Alienating the 2%

Great read from Seth Godin…

“When a popular rock group comes to town, some of their fans won’t get great tickets. Not enough room in the front row. Now they’re annoyed. 2% of them are angry enough to speak up or badmouth or write an angry letter.

When Disney changes a policy and offers a great new feature or benefit to the most dedicated fans, 2% of them won’t be able to use it… timing or transport or resources or whatever. They’re angry and they let the brand know it.

Do the math. Every time Apple delights 10,000 people, they hear from 200 angry customers, people who don’t like the change or the opportunity or the risk it represents.

If you have fans or followers or customers, no matter what you do, you’ll annoy or disappoint two percent of them. And you’ll probably hear a lot more from the unhappy 2% than from the delighted 98.

It seems as though there are only two ways to deal with this: Stop innovating, just stagnate. Or go ahead and delight the vast majority.

Sure, you can try to minimize the cost of change, and you might even get the number to 1%. But if you try to delight everyone, all the time, you’ll just make yourself crazy. Or become boring.”

Sales Best Practices Study…

Check out the following message from the MarComm Director at Miller Heiman:

“… just wanted to let you know that we’ll be launching the 2011 Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study next Tuesday.  Study participants will receive a copy of the 2010 executive summary as well as a brand new report that looks at year over year comparisons from our research data:  ‘The Performance Value of a World-Class Sales Process.’

If you want to offer your blog readers the chance to participate, I’m happy to send a link to the study you can leverage.”

Here’s the link:

This is an excellent report that Miller Heiman offers to its clients/partners each year; and well worth your time to participate and receive the aforementioned studies/data!

“Smart Meeting Checklist”

This is a great list…

Smart Meeting Checklist

  • Would skipping this meeting help or hurt our ability to ship?
  • Could it be a Wiki or Basecamp (type) meeting instead?
  • If we have to have the meeting, can we do it in a room with no chairs?
  • Can we invite fewer people? How few?
  • What’s the purpose of this meeting? Pick one of the following (only one). If there’s more than one, skip the meeting.
    • Inform people about the project
    • Learn opinions or facts that will help you ship
    • Discuss the project and gain input from interested parties
    • Pitch or approve the idea
  • After we’re finished, how will we know if the meeting was a success?”

Twelve years ago I learned from a colleague about the power of a “stand-up-ten-minute meeting.”

This check-list from Seth Godin’s “SHIPIT: A little pamphlet for people who can,” is a great affirmation of just that concept, and its effectiveness.

WOM Case Study – The Cube

(Picked the below up from WOMMA… pretty cool case setudy)

This campaign won a Silver WOMMY in the Engagement category for 2009.

Introducing a car into the Canadian market in the throes of a recession is gutsy. If that car is futuristic and literally named Cube, it seems downright mad. Nissan and Capital C were undeterred when they figured an unconventional car needed an unconventional entrance into the Canadian market.

You + Car = Brand

Nissan wanted to reach the Urban Gen Y audience, the most likely group to appreciate the small and fun image of the Cube. Traditional advertising was thrown out the window. Instead, Capital C planned to give away 50 Cubes via audition to the most creative people who wanted them. Through street teams, community managers and a lot of social interaction, 7,000 Canadians applied for a chance to audition. From them the top 500 were selected to compete by uploading any and all forms of content to the community page, The best 50 creators were awarded a Nissan Cube.

The Results:

1. The sales goal of 300 cars per month was exceeded by 20 cars.

2. Awareness among Urban Gen Yers rose from 13% to 32%.

3. Over $1 million (USD) in earned media – 30 newspaper articles, 35 blog posts, 5 TV interviews & 3 radio interviews.

4. The community lives on with members contributing content at

Seth Godin Action Figure?

At THIS EVENT (Nov 13th Session), we were given these cool Seth Godin action figures (disclaimer: Seth made us promise to see the humor in it before he actually would allow us to keep “him”).


Inside, is a little purple booklet duly named “The Little Book of Marketing Secrets,” by Seth Godin.

