Social Media

What do Customers Buy, Part 2 0

John Goodman’s new book, Customer Experience 3.0: High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Service takes John’s Customer Service expertise and puts it into a digital context.  John has managed more than 1,000 separate customer service studies, including the White House sponsored evaluation of complaint handling practices in government and business and studies of word of mouth and the bottom-line impact of consumer education sponsored by Coca-Cola USA. John Goodman

John has taught service quality and service re-engineering courses at Wharton Business School’s executive education program.  He has appeared on “Good Morning America”, the ABC Evening News, The Discovery Channel, National Public Radio and as a panelist on the PBS show, “The Editors.”John is the Vice Chairman of Customer Care Measurement and Consulting (CCMC).

Last week, I posted the first part of the podcast, What do Customers Buy: Experience or Product? This is Part 2 of 2.

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The Start of Behavioral Business Models 0

Thomas Koulopoulos on a Fast Company blog post said:

We are at the tail end of an era that has focused almost entirely on the innovation of products and services, and we are at the beginning of a new era that focuses on the innovation of what I like to call “behavioral business models.” These models go beyond asking how we can make what we make better and cheaper, or asking how we can do what we do faster. They are about asking why we do what we do to begin with. And the question of why is almost always tied to the question of how markets behave.

He goes on to say:

The greatest shift in the way we view innovation will be that the innovation surrounding behavior will need to be as continuous a process as the innovation of products has been over the last hundred years. The greatest shift in the way we view innovation will be that the innovation surrounding behavior will need to be as continuous a process as the innovation of products has been over the last hundred years. It’s here that the greatest payback and value of innovation in the cloud has yet to be fully understood and exploited.

Thomas Koulopoulos, author of Cloud Surfing: A New Way to Think About Risk, Innovation, Scale and Success (Social Century) was guest on the Business901 podcast, an excerpt on how innovation may apply to learning.

Related Podcast and Transcription: A New Way to Think About The Social Century

Joe:  When we look at innovation but it seems so often that the guy that left Harvard, or the Bill Gates, the Steve Jobs, the people that didn’t finish school, they learned what they wanted and had the idea, and moved on. We spread that across millions now to be able to gather that learning.

Tom:  That’s exactly right. I was coincidentally just talking with someone a few days ago. A very bright young lady was in her second year at Harvard and decided, “You know what? I have nothing left to learn. I’m not motivated anymore.” Now, her parents weren’t very happy about this when she first told them.

But she went out and started three business. One business which is making huge inroads in the child sex trade, and is helping make that a more visible problem, and helping to solve that problem. One business that, by the way, is meant to develop a whole new type of University for entrepreneurs.

There are people who sufficiently motivated can do incredible things. They need some basic access to education, K-12 as well as higher learning. Once they have that access, you know what, the world is going to be a vastly different place, and vastly different for the better.

That, to me, is a future that I am very optimistic about. And frankly, hope I live long enough to inhabit. At the rate things are going, I think you and I will see the impact of that and the impact will be profound.

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Go Global, Go Viral, Start Local 0

In a recent podcast I ask @ekaterina (Ekaterina Walter) about going viral. It may not be the answer you would expect from the author of The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand and Think Like Zuck..

Related Podcast and Transcription: Visual Storytelling with Ekaterina

Excerpt from the Podcast

Joe: Is that why I would think that most of the platforms that seem to go to that magic word viral seem to be more the YouTube or the Pinterest variety?

Ekaterina: There’s no such thing as viral. Viral doesn’t exist and I actually hate the fact that this word is actually part of our vocabulary. What we mean by viral is an overnight success. But if you look behind any overnight success, any business overnight success, any content strategy overnight success, anything, there’s always a lot of hard work, a lot of preparation, a lot of thought that got put into that viral aspect, and a lot of the times a lot of budget too. There’s no such thing as viral. There is such a thing as “How do I product content that really truly hits the nerve? How do I produce the content that emotionally connects with people? How do I produce the content that not just everybody under the sun, but people in my community can relate to?” That is the most critical piece that everybody is missing.

