Call it the Net Promoter Score for people, but I’ve recently decided that the single most important question to assess a potential teammate/employee, etc. is to ask yourself (or someone who has worked with them in the past):
Would you (or I) work with this person again?
Obviously, if the person says no, you have your answer.
But, you can also tell the degree of enthusiasm for when they say Yes.
Even more, this is the guideline for how we should work with our colleagues. At the end of the day, what percentage of them (and which ones) do you want to say:
Yes, I would work with him/her again.
So…Former colleagues and clients: would you work with me again?
At the various aid stations along the route, we were supplied with Gatorade and Clif bars/shots.
As the hot day wore on and I dug into my pockets to fish out a rehydrating/renourishing gel, I started to think about the Clif Bar company and found myself growing in affinity for them. I thought, "you know, given the choice, I would definitely choose their products over a competitor, becuase they are supporting my lifestyle."
That led to my thoughts about the title sponsor for the event, North Face, and the lifestyle they are promoting.
As their site says, "Home of the technically advanced, innovative apparel, footwear, and gear that inspires athletes to never stop exploring." (you know I love the last part, of course).
Now, I was drawn to this race because of the challenge of the half-marathon (I had never done one before), but as i got deeper into the race, I was starting to think about the company behind it and how they had made this great challenge possible.
It's about the IDEA behind the brand.
What do you stand for?
Or, what is the WHY of the brand, as Simon Sinek would say?
What North Face and Clif did is create a sponsorship EXPERIENCE that lifted brand affiinity by connecting their products to the lifestyle of their target customer.
Sponsorship opportunities abound. I am sure that you, like I, are inundated by requests. There are practical considerations like cost, time, opportunities for lead generation, etc..
Then there are other considerations like, does this sponsorship really FIT with the idea of the brand which we are trying to cultivate?
Is participating in this sponsosrship and being associated with the host brand not only going to raise the perception of our brand within the eyes of our target audience but does it complement us?
North Face and Clif did this beautifully and I think their partnership is a good example that I know will serve me well.
(I will choose the best entry using my personal judgment and own criteria).
What makes Vegas intriguing to you?
How will your trip to Vegas benefit this blog community?
Are there any other “remarkable” reasons why you should get these 2 free nights? Get as creative as you like.
All entries must be submitted as comments to this blog post
Deadline for submissions is June 9, 2013
DISCLAIMER: I am trying to do something nice and fun. I want to give my friends/community a chance to benefit and I don’t want to involve a lawyer or extraneous costs. If you can’t deal with the fact that you might lose and that I am not going to write a whole long set of terms/conditions, don’t bother submitting an entry. If you’re that annoying, you should find another blog to read anyway.
There are business books that purport to tell you how to do things. Then there are books that help you think differently.
For me, the former are the bulk of the books out there and also are the least useful. By the time the book is published, some of the “best practices” are outdated and, frankly, if you need them, you may as well just Google them.
On the other hand, books that expand your perspective and then give you a framework for executing (as opposed to a checklist) are in short supply, but high demand.
Now, while there are fewer and fewer people who understand what Ctrl Alt Delete means any more, the book is really designed for those of us who do.
It’s about how we grew up in one era, but are now living in an entirely different era…and what we all need to do about it so we can thrive.
Joel is a prolific blogger and one of the world’s most respected minds when it comes to the impact of social on marketing. In fact, I subscribe to two podcasts. Harvard Business Review and Mitch’s. Author, speaker, and the head of the Twist Image agency in Montreal. You get the point. He’s got the street cred.
There are a ton of great ideas in this book that will help you think differently, but I will focus on just one, allowing you to savor the others when you read it.
Mitch highlights the arrival of something he calls “Utilitarianism Marketing” which he says will be the next great business disrupter. In his words:
“It’s not about advertising, it’s not about messaging, and it’s not about immediate conversions. It’s about providing a true value and utility: something consumers not only would want to sue-constantly and consistently-but would derive so much value from that it would be given front-and-center attention in their lives.”
