mbi Marketing

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Creativity and Innovation

Hey gang … You know, it isn’t that often that I come across people who understand the [game-]score. My background is in technology & project management — I guess that ‘history’ would put me in the “reliability” side of Martin’s (2007) graph. I decided I’m schizophrenic. My design stuff generally involves out-of-the-box applications of ‘reliable‘ components or technology. Lots of my peers grew-up in an expanding market; by implication their/our perceptions were formed with a focus on Martin’s validity

Including Design in Business


Design in Business, Roger Martin (2007).

I like this explaination, it unfolds some possible reasons behind a lot of curious project outcomes I’ve seen and others we’ve all hear about. I’m sure. Why didn’t ‘that’ on-target’ concept fly?

Martin offers five strategies each for business (reliability) types and marketing (validity) types to engage when talking to each other.

Reliability focus Validity focus
1. Welcome Design unfriendliness, as a Design Challenge. Reliability unfriendliness, as a Core (Management) Task.
2. Empathise with Design unfriendliness Reliability unfriendliness
3. Speak the Language of … Reliability Validity
4. Share Use analogies and stories Present data and reasoning; NOT conclusions.
5. Bite-off the … Smallest-bit to generate a proof of righteousness Biggest-thing (you can afford) to risk failing.

Innovation is needed to keep afloat. I’m not saying “to be ahead“. Design and creativity are essential for 21st Century sustainability and survival. You might also be interested in Roger’s 2009 economic outlook comments. W I S H

1018 July, 2009 Posted by | business, customer, marketing, Product, value | Leave a comment

Engaging with Social Media [Promotion]

I see this blog as a ‘service’ to support understanding behind any common misconceptions by that other guy, who ‘knows’ what “marketing is“.   In my opinion, only your customer knows what marketing-is, and that is what appeals to her.

Here’s a simple presentation about the social media.  I like this approach because it gets the important things out there.  You’ll notice too that the focus is on the ‘new media’ as media, that is a channel to deliver your message [Promotion].

Five Steps To Using Social Media to
Make Your Next Event A Massive Success
“, by Stephen Nold

You can’t just leave your message and communication to technology.  A lot of people do, and if you make enough noise, someone will notice you, even if it is just to “close the door” so that they no long hear you.

That’s why to me, your promotion strategy needs to be solid around the service (and product) you provide.   If your customer isn’t on the latest craze, it doesn’t matter what you tell them, and you probably won’t to too much damage to your brand, either.

For me, I’m asking for the pay-back on your investment in time, passion, creativity and above all OPPORTUNITY that you donated to the universe because it seems likely (just to me) that all of marketing is strategic in nature, and when it isn’t then it isn’t “marketing”.

Media selection is about the message and the promotion.  “Media” isn’t an answer, it is just one of the questions in your promotional mix. W I S H

2840 May, 2009 Posted by | i-marketing, media, message, Promotion | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing the Love [product]

This is a quick spot, because life has been happening all around me recently. My big news is I am newly married again. Paradoxically, the title is mercenary and has nothing to do with my emotional state. Interested?

The Share-the-Love vision comes from a friend of mine, and in her case she wanted to see something like an ‘business orchestra’ model.

Where the cellists don’t attempt to blow trumpets. A community based ‘business ecology’ where the flautist wasn’t given a kettle drum to play!

What would your orchestra sound like if the talented people were not playing their instruments? How would your favourite band or singing group sound if they randomly swapped instruments or parts?

Share-the-Love … works like this. You love playing rhythm guitar. Your buddy loves to drum, and she knows someone who has a great voice and another dude who plays double-base. Cool, because if they all like similar sounding music and have fun together, we have the core to start a pretty wicked musical combo. Now think businesses, think about your business idea!

You or your product(s) are ‘great rhythm guitar players’, in your field or product category. You may even write great songs, and harmonies. Are you an accountant or bookkeeper? Are you a marketing person, a paralegals or even a business manager too? Would you be a great ‘rhythm guitarist’ if you spent your relaxation playing guitar, or if you read a business magazine?   ‘Hullow!’

Share-the-Love …is like this.  You love what you do; share that. You don’t like bookkeeping; then find a bookkeeper who loves keeping the books.  Share your love of what you do with the bookkeeper who loves what she/he does!

