Saying What You Mean

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

It is easy to confuse your target market by using what they might consider to be strange or unusual vocabulary.

business butterfly

Change Your Business, Or Watch It Die

Gee Ranasinha Business, Marketing

There’s plenty of management-speak out there about how business leaders need to embrace change. How business, and commerce in general, has its foundations on shifting sands. The only way to ride the wave is to accept and relish the concept of change within your company. However, the truth is very different. Most company managers that I know are more about creating and maintaining a consistent and stable workplace for employees, in order to create an air of security and reassurance and help keep staff morale high. The problem with building all of this structure is that it prevents you acting – or reacting – when an external force is applied.  Take the music industry as an example. For decades, music companies held control as to how and what music was consumed, and record stores controlled distribution. When the internet threatened to upset that control, their immediate reaction was to fight it. To keep things the way are. Guess what? They lost. Today, anyone can release a piece of music  – or any other piece of intellectual property – and get it in front of a big-enough audience to generate attention. The biggest seller of music in the USA today is …

cheerleaders

Do you have Followers, Fans or Evangelists?

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Marketing, Sales, Social Media

In order for your business to understand more about why customers buy from you today, and hopefully continue to buy from you tomorrow, you need to understand more about customer loyalty. Loyal customers can be broken down into three very distinct groups: Let’s call them Followers, Fans, and Evangelists. A successful and growing brand needs all three types of customer in order to thrive. “Followers” are the ones who buy your product or service no matter what. Times can be good, times can be bad, but they’re going to stick with what they know – and they know you. Followers are generally creatures of habit. It’s stressful for them to contemplate changing (after the initial stress of finding a suitable provider – i.e. you – in the first place). So rather than go through the hassle, the Follower will stay with you. However, note a Follower is only with you because it’s convenient – for them. Yes, they’ll continue to buy from you. They’re choosing you for their own reasons. Supposing things change with your business (as they always do). Supposing you get to a point where you’re forced to raise your prices. Perhaps the raw material costs have gone up, or …

pocketwatch on a map

Where’s the Center of Your World? You’re Already There

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Marketing

Twenty years ago, various industries each had their own epicenters.  The place where you could find the best of the best in that particular field. Milan as the fashion center of the world. Madison Avenue for the advertising industry, Hollywood for motion pictures, and so on. Today, the hottest place for fashion might be Madrid, or Hong Kong, or Miami. Advertising? How about London, or Sao Paulo, or Johannesburg?  The movie industry might look towards India, where Bollywood produces double the number of feature films compared to Hollywood. Why the change? Three reasons: Talent: If you’re great at what you do, you no longer have to make the pilgrimage to some old industry stomping-ground to get noticed. If you’re good enough, you can be based wherever you want. Technology: This is linked to the one above:  Technology now connects people in amazing ways, no matter where they’re physically located. Just taking our own example, we couldn’t do what we do now if it wasn’t for enablers such as VoIP, Skype, smartphones, WebEx and the rest. Power: The days of autocratic individuals or groups that decided who could be part of the party and who couldn’t are over. The old methodology of “industry gatekeepers” …

Slow learners need more time to get to the same level of expertise as fast learners

How Long Did It Take You To Learn How To Ride A Bike?

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

There are people who just “get” mathematics, and then there’s people like me. And maybe you. I always struggled with maths. As a kid, I vividly remember my parents losing their tempers on more than one occasion while spending long evenings helping me learn my multiplications tables. For whatever reason, that sort of information just never made a connection inside of me. Maths and I just don’t get along. I’m pretty sure that Sir Clive Sinclair invented the world’s first pocket calculator for people like me. However, maths was the only school subject that I couldn’t get my head around: I pretty much aced most other subjects. I have a very visual memory – my party trick used to be to memorize a shuffled pack of playing cards in under 3 minutes – so I’m not what I would call a particularly slow learner. Or maybe, like many people, I’m a slow-learner in subjects that don’t interest me. Slow learners need more time to get to the same level of expertise as fast learners, that much is obvious. But is slow – or fast – learning a good indicator of a person’s intelligence? I’m not so sure. Apart from party …

bell push

Start With “Employee Service” and “Customer Service” Will Follow

Gee Ranasinha Customer Service, Marketing, Sales

There’s an interesting article on The Harvard Business Review about how management at Ritz-Carlton hotels look at their employees. We all expect a certain level of customer service when staying at all but the most modest of hotels. As a result, you would think that it would be difficult to excel at service if you’re in an industry that’s all about customer experience. Time after time, year after year, Ritz Carlton are one of the few companies that “get it.” Just about any company you care to mention will talk about how much they value the importance of customer service. However, there are precious few that talk about how they value their employees in the same way. Here’s just one example: “Every employee of every Ritz hotel has the right to spend up to $2,000 a day per guest to resolve any problem that arises. It’s a powerful expression of trust in employees, as well as a gift of empowerment and autonomy. It’s also vastly better for guests. How many times have you been told over the years, “I’ll have to go to my manager about that”? For too long and for too often businesses have underestimated their most valuable …

Microsoft "Blue Screen Of Death"

Bad Marketing Is Worse Than No Marketing

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

Question: When is email spam not email spam? Answer: When it has my name and company name in the copy. Well, that’s what I’m guessing, since I had a piece of unsolicited email hit my Inbox this morning. Somehow it had managed to circumvent my spam blocking filter. I wanted to share it with you, so here’s the text in its entirety. Certain parts have been censored to protect the not-so-innocent, but the spelling/grammar errors have been left untouched: Dear Gee, Hope you are doing fine. I am writing to check if “Kexino“ has any Enterprise Architecture Initiatives where XXXX could help. We are helping many companies like yours with Enterprise Architecture approach in managing risks amp; innovation during turbulent times. In our pursuit to bring advance Enterprise Architecture program to France, we are glad to announce the up coming one day conference in Paris XX Oct by XXXXX XXXXXX – Father of XXXXXX XXXXXXXX. As you know, XXXXX XXXXXXXXX is world’s most proven model for aligning IT Investments amp; Business Goals. It has been applied for managing change amp; complexity in several Global 2000 organizations. This conference is focused on how to create value for your organization by systematically …

Sculptor making a sculpture

How Do You Make A Sculpture Of A Duck?

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

As a sculptor removes the superfluous, your marketing must remove the unnecessary in order to reach your target audience. Keep your messaging short, sharp and to the point.

Online Video: Much More Than Just YouTube

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

If you have a spare 19 mins, take a look at this fantastic presentation from TED’s Chris Anderson on why video, in conjunction with the mass distribution model of the internet, is changing the way that we learn, develop and evolve our knowledge. He calls the process “Crowd-Accelerated Innovation”, something that he says may end up being as significant as the advent of the printed word. If you don’t have 19 mins to spare, then fast-forward the talk to about the 9 min mark. Chris makes interesting observations on why video is so much more compelling that the text in a number of levels. As human beings, we’re innately drawn to face-to-face communication. While information can often be absorbed faster through the written word, the non-verbal element of the communication is missing which can significantly contribute to the level of both comprehension and retention. As he says “What Gutenberg did for writing, online video can now do for face-to-face communication.” Online Video: Much More Than Just YouTube was last modified: January 20th, 2019 by Gee Ranasinha

Today’s Game Is About Changing The Game

Today’s Game Is About Changing The Game

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Marketing, Sales

The game of business continually changes. And it’s happening faster than ever. Yesterday the game was simply about making something that someone, somewhere, was prepared to pay in order to have. If we’re honest, even if your product or service wasn’t great – wasn’t the best – it didn’t really matter. There was enough of the cake to go around so that