Posts Tagged ‘steve jobs’

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FINDING CUSTOMERS WITH MONEY, REVISITED

June 12, 2014

I’ve blogged on this before, but a story in the Medford Mail Tribune by Greg Stiles, one of the most prolific and best business reporters I know, shared a variety of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that should be important to people who are selling goods and services. The marketing takeaway in Greg’s story is not that we have a lot of broadcast technicians, but how low wages are overall in Southern Oregon.

Yes, you can find high paying jobs here. As Greg reported, “the average wage for health care practitioners and technical occupations in the Medford area are 15 percent higher than the national average.” In talking to my physician friends, they are paying top dollar to attract practitioners (and their reluctant spouses) to a rural area. But BLS reports that the bulk of jobs in the area; health care staff, office and administrative workers, and retail jobs, all pay less in Medford.

David Kong, a statistician with the BLS in San Francisco, stated, “In general, wages are lower in Medford for some reason. I think it has to do with the mix of occupations and concentrations.”

David, I agree, but the “some reason” could be that our school system is creating a lot of unskilled workers who want to stay here and they have to accept less. Also, many educated workers that want to live here are willing to be under-employed (college grads working below their pay grade, as they say). The real reason is that our local economy is driven by very, very small businesses (with less than 20 employees) that find it hard to pay big city wages.

Finding and targeting consumers with money to spend has always been a critical marketing goal; in Southern Oregon it is downright essential. They may be one reason why my research division, DCG Research, has seen a 150% increase in local research projects over the past year. More businesses are using research tools to find these people.

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FIVE MILLION FANS SHOWED UP THE FIRST DAY

September 26, 2012

On Friday, September 21st, Apple released the iPhone5 and they sold five million the first day. Impressive for any product or company. But from a marketing perspective it’s extraordinary. The U.S. courts recently ruled that iPhones are unique in their look, feel and features, and that Samsung and others copied Apple. Now the marketplace is confirming this.

But people didn’t line up to just get a superior smartphone (Android phones are actually the worldwide leader in sales). They wanted an Apple phone. These consumers love the culture of the brand.

If you look at the great brands today, such as Apple and Nike, they not only have a superior product, they have a brand attitude and culture that consumers identify with and want to be a part of. That’s true brand loyalty.

Great brands require more than a great product. They require having and sharing company values with consumers. It’s a tall order, but one that every company should aspire to. At your next staff meeting, ask everyone, “What values are we sharing with our customers in our advertising?”

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WHAT APPLE REALLY THINKS

August 6, 2012

Steve Jobs famously maintained that the company never relied on market research to shape new products. Well, testimony at the Apple vs. Samsung trial tells a different story. The Wall St. Journal shares some fascinating marketing tidbits (Apple’s Secrets Revealed at Trial, August 3rd) and I am sure that they will share more, which I plan to comment on.

One of the “secrets” revealed by Apple designer Christopher Stringer is that the company’s did conduct research studies and they revealed that trust in the company’s brand was a decisive factor in buying decisions and that 78% of iPhone owners buy cases. Designer Schiller testified that surveys were considered important trade secrets at Apple, so keeping them secret was critical.

In my book and in my coaching practice, I’ve constantly told my clients and others in presentations the importance of market research; you need to know what your customers and your potential customers want and value. Yet, few small businesses ever conduct research or, if they do, they don’t know how to translate the data they collect into marketing action.

I guess that is one reason the fastest growing segment of my practice is research. The other reason is that there are numerous low-cost ways to collect data today, which are allowing us to work with dozens of companies that never thought they could afford research.

As I explain in my book, in a constantly changing world you don’t have time for “do overs.” You need to get it right the first time and research leads the way on this journey. Apple got it right by relying on a talented team with vision and research. Have a research question? Contact me. I’m happy to share ways any business can add market research to their marketing arsenal.

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KEEP IT SIMPLE – A SUCCESS TEST

October 21, 2011

I recently received an email with the following Warren Buffet quote from a CNBC interview. “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.”

 Now this will never happen, but the quote made me reflect on how often difficult issues can be resolved with simple solutions.  In my coaching practice, I occasionally witness clients who get so immersed with the complexity of an issue, they fail to look for the simple solution.

The next time you’re in a meeting facing a difficult issue, take a minute to explore the obvious, or the simple solution. You might be surprised how often it works. This leads me to close with a short Steve Jobs video explaining the complexities of success. The video quality is marginal, but the message is not:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRoHtUjIkmY&feature=related

Passion for what you do and having a great team, success is pretty simple.  Does your passion and team meet the Steve Jobs success test?

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THE PASSING OF A MARKETING GENIUS

October 6, 2011

The media world is filled with far more eloquent reflections of the life and contributions of Steve Jobs than I could ever write. But I do want to add my condolence. He was an amazing marketer and an inspiration to me in writing my marketing book www.poweershiftmarketing.org). 

In my own small way, I wanted to teach people the marketing skills that Jobs inherently knew. That you should never let your past define your future. That form and function in a consumer product are equally important. That knowing your customer and being the first to respond to their needs will make you a market leader. That great vision drives great innovation, and innovation delivers products that can change the way people live forever.

To discover more on why Steve Jobs was such a great marketer, I would suggested reading this Wall St. Journal story: WSJ.com – Mossberg: The Steve Jobs I Knew* This article will be available to non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to seven days after it is e-mailed.