Roy's Blog: Marketing

March 17, 2012

How much of your customer’s business do you have?

A critical component of creating your strategy is to determine WHO do you want to SERVE?

This represents a key decision as it defines the turf you intend to compete on and where you will allocate your scarce resources.

Rather than flog products to a mass market, you narrow your opportunity down to smaller groups of customers where you have competencies that stand-out from your competition.


The primary objective is to maximize the percentage of the target customer’s business you hold as opposed to the portion of a mass market you possess with the products you sell.

If you have, say, 30% customer share, you have work to do; a significant growth opportunity exists. Understand customer secrets, create high value offerings and provide them as tangible benefit of the deep intimate relationships you seek to build with them.

If, on the other hand, you hold 80% customer share, watch your back! You represent a growth opportunity for others and they will be targeting you to gain advantage. Your action plan? Focus on deepening the relationships you have with these customers. Build barriers to customer exit by providing unsurpassed value.

At the end of the day, its all about FOCUS. You don’t have the luxury of unlimited resources to chase a mass market.

Select the customers who represent the highest potential opportunity for your organization, learn their innermost needs and desires and create holistic Offers for them that provide relevant and compelling value.

And, measure customer share continuously as the dash board measure of your success.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 3.17.12 at 09:18 am by Roy Osing
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February 27, 2012

6 mind-blowing lessons from The Grateful Dead


Invaluable things you can do to BE Cherished by your Fans

1. Mix it up. Constantly innovate. Give your Fans a different look (value packages, promotions, events, fun) as often as you can. The Dead decided what songs to play when they began each concert - songs “on the run”. Risky? Yes. Original? Yes. Did their Fans love them for it? YES!

2. Enable your customers to fulfill themselves. Do what THEY want. The key here is the “Serving” mentality. Find out what they want and desire and take them there. The Dead created a bubble for their Fans and allowed them to reach emotional highs.

3. Focus on the experience not the product. The Dead did not try to sell records. They wanted to create mind-blowing experiences for their Fans. And guess what? (They sold lots of records).

4. Save the best deals for your best customers. Using Special Promotional Deals to entice people away from their supplier is a fool’s game in any event. What makes you think that if someone takes your Special Offer they won’t leave you in a heartbeat if someone else gives them one as well? You can’t grow your business by catering to the “promiscuous” crowd of constant switchers. Furthermore, what will your loyal customers say when they find out that you are not offering the special deal to them? (I can see their taillights already). The Dead ALWAYS saved the best ticket prices, seats and deals for their Fans. The result? The most successful touring band in history.

5. Do the opposite of what your competitors are doing. Observe ‘em and do a 180. You can’t stand-out if you copy. The Dead allowed their Fans to record their music in concert. No other band did. The 180 strategy created uniqueness and remark-ability that made them unforgettable.

6. Communicate with your Fans incessantly. AND figure out how to make it easier for them to communicate with one another. The Dead were fanatics when it came to having conversations with their Fans before Social Media arrived. Their Fans responded by not only attending concerts and other Dead Events, but also by talking up The Dead to their friends. The Dead virus spread…

You can learn a great deal about business from the most interesting and surprising sources.

Check out The Dead.

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 2.27.12 at 08:10 am by Roy Osing
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February 16, 2012

Are you generic?

Generic is no-name. Generic is undifferentiated. Bland. Indistinguishable in the herd.

Generic is the last place you want to be. The last spot you want to occupy in a competitive world. You won’t get noticed.

Generic sucks.

If you occupy a generic position in the market, look for an escape route. NOW before it is too late.

BE relevant to someone. Sharpen the edges of what you provide to the market. Pick a target and create value for HER. Trying to be extremely relevant to the masses is very difficult if not impossible for most.

BE a caregiver to someone. Trust that caring will build trust and long term success.


BE contrarian. Do something that is exactly the opposite to what others are doing. Get noticed. Be outlandish. Get talked about for your guts and way out innovative thinking. Give ‘em something to talk about.

BE a failure. Success rarely comes the first time. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re making a mistake.

BE patient. Moving from the generic crowd to the specialty suppliers does not happen over night. Baby steps. Nano-inches of progress. No silver bullets.

A generic position is NO position.

Anything is better.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 2.16.12 at 09:33 am by Roy Osing
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February 13, 2012

Dumb rules: barriers to distinction and unforgettability


An article in our Vancouver Sun newspaper reported that “UBC’s Sauder School of Business encourages the questioning of routines that aren’t in the best interest of a company”.

The Article, based on a recent book, Hacking Work, by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein, was titled: “School wants students to break dumb rules for smart results” and was all about encouraging students to eliminate the “Corporate Rules” got in the way of job efficiency and effectiveness.

The message: eliminate the dumb rules in your organization that prevent you from doing your job in the most productive way possible. Full stop.

This is another approach, recognized by the Harvard Business Review as one of the top 10 “breakthrough ideas” for 2010, that simply does not go far enough. It is focused internally. The benefits realized are improved productivity, lower costs and happier employees. Nothing wrong with this… BUT

What about your customer? Your Fan? The person who is responsible for your existence?

I have written extensively about the need to cleanse the internal customer service organizational environment of Dumb Rules and Stupid Things that didn’t make any sense to your customers. Look for a Rule, Policy or Procedure that gets in the way of Dazzling your Fans. Remove an obstacle to your Frontline that prevents THEM from serving and delighting them.

The internal cleansing priority MUST be your Fans. I’m not saying that killing rules that drive work dysfunction is not important. It is. But with limited resources and time available to any organization, we must do the REALLY important things first. What is more important that removing the stuff that annoys your Fans and forces them to go elsewhere? Exactly….

I suspect that you will achieve both goals by a Fan focus. Destroying those little-BIG bureaucratic procedures that drive your customers crazy will also improve job productivity and employee satisfaction.

Form a Dumb Rules Committee in your organization and empower people to seek out this dysfunctional stuff. And ACT on what they discover. If you do nothing with their findings your credibility and believability goes down to zero and your next attempt at engaging your employees will be met with (earned) skepticism and reluctance.

You will be surprised with the energy and passion that is released through this simple Dumb Rules exercise and the employee commitment and loyalty that is built. People will have FUN and spread the word that you really intend to be customer-obsessed. Actions scream out your intent. Do it.

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…
Go small or go home
It’s about time we had Customer of the month Awards
Do lots of imperfect stuff FAST





  • Posted 2.13.12 at 11:57 am by Roy Osing
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