About minterdial

Minter Dial is an international professional speaker & consultant on Branding and Digital Strategy. After a long and successful international career at L’Oreal, Minter Dial returned to his entrepreneurial roots to create first The Myndset Company and then Digitalproof Consultancy Ltd. Working in partnership with a select group of associates, Minter has spent ten years helping senior management teams and Boards to adapt to the new exigencies of the digitally enhanced marketplace. Minter has worked with world-class organizations to help activate their brand strategies, and to integrate new technologies and digital tools, devices and platforms. Above all, Minter works to catalyze a change in mindset and dialling up transformation. Minter received his BA in Trilingual Literature from Yale University (1987) and gained his MBA at INSEAD, Fontainebleau (1993). He is author of Futureproof (Pearson Sep 2017) and The Last Ring Home (Myndset Nov 2016), a book and award-winning documentary film.

(Too) Busy Is A Choice

Late for Work Busy is a choice

How busy would you say you are? Would you not agree that many of your friends and colleagues are all saying roughly the same thing, along the lines: “Yeah, I’m super busy. Lots of stuff going on….” Some would consider it a badge of honour to be so busy. Others might feel that they are the victim of a 24-hour clock. Many (most) rue the lack of free time. As a result, things are necessarily falling through the cracks, shoddy work is getting done, critical communications are not getting through, people are showing up late all the time and, worse of all, people are burning out. Being too busy, I am convinced, is one of the biggest issues in business, especially in these frenetic times, where strategic thought is as important as mental & physical wellbeing. Tweet This

The choices you make

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How To Use Tech To Transform Lives And Humanity, with Nichol Bradford, co-Founder of the TransTech Lab and Willow Group (MDE264)

Minter Dialogue with Nichol Bradford

Nichol BradfordNichol Bradford is an author, gamer, speaker, and CEO & founder of the Willow Group, a leading light in personal transformation and well-being. She’s also Executive Director and co-founder (with Jeffrey Martin) of The Transformative Technology Lab at Sofia University Palo Alto, the world’s first transpersonal university. In this far reaching conversation, we discuss the transformative powers and potential of tech and games, whether tech is the problem or the solution to our problems, tech etiquette and more.

Below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to go over to iTunes to rate the podcast.

To connect with Nichol Bradford:

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Change Is Everywhere But Will Digital Transformation Transform?

Don’t you agree that these are exhilarating times? So many of the major companies I work with are in the throes of major upheaval. Change is everywhere. Digital transformation programmes are in action all over the place. But are businesses transforming appropriately? Are there results to show for their efforts? As my pal Sam Villa likes to say:

Change is for sure. Growth is the option.

But is there growth? In these dynamic times, even journeymen employees are having to re-evaluate and adjust their dyed-in-the-wool habits. So, as we roll out 2018 with all the digital transformation programmes afoot, I am looking forward to significant material change. I expect to see change in the way businesses are being run, but I also expect to see widening deltas between the winners and losers. As Kevin Kelly said brilliantly:

“The future happens very slowly and then all at once”

I am expecting 2018 to be an even more rock’n’roll year, with huge unknowns and events fostering doubt, chaos and opportunity, including volatility in the stock market, cryptocurrencies and inflation, the threats of cyber hacks, political instability and terrorism; and, closer to home, the denouement of Brexit. For business, in such a climate, it will be harder and harder to see straight, unless, that is, they have a firm grip on their North. The competition is at once within each industry, and without the industry. It’s also between industries. And yet, with all the furious activity, so many companies still seem to be “behind the eight ball.” Why is that? Continue reading

How Best To Handle Those Linkedin Connection Requests?

I have written about handling Linkedin connection requests in the past, but there continues to be a thorny, never-ending stream of invitations in my Linkedin inbox. I’m sure that you, like me, get connection requests that leave you scratching your head. For example, the name looks familiar, but you can’t seem to quite place it. Maybe you just came back from a conference where you met dozens of new people, but you can’t remember the ones you trusted and/or liked. Or possibly you don’t actually know the person, but they do have an interesting profile…

linkedin connection request

In any event, I receive at least a dozen invitations every week and for the vast majority, they are not people I know and come without any accompanying note. It’s often confusing and I hesitate just to reject the connections outright. For example, there are those I’m not sure if I know them, and then others whom I met many moons ago, but have not been in touch with since. In each of these cases, my position is generally not to accept the request. However, in my heart, I feel bad about just ignoring them. I kind of want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Linkedin connection requests gone wrong

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Injecting meaning into design. Beyond user-centric design, Julie Jenson Bennett uses meaning-centred design. (MDE263)

Minter Dialogue Episode #263

Julie Jensen BennettJulie Jenson Bennett is CEO of Precipice Design, a strategic design consultancy, that is pioneering “meaning-centred design and innovation.” In this conversation, we look at how design can be a far more strategic component of your brand and business. We look at some important questions: What is meaning? How to craft meaning-centred design? The intersection of culture, brand and meaning. Can we (human beings) create a shared language with computers that understands the implicit and unspoken elements?

