Deadline Abuse: The Project Management Horror Story

Deadline Abuse: The Project Management Horror Story

“Deadlines” are the sacred chalice of many corporate control freaks. Little time is spent in declaring them as law, yet much a grand inquisition ensues upon missing of said deadline. Fewer terms have been abused, misunderstood, and out-right mutilated as much as the now infamous “deadline.” But fear not, as the term can be reclaimed for the good of all!

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The Coming ADpocalypse: Consumers Strike Back!

The Coming ADpocalypse: Consumers Strike Back!

The end is coming!... for ads. All those stupid ads cluttering up our content, slowing down websites, and making browsing on your smartphone feel like sitting in a traffic jam are approaching doomsday. Just like the Gold Rush, there are few winners, many losers, and an entire industry that will look like a similar ghost town in a few years.

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The Intentionality Scale and Marketing Strategy

The Intentionality Scale and Marketing Strategy

Do you know where your business fits on the scale from impulsivity and intentionality? Products and services which are impulsive purchases require completely different strategies than intentional purchases. Before you start your marketing plan, make sure you know where you sit on the scale.

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Post-Branding Depression: Looks Great! ...now, what?

Post-Branding Depression: Looks Great! ...now, what?

At the end of what is usually a three-to-six month marathon of meetings, revisions, and heated debates over the right shade of blue a brand is born into the world. It is at this point of having all this sexy and shiny new material for your business that the shocker hits you… It looks great, but now what?

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Dear B2B, Your Business is Not “Unique”

Dear B2B, Your Business is Not “Unique”

Each time I start, I hear the same thing: “We are too different, normal marketing doesn’t work for us.” Well, you’re wrong, not necessarily about “being different” but about what “normal marketing” is. The truth is that MOST business is B2B and MOST marketing is B2B.

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How to Offend People the "Right" Way

How to Offend People the "Right" Way

Corporations are so afraid of “offending” anyone they get trapped producing buckets of vanilla content no one cares about. If you want content which will get picked up by media for PR, or even noticed at all, you’re going to have to “offend” people. So let’s talk about how to do it the right way.

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Two Business Strategies Better Than "Market Driven"

Perhaps you are familiar with the term often thrown around by business strategists and consultants called “market driven.” It describes the principle of giving your customers what they want instead of expecting them to buy what you want them to. Of course, in that comparison being a “market driven” business is certainly better than being a “delusional” business. However, there are two strategies which have proven to work even better.

Insight Driven

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” - Henry Ford

The problem with being “market driven” is that the market doesn’t really know what it wants, or really needs. When businesses think it terms of what people want, they tend to serve the lowest common denominator and do nothing to help humanity progress forward. The most successful businesses give people what they never knew they wanted, but now can’t live without.

The entrepreneurs that achieve this are very few, and you probably are well aware of them. Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Thomas Crapper, and whoever made Wonder Bread. Up until they introduced their products to market, we never knew we needed them, we didn’t ask for them, and now we can’t live without them.

So how do you get insight into your market? Well, you have it or you don’t. If you don’t, best be honest with yourself now. If you think you are going to be the next Steve Jobs without a deep keen understanding of your customers to the point where you can anticipate their needs, then you need to find another strategy. Insight can’t be bought (but it can be invested in).

Market Sourced

If you lack insight, this is your best bet. Thomas Edison was probably the first to try this approach. Google has been the biggest champion of this strategy as of late. Market sourced is kind of like throwing spaghetti against the wall, but the wall is your market and the spaghetti is your market’s own ideas.

Google has launched and killed more projects than you can shake a stick at. Remember Google Wave, Google Notebook, Google Reader, or Google Hygiene? (OK, I made up that last one.) Google says “yes” quickly and “no” decisively. Google makes it easy for the early adopters and engaged segment of their market to help develop projects through community leadership.

Market sourced means you develop a responsive cycle of listening, testing, and responding to your market. Launch less-than-perfect products to an organized and engaged segment of your market, see if it takes off, listen to feedback, adjust as needed. Products are not so much invented as they are discovered.

You Could Just Be Competent

Of course all these strategies are options businesses take when they are finding demand wane, or are looking to grow into new markets. When in doubt you could just do something “in demand” better than everyone else.