It’s NOT about the money!

What is the goal of business? As one classically trained in American business, I can confidently quote to you the textbook answer:

The goal of business is to increase shareholder wealth.

While one might think “shareholder wealth” would be open to interpretation, I’ll put your mind at rest by letting you know the almost universal understanding of the term is MONEY.

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Marketing on a Shoestring: 10 Ideas to Gain Visibility and Market Presence

It is said that money is the great inhibitor of innovation. When businesses have to trim budgets and increase market share—the scenario most of the business world found itself in these last eighteen months—it presents an opportunity.

Wall Street Journal owner Rupert Murdoch seems almost prescient with his 2008 statement: “The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small, anymore, it will be the fast beating the slow, the nimble beating the bureaucrat, the aware beating the asleep, the world is flat and opportunities are for the taking.”

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Empathy: The first step in creating value

The first step in creating something valuable for your audience is to think and feel what your audience is feeling. Tom Asacker in A Little Less Conversation, p. 61

Empathy: getting really close to folks so you can almost see it from their eyes and feel it as they do

empathy

There’s never been a better time for small businesses and independents to leverage technology and excel! Asacker says you’ll need to “go deep” in your relationship with your marketplace. Deep enough, in fact, to be close enough to them during those precise times when they’re exposed to your types of products and services, evaluating options, receptive to messages, and making decisions, so that you can make informed predictions about how to stimulate their desire, have them care about and relate to you and your offering and, subsequently, make them happy (p. 61).

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Social Networks: the new “black book” and more

A research study conducted by Don Bulmer and Vanessa DiMauro concludes that Social Networks are becoming more important in the day to day lives of business professionals. The big three networks are Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

Over 350 senior level business professionals took part in this survey. Here are some of the interesting findings that b2b marketers and business development professionals would be interested in knowing:

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Be different, but not THAT different!

“Differentiate or Die!” Great title for a book. Sound objective in practice, too. Here’s the big question: what’s your referent? What exactly do you want to be different from and where are you looking for your benchmark?

On purpose, I ask small business owners this specific question, “How are you different?” I say, on purpose, because I purposely keep the question short, leaving it wide open for their own interpretation. You probably already know how every single answer begins. (Want me to give you a minute to think about it? Okay…ready?)

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The Discipline of Listening vs. The Art of Messaging

Listening doesn’t come easy.

For anyone (or any business) with a point of view, an opinion, a measure of conviction, and the means to disseminate a message, listening is rarely what first comes to mind when addressing the communication process.

Client feedback initiatives and market research notwithstanding, from the instant an infant realizes what it takes to relieve the pains of hunger, our practical view of communication focuses on creating and delivering a message. We are conditioned to view charisma, wordsmithing and creative genius as the components of great communication. Result? We equate message delivery with communication.

Listening is…well, just silence. Golden, perhaps. But certainly not communicating.

(We could spend a couple of paragraphs asking how this view has worked out thus far; but let’s get to the good part.)

Here’s the proposition: communication is one of those counter-intuitive disciplines that works exactly opposite of the way we think; it begins when we learn how to listen.

And the discipline of listening is what gives shape to the creative art of messaging.

Discipline and art are not at odds when it comes to communication; rather, they are two essential halves that create the whole. For marketing professionals, this gives rise to a two-fold go-forward challenge:

• Beef up the portfolio of proactive listening tools (Social Media affords great possibilities here); and,
• Practice resisting the temptation to go straight to messaging.

Thoughts?

The Party and your Marketing Mix

Here is a neat way to look at some key aspects of the Marketing Mix… thru the eyes of a party setting. So imagine that you, your friends and a famous athlete are all at a party together and in the same room.

Direct Sales/Marketing takes place when you see a famous athlete at a party. You approach them and say, “I am the best sports agent in the business. You should sign up with me.”

Advertising takes place when you are at a party with a group of friends and you pay your friend money to approach the athlete, point over to you and tell the athlete that “you are the best sports agent in the business.”

Public Relations takes place when you see a famous athlete at a party. You notice the athlete’s needs by opening the door for them, picking up their bag and offering them an appetizer. They thank you and then ask you your name… you tell them and say… “by the way I am the best sports agent in the business.”

Brand Recognition occurs when you are at a party and the famous athlete seeks you out, then comes up to you and says, “we need to talk, I hear you are the best sports agent in the business.”

Where are you in the Marketing Mix of a party? Do you know?

Ryan T. Sauers

http://www.sauersgroup.com/ http://www.sauersblog.com/

The Future of Social Networking/Marketing 2010

The next important growth feature for social networks will be ubiquity. Social networks must be woven into everything we encounter and social media/marketing should be integrated into the fabric of all marketing channels, strategically managed from 360 perspective. Social Media is a platform… Social Marketing is how it is leveraged by a brand.

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