mr. Eric Ries speaking on the Lean Startup below.

“The company that consistently makes and implements decisions rapidly gains a tremendous, often decisive, competitive advantage.”- Steve Blank