Archive for the ‘business’ Category
With the resignation of Steve Jobs comes a plethora of retrospectives and many lists of quotes. This one really stuck out for me.
“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
BusinessWeek interview, May 1998
It’s very similar to something Henry Ford allegedly said, “”If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
I’m a digital and social media marketer. I don’t do focus groups. I do a somewhat digital equivalent. I do conversation audits. Rather than take a panel of a few supposedly randomly chosen people, pay them roughly $50 and ask them a bunch of questions about a product, I look at what people are saying online “in the field” so to speak and derive insights that can inform a client strategy or guide the big idea for a digital campaign. In one respect you could say that I’m trying to figure out what people want and in the Jobsian sense that might mean I’m crowding out the ability to come up with a truly creative or innovative campaign.
Except, when I look at conversations online, I’m not trying to figure out what people want. The conversations that people have online reflect an in-the-moment thought (Twitter, Facebook status updates) or an introspective thought (blogs, tumblr). They’re not answers to leading questions, they’re ‘real’ thoughts. I’m looking for patterns. Patterns in random conversations that will inspire a eureka moment, an insight, so named because you cannot see it until you dive in. If done right, it shouldn’t lead to an incremental improvement. Incremental improvements are somewhat obvious. It should lead to a discovery that sparks something innovative.
Last Monday, I had the pleasure of watching five amazing speakers at the top of their game at The Art of Marketing. Here are some takeaways.
We don’t like throwing around the G-word that often but Avinash is a true guru when it comes to web and social analytics. His blog Occam’s Razor, is a staple on many an analyst’s RSS reading list and he is an impassioned speaker that didn’t pull any punches. Fortunately, none of the companies that he pointed out needing improvements were Edelman clients J. Here were some key points from his talk:
- The greatest thing about digital is that so much of it is measurable. The problem with digital is that a lot of the metrics we use are “glorious data puke”
- We focus too much on the “what” of metrics (visitors, visits) and not enough on the “how” and “why” and “what else”
- Separate the quality visits from the fly-by-night visits so separate out the behaviour of people who see 3 pages or more from the people who see
less. Now among the quality visitors, how did they get to your site (top referring sites, top referring keywords by number of quality visits).
- For the “why” look for mismatches between what people are visiting (why they’re there) and what you’re offering them.
- For the “what else”, of course, look at conversions but look also at the visits that didn’t convert. What did they do? What were they interested in. This gives you an indication of what else you can offer.
- On social analytics: Who cares how many followers you have, how many times were you listed since that means someone is sectioning you off for special attention (though there are a fair number of people who create lists and ignore them). Or number of retweets per 1,000 followers since that shows how engaged your twitter audience is.
- At the end of the day it comes down to what interactions adds economic value…those interactions that have a clear line of site to net income. And what variables are those? Avinash then pointed to a slide by Queen’s University Professor Ken Wong.
- There are four things every analyst should have in their heads at all times: Price, Cost, Market Share, and Market Size. Now map each metric you report to these four variables
“Why do I blog? Because I like irrational adoration.”
“To bloggers, RSS readers are relationships. Visitors are one-night stands.”
“Most web sites suck because Hippos created them.” (HIPPOS = Highest Paid Person’s Opinion)
“HITS: How Idiots Track Success”
“Bounce rate = “I came, I puked, I left”
- Gary Vee is the Tony Robbins of business speakers; a high energy, mile a minute, tour-de-force presence who isn’t afraid to drop an f-bomb to accentuate his point. And here were some of his stronger points:
- The future of business is that what was old is now new again. The small-town store where the owner knew your name and knew about your life, and might have started making your regular order just as you walked in? Social media allows that caring to scale
- The technology is such that big marketers can do 1 to 1 marketing.
