From personal experience and conversations with many experts in the business-to-business field, there is reasonable agreement that most corporate sales, marketing and PR lingo suffer from …
“The Four Too’s.”
Too cowardly cacophonous
Agree or Disagree?
Why is that?
Essentially it boils down to:
Trying to be all things to all people at all times
Not knowing you can’t be all things to all people at all times
Trying to sound really sophisticated, cool, intelligent, intricate and inclusive
And finally, the biggie, not understanding your customer/buyer. They only want one thing. Understand this. You exist to solve a problem for them. That’s it.
An Analyst study of executives who were likely to buy enterprise software (high dollar amount purchases typically), discovered that large vendors promoted speeds, feeds and technology innovation to their marketplace.
And buyers? Not so much.
These promotions more often than not entail lengthy and wordy descriptive obfuscations. Yes, I know what the word means. I’m trying to sound really sophisticated, cool, intelligent and inclusive. (Didn’t work, did it?)
But Guess What?
Buyers don’t care about that. They don’t care about the sales brochures with their pandemically infected corporate gobbledygook word, or the 182 PowerPoint slide presentation — both infested with words drained of all meaning.
They essentially want one thing: understanding. Simple understanding. Clear, short, concise messages and understanding.
Understanding of What?
Understanding of them, their businesses, their processes, problems.
You Are There for Only One Reason
Understanding that the only reason you are there is to help them solve a problem — or introduce them to an idea that will make them better, or their life easier in some way.
They don’t want or need the wordy intellectual technical features and functions tomes.
Keep it simple! Less is more.
More of less is less of more which is, besides confusing … great! We need more of less.
Many an executive has spun wildly hilarious tales of the innovative creative ways they have used sales brochures. Soon a corporate sales brochure may rival Duct Tape for the many ways they can be ill-used.
Typically executives throw away all the cutesy, excessively long-winded corporate gobbledygook brochures as soon as the salesperson leaves the room. Or they will store them on a large dusty file cabinet — until they find a need for useless paper.
Some other findings of the analyst study were interesting as well.
Buyers will pay for …
fast return on investment,
easy implementation, and
But how is that different from 20-30-40 years ago? And isn’t that applicable to any buyer? Any industry? Any country?
Buyers Want What They Want
Buyers are pretty basic. They want what they want. Understanding, practicality and their problems solved – whatever they are.
Would You Buy From This Company?
no return on investment,
hard-to-implement products, and
the world’s worst customer service.”
Just a wild guess … but I’m thinking not.
The Value Of Being a Simpleton
I like simple messages (I’m a simpleton) that give me four tools to combat the four too’s.
The Four Tools
What do you do?
How do you do it?
What makes you different from others?
Why should I buy from you (value proposition)?
But, having recently this corporate hypothetical supraluminal messaging,
“We build, sell and support hypothetical superluminal quantum particle applications with ERP, CRM, BPM, MRM and PLM functionality targeted at horizontically vertical market particularities with platform-neutral ‘LMNOP” (sorta clever, alphabetically speaking) interoperability.”
Featuring an interview with Lynne McTaggart, author of “The Intention Experiment.”
“This important book makes a good case that we are on the verge of another revolution in our understanding of the universe.” – Arthur C. Clarke
I Had Good Intentions
I fully intended to keep my 2012 New Year’s resolutions. I knew it would be hard. But I had good intentions. I had good intentions. Really.
However, even though I held out a long time – 6 days, 21 hours and 30 minutes short – of the first full week of January – I didn’t make it. I fell short. Badly. Some of it was simply from a sense of loss (also sometimes known as grief) that had weakened my resolve. Donkey O’Tee, my long-time co-writer and close friend, had left me to pursue his own career as an author (below).
Donkey O’Tee had massive pre-sales. Five copies at least. The media loved him. He took a simple idea, complexified it to nearly an undecipherable obfuscation, eschewing logic and reason, and suddenly he was a media know-it-all star.
But, before Donkey O’Tee went on his book tour, he sensed my despair – my utter hopelessness. Donkey’s are like that. Sensitive. So, he sent two cousins of his to help me out while he was gone on tour. “Hollywood veterans” he assured me. Their names were Cal and Chichen (pronounced “chikken”) Itza (figure out which is which?) from Yucatan, a state in Mexico.
Cal, Steve and Chichen Itza
But they were a little too perky for me.
