The Power of Vision is what serves several purposes in an organisation. First and foremost, it captures the organisations future intent. In other words, it paints a picture of what the company intends to become, not what it is today.
This topic has been written about by Authors, Songwriters and Preachers so it is not new.
A Common red line through just the few I have highlighted here.
A vision should stand the test of time and perpetuate the enterprise over a long period of time. A vision can serve a multiple of purposes:
A vision bonds. Companies are populated with individuals possessing a diversity of skills, languages, cultures and personalities. A vision can give people a common cause and direct their energies towards a unifying goal.
A vision inspires. Although corporations measure their progress over time with numbers – growth, profits, or both- numbers do not generally inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things. But, a more noble vision and strategy can inspire beyond one’s expectations.
A vision is an anchor. When times are difficult, a vision gives an organisation an anchor that will steady the ship and hold everyone together until the storm passes.
A vision is a potent competitive tool. Having a sense of what one wants to become when grown up gives the organisation an enormous competitive edge and advantage over those that as my daughter says ‘haven’t got a clue’.
The Power of Vision.
Required attributes of a successful vision.
Will mobilise a large population of people who might not have any other attachment to the organisation than that it is their job and source of income,
Must have certain attributes in order to get ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
A power of a vision must be clear. The vision cannot be ambiguous. Most people in an organisation do not want to be leaders – they simply want to be good followers. As such, what they want to know from their leaders is: “Where are you taking me so I can decide whether I want to follow you there?” As a result, the leader must design a clear vision that can quickly and clearly be understood by all employees.
A power of a vision must be compelling. A goal of becoming a Billion-Rand company will not motivate ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Numbers are usually not compelling enough to mobilize large groups of people to want to achieve beyond their capabilities. In order to motivate people to overachieve, the vision must ‘compel’ people to want to overachieve voluntarily. Thus the reason for Steve Jobs attracting John Scully to join Apple, even though he gave up a very lucrative job with Pepsi – not with promises of a large financial incentive, but rather with the “opportunity to change the world”. What foresight Steve Jobs exhibited in those days back in 1971. That is exactly what the PC industry, led partially by Jobs and Apple, has done.
A power of a vision must be distinctive. Not many people want to work for an imitator, where every transaction the company engages in turns out to be based strictly on price. That is not a fun world! The best companies have a distinctive vision that does not attempt to imitate their competitors but sets them apart from these competitors. Like the super racehorse Secretariat, their notion of competition is not run side by side with their competitors but, rather lead the next best competitor by 31 lengths, pulling farther and farther ahead of each business cycle. As Samuel Johnson once said, “No man has achieved greatness by imitating another man.”
A power of a vision must be consistent. A vision that is constantly being adjusted is usually not going to impress anyone, PARTICULARLY YOUR OWN TROOPS. Visions that are forever changing reflect the lack of forward thinking and will become the butt of everyone’s corporate joke – the proverbial “vision of the week.”
The Power of Vision.
A personal perspective of what constitutes a Vision and it’s elements. By Dr Michael J Freestone.
Next Blog My method in – Writing a Powerful Vision Statement.
The most important functions of a Business Improvement and Evaluation specialistis to gather information from a host of sources, including those internal and external to the organisation. This information will be used to determine what is the current problem in business processes, and more importantly, how they can be resolved. This will lead into the discovery of the problem of the company. If the company is not achieving its vision and mission and Objectives. This may in particular may mean the you are not acheiveing your marketing targets. If the employees are not showing productivity, or if the production is way lagging below the target.
More than the identification of the problem, the Business Improvement and Evaluation Specialistis also concerned about executing the solution, making sure the implementation is done properly. It should be also tested first to make sure it will deliver the results that are anticipated. In this case, technical and project management skills will prove to be necessary for the purpose of proceeding with the required steps.
A Business Improvement and Evaluation Specialist is able to replan and execute marketing strategies while being able to stick to the allotted budget. With the increase in the popularity of digital marketing, these specialists are also known for being able to recommend how businesses can be improved while taking advantage of the trend.
Seeing that Digital Marketing knowledge and experience is necessary in Business Growth today Dr Freestone has taken up an EU recognised Advanced Diploma in Digital Marketing. He is an expert in identifying how to take advantage of the current trends to grow and develop a business to new levels..
