The Concept

Social networking, leadership, & business strategies on a fundamental level, hand delivered with an edge. (With a heaping side of whatever I find interesting!)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Viral & Guerrilla Marketing In The Supermarket

While walking through Giant Eagle the other day I was hit with what I can only call a combination of Viral & Guerrilla Marketing. While walking down the isle next to the pharmacy I was met with a wall of little yellow tags! What you see is what I stood there dazed and confused, starring at. The entire isle was a wall of yellow stickers. Each of them jutting out into my field of vision.

Each tag was marked with, check this, the same sale price as the white tag on the shelf.... not a sale price, not a discounted members only price.... but the same price!

I was standing there being bombarded with little yellow attention grabbing tags that told me nothing useful at all! What's the point to all of this!? Well, I certainly stood there and took a few moments to analyze what I was looking at. Which potentially gave the brands on the shelf more time to gain exposure in my subconscious and make me more inclined to make a buying decision. But mostly it just made me laugh.... people text "LOL" all the time, I actually laughed out loud. And I got some STRANGE looks! The tactics at work here are lost on most people, but when you stop and look at this great version of small scale viral marketing and guerrilla advertising all at once.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Show Must Go On

Sometimes it is good to be reminded that even when you aren't on stage, that the show is still going on....

No matter what the situation, no matter how difficult the situation is, the show keeps on rolling even if you're in over your head. Sometimes it pays to realize that even in the worst of times, you have to keep on fighting.

Because the world stops for no one, and the show must go on!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Coaching By Relating

While reflecting on when one of my good friends and supervisor Roger Spencer was coaching me as a sales rep a few years ago, I realized he made it easy for me to learn how to sell by relating to my interests.

For some people that might seem elementary but it's such an effective method. I (as I'm sure you have by now figured out)am by the very definition of the word addict, am addicted to fis hi ng! So when I was trying (and failing) at becoming a sales rep on my own, Roger stepped in. He noticed my fishing magazine and instantly the gears started turning in his head. He talked in fishing terms, showing me how I could relate specific closes to fishing lures. He showed ,e how sometimes I had to power fish, just RIP the offer past the buyers face and let them hit on reaction and impulse alone! Or how sometimes I had to slow down and finesse fish them into biting despite their reluctance. And even how sometimes I needed to speed fish and probe the buyers lake to find that honey-hole where I could get the bite and close the sale.

I created this document back when Roger started coaching me and molding me all at the same time. And until I was cleaning up my hard drive recently, I thought I had deleted it along time ago..... It was a product of my brainstorming and me just trying to visualize how to convince a customer to bite on what I was selling.
The idea is that Roger came down to my interest level to find common ground, and more importantly, a common vocabulary that we could use to effectively communicate our thoughts about selling to one another.
Of course it helped that Roger is a huge fishing buff as well.... but it's the point. I've used this technique to coach and teach others myself. A few subjects I've used would include, MMA Fighting, Marching Band, Choir, Video Games, Nascar Racing, Soccer, Scrapbooking (that was an interesting one), and Driving a Car.
The idea is to just find that common ground that lets you put your coaching ideas into verbiage that makes it easy for the person you're coaching to understand and actually retain what you're saying.
Too often I watch a supervisor coach a rep, and the person being coached smiles and nods a lot.... often tossing in a little, "Yep.... Uh Huh.... or Oh Okay!" then the coach walks away and the rep goes right back to what they just corrected. It's all because they aren't retaining any of what you're saying because to be honest with you.... they don't care that much. What is important to each of us personally will of course take up more space in our minds than those things that aren't.
So break down that fence between Camp-Work-Too-Much and Happy Town by building a mental bridge between the two. Put what they thought was non-work knowledge to work for them on the job and your reps performance will improve because now they're engaging A LOT more of their mental power-house because it's interesting for them!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Organic Social Media"

While talking today in a meeting with Nate Riggs, the term "Organic Search" kept coming up with the subject being social media. This just kind of got my brain going....

Ask someone what the first thing that comes to mind of when they hear the word "organic" and most people would say something involving farming or food.

But in the context of the internet, organic takes on a whole new meaning.... just another great example of how social media and the internet have taken a word and made it into something altogether different!

Another example of the internets ability to change the context of a word: A few years ago this young kid named Mark Zuckerberg started a movement. He launched a project that started on a white board outside his dorm room in Harvard that we now know as Facebook. On February 4th, 2004 Zuckerberg turned the word "Friend" into a verb..... and I LOVE knowing that we each have the potential to make change happen like this.

Back on topic....
I couldn't help but start to doodle on my notepad in our meeting after hearing that term, "Organic Search" come up again and again. And that doodle turned into the picture featured on this post. I just couldn't get the image out of my mind of a little tree in the forest just off the Information Super Highway that had growing on it, all the magical fruits of the social media realm.

Who knows what we will change about our world next. But if anything is going to impact it.... It's Social Media!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Take Time To Think

I took time to think today. I haven't done it in a while and I really needed a way to convert some brain power into some physical energy.