I slipped into a deep funk. I pondered why my good intentions always went awry. My hair grew out of control (which horrified my friends who were all going bald), and I seemed to shrink – grow shorter from the weight of the deep thought in which I was engrossed. Why did my “good intentions” always go so bad? Then … almost by accident (but not quite – that’s what the word almost means) I ran across a book called “The Intention Experiment – Use Your Thoughts to Change the World,” by Lynne McTaggart.
Your Life of Business … or Business of Life
I jumped eyes first into it. Speed-read it (I completed the introduction). And wow … not just a wishful “think your way to greatness and riches” bunch of crapola, but a book backed by top-notch scientific evidence. On the frontier of science, for sure, but backed by and working with an international team of renowned scientists to measure and create a “Science of Intention.” To prove your thoughts and intentions can be scientifically measured and make a real difference in this world, in your life of business … or the business of your life. The book even had an action plan and an invitation to all readers to join and be a part of the world’s largest experiment – “THE INTENTION EXPERIMENT.”
I was ecstatic.
I rushed out of the house down to the electronics store brimming with good intentions.
Oozing good intentions flowing like a volcanic river.
Yes, a river of good intentions.
That was me.
A NEW I-PHONE TWO WOULD BE MINE!
BUT, things didn’t quite work out the way I had envisioned.
This business of thinking and intention was a bit more complicated than I thought. Or at least I think I thought I thunk that. So as usual I had to go to the source for more information.
ENTER Lynne McTaggart
Lynne is an award-winning author of five books, including “The Field,” which has been published in 14 languages. “The Field” was a major influence on the wildly successful U.S. cult classic, “What the Bleep Do We Know?” and Lynne starred in the BLEEP’s full version, “Down the Rabbit Hole Quantum.”
Steve: Hi Lynne. I tried the intention thing … it didn’t really work too well for me.
Lynne: Did you read the book?
Lynne: Sorta. What’s that mean in English?
Steve: Oh, I forgot you were from England. Well, it means I got carried away after reading the introduction and tried to use my good intentions for something.
Lynne: For your own benefit?
Steve: … Maybe.
Lynne: Didn’t work so well, did it.
Steve: It worked, just not the way I wanted it to. So, what did I miss in the book? What did I do wrong?
Lynne: Besides just reading the introduction? The book is not about sending intentions to make a million dollars. The book is about using the science of intention philanthropically: healing wounds, helping children with attention deficit or patients with Alzheimer’s, counteracting pollution, global warming, that type of thing.
Steve: Oh. (Although the reader can’t see, chagrin may have crossed my face at this point). What else is the book about?
Lynne: “The Intention Experiment” is really some unfinished business I had with my previous book, “The Field.” It was a question (or questions) that was raised – there seemed to be anecdotal evidence to support and suggest that thoughts truly were things. A thought was not only a thing, but a thing that influences other things. A simple thought had the power to change the world. But the question was, could these thoughts and intentions be corralled, scientifically measured, tested … and used for good? The first part of “The Intention Experiment” attempts to synthesize all of the experimental evidence that exists on intention into a coherent scientific theory of how intention works, how it can be used in your life and what conditions optimize its effect.
Steve: So, an investigative scientific journey of the latest, greatest research on thought and intentionality. Who are some of the scientists involved?
Lynne: Robert Jahn, Dean Emeritus of the Princeton University School of Engineering; his colleague, psychologist Brenda Dunne, who runs the Princeton Engineering Anomalous Research (PEAR) laboratory; Dr. Gary Schwartz of the Center for Frontier Medicine in Biofield Science at the University of Arizona; and Fritz-Albert Popp, assistant director of the International Institute of Biophysics (IIB), in Neuss, Germany, to name a few.
Steve: Seriously eminent scientists. I’m familiar with Fritz-Albert Popp. His work on biophoton emissions, that DNA, molecules and cells all emit light that may be used for information communication is not only astoundingly earth-shaking and potentially has the ability to change humanity forever, but unfortunately is pretty much under-appreciated and unknown amongst 99.99% of the earth’s population. What are some of the interesting facts coming out of this research?
Lynne: You can get stronger, bigger muscles just by thinking. Some of the research findings include that athletes who do not physically exercise but only imagine their workouts can increase their muscle strength between 13 and 16 percent.
Steve: By just imagining the exercise?
He’s the Greatest!
