Posts Tagged ‘Seth Godin’

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This post has come about by two seemingly unrelated events and a nice glass of wine…

Event One: Seth Godin gave a fascinating speech recently to a skeptical book publishing industry – virtually pleading with them to wake up and avoid the mistakes the music industry made when addressing the change online digital media forced upon their industry. Seth outlined how they MUST gather a tribe – that leading an audience is more important that owning products and patents. (And he is right!)

Event One-and-a-half: Magazine industry heavyweights are in a battle with Apple. They want to sell their product via iTunes – but they also want to own the information about the subscribers – after all the magazine business understands the value of the subscriber data better than the book, music and movie industries appear to. Apple believes its customers are its own and that data is private between Apple and its iTunes subscribers. The media continue to blast Apple for ‘knowing whats best’ and not be more open.

In effect – they have a Seth ‘Tribe’ and continue to pick and choose the products they wish to offer ‘their’ followers. Magazine owners have lost their biggest asset and didn’t see it coming. They have no choice but to compromise and work with Apple, Amazon and any other platform that represents a tribe.

Event Two: Facebook‘s recently got a lot of negative press about opting you in by default to public sharing of information. Whether you were OK with this or not – a lot of debate centered around Facebook making decisions on your behalf – and not making them conscious opt-in choices for you.

The Glass of Wine: My initial reaction was in line with old-think: “Boo Apple – let me choose” – but then i thought that through a bit more. As Facebook user – I do not want the rules changed without my approval – I now do not trust Facebook as much as I trust Apple and Amazon. I am comfortable giving these two organisations my credit card number and address details to make future purchases easier. I would not give this sort of information to Facebook in a million years. And there is the key insight for you:

If your customers give YOU information – treat it as you would a rare and precious gift. Don’t on-sell it. Don’t rent your customer list out. Don’t contact your customers using invented reasons to thinly disguise a naked sales drive.

Do this – and your customers will reward you with trust – and that is the most precious gift that Seth and some companies get – while the rest seem stuck in a 1930’s version of the catalog business.

So – what information do you have about your customers? How can you increase their trust in you by demonstrating to them your respect for their privacy (actions – not words)

HINT: Think of the quintessential English butler – the one that sees you at your best, worst and everything in between, knows your habits, anticipates your needs, but always acts with utmost discretion to the point you completely trust them with your life.

Forearmed is forewarned so the old saying goes – and I hope this is true for you and your business.


Seth covers some of the fundamental questions for new businesses and since it flows on directly from the last few posts I have made I encourage you to go read it here

Seth has a way of succinctly saying things. And his post <here> on choosing customers ties in with my recent target market focusing.

In the age of hyper-niche marketing this is more important than it ever has been.

Seth’s blog post this morning is entitled ‘the forces of mediocrity’
and I agree 100% with what he says about resistance to geniunely good business ideas from people with vision.

I’d like to make a parallel point here: That Life has a way of putting obstacles in your path – partly to test your conviction to your idea.

What I mean is:- if you have a big idea, then you are going to meet considerable resistance which not only serves to test the idea, but also test (and grow) you.

So – whats it going to be? I nice easy-to-implement idea that is so similiar to everyone elses there is no differentiation and noone will notice – or a big bold out-there idea, thats edgy, new, different – and risky?