Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the category “Marketing”

How to be an entrepreneur

During a talk I gave I was asked about the key lessons that I have learnt from running several businesses. I feel hardly qualified to answer, but I am very clear on a number of aspects:

  1. The cost of understanding your product/service has to be less than the immediately obvious benefit that comes from using your product/ service. People will stay with you (pitch/ marketing message/ website) for as long as their needs being solved are made immediately apparent, are sufficiently significant, and the ways in which your product/ service solves that need are clearly understandable (and the cost of understanding is less than the benefit) [adapted and evolved from SuperConnect]
  2. A CEO should be aiming to only focus on strategy and people development: your head should be 12-18mths hence at first (longer over time), and your heart should be in developing the person better than you. You are the only person in the business whose job it really is to ‘develop the insights/ perceptions/ abilities to detect patterns of change and relate them to your landscape, industries, competition and business’ [adapted from Execution]. You should always be looking to develop the person better than you to be able to take your job. If they don’t yet exist in your company, make sure you hire them. ‘Yes’ or ‘passive no’ people will kill your business.
  3. If the core transactions of your business don’t exist without funding (including your time/cost funding), then your sole focus should be on adjusting your business model to be profitable in its core operation without investment. However well-funded or visionary your plans are, the cash flow monster eats the investment and then chases and kills 99% of its prey.
  4. Read more…

UnMarketing & the Social Brain

‘The notion that there is a ‘social brain’ in humans specialized for social interactions has received considerable support from brain imaging and, to a lesser extent, from lesion studies. Specific roles for the various components of the social brain are beginning to emerge. For example, the amygdala attaches emotional value to faces, enabling us to recognize expressions such as fear and trustworthiness’

So starts Chris Frith’s Royal Society article, The social brain?

I was reminded of this as I review my highlights from the start of Scott Stratten’s fast-paced book, UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. Most of the highlights relate to the social/ trust/ engagement elements of what he writes. I make the links because my observation is that the most successful (Un)marketing comes from the act of engaging the social brain with an individual, company, product or brand. Creating and then building initial trust. Sharing and reciprocating. Acting together for a greater good.

A few of my initial highlights:

Marketing happens every time you engage (or not) with your past, present, and potential customers

….a tremendous trust gap. This is the amount of trust you have to earn before your potential customer will consider buying from you.

….most companies are guilty of hypocritical marketing. Why do we market to people the way we hate to be marketed to?

You’ve got to invest in something before withdrawing. Investing your social currency means giving your time, your knowledge, and your efforts to that channel before trying to withdraw monetary currency.

People don’t care about your business until they know you care about them. Look what gets shared on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter. It’s not ads or pitches. It’s knowledge. It’s stuff that makes people say “awesome” and they need to tell others about it.

Build a small stage—your platform—that you’re going to stand on and get people to come to. Pick one place where you want people to find you and play your best “show” there for as long as it takes to build a solid following

There are three steps to successfully building your platform: Traction, momentum, and expansion.

Momentum is the time when you switch from looking for new relationships toward enhancing current ones.

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