Lynne: Yes. Imagine the implications for business. For sales. For marketing. Anyone can see tremendous improvements in their personal or business lives by rehearsing specific activities before actually doing them. Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest, if not greatest, athletes of all times was a master of thought, intention and visualization. He’s covered in the book.
Steve: Other results?
Lynne: Atoms can become entangled and behave as one single giant atom. Human bodies can act as transmitting and receiving antennas, living things demonstrate awareness of the well-being of other living things around them. A sizable body of scientific research, carried on for more than 30 years in prestigious scientific institutions around the world, show that thoughts are capable of affecting everything from the simplest machines to the most complex living beings.
Steve: What do you mean by “intention?”
Lynne: A textbook definition of intention is “a purposeful plan to perform an action, which will lead to a desired outcome,” unlike a desire, which means simply focusing on an outcome, without a purposeful plan of how to achieve it.
Steve: How could I (and the reader) use the science of intention?
Lynne: That’s in the second part of my book. I offer a blueprint for using your thoughts and intentions effectively in your own life through a series of exercises and recommendations. These exercises will show you how to “power up” your own thoughts and intentions to change your life and those around you. It’s also an exercise in frontier science – albeit personal.
Steve: And you do live group experiments via the internet?
Lynne: Yes, with the aid of our readers and our highly experienced scientific team, we conduct large-scale group experiments via the internet to determine whether focused intention has any scientifically quantifiable effects on selected targets.
Steve: How does one get involved?
Lynne: Go to our website for details The Intention Experiment. The first studies will be carried out by physicists Fritz-Albert Popp, vice-president of the International Institute of Biophysics in Neuss, Germany (www.lifescientists.de) and his team of seven; psychologist Gary Schwartz and his colleagues at the University of Arizona at Tucson; and Marilyn Schlitz and Dean Radin of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. You can see the rest of the scientific team on our web site too.
Steve: How will this be controlled? The WWW is full of World-Wide-Whackos, full of in-laws, outlaws and hackers who enjoy mucking things up.
Lynne: Website experts collaborated with our scientific team to design secure log-on protocols and to enable us to identify which characteristics of a group or aspects of their thoughts produce the most effective results.
Steve: An example?
Lynne: A patient with a wound. It is known that wounds generally heal at a particular, quantifiable rate with a precise pattern. Any departure from the norm can be precisely measured and shown to be an experimental effect. In this example, our aim would be to determine whether focused group intention will enable wounds to heal more quickly than usual.
Steve: Hmm. I knew that. And your ultimate plan for these experiments?
Lynne: They’re ambitious. To recruit hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of volunteers from around the world to participate in these series of web-based experiments, to try to tackle a number of societal ills. It will be the largest mind-over-matter study in history.
Steve: Can I take part in your experiments? Can I? Can I?
Lynne: I’d like to send a special letter about it to you and your friends, Cal and Chichen. Is that okay?
Steve: That’d be great! (feeling special … even if she did include the freako animals) Thank you, and best wishes to your readers and scientific team Lynne.
Lynne: Thank you. Intention me on Twitter if you get a chance.
True to her word – a special letter did arrive.
Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning author of five books, including “The Field,” which has been published in 14 languages. “The Field” was a major influence on the wildly successful U.S. cult classic, “What the Bleep Do We Know?” and Lynne starred in the BLEEP’s full version, “Down the Rabbit Hole.” Lynne is an internationally recognized spokesperson on the science of spirituality and also co-executive director of Conatus, which publishes the UK’s most well-respected health and spiritual newsletters and online information including “What Doctors Don’t Tell You” and “Living the Field.”
About Steve Kayser
He’s currently too busy to write his bio because he’s engaged in a scientific experiment …
There are 1,000,000,000,000 + (one trillion plus) unique URL’s in Google’s search index.
Do you have one? If so, you’re lucky.
Each day there are approximately 2,000,000,000 (two billion) Google searches by people trying to find information, ideas and insights to help solve their problems.
Do you or your business have good answers to offer for some of these problems? Answers that can help create new sales, customers and a hopeful future in these challenging economic times?
If so, you’re lucky.
But how can you or your business stand out in a world with one trillion unique URLs and two billion daily Google searches? How can you or your business be discovered and break through in an exploding online world that includes 14 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute? With over one billion views per day? And all of these other weird and wacky Web 2.0 ways to communicate?
How Can You Break Through?
Think Like a Publisher
Fight daily on the battleground of content. Publish great ideas, information and insights via New Media applications. Publish content that is helpful, educational, unique, specific, credible and –
written in a storytelling way. Content that affects the way the reader (prospect, customer, employee, etc.) does their job―for the better.
The End of PR and Marketing
The latest-greatest buzz calls this concept “Content Marketing.”
“Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. In contrast to traditional marketing methods that aim to increase sales or awareness through interruption techniques, content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action.” Wikipedia
It’s not really “content marketing.” It’s not PR. It’s not marketing. It’s survival―for you and your business. That, by necessity, means a successful collaborative communication effort between Customer Service, Sales, PR and Marketing to create and support new business. That’s what it’s all about; creating, supporting and growing new sales.
The good news is that there has never been a better time with more creative, cost-effective ways using New Media applications to do that. You don’t need a $100 million marketing and advertising budget. Real companies are doing it successfully – right now.
It requires successful collaborative communication efforts between disparate business groups. It requires breaking down the secretive silos in businesses that so often strangle breakout success. That smother fresh ideas and disdain approaches by “outsiders” of the business group – even though they’re in the same company. That seeds and sows a reclusive, restrictive, “us against them” mentality.
Collaborative means playing well with others. Successful collaboration means doing it so well that the customer is served, problems are solved and the business makes money. Siloed domain expertise egos need to back off, back up, back out or just get out of the way. Who isn’t tired of hearing “They (insert the favorite hate group of the day – Marketing, PR, Sales, Service, Product Managers, etc.) Just Don’t Get It!”
Times are tough. Hate to go all “Three Musketeers” on you but …
“Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno”
“One for all, all for one“
– should be every company’s motto right now.
Below are some of the New Media Web 2.0 (for lack of a better term) capabilities and applications available to support the sales and service I’m talking about. Examples of how real companies are using New Media to help grow their businesses are included. Try them out. Plant your flag in some or all of these new territories if they fit your business needs. But to succeed, know this: They need active, authentic, honest participation to help grow and create new business.
For an Experimental SlideRocket Tour of New Media
For a quick visual introduction to some of these New Media tools, view the SlideRocket presentation below, or come back to it later. It’s best viewed in full-screen mode with audio on.
Also, I have personally used or experimented with all of the New Media apps below―some with great results, others not so good. So, if you have any questions, just e-mail me and I’ll get back with you. I’m not an expert, but I am a prolific experimenter, which means I’ve made way more mistakes than the experts who are focused on one little niche. I’m a multitasking mistake-maker.
Companies use bookmarking sites like Delicious.com and StumbleUpon.com to create interesting and helpful resource and information libraries for customers―and to attract new prospects.
StumbleUpon is also a social bookmarking site. It allows you to vote, rank and recommend interesting websites. You’ll find some spectacular hidden treasures there if you care to take a peak. Though not the darling of the media like Twitter, StumbleUpon’s popularity is undeniable. They have over 7 million members.
The idea behind a YouTube (or other video-sharing site) channel is to create a video learning lab for products and solutions. Short video clips to help educate, entertain and inform customers and prospects.
Quick tip―one thing I learned. Save the video under names of which people are likely to search for. I named my first 25 videos something like DSC145735. Then I wondered why no one was viewing them―well, no one except the people that searched for DSC145735.
“Twitter is a free social messaging utility that allows users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.” – Wikipedia.
Twitter is a low-/no-cost way to engage customers and prospects with short, headline-like chunks of content. Twitter, to be most effective, needs a lot of participation, especially from product managers, customer service, sales, PR, marketing and others―real, authentic, helpful and non-salesy or promotional fluff.
Twitter is my favorite. It’s amazing to watch ideas and information explode and ripple through the Twitterverse. For a recent example read, “Tesla on Twitter – Twitter on Tesla.” Take heed though, it’s a challenge to write something meaningful, clear, concise and compelling in 140 characters or less. That’s 15-20 words. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.
Are there companies using Twitter for business? Yes. Are there sales being generated via Twitter and sites like it? Yes. Dell attributed $1,000,000 in sales last year to its Twitter sites.
Though sort of old hat, blogs are simply the best and most powerful sources of dynamic content to help customers and … your business. Blogs are a way to showcase your thought leadership. To share your information, insights, ideas. See if they resonate. Test the waters. For business examples check out GE and IBM’ers blogs. They have thousands of them. That’s right, I said thousands.
