What kind of marketing is the most effective?

sneezr.ca Have you ever asked yourself that question? I did. In fact, many years ago I spent countless hours trying to figure it out.
The answer turned out to be quite simple: word of mouth marketing. Or as I call it: the art of cultivating recommendations.

Surprised? Probably not. With recommendations, there is no sales pressure and no credibility issues. When your friends, family members or trusted co-workers recommend something or someone to you, they are genuinely trying to help you. That means a lot, which is why you usually remember it for a long time. But here is the catch: recommendations must be earned. How do you do that? Where do you start? How do you give people a reason to talk about your products/services? How do you nudge your story into every day conversations? I launched sneezr.ca to help you answer those questions.

Does anyone leave your business feeling hungry?

Your loyal customers (aka people who regularly buy from you) should of course get a ‘faboulous seven-course feast’ kind of treatment every time they contact or visit your business. But what about potential customers? Any chance they might be leaving feeling ‘hungry?’ If yes, how come? Shouldn’t they at least get a ‘Happy Meal®?’ :)

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How does an elite US general manage time & resources?

uniform

That question was put to a group of them recently by a psychologist who had been invited to give a talk at the Pentagon about managing time and resources, says John Tierney in his book ‘Wilpower.’ To warm up the elite group of generals, the psychologist asked them all to write a summary of their approach to managing their affairs. To keep it short, he instructed each to do this in 25 words or less. The exercise stumped almost all of them. None of the distinguished generals could come up with anything.

The only general who managed a response was the lone woman in the room. She had already had a distinguished career, having worked her way up through the ranks and been wounded in combat in Iraq. Here’s what she said:

“First I make a list of priorities: one, two, three, and so on. Then I cross out everything from three on down.”

The three-part moral of this story:

a. Problems can be complicated – solutions cannot.
b. As Jim Rohn said, “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”
c. Simplicity is not about less effort. Simplicity is all about the right effort.

Jun 30, ’14

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What can Louis C.K. teach us about success

The comedian Louis C.K. knows something about success, no? :)
Here’s Louis at 20 years old doing a stand-up routine in Boston in 1987.

My 2¢:
Thankfully, he got better, no? A lot better. :)
Louis C.K. wasn’t always Louis C.K.. It’s easy to forget that.

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The bread needs the butter.

bread with butter

Never forget your customers; never let your customers forget you.

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Be careful what you pretend to be

Reality Green Road Sign Against Dramatic Sky, Clouds and Sunburst.

The biggest professional flop I was involved with in the last 5 years had to do with the project for a large department at a Canadian university. In short, the goal of the project was to help them get more business by reaching out more effectively to the business community.

I began by studying their target audience, their product, and their customer touch points. My findings? How much time do I have? Not much? OK: Their products & customer touch points were inelegant and outdated. In a word: unattractive. For example, they were delivering their seminars in cheap, airport-like hotels with dim lighting, poor ventilation, and uncomfortable chairs.

Was I surprised? Not really. I think that organizations are a lot like people. When you stop evolving, it shows. One thing did surprise me: they desperately and suddenly wanted to act as a ‘business.’ Why was this troubling? Because ‘the business model’ is only a good ‘template’ for businesses. And universities are not businesses.

To make a long story short, even though I was hired to deliver change from the status quo, the very people who hired me soon proved me wrong. For some reason, they were not willing to implement any new ideas. Not a single one. So at the end, there was just sort of quiet.

My 2¢:
Be careful what you pretend to be—truth in branding shines through—as does falsehood and phoniness.

May 23, 2014

p.s. Just recently, the university in question announced that they are shutting down the above mention department. Was I surprised? Not really.

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