“So much meaning doesn’t live on the page, but in the implicit and unspoken.” @jensonbennett at @PrecipiceDesign Tweet This

Below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to go over to iTunes to rate the podcast.

To connect with Julie JensOn Bennett:

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Important Marketing Tips and Trends for 2018 and Creating Powerful and Effective Education Online with Kerry O’Shea Gorgone (MDE262)

Minter Dialogue Episode #262

kerry o'shea gorgoneKerry O’Shea Gorgone is Director of Product Strategy at MarketingProfs, which offers education for many of the top organisations in the world and boasts over 600,000 members. Kerry, who has a law and business masters degree, is also host of the Marketing Smarts podcast. In this podcast, we discuss some important trends and tips for marketers in 2018, including the upcoming GDPR implementation in Europe, as well as look at how to provide and lead great education using the digital tools and platforms.

Below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to go over to iTunes to rate the podcast.

To connect with Kerry O’Shea Gorgone:

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How To Build A Great LinkedIn Network And Why Reducing Your LinkedIn Network May Be Key

I have to guess that, since you’re reading this post, you’re on LinkedIn? I also imagine that, like me, you wonder how worthwhile your LinkedIn network actually is? Maybe you have garnered a rather large network and you battle with the quandary of accepting or not new invitations? The problem: is LinkedIn working for you? Is your network on LinkedIn a fitting reflection of who you are? Is it a network you can rely on? Is it a trustworthy selection of the best of your business-related acquaintances? Do you know why/how you are connected with each member?

If the answer to any of the questions is no, then we surely have work to do.

Strengthening Your LinkedIn Network

linkedin network the last ring home futureproof

Futureproof and The Last Ring Home

Over the past twelve months, if you haven’t noticed, I have been in a deep production mode. In that window, I released a film and published two books (The Last Ring Home and Futureproof). This led me to organize around 60 events, specifically to screen my film and/or do book readings. Over that time, I’ve done events in nineteen cities in four countries. In so doing, as any author knows, you end up having to push like a madman to get your friends and family to support you, to put “bums in seats” and to sell books. I note that it’s quite ungratifying that, after completing a book, you need to flog it, too. Anyway, as a result, I’ve had to use my various “social” networks to help push and promote. Many of you may have been on the receiving end of my multiple missives. For the most part, my communications were via group emails or posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. I also resorted to the occasional burst of individualized, personal messages, whether via email, LinkedIn or Facebook Messenger. Without doubt, the personal messages would get the biggest responses. Surprisingly, though, many recipients of these individualized messages — many of whom I know very well — never replied. This got me thinking…

linkedin network

Who’s reliable in my network? Who are the linchpins and who are the deadweights? From right to left, maybe I should start classifying my Linkedin network? After all, surely it would be better to have a smaller strong group than a diffuse and unreliable large group of connections?

You Are Your Network

linkedin network

What good is a connection if he/she doesn’t ever respond to your personal message? If you go to the effort to write something specifically to them, but they don’t react, I have to believe they don’t represent any value. Perhaps they’re too busy. Perhaps they are overloaded with messages. Perhaps they feel that they’ve got other things to do with their time. Of course, it’s always possible that my solicitation was too irksome! But in any event, if you can’t reach out to your network for a favor, a question, advice or just to see if there’s a heartbeat on the other end, it certainly gives pause to think. In light of the number of non-responses for individual messages I have sent out over the last year — essentially asking people in geographic locations, if they’d like to attend the screening of my documentary film — I have come to believe that a good cull would be worthwhile. It’s not as if the large number of connections is a sign of any importance. The only benefit on LinkedIn of having a large network is sometimes being identified as a second-tier connection with other interesting individuals. But, if the person linking you is a dud (aka “Chief Chump”), I would tend to believe the person on the other side of the link thinks so, too.

Here’s my bottom line: A strong LinkedIn network means having individuals with whom are active. They engage with you, will ask questions or share ideas/posts. They might ask you for a service from time to time, but in general they are happy to respond, like and comment with you. Otherwise, what worth are they other than a node on some computer map.

My request to @LinkedIn: help each of us to identify the active people in your network. I’d ideally like to be able to identify automatically those people who never replied to any message you’ve sent out. That way you can choose to eliminate deadwood.

Your thoughts and reactions?

