Roy's Blog

October 3, 2016

Who you ignore is just as important as who you pay attention to

Peter Drucker said of leadership: “Most leaders don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.”

The same can be said of effective strategy creation.

It’s not just about what you take on as a new direction, its more about what you do to terminate your old ways that are no longer relevant.

And that includes deciding the customers you intend to serve - “the WHO” - and those you choose NOT to serve - “the Non-WHO”.

Whereas the WHO represent high revenue potential, the Non-WHO are those customer groups that don’t represent significant economic opportunity for the organization.

And as a result, they warrant minimal investment.

Choosing customer groups you want to invest your valuable scarce resources in is a critical matter. You don’t have an endless stream of time and money to be all things to all people; you need to target your efforts with a minimum amount of interference that can dilute your efforts.

The Non-WHO is the “enemy” that can attract your attention, take you away from your game, suck you dry and give you no strategic return.

Often the Non-WHO are existing customers who no longer warrant attention. They may have been attractive at some point in the past, but no longer should command strategic focus.

These customers need to be managed out of the organization. They need to be cut loose in a manner that doesn’t create any collateral damage.

Take concrete measured action to remove them from your investment portfolio.

As well, the Non-WHO can be represented in over-the-transom business that you end up chasing because of the urgency of the moment or because you feel you have no choice but to give chase.

This “yummy incoming” activity can be devastating for an organized and can impede any progress towards achieving its strategic goals.

Choose WHO to serve and stick to it.

Avoid the execution “leakage” that forces you off strategy.

Like a selfish lover, The Non-WHO will have their way with you, rob you blind and leave you high and dry.

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Recent articles you might like
Companies should resist the urge to run with the herd
5 simple steps to get your marketing message across
9 subjects business newbies should be taught at school (but they’re not)

  • Posted 10.3.16 at 05:25 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

September 26, 2016

Resist the urge to run with the herd

Fuelled by the Internet and technological innovation, competition in every sector is increasing with blazing speed.

You would think that in the face of relentless competitive pressure, organizations would get more proficient at carving out a differentiated position in their market, creating a value proposition that is crystal clear and unique. But it’s not happening.

In fact, the opposite is occurring. “Un-differentiation” seems to be the norm.

Business is infatuated with copying. Best in class and best of breed are targets for emulation. Benchmarking is the key driver of improvement and innovation.

Follow the leader is played with the belief that somehow a standout competitive claim will evolve and resonate with customers. It just does not happen.

Products and services end up on most organizations’ infatuation list. Me-too features and capabilities are pushed on the market with the hope and prayer that a miracle will happen and their version will end up being the winner.

Product features and benefits are stressed as the panacea to the customer’s wants and desires. What the technology can do is given the limelight over the value it creates for people.

Mass markets are catered to, driven by a one-size-fits-all marketing mentality. Individuals take second row seat to plurality. Product corners are rounded, believing that incremental changes will make the product appeal to more people. The problem is, this strategy results in the product appealing to no one.

Businesses rush to offer lower prices than their competition, believing that this price position will engender customer loyalty and gain competitive advantage. Everyone is in this game to a degree. It seems to be that the herd races to the bottom on price rather than enduring the gruelling work to race to the top on unique value creation for people.

The bottom line: the world is burning with a growing competitive flame yet organizations are not good at establishing a clear, relevant and unique claim that distinguishes them from their competitors and that makes them stand out from everyone else.

What’s the solution?

If the competitive herd is copying products and services, features and benefits, the right long-term strategy is to be different, to stand out from the herd.

How do you stand out?

By creating and delivering value that is relevant (something that people really care about) and unique - something that only you provide.
The end-game is to create an organization that consistently creates distinction, uniqueness, remarkability, gasp-worthiness, indispensability, memorability and unforgettability for the people it chooses to serve.

These are the key strategic concepts that should drive how we innovate and shape our organizations.

These are the characteristics that attract people to buy from an organization because it makes them feel good. Yes, feelings are a hard-core business concept that drive repeat purchases and long-term customer loyalty.

On the other hand, if you can’t be gasp-worthy to people, be prepared to be common, ignored, invisible, dispensable and dead (sooner or later).

Be different or be dead.

You choose.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Recent articles you might like
5 simple steps to get your marketing message across
9 subjects business newbies should be taught at school (but they’re not)
How online dating can help build your brand and your career

  • Posted 9.26.16 at 05:47 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

September 19, 2016

5 simple steps to get your marketing message across

Marketers today face a formidable challenge when it comes to communicating their message to the market

Never has there been so much “noise” from so many companies in so many forms of media all vying for mind share.