If you want to do some in-depth research, check out Guy Kawasaki’s “All the Top Blogging News.” It’s a one-stop shop of information and resources on blogging.
WARNING! Blogs Can Be Big Trouble
Blogs can be troublesome though. Big trouble. Especially if some employee or blogger goes wacky-wild-west off-the-deep-end on an upside-down triple-gainer-rant of a blog post. Below is my favorite example of an out-of-control blogger. He ought to be fired because …
He simply has too much fun. No one should be able to do cartoon-torials, yuck it up, muck it up, enjoy blogging and keep a job. I mean all seriousness aside … what’s the deal?
Widgets are embeddable pieces of codethat can be installed and displayed on a website. They’re reusable. It’s a great way to let others promote your website or content, and they will, if … you provide them useful widgets.
Try it out yourself. Create a widget. I use Widgetbox, but Wowzio is excellent too. Watch out though – they’re addicting.
What’s a blidget? A Blog widget. Pretty simple. It captures a blog in colorful, adjustable frames and displays multiple blog post headlines.
The blog post titles are live. Each blog headline is an opportunity to attract people to your blog. Each time a headline is clicked it takes the reader right to your blog. Test it for yourself. I’m a big fan of blidgets. The one above has received 20,510 views in three weeks. (That was a shameless self-promotion. I have to out myself on that one.)
Yes, you guessed it. You can even make a widget out of a Twitter feed.
FriendFeed is a social media content aggregator. What’s that mean? Basically all content, images, video, and audio files published by contributors on any of the 49 social media sites it accesses is aggregated into a live feed. Like a Wall Street Stock Ticker–without the associated pain. It is an exceptional place to discover new content from multiple sources and formats. Robert Scoble is big on FriendFeed Vs. Twitter for many reasons. I’d agree with him.
How Companies Can Use Friendfeed – by Forrester Analyst Jeremiah Owyang. As an aside – Jeremiah, in my opinion is absolutely one of the best, if not THE best, social and New Media analyst around. Class act. If you want to keep up with everything that’s going on in the social computing interactive marketing world, check out his blog or Twitter account – http://twitter.com/jowyang
Facebook and other similar social networking sites such as MySpace are powerful opportunities for businesses – if, once again, approached with a helpful attitude. Why? It’s where a lot of the world online population is now. Facebook has more than 150,000,000 (million) active users and is growing at the rate of approximately 450,000 new users per day.
Those kinds of statistics tend to blow the mind. But there are reasons people are flocking there. I like it because it’s pure opt-in. No one can stalk or spam you. A lot of people have found me on Facebook that I hadn’t heard of for years. Of the two, Facebook and MySpace, I’ll give you the best explanation of demographics that I heard from a soon-to-be 16-year-old girl and her brothers in college: “MySpace is for music, Facebook is for friends and business.” That’s concise, clear and short enough to use as a Tweet.
Linkedin is an online network consisting of more than 30 million professionals globally representing 150 industries (from their website.) It’s a way to find and be found―for jobs, old friends and groups. It’s also a way to investigate a company or potential job. I use it, but am not a “power user.”
Plaxo is also a similar online network of people. They have more than 40 million hosted address books.
ADDITIONAL WEB 2.0 SALES SUPPORT TOOLS:
Featured on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine, January 2009, Animoto is a video creation platform. I wrote a story with “The Boys of Animoto” in October of 2007 – and have been using their product every since. If you are doing a presentation of any kind that needs spruced up, or might benefit by the use of a “movie-like trailer” to help banish the boring – you need to ANIMOTORIZE.
SlideRocket is a Web 2.0 application, built on Adobe Flex that allows you to create, manage, measure and share secure, online presentations. You can import PowerPoint presentations from offline to online. And, you can export presentations from online to offline. Key? You can create, edit and access your presentations from anywhere in the world. No need to email or carry round a flash drive. SlideRocket has some visually stunning effects.
Check them out in full-screen mode. Simply click the screen to advance slides.
Use the new media applications and capabilities to share great ideas, helpful information and insights to connect with and help your customers. Jump in. Test them. Experiment. Find which new media capabilities might be right for you and your business.
They work … but only if you think anew, act anew, and disregard the stultifying and stiflingly destructive “Us Against Them” siloed business mentality.