Do unto others what that other would have you do; unto them.

[… As always, do for betterment, not for harm.]

Money?  Yes, I’m saying the ‘money’ is a number you give mr or ms bookkeeper that says “I love what you do, $50 an hour.” As a quick spot, I won’t expand this now.  Let it soak in, and bounce around a bit.  I’d really LOVE a bit of conversation in the comments.  Because this is just a ‘seed‘.

What do I get for my $50 of love?  A free Thursday night to read my daughter a bedtime story, instead of trying to figure out how to balance that wretched Accounts Payable (for example).  In the words of a famous promotion; $100 to get the books done; quality time with daughter — Priceless.

One final thing, because mbimarketing is about your marketing.  Your product is your supply-chain as much as it is your service or tangible package.  The Beatles sold “love, fun and individuality” they never sold records.

How do you decide who to share your love with?  Choose people who love or (rather) admire what you do,  and love what they do.  Share-the-Love with people who will in turn Share-the-Love.

Let it bounce around.  I reckon I have over a million reasons this makes sense; it always did.  Some how culturally we lost track of it; kill or be killed doesn’t include your ‘team mates’ and ‘potential team mates’.

Your aim ought to be creating a Champion Team. (Not a team of champions).  Be there for each other :: Share-the-Love.

W I S H

2358 April, 2009 Posted by | content, customer, e-marketing, message, Personal, Price, Product, Uncategorized, value | , , , | Leave a comment

Customer Engagement [place]

Business is no more different to other human activities of sport, non-peace (i.e. war), hunting, property ownership, or social networking. Each endeavour has a rhythm or slumps, gains or ‘steady as she goes’. There will be trends. There are one-hit wonders. There’s the ‘fashions’ that work for awhile. Sometimes there might be a ‘Global Financial Crisis’ (GFC), a ‘South Seas Bubble’, a ‘Great Depression’, or the  ‘Panic or 1797‘.

What’s this got to do with “customer engagement“?  These days, I begin with word pictures by asking, is there something new under the Sun?  This time, the answer is both “yes” and “no” … Sometimes it is no-way-no-how~blink~off!”, or in English, “What does this have to do with ‘me’ or ‘my business’?

Fashions and trends are the leading-edge of ‘innovations’.  Innovations are the short-tail of your industry-segment‘s future.  We know that ‘innovations’ come and some ‘innovations stay’ long enough to be the short-tail for YOU.

‘Engagement’ is availability imho.  My “customer engagement” perspective is that ‘engagement‘ equals location, location is access, and place (access is place, place, place, and place …).  By entertaining an idea that “engagement” is a promotion; I expect ‘customer engagement’ for folk wading in that same stream can find it frustrating that ‘advertising‘ has more or less the same effectas talkin’?  Dunno, personally.  ‘Advedrtising’ is an investment in a behavioural change (explicitly BUYING, sometimes it will be eating, exercise or supporting  censorship on the internet).

As an aside: I make no apology for supporting Free Speech outside business and always reserve my right to reserve my opinion on thoughts by others.

an ‘innovation‘ in your business’ market.   I find small-business either over- /under- innovate rather than find a balance. I began by typing, that your business “needs to be effective” — What the heck does that MEAN?!!

In ‘customer engagement‘ … Your key as a business asset is about creating your value:  —  Web site, Business, Shopfront, Party plan,  Market stall ::   Advertising #1.

  • Today’s advert. is tomorrows kitty litter.

Moore’s notion (not a law) not withstanding,  publicity oriented customer engagement is worth as much as tomorrow’s kitty litter until your operation wants to utilise the valuable communication seeds that publicity offers you to develop deep relationships, trust and later engagement.

Ratz!   I think I said that advertising with no unerlying Engagemetn or Relationship building process to back it up and make it VALUABLE … is not as good as flushing money down the toilet — Definitely much less effective than letting Worthy Social Programmes benefit from the same ‘so called’ million dollar advertising budget.

(oops) … Effective marketing communication is not necessarily an expensive engagement.  it is about YOUR Customer.  Are you a little cynical; it is going to be about how much your customer spends (in proportion to your cost of a sale).