Here are five tips that will help you cut through the clutter and land your message successfully:

1. Be clear on who you are talking to.  Who do you want to receive your message? Too many organizations these days push their message on the masses thinking that it will resonate with someone who cares.

It’s a risky proposition. It might resonate with some but it will be ignored by many. Best to know exactly who you want to talk to before you open your mouth.

2. Speak to value and benefits. People are tired of getting stuff shoved down their throats. Companies constantly flog their products at us hoping we will tire of the bombardment and buy. But it rarely happens. Some bite, but many don’t, yielding a low return on the communications investment made.

It is far more effective to give someone a reason to buy by appealing to their wants and desires.
Stress the value you bring to the table through your product or service rather than the cool stuff your technology can do.

3. Say something special about you. You have only seconds to establish your credibility; don’t forget the shield people have up to repel the messages they are bombarded with everyday. If you’re not special in a way people care about, you will be relegated to simply another message flogger who is ignored.

And if you do have a specialness that resonates with your audience, they just might let you into their space.

4. Give them a reason to buy from you as opposed to the other choices they have. Don’t “be like Mike” with no individuality.
People like to feel like they have spent their money wisely, and what better way than buying from an organization that stands apart from others?

Spend time determining what your unique value proposition is. Look to be the ONLY ones who do what you do. If you don’t stand out, your message will be ignored.

5. Make your call to action respectful and “easy”. You can’t demand their money and make them feel stupid if they don’t capitulate to your amazing offer at incredible savings. “In your face” asks are insulting. Be honoured if they decide to do business with you. And if they don’t, be respectful and grateful that they even considered you.

And couple your ask with an easy process to complete the transaction. Making them go through hoops could force them to lose their good intentions.

The reason most organizations can’t get their message across is they are trapped in the mass marketing approach of pushing their agenda on everyone.

This approach doesn’t work in today’s “me” society where relevance and personalization are key.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Recent articles you might like
How online dating can help build your brand and your career
9 subjects business newbies should be taught at school (but they’re not)
What I didn’t learn in school about leadership

  • Posted 9.19.16 at 06:28 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

September 12, 2016

How online dating can help build your brand and your career

I’m not suggesting that you get involved in online dating, but I do believe the process can provide valuable insights on how to effectively position oneself in a highly contested world.

The crucial element in online dating is your personal profile.

The challenge is to “paint a picture” of yourself that leaves no doubt as to who you are and what your specific interests are.

Your objective: to attract interest from people who are aligned with you; who have similar interests and like doing the same things. Your task is formidable given the internet universe you are exploring.

Bland vague profiles attract few worthwhile “hits” whereas clear, expressive, and detailed profiles, on the other hand, stand-out to people who are looking for specific characteristics.

For example, “I enjoy watching movies” falls short describing your specific interests as opposed to “I am a fan of Vin Diesel movies.” which would be more effective in
attracting people who enjoy action films.

“I am an animal lover.” communicates less valuable information than “I am crazy about golden labs.”

How can this process be applied to your career?

Consider your resume as your online profile.

The biggest issue I see in resumes is they all look the same. Most people use boilerplate templates and feed them with general information as opposed to the very special and specific attributes they posses.

My eyes glaze over when I read claims like “I’m a team player”, “I handle conflict well” or “I enjoy a creative work environment”. Everyone says this type of thing which does nothing to further someone’s individuality and why they should be listened to.

Take a page from the online dating profile book.

Get specific.

Over emphasize your attributes and specifically those that you think make you distinct from everyone else.

What do you do specifically that enables you to manage conflict well? How are your methods different than others?

You could approach it this way:

“I have a proven track record of effectively managing conflict (like a
million other people) because (add something that defines how YOU and ONLY YOU do it).”

And also apply the “so what and who cares?” test intended to catch the vague generalities and helium filled claims used by the crowd. If it’s a statement that everyone else uses, delete it and focus on what makes you special.

And don’t expect miracles overnight. You most likely will not come up with a profile that is sufficiently detailed to get the response you want, nor will it likely be crystal clear on how you are different than everyone else. Doesn’t matter. It’s a start. Work with it and revise it as you experience its impact on your intended audience.

Be patient but be resolute in your quest for granularity and uniqueness that will capture their interest, imagination (and their hearts).


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Recent articles you might like
9 subjects business newbies should be taught at school (but they’re not)
What I didn’t learn in school about leadership
A screw-up can produce your greatest speech

  • Posted 9.12.16 at 05:11 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink