Tag Archives: marketing

What your startup makes should give your customer superpowers

One of the hardest things to do when defining what your business does is explaining it in the simplest of terms; the key challenge is distinguishing between features and benefits. The reason that this is so vitally important is that, in the words of User Onboarding: “People don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves.”

The Difference Between Customer Needs and Wants

The Difference Between Customer Needs and WantsUnderstanding the difference between a customer’s wants and needs is a major key to succeeding in business. Often what a customer wants is diametrically opposed to what they need. As a businessperson, your job is to give the customer what they want. Helping them to understand what they need is also important. However, it’s not your responsibility to convince customers to get what they need. Businesses make money by satisfying their customers. Often it’s easier to sell them what they want than what the need. So that’s where businesspeople should primarily focus their energy.

What large companies still don’t get about marketing innovation

Though we are fairly well into the internet economy where brands can communicate directly with customers in a variety of ways through social networks, one belief from the old order still holds true: incumbent brands believe that in order to win the hearts and minds of customers, that they can out-market upstarts that gain loyalty through the great products and services they deliver.

There are only a handful of companies that can both make great products and advertising. We continually marvel at products and services from visionary companies like Apple, Google, Uber and others who gain our loyalty the product and service excellence; you can actually feel their dedication.

Question everything to break out of habitual thinking

big pinata at Mi Pueblo Restaurant in TIjuana

Innovation comes from new ways of seeing and new ways of being. Learn to see different, learn to be different, and you will discover the different.

Though Tijuana has to come to be known as a place where you’ll find great food, I don’t think that is the case. For example, take a stroll through West Los Angeles and you are bound to find more food variety and differentiated restaurants than in Tijuana. Same goes for San Diego. Yes Tijuana has great food, but it’s not like you can’t find it anywhere else.

This weekend I had lunch at a very colorful traditional mexican food restaurant in Tijuana. The inside of the restaurant is themed as a city and it has the biggest Pinata I’ve ever seen in my life!

To find the truth you have to look within

Peter Drucker famously remarked, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said”. The same could be said of innovation techniques such as direct observation and journalistic interviews. You might ask people questions and have them tell you stories about themselves, but they can’t tell you how to matter. Finding the WHY is similar to uncovering market insights, you’re piecing together a puzzle and then suddenly the missing piece to the puzzle pops into your head. But that missing piece was founds as the result of perspective shifting and synthesis.

Last week I spent some time with a client who wants to develop his own brand. I literally shadowed him for 4 days in an effort to help him find his truth. In industry parlance this is called ethnography. For me it’s simply Finding The Truth.

Does social media marketing still matter?

Does social media marketing still matter?

Social media marketing doesn’t matter. Or so says an article on MIT Sloan Management Review:

I argue that we have reached the same point with social media marketing. In terms of competitive advantage, social media marketing simply doesn’t matter. Having a presence on Facebook and Twitter is no longer sufficient to provide any source of competitive advantage for companies — not when all of their competitors have a presence on Facebook on Twitter, too.

Monitoring social media chatter and sentiment won’t provide any competitive advantage on its own, because all your competitors are monitoring the same content as you and can derive the same insights. Customers today expect to be able to engage companies over Twitter and other social media channels. Companies can certainly deliver better or worse customer service over these channels, just like they can over the phone or in person, but these challenges become questions of backend operations, not marketing. Social media marketing has become table stakes for competitive business in today’s world, not a source of competitive advantage.

The fact that social media marketing doesn’t matter is supported by the data from our 2014 survey of social business. Our data showed that using social media in other aspects of business — innovation, transparency into organizational communication, management and recruiting, and integrated into business operations — were all meaningful differentiators for company’s social business maturity and social business outcomes. Whether or not companies engaged in social media for marketing, however, had little meaningful impact on these outcomes.

He is correct that social media marketing has matured, even though most marketers haven’t figured out how to measure the ROI of their efforts on social media. But, social media marketing does matter.

Here’s why…

Quick guide on how to use Evernote to stay on top of emerging trends

evernoteWhat is the process I use to keep up and /or uncover emerging trends and what tools do I use? Previously, I’ve written about how to create an insights bank using Evernote. Here I’ll expand on that initial idea, with a quick guide on how you can stay on top of emerging trends, as well as building your own sense making capability, to make sure you don’t get caught off guard.

Why do successful companies fail? Because they miss the future. But, companies don’t fail because they choose the wrong course, they fail because they can’t imagine a better one.

How does trend spotting fit into an organization’s future?

Innovators either create trends that change the world, or take advantage of emerging ones. Trend spotting is a very important innovation skill, and one that the vast majority of companies outsource to trend hunting firm; sometimes with no benefit.

This is a valid strategy, but a I’d recommend you don’t bet on it because most organizations have access to the same information those trend hunting firms are selling. More strategic for you is to develop your own capability for detecting and taking action on trends.

Detecting trends is a similar exercise to how you look for tension points to uncover opportunities for innovation; you attentively look for what at some point could become a huge problem.