Business Improvement and Evaluation
Aside from those that have been mentioned, a Business Improvement and Evaluation Specialistwill also help in improving workflow, enhancing leadership, trigger collaborative efforts, improve customer relationship management (CRM), find new suppliers, and introduce strategic initiatives for business success.
Generally speaking, a Business Improvement and Evaluation Specialist as the name implies, is vital in developing the business, making it more competitive. With their help, even small businesses will find it easy to keep up with the tight competition in the market.
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Welcome to the first of our Weekly Newsletter 02 03 2018
The Newsletter will include information I have gleaned from many sources, acknowledged of course.
I hope you will find this of interest.
SAY OF THE DAY
“Start today, not tomorrow. If anything, you should have started yesterday.” – Emil Motycka
4 Signs That You Should Quit Your Failing Startup Business
You’ve poured your heart and soul, your time, your money and more into your business, so it simply must succeed… Right? While that’s nice to say, it’s not always true. The more you’re able to realize that success can come and go, the better positioned you’ll be to take advantage of other, more promising opportunities.
Here’s how to know when to give up:
1) Are you the only one who still believes in your business?
Sometimes the smartest people can have a blind spot when it comes to their own vision. Like that girl or boyfriend that all of your family and friends didn’t like – it may be time to get a clue.
2) Are the competitors actually better?
What if your idea for a business consisted of wrapping a belt around a person’s waist to allow him to swim laps in a small pool. Well, there’s now a small pool with a natural current you can set to whatever speed you want to swim forward without actually moving. Most people would choose that over wearing a belt in the water.
3) How often have you landed a second meeting?
If your days are spent contacting new people to invest or buy, but you never get past that initial meeting, chances are you’re not offering something worth a second look. Yes, we’ve all heard those stories about the concept of copying being rejected by Polaroid, and the initial dismissal of Post-its, but those stories are rare. If you’ve been going to first meeting after first meeting with no success, either change or quit.
4) Are you hitting a wall?
You’ve heard the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you’ve run out of approaches, ideas or directions, maybe the basic concept is just unworkable.
We have a tendency to admire persistence and belittle a quitter. Don’t think that way. Ask yourself, “Is this the last good idea I’m ever going to have?” Sometimes success is about letting go of your current dream so that you have room for others. Don’t you agree?
BUT DON’T DESPAIR.
THE MJF GROUP works with CEO’s MD, Owners in declining businesses helping them to grow profitable Sales by up to 179% in a single Year.
The issue of handling features and benefits in marketing messages is critical to successful selling. This is an area where perhaps many sellers, even experienced sellers, are most likely to make a fatal blunder. Part of the problem usually involves confusing features with benefits. A feature and a benefit can be one and the same thing, but most often, they are not. It’s a mistake for a seller to assume that some wonderful aspect or feature of his or her product will do the selling… Often it will not.
Before we say more, let’s clarify the difference between a feature and a benefit. A feature is most often some physical aspect of a product — its colour, the size of its engine, how much power it has, the quality of the material it’s made of, and so on. Most often, a feature is “a thing.”
A benefit, on the other hand, is something more subtle. A benefit is what the product can do for the prospect — how it can make his or her life better, how it can save time, how it can enhance prestige, how it can make life fun and easy, and more. So a benefit is not a thing — it’s an aspect of the customer’s life that is made better.
Benefits come from features, which is why this confuses some people. For example, let’s say a car has a 230 horsepower engine. That’s a feature. But what does this do for the person who buys the car? A powerful engine helps the driver accelerate with ease on the motorway and easily merge with traffic. It gives the driver the power he or she needs to pull a heavy trailer. It gives a feeling of pleasure to have all that mechanical power at the command of one’s fingertips. All of these are benefits –
– something the customer feels gets or is satisfied by.
And this is what you should sell – the benefits.
Benefits are what people really care about. They want to know how their lives will be made better by the product more than what the product is made of, or what its design specs are. When you spend too much time talking about your product’s features, you run the risk of “me oriented” selling rather than focusing on customer needs. You can’t assume that a prospect will naturally see how they benefit just because you describe your product physically.
It’s much smarter to keep the focus on the customer
– on his or her needs, desires, longings, problems, demands – and then paint a picture that clearly and vibrantly shows the customer how they can get all of the above if they buy your product. It’s known as ‘selling the sizzle and not the steak.
When you only list details about features, you don’t do that, even though it may seem like you are. Look at the following example:
“Our premium chair is upholstered with the finest mountain ram’s leather which is hand-selected and hand- stitched to an all cherry wood frame. The chair reclines to a 56 degree position, yet preserves a compact position that takes up less space than a normal chair twice its size.
