I am curious to know what makes one person in an organization really stand out from the rest. As a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 10 years under my belt, I am constantly being reminded, if not surprised by the most interesting individuals in my team.
Today, I found out two things; the first is that I am not as bad as I thought when it comes to finding a solution to a problem and secondly, that if you give someone an opportunity, its the only way to see if they have the ability to shine or not.
As a person who is no stranger to having to pull up my sleeve, my first thoughts are always that I have to do it on my own - but I have something to share with you and it is that that is not always the case. In fact, if you reach out to your team and share your experiences and problems, they are usually the ones who come up with the solution that is best suited to your business or you personally. Your staff know you better than you think, and if you are delusional enough to think that by hiding in your office, that they don't, then you have a lot to learn.
I have been in Sydney for the last few days and I am so happy to experience the city that I love dearly, with my team. I usually waltz in and waltz out, within a day or two, and have my time so filled with meetings that I don't spend enough time getting to know the people around me.
It's Christmas time and without realising it, I have almost run out of time to buy gifts for my loved ones.
One of my team members in Sydney said that they had bought some things from Little Sale Birdy, a website designed to find all the sales for brand items online and provide one single marketplace where you get the best deal possible. After visiting the site, I was mesmerized by the quality options that the website has and quickly purchased a pair of shoes.
I then went off and started searching for different brand items for my nieces and nephews and was surprised that other sites had the same items at a much higher price. I like Little Sale Birdy because it stops me from wasting time looking up different websites to find the same thing, just at different prices. Instead, they give me access to all the sales online at once - saving time and money.
The name Little Sale Birdy is kind of cute. It's less corporate and feels a bit cheeky and more personal than the other brands online.
With many shoppers experiencing "checkout anxiety" with more than $1.79 trillion dollars worth of goods abandoned by shoppers online this year, its reassuring to know that if you go to Little Sale Birdy you will always get the best price because they actually bring together all the sale sites, providing the customer with full access to all sales in one market place without the worry that you may be ripped off or you have to fill in your details more than once.
They are not just revamping what exists already, but revolutionizing the way in which technology is used and powered to bring change. There isn't a developer here that hasn't caught on to something big, but perhaps, for some it won't happen because they are bringing the wrong product out at the wrong time, or they simply do not know how to market it.
December is upon us and in the marketing world, its a big month for writing marketing strategies for 2014. As we conduct one workshop after another, it amazes me at how out-of-touch people really are through no fault of their own.
At Marketing Eye, we work tirelessly on keeping our top marketers up-to-date with the latest in marketing, yet they still stay behind because there is always someone out there bringing out a new solution or new way in which to market, that may catch on and be the next big thing.
Marketing automation has been around for a few years, but it is not done and dusted. Instead, marketing automation is evolving and transforming the way in which we conduct marketing and process our prospects and clients into a more advanced customer relationship program. What is missing though is the biggest influencer in marketing today - and that's social media.
The way your business wins in the future is very different than the way it has won in the past
Just when we think we have got it 'sorted out' something else comes along and again, small businesses fall behind the eight ball.
If I look back on the past 20 years or so, business has changed dramatically.
- Globalization is changing the way we work, play and learn
- Technology affects every element of our lives and being
- Employees have become the single most important part of any business
- A person can no longer just blunder into business and expect to survive
- Old business models and paradigms have changed and will continue to do so
- Connecting with customers doesn't come just by word of mouth, a strong sales team or advertising in the local newspaper
- People have changed.
Last night I had the opportunity to attend an event at JWT Atlanta, the best experiential marketing company in Atlanta and one of the most experienced and creative agencies in all of the US.
They put together events every other month, bringing together people from the marketing and advertising industry.
I really enjoy going to their events as they have quality speakers and as a company, JWT Atlanta is as inspiring as any of the people that they have present. Their office space is uber creative and their people, so much fun, that even I want to go and work there.
Yesterday's speaker was Kevin Carroll, the founder of Katalyst. To say that he is inspirational, passionate and above all, a game-changer is an understatement.
Interestingly, after speaking with a number of marketing automation vendors in the past few weeks, it has become apparent that there is one clear contender for the top marketing automation spot - and that is Marketo.
Melbourne is a city that has grown on me. I have lived here for most of the past 10 years and it really has been the perfect home away from home. As a Queenslander, it took some time to get use to the weather, and talking about it all day long, but other than that, I have learnt to appreciate the finer things that make Melbourne and Sydney for that matter, so special.
As the plane landed, the first thing that came to mind is that I needed to get a coffee from my favourite barista. Secondly, how easy it is to walk through customs with the new technology that alleviates all the queuing that takes place in every other airport in the world.
Having spent so much of this year in Atlanta and the US as a whole, it strikes me that I have been "bitching" too much.
"No good coffee."
"Too many diner style restaurants."
"Business people are too aggressive."
"Everyone's homes look the same - boring."
At first, my design department sourced quotes. They ranged from $18,000 up to $33,000 for exactly the same product. I was fine with paying $18,000 but not so fine to find my normal printers quotation significantly higher at $33,000. It literally had me stopping in my tracks and evaluating what I was doing and whether it was worth it.
Then, as if someone was looking down on me, a company was referred to Marketing Eye to do some of their marketing. It was an online print automation company that specialises in reducing the cost of printing so that marketing departments can reinvest the savings back into their marketing campaigns. I personally worked on this account because I was interested in seeing what they did differently. In the end, I became as passionate about their business, as they became of ours. On top of that, they saved us 45% of our printing costs.
Today, I thought I would give the founder of this business, Mark Alioto a call to talk about what they do differently at ECM.
Like most entrepreneurs, I have failed more times than I have succeeded and every single time I have failed I have thought back to how I could have done things differently. 9 times out of 10, it was because I didn't trust my gut instinct.
Trusting in yourself and your intuition is important, but if you are anything like me, you second guess what you think you should do and find reasons as to why you should do something a different way. It's not too indifferent from taking a risk. We are all reluctant to take risks but sometimes there is this thing inside us that tells us that we must do it - even though there a thousand reasons why we shouldn't.
It was a big step for both of them to take to hire a marketing company as it isn't something that they had done before.
I enjoyed reading this blog.
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