- More content is created in 48 hours than in the entire human history from cave paintings to 2003 and you can tell a lot about a person’s preferences from that content. So imagine you were a chain of eateries and you got to know your loyal customers based on their loyalty card information. And you scanned their Amazon wish lists and bought them their favourite book on their birthday and shipped it to them. Wouldn’t that surprise and delight those customers? Wouldn’t they be praising you on every social channel they have? In Vaynerchuk’s vision of the future brands are going to have to act like sports teams and cultivate raving fans…and they’ll be doing it one customer at a time.
“Everyone in social acts like a 19 year old dude. They try to close to early”
“People who win in business are the ones that see what’s coming…More horses were bought before the car was invented. Guess who won?”
“Social media is scaled caring.”
“What is the ROI of your mother?”
Jeff Hayzlett dropped almost as many f-bombs as Gary Vee. I think he was trying to one-up him on the volume. Hayzlett was hired as the CMO of Kodak to turn around the company whose bread and butter product had been rendered virtually obsolete by digital technology. He ended up turning the company from a B2C, to a B2B company. Kodak technology is still a big part of the captured images we see today. A passionate speaker Hayzlett had these thoughts centered on how to bring an “old school” organization into a “new school” way of thinking about marketing. Some talking points:
- Kodak thought its main product was film and that their customers were interested in taking pictures. It wasn’t. People didn’t take pictures, they capture moments.
- What Kodak needed to do was go back to its core. Kodak wasn’t a film company. It was a company that made emotional technology.
- Tell your brand’s story. The first thing that people would take when they ran into their burning house…they’re pictures. They don’t want to lose their memories. That’s a powerful story about a powerful product.
- Marketing used to be about eyeballs and ears. Get your message seen and heard by as many people as possible. Now it’s about hearts and minds. See above point.
“If legal says no, ask, ‘What’s the fine?’”
“HR and Legal’s job isn’t to drag you back. They’re job is to keep you from falling down”
“What’s ROI on social? I don’t know tell me what ROI is on IGNORING”
Dr. Sheena Iyengar has been devoting a good part of her academic career to studying how we make choices. It was a dense and fascinating talk and the following bullet points probably won’t do it justice. After reading this post, click here to see her talk at TED Global.
- North Americans are acculturated to having lots of choices and are drawn to more choices. Paradoxically, the more choices we have the harder it is to make a choice. This results in less commitment, poorer decision quality, and lower satisfaction with our choice.
- The exception to the above rule is experts. Experts have no problem with lots choice because they have the knowledge to understand and spot the differences between choices. They set their criteria, categorize options, cut the categories that don’t apply to them and end up choosing among fewer options than given.
- In North America, we often choose based on what we think that choice says about ourselves. And what we usually want to say is, “I’m unique, but relatable. I’m pretty much the same as you…just a little different.”
- There are three ways for individuals to choose better. Marketers take note because you can use this to help your customers and consumers:
- Cut the number of choices. Eliminate the options, flavours, models, that aren’t that different from the rest
- Categorize the choices. Our brains can process more categories than choice
- Condition your customers for complexity. For example, one of her experiments found that when car company that offered fewer choices per option category at the start and more choices per option category at the end (e.g. pick among 3 interior colours, now pick among 10 exterior colours) people would make more conscious choices. If given the more complex decisions first, they reverted to the default option more often.
“We’re born with an desire to choose but without the knowledge of how to choose”
“Despite the flavor explosion in ice cream, 50% of sales is still chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry”
“People may say what they want is more choices but what they really want is more control”
Guy’s new book is called Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. Enchantment goes beyond persuasion. is not about manipulating people. It transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity. It changes the skeptics and cynics into the believers and the undecided into the loyal. Enchantment can happen during a retail transaction, a high-level corporate negotiation, or a Facebook update. And when done right, it’s more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques. Some highlights:
3 steps to being likeable
Step 1: Smile. Genuine smiles can be seen in the eyes and the mouth.
Step 2: Dress for a ‘tie’…not so down (lack of respect), not so up (too intimidating, says, “I’m better than you.”)