Customer Engagement is about cultivating your interest in your customers and managing your time and other resources.

Engage!

146 April, 2009 Posted by | customer, location, marketing, message, Place, value | Leave a comment

wiki marketing [promotion]

Here’s some sound advice from Jimmy Wales, of wikipedia fame, on wiki based marketing for communities.  These points are important to you for all forms of imarketing.  How do you foster your customer loyalty?  Once you offer more than a ‘good deal‘  you are creating a  customer relationship.

Give yourself a leg-up, and tell me what you can take away from Jim’s talk . . .


How Marketers get Wikis Wrong

What about you? Is your web site’s community or forums supporting your services and products? Or have you understood that customer support makes you more money?

A thing to remember is that serving your customer over the counter, is also an  “interactive marketing“, without a bias to electronic means (imarketing).  Good basics, make good business.

People are always excited to find something that they believe in.
~ Jimmy Wales (AdAge, 24-Feb-20092)

543 March, 2009 Posted by | case study, content, e-marketing, i-marketing, marketing, message, Promotion | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i-marketing [promotion]

There’s a lot of push and hype about e-marketing.  Every time a new mode is added to the internet, and other media as well, you’ll get a surge and a new tune played by the e-marketing band.  What is e-marketing?  Is e-marketing different?  And what about i-marketing?

e marketing

Between you and me, I like the old saying, “there nothing new under the Sun“.  The term, “e-marketing” refers to internet (electronic) marketing or marketing on the world wide web (WWW).  It doesn’t mean neon signs, which were ‘electronic’ before computers.  So the ‘e-‘ can be misleading if you take it literally. E-marketing refers to marketing on the internet (also called, web marketing, online marketing, customer relationship management (CRM, ECRM)) and is evolving as a field.

i marketing

The ‘i-marketing‘ term is new, or newer. If you look about you still find lots and lots of retro references to “internet marketing” as imarketing. I believe you’ll see the imarketing come to mean “interactive marketing“. Imarketing significantly overlaps with emarketing and will go way past what you can do with the internet, PDA or a mobile phone.

Vision

The vision? Let’s begin with digital TV and digital radio. You can buy a car i-radio now and listen to podcasts or your home-town station from the autobahn. Provided your home town station is on the web. Interactive media, or “i-media“, like the internet, digital TV, digital radio, your mobile and ipods, etc

Hopefully this gives YOU more input and control over your media load. I’m sure you’ll see a lot of push and hype. I had a list of cool pages to show you. BUT, right now look at Matt’s eloquent post below:

That’s not a typo.

346 March, 2009 Posted by | business, content, e-marketing, i-marketing, marketing, media, message, Place | , , , , | 1 Comment

Great Location [place]

Scenario

Imagine a shop front in a great location in a busy commercial centre; there’s lots of people traffic and the store sees many passers-by during the lunch period and early evening. This position has popular cafes, fast food and lunch outlets either side and on the opposite side of the street and it is probably losing money judging by the higher business volume the competing fast food stores enjoy.

Problem / Opportunity

Our shop is in a profitable location, with lots of competition, from substitutes and new shops frequently come and go (see: Porter, 2008). My comment, is that people can be a lazy when it comes to exploiting a good position.
When many people are making money selling buttons, it is smart to sell buttons too and “get me some of that“, when there’s lots of customers and not too many button sellers. In this example, the competition sells more buttons (or take-away food, in this case). What do you do?

Possibilities

I like to make sure there are options and contingency plans, so I always look for more than one pathway forward. The first thing we do is analyse the people-traffic, and imagine ways we can create our opportunity.

  1. Make your niche: We establish distinct benefits that make us an attractive alternative. In the take-away space, plan to be a favourite rather than exclusive. We can boost success by offering variety in our shop, so the customer doesn’t need to check the other shops to get more choice.
  2. Move sideways: In our example take-away precinct the options are to move up-, left-, back-, right-, or down- market in this location. A new rustic feel cafe just opened a couple of doors away.
  3. Outside the box: Is by definition, something completely different like an aquarium & gallery with pretty fish and stunning art for sale.
  4. Compliment the area: With many take-away shops nearby the area is ready for a complimentary offering like a place to check your email, listen to yor iPod while you eat.
  5. Clothing or fashion: After eating shoppers like to browse.
  6. Break the mould: Companies like Fruitopia have demonstrated that people want better, healthier take-away eating choices. In our take-away precinct there are lots of the expected options like burgers, chips, noodles, etc. This is a specific kind of side-ways step.
  7. Express your self: Think of a retail space like any other resource, its value is the cash flow it can bring in. In this example the basic features of location, people traffic, predictable visitors/time profile. And it’s a good bet it is loosing money now, so the price could be right. Ask yourself what can you do with that kind of opportunity?

