Archive for January, 2010
Strategic objectives are the Holy Grail of a company’s being. They typically involve big plans, so the natural inclination is to compose a lengthy description of each objective.
That means strategies and tactics are often piled into the wording of the objective. That unnecessarily complicates the objective, making it less likely to be understood quickly and efficiently. Anything not understood easily is unlikely to spread.
Here’s a fictitious, slightly over-the-top example of what a top-heavy objective might look like:
Understand how to create better innovation opportunities for our products by listening closely to our customers’ needs through a world-class community solution that deepens our customer relationships and helps customers share and collaborate together.
That’s an unspreadable objective. It lacks clarity because it tries to say everything. It’s loaded with strategies and solutions. It has a poor chance of blossoming because there’s nothing simple to rally behind.
A strong objective is clear and concise like a headline. An objective is an intention, as my friend Stephen Harvill says when he helps companies clarify their thinking. A comparable example is when champion tennis player says simply, “I intend to win” before heading out to a court. How she’ll win is through a series of strategies and tactics.
Therefore, to create a simple objective, strip away anything that looks like an action, a program or a piece of technology. Remove anything resembling buzzwords. Get to the soul of an intention, and make it simple.
Using that approach, the complicated objective above could be rewritten to say:
Innovate using customer feedback.
Q: What is a linchpin, and why is it important to become one?
A linchpin is the part you can’t live without, the thing that makes a difference. In every organization there are one (or several) people like this. It might be the brilliant inventor who creates the impossible, but it’s far more likely to be the great sales rep or customer service person who makes a connection, or the marketer who knows how to tell a story that resonates.
In a post-factory world, manning the assembly line isn’t so critical. Stuffing the candies into the boxes, running the punch press, following the manual… these are easily replaced roles, ones where neither the worker nor the organization gains much on the margin. If you want real job satisfaction and security, then, you need to figure out how to do the unexpected, to do work that matters and to create human interactions.
Q: You talk about linchpins being artists. What’s the difference between a conventional marketer and one who thinks like an artist? Can you give an example of a marketer who is an artist?
Art, by my definition, has nothing to do with painting and everything to do with connecting with people in a generous way and causing a change to take place. A movie director is making art when she makes you cry. A product designer creates art when the UI is better than it needs to be and it creates efficiency or even joy. Marketers can find plenty of Dummies books and manuals and insider PDFs that demonstrate, step by step, how to follow the rules. That’s easy and not particularly valuable. A marketer becomes an artist when she goes out on a limb, does the unexpected or the risky and makes a difference.
I’d argue that you two do art when you stand up and give a talk about the 1%. Or Biz Stone was an artist when he figured out how to launch and scale Twitter’s marketing. Or Scott Monty at Ford when he does a car show rollout that bypasses the cocktail parties at AutoWeek in favor of individual interviews with social media mavens. The second time someone does something, it’s a copy. The first time, it’s art.
Q: We understand the concept of “physical labor” when it comes to work, but you stress the importance of “emotional labor.” What do you mean by that, and can you give us an example?
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t gotten paid to do physical labor in a really long time. Maybe typing.
Emotional labor is the act of smiling when you’re scared, or getting on a plane when you’re tired. It’s dreaming when you don’t feel like dreaming, caring when the other person is (frankly) acting like a jerk. Emotional labor is work with your heart and your soul and your feelings. We seem to feel it should be easy, but it’s not. It is, though, important.
Q: We love this quote in the book: “The easier it is to quantify, the less it’s worth.” Can you tell us, and our MBA friends, why this is true?
If you can quantify it, then probably someone before you figured out a why to grind it out. And if you can grind it out, someone can grind it out cheaper than you can.
On the other hand, the really valuable stuff, the stuff we pay a lot for, is unquantified. Things like creating joy or security or happiness. No easy measurements for those, thus they are art, and art is always worth more than the predicted.
We measure the quantified because we can. But we should create the unquantified because it’s so rare.
Q: Our lizard brain tells us to “Shut up. Don’t stand out. Don’t speak out. Blend in.” If we want to be a linchpin, how do we silence this negative part of our brain?