It sounds pretty good, but it’s all features. Ram’s leather is great, and cherry wood is nice – but how does the customer benefit? You can’t assume the customer will know, so you have to spell it out for him or her by describing benefits, as in:
Our ergonomic chair is designed with your comfort in mind – the 56 degree reclining position gives strong support to your lower back, meaning you never experience back pain and are able to rest for hours on end without the need to fidget, adjust or change seats.
Our fine mountain ram’s leather upholstery feels like heaven against your skin – you experience relaxation with a sense of luxury, and your guests will be impressed by the rich look and sense of style afforded your living room
Here we see how the customer clearly benefits – physical comfort, no back aches from sitting too long, gaining a feeling of pride or prestige from guests who admire your excellent choice of home furnishings.
Never list, use or describe a feature without also telling potential buyers just how that feature will affect them in their real lives, how it will improve their lives, how it will enhance personal comfort, deliver a feeling of pride, satisfaction, gain, and so on.
A great way to discover what your product benefits are is to make a “You get” list. Write down “You get” 10 times on a sheet of paper, and then name specific benefits to follow each “You get.” If you write, “You get a 230 horsepower engine…” you have listed a feature. That’s not enough. Complete the process by also saying, “You get a powerful 230 HP engine that never leaves you stuck or sluggish at a roundabout and thrills you when you take tight curves on a carefree drive in the country…”
Just remember – a feature is most often some physical aspect of your products, but the benefit is all about the customer and what the customer gets, experiences and is satisfied by. The latter – benefits – is what really sells.
What about YOUR Compelling Customer Value Proposition? Have you crafted Yours? If not have a look at this video
Weekly Newsletter 02 03 2018
Are You a Micro-Manager? Here Are 3 Ways to Change.
Every business owner knows how to wear a lot of hats. When first striking out on your own, you have a hand in finances, marketing, product design, and everything in-between. But as your company grows, you need to empower your employees to feel that same sense of independence.
Autonomy is one of our fundamental human needs – an essential component of a healthy workplace – our need to be driven by personal interest and enjoyment.
Employees that feel empowered are happier, more motivated, more committed to their jobs, and less stressed. The latter is especially true for demanding workplaces since independence gives workers a sense of control in stressful situations.
The benefits for business owners are clear. Consider these three tips to give employees independence without giving up control:
1. Specify the goal, not the means.
To encourage creativity, give clear guidelines for a project’s quality, deadline, and purpose, but leave the rest up to your employees. Your team may not execute the project exactly as you would have, but their strategy may be just as good or better.
2. Set up checks and balances.
As a business owner, you need to be passionate about your ideas, but that enthusiasm can become a liability when there’s no room for second opinions.
3. Know yourself.
As you allow others more freedom and responsibility, understanding yourself can help ease the transition. Try taking a free, online personality test to assess your strengths and weaknesses.
It’s important to understand your own feelings and have a sense of what others are experiencing around you, which is referred to as emotional intelligence. You can then identify what motivates each of your employees and empower them in ways they’ll find fulfilling.
by Mateusz Sobieraj | With Compliments of Marketing Profs and excellent source of professional Marketing Content. Join them today. – NO I am not an affiliate but a very happy 14 year user of their products as a Premium and Free Member.
The abundance of new technologies and powerful opportunities in marketing can get overwhelming for a marketer. How in the world could you not feel lost in the jungle of solutions at your disposal? And if you use an agency, how can you know that it’s truly benefiting your company?
Having conducted or supervised more than 900 digital campaigns, I’ve come across several dangerous traps that are initially hard to spot. This article will point out the four most common.
1. Don’t let the CTR deceive you
One of the most frequently used indicators of the effectiveness of online advertising is the clickthrough rate (CTR), the ratio of the number of clicks on an ad to the number of views.
Imagine attractive advertising formats, beautiful graphics, and strong CTAs encouraging taking action. A customer clicks on the ad and lands on a website. But there’s a problem: The page is not consistent with the creative’s visual design, or the user is flooded with all kinds of information instead of with the information promised in the ad. The result: the visitor abandons the website, and the campaign results end up being far from satisfactory.
Tip: It is important to focus not only on the aesthetics of the ad’s design but also on the communication and promise we use to tempt the user to enter into an interaction.