Thought it might be beneficial to share the 12-marketing secrets included (copyright Seth Godin – no date specified, although action figure packaging has copyright date of 2007):

Marketing Secret #1 – Marketing is what happens when you tell a story (a true story, and authentic story) to the right people and the choose to believe it. And then they spread it. If you do it right, people take the actions you are hoping for. Tell the wrong story, you lose. Tell no story, you lose.

Marketing Secret #2 – The best stories don’t tell anything new. They make the audience feel smart and secure by reminding them how right they were in the first place.

Marketing Secret #3 – If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. If you don’t have an ad worth reading and acting upon, don’t run it.

Marketing Secret #4 – Anticipated, personal and relevant messages always outperform spam.

Marketing Secret #5 – A message aimed at everyone rarely reaches anyone. Be vivid. Tell a Story. Don’t be bland.

Marketing Secret #6 – The best marketing is a really great product.

Marketing Secret #7 – It’s no longer good enough to be good enough.

Marketing Secret #8 – The only asset you can build online is a permission asset: The privilege of marketing to people who want to be marketed to, of selling to people who want to be sold to.

Marketing Secret #9 – If you’re not remarkable, you’re now invisible.

Marketing Secret #10 – The easiest way to be remarkable is to compromise less, not more.

Marketing Secret #11 – The customer is always right. When the customers isn’t right, they’re not your customer anymore. Fire them.

Marketing Secret #12 – Would you put your name on it? If you wouldn’t, don’t do it, because your name IS on it.

Brilliant Beer WOMM

Check this out…

“We don’t have exact numbers for you, but for a large percentage of soccer fans, beer is an essential part of the game experience. Preferably cold beer. Which is why Dutch brewer Grolsch is stepping in to lend a hand to anyone whose fridge breaks down during this year’s World Cup.

Customers can call the Koelkast Hulplijn (fridge hotline) and Grolsch will deliver a loaner fridge to tide them over. It’s a fun example of the trend our sister site dubbed brand butlers—brands finding new ways to serve customers, usually free of charge and not directly related to sales. We’re just slightly disappointed by the campaign’s fine print: loaners were only made available to the first 40 people to call before June 19th (the World Cup runs from June 11th through July 11th). Something to keep in mind if you’re planning a brand butler campaign of your own: unnecessarily strict limitations won’t do your generosity justice ;-)”

Doubtful many fridges went out at all. However, by focusing on said Talker group, Grolsch rallied their fans big time, and you KNOW they all told their friends.

Solid stuff. Can you throw some similar spaghetti?

[original article here]

[Grolsch story picked up from Damn I Wish]

Road Warrior TOOLKIT

Check it out…

GREAT voice-to-email dictation that works.  Receive an e-mail while in your car, respond via voice (with one click) into your mobile device, and it renders near perfect voice-to-text translation.  Hit send, and you’re good-to-go.

Dragon Dictation.

Dragon Dictation is excellent for Blackberry (and free for a limited time), and has even more functionality for the iPhone/iPad. [I use a Blackberry on the road plus a netbook, but I do “sometimes” use an iPad]

Here are some good shortcut tips.

I also use Dragon to record thoughts during the day…  most of which I email to myself via Evernote (another cool secure service I recommend; it’s where I send all my spaghetti-throw-WOMM-ideas/pics/web-clippings, etc).

Download ‘em both.  Use ‘em.  You won’t regret it.

Insights… and VALUE


It was a cold morning at a subway station in Washington D.C. A young man walked through the crowd, opened his violin case, and proceeded to play for 45 minutes.

Thousands of people walked by him, it was rush hour. Only six people stopped to listen. Twenty people threw change into his case, for a total of $32.

What people didn’t know:

  • it was Joshua Bell;
  • playing 6 of the most intricate Bach pieces;
  • on a $3.2 million violin;
  • and 2-days earlier he played in Boston to a sold-out crowd, where ticket prices started at $100/seat.

If people had the above Insights, they would have stopped, and Joshua would have garnered a crowd of hundreds, if not thousands. People walking towards the music could “hear” that the music was different, but their blockers were on… and he was playing for quarters, not $100’s.

What Insights should your prospects & customers know about your company?

Our job as sales/marketing professionals is to create VALUE.

Insights do just that. Remove the blockers.

[Joshua Bell in DC Metro a true story]