Please everybody; we want everybody to think this is funny. We want everybody to think this is cool. No it doesn’t matter. What matters is your brand, your product, your community, and reaching to that community in an important and sort of relevant way. That’s what we need to go after. When we say viral, all we mean is we created a cool piece of content that’s well thought out, that’s our own brand, and absolutely connects and resonates with our communities.

Joe: You make a great point there and the environmentalists make a great point. I see an analogy between the two because if you want to think global of how to help with these global problems and everything, you need to start local. You just told me if I want to spread the news is to start in my community and do well there first, right?

Ekaterina: Absolutely. That’s something we always forget – especially marketers forget – because the shiny object for them is the new social network that came out, the number of people that are not yet my advocates, they’re not yet my buyers or customers. And that is the wrong approach. You know people always ask me Joe, “How did you grow your personal brand? How do people or influencers in the communities really grow their brand?” That’s how they do it. Do you want a secret? Here you go. Are you ready? Here’s a secret. They take the 50 people, or 100 people, they follow them and they take care of those people.

They take care of their current communities first, of their current customers first. They engage with them first and that’s how that 100 grows into 100,000, into 1,000,000 etc., and the number goes on. That’s how everything starts. That’s what you need to do with your content, with your engagement strategy.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Visual Storytelling with Ekaterina

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Marketing Magic of Moses: Content, Stories and Targeting 1

Everyone will tell you it is about Content, Stories and Targeting (Relevance) your audience. Well, sure it is, we have been talking about that since before the days of Moses. Just look at what Moses offered:

  1. He was born a Hebrew, he was one of them.
  2. Evidence to lead: He was practically king of Egypt
  3. His Call to Action was a better alternative to slavery, independence.
  4. During the journey at certain moments of truth he brought a few (10) plagues,  parted a few seas and received the 10 Commandments to help form a nation.

This is not attempt to discredit Moses. I could have used the “marketing” campaign of our founding fathers that resulted in the creation of the United States. It is just an attempt to demonstrate that most “marketing” campaigns have contained the same successful platform for the last thousands of years. Today, marketers have taken this construct online with the tools that exist today.

I have always operated under the philosophy that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. We could argue this point, but I am betting my evidence on a few thousand years of history. What I do believe is communication happens at a more accelerated rate which causes change to happen quicker. Once when Moses campaign may take a lifetime, we now see an overthrow in Egypt materialize and happen in a short time span. It is the speed of communication.

There is another component that I believe that is happening that couples with the speed of communication, it is influence. We construct our present day messages with more data and information than ever thought possible (I have read that data can now predict where I will be (location) a year from now). As Kaiser Fung said in a Business901podcast (Framing Big Data Transcript):

Having the data and the numbers are really important. Like we said previously, completely trusting the numbers and the analysis is also very foolish. You need human intelligence to interpret these numbers. It is really an interplay of the numbers and your interpretation because ultimately, even though the numbers will never give us cause of information – they can never really tell you with certainty that A causes B, it would tell you that A is related to B. It is human interaction that is needed that kind of tie these things all together into a credible story. Forget the notion that you will find one story that is correct, and everything else is wrong. All we are trying to look for is a story that is our best story, given our constraints of what we can and what we cannot.

Even with all the data in the world, it is the influence of the person delivering that has the most significant effect on our decision. How do you gain that influence? How do you become an influencer? Is it by the number of connections? Is it by the books you have authored? Or, do we leave LinkedIn tell us?

I think it can be summed up in one word, participation. Are we participating in the conversation? Are we participating in doing the work? Are we participating helping to create outcomes? I think it goes past  the Jobs To Be Done type thinking. It goes into what I have always termed playing in the customer’s playground. It requires additional influence that we gained with developing cooperative structure both internally and externally to the organization. It is not passive observation. It is participation.

This is what my new eBook CAP-Do (More Info) discusses, The change that is needed in the conversation between the supply and demand side. The change in structure of that overlapping responsibility. That area where we struggle to maintain balance between “whose job it is”. We must assume it is a joint responsibility versus drawing the line in the sand. It is not saying the customer is always right. It is not assuming the blame. It is about how we frame the opportunity to move from a solution type thinking to openness. We must be willing to be influenced before asking others to be influenced by us.

