Darwinism of Business Strategy

Digital Darwinism

Your customers are changing. Your customers want more, they want different, they want new, the want fully-loaded, and the want minimalism. How will you adapt?

It’s easy to stay with the status quo. A wise person doesn’t rock the boat, the old adage goes. But that’s assuming the sea is calm of course. What if the sea has transformed into a turbulent hurricane and the only way to stay afloat is to rock the boat and embrace the waves?

Business isn’t getting less turbulent, you may think your organization is immune but when it comes time for layoffs, a horrible “I told you so” is going to be the last thing you remember from your obsolete job.

It’s survival of the fittest on a whole new level.

The only constant is change. You must adapt. You must cannibalize your own products. Steve Jobs said this. His rationale was that if you don’t cannibalize your own products your competitors will.

Your core ‘why’ may never change but you’re probably going to change everything else about your product/service offering. Why wait till the market forces you to change? Why not lead change?

Plan to innovate. Plan to get feedback on your innovation. Plan to measure what works and be willing to change the plan based on the feedback you receive.

The organizations that thrive in 2013 and beyond will have a determination to adapt. A willingness to change for the better. They will take calculated risks and understand that the riskiest place to be is standing still avoiding change.

(Photo Credit: Digital Darwinism: survival of the business)

4 Ways to Get Facebook Shares (Part 2 of 2)

sshh2FB
As an add-on to my last post entitled “Time to Reconsider What You’re Sharing on Facebook” , here are the four reasons people share Facebook content:

1. To Make Their Life Easier
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Here are two great examples of people posting with the intent of making some aspect of their life easier. Taron needs music for a soundtrack and Laura needs a goalie to play for her team. Each post also has an element of helping others *foreshadowing*…

2. To Build Relationships
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If a nice pic of three great friends doesn’t strengthen their relationship, I don’t know what does. Seriously, though.

3. To Help Others
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A nice music suggestion makes me happy. Thanks Danny.

4. To Craft Their Identity
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We’re constantly posting pictures of things we like (maybe more so on Pinterest and Instagram these days), talking about issues that concern us, and stating our opinions on the absurd amount of people complaining about the weather these days. Originally, Facebook was all about crafting your identity when it was focused around actually listing your favourite bands and movies. Now, the ability to craft your identity lies in individual posts and the pages you like.

Now these are examples of people posting content that achieves these goals. For a business, create and post content that makes people’s lives easier, helps people forge relationships with you and others, is extremely helpful, and helps people craft their identity while identifying with you. And, of course, as illustrated below, make sure these posts fall in line with what people love about you. Discover this and get posting 2-5 times a week!

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Back to Part 1 (Time to consider what you’re sharing on Facebook)…

 

Time to Reconsider What You’re Sharing on Facebook (Part 1 of 2)

SSHHFB

Sssshhhh! It’s time to acknowledge that the days of simply asking questions, sharing quips, and doing giveaways on your business’s Facebook page are over.

If you’ve continued to rely on these tactics, I’m sure you’ve noticed plateaus or stagnant engagement.
If you haven’t and things are still rolling smoothly, think of just how much more effective you could be with some smarter posting.
We all know it was Steve Jobs who said, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”
This is a case of staying hungry and looking for ways to constantly improve but staying intelligent while doing so.
Here’s how:

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 12.39.06 PM1. Discover what people love about you: Perhaps you already know exactly what people love about you. Perhaps you THINK you know what people love about you but it’s time to find out again. Even still, what people love about you in real life might not directly translate to what they like about you on Facebook. If there’s a disconnect, reel them back in to what’s truly great about your product or service by offering this info up in a way that adds value to them.

2. Recognize what people are likely to share: The average post is seen by 16% of those connected to your page. In order to increase this, you’re going to want to focus on the virality of your posts (shoot for 1-2% for post). Virality depends on people sharing your content. Pay close attention to what people have shared from your page in the past and focus on how your posts appear on the News Feed NOT on your own page. The News Feed is where people are most likely to see your post.

Part 2: The Four Main Reasons People Share and Like Facebook Content (via HooteSuite)

Professional Stock Photos-the we can make a mobile and a desktop website

9 Websites Brandon Built That Got To The Front Page of Google

@Brandon_wuThe other day going a bunch of websites that Brandon had built a while ago we started noticing something odd. Whenever we would Google the obvious search terms that a website should be ranking for they turned out to not only rank but usually rank within the top 3.

And yes I checked the actually universal search terms not just the Google results on my laptop. Any time you Google something it’s customized based on your past search, location, and activity on Google+. For a true search you must turn off personalization.

Here are some examples:

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17 Lessons (Quotes) on Strategy, Leadership, and Advertising

These quotes were found in eight different, wonderful books.

Books-on-Strategy,-leadership-and-advertising

Killing Giants is a fascinating read especially if you like business strategy. I made more highlights in Killing Giants than any other book on my Kindle thus far.

The Big Leap is about taking on the habits of successful people and not self-destructing when finally achieving success. This book isn’t for everyone but a short read nonetheless.

Winning is a ridiculously smart book, Jack Welch is one badass CEO. You’ll get a lot out of this book, I use quotes from Winning in presentations all the time.

The Ad Contrarian is a breath of fresh air in our social media crazed world. Bob Hoffman is on a Podcast I listen regularly, he’s knows his %&$#. I like his point of view because you don’t always agree with it, but he makes you think about marketing in a different way. Read his stuff, he’ll make you smarter.

101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising is similar to the Ad Contrarian in writing style and that’s about it. You’ll learn even more in this book. Bob is one of the influential voices on marketing of our present time.

The Impact Equation is by two of the smartest minds on online marketing and personal development. They give you a new formula to look at your social media strategy. I got a lot out of this book but I’d read Julien and Brogan’s first book Trust Agents first though.

