John Malmo

Commentator
Javier Brosch / fotolia.com

The quality of consumer service fluctuates. It’s not like corn flakes.  May be great for awhile. Then not so great. Maybe awful. 

Gilles Lougassi / fotolia.com

A Forbes Magazine article recently gave the University of Colorado Cancer Center as an example of good customer service. I’m gonna tell you some of the things it mentioned. Then see if you can identify what all have in common.

Justin Willingham / WKNO-FM

Television’s share of American advertising dollars is expected to have grown this year by about one-and-a-half percentage points over last year.

How can that be, you ask. What about the enormous growth in the Internet, the explosion of social media advertising?

The splintering of advertising media has been like a fragmentation grenade. Media segments. Then the segments segment. And it’s this very splintering that each year makes television more valuable to advertisers. Because television remains the one medium that still can deliver a big audience.

David Smith / fotolia.com

Almost all retailers constantly are trying to think up ways to get more people into their stores. And it gets harder and harder to come up with new ploys.

But occasionally they come up with an offer so good that it scares them. So the retailer starts adding conditions to make the offer less costly to the store.

Listen to this offer from Staples: a coupon worth twenty dollars off an in-store purchase of twenty dollars or more. One day only at the Memphis store only.  

One Common Language

Dec 28, 2011
Kevers / fotolia.com

A booklet came recently entitled Comcast XFinity Customer Privacy Notice. It is forty-eight pages. That’s a lot of overkill about privacy, I thought. So I opened it. Twenty-two pages about privacy in English. Then twenty-six more pages of the same message in Spanish.

David Gilder / fotolia.com

Who ever thought he’d live to say, “Pity the poor bank.”

But, goodness, everybody’s after banks today. The president. Congress. Wall Street. Even the Wall Street Journal. Banks are today’s whipping boy.

Well I know a lot of bankers who are good guys, but, lordy, it’s hard to like a bank. It’s stuff like this. One day recently comes this letter from Chase Bank. I guess because one of my credit cards is a Chase Bank card. Right off the bat, the letter asks me to respond to update my preference for receiving offers by mail from Chase.

John Malmo / ArcherMalmo

When did we let the media hijack our language?

It must have been television newscasters - second only to sports radio in mangling the language - that one day decided that people no longer disappear.  They “go missing.”  Go missing?  How can that be?  To disappear is to cease to appear.  To vanish.  Isn’t that the case when somebody, uh . . . disappears?

Missing does indeed, mean absent, lost, not present.  So, to say that Charlie is missing is fine.  But to say Charlie has GONE missing or went missing?  How does that make sense?  

Mr. Lightman / fotolia.com

Most American school kids can read, at least to some degree.  But they’re lousy at math.

That’s no puzzle.  Math is a lot harder.  There’s no “about” or “roughly” in math.  There’s only one answer to every problem.

Nicolas Larento / fotolia.com

The world has been celebrating the life of Steve Jobs.  At the same time, a story popped up in Harvard Business Review that’s worth thinking about in the context of Mr. Jobs.  It’s about the myth of innovation.  

The point of the article is that we celebrate great innovators such as Jobs and Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton; all great discoverers, inventors and innovators.  And, generally, we believe in that ah-hah moment of the innovator.  

Marty Haas / fotolia.com

If you Google duct tape, you’ll discover that there are eleven million, seven-hundred-thousand results.  For duct tape.  An industrial product.

Duct Tape was made first by Johnson and Johnson in nineteen-forty-two.  First use was to tape ammunition boxes during World War II because it was moisture-proof.   GIs also used it to repair guns, Jeeps, airplanes, almost everything.

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