Who would you rather have operate on you, a newly minted Doctor recently out of her residency or a surgeon with 16 years of experience?
The statistics would indicate the later is more error prone than the former. That means if you think experience in the operating room matters you may be wrong. This post uncovers the hidden side of the medical industry that you never knew about. Freakonomics did a three part series called Bad Medicine, below are the three podcast and one marketers banter.
What else could we simply be wrong about in the medical establishment?
Prescription opioid use has gone up about 300-400 percent since the year 2000.
83% of all Oxycodon sales come from the United States.
Medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
Do you think that the United States has 83% of the World’s pain?
America is a world leader in the consumption of painkillers? We’ve created a pill dependant society always searching for the next quick fix. It’s always so easy to ask the doc for one more prescription, just something different, maybe a new pain killer will work. Maybe not.
Bad Medicine Part 1 – The Story of 98.6
Stop Buying Brand Names!
Ten years ago as an angsty little marketer, I wanted to explore why I was leaning more and more towards “No-Name” Products, so I wrote this; The No-Name Strategy. You know the No-name brands, every supermarket has their “own”. At Superstore: No Name, and President’s Choice. At Safeway, Select (my Grand parents never bought regular pop), at Sobey’s it’s Compliments, at Costco it’s Kirkland.
Almost every grocery store has their own brands which tend to be cheaper than their comparable branded counterparts. So why are we buying the more expensive one? Do you feel you trust it more? What bad stuff could be in the generic version?! For a long time I’ve bought generic pop citing that I still can’t taste the difference. Though teaching my first class I did divulge the fact that when I first moved out of my house and living with a roommate, we used to purchase no-name pop for the house but branded Coke or Ginger Ale if we were going to a party, why in the heck would we do such a thing?
It’s moments like this that I love marketing for, moments that make you feel so humble, so, well, dumb in moments of pure showing of ego.
The fact that we didn’t want to be seen at a party with “No-name Cola” was a sign of where our confidence was at. After all, you know what the studies show, the larger the brand name on your chest, the smaller the ego. Or what the economics community calls Conspicuous Consumption; buying things to signal to others your wealth. Not a healthy practice to be into, I know because for the majority of my life I loved brands, wore brands, and had to have the new “cool” thing.
Buying quality products is one thing, refusing to purchase items because they are unbranded is silly. The problem with that is it’s not sustainable and teaches the wrong lesson. Life’s not about stuff. It’s about impact, experiences, and love. Things help you measure your status, but the moment you purchase something just because “you can” doesn’t mean you should. Humility goes much further than the person with the newest “thing”.
You aren’t in the in crowd unless you’re doing what the cool people do! Who decides what’s “cool”? Since the dawn of time some people have just been better trend setters than others, those that understand it know what to look for. They easily convince us to buy the next iPhone, headphones, Xbox, TV, etc. The best brands are the ones to trust…..right? You can’t possibly buy the generic brand, can you? Read more
If all you’re doing is sharing selfies, you’re doing it wrong.
If all you do is share quotes, you’re doing it wrong.
If all you do is share vacation photos, you’re doing it wrong.
If all you do is post cat photos, you’re getting closer but you’re still doing it wrong.
One day in the StratLab office Eddy says,
“eh, chew guys ever see Aaron Draplin’s Ted talk?!”
Me: “What did you just say?!?”
Eddy: “Just watch this….”
Meet Aaron Draplin. A crazy hat wearing, beard grooming, design denim god. He’s what we strive to be one day. Just happy to be able to wake up and create art every day. That’s something to get excited about.
He’s genuine (I mean he wore a hat and swore in a Ted talk, haha!).
He does not care about awards (they just inflate ego).
He’s incredibly excited to be able to do his art every day.
1. He’s genuine
He cares. He cares so much about his audience he wants to show them how to be original. When someone swears in front of your it’s a sign of respect, they’re comfortable enough to be themselves. When Aaron takes to the stage you instantly realize this isn’t going to be your regular speech. His outfit makes him look comfortable as well, jean jacket, trucker hat? He’s making it okay to be yourself.
2. He does not care about awards
In the marketing/advertising world it’s hard to get very far without finding out about “an award you could win!” or better yet “you should apply for this award!”. Apply for an award?!? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?!? Yet it happens all the time. Agencies attach “awards” they’ve won to proposals not knowing that clients want to hire them to create value for their organization, not simply win awards.
Winning awards can send you down a dangerous path. Always striving for the next award. What there is no more? You can’t control that outcome hence why this author thinks it’s very silly to focus on winning awards.
Finally Aaron doesn’t need an award to make him feel good, he just needs to look at the team he works with and the amazing volume of work they’ve created, and smile.
Awards are a false idol you’re seeking. Their poisonous, they change people, once you are an “award winner” you’re never the same. Stay hungry, stay thirsty.
