If it’s showing up in the drawings of children, it’s a true cultural zeitgeist…or icon…or something.
Archive for June, 2008
On a recent flight I read through ‘Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers‘ by Jimmy Vee, Travis Miller and Joel Bauer. I have two minds about how to respond.
Mind #1 is the anti-hype anti-marketer in me…the guy that responds viscerally to Joe Jackson’s claim of “I got the trash and you got the cash, so baby we should get along fine.” Claims that any business has “an unlimited number of ready, willing and able buyers” (and that there is “only one catch” that gets in the way) can’t help but set off that alarm, given the informercial-type tone.
Mind #2 is the guy who not only makes his living as a marketer, but considers it an honorable profession. Connecting the right customer with the right value at the right price is practically a public service and is highly differentiated from spam, from flooding the marketplace with irrelevant noise, from…well, everything Joe was singing about there.
Let’s not let these notes on a good marketing book turn into an analysis of my Sybil psyche. ‘Gravitational Marketing’ is definitely worth a read. There are sound marketing principles embedded here. The principles themselves aren’t all new, but the authors have deftly packaged them to be useful to small businesspeople who may not be marketers at their core.
The principles the authors lay out are anti-hype, if anything. Chapter 3, ‘Be Worthy of Attraction’, asks the question marketers often forget. Who is my target customer, and is my product or service differentiated enough to be valuable to them? The advice offered about advertising is particularly useful to the small businessperson: focus on response (not branding) and make sure you can measure your response by promotional codes, separate phone numbers or landing pages, etc. Those technique are often overlooked in the small business space and change advertising from an expense to be managed down into an investment to be optimized.
Maybe the claim of “an unlimited number of ready, willing and able buyers” isn’t that far off the mark. Done wrong, marketing is hard work; we spend huge amounts of energy trying to convince the wrong prospect to buy the wrong product for the wrong price. Done right – right prospect, right product, right price – marketing should be as easy as falling off a log. Or as easy an an apple falling off a tree. Vee, Miller and Bauman are on to something with that metaphor.
They also have a fine blog for staying in touch – linked here or on the blogroll.
I’m taking a moment to publicly offer congratulations to my brother, the Honorable John Stanley Somers. He’s always been honorable but now it’s official. At 5pm on 6/16/2008 he was sworn in as a Superior Court Justice in Kern County, California.
He’s put in almost 25 years as a District Attorney here in Bakersfield, so this represents a huge milestone for him. It’s nice when professional life offers clear-cut markers of achievement (during his speech I halfway expected him to thank the Academy – it was that sort of occasion). His peers on both sides clearly hold him in high esteem. And I’m very proud of him.
Life in the private sector doesn’t always offer obvious milestones. The achievements are there, just not marked by ceremony. It makes me think that we all need to listen closer to notice when we achieve things. Sometimes it’s getting traction for a new approach to Marketing in your company. I’ve done that this year – now it’s time to prove that the approach is valid. Sometimes it’s finding that peers are willing to place faith in you and follow you. I’ve done that this year, too.
Most of the time it’s simply knowing that you’ve done your best work and focused on what really matters despite a myriad of distractions. I’m going to focus on that tomorrow and I hope that you will too.
And this morning I will drive to LAX as fast as I please…knowing that if I get a ticket I can get it handled. (I’m kidding!)
Thanks to pingnews.com for the image!
With analysts speculating about the new iPhone Apple will announce at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco next week, let me throw in a prediction. Apple will release the iPhone Shuffle.
It’ll be much smaller than the original iPhone. That small size will be achieved by reducing the touchscreen to one button, eliminating the cumbersome keypad that makes traditional phones too large. Press that button and the iPhone Shuffle will randomly dial one of your friends.
Steve Jobs knows it’s been too long since you called your Mom.*
*Thanks for the line, Jim!
“The trouble with normal is it always gets worse” – Bruce Cockburn
This should be obvious, but don’t make your customers care about things they’d rather not care about. I use Word as my email editor in Outlook. If I have Outlook open for an extended period, on shutdown I get a message asking if I want to save the changes I’ve made to normal.dot.
Yes, I know what normal.dot is – but I made no intentional changes to it. Yes, I know how to change my Outlook settings to avoid using Word as the editor. Yes, I know I could switch to a mac, or OpenOffice, or whatever.
No, I shouldn’t have to care about any of that.
What do your customers care about? What elements of your sales process or user experience force them to care about things they’d rather not?