Step 3: Have a perfect handshake
- Trust is a two-way street but the order goes one way. Trust others first. How? Be a baker, not an eater. An eater figures there’s only one pie and takes as much as possible. A baker knows he/she can bake another pie.
- Great products are deep, intelligent, complete, empowering, and elegant.
- Tell a story, the best stories are short, sweet, and swallowable
- “The best answer to ‘Thank you’ isn’t ‘You’re welcome’. It’s ‘I know you’d do the same’” it accomplishes two things. It says, “I trust that you’re a good person who does good deeds” and it also seeds the idea of, “And I might need that favour reciprocated sometime in the future”
- Presentation tips: Customize the introduction, aim for 10 slides in 20 minutes, and use at least 30 point font.
“A good speaker never goes off track. A great speaker goes off track and later shows you why the off-track part was relevant”
“Apple Computers were originally designed to do spreadsheets and word processing. It turned out that they were great at desktop publishing. What made Apple was…Aldus Pagemaker”
“The best answer to ‘Thank you’ isn’t ‘You’re welcome’. It’s ‘I know you’d do the same’”
The following is a guest post by @nonmom
Hi, my name is … well, it depends actually.
If you want to know about the latest big race (especially if it’s F1), then my name is BARC_OC, if you want to talk antiques and auctions then it’s AwesomeAuctions, business networking and growth, BCX_Oakville, trucking and transportation, Blower_Tech, real estate in the South West USA, ArizRealEstate and for all things else, and with a bit of a twist I’ll let you check out, Nonmom.
Yes it’s true, I (at present, more to come) have 6 different, but sometimes related, twitter personalities and I do in fact talk to ‘myself’ and answer ‘myself’ in order to grow both (or more) accounts and their presence. If it’s relevant and crosses the genre’s appropriately why not have a conversation with myself?
Is it hard to know which voice I’m speaking with at all times, yes, but like any condition, you get used to it and adapt. The prescription for this ‘Disorder’, I take 5 doses of ‘TweetDeck’ as needed throughout the day ;).
I was introduced to Twitter through the main writer of this blog and while sceptical at first, I admit it didn’t take me long to get hooked. I kept telling my husband, what a patient guy, who I was following now and getting all excited when they actually tweeted me back. I admit, I still get excited when I get a tweet-back and smile and pump my fist in the air when I get a coveted #FF.
Since those early days of more following than speaking, I have sent over 2500 tweets on my Nonmom account alone, and that’s likely to have gone up significantly as you’re reading this.
People often ask what is Twitter and how do you use it. I just tell them it’s simply answering the question, in 140 characters or less, what are you doing? I’ve also had clients and colleagues ask me about the importance or significance of Twitter in their marketing portfolio. My answer to those who aren’t familiar with social media is that Facebook is like a permanent trade-show booth and Twitter is like having a spokesperson with instantaneous updates and goings-on while your website is your company headquarters online.
There are a lot of critics out there when it comes to social media and especially Twitter. I really feel most of it is because they simply do not understand it and fear it. To them I say go onto the Twitter home page on the day of a big event and search tweets about that event, the Olympics was a great example of this, and just watch what people are saying and the interaction and shared experience of it all. I truly believe that part of the reason Canada got behind our athletes so much, and as Canadians we were at our patriotic best, was in significant part due to Twitter. People from across the country and Canadians were abroad were all able to speak and ‘hang out’ on Twitter together. It was a great feeling.
I define social media as the digitization, and indeed globalization, of word-of-mouth. An example of this is the shared experience of the recent Toronto earthquake. I know, a small one even by our standards, but I know that I wasn’t the only one who took to the ‘Tweets to find out if I was crazy or not and what was going on. Friends from across the province had had the same experience as me, at the same time, and we were talking about it like we were in the same room. It was really very cool.
Twitter and social media in general are really and truly the great equalizers. Anyone can Tweet, big companies or small or individuals and all it takes is an internet connection or even more basic, a cell phone. I look forward to tweeting with you all via one of my many personalities!