11 Lessons That Can Applied to YOUR Marketing Today!
Marketing never ends; it simply evolves, especially as new, innovative technologies enter the marketplace and act as influencers. Take it from someone who knows a thing or two about innovation and marketing — former Apple Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki. Kawasaki learned from one of this generation's greatest innovators and challengers to the traditional way of doing things: late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Kawasaki was one of the keynote speakers at the 2014 #Inbound Marketing Conference in Boston, during which he shared 11 lessons he learned from his time working with Jobs and how they can be applied to marketing today. Here's a closer look at Kawasaki's presentation.
Lesson 1: Experts Are Clueless
Don't always follow the advice of the so-called "experts" of the world, as experts are often poor predictors of the future. "Experts" said that the telephone would never take off as a means of communication when it was invented in the late 1800s. "Experts" also said that the computer would never be a household staple. Yes, in these instances as well as many others, these "experts" couldn't have been more wrong. The lesson here is not to be afraid to challenge the experts and the current means by which things are done.
Lesson 2: Customer Feedback Isn't All Its Cracked Up to Be
Customers have a hard time telling you what they want, yet companies are always quick to point out that their latest product is "based on feedback from customers." Customers are good for helping you evolve something, not helping you take that next big step. Don't confuse the two.
Lesson 3: Jump to the Next Curve
Focus on business evolution! If your business isn't evolving, chances are it's just falling behind the competition. That's why you should never focus on being the business you want to be today; instead, focus on being the business you want to be tomorrow. But you don't have to completely change your company; you just have to change the curve. Don't become complacent, and don't just focus on what it is that you do; focus on why you matter to the customer. Evolve your offerings based on what they mean to the customer.
Lesson 4: Challenge Big
One way to become more innovative is to challenge your employees in everything they do. Big challenges can be daunting, but they can bring about great rewards. Don't be afraid to buck the status quo.
Lesson 5: Design Counts
Design counts for enough people. It may not be important to everyone, but it’s important to enough people that it matters. Don't underestimate its value.
Lesson 6: Use Big Graphics and Big Fonts
When you're presenting something, it's important that your audience is able to follow along. So use big fonts and big graphics as eye-catching anchor points during your presentation. The point of a presentation is to give the audience enough anchor points to follow what you are saying.
Lesson 7: It's OK to Change Your Mind
Many people associate changing their minds about something as an admission of a mistake or an admission of defeat. That's not necessarily the case — changing your mind can also be a sign of intelligence. It's OK to change your mind. Take Jobs, for example, during the early days of the iPhone's rollout. Originally, he didn't want any third-party apps. He changed his mind, and everyone — including Apple — is better for it.
Lesson 8: Value Doesn't Equal Price
Contrary to what many believe, value and price are very different. Price is what you pay when you acquire a product; value is the support, training and assistance that occurs in the days that follow that purchase. Don't focus so much on price; focus more on value.
Lesson 9: A Players Hire A+ Players
Hire people who are better than you are or bring a different skill set or mindset to the table. Hiring "yes men" or those who are inferior to you will only bring your company down in the long run. Surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you are will help you realize just how smart you truly are.
Lesson 10: Marketing = Unique Value
Marketing is all about creating unique value. If you offer something that's valuable, but not unique, then you have to beat your competitors on price. But if you offer something that's truly unique and valuable, you'll not only have a hot product, but large profit margins as well.
Lesson 11: Believing Is Seeing
You've likely heard the expression "I'll believe it when I see it." But if you believe it, you can see it. That's how innovation happens. You need to buy in and believe that it works first. If you wait to see it happen, it will never happen.
Steve Jobs once said, "Stay hungry; stay foolish." And that applies to the 11 lessons outlined above. Take the time to learn them and apply them to your business. Your business will thank you in the long run.
Which lesson did you find most helpful? Share your comments below!