3. He’s incredibly excited to able to do his Art every day
When I met Hugh MacLeod for the first time I asked which of his cards he created was his favourite. He said he had a lot he really liked but one always came to mind.
“If you have your health and you can make a decent living doing what you love, then you have little reason to envy other people.” -Hugh MacLeod
The way Aaron looks when he talks about being “able” to do his art every day. That’s incredible. That’s what I want to become.
Ask Dyson or Roomba.
You don’t sell by selling anymore, you sell by doing something different.
Different enough to get someone to talk about you. That’s it. Not different to be goofy, no, different to be top-of-mind in your market space. That spot is left to the most innovative companies in the world, and you can do it too.
Vacuum cleaner sales people no longer exist. At one time what a great profession! Think about it, you choose your own hours, you get exercise while working, you get to meet new people all the time and you choose how much money to make. Based on the amount of hours you put in, you can make a lot in a very little amount of time.
You can see why many people went into this profession, good wages, fun work, what more could you ask for. The better you could
manipulate sell people on a vacuum, the more money you were to make. The problem is that way of thinking doesn’t work anymore.
What is your marketing strategy?
We don’t have one. Over deliver, care more, work harder. At Strategy Lab we believe in being so good at what you do that you don’t have to rely on telling others about it. We want to ensure the work we do is remarkable enough that people will inherently want to talk about it. Permission based marketing.
Pull > Push
A couple weeks back I got to interview Greg Moore from Look Agency here in Regina.
I love Greg’s opinion on marketing, he’s a genuine nice guy and tends to disagree with me a lot (that’s why get along so well).
Today’s topic: is Pokémon really a thing? Greg’s here to tell us why.
I love what he says about some things don’t need a goal, a monetary outcome or a defined purpose, Pokémon is such a popular thing to a wide variety of people. Sometimes it’s okay not to know why. Sometimes these fads come for a reason, we need to learn that reason and make the proper adjustments to our own organizations.
Here’s what Greg taught me: everything doesn’t have to have a defined “why”. Just because you don’t Ike something doesn’t mean others will follow. No matter how you feel about things, the crowd will always show you some truth to your idea.
As always, thanks Greg!
Everyone thinks they understand the marketing game.
But when you see their work, they’re so afraid to go against the grain.
“It doesn’t work on me”, everyone thinks they understand advertising.
Then they only buy pop-culture products by name brands, to me that’s not surprising.
The marketing world has been based on selling more eye balls, I need more exposure, more impressions, more branding!
The smart companies know that if they spend more on Customer service and making a better product, when the smoke clears they will be the ones left standing.
We’re about to enter the marketing war, you have no choice in this matter.
But it’s not about a bigger megaphone to try and create more useless banter.
That’s what we don’t like, your boring message that’s supposedly tailored to my “demographic”.
Really you don’t care about my opinion of your product, you’re making a feeble attempt at increasing your website traffic.
The war of traditional versus the future, we’ve seen this battle before.
Older people don’t like to change but the younger generation can hardly wait for what’s in store.
Agencies have ruled over the marketing world for long enough, I wonder how they’re going to adapt.
When you work for one and offer an idea outside TV, radio, or print, you’re bound to get your hand slapped.
“Recommend billboards or TV, we make a quick 15% off every ad we sell!”
It’s this mentality at agencies that makes me think their business model is about to go through hell.
Monetize the website, monetize the Facebook, monetize our blog!
Figure how much profit we can make, heck put our logo on that dog!
You think I hate mass media, commercials are bad and have no use for the newspaper.
It’s not the medium, it never was, it’s your attitude I have a problem with, you sound like Don Draper.
You assume people want to hear about what your company has to say.
But for 98% of us we could care less about your company while going about our day to day.
Stop trying to get more exposure and stop interrupting me while I listen, watch and read.
Focus on the 2% and make sure you’re there the second your service is in need.
Have a conversation with your customers and realize you need feedback to grow.
Your other option is to listen to no one and change nothing, this last opportunity you will inevitably blow.
As marketing budgets get slashed and business models turned upside down, bankruptcy is no longer the “unthinkable”.
If you don’t want to adapt, if you don’t change the course. Always remember the titanic was touted as being unsinkable.
Experience will tells us it’s too risky to change, “focus on your strengths, don’t follow fads”.
Instagram and Snapchat seem like effort, it’s much easier just to buy ads.
Now here’s your warning, I’m delighted to let you know.
If you ignore the conversation and keep interrupting us, it’ll start to show.
You’ll alienate your loudest customers and they’ll be sure to let everyone know,
what an ignorant company you are and to your competition they’ll go.
The companies that will win have something you can’t get from an agency.
A dedicated tribe of people who care dearly about your company.
So fire the marketing department and hire a philanthropist or nine.
Begin your tribe by telling your story to the world online.
Written in January 27, 2012. Originally titled “The Marketing Rap”.
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