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Well today is the day, all eyes are on London’s Docklands as 20 of the world’s leaders come together for a breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Hopefully the nice food will spark off some inspiration and by the end of the day we will have an answer to the global economic crisis.
Yesterday the public felt they had the answer as a riot broke out in London’s financial district, more commonly known over here as “The City”, and crowds of angry people smashed their way into the RBS building in an attempt to take back what was rightly theirs – taxpayers money being used for bonuses.
So what is the answer? Is it to combine the might of 20 nations with a view to them supporting each other? Is independence for each and every country the only way to go? Should we be learning to stand on our own two feet again before helping others to stand up? Is it about leadership and who has the most power? The cavalcade of leaders cars coming to the G20 this morning would suggest this in part.
The fact is this G20 Summit is costing the UK around £19 million. The question I have is in a world of powerful communication technology where I don’t need to be in the same room as somebody to talk to them, let alone see them did we really need to bring all these world leaders together in the one place to make this happen? Does being in the same room instead of on a webcam or even, if you are feeling flush a satellite link make any difference to the outcome? Is the main benefit of all these leaders meeting up just a good show of face, a publicity stunt if you like?
Don’t get me wrong I’m not ranting against the G20, I’m just suggesting that there may be better, more economical ways to not only find an answer but also send a good message out to the public. After all if there was no central location for the G20, would there have been any riots?
Twitter has been around for a few years now and I have to admit it isn’t something I have really been bothered about. Things might be about to change for me after I read this article over at TechCrunch.
You see Twitter is like your Facebook profile status comment gone mad. Twitter users constantly tweet, they always have something to say about what is going on in their day. This could be anything from how they are feeling right this very second to complaining or complimenting a service or product they just received.
Until today I hadn’t realised Twitter was searchable via its own search engine. For your product marketers this could be gold dust as you can find out inside info on what your customers think of not just your products but also competitors products. Your campaign can then be immediately tailored to suit.
It also give companies direct communication with people who actively complain when they receive a bad product or service but only complain indirectly. It is an opportunity to rectify the wrongs.
The possibilities could be endless.
You may even see a Marton House Twitter appearing here soon as it would give myself or the other people who write on this blog the chance to keep the readers updated when we aren’t able to write a full post. Something which I for one feel bad about, particularly if we are away on a film shoot for more than a few days.
Creative Cow is a website filled with good advice from seasoned video professionals. Generally it is aimed at technically supporting the video and film community but occasionally a bit of advice comes along which applies to everybody.
The world of video and film is always a tough one; contracts are nearly always verbal, jobs appear and disappear in the blink of an eye and payments can be very, very slow.
Check out this article entitled “It’s All Your Fault!!! and other business advice for tough times” for some no nonsense business advice. Some of it won’t be relevant but it still makes for an entertaining read.
The economic world is in tatters, your business is failing and your bank manager is knocking on the door asking for the banks money back.
What do you do?
One entrepreneurial London restaurant owner thinks he has the answer, by asking his customers to pay what they feel the meal was worth. His reasoning behind this is that like so many top London restaurants his own are very pricey and attracted accordingly top business execs, with their top all-expenses paid tabs. In a recession company expenses are the first thing to get monitored and shelved and as a result lunch is now more likely to be a sandwich than lobster thermidor.
At the end of their meal Peter Ilic’s diners are now presented with a bill showing zero, and if they so desire they can get a free lunch. Already though the idea seems to be paying off with many customers paying 10-20% over what would be the asking price.
Could this be because us Brits would be too embarrassed to pay to little? Would this idea only work in England?
This business model has already been applied to films, theatre and music (Radiohead’s last album was Peter’s inspiration). Could it be applied elsewhere? If so are we really brave enough to ask million dollar customers to pay what they think a project or product is worth?
More importantly in a time of monetary desperation would your customers be honest enough to pay the right amount?
Full story here.