But what if I told you that sometimes a decrease in CTR is a good sign?
Consider a campaign for a financial-sector client. CTR, conversion rate, and number and cost of leads acquired through contact forms were all at very good levels. We analyzed the effectiveness of the campaign from start until the end of the conversion path—i. e., granting a loan. At the validation stage, it turned out that although quantitatively speaking it all looked great—lots of people applying—but a large proportion of loan applicants were ineligible and their applications had to be rejected.
So we tightened up the targeting of our advertisements, adding additional messages to exclude ineligible people up front. As a result, the ads were even less aesthetically appealing, but a clearer and more on-point message was created, and so people who were clicking on the ad were much more informed about what to expect. CTRs and the number of leads fell sharply, but lead quality improved several-fold.
Four Dangerous Traps Online Marketers Must Avoid
The value of the CTR can also be overestimated because of the ad format being used:
Mobile ads often cover a large portion of the available screen area or they’re otherwise placed in such a way that you can easily click them by accident. Therefore, they tend to have higher CTR than desktop advertising, but the traffic they bring is of terrible quality because they resulted from random clicks.
Intrusive formats, such as top layer, interstitials, interscrollers, open over a page and overshadow the entire page or large parts of it. A large proportion of clicks on those ads is, again, random, making CRTs huge—but the quality of the traffic poor.Tip: Check whether the publisher’s package includes various formats, say double billboard, billboard, and rectangle—but there is also a layer format between those, for example scroll double billboard or top layer. Even though thanks to that approach the cost per click will be lower than it would be without the layer format, most of the advertising might be run (and often is) on this layer format. And that makes the quality of the campaign dubious, to put it mildly.
Screenings are a format composed of one of the banner forms, for example double billboard, and connected to the website’s entire background. It may be a large, visible form of advertising, but sometimes the sides of the websites’ wallpaper are black or in the color of the site’s usual background, so they no longer look like an advertisement and yet they are still clickable! That generates a huge number of clicks, but, again, lots of them are accidental.
2. Don’t let details divert your attention from the real results
Very often, when analyzing the results of an online campaign we focus on a small portion of the available data and on conclusions drawn directly from an advertising campaign, but the true picture is much broader and more informative.
Conversions—the key actions that users take on the website—are divided into two categories: macro, which are the most important ones, such as the purchase of a product; and micro, which help you to determine the quality of your traffic (e. g., whether they download the brochure or subscribe to the newsletter).
It’s worth checking out different models of conversion attribution and analyzing what roles various traffic sources play in the entire buying process.
For sales analysis, if the product is distributed by various sources, it might be the distributors that feel the effects of the campaign rather than the manufacturer selling via its stores or other owned channels.
An example: The promoted product’s pre-sales in the producer’s online store and the accompanying campaign achieved excellent results. When the product arrives at other distributors with a price lower by only a small percentage, sales in the producer’s shop fell, and continued to fall, within 1-2 days. Media indicators and traffic quality remained at high levels, but conversions decreased. Tools for analyzing users’ behavior on the website confirmed that users are copying the name of the product then searching for it in Google and price-comparison engines—and going on to make purchases elsewhere. Ultimately, the producer was delighted with the global sales volume. But, for example, if the product had been available from the very start in many stores and a little cheaper than in the manufacturer’s shop, without looking at the total sales data the campaign would certainly have been considered ineffective.
Four Dangerous Traps Online Marketers Must Avoid
Sometimes, the cost of obtaining the first order from a customer is much higher than the profit the initial sale generates. It is easy to fall under the illusion that an advertising campaign was unprofitable by analyzing its return on investment only through the prism of the first orders directly from the campaign. But if you also take into account rates of customer retention and maintenance, and customer lifetime value, then your results can suddenly become very attractive, proving that the campaign will pay for itself many times over.
Example: The client, a Polish travel agency, offers exotic tours to destinations such as Seychelles, Maldives, and Mauritius. The costs of acquiring traffic on its website and of getting an enquiry were very high and very often did not immediately pay for themselves. But that is just part of the story. One of the clients ordered a trip to Maldives worth 28,000 PLN (about $8,000). She was satisfied after her return and almost immediately planned another two trips with the same travel bureau, as well as recommending it to another three couples who were friends of hers. Two of those couples also decided to travel. The result: one customer generated more than $30,000 worth of trips sold.