Then, he goes further, challenging us:
“Do you think your brand has the ability to create that kind of interest and attention in this media-saturated and ads-everywhere world in which we live?”
Sadly, for some brands, it will not happen. Habits are just too hard to break and their inability to adapt to the new realities will have a Darwinian result of non-survival. It’s just inevitable.
For others, however, the possibility does exist. It will require a leap of faith as we look to measure marketing’s impact in terms of utility delivered to our end customers.
One of the biggest challenges facing large brands today is something we call the “Dynamic Customer Journey (DCJ).” It represents the multiple touchpoints and actors that affect a prospect or customer’s decision process to more deeply engage (or not) with a given brand or entity.
Providing visibility around a DCJ to brands in the form of a Unified Personal Profile (you always know who the person is regardless of the channel through which she interacts with you) is a key element of Sprinklr.
To help illustrate what a DCJ is and looks like, I wanted to share a recent personal example, that demonstrates just how involved, multi-faceted, and out of a brand’s control the process is.
The Journey Begins
I’ve recently become fascinated by how the world will change because of the arrival of 3-D printing.
The Actors Arrive
The first stop on the journey, so far as I can recall, was Fred Wilson’s blog. I’m a long time reader (since 2004 or so) and pretty much whatever Fred writes, I read. If he endorses it, I’m good with it. So, when he had a post that talked about 3-D printing, I was intrigued.
In that post, he pointed to his portfolio company, Shapeways. I subsequently visited the site, clicked around and started following their CEO on Twitter. Let’s call them the target brand and Actor #2.
This led me to go back to my Kindle and read the free first chapter of Chris Anderson’s book (Actor #3) “Makers: The New Industrial Revolution “ which I had somehow obtained and once flipped through a few virtual pages. Note to self: finish the book.
Some time after that, I saw my pal David Berkowitz (Actor #4) do a 2013 predictions post (which I can’t find for some reason, but he references it here) where he said “3-d printing fascinates me.”
All of this was a lead up to SXSW 2013 in Austin where I was visiting my brother (Actor #5) and I saw Cory Doctorow’s book “Makers” (why he and Anderson have the same name and get away with it, I don’t know, but that’s ok).
Doctorow (Actor #6) is a name that I see a lot in the new media/social world, but I had never actually read his stuff. However, a few pages into his book, which starts off with the possibilities of 3-D printing and I was hooked…I mean big time. You should read it.
I plowed through the book and then went back to Shapeways, this time a bit deeper and downloaded an open source 3-D modeling tool called Blender.
That’s as far as I’ve gotten, but I’m going to go further.
The Journey Ends
All of this will end up with my making a purchase of Shapeways’ service to have something-whatever it is-printed in 3-D.
Now, what’s interesting about this process, from Shapeways’ perspective is how many steps there were in the process that had nothing to do with them at all. Of the 6 touchpoints, 5 of them were out of their control.
The decision to buy from them was basically not influenced by them at all. The CEO, while seemingly a smart guy, doesn’t really have a Twitter feed that makes me want to come back for more, but Fred Wilson’s investment covers that, so I don’t care.
What Is a Brand To Do?
This type of journey is, we believe, representative of the fact that much of the decision process of your customer today takes place outside of your influence, hidden from your view.
Understanding this journey and the different paths that your customers and prospects take to your door allows you to better understand where to make your investments.
Much of this takes place in social and can be measured (e.g. sentiment, influence, etc.), but much of this takes place offline.
We have a strategy team that helps our clients look at this and then build experiences that complement some of the more common paths that people take to our clients’ doors.
This can be valuable, for the right client, but you can start just by talking to some of your customers and asking them to “play the movie” about the steps they took to you.
To whom did they speak?
Which articles did they read?
What made an impression?