Confession of a Madman is a hilarious journey through the life of George Parker, one of our fore fathers of advertising. He’s also on the Beancast (podcast) and swears his face off. He’s one of the ol’ boys. He doesn’t care about what anyone else says so you know he’s always being genuine. His book is entertaining with stories about his experience in the industry. Not a real heavy academic theory read at all.

A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink is a book you should read. It’s about how society is getting smarter and a different type of brain is helping us in the future. Full of stories and real life lessons you can apply. I highly recommend this book.

On Strategy…

1. It doesn’t matter how nice the packaging is if the product sucks.

 

Quotes-Killing-Giants-if-dogs-don't-like-your-dog-food

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Regina city scape

6 Ways To Make Your Website More Trustworthy

Have you ever heard about a company and look up their website to find what looks like a Chimpanzee’s art project in MS Paint? Five years ago you could get by without a website and still do business just fine. Today very few companies can get by without having something resembling their brand online.

Today just having a website doesn’t suffice. If Google can’t find your website you’re not going to acquire search traffic. If you’re not putting anything worth while on your website no one’s going to care (no your newsletter doesn’t count as something people care about).

People buy from people and companies they know, like and trust. Here are six things you can do to make your website stand out and be more trustworthy.

1. Have your contact info (e-mail and phone number) very easy to find on every page. Make it easy for people to ask a question. If it’s difficult to find your contact info it feels like you don’t want me to contact you. Unless of course you in fact don’t want people to contact you ignore this one and move on to two.

Display phone number on your home page

2. Give your “About Us” page some love. Of the websites analytics I’ve seen, the About UsStrategy Lab Regina About Us Page page is by far the most popular page other than the home page. Your potential customers want to see who you are before they do business with you. The more the can find out about you before you meet the better. Lots of pictures and video if at all possible.

3. Have blog posts that get comments, Retweets, Likes, Shares, etc. The more social shares and comments a website has, the more you know people actually give a damn about what they’re writing about.

4. Have links to your company/personal Twitter accounts, Facebook Pages, Google+ Pages, Pinterest Pinboards, LinkedIn Pages. But only on the very important caveat of “if thou shall keep a link to a social network on thy website, be certain to stay active on thy social network”.

Social Media Icons

5. Display badges of associations, affiliated websites, and awards you have won. If you’re a home builder a link to the Home Builder’s Association google-analytics-qualified-individual-usermakes a lot of sense. Being on the AdAge Power 150 or completing a course in Google adds a lot of credibility to your company. As long as it doesn’t seem sleazy or to cheesy, include your Best Employer award, Your Customer Service Award, Your JD Power & Associates, heck if you win a Juno, put er up! If you’re winning awards you must be doing something right, right? If you’re associated with websites that add to your credibility ensure images and links to those sites are visible.

6. Include testimonials either on the home page or one click away. People often hide their testimonials or keep them on a page deep in their website. If you’re as good as you say you are, other people will say really nice things about you. Put what they say on your homepage. There’s no more powerful marketing than a recommendation from someone with authority.

 

Where do you want to go?

Cheshire Cat - Alice in Wonderland

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and Saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
“Which road do I take?” she asked.
His response was a question:
“Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

If you don’t know where you’re going it’s going to be difficult to get anywhere. In life you must set goals, have a direction or a general purpose. The more you know about where you’re going, the easier decision making is when you come to the fork in the road.

branding don't buy in

The NHL and Branding

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As you probably know, the NHL and the NHLPA have finally ironed out a new collective bargaining agreement and the current hockey season will be salvaged starting next week. The excitement of some fans has been dampened by bitterness that an agreement wasn’t reached earlier. I’m sure some fans share the dissonance this is creating for me. While I am very much looking forward to watching my beloved Maple Leafs (who are still “sitting in a playoff spot”), the critical customer side of me can’t help but wish I had the gumption to boycott the NHL like I would any other business that closed its doors and offered me, a loyal patron, nothing for months on end.

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4 Reasons Why You Should Never Add People To Your Email List Without Permission

4 Reasons Why You Should Never Add People To Your Email List Without Permission

Lots of spam cans

(photo credit: Spam.budwin.net)

  1. If you add someone without permission what are the odds that person stays subscribed and actually reads what you send?  Don’t kid yourself Charlie Brown, 95% of people could care less about your company. Who do you think you are, Cirque Du Soleil? The more you try to pepper people with your boring company “news or current events”, the more you alienate potential customers. No you don’t need to “just get your message across”, this is a major assumption most organizations make. Why do public entities think we want to hear what they have to say?
    If you must communicate with customers make sure you ask the most important question you know they’re going to ask, “what’s in it for me?”. Are you going to solve a problem that they have or are you going to entertain them? If you’re not doing either of those two you’re wasting their time. 
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Thinking Differently This Year

Throughout my teenage years, I loved to ride BMX. “BMX” encompasses more than the more commonly known racing aspect and includes street riding, dirt jumping, park-riding, and basically any type of 20″ bicycle expression.

During those years, I was constantly torn between the more rigid team sport of hockey and the absolute freedom of making my own rules on my bike. Now I’m not saying that there’s no room for freedom and creativity in hockey – because I’ve found plenty of that – but turning an old tree stump (affectionately deemed “The Stump Jump”) into a launch ramp or an old cement pad into hours of fun was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

The sport/art/lifestyle of BMX has progressed exponentially since my bike got stolen a few years ago, and what some consider to be more astounding than a double backflip are the results of outside-the-box thinking. Take a look at the video below and see the skill and humour behind Tate Roskelley’s ingenuity. In many areas of life and business, it’s helped me to view the seemingly inflexible *dramatic pause* as a world of opportunity.

Music: Beach House – Myth

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