Using Artificial Intelligence to Create Great Content, With Martin Adams CEO of Codec.AI (MDE261)

Martin Adams Headshot

Minter Dialogue with Martin Adams

Martin Adams

is CEO & Co-Founder @ Codec, a platform using AI to help produce content and drive content marketing. Martin is also a speaker on innovation, AI and the blockchain. In this conversation, we look at how Martin has gone about using AI for his business and what tips and tricks there are for any business looking to do the same. We also look at the content marketing situation and what are some best practices for today’s marketers.

Below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to go over to iTunes to rate the podcast.

To connect with Martin Adams:


Further resources for the Minter Dialogue Radio Show:

iTunes RSS Minter Dialogue Podcast - Branding Gets Personal

Meanwhile, you can find my other interviews on the Minter Dialogue Radio Show in this podcast tab, on Buzzsprout or via iTunes. Please don’t be shy about rating this podcast on iTunes here!

Music credit: The jingle at the beginning of the show is courtesy of my friend, Pierre Journel, author of the Guitar Channel. And, the new sign off music is “Finger Paint,” written and performed by Josh Saxe, produced by Chase Geiser. Here’s a link on iTunes. I invite you to take a spin on Pierre’s podcast or listen to more of Josh’s music!

The Key Trends For 2018 – Brace Yourself

Are you concerned about or interested by what is going to happen in 2018?

In the era of too much (spurious and fake) news, it’s a serious challenge for business leaders to stay abreast of what’s going on. At one level, it’s hard enough to keep up with what’s going within one’s own industry. But, with the threat often coming from without the industry, the challenge is decidedly bigger. Another reality for most business leaders is that EVERYONE has read about the vast amount of new technologies. Some, like social media and smartphone, have been around for over a decade. It’s easy to be complacent about these. Yet, even they will require a new eye and adapted strategies in the new year.

Key Trends for 2018

Here are the seven key trends – new tech and others — that will pepper if not dominate 2018. For sure, it will be another rock’n’roll year, becasuse:

  1. It’s Only Going To Get Worse. The pace. The amount of communications. The stress. The pressure on results. Key thought: The illusory idea that things will get better can only be preceded by a profound strategic choice to do so.
  2. Digital Transformation Projects Will Be About Execution. Now that everyone has embarked on some form of transformation project, 2018 will be about results. Is your digital transformation programme turning the corner and creating lasting change? Key thought: If the board of directors hasn’t change their way of operating, it’s unlikely your transformation will come quickly enough.
  3. Key trends 2018 Big DataData Will Get Big. As the ability to analyze improves, thanks in large part to progress in AI and better data scientists, companies will finally cotton on to the BIGGER need to bulk up their data. It’s better to have big data and less sophisticated computer systems than it is to have little data and high-end systems. Key thought: Explore all the ways you can find and combine data on your market and your customers.
  4. Artificial Intelligence Will Smarten Up. The pace of investment in artificial intelligence has accelerated, led by the big tech companies in the US and China. According to market research firm Tractica, “AI spending is forecasted to grow from $640MM in 2016 to $37B by 2025.” For big business, the application of AI, much like “digital” in general, must be focused on supporting the strategic imperatives of the company. Key thought: Where is your AI expertise? If it’s not inside the company, you might need to revisit that vacuum quickly.
  5. Marketing Will Continue to Morph. This year, we saw that it’s become a pay-to-play game in content marketing. It’s not just a problem of too much information. I expect to see marketing automation proliferate and, unfortunately, worsen in use. Many companies continue to resort to highly paid celebrity spokespeople or, worse, trickery and devious tactics to make their content and brand name get out there. In 2018, we should expect the consumer to be ever more weary of improper, unethical techniques. Short cuts — like throwing money at celebrities or influencers – may continue to provide vanity statistics, but the brands that are doing the hardwork of answering the real FAQ and providing genuine information, useful educational content or original entertainment will be the winners long term. Key thought: How are you finding and working the data for insights to help you craft the best content?
  6. The Breakout Year of Voice. In combination with the advancement in AI of course, but the democratization of voice-controlled machines in the home will have a disruptive effect on many industries. If in 2016, 20% of mobile search was generated by voice, Google says that “[b]y 2020, voice commands will make up 50% of all searches.” Key thought: For those creating content, it will no longer be enough to be mobile friendly or mobile first. SEO will become VSO – Voice Search Optimization. And for this, context will be instrumental.
  7. Cyber Security Boon. Of all the technologies cited in our book, Futureproof, the sector with the largest dollar figure associated with it is inevitably cyber security. That’s because of two things: (1) the big rush by companies to invest in securing their systems, and (2) the inevitability and cost of having more cyber security breaches. Key thought: As we have always maintained, your weakest link is and will remain the human being. What ongoing learning are you providing in your organization to help individuals to avoid falling into the next best phishing trap?

