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AFP Jargon Watch: Big Rocks

  • By Bryan Lapidus, FP&A
  • Published: 8/1/2018
JargonHere is the latest installment of #AFPJargonWatch:

What it is: The central promise of your product or service, frequently applied to marketing and advertising campaigns. A derivative of Stephen Covey’s story of prioritizing the big items first -- as in putting the big rocks in a jar first to make sure they fit, then filling the gaps with smaller rocks, pebbles, sand and water.

Why it matters:
 The ROI calculation of discrete marketing activities may require a “gross-up” factor if they support your “big rocks” because they reinforce your central message more than non-aligned content, products or services. Similar lexicon may be “strategically significant.”

TrendSpotting: When the rock-and-roll group The Clash first pitched themselves to a record label, they said they were “the only band that matters.” That’s hyperbolic, but it was their way to cut through the drivel and make themselves distinct from all the manufactured pop at the time. And it worked. They came across as authentic. The Clash was different from other punk rock bands was because they had a vision and they believed they could change the world. “People can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world,” said group leader Joe Strummer.

When referring to Strummer’s quote, Jason Miller, head of LinkedIn’s Content and Social Media Marketing, observed “It’s on a grandiose scale, but that’s how I think about content marketing; I think we can change the way people think about things. The takeaway is that The Clash had a decade-long content marketing empire that is just as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. Can you say that your business, your brand, your company will have the same empire?”

So what lessons can we learn from The Clash? Here’s one: When you lead a conversation that matters, give audiences a reason to follow you. 

Connect with Bryan Lapidus, FP&A, via emailLinkedIn or Twitter.

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