Learnings

There can be many ways to make your customer happy especially when he or she has comes to you — That’s the value of location. To benefit from a location, we need to look at how to translate existing features into customer value. The short list above takes a customer focus to look at this shop’s situation.
There’s no reason we can’t improve the existing operation the same way. The important things are to think fresh, do the right sums and meet the customer, avoid attempts focusing on the customer meeting you … In the way all the shops in that precinct focus on the customer engaging them.

2139 February, 2009 Posted by | case study, customer, location, marketing, Place | , , , , | Leave a comment

Optimal Customer Service [product]

Maximise market opportunities


(“Very Small Business“, ABC, 2009)

There is a saying:

The only good deal is one where both sides are happy.

1354 February, 2009 Posted by | customer, location, marketing, Place, Product, value | , , | 1 Comment

Me vs Shop [promotion]

I just added a link for top notch presentation on the technical aspects of better practice for web sites on my ‘stuff‘ page.  Jump across and have a look: “Towards eGovernment 2.0“, from José Alonso.

I like it as a wrap-up of technical and regulatory aspects of your web page.  Add you marketing vision, and integrate the site with your marketing programme — There’s a winner.

Slide #7 is called, “Organisation vs User“.  In your context, I turned it around and put the customer first — To her, your “the shop“.  What do you like about your favourite shop?  What do you least like about your least favourite shop?  Your favourite and least liked supplier?

That makes you the customer.  Do you want your customers to think, “Me vs Shop” or “Me with Shop”?  Check out slide #25: “Avoid Obscurity by Default“.

The world is simple really, isn’t it!

1217 February, 2009 Posted by | customer, marketing, message, Promotion | , , , | Leave a comment

Sales isn’t Marketing [personal]

There’s a split in the practice with most organisations between what is “marketing” and what is “sales”; and with me on what is “business development”. Unless you are a government entity and it seems they don’t feel a need to “sell nuffun’“.

CEO s view more demanding customers not as a threat, but as an opportunity to differentiate. CEO s are spending more to attract and retain increasingly prosperous, informed and socially aware customers.

Test yourself: Enterprise of the Future assessment tool

A really good sales person is not the guy who makes the sale at all costs, imho.  That is the marketing equivalent of a scorched Earth tactic.

A good customer consultant is a trustworthy complement to the customer service of the business.  Last week I experienced the impersonal feel of a  large Australian corporation’s computer hang-up my phone call … 4 x times!  I got through on the 5th and final call.  It reminded me why I dumped that company in the 1980-s.

There was more non-personal treatment yesterday when I received a phone call from a “team leader” responding to my on-line feedback that hanging-up on me, even if lines are busy, is MY choice.  Calling me in the middle of a busy day, is Not My Choice.  Finally because I understand how these systems are assembled, I also know that a customer service “team leader” is not empowered to correct a technical issue with the telephone routing system.

I am not naming the company, they seem to have had a hard enough time with their foot in their mouth this year (and it’s only Feb!).

Have they “diversified to meet my needs”?  Are they ready for their future?  Did they treat my honestly helpful intention  as an opportunity?  Or did they [organisationally] want to call me to “educate me” in their ways?

And therein lies my point.  Over 2 thirds of the 1,000+ CEO-s surveyed (IBM, 2008, p.7) agree their businesses need to become more personal to work with your customer.

A less kind blogger would have identified my exemplar organisaiton.  I suggest you buy shares in one of their competitors.  How do you do that, when I didn’t tell you ‘who’ they were?

It is easy, if you do the work.  Who responds with genuine customer care and who gets on the news and “educates” us?

1241 February, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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