Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The hierarchy of success

Seth Godin thinks it looks like this:

  1. Attitude
  2. Approach
  3. Goals
  4. Strategy
  5. Tactics
  6. Execution

Essentially, he believes how you approach a project (or anything for that matter) is the crux of success – “most everyone has a style, and if you pick the wrong one, then all the strategy, tactics and execution in the world won't work nearly as well.”

I believe that. Attitude is key. Setting goals and strategy – crucial. But execution last? Yes, execution is the final step, but relegating it to the bottom of this list implies it has a lower priority, is of less importance than the items before it. My thought is execution shouldn’t be on this list at all. Instead it should be the first item on a separate list, in a column all its own, after items 1-5 have been thought through first. There’s everything else and then there’s execution.

There are a lot of great people out there with great attitudes who have great ideas, but all of the great attitude, ideas and strategy in the world mean absolutely nothing if you can’t execute. And execute well.

Absolutely, you have to start with a great idea. Great execution can’t save a bad one...but bad execution? It can kill the greatest of them.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

What Should You Quit Doing?

I came back from a week off earlier this year to face a full inbox and a desk piled with work to catch up on. While this may not be my normal routine, this picture is a daily event for a lot of people. So much to do and never enough hours in the day to get it all done, eventually you will feel buried under the weight of it all.

We have all been to the seminars about time management, but let’s face it, there are only 24 hours in a day and no matter how well you manage them, it’s never enough. I attended a sales seminar a few months ago and one thing the presenter said really stuck with me: “What can you quit doing to improve your sales?” Someone is always telling you something else that you need to be doing, but what is it that you need to quit doing? For some it was checking emails every time they came in, for others it was restructuring workflow so they did not have to deal with small details, a few needed to reevaluate where the business focus was as a whole. The bottom line is if you never see a light at the end of the tunnel you are fighting battles that are not yours, you are handling details that should be delegated, and you need to quit something.

I would encourage you to take a very hard look at what your focus is and where you want your business to grow. Anything that does not help accomplish that end goal needs to be questioned. What can you quit today to help you sell more tomorrow?

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Marketing as a Science

According to Wikipedia, the practice of Marketing was seen as a creative industry in the past, which included advertising, distribution and selling. However, because the academic study of marketing makes extensive use of social sciences, psychology, sociology, mathematics, economics, anthropology and neuroscience, the profession is now widely recognized as a science, allowing numerous universities to offer a Master of Science degree in Marketing versus an MBA with a concentration in Marketing.

Frankly, this notion doesn’t surprise me in the least. I like the idea that Marketing as a discipline requires the human touch. It’s what made me choose it over other business majors like accounting and finance. The human interaction factor is what makes social networking - like blogs, Twitter and Facebook - so popular and appealing. It’s deft, malleable, current. If you’re not taking advantage of these sciences of Marketing? Call BrightBlue and we’ll make it happen for you.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

The Twitter Effect

About a month ago, a small independent movie called 500 Days of Summer came to theatres in limited release. I had waited with great anticipation for months to see this movie after viewing the trailer, which I admit, left me giddy. It instilled in me a glimmer of hope…a hope there could actually be a good romantic comedy coming to theatres. After seeing the film, I was on a cinematic high. I spent a lengthy amount of time quoting my favorite parts to my best friend. We talked in circles about how incredible the dance sequence was (yes, there is a dance number and it further proves my belief that life should come with a soundtrack). And we fervently spread the word to get more people to see the movie. I went home and immediately posted on my Facebook and Twitter my praises for the film, telling every guy and gal to grab a friend and go see this flick.

Enter the Twitter effect. While I was not aware of it at the time, I and many other users of Twitter and Facebook have started a word- of- mouth phenomenon that has started to affect one of the biggest and most profitable industries in the world.

The Baltimore Sun’s Michael Sragow had this to say in his article, Twitter Effect rattles Hollywood: “Although word of mouth could always make or break a movie, it usually took days to affect the box office. But the rise of social networking tools such as Twitter might be narrowing that time frame to hours. And that has Hollywood on edge.”

Inglourious Basterds, the WWII farce by exclaimed director Quentin Tarentino opened to a shocking 38 million dollars when it was projected by many industry experts to underperform, but thanks to the overwhelming positive support on Twitter, the difficult-to-market film was able to soar above expectations.

The Twitter effect can also hurt films. Just look at such summer bombs as G.I. Joe, Bruno and Funny People. Many experts say these movies failed due in large part to tweets and Facebook statuses exclaiming the films weren’t worth one’s time or money. Ouch.

Over the past month, article after article have appeared in newspapers and magazines. AdWeek and Advertising Age have even made comments on what the Twitter effect means to the movie industry’s genius and if they can find a way to manipulate social media to their advantage.

It is fascinating to think that social media, which is free and can be used by anyone, has the ability to worry one of the most lucrative industries in the world, instantly making facebookers and tweeters movie critics and experts.

All of this goes to prove that social media does work. Proving once again that consumers listen to 20 % of what advertising says and 80% of what people say.