I never knew how much I would love having the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as my backyard until this weekend. Tonight I loaded up my hiking gear and some fishing gear and headed out to explore. I ended up at Indigo Lake. And for the first time in months I found myself on a body of water where I couldn't find a person to look at other than my own reflection. Dave Matthews said it best in the song we sings with Kenny Chesney, "It's good for the soul when there's not a soul in sight." (Ironically he was talking about being on the water too!)

And even when I got up the top of the hill after a short hike and looked around all I saw was a fence, the lake, and the sunset. My mind was free to let go..... and I just converted a lot of the pent up brain power I'd been hanging onto go, and converted it into physical energy. I haven't hiked like that in a long time.

And when I came back from the lake I found myself smiling.....not just because I had enjoyed my time away from civilization, but because I had naturally worked through a few mental blocks I'd been fighting.
So what I'm saying is go do your thing..... for me it's fishing where no one else can find me. For my fiance it's spending time with the niece and nephew. My little brother would say it's kicking a soccer ball around the yard playing keep-away with Otis (out Westie). Whatever it is, go do it.... Just take some time today and think. You'll be pleasantly surprised what you might come up with when you aren't trying as hard.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What's The Point

Lately I've been noticing some really strange signs telling me things that quite frankly, I don't care at all about! It makes me wonder, why even bother..... What's the point?

Why would a company waste time and resources, mainly money in setting up protocols, or "rules" for people to follow if they aren't going to enforce them. Or even worse if they aren't going to serve a purpose!?

This is a great example of what I'm talking about. I saw this one at the end of the row we parked in at the Cleveland Zoo this week. I just don't understand how they ever intended to uphold a policy like this?! What's worse they painted the parking spaces in this row green instead of white. Needless to say, we parked here in a car that I would feel more than safe saying does not meet the required criteria.... And nothing happened!

What I'm getting at here is if you aren't going to uphold the policy you thought up.... don't waste the time putting it into action in the first place! It's a waste.....

And besides that, this is just a goofy concept. Why put the cars which get better fuel mileage in the front section of the parking lot.... it's going to cost them less gas to go park in the back! Do our environment a favor and put up a sign that reads:

If your vehicle sucks gas: Park here, Turn off your engine, And stop killing our environment! You're at a Zoo, seriously!

I'm going to step off my soapbox now..... just keep an eye open for more of these signs....

Monday, June 7, 2010

25 Things My Generation Has Labeled Obsolete

The Milennials have done a great many things since laying claim to the world.... (ok that sounded a little strong....)

But one place we've succeeded in is sending a LONG list of things to the graveyard.
Here's the first 25 things that came to my mind:
1.) The 3 1/2 Inch Floppy Disk
2.) Rotary Telephones (I guarantee someone under the age of 25 will read this and say, "What's that?!")
3.) Cassette Tapes
4.) Adding Machines
5.) Watches (Why own one when my phone tells me the time?!)
6.) Personal Pagers (Unless you're expecting a baby or work in the medical field)
7.) The Fanny Pack
8.) Suspenders
9.) Typewriters
10.) Door to Door Salesmen
11.) Home Encyclopedia Sets
12.) Perforated Printer Paper
13.) Home Phone Lines
14.) The Toaster Oven
15.) (How To Read) A Traditional Map (Google Maps would never lead us wrong would it?! It would never tell us to walk down a highway or anything right!?!)
16.) The Compass
17.) Globes
18.) Dial Up Internet
19.) Non-Digital Cameras
20.) Slide Show Projectors
21.) VHS Technology
22.) Formal Letter Writing
23.) Answering Machines
24.) AM Radio
25.) Myspace :D

So there you have it..... what can we create a better iPhone App for next?!?! Give me something technological to kill.....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How Did We Get Here?

I just want to invite you to take a look back with me and see where we were, and where we are now. Then think about how the heck we got here!
50 or so years ago the Philco was on the cutting edge of personal music technology. It was the best way to take music with you on the go! Now we have the iPod. with the ability to carry thousands of songs in a device the size of credit card..... that's a quantum leap!
Looking at where we are now you might say, "Well it's not that unbelievable..... It's just logical! We were bound to get there someday!"

If my grandfather were alive today and you showed him those two devices pictured above.... he would first of all, smack you.... then tell you to go get your head checked by a doctor. And then he would smash your iPhone and say something along the lines of, "How great can it be? It breaks easy enough!"

But take it back another generation to my great grandfather, show him how you can pull a Christmas tree out of a box, plug it straight into the wall (pre-light tree!), and then turn it on and off with your iPhone. And he would probably accuse you being a magician or the devil..... depends on what his mood would be.

Looking at why: The cell phone didn't exist in his day & age, Christmas trees had to be cut down by hand, they sure didn't come out of the woods pre-light, and somehow you just managed to turn the Christmas tree on and off without touching it!

NONE of those things would seem logical to him. So who's idea was all of this!? And how do I get their job?