It all goes Back in the Box 0

I am a big Ken Blanchard fan and maybe even a bigger TEDx fan. Ken recently appeared at TEDx tp discuss Collaboration. His talks breaks down into three areas:

  1. if you meet someone who wants to accomplish something, and you want to accomplish something, the experience is meant to be dynamic
  2. Rely on the different skills and experience people bring to the table
  3. Essence and form are the two characteristics of a solid collaboration

However, the message Ken ends with “It all goes Back in the Box” maybe be the most important message that we need to take from collaboration. Not only personally but I would challenge organizations to think this way.

Is Social Media still Innovative and Exciting 0

Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Social, shares her wisdom on the most exciting innovations of 2013. According to this video by LinkedIn, the most exciting innovation for 2013 is the maturation of social media for business.

I am a strong believer in using social media both for marketing and internal operations. However, I think we are pas the stage of calling it innovative and exciting. Most of us call it work, the novelty has disappeared. What are your thoughts? 

Events go Viral but there is No Instant Pudding 0

I am involved in several conferences each year, either in promotion, attending or speaking. I find many conference hosts are looking for that particular format, hot speaker or subject or a new venue to create a profitable event. Many of us look at our marketing the same way. Some of us call it a silver bullet, Dr. Deming called his version; “Instant pudding.”

I use conferences or workshops as an example because they are the most recognized event style marketing efforts. I also used this thought process, event driven marketing, when I first start working with clients. This allows us to complete a launch cycle either using Explore-Do-Check-Act (EDCA) or CAP Do (a version of PDCA). During the process, we may choose to do interviews, podcast, blogs, PR releases all very typical marketing tactics. At first glance, there is not a silver bullet. However, the silver bullet is in the execution. As Dr. Deming said, there is no “Instant Pudding.”

Many of these events are for trade organizations, and most of the work is done by volunteers. I am involved in one at the moment, The ASQ Charlotte Section Annual Conference 2013. Promoting the event and coordination is not easy as the committee members also have real jobs. This particular group has done a very good job and I look forward to participating in an outstanding conference. Review this blog post to get a taste of the process: Quality Conference of the Carolinas and a recent podcast, Is Influence your Path to the Leadership Table?.

What I have found about most events is the lack of building a path for information flow, and as a result, hindering the natural flow of marketing. Road blocks are put in place for people to access information and create flow. This mind map will give you a general idea. The mind map is not meant to be inclusive of all marketing efforts or distribution of content.


PDF Version

What I do for clients or what I believe a conference host should do is provide a bank of information resources that are very explicit on how they should be used. At a minimum,  you should have a press release for the event and a brochure. Often times, duplicate content for press releases that center on individual tracks can be useful. I like to do interviews with key people for the event through YouTube or just a normal podcast. These items should  be collected either in a Dropbox or a FTP account to share. At a minimum the links should be distributed.

How to make it viral? Your ability to provide a ready resource of information for the participants of the event is critical. It takes all stakeholders to include attendees to make an event successful. If you review the mindmap, you will see that each block contains online and offline branches. You must engage and set expectations for stakeholders to distribute through these channels. When you look at a list of speakers for your event do you provide them with a press release for their track? Sponsors often times provide the largest constituency of attendees. Do you create content directly aimed at that group? A deeper dive may be to provide attendees and sponsors ideas on how to get the most out of a conference. Such as the guidelines discussed in this blog post, Turning your Conference Learning into Action.

How does apply to regular marketing?  Using event style marketing allows me to capture what clients are presently doing and apply it to something tangible. It may be something as simple as a webinar or in a grander scheme, a product launch. In a Lean way, we capture present marketing tactics (identify value add) and stakeholders (map value stream). Solidifying both into an uninterrupted flow (create flow) to create a viral network (establish pull). We repeat the cycle improving (seek perfection) on the next event. As Dr. Deming said, there is no “Instant Pudding.”