Sync & Swimm

Marketing, Stocks, Sales, Radio & Rants

Archive for the tag “ideas”

Traditional Media’s Free Lunch

So, everyone is upsetfree-lunch-is-only-found-in-mousetraps (1) that Facebook has changed their policy and is suppressing media and business posts in favor of friend updates.  Keep in mind that for many people their Facebook feed is where they get ALL their news.  Crazy right?  Well, the media let it happen.   

Let’s go back about 10 years.  Before the great 2008 recession. Back when a hash tag was just a pound sign.  Let your mind drift back and imagine everything you seen and heard on mass media.   I’ll help you out a bit.  Most (at one point almost all) advertising had one central message…..”Like us on Facebook”.   DJ’s had contests to get the most fans and likes. The Facebook logo graced the end of every local newscast. Every major brand had one mission—Build their fans & likes.

It was as if overnight everyone forgot there is no such thing as a free lunch.  “A way to connect with our customers for free”  Wow!…Yea  wow.  The media spent ten years turning all the power over to Facebook and now are upset that their relevance has declined…..A lot.

Radio, television &  print all thought that Facebook put them closer to their audience, and traditional media would always be the first choice.  Instead of building databases, investing in new social media platforms and better websites, traditional media took  the easy way out…Connect for free on Facebook.

And Facebook, much like a drug dealer handing out free samples, kept giving and giving….Until they didn’t.

The easy path is rarely the best path.  So congratulations Facebook.  You got the entire world to help build a database over a billion strong…For free.  So maybe there really is a free lunch?

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Sunshine

Rainy days are the best time to see clients. People seem to be a little less jubliant when mother nature turns on the waterworks. So if the sun won’t shine, you need to.

Stop by Dunkin Donuts, grab a dozen of the fancies and a few coffees, and drop them off at your best clients. For less than $10 you just lit up a room. Those are the things that separate the good reps from the great ones.  Don’t ask your company to reimburse you.  Just do it. Invest in your own growth

Do these type things  a few times and you will become someone people look forward to seeing. A rainmaker who brings the sunshine.

The Sounds Of Brilliance

All great ideas start out as nothing more than a thought of a dreamer.  Sometimes the dream stays trapped in the cerebral confines of the visionary,  never to  flourish.   Other times the dream is mixed in with the one ingredient that makes it all come together…action.  Without action and forward momentum, ideas just shrivel up on the vine, never to produce any fruits of brilliance.

The world is always looking for something different, something better, something out of the ordinary.  Tim Westergren had a better idea.  Tim was a musician who couldn’t get his songs played on the radio. That scenario probably sums up 99.9% of every musician who ever lived.  Did Tim whine,  complain and say how unfair life is?  No, Tim did the one thing that mediocre minds can’t comprehend—He reinvented the very industry that didn’t want him.  Much Like Mark Zuckerberg did with Facebook when no fraternity would pledge him. 

Tim Westergren started Pandora Radio based on an idea to change the music industry…forever.  The real irony is now terrestrial radio is killing itself to have an online presence to rival Pandora.  It would have taken forward thinking  to embrace Pandora when they were still in the idea stage.  That would have required risk, and many times  the fear of loss is much stronger than the hope of gain.

I am  a huge fan of live, local radio.  It is one of my true loves.  However, I’m not so closed minded to think Pandora doesn’t offer another incredible entertainment experience.  Like a big stack of  your  favorite cd’s. ….and that’s the real point.  People embrace  more ways of entertaining themselves.  Radio listenership is actually  up, even in the era of Pandora. When several restaurants open up next to each other, most of the time they all do better because that area has become a destination… If you watch TV, you can still go to the movies. The world wants choices.

So what’s the next great idea that the purveyors of the status quo think is a joke right now?  I’m sure it’s out there, and it’s probably right under our nose.  Never underestimate a dreamer with a plan to take action, and has something to prove.

Selling A Better Mousetrap–(Or Butter Spray)

In the late 1800’s Ralph Waldo Emerson is given credit for the metaphor that has proceeded every great idea…”Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door”.    The first problem is Mr. Emerson didn’t actually say that quote.  The phrase is actually a misquotation of:

If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The second, and even more important problem with the mousetrap quote, is that it’s just not true.  It’s not enough to have a great idea.  That great idea has to be sold. There is no greater frustration than having a terrific idea shot down.

  In 1987 I had this idea for spray butter.  I was in the Air force at a base picnic and watched as Airman from every walk of life put butter on their ears of corn.  It was painful to watch. ..And kind of gross when they rolled an already bitten piece of corn back onto a stick of butter.  So pecking away at my 1965 Smith and Corona I fired off a bunch of letters to the leading  manufacturers of margarine and butter….My idea?  “Mista” Butter.  (Yes, a ridiculous play on “Mr. Butter”–but my original thought was the butter would spray in a cool mist–Hence, Mista Butter)  I received one letter back, and it politely  told me that they would  hand my letter off to their marketing department.  No grand rewards, no earth-shaking discovery. My little idea just shriveled up and died without the power of persuasion.

