The Jolt! from ckwrites 05.07.2014

Hope you enjoyed Cinco de Mayo. Don’t forget Mother’s Day!

Here’s The Jolt! from ckwrites.


Do you know what the worst thing you can do in the C-Suite is?

The answer is simple. And painful.

Arrive unprepared.

That’s all it takes. You can avoid that nasty little trap and further fine tune your approach by reading this free e-book, Best Practices for C-Suite Selling from Boardroom Insiders.

These best practices are equally applicable to calling on any new account. Here are the research elements that you need to complete.

Industry Intelligence: What are the main issues in the customer’s industry today?

Company Intelligence: How are these issues impacting this particular customer–and how is the customer responding?

Executive Intelligence: What is top of mind for the executive you are targeting?

The first thing to remember if you are trying to engage a CXO is that they are unimaginably busy. They are surrounded by people whose sole function is to filter out any “noise” unrelated to the executive’s top business priorities.

The second thing to remember: you are “noise” until you prove otherwise.


On a scale of 1-10, how persuasive are you? 

Even if you’re a legit 10, chances are good that 10 Theories to Know For Greater Persuasion can help you to add some new tricks to your repertoire.

The author has bundled an amazing number of theories into a relatively coherent article and peppered it with useful examples.

Here’s what you’ll find.

1) The psychological theories of influence and persuasion reviews 10 different psychological theories, each of which addresses the subject of how to influence others.

2) How to write for what we all crave applies Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which you probably studied at some point.  The author notes that:

The three steps in between the physiological needs and the fulfillment needs are where marketing most directly applies.

  • Safety
  • Belonging
  • Esteem

3) How to win friends and influence your audience picks up where Dale Carnegie left off.

4) How an influential nudge leads to conversion introduces The Persuasion Slide. The process starts with a ‘nudge’ which is when you get attention and begin the process of persuading your prospect. After that it’s all about ‘gravity’, ‘how steep’ the slide must be and how much ‘friction’ there is.

5) The 6 Principles of Persuasion are from Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion which links back to the 10 principles we started with.

6) Psychology in action in your copy and on your site presents techniques like ‘disrupt then reframe’ and ‘the key to good storytelling’.

7) Opportunities for persuasion suggest five areas you can put the concepts to work in your own materials.

Yes, this certainly looks like more than one blog post to me…

The Big AHA!

Remember that great old saying about “throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks”?

Lessons From Chucking Noodles With The Microsoft Stories Team is an inside look at the development process used to develop the Microsoft Stories website, a platform for stories about Microsoft and its people, products and ideas.

With all the interest in brands becoming publishers, here’s a firsthand look at what some talented journalists can do supported by a crack team. The story is very rich with some great links. And it makes a slightly quirky case for the value a trained journo can bring to the table.

The author plays out the “noodle” idea in a set of best practices that came out of their processes.

Noodle One: A good story is a good story is a good story. But is it a good story? i.e. Why should anyone outside of Microsoft care?

Noodle Two: “Eureka!” can strike the same place twice.

Noodle three: Embed… Or approximate the experience. This is how to find the details to be authentic.

Noodle Four: Follow the Golden Content Rule.

No fun for the writer, no fun for the reader.


Metrics & ROI

Why do so many conferences suck at collecting data?

Yes, most do. Because:

Measuring requires planning. Planning requires responding to measuring. Most humans do not like to do either. They rather thrive on inspiration and positive emotional responses, and blame their problems on things our of their control.

OK, admittedly that’s a rather large gauntlet. One that Conferences Need Quality Measurement Tools And Feedback To Spur Innovation picks up.

Note that if all you want to know is if the rooms were adequate and attendees could hear the speakers – i.e. the AV guys did their job which is different from the speaker being intelligible – you should probably skip this article.

But if your attendees come to learn skills they can apply to their jobs, you will benefit. Why? Because you get The World’s Best Evaluation Question For Attendees. 

What kind of difference would this make to your content development people and the presenters?

What if the stakeholders walked away with the following summary sentence: 80% of attendees said they are now ABLE TO PERFORM ACTUAL JOB TASKS at a FULLY-COMPETENT level. Now that shows change and can drive future programming.

If you’re interested in the topic, I highly recommend the follow-on post as well. Jeff Hurt is as good a writer and thinker on measurement as is out there.

Marketing 501

Can you list the 10 most abused words in marketing?

How many of them appear in your Linkedin profile? Your capabilities presentation? Your elevator pitch? Your website?

Whatever you guessed – and especially if you’re not sure – take a minute to read The 10 most abused words in Marketing. They are presented in a handsome multi-colored word cloud that would make a great t-shirt or refrigerator magnet!

  1. Relevant.
  2. Consumer insights.
  3. Brand equity.
  4. Target market – the description must include both demographics and psychographics.
  5. Alienate.
  6. Benefits –  “what do I get?” (for rational benefits) and “how does that make me feel?” (emotional benefits).
  7. Brief – on a personal note “be brief, be brilliant, be gone” sums this one up.
  8. Brand.
  9. New Media – about 20 years old now.
  10. Strategic – Strategic Thinkers see “what if” questions before they see solutions. Non Strategic Thinkers see answers before questions.

The author concludes with two insights.

It’s OK to use these words, as long as you use them correctly.

The problem I see is that a generation of Brand Leaders have not been properly trained and it’s starting to show. The mis-use of these words can be linked to the lack of understanding of the fundamentals of marketing.

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