The Weekly Jolt! 10.16.2013

Hope everybody enjoyed Columbus Day and got to do something fun. Thanks for all the cards and letters, please keep them coming! It’s nice to hear that so many of you are enjoying the posts and getting value from them. It’s really very rewarding.

I am getting the impression that a lot of you are not aware of ck Curates. ck Curates is the central repository for everything in The Jolt! times ten or twenty. Lots of great content there. It’s online 24/7/365 and I update it throughout the week when I find cool stuff.

I like to think of ck Curates as the perfect companion for when you are stuck at an airport, in a boring meeting or in a strange hotel room. So bookmark it – – and take it along. You’ll be glad you did!

And now on to The Jolt!


So – you’re absolutely sure it’s a great opportunity right?

Few people are as smart and articulate about new business development as Tom Searcy, who became my hero with his book, RFPs Suck! Here is what Tom has learned about the RFP process:

  • Over 90 percent of bid processes award the contract to the incumbent.

  • When surveyed, 83 percent of Fortune 500 Companies admitted that they had selected their vendor before sending out their RFPs.

  • The top reason that companies go out to bid is for better price. The second reason is for better terms. The distant third reason was for improved performance or additional value.

My advice? Before you roll the dice, test your theory against three criteria in To Bid or Not to Bid–The Classic Sales Dilemma.

If you can’t answer each with certainty, and you decide to pitch anyway, well what’s to say… better luck next time?!


Do you know which part of your writing your readers pay attention to?

The headline. 5 times as many people read the headline as the body copy.

Here’s 3 reasons why what works for a blog works in a deck:

People read blog posts because the title catches their attention.

Want somebody to turn the page – promise them something interesting.

Blog posts don’t go viral, headlines do.

Why not decide – in a nice way – what your client is going to turn into their elevator pitch?

Headlines set the expectation for the rest of the article.

Want someone glued to your pitch? Hit them with a headline that says you know what they want to hear.

That’s the first reason to read 7 Content Marketing Tips from Jeff Bullas. Tips 2-7 are pretty awesome too.

The Big AHA!

Tired of casting your best pearls before clients?

Yep, it’s a waste and here is why: Everything you know about Steve Jobs and design is wrong, according to one man who should know. Admittedly a long-winded title, but I didn’t write it and it’s provocative enough not to edit.

It’s the story of Steve and frog design founder Hartmut Esslinger and the deal he made with Steve to be the Apple design chief – sort of an early Johnny Ive. I remember him, but only because we went to Frog to film their work on the first Sun SPARC Station.

Hartmut has a book coming out called Keep It Simple- The Early Design Years At Apple. I recommend this link on the frog design site for more about the book including some interesting sketches and prototypes.

Anyway, Hartmut’s story is that:

Apple needed a cutting-edge system that would enable Steve to translate his vision into marketable products, and frog was in the process of helping him build it. We were involved in a real revolution – one that would extend well beyond the changes our work would bring to Apple. The work we were doing…would go on to reshape the way design was seen throughout America and the world.

As you would expect, Hartmut is adamant that design needs to drive the enterprise. I’m thinking you might even cheer!

…bottom-up design never succeeds, because even good efforts by departments within such systems remain insulated within the layers of the company’s organizational structure and everything really new, courageous and potentially game-changing is destroyed by its passage through ‘the gates of rejection’.

Metrics & ROI

Do you know what you should be measuring at your next event?

For a really simple answer to a complex question, read What Should Event Marketers Really Be Measuring?

This article offers an easy 3 step measurement progression that I think will be helpful to people who are just wrapping their heads around the concept.

  1. Good -The Basics. Invites vs actual attendees, session evaluations, intention to recommend or return.
  2. Better – Leads By Category. This works if your event designed to drive leads – many aren’t. But the idea of segmenting by category is worth exploring if only for the exercise of defining the relevant categories for your event.
  3. Best – Pipeline Activity. Again, relevant if the purpose of the event is to drive pipeline. Many aren’t, but there is something to be learned here which is the idea of a deeper level of data integration.

By the way, the Marketo Definitive Guide To Event Marketing mentioned here is definitely worth a look if you are interested in measurable results.

Here’s  the pitch.

Many marketers are finding that clear ROI measurement is made possible when event data is tied to marketing automation and CRM systems such that all lead activity can be measured, tracked, and filled into the sales and lead nurturing cycles for optimal follow up.

One caveat, my personal experience is that it takes a lot of hard work to  put an integrated data structure in place.

Marketing 501

Thinking about going out on your own?

Read this first: ExperienceThe One Business Regret I Have.

Going out on your own is a perennial temptation that a lot of people think about at one time or another. The author, Gini Dietrich, started her own PR firm when she was 30. I was 28 when I started Image Stream so the article is offered up here as a bit of first-hand advice that no one gave either of us. Says Gini:

Of course, if we know what we’re about to get into when we start businesses, most of us wouldn’t do it. In this case, ignorance is bliss.

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ck Curates – – so you can take it along on your next adventure. You’ll be glad you did!