Steve Pressfield calls this the resistance. The voice in your head that destroys your art. There are a myriad of ways to defeat it. You can distract it. You can trick it. You can steamroll it. You can seduce it with small steps. I’m not sure there’s one best technique, but I know for certain that it must be done. My book has only one goal: to sell you on committing to this very task.
Be aware that buying a new Macbook pro for 450 EUR is simply impossible. It will be a scam (or at best a dead machine).
After finding such an ad on Marktplaats.nl I just had to check it out. The response is clear, they fake they are using a trusted third party, but obviously you will never see the money nor a macbook if you try to do business with these people…
Are you interested in buying my product?The price for my item is 450 euro,all included.My item is new,in excellent condition and I am the first owner,everything is OK.
Now I am in London / Uk, because here is my family and my university.
I want to sell my product because I need money for finish the university.The item is new in box with 12 months of international warranty.
Here’s how I go about the delivery and payment for the product is delivered through the company Chronopost and also give the opportunity to inspect the product before receiving payment for it.
I will explain step by step how this will work.
A. First you have to send me your shipping information (your name and address).
1. After receiving your shipping information, go to a delivery company Chronopost location and leave the product in your name and address as the receiver.
2. Chronopost check the product also the legal papers to see that all is well with him.
B. You will receive a notification of Chronopost as a confirmation that the product is in its custody, and also that the product has been tested.
1.Chronopost verify the transfer of money, and if everything is in order, will deliver the product to your door.
2. After you receive the product and you will be completely satisfied with it, Chronopost to give instructions to release the payment information to me so I can collect my money.
C. If for any reason, you will not be satisfied with the product, you will return to the product without charge Chronopost.
I will pay for shipping and the amount of transfer!!
Please answer me as soon as possible with your full name, address and I will start the operation a.s.a.p.Delivery: 2 days. I look forward to sending detaills like this:
City / State:
If you are interested please answer me so that we can make for a good transaction!
Thank you and I`m waiting your reply,
Over the past month I have been reading jQuery Enlightenment by Cody Lindley. Let me say now, that if you use jQuery or are thinking about using jQuery then you should most certainly buy this book. It’s a quick read (122 pages) that includes colorized code samples, easy to follow examples and solid explanations.
Author Cody Lindley is a member of the jQuery team and explains why he wrote the book.
jQuery Enlightenment was written to express, in short-order, the concepts essential to intermediate and advanced jQuery development. Its purpose is to instill in you, the reader, practices that jQuery developers take as common knowledge. Each chapter contains concepts essential to becoming a seasoned jQuery developer.
I would argue that this book is perfectly suitable for beginners too. It’s simply a must have jQuery book. It’s the only one you need; it will take you from beginner to competent user.
I do ASP.NET / C# web development where I build web-based software for school districts. My preferred architecture is one in which I use NO server-controls. That means no GridViews, no Repeaters, no ListViews. If fact, nothing that uses runat server will be found on the page. The page will only consist of XHTML. So there is no need for a viewstate either. We end up using jQuery a lot in this architecture. We use jQuery / Ajax to call Web services that then query the database using LINQ to SQL and pass our data back to the client where we can then populate our XHTML controls. It works great and is extremely fast and efficient. The code couldn’t be cleaner. In addition, this methodology would allow you to easily change to a PHP or Java backend and you wouldn’t have to change a single thing on the frontend. I will give a full example on this methodology another time, but the point is – you need to learn jQuery.
For more information on the jQuery Enlightenment book, including a breakdown of each chapter go here. I would recommend buying the full color book from lulu.com as it’s well designed and very handy to have on your desk.
Several online money-management tools now helps users to monitor and keep track of their finances, pooling information from credit-card and bank accounts and categorizing expenses.
We have scored a virtual coup. That's right a coup. Here's what I'm talking about.
Next Monday, we are hosting our first boutique event inviting some senior Canadian marketers for a league of their own. They've expressed a need – we're filling it.
Even more exciting is who's appearing, check this roster:
Grant McCracken is making a Toronto appearance – he's been one of my favourite bloggers since 2004 – his postsactually make you think. He is launching his book "Chief Culture Officer" – recommended by Business Week as one of the best books of 2009…and an idea and subject that marketers need to wrap their minds around…NOW.
