Roy's Blog: Marketing

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 13, 2012

Kill dumb rules customers not employees really hate

A local business school published an article recently based on the book Hacking Work, by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein. The article was titled: “School wants students to break dumb rules for smart results” and it encouraged students to eliminate the “Corporate Rules” that 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.

Stupid rules

This approach, recognized by the Harvard Business Review as one of the top 10 “breakthrough ideas” for 2010, 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…

Where is the customer in the discussion?

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 delighting your customers. Remove an obstacle that prevents THEM from providing WOW! service.

The internal cleansing priority MUST be the customer not increasing productivity. 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 customers and forces them to go elsewhere?

I suspect that you will achieve both goals by eliminating dumb rules with a customer 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






  • Posted 2.13.12 at 11:57 am by Roy Osing
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January 30, 2012

3 proven reasons why benchmarking is really wrong

I know that benchmarking is viewed as a necessary process for most organizations. But I have a major issue with it.

Beware of these 3 things:

1. It’s copying. It doesn’t make you special. It may help you improve your position in The Herd, but it does nothing to help you Stand-out from The Herd. Copying is the enemy of BE DiFFERENT. if The Herd goes East, go West. If The Herd says Black, say White.

2. It keeps you in The Herd. Best of Breed is still in The Herd. An imprint of the #1 Herd Member still keeps you with your ‘Sameness brethren’. The Herd is not your friend. You need to break away from it, not find consolation in it’s attributes.

3. It robs you of your individuality. Benchmarking forces you to conform. Forces you to BE SaME. Forces you to capitulate to the leader of The Herd. What’s your problem? Can’t think for yourself?

YOU owe it to yourself to express your uniqueness. The Herd is common. Invisible. Ignored.

Express yourself. Distance yourself. BE YOU!

It’s ok to observe what The Herd is doing and adopting from the Best what might improve your performance. It’s quite another thing to assume that copying them will help you win the competitive battle.

Winning is about standing-out not fitting-in.

Look at The Herd.

Go a different way.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 1.30.12 at 10:20 am by Roy Osing
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January 26, 2012

How to build a killer marketing loyalty program

Every marketer is trying to build a better loyalty program that will hold customers forever.

Here are some thoughts to consider:

1. A loyalty program should be RELEVANT (something your fans care about). It should carry some degree of personalization and not be for the masses. If it’s for the masses, it’s for nobody.

2. A loyalty program should be UNIQUE (something they can ONLY get from you). Doing the same thing as everyone else diminishes its value to the point of making it worthless.

Killer loyalty

3. Tailor your program around your top customers in terms of what they care about. Design it for THEM.

4. Observe what the competition is doing, but act on what your fans are telling you. Many organizations design something on the basis of what their competition is doing. Chasing your competition is unproductive; listen to your fans.

5. Build an ONLY Statement for the loyalty program. “Our loyalty program is the ONLY one that….” would separate you from others and make it easy to communicate it.

6. Avoid benchmarking other plans unless you want to exercise the “contrarian marketing tool” and go the opposite way. Copying best of breed might allow your status in the herd to improve, but it won’t allow you to stand-out from any other member of it.

7. Consider greater benefits to those who have been with you the longest. Someone who has been with you for 10 years is worth more than someone who has been loyal for 2 years. Treat the 10 year old accordingly by delivering more benefits to them.

8. Design a communications strategy to support your plan to be constantly engaging with your members. Constantly tweak the plan based on fan feedback.

9. Test the plan design with your fans. Make sure it addresses their high priority wants and desires.

10. Personalize the program. Have a variety of versions based on the unique desires of your various fans. The one-size fits all approach is what others do and it isnt as effective as taking the specialization approach.

11. Give loyalty club members a special “Fan Club Service Line” to call when they need to talk to you. Differentiated levels of service is an appropriate way to recognize the relative value of customer groups.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 1.26.12 at 01:04 pm by Roy Osing
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