When I arrived back in the states several years later, every margarine company in the world had a spray butter.  Go check your refrigerator–I bet you have one in there right now–well, thank me! 

America  knows how to generate ideas.  What the average creative doesn’t know is how to sell them.  Everything has to be sold.  Apple computer’s first ideas came from Steve Wozniak, a brilliant programmer.  The name Apple would have never been a household name  if  the sales guy, Steve Jobs, didn’t pour in his marketing magic. 

Sales, advertising, and marketing are all skills that need to be honed like any other profession.  It takes years of mastery before a salesperson really knows how to motivate the person with the checkbook.  That is why just about every product or service has the sales side and the research/production side.  It takes both left and right brain thinking to get the public to embrace something new.  The number one thing for a company to realize is decision makers aren’t interested in you..They really aren’t.  All they are interested in is solving their own problems.

Even when you do find a way to solve their problems, they still have to be shown and told.  Trust needs to be established.  If your incredible new product scratches the itch and makes your prospects pain go away, you need to prove it.  Over and over again. 

The world doesn’t have an idea problems.  It has selling problems.  If everyone was put on some type of commission plan, the human race would advance 20 years overnight—-And  have plenty of “spray” options–maybe ketchup and mustard would work!?

 
 
 

You Are Supposed To Move On Moving Walkways!

 Sometimes I think technological advances designed to bring people closer together, and make life easier, actually have the opposite effect.  Have you ever been in an airport and watched people just stand on the moving walkways?  They were designed to make everyone move more quickly through the airport, and make the overall flow more efficient.  That is what they were designed to do, but what really happens?  People just stand on them and actually go slower than if they just walked.   I usually just walk along side at a faster pace because I lose patience with the idleness of my fellow travelers.

Same with texting and social media.  The very term “Social” media is actually an oxymoron.  You sit at home “liking” your friend’s status and you feel like you made a connection with them….  But did you? A deeper, richer relationship requires eyeball to eyeball conversation.  So now you don’t have your weekly coffee with your friend because you’re all up to date with each other through social media.  So, in fact, you have become less social with your friends. You used to pick up the phone and talk to someone…Now a text will suffice. 

I’m not saying technology is bad.  I embrace it wholeheartedly.  I just think occasionally we should stop and think if the convenience we experience is actually taking us further from the original goal. I’m sure someone else had the same arguments when the calculator was invented–“Kids won’t know how to add”, was probably uttered by countless people over fifty.

I just think everyone should know the basics…How to write a real letter and mail it…How to have an intelligent conversation with someone without the use of text…How to walk up the stairs without the use of an escalator.  Maybe someday we will all just be giant heads floating around… But until that time,  for all that is holy, when you are using the moving walkways at the airport bend your knees a little!  Or get out of my way–I have a plane to catch!

Writing a radio commercial part I

Don’t do vanilla.  Be bold.  Take a chance in order to cut through.

Remember: over-advertised-to-consumers respond to
NEW.. BETTER… DIFFERENT

Make it sound real..not like a sales pitch

60’s work FAR BETTER than 30’s

Don’t be an ‘also ran.’..Be original…take chances

Create a headline that gets attention and makes you want to hear more.

Use ‘power words’ in headline…(More on that in another post)

The opening sentence should speak directly to the listener

 Tell a story

Limit the product/offer/call-to-action to one thing if possible

Is a theme necessary?

Include clear call-to-action. Give a deadline.

Convey urgency

Be creative, but don’t let creativity obscure the message

Don’t use two-person dialogue unless you have actors…Dj’s rarely can act–It will sound hokey

Have the client record the spot if they are passionate

Give directions, contact info in a way that they can be remembered/acted upon by a person who is out jogging

Use websites, facebook, or twitter–listeners will not remember phone numbers

Anticipate all objections consumers might have

Offer a solution to a problem

Emotion sells

Find the listeners pain

State the problem or create the opportunity; explain how to solve it or bring it about; demonstrate how your product accomplishes it.

Keep sentences short

Cut through the clutter by being memorable

A commercial should sound like a note you left for your best friend–You wouldn’t say “They had all the name brands you know and love”

Don’t be cliché!  It sounds phoney…Your customers are smarter than that

Under promise–over deliver—(ok maybe that’s a bit cliché!)

Great article on creativity

http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2011/11/how-to-think-creatively.html.

Post Navigation