Strategy Lab and Based in Business

On Wednesday, August 14th, we had the opportunity to take part in a program dedicated to creating entrepreneurial opportunities for discharged and retired Canadian Forces members. The program, entitled Based in Business, works with the Memorial University Enactus Group to execute a year-long, three-phased program that teaches participants everything they need to know about owning and running their own business.

We were invited into the marketing phase of the program being held at the University of Regina. Along with Lee Elliot, I (Linden) was able to share insights into the rapidly changing marketing world.

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The Debate Continues: How Much Do Colours Affect Your Website’s Performance?

During the creation of a content-driven, engaging, educational, and well-measured website, people often spend a lot of time fretting over design details. While we’ll be the first to stress the website’s function and measurability as it meets your needs as being a much larger part of the website development and marketing strategy, the fact that the colours use have an effect on customers’ propensity to trust your business and make purchases from you can’t be overlooked. This is illustrated in great detail in this awesome infographic from the folks over at KISSmetrics. We’re sure you’ll learn something new. Let us know what you think.

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They Can’t Be More Passionate Than You

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Older people have more experience than you.
CFL linemen are stronger than you.
Accountants are more analytical than you.
Comedians are funnier than you.
Financial analysts are better with their money than you.
Religious people are more spiritual than you.
NCAA football coaches are better leaders than you.
People who work at Google are smarter than you.

The only thing they can’t be is more passionate than you.

What ever your thing is, nobody can be more passionate about it than you.

You may never be as smart, or as strong, or as fast, or as spiritual, or as rich as the next person. But you CAN be more passionate about your thing than anyone else in the world.

The quote in the picture at the top is from Sir Ken Robinson in his Ted Talk How Schools Kill Creativity

5 Ways To Be Awesome Online

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1. Be Remarkable

These days, everyone and their dog has Twitter, Facebook, and a website. The quickest way to get lost in the noise is to do exactly what others are doing and expect a different result. Learn to pivot and don’t be afraid to take a leap to get noticed. People will find it refreshing and maybe actually listen to you and follow you. A good way to do this is to create a social object. A good example of this is GEICO and their gecko. They’ve  taken a dull as dishwater insurance industry that has little or no place on platforms people use to be entertained like Facebook or Twitter and entertained people with their little warm-climate lizard.

2. Solve Problems Simply

Contrary to the popular belief that people go online ‘for no particular reason’, people go online for two main reasons. The first of which is to solve a problem. You’ll see the second reason if you scroll down to the next point. But don’t just yet! Think of the problems your clients might have. Even if they’re not directly related to the kinds of problems you solve for them offline, use your expertise and your platform to become the go to place for solving problems of that kind. The successes of mayoclinic.com, livestrong.com, and webmd.com are no accidents. They’ve tapped into the wealth of health problems that people face on daily basis and have become the front-of-mind destinations for people wanting to get to the root of their symptoms. How can you do something similar?

3. Entertain

Here it is; the second reason people spend hours online. The television spots you remember are the entertaining ones. The reason you’re tired at work is you were up late watching 2012’s worst wipeouts on YouTube. It’s no secret that you scroll through Instagram because it adds some entertainment to your day. In terms of your business’ online content and social interactions, seek to entertain. Try different methods, measure, learn, and pivot until you find something that resonates with your tribe.

4. Be Awesome Offline

Who’s awesome on Twitter? Well, typically it’s people that you’d actually enjoy going for coffee with. You think Kelly Oxford only strings together controversial but oh-so-true observational sentences on Twitter? No, I’m willing to bet my first 100 followers that a coffee with her would be the most entertaining encounter of my week. Don’t view your online personality and interactions as being different from your offline ones. Talk to people as though you’re running into them on the sidewalk, not as though you’re yelling at a crowd through a foghorn. Put as much effort into responding to and wowing friends and customers alike as you would if they were standing at your house’s front door or in your store.

5. Attend Our Workshop 🙂

I wouldn’t be adding this point to this post if I didn’t truly think July 18th will be an extremely valuable, collaborative, and informative day. Instead of us telling you what we’ve done with clients and what we do with our own platforms, we’re bringing people we’ve worked with and people who have influenced us from the community. We’re sure you’ll find them to be remarkable, problem-solving, entertaining, and just plain awesome.

PRESENTING: Strategy Lab’s How To Be Awesome Online Workshop 

 

 

 

PRESENTING: Strategy Lab’s How To Be Awesome Online Workshop

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The date has been set! Some amazing marketing influencers and presenters are ready and eager to spend a morning in July imparting upon you their experiences marketing online in this rapidly changing business world.

