Michael Weiss, managing director at figure18, was the kick-off speaker for MarketingProfs University's Presentations Unleashed course (which is still available on demand, if you are interested).

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As you might expect from someone charged with that role (kicking off a course on presentations, that is), Michael was a very lively and engaging presenter. More than that, however, thanks to his experience in marketing and business development (he was CEO of a successful Web agency for 14 years), it was clear that he had developed an interesting perspective on marketing and advertising, not to mention the role of the agency, in today's always-on, always-open business environment.

To find out more about his perspective, I invited him to Marketing Smarts. Here's some things to listen for in the discussion that ensued.

How companies get their story and storytelling wrong (4:21): "They believe that the story they're telling is the story that the consumer or the customer or the client wants to hear. Also, what they get wrong is that they're not necessarily telling a story. They're giving away a lot of facts and figures or they're focusing on features and benefits. That's not a story!"

Mistakes companies make in choosing social platforms (19:42): "They focus on where they need to be without thinking about why they need to be there in the first place...Once you start focusing on 'how' and 'where,' without understanding 'who' and 'what,' then I think that's where a lot of companies and organizations get in trouble."

Why you need consistent messaging across all channels and tactics (24:44): "Because the customer and the person and the people have access to you brand 24/7, every tactic that you take, whether it's email, whether it's social, whether it's Web or blog or video, has to have a consistent sales message and a sales pitch or a brand message or just consistency across the brand of what you stand for and what you're selling and who you are."

On the need to be "pitching" at all times (27:47): "There this feeling that you have to be pitching at all times because you never know when the customer is going to walk in the door. The door is open 24/7/365, but it's not just one door into your store. If you're managing twelve tactics, then that's twelve doors!"

If you would like to hear my entire conversation with Michael, you may listen or download this week's episode above. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!