What if

What if we went global
What if we closed our shops
What if we worked at a round table everyday
What if we answered the phone without any recordings
What if we dropped everything for that great idea
What if we linked our salary to customer satisfaction
What if we called our customers to ask what they like
What if we donated our profits

What if we broke the rules

Working backwards

We usually get stuck when charging ahead, blasting through the steps, until, suddenly, we can’t go any further.

Running full speed our heads down blocks the vision of the end goal. Sometimes we end up of track, with a product nobody asked for or wants.

Another way: do it backwards. Keep in mind the end goal – from the start.

If things go perfectly, what will we end up with? Answer that, and you’ll find it much harder to get lost.

Who are you?

Guess Who

Most marketers obsess with who they’re targeting. What demographic? Location? Income?

All good questions. However, we can’t afford to ignore our current customers.

In fact, a qualifier for looking for more sales should be an intimate understanding about who our existing customers are.

How do they think? Why did they stick around? How do they feel about us?

This helps us reach similar people and help spread the word in already existing communities.

There’s no point reaching a new segment if one exists, untapped, right before your eyes.

Storytelling in a world of noise.

devices

Perhaps one of the greatest trends in digital behaviour is a lack of concentration.

Tweets are short. We use multiple devices at once. Often, we never use apps more than once.

Information is everywhere, uncensored and almost free for all. How then, do we expect to keep telling our stories the same way? How can we expect to sell the same way as we did before – when people used to pay attention to ads and billboards?

All we know is that we can’t follow the status quo and sell the facts. We have to have a unique story or emotional connection to break through the noise.

2 things we can try:

  • Tell our story only to people who are predisposed to the product.
  • Tell it in a way that focuses on comedy, pain, fear or motivation – not on the boring facts.

I’d give anything for her to feel pain

I heard a story last night about people who can’t feel pain.

The implications of this condition are horrible with children seriously harming themselves unintentionally.

A quote from the father of one of the affected girls stuck with me.

“I’d give anything for her to feel pain.”

Perhaps the worst parts of life, failure, heartache, loss, are all necessary. Devastation leads to renewal. Green shoots of growth comes in the aftermath of the bushfires black ash.

Pain indicates danger. Risk tells us that we’re alive. Failure means we can try again.

Life is best with highs and lows, what can you learn from your lows? I hope your pain makes you do something extraordinary.

Burning desire

Campfire

What makes you tick?

What burns inside you that drives your thoughts, actions and dreams?

Everyone has something. Some feel it stronger than others. I think it’s worth reflecting on our desires and motivations or else we risk losing sight of why we do what we do.

Try writing it down, sticking it up in your room and measuring how much time you spend trying to make it a reality.

Perhaps much of our frustration in life comes from wasting time on things that don’t matter.

Ideas that change the world

Occasionally the small decisions we make can have a big impact. Round It Up America are making an impact.

The idea is simple. What if every time we bought something online or instore we rounded up the nearest dollar and the difference was donated to charity?

roundupforcharity

Customers get a daily dose of philanthropy plus the benefit of not budgeting for a 3.68 purchase. And charities benefit from the combined goodwill of thousands of consumers.

The little ideas, scaled to the world, can change the world. 20 cents here and there can become $10,000 very quickly.

What little thing can you do to improve the world today?

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Making products for the market

We know it’s wrong but we can’t avoid it. When we make new products we always bring our own interests to the table.

‘Those people don’t use Twitter.’

‘We should charge 99c. That’s how Apple price their apps!’

‘Our market prefers to contact us on Social Media.’

Of course, these assumptions are based on ourselves, and we try hard to apply them to our market because we desperately want to be our target market. But we’re not.

That leaves us with two choices. Drop the assumptions and make products for the market (not like us) or keep making products that we like and go bankrupt.

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Why there’s no such thing as neutral.

Neutral is negativeThe problem with neutral messages (ignored by your audience) is that they aren’t actually neutral.

Every time we interrupt someone’s day with our message we are asking for permission. Permission to get inside their head and prove that we have something to offer them.

Too many times we fail to offer anything of value. And each time we fail, we don’t just get another free go. We lose some, if not all, of the influence we once had.

It could be that our target is too big (not targeted) or, more likely, the idea sucks.

When I watch a mediocre TV ad, I not only ignore it’s message, I actively detest the brand forever. “What a waste of time,” I think to myself.

Your audience does the same. Whenever we interrupt a colleague with useless news or complain about trivial frustrations we lose the permission to do it next time and the opportunity is lost.

Communication is not a right, it’s a privilege we can’t afford to waste.

When all is said and done.

What will people remember?

You’ve turned up on time, reply to all your emails and you’re the best at excel. Easily the best.

However in your next interview they won’t see your efficiencies, reports or your phone manner.

They want to know how you think about problems, change people and how your personality will fit with their team.

So how should we invest our time at work? We should focus on the big things. The presentations people remember, the opportunities to redefine your mission or to drastically change the way you treat your customers. That’s what matters.