Sunday, January 22, 2012

Who cares if you have 500,000 Fans on Facebook and 700,000 Followers on Twitter?

Note: This is a guest post by Will Fraser - Director of Marketing at YUPIQ

When was the last time Fans or Followers contributed to your bottom line or increased your stock price? There is no question that the most influential sales tool for any company is a referral; when a customer just can’t help but tell their friends about how good their product is. We have all been around the preverbal water cooler when a friend mentions a great movie, a cool new place for food or tells us about the latest electronics. Oddly enough the next time we are in the market for these items we seem to tend towards our friend’s suggestions.

In marketing we call this kind of behavior a referral and we know they are more trusted than any ad, expert opinion or celebrity endorsement we could ever buy. However, marketers have been slow to adapt this kind of thinking to work on the social web; the digital heartland of sharing, talking and referring.

The reason social media was created was to interact with your friends. This presents a huge opportunity where companies can gain far more than when Fans just submit photos of themselves to win a trip to Hawaii or whatever the next contest is. Through games and teamwork, it is possible to encourage followers (Brand Advocates) to have friend-to-friend conversations about your brand in a positive light whether it’s for a contest, VIP Passes, Discounts or just general satisfaction.

It’s true that 95% of people who “like” a page never return and never engaged with the brand again. However, by utilizing established social media communities, companies can encourage the conversation, reward advocates and get their online communities to finally contribute to the bottom line.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Simple and Imaginative

Giving an empty canvas as a gift is simple, but it’s also infinitely imaginative. The canvas can become whatever the artist desires whether it be a bird flying over an ocean landscape or an old man sitting in central park. What’s important to know is that the delivery of the story is fixed. You can control how the gift is received. You can create what it represents.

This is important because a product can mean something different to everyone that buys it. However, one thing is controllable – the story. Choose your story carefully, craft it diligently, it’s you’re edge.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

‘Roads are meant to be traveled’

Incorporated in 1914 is Kensington a small town in the Heart of Prince Edward Island. When traveling there in 2006, I learned that many people have never been to the west of the island a mere 30km or so. But why? Is it because without inspiration or purpose to travel there’s no need to travel? As an economist would say “It’s because people without a why have nowhere to go.” I think not.   

Roads are meant to inspire and challenge us to go further than we’ve ever ventured before. They’re meant to facilitate our curiosity (arguably man’s greatest gift) and challenge us to adapt. Traveling different and unexpected roads can be exhilarating and thrilling, but it can also be boring and lonely. It’s in these times of boredom and loneliness we are forced to adapt and try different things. It’s in these times that are the most beneficial because we discover things we never knew about ourselves; things that can change our lives forever.

Stay Curious.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Elephant’s are not small


There’s always something in every organization that is a topic for debate and conflict. People stress over the big elephant in the room because the core problem of it is never addressed. The issue could be a client, a boss, a structural issue – but if you start noticing the elephant’s showing up more often, there’s an opportunity to address it.

Start by articulating what’s wrong with the current problem(s) and carry on by framing it as an opportunity to change.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Group Dynamics


Napoleon was such an effective strategist because he understood the power of teams. By decentralizing his military, he was able to create an environment where commanders could coordinate decisions with other commanders without waiting for Napoleon's go ahead. He fostered an environment where lateral coordination was key to giving his military the flexibility and precision of small troops, with the deadliness of a huge war machine.

Your organization can create a similar environment where teams excel. Teams not only perform better than individuals (in most cases) but they have the ability of turning people from uninspired employees into a group of superstars. However, many things needs to be in place first.  

1. The organizational structure needs to be built or restructured to create an environment where teams thrive. Consider things like: How much autonomy should a team have? How often do they need to report back? Will teams work in separate groups, on separate projects? Will there be cross-conversation and cross help among teams? Will two teams work together on a project? Will a team be for the most part be a  permanent engagement (like the partnership of two officers)?

2. Teams need to be built correctly. For example, a team of four will have a very difficult time being successful if they’re all very chatty or if they’re all very detail oriented. Instead, the best teams have complimenting traits like different approaches and different backgrounds. Some ways to go about building a team are by thinking about: professional specialization, detail-orientation, go-getters, big-picture thinkers, researchers, creativity, sales, beliefs, passions, culture, gender. The list goes on. Building a team is difficult because there are no cookie cutter solutions; in lieu of a framework, you need to adapt the criteria of your team based on situation.

3. Make sure your team understands all the issues, concerns and worries of all other team members before commencing work. Engaging in this activity allows every team member to understand each other’s points of views, discuss what they’re best at and prevent any future problems that may come up.

4. Set up a reward structure. One of the best approaches to this I’ve heard of is to reward the team members with nominal amounts of money, and ask them to buy gifts for other members of the team on the completion of successful projects.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a team?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chasing Value

Start with a strong why. Be focused and communicate clearly.  You’ll soon learn that you never need to chase value again.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stay on top of innovation

In order to constantly compete in business you need to constantly innovate, change and adapt to a variety of societal changes and trends. It’s not an easy thing to do. But I’ve found a site that will help you solve those problems - it’s called Springwise. Springwise is essentially crowdsourcing innovation, by compiling an entire database of the newest, latest coolest innovations from many different sectors around the world.

If you’re in marketing, and want to see the latest innovations from gaming – it’s here. Or maybe your in health-care and looking to see what kind of green, sustainable initiatives are happening around the world and how you can incorporate them – you’ll find it here. My point is that this website is a valuable resource to any entrepreneur, business owner, or anyone that is looking for new ways to integrate innovation from other sectors.

If any part of you want’s to cross-innovate or borrow ideas from a successful business but your not sure where to start, think Springwise.