How to make any business work

 

1. Assume that you need an extraordinary product beforehand, or a service that marvels customers. You must create something quite different from what the rest is offering. If you don’t have it, if your business is not remarkable, you must focus on this key point until you have an edge. Stop reading, stop looking for the secret sauce, subscribe less, stay on track, do what you need to do. Rethink, prototype, enhance. Ship, test, redesign, polish, ship again, test again, analyse. One day, you’ll have this kind of product or service.

2. Build a list of the right people you need in order to make your business works. That’s basically your (dream) team. Do not consider hiring anybody unless they develop a critical function: customer care, maintenance, distribution, design and development, operations, sales, etc.

3. Build another list with a comprehensive and detailed job description for every position you need to fulfil.

4. More lists please, build another list (which follows the other two) that describes what these people need to achieve.

5. No matter if you have a freelancing team or not. You should consider firing everyone that does not match #1, #2, #3 and #4. Then, go, look and test for minded-professionals until you find the right people for the desired outline – outcome.

From now and on, it’s a matter of time. What is coming next are strategies, tactics and execution. Team spirit, finance management, media and sales. The rest is plain guts, passion, is excellence, caring, consistency. It’s humanity and coherence. And principles.

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Thought-provoking marketing

Looking for thought-provoking marketing?

Organising an industry event that over-promises and under-delivers.

Finding products that only meet your more basic needs. A just-ok product.

Getting bad criticism for the job you did, even if it wasn’t created for the audience you intended.

Welcoming flattering comments for the magnificent work you did, even if it was performed for a different audience you had in mind.

Targeting micro-niche you can’t enchant and support.

Developing a marketing strategy for connecting the connected.

Implementing a digital plan for connecting the disconnected.

Building the next big move everyone will talk about. Distracting you from doing the work that pays your bills.

Working for people that don’t know you, doesn’t want to know, doesn’t’ like you and doesn’t interest you.

Focusing all your sales efforts on reaching to a newer audience, this instead of focusing on retention, rewards and cross-selling.

Making a difference in your brand and not in your employees.

Spending money on Television ads.

Investing more a more in ridiculous agreements that enslave customers and suppliers.

Trying to win power and influence only because you know the right influencers.

Amplifying doubt and fear so people can buy your product or use your service.

Exchanging short-term goals for dignity and possibility.

Ignoring the community’s advice about what your brand should do to care more.

What is still being considered as expensive, it will continue being perceived as expensive. Marketing is filled with missed opportunities and lesson that haven’t being learned.

It’s not marketing either

Of course is not. Clearly not.

It never was valuable, useful and thought-provoking marketing, it’s not now either, and it never will be.

The good news, just about everything that reverses these practices, it’s thought-provoking marketing. Indeed.

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How to build a human brand

1. Define your leitmotiv: “establishing emotional connections” for instance.

2. Let the feelings flourish: anger, sadness, happiness, love, joy, etc. Make sure that feelings are authentic and not pretended.

3. Chose the appropriate ambassador, the one who best represents the brand inside your community and market.

4. Draw the ideal shape of the person that will connect with your brand (known as buyer persona). This person will buy from you and spread the word. Once this ideal buyer persona is developed, fit your narrative, messages, services, logistics, operations and marketing touch-points so you can design everything around this profile. Not on the contrary.

5. Don’t post what you want, post about the content that your community wants to read, listen or see. Listen before acting on something.

human brand

6. Build peripheral services that add an extra value to you product o service. It has to be based on #3.

7. We don’t care about what your brand sells. You’d better organize workshops and seminars at no cost for educating potential customers. Right before they buy you product or acquire your service.

8. Build an emailing database not for promoting, but for approaching a specific target that has a specific need that you know how to provide it.

9. Send a very human email (not intrusive marketing please) only when you can create a positive impact, only when it’s worth it. This means reducing by 95% your actual email marketing tactics.

10. Start conversations with the goal of obtaining inputs that can help your brand and community improve.

Build a brand for the people – a human brand

If you use these ingredients, your marketing will expand your brand awareness and resonance. It will help you to grow your audience and reach. Mainly because you’re working for the people, you’re humanizing your business. The strategy is lead by customer feelings, their thoughts, needs and wants.

Put people right where they have to be, in the center. If this process is done well, the customer and your client will think that your brand belongs them, This is it.

Photo credit: Intersection Consulting.

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Some greatness in marketing

Looking for greatness in marketing? Free prize inside:

1. If your product strives for delivering the biggest possible utility. Or if your service thrives for adding more added value embedded in the service itself. If your product or service races against the biggest possible value, you win. Greatness.

2. Your product will fail or you’ll deliver a bad service, that’s right. Then, the interesting step, you should move forward quickly, taking responsibility for it, and coming back to delight the customers who suffer it.