As empowered consumers become more and more comfortable (and, in fact, more and more biased) with peer recommendations as the primary, if not sole source of, reliable and trusted information about a brand, it’s critical for us to understand how the actors who are not under our control (compared to marketing or sales, for example) affect the journey of your desired audience.
I just signed up for a Simple bank account. It is a great concept in terms of serving mobile-empowered, tech savvy customers.
Unfortunately, the initial experience has been anything but simple for me. Too many hoops to go through to receive that title.
As an early adopter, however, I’ll deal.
Their marketing, however, is solid. When I received the ATM card the other day (which came on a nice, artistic piece of cardboard), I noticed that instead of “detach your card here,” it said “detach your wallet.”
Now, whether that means “you only need this card now” or “you don’t need the rest of your wallet,” either way, I think it’s pretty fun and WOM-worthy.
Changing “card” to “wallet” turns expected to unexpected..which triggers word-of-mouth.
One of the core hypotheses upon which I’ve based my career for the past 10 years or so is that the arrival of social technologies fundamentally changes every aspect of business (and, well, society, but we’ll leave that out, even though it’s connected).
In Dan Pink’s new book (original client that he was) “To Sell Is Human,” Dan shows us that the whole concept of Selling as we know it has been inextricably and forever altered as well.
He calls it “the end of information asymmetry” when the buyers and sellers know the same. Actually, buyers know more in aggregate than sellers do.
It’s not Caveat Emptor. It’s Caveat Venditor.
So, what happens to sales and salespeople in this era?
Well, for one, they can’t keep going with the same, tried and true tactics…they must adapt.
I love the famous “Coffee is for closers” scene in Glengarry Glen Ross, but Dan argues that the image of sales people is as relevant today as a quill and inkwell.
Instead of “A B C” as in “Always Be Closing,” he argues for “Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity.”
This allows you to move from “problem solver” to “problem finder,” adding value by helping your potential customers see things in a new light, one where they have a greater understanding of the
As with all of Dan’s books, the writing is solid and the numerous tips are practical.
The one that I want to try was to map out the conversations flow in a bi-directional manner to identify where real influences lives or doesn’t, titles notwithstanding (pictured).
I’m looking forward to trying that out.
In my mind, if you are in sales (and we ALL are, it’s just that some of us know it) and you want to be effective, this book is an absolute must-read. The only regret I have is that I can’t have the new behaviors hardwired into my brain.
Three years ago, when Rivera first considered retirement, he went to Jason Zillo, the Yankees’ director of communications, to discuss how he should commemorate his final year in baseball. This year, in spring training, he and Zillo devised a plan for Rivera to meet with different people in each city, whether team employees or fans.
In Cleveland, for example, Rivera met with some employees of the Indians organization and John Adams, a devoted fan who has been banging his bass drum at Indians games for 40 years, according to the article.
In every single city, then, Rivera and the Yankees are creating a new story and one that, by definition, is going to be retold. At a minimum, by those 25 employees (or whomever) in the room, but more likely by an entire group of people surrounding the event, including friends, other fans, and online and MSM outlets.
Instead of “oh, there was yet another big celebration for Rivera, but this time in our city,” now it’s “Rivera connected specifically with our fans, talking about his memories here, and making a new memory.”
Social Marketing is Best for Many Little Stories
While some say that the “big campaign” is dead, I’d disagree. The campaign is just fine, it’s the activities that make up the campaign that have changed drastically.
Instead of copy/paste marketing activities, social benefits most when the tactics are unique/customized to a smaller audience. And, counter-intuitively, those smaller events can (and, as we all get better at this ,will) ultimately lead to greater reach, engagement, or whatever marketing objective you have because of the power of consumer to tell them on your behalf.
The larger narrative-let’s celebrate Rivera’s accomplishments-used to be the one consistent theme. What the Yankees are doing is using that idea as the foundation upon which many small narratives (dedicated fans who try to distract the greatest reliever of all time by banging a drum) are built. Since each one is unique, it gets told more often, reinforcing the core narrative at the same time.