I am not bold or crazy enough to call out any major changes among the new tech players. But I do think that consolidation is bound to happen among the social media companies. This is because of a combination of consumer social media fatigue and struggling business models (Snap, Twitter…). If there is no stock market crash, I would expect a good deal more M&A activity. Digitally enhanced marketing activities such as influencer marketing and tech using augmented reality (esp for retail and eCommerce) will continue to grow leaps and bounds.

Meanwhile, just as Caleb and I developed in our book, Futureproof, I expect to see continued exploration and advancements in several other key new technologies, such as the Blockchain, Genomics, Self-Driving Cars, Energy Storage and 3D printing. On the other hand, I do not think that Bitcoin or Virtual Reality will be a big topic for big business in 2018.

My final call: don’t fall asleep at the wheel with your mobile or web strategy. The User Experience will continue to evolve and those out-of-date or unfriendly experiences will penalize your business.

Your thoughts and reactions about the key trends for 2018 are, of course, welcome!

The Unsubscribe User Experience – The Boss Won’t Ask You This Question…

Email marketing remains one of the main pillars of any normal marketing strategy. It still provides a great Return on Investment considering the cost per communication, even if open rates for mass marketers often toil to get over 2%. Regulations continue to evolve, no more so than in Europe with upcoming new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But, an area that has always fascinated me is the UNSUBSCRIBE element of newsletters. And it’s a question that no boss will even WANT to ask: How easy is it for someone to unsubscribe from our newsletter? Many companies seem to go to great lengths to make unsubscribing as difficult as possible. Having just gone through a veritable spring cleaning of unnecessary newsletters in my inbox, I got a chance to check out how brands are managing the unsubscribe function.

This list looks at some more or less egregious tactics:

Unsubscribe user experience

Bonobos (now part of Walmart) asks with a bit of humor to stay in touch

  • no option whatsoever to unsubscribe (e.g. LadenburgThalmann Research, Burston Marsteller, a PR company!…) NB I never signed up with them in the first place
  • an unsubscribe button that tricks you into signing up again (e.g. Twoo)
  • create multiple steps/clicks (Hyatt Hotels)
  • worse yet, the need to sign in to your account in order to change subscription, so you need to go find your login and password (e.g. Sephora [part of LVMH], The Times)
  • very small print hidden in the bottom footer (many)
  • reduced visibility color for the word (many, e.g. William Chris Wines)
  • one last pop up to “make sure” (e.g. La Redoute, Product Hunt)
  • provide lesser options such as less frequency (e.g. Bonobos does this with a sense of humor – see right)
  • don’t create a mobile friendly version (e.g. OpenMarket – see below)

And it doesn’t end there. Many sites will force upon unsubscribers one last visit to their site, in the hopes that it will make them regret their unsubscription or, better yet, make one last purchase. Others will send a last “sorry to see you go” mail in the hopes that it was just a mistake “by someone to whom you had forwarded the newsletter.” (e.g. The Hub Institute).

Should You Have A One-Click Easy Unsubscribe?

Is a One-click Unsubscribe the best solution? In this post by a titan of digital marketing, Jeff Bullas swears away from making it that easy to unsubscribe or you may risk losing by mistake ”a hard-earned subscriber” (see point #4 in his post). It’s a fine balance between making it user-friendly and adding that little bit of friction. It’s true that some people might hit the button by error on a small mobile interface. Having a second step that either asks why you are unsubscribing or just to confirm your selection is a decent and acceptable option. Afterwards, if you ask why they are unsubscribing, the question is: what do you do with that data?

Bottom line: Unsubscribe is still part of the user experience. If you believe that you need to stop the bleeding at the unsubscribe moment, you clearly have not done your homework upstream. Of course, it’s fair to ask a question as they go, etc., but a brand just can’t hope that, by making it hard, it will win over their customer.

Examples of UNSUBSCRIBE User Experiences

Below are just a few other examples of the different unsubscribe user experiences, more or less trying to keep the subscriber from unsubscribing too easily.

Unsubscribe user experience

NewsCred (you need to look down on the bottom right)


Unsubscribe user experience

OpenMarket mobile version… you need to scroll down the unnecessary blank space


Unsubscribe user experience

MarketingProfs gives a DANGER warning and an option to reduce, not just unsubscribe


L'Oreal unsubscribe user experience

Once you unsubscribe from LOrealParis.fr, you get kicked out to a page with an automated popup page asking you to sign up. This popup masks the underlying Unsubscribe Confirmation!

Happy to hear your point of view or about other techniques for the unsubscribe user experience?