3. Practising – every day – the following mantras: “done is better than perfect” / “if you don’t ship consistently, it doesn’t count” / “no matter what, you’ll fail, try different”.

4. Spending less time polishing your posts on social media, and more time spent on building habits, abilities and skills that are aimed at enchanting the people around you. And yourself, of course.

5. Make the word success an interchangeable word for choosing your customers wisely. And life too.

6. Fall in love with yourself, then with your job. Then with your product or service. And finally with the people that come to cheer you up.

7. Don’t measure your product or service with your competition. There’s a whole world in between.

8. Bet and cash on your weirdness. Empower your nerd and make it your everyday business.

Greatness, it’s already within, we only need to unleash it. Greatness is a choice.

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Enchanting customers

Maintain the price even if the competitions increases it.

Extend the guarantee for an additional one more year.

Reward new customers with educational value.

Develop a gratification program aimed to every loyal customer that buys from you.

Build better products, products that best meet people or business needs that are already your customers.

Two months after every sale, ask your customers five (or more) questions related: how they feel about the purchase, what it was the real value the product added, what’s missing from the original promise, how it can be improved and what else you can do for them without an additional charge.

Build a more complete, dynamic and useful set of services.

Don’t sell the information you get from your customers.

Send email marketing just for addressing your customers queries.

Make visible and big the must-know information placed at the most invisible sections, the fine print basically,

Build the first base of 100 customers, get to know them, interact with them. Serve them. Please them. Meet with them every year.

Create, at least, three peripheral services that increase the product or service value, and add no extra cost to your customers.

Reply to every person that reaches to you.

Don’t wait to gain the trust of your customers, trust them first.

Teach your employees how to lead, how to listen, how to persuade, how to stay human and how to enchant.

Most of the people, especially the persons who you want to sell. They’re not worried about:

  • Paying a little more.
  • Telling their friends.
  • Go the extra mile for buying from you.

If the transaction comes with dignity, trust, vulnerability, utility and a smile. That’s what enchanting customers are all about.

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Reality is malleable

You don’t want to listen it’s easy because I know it’s hard as hell. So you have to know the real truth, but you don’t like what lies inside the truth. Then your worldview creates a different reality.

You don’t want to believe that your mission it’s going to happen, mainly because I know it’s not going to happen by chance or while you’re waiting. Unless you go at take the permit to make a dent in the universe.

Your customers don’t want to see your new record sales or new brochure because I know they don’t give a heck about it. They are eager to know how your product is going to change their lives.

The investors don’t want to meet another me-too-entrepreneur with a great idea ready to be funded because I know they’re being sick of wasting their time listening great storytelling. They want shipped ideas that transcend silos and get their own auto-funding first.

Your Instagram community doesn’t want to be bothered with another breakfast pic because I know this doesn’t add value to them. They want the utility you can provide.

Your colleagues don’t want to be told about your trip to Burning Man or Coachella because I know they are your colleagues for a business reason. They want to know about compelling business.

Worldview vs reality

We’re so obsessed with our worldview that we avoid seeing the world as it is, which is the only way to make a real connection. The reality is malleable beyond the way we see, perceive and think about almost everything.

Disruption starts here

Once you see the reality outside your worldview, disrupting the status quo starts happening. Then enhancing yourself, your business or other people becomes easier and real.

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17 habits for staying human

People and business that stay human through the Internet. Thus, harness the power of this connection economy, they practice the following every day “staying human” habits:

1. Addressing people by their names.

2. Making jokes. Saying funny things. Don’t take matters too seriously.

3. Don’t take problems as something personal.

4. They feel more, instead of thinking more.

5. Listening, really listening for acting accordingly.

6. They practice active listening: verbal confirmation & verbal communication.

7. Demonstrating with results that they are paying attention to what you are saying.

8. Making compliments that make sense. Sincere, descriptive and insightful ones.

9. Giving constructive feedback, instead of criticizing.

10. The don’t complain about you, they try to change what they don’t like by turning the situation upside down.

11. Responding assertively to critics, complaints or troll attacks.

12. They ask interesting, propelling and descriptive questions all the time.

13. Being real persons instead brands or companies. They let you know who is the person behind the digital channel.

14. They know how to tell compelling  and sticky stories.

15. Asking you for advice, acknowledging they don’t know about certain things.

16. They do their best to surprise you every time they can.

17. Practicing generosity, don’t ask anything in return. They just want to add some kind of value to you.

As you can see, most of this habits are little techniques that you can (and should) implement every day. You’ll stay more human, and this will make a big difference in your community, business, clients and the world.

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Reasons for doing marketing

 

1. For selling a product o service.

2. To make a difference.

3. Because your boss told so.

4. For getting paid.

5. To delight your customers.

6. For getting to know more about if someone is going to buy from you.

7. Because anybody can nowadays. Because you must.

8. For the ease.

9. Because it’s cheap and profitable.

10. To create a positive impact in disadvantaged people.

11. For the sake of being a great and well-known marketer.

What number of this list bests represent you?