A similar situation occurs in e-commerce. Subsequent visits and orders, purchases of accessories for already bought products, repeat purchases… all determine the eventual profit from an initial investment in advertising.
During and after larger campaigns, we notice an increased number of searches in Google, and consequently a larger number of visitors from direct and organic. The following graph shows the increase of visits from organic right from the start of the campaign. Apart from that, there were no activities in other media or increased SEO spending. In short, paid also increases organic traffic.
It is also worth measuring how much information about your brand and products spreads organically in forums, social media, and the Internet in general—whether there are more references to the brand, where, in what context, and whether users are starting to recommend the product themselves.
Four Dangerous Traps Online Marketers Must Avoid
3. Don’t get flattened by the flat fee
Flat fee (FF) billing seems like a permanent presence. It refers to paying publisher a fixed rate for the advertising space: For example, we order a week of our advertisement on the homepage of the website.
What traps here could you fall into?
Pay attention to the following:
Statistics. Always request them beforehand. The publisher should provide you with information about the number of pageviews (PV) and the number of unique users (UU). This way, you know what to expect in return for a fixed fee—how many times your advertisement will be displayed and how many users you will reach. The data is from the previous period, but it will be similar to the current one.
Relevant statistics. When you receive the statistics, make sure that they (a) refer to the period for which you order your ad (so you don’t get a monthly data for a one-week ad), and (b) refer to the particular subpage where you order advertising, not the entire website.
Rotation. This is something that’s sometimes not mentioned, but it’s essential to clarify. You need to know whether your ad will be broadcast exclusively in a given time—rotation; for example, you order a week of advertising presence on the site, but you’ll be one of four advertisers, so only one in four views will be yours. There’s nothing wrong with that, provided you have this information beforehand and account for it in your estimates.
Tip: It may be difficult to judge at first glance where to place an advertisement. To decide, you need to compare the available data all in one table. It should include information about the publishers, the users’ profiles, and the relation between usage stats and rates. The table will help you calculate the expected cost of reaching 1000 unique users or the cost of generating 1000 views.
For this purpose, divide the net value by PV (pageviews) or UU (unique users), and multiply by 1,000 to get the CPM (cost per thousand) views or users.
4. Watch out for confusing data
The amount of data, especially in programmatic ad buying, is so large today, that it is quite a chore to choose the data worth our attention and our money.
Programmatic gives you great opportunities to target your advertising, including the following:
Retargeting people who had contact with the advertisement but were not yet on your website, or even better, arranging for these people an entire sequence of displays of various forms of ads and messages
Syncing with TV ads
Purchasing DOOH (digital out of home) ads, which are displayed on screens in shops, galleries, etc.
Directing advertising to people within a 100-meter radius of a given point on the map
Access to multiple providers of various kinds of user data based on demographics, online behavior, pages visited, advertisements clicked, interests, shopping intentions, etc.
Four Dangerous Traps Online Marketers Must Avoid
How do you choose the right data for your campaign?
You have to pay attention to who the data provider is and what kind of data it provides: What kind of company, whether local or international, and if the latter, does it have valuable data from your market?
Also check where and how the data is collected. Unfortunately, that information might be not so easy to obtain, but it is still worth doing research. Try asking the DSP (demand-side platform) or the data providers directly.
Another important criterion is, of course, price. You have to find a balance here: Check whether any additional few dollars per CPM will pay off through an increase in conversion rates or higher quality of traffic on the website.
Tip: The final criterion for verifying the quality and usefulness of data in your campaign is a test campaign! It’s best to carry out several test runs: Try purchasing data with a similar profile, but from different suppliers, and then select the one with data that’s most suitable and most cost-effective.
What impact can data selection have on the campaign?
Here is an example illustrating campaigns run for one of our customers—the same DSP platform, the same creatives used, and identical rates. Changing the data used in the campaign itself resulted in an enormous improvement in all the indicators that show the quality of traffic:
* * *
They say the devil is in the details, and that holds true especially for online campaigns. Seemingly effective solutions may prove to be ineffective in reality because superficially evaluated indicators can give you a false impression.
Before running your ad, make sure you fully understand how it will be displayed, and afterward take a look at the effects it had from various perspectives. Only when will you see what real impact it had—what it did and didn’t achieve—and why.
I have been studying with Shaw Academy. Ultimate Digital Marketing Diploma. In my last week I am sure.
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A Simple Step By Step Sales And Marketing System That Anyone Can Apply To Their Business
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