If you haven’t heard the buzz going around about the micro-blogging site Twitter.com, you soon will. It’s by far the hottest social networking application in the ever-evolving world of Internet marketing. But, should you join the cyber-party? Corey Pearlman, author of bestselling book E-Bootcamp says Yes and No. He goes on to explain…. My answer is no if you’re simply looking for a tool to sell more of your products or services. In my opinion, it’s just not being used that way and people frown upon heavy promoting and selling. However, if you are looking to create more online relationships, expand your brand, or stay on the bleeding edge of information in your industry, then I wholeheartedly recommend that you jump on Twitter right away. Just go to www.twitter.com/coreyperlman and www.twitter.com/ebootcamp and click “follow” and you will then be following me. You’ll be able to see all the people that I follow and can follow them as well if you choose.
The success of Barack Obama in winning the presidency on November 4, 2008 owes much to his message like the promise to pass Democratic policies by rallying a “coalition for change.” But watching Obamamania take hold during his campaigning it became rather apparent that something more subtle was at work. It was not so much the message or the man or how his speeches swayed voters but rather the way the campaign unfolded with a compelling brand and a smooth, systemic viral marketing effort. All this was reinforced with a coherent, comprehensive program of fonts, logos, slogans, web design and strategically placed advertisements and announcements. Obama was the first presidential candidate to be marketed like a high-end consumer brand.
Mr. Obama clearly won the presidency with a well-crafted attraction-based marketing campaign wrapped around one word… CHANGE.
And no one can deny that change is upon us. Not only are we experiencing more change— environmentally, technologically, politically, socially, economically and even interpersonally—today than ever before in history, but the rate at which change is occurring is accelerating as well. Scientific knowledge doubles every fifteen years, and the reservoir of print knowledge doubles every eight. The average young adult today must manage more relationships in one year than their grandparents had to manage during their entire lives. Obviously, a business owner must not wonder if he or she will face major change in the coming months. The more important question is: “How will I deal with it?”
If we approach change from the standpoint of attraction, then we won’t simply struggle to adapt to uncontrollable change; instead, we can lead revolutionary change! With the right knowledge, mindset, and discipline, we can actually attract positive, desirable change, rather than being swept away by forces outside of our control.
As the media touts the failing economy more and more vociferously, business owners seem to be pulling in their horns more and more. This means lay-offs, staff cuts and belt-tightening. That translates into owners and managers getting more involved in the day-to-day operations. Often times the result of this is that leaders take their eye off the big picture in favor of micro-managing the details. My conclusion is that the results of this action can be much more devastating than any so-called economic slow-down. We spend end up spending so much time working IN our business that we fail to work ON the business and cause our own personal economic crisis. Peter Drucker said that on the average one hour spent planning is worth 5 hours of execution. Are you spending enough time planning? Do you need to take a step back and look at the big picture and identify some contingencies? Read my recent article on No Time to Plan.
Have you seen the news? It must be KILLING the media-moguls to be reporting something positive. I’ll bet they’re getting physically ill just hearing about it themselves. Instead of seeing our first quarter of negative growth which would be sign of an impending recession, what do we see? POSITIVE GROWTH!! That’s right, the Commerce Department today (Wednesday April 30, 2008) reported that gross domestic product or GDP expanded at a 0.6 percent annual rate in the first quarter, matching the fourth quarter’s advance and handily topping a forecast for 0.2 percent growth in an advance poll of economists by Reuters. Not only that but personal consumption expenditures rose at a 2.2 percent rate after increasing 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter. This indicates that people are still buying stuff and are confident about the economy. Awe too bad predictors of doom, the economy isn’t collapsing. My plea to entrepreneurs, who literally DRIVE this economy – STOP watching the news, STOP reading the paper, STOP exposing yourself to all the negative propaganda. START educating yourself, START believing in a promising outcome, and CONTINUE taking constructive action. This will have a positive impact on your personal economy and the entire economic structure.
I remember my 1966 Mustang. I sold it for $600 in 1976 before going to grad school and I’m still kicking myself over that! Everyone loved Ford in those days. But it’s not easy to believe in Ford these days. The auto giant has lost over $15 billion, closed factories, shed tens of thousands of jobs, sold-off Jaguar, Land Rover and given-up the No. 2 position in sales to Toyota!
Their new Chief Marketing Officer, James Farley, formerly with Toyota was rehearsing for his speech to dealers, stockholders and company leaders. As the lights dimmed, Mr. Farley didn’t calmly announce his future plans or quote statistics. Instead, he spoke from the heart, revealing a depth of passion for Ford that turned the room dead silent. He became swept up in the emotional power of the moment. “I believe, in many ways, the future of Ford is the future of our country,” he said. “The work here is simply more important than the work I was doing at Toyota.” When he finished, the dealers rose for a standing ovation that left Mr. Farley momentarily stunned. After the applause died down, he savored the reaction. They were waiting for someone to believe in.
Computers, automation and mobile connectedness has had a strange impact on people today. It has caused a desensitization of emotional response. We want to quantify and analyze everything. It is draining the passion and heart from all that we do. I would like to encourage business leaders today to let their true emotions show. Cry real tears, quake with true laughter and shake with anger if you must. Don’t downplay the power of REAL EMOTION. Your team is depending on your genuine emotional display to motivate them. It is the fuel for their continued belief and a precursor to talking action!
This is an interesting time. The recent layoff of 80,000 American workers has resulted in all of the financial gurus spouting their drivel about the global economic crisis we are facing. I have even heard some say we are entering another depression. Just a few days ago I appeared on FOX TV and discussed this with business expert Neil Cavuto. He asked me how I thought this was affecting small business owners and what they could do about it. My comments were that maybe we should put some of these gurus on the firing line of small businesses and see how they do. Their demise would be quick and final. Because as I told Mr. Cavuto, the most important asset that entrepreneurs have today is their attitude. Without a positive attitude we are doomed regardless of how well or how poorly the economy is doing. Many of us perhaps have heard the Serenity Prayer – “We must accept the things we cannot change, have the courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Surely we cannot individually change the economy but collectively it is certainly possible. We can do this by focusing on the critical business issues at hand like, delivering a higher level of customer satisfaction, creative product development and line extensions, smart financial management, getting longer terms on payables, building customer loyalty programs and penetrating new markets. We do have the ability to turn this economy around but we must first look in the mirror and begin the change within. Do you have the courage to take that challenge? I sure hope so. All of our jobs might depend on it.
I have nothing but respect for the TSA. That’s right, while everyone else would like to wring their necks, I truely respect the position these poor agents are in. It’s no win! If they uphold the stupid policies thay are bound to, they are hated and reviled by most travelers. On the other hand if they become lax or let travelers slide, their job is at risk and they are threatening national security. That being said I finally was able to get several TSA agents to agree that thier policies were idiotic. As you may be aware travelers can only carry with them small bottles of liquid in containers less than 3.5ozs. Unfortunately this rule slipped by us and we actually tried to take a container of liquid through security which was apparently 6.25ozs. We were stopped and told this is not allowed. So we took our carry on out of the security area and tranfered the liquid into ANOTHER caontainer so that we now had TWO 3.5oz containers of liquid. This seemed to be OK with TSA and proceeded onto the flight. On the way out of security, the agent stopped me and appologized for the “stupid rule.”
Do you have any stupid rules in your company that your employees may be appologizing for? If so, admit it now and get it changed before ot impacts your brand, customer perception and employee loyalty!