[March 10, 2011.]

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Close your eyes.

Visualize your perfect 360-degree campaign that utilizes the latest digital innovation and activates the consumers at all the relevant touch points by engaging them with meaningful content that adds real value to their lives while at the same time builds human and trackable relationships between them and your technology or sneaker or candy brand.

Breathe out.

You are in a special place now.

A place filled with as many rainbows as you want, a ground covered in a think layer of moss filled with tiny gnomes giving you never ending foot massages and the promise of soaring 3rd-quarter sales directly attributable to your marketing efforts.

Doesn’t that feel good?

Let your worries dissolve as easily as refreshing a web browser and seeing your brand’s interactive flash banner load and animate, catching your eye with surprising art direction and capturing your mind and heart with some witty but meaningful copy, which all culminates in the price point lock up with your brand’s logo and tagline.

Now breathe in.

Think about exponentially growing click-through rates.

Imagine all those hyper-targeted consumers ending up on the campaign microsite that you spent just shy of two million dollars to develop.

Feel the air fill your lungs, and be aware of it coming up and escaping through your nostrils as the users explore the deepest crevices and functionality of that campaign microsite.

Feel the happiness like an orb of glowing light as tens of thousands of your brand’s loyal fans hit the Share button to spread the exclusive content you spent the remainder of your marketing budget on across their social networks. Feel the tension release from your toes as friends of friends’ friends view that exclusive content and the moss dwelling, massage gnomes work their magic.

Happiness is erupting everywhere now.

Realize you are in a world of puppies giggling. Notice the baby pandas tickling each other until they sneeze. Acknowledge that your boss is nowhere to be seen to elbow you out of the way and take all the credit again.

Now picture yourself sitting in a warm meadow on a spring afternoon as users hit the Like button, and notice how the chains of comments extend effortlessly for miles. Enjoy the army of hard-core brand fanatics you have created. Drink in this moment. You deserve it. You’ve earned it by your daily struggles the past eight months as you architected this campaign.

All three phases.

Quarterbacking it fluidly from big TV kickoff, to social media activation, to response campaign.

Breathe.

Circularly.

NOW STOP BREATHING!!

Feel the panic from not breathing, combined with the panic from the pressure of your boss’ boss demanding instant results presented to him on an orderly spreadsheet.

Hold in that panic.

Then exhale.

Blow away those justifying spreadsheets. Watch their rigid columns, which don’t take creativity into account, collapse. Feel the satisfaction of corporate accountability being airlifted off your shoulders by the corporate helicopter.

Yes, the same corporate helicopter you have never been offered a ride in.

Blow away all those concerns and the nasty, threatening emails.

They don’t exist in this blessed haven of marketing tranquility.

Bask in the fluffy embrace of a thousand teddy bears. Let that prancing pink unicorn breathe ever so lightly against your neck. This is your reward, dear Marketing Meditator.

And finally, visualize yourself handing over the $4,999 check for this half hour session and also feeling compelled to donate additional funds for our all-staff retreat to Fiji.

We’ll be waiting for you in this resplendent meadow of marketing bliss again next Thursday, after your presentation.