social media marketing

Human marketing in a digital world.

3 years ago 0 0 747

Your boss bursts into the meeting “I want us on twitter! We need to update Facebook! Show me the digital strategy!” Unfortunately, over the last 10 years, this has been all too common. The cry has gone out for organisations to ‘get digital’ for fear of missing out. There are great reasons to include digital and social media approaches into your marketing, but unless it is done thoughtfully and strategically, they often end up expensive and damaging to the organisation and its brand.  In many instances, these channels are used a megaphones to yell messages at people with no interest in what is being offered. The shift to digital There has been a massive shift to digital technology. We often hear of the ‘digital natives’ – the generations who have grown up intimately connected to digital devices, who have deep confidence or trust in these channels, and who are extremely

Read more

Disruptive innovation- Have you got it wrong?

4 years ago 0 0 1491

The idea of disruptive change is very ‘hot’ in business and innovation circles at the moment. There are conferences dedicated to it, books written about it, people who have ‘disruption’ on their business cards or Linkedin profiles. However, my guess is that 90% of people in innovation and business are missing the real point about disruption. In this article I take a look at the idea of disruption, and what businesses can really do to understand it and apply it to their business situation. The source of ‘disruptive innovation’ In 1997, Clayton Christensen published a book called ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’, in which he coined the term ‘disruptive innovation’ to describe what he saw in some case studies in the computer industry. The term has gained prominence since then, but I believe that it has now ‘jumped the shark’ – and it is time to really understand ‘disruption’ for what it

Read more

Pitch perfect – get your audience to yes

4 years ago 0 0 1386

The role of the ‘pitch’ has been magnified through such TV shows as ‘Shark Tank’ or ‘Lion’s Den’. These shows put a pitch in the spotlight, with an assessment and investment depending upon the quality of the presentation as well as the product idea. They can often make the process seem as a ‘one shot for glory’. However, if we view a pitch as this, then it can lead to unnecessary stress and worry, and can negatively impact how we pitch. If, on the other hand, we considered a pitch as simply an opportunity to open a discussion and negotiation, to present our position and influence buy in, then we can use the pitch in powerful ways to create successful uptake of our ideas and secure the support that we seek. Everyone has to pitch – maybe not for a major investment, but politicians pitch their policies for your vote,

Read more

Forecasting excellence – without the crystal ball

4 years ago 0 0 822

I have been working with more than 30 business leaders from around Europe, the Middle East and Africa at a meeting in Barcelona. Our aim was to tackle some of the ‘big issues’ in strategy, marketing and sales, so that they could take back practical and powerful tools to their organisations. When we asked them what they wanted (or more specifically: “What could you take away from this meeting that would have a significant impact on your business”), one answer shone through strongly – most of them wanted to help their key personnel within their organisations to forecast better. I therefore created a hands-on workshop session for the attendees which focused on this topic. It reminded me that, amongst all of the important business skills that leaders and managers are taught, forecasting is often one which often gets less time, effort and attention than other topics. Following a practical case

Read more

A compelling message – or just ‘So What?’

4 years ago 0 0 2148

As part of the process of selling a big idea – whether it is a product or service to a customer, or a message to internal stakeholders- we need a value proposition to help make it understandable by those we share it with. However, too many value propositions presented fall flat, with the customer either thinking – or saying out loud “So What?”. Too many value propositions offer no value, fall flat or are simply uninspiring. A great value proposition is meaningful, contains rich value for the customer and provides them with a compelling reason to change. If we are selling something, we are wanting the customer to change from not purchasing to purchasing. If we are sharing a big idea, we are asking our audience to change their minds and adopt the idea as their own. Either way, the value proposition has to overcome the status quo of what

Read more

Customers experience pain

4 years ago 0 0 779

Apple announce that iPhone 6 will go on sale at Midnight next Wednesday. By Monday evening, the queue is already forming.  Apple customers are putting themselves through 36 hours of ‘pain’ to become one of the first to own a new model of something they can get today. You walk about a kilometre, have to drag items out of a warehouse and load them onto a trolley to go through check out at Ikea.  Clients accept this pain to buy furniture (that will probably cause them even more pain when they get home and get out the allen key!) You have to wait on hold for a phone operator for two minutes – and the wait is intolerable! In business, we put our clients into three different types of pain: 1: Brand-reinforcing (valued) pain.  This pain, like queuing outside Apple stores, is part of the ‘story’ and enhances the perceived

Read more

Business Development Excellence

5 years ago 0 0 1166

How do you, and your organisation, approach business development?  That is, how do you work to grow your business? Are you a ‘shotgun marketer’?  Spray your marketing efforts in a wide arc hoping to ‘wing’ a few customers and bring them to ground? Or are you a replay marketer?  Do what you have always done? Or maybe a ‘shiny things’ marketer?  Are you the type that was the first on Facebook, Twitter and any other ‘shiny new’ marketing idea? Business Development is something that is a necessity in any business.  Whether you are a local pizza shop selling to the neighbourhood, or a major corporate selling around the globe, the way that you think about business development will have a massive impact on the success of your business. Working with many organisations across a spectrum of industries on business development, it has become clear that there are lots of areas

Read more

Introducing new marketing planning – a case review

5 years ago 0 0 820

Sometimes we have no choice other than to step up to our ‘bigger games’. In this case  an organisation was asked at short notice to shift from local marketing planning process to a new, globally mandated process.  The tension of completing a new process, with different templates, structures, languages and timelines created disbelief and even fear within the team.  This was ‘not possible’, a ‘waste of time’ and ‘just a template filling exercise’ in the views of key team members. As the case describes, the first step was to evaluate the current situation in line with the desired goals and to build a meaningful and actionable strategy to get there. The evaluation clearly identified the gaps in skills, marketing planning structures, language, timing and expectations.  It identified at deeper levels cultural, engagement, motivation and cognitive skill issues within the local team that impacted the ability to achieve what was required

Read more

Transacting or creating real value as a sales and marketing strategy?

5 years ago 0 0 966

Recently, I have been bombarded with ‘push’ marketing emails from some people who have obviously attended a seminar on ‘building and converting lists’ as their main sales and marketing strategy.  They are not talking with me, they are simply shouting AT me.   It makes me wonder how little time have they really put in to deciding that I am the sort of personthat they can flog to me and charge me for. It reminds me that there is a transactional approach –  or a ‘bigger game’ approach – of dealing with your customers: 1. The transaction model. In this model, the organisation has something specific to sell.  They go out and find customers that may want to buy it.  They trade – or more precisely, they transact.  Only the act of exchange brings value to both parties and the customer only serves as a recipient of the good or service for the

Read more

Act now (or there will be no scarcity left!)

5 years ago 0 0 1061

OK, I’m calling it.

I have simply had enough of the scarcity model of sales.

iStock_000010713239Small

I know, psychologically, that it works.

I know there are times when scarcity exists – the room is full, or the person simply has no more time.

However, we live in a time of abundance.  There is so much of EVERYTHING, why do we need to scare people to take action?

Aren’t there enough people out there who need what we offer without us needing to scare them into action?

So, I have called it.  I am all for abundance, for sharing, for creating.

‘What else can I give’ is so much more powerful than ‘what else can I take’.

How do you sell?

How do you like fear? (don’t miss out, we are nearly out of fear!  Last chance! Hurry!)

Time to change the paradigm.