 

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What needs to be done in Social Media so it doesn’t die?

During my intervention at the Madrid Music Days event last year, I stated my idea, reasoning and examples of why social media marketing as we know it is coming to an end. I rescue here four of the most important points of my speech about what we can do so that Social Media doesn’t die. Note: this won’t avoid its evolution, however.

what needs to be done in social media so don't die

What needs to be done in Social Media so it doesn’t die?

This is the approach we’ve been working on for the past two years and it’s working.

1. Social platforms are communication and marketing channels and, as we’ve proven, are still viable sales channels. However, they need to be led correctly. They need a coherent strategy and execution that focuses on results, on connecting with our community, therefore creating certain resonance with our people in a dynamic, interesting and brilliant way.

Social Media doesn’t create a different world; neither does it invent or define. This is something that only comes about with an idea, initiative, project or business. At the end of the day, it’s only marketing through a new means of communication. Navigate your project or brand through these channels, seeking a clear, defined project. Do so without losing track of the people because, most of all, you need them right now. The value you provide is the value that the world will give in return.

2. Symbiotic models have always worked best (except in the case of Spiderman and his alter ego). Throwing conventional communication and marketing out of the window was, still is and will always be a dumb idea!

Look for a cross media strategy. Traditional communication isn’t dead, PR is extremely useful for word-of-mouth, there are still a variety of offline means to cross over to digital communication. Use what you do well out there, such as sales, to bring your customers to your company blog or to have a 24/7 customer service over Twitter.

3. Companies that claim to care about people but who can’t be bothered to interact with their buyers can ignore all of this. We’re ignoring you in one way or another.

Ask, listen, do something with all of this. Look out for conversations, take part in them. Recommend services that are in line with your audience, become “the person to turn to if I need something” and let the results speak for themselves.

4. If you want to use the social web and the great opportunity that lies therein, at least attempt things, learn from them, fail often, experiment, fine-tune, use any feedback you get, be creative and try something different; all of this before, during and after using social media. There’s no other way. That’s my recipe to get to where you’re so good that no one can ignore you.

Should you advertise on Facebook? If that’s your concern, there’s so much more you should be concerned about. Is being on Pinterest worth it? Who knows. Should you programme your tweets? Have you ever tried this and measured the results obtained? The only way to get an answer to these and many other similar questions is to just go for it and try it out. You need to work with the social web thoroughly to understand what works and what doesn’t. The best –or worst– thing about this is that it’s a day-to-day job. What worked yesterday may not work today, or what works today may not work tomorrow.

The direction that such work is taking means that if you want to make the social web to work for you, it must become a part of all your business processes. It’s not less important but, rather, the driving current. The work you carry out is part of your marketing, your customer services, internal communications, human resources; it’s part of your company’s wiring. It’s a part of it all!

What else needs to be done here? What’s your role?

Photo credit: hollywoodhollows.

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How to make (anything) viral

how to make anything viralI find it interesting to listen to agencies, professionals, marketing directors or advertising specialists talk about virality. It surprises me when they decide to sit down and write something that will supposedly go viral. This turns into hilarity when they demand the video you launch goes viral, and it’s Utopian for them to think that the work they do will go viral. Improbability arises when we expect an idea/virus to go beyond our own world perspective. That’s why we constantly fail in our attempts to reach virality.

Virality belongs to the people

It isn’t brands, Facebook, Adwords, Twitter or YouTube that cause virality. Virality comes from your ability to create something unexpected; something that has an impact and catches your audience unawares. Virality belongs to the people outside your circle of influence.

You will never go viral while you expect to conquer the meaning of the term ‘viral’, working on it endlessly.

Amazing beyond amazement

Matinée’s latest video, Ibizious, has gone viral; everyone’s talking about it. When they thought about it, they didn’t think about doing a viral video; they thought about making a video that someone would like, which would then replicate to many. The true value was in creating a video that had an impact, something out of the ordinary that would draw someone’s attention, anyone outside the people involved in the project: managing to amaze someone beyond our understanding of amazement. The video created change. What no one gets to see is the entire year that the people behind the video worked on it.

Consider a single person as viral

Seek making an impact on people who see the world in a different way than you do. Have such an impact on them that they cannot get to sleep unless they choose to make it happen: sharing your message with others. Start with one person. Then you’ll start to become viral.

Next time you think virally, think about how not to let one person rest until they share your message. And by this, I don’t mean spamming it to death.

Unfortunately, our perception of what’s viral isn’t the perception that the world has about the meaning of viral. Luckily, we can’t control virality.

Viral isn’t a thing; it just happens.

Photo credit: esalesdata.

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