Kaeli Decelles of the Regina Police Service, Mitch Gallant of Capital Ford, Jackson Middleton of First Foundation, and Brin Werrett of Rockstar Homes all have experience in the trenches and want to share them with you.

The day will be a combination of short presentations and interactive panel discussions designed to equip you with a deeper understanding of how to crush it online. And, of course, our very own Jeph Maystruck will be on the microphone with his unabashed opinions and signature candor.

Whether you’re just beginning to think about marketing online or have vast experience, this interactive, informative, and collaborative day is for you and your company.

See you there!

Register Now

Speakers:

The Lean Startup

Business Quote of the Day: Eric Ries on Competitive Advantage

Today’s business quote of the day comes from one of the best books I’ve ever read on innovation and entrepreneurship. Even though the quote is widely applicable regardless of the context, I’ll provide you some. Author Eric Ries is discussing businesses and entrepreneurs who spend their time keeping their strengths, discoveries, and prototypes behind a curtain, making tweaks based on speculation and delaying going to market. Ries explicitly states that in today’s business world, this will not give you the competitive advantage you’re looking for. The only way be a market leader is to learn faster than your competition. The best way to do this is to go to market, get feedback, and make rapid improvements.

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Full Quote:  “A head start is rarely large enough to matter, and time spent in stealth mode-away from customers-is unlikely to provide a head start. The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.” – Eric Ries

App Spotlight: Tinder: The Spicy New App That Could Get You A Date (Even in Regina)

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Perhaps one of the spicier apps catching on these days is Tinder.

Overview:
Tinder is simple. It connects you with people around you, whether you know them or not, lets you decide if you want to connect with them based on their appearance, interests, and mutual friends, and then allows you to chat with them if you’re a “match”. You become a match if they, while unaware of your interest or lack of interest in them, decide that they want to connect with you. The concept sounds a lot like what Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker were trying to accomplish with their under-utilized Airtime creation but with more emphasis on what is loosely referred to as “dating”.

The User Experience:
Users upload up to five pictures of themselves and have the option to write a short tagline that will appear under them. Mutual friends and interests are drawn from Facebook profiles. You can set your matching preferences for the categories of age, gender, and search distance (to a maximum of 100 miles). The fun begins when you click on Recommendations and the first profile pops up.

At this time, you can click the photo to view the others and then make a decision on whether or not you want to invite this person to connect. You have to make this decision to discard them into an abyss, never to be seen again, or save them before viewing the next profile. The allure and thrill come from the feeling, real or contrived, that you’re tempting fate with each dismissal swipe to the left or approval swipe to the right.

The Evaluation:
What some might immediately dismiss as a meat market of sorts actually has some draw to it. The problem at this point is that very few people in the Regina area are using it, meaning you’ll quickly run out of match recommendations and have to check back every few days to see if any newcomers match your criteria. The value of this app for a business is extremely minimal or non-existent since it lacks the premise of meeting new people for the idea of knowledge-sharing and relationship-building in a business context. My initial thought is that an app could make a road trip into a strange new city a bit more exciting depending on your selectiveness. This app has the potential to take off as more users get it.

Overall Rating: 6/10

Where to Learn: Photoshop, Coding, Everything

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At Strategy Lab, we strive to educate every client on how to eventually manage their own website and create their own content. While we give you the tools to do this, your website’s performance will be enhanced by teaching yourself how to create dynamic content. For this reason (and because we love learning so much) here are three of my favourite places to learn online.

Code.org
Created by Hadi Partovi and backed by many big names like Gates, Zuck (yeah, we’re on a nickname basis), and Dorsey, Code.org tackles the challenge of improving computer science education. Even if you don’t plan on creating the next Facebook, Code.org will put you on a path to understanding coding basics while changing the way you look at the internet.

KhanAcademy.org
Salman Khan began by making extremely simple videos to help his family learn basic math concepts. His pleasant voice and knack for explaining things in easy to understand ways led to his creation of the Khan Academy. It’s an amazing place to learn or refresh your skills in the areas of algebra, world history, or anything between.

Lynda.com
Started by self-taught computer expert Lynda Weinman, Lynda.com is an amazing place to learn the basics and the intricacies of everything from Photoshop, to AutoCAD, to everything Apple.

Have a favourite place to learn online? Please share!

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Five Steps In The Ultimate Customer Service Strategy

1. A clear vision of who you are and where you’re going (Westjet)

I don’t care if you’re Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2, if you don’t have a clear vision of who you are and where you are going, you have have no hope in hell of getting anywhere. If you are successful it’s purely out of luck. I love the quote from Alice in Wonderland:

Cheshire Cat - Alice in Wonderland

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