According to a new study, spam emails get 1 response in 12,500,000 emails. That’s less than 0.00001%! Amazingly though, even with such a poor response a large spam organisation such as the Storm Network will make around £4500 profit a day.
Compare this to the general sales market who will on average get one sale in one hundred people and the stats look even more outlandish.
So is spamming the answer to all our sales problems? Nope. For everyday businesses there are worldwide laws that prohibit us from spamming without prior consent from the recipient. Even the junk mail that falls through your door has been loosely authorised by your good self and a helpful 3rd party (remember that tick box at the bottom of that magazine subscription form which said something along the lines of “I authorise you or a 3rd party to fill my mailbox with guff”?). It is a fine line between what is legal and what is illegal but a common way to spam is to use indirect linking which takes you to a webpage with a banner ad for the product on it and not directly to the manufacturers site.
So how do we get people to sign up for our marketing campaigns? In whatever campaigns your run you need to create a hook which will mean people will give you their contact details. There are many examples of this and you just need to pick the right one for your business, from running a competition to giving something away for free. The bottom line is when you’ve been granted access to contact someone, then it is a free license to bombard them until they say stop.
I’m not condoning spamming in any way, I’m just pointing out that it exists and has existed in more ways than you probably realise. In fact you might have even done it yourself without even knowing it.
Well the captains of industry wrote an open letter and took a full page out in The Times to tell everyone to work on their skills and to get behind some serious training. And we agree.
This post follows on from the post about Tribes by Shaune. What Seth is saying is that these days the greatest gains are to be achieved by being seen as a leader – to have a tribe as he says it.
Great! What has this to do with training and learning? All too often, if you are in training and learning you follow. You deliver what the client wants, what the company wants. You may even be a leader of a training department / company / devision / organisation. But so what if you are? You are still a follower in the big picture.
Well how about we stop doing that? Just stop working like that. Instead we start delivering what people need. There is a difference between want and need. Identifying the need and fixing the need is what is required during these difficult times.
We are the trainers, the experts, the people who see things from the outside. This is our (new) role. Not to only fulfill briefs, but to do more.
So trainers, now is the time to dig deep, to be seen as a leader. A person with solutions, ideas, new ways of thinking and exciting developments. No one knows who to turn to. So make it you!
If you are looking for some design inspiration, maybe for a rebranding exercise or if you are just trying to raise your visibility a peg or two then help is at hand. Smashing Magazine have a post today about the 7 Ingredients of Good Corporate Design which should give you some good pointers and get you started.
I’ll add one thing to it though, which should apply to each of the 7 ingredients – keep it simple.
Image courtesy of Today’s Inspiration
A conversation with someone you don’t know very well can be extremely difficult. From the beginning it’s a brief slippery slide down the slope of small talk before the conversation runs dry.
There is a simple trick though that everybody can pull off and it doesn’t take a genius to execute it either. It involves 3 little words – “Tell me more”.
The simple fact is this, you can’t just talk at somebody for a conversation to work, in fact if you really want to engage a person you need to dig deeper to find out some common ground.
For example I went to a christening at the weekend and even though I knew a few people there it certainly wasn’t enough to pass for 4 hours of entertaining conversation, so an extra effort had to be made. I got chatting to a guy and during the usual small talk about the weather he let drop that he got caught in a shower out on his bicycle. A-ha, some common ground there as I like cycling too. ”Tell me more.” He cycles to work everyday and then goes off for an extra bit of exercise after that. ”Tell me more.” He finds that cycling is really good for keeping the legs in shape but doesn’t help with the belly at all. ”Wow, I wondered why I wasn’t getting rid of my gut. Tell me more”… and so on. Before you know it you’re gassing like old friends.
This technique also works extremely well in business too. Building a relationship with somebody before you hand out your business cards is really important. Dig deep, find out what your potential customers might be looking for before offering them a solution.
Let them express themselves, discover common ground, share a vision.
Repeat until successful.
Image courtesy of http://www.lhsdrama.com