In our second half, we will have Ted Graham from Interbrand present their Top Brands report – I was invited to an executive breakfast a couple of months ago where they presented the findings and I found the valuation interesting, summary brilliant and implications clear and provocative.
Great influential company, a great venue (the Spoke Club) and a copy of the book and report. If you are a head of a client marketing group, don't pass up the opportunity to get connected, informed and excited about 2010.
If you are a CMO or our a change agent who want to influence their CMO to change their culture and approach to their customers, come join us on Monday, January 11th.
Late at night the Tuesday before Christmas my Twitterstream alerted me to reports of a plane crash in Jamaica.
I immediately clicked through on the link to find a story light on details about American Airlines flight 331 crashing after take off and breaking in two and this jarringly horrible contextual ad placement:
Yep, in the Miami Herald a headline ‘Flight from Miami Crashes in Jamiaca’ prompts a banner ad for George Clooney’s ‘Up in the Air’.
Text analytics – still doesn’t really work in many cases and contexts.
The essential need is to do both – if you hear advice to the contrary, the people you are talking to really don't know what they are talking about.
Think about a bike wheel – the built community is your hub – you control it and host the conversation inviting the world into your party, it powers what your business does…the affiliated communities (and there potentially many – see our social media octopus) are the spokes – extending your good stuff into the microcosms of the web and getting your content unchained, loose and fancy free.
Here's the key reason why you need the hub and spokes to your community bike – if you look at the 6 key requirements of building effective community (there are a few others – but these are the day to day operating essentials), a built community (i.e. Dell Ideastorm) vs. an affiliated community (i.e. a user forum or a Facebook page) perform much differently on these steps.
Outreach – for most prospective communities – the people you need to find and recruit are "out there" not "in here" – last time I checked finding 1.1 billion people in social networks, 350 million people on Facebook, 50 million LinkedIners and 20 million early adopting Twitterites then dropping a phone call to your very best friends - Advantage- Affiliated Communities
Seeding - identifying the right group of users to be your front row of testers, collaborators, users and ambassadors – takes a mix of scale – having a lot of people enter the candidate funnel and knowing what they are doing and saying in the world out there but on the other side, also understanding intimately the people that are already related to you and their intensity of commitment and interest – Advantage – A Tie
Engagement – competing with 150,000 Facebook pages and 100,000 iPhone apps are way too difficult, to create any type of meaningful engagement, the user experience in these arenas is to graze and sip not to settle into one space and go deep – on top of that, all of the meaningful metrics, insights and opportunity to build a relationship belong to the platform not the sponsoring party – you are at their whim – finally, any customization requirements are the mercy of what the social network platform or user forum allows you to do…it simply pays to build your own community to engage people on a deeper basis Advantage – Built Communities
Collaboration - oftentimes in a community you want to hive off a discussion, a project, an idea, a group and get a subset of engaged and informed people to rally around it away from your general mainstream group – once again, tough as nails to create that interaction on the popular social networks – you are just another subway stop on a user's very long train tracks of their web social and content life – creating this sense of commitment, affinity and collective interest happens in built communities enhanced by the ability to control and design your world your way consistent with community user's core needs Advantage – Built Communities
Affiliation – people join and buy into communities for three reasons – intrinsically – they buy into the values of what you're doing, extrinsically – they will appear better to their peers and explicitly – they get something for their time and effort – whereas built communities may reinforce a sense of intrinsic "we're all in this together" value better, affiliated communities allow for an expanded broadcast of your reputation driving extrinsic value – then it's a battle between the built communities ability to reward anybody at any time more easily vs. affiliated communities ease of effort and ability to recruit and be noticed be others doing good stuff Advantage – Tie
Rebroadcast - good content usually rises to level of its quality – and the good stuff usually goes "viral" in social networks and user forums not within the confines of the built community itself, check out the New York Times as well as most established media and grassroots blogs and the majority of their web traffic comes through links from affiliated networks (i.e. Twitter feeds) than specific destination visitors – their good content gets marginalized if not for the eyes of the affiliated community worlds this also supports search engine rankings Advantage - Affiliated communities
The short argument is that affiliated communities help build scale and the built communities help build engagement. Worth further exploration as a future blog post…but in the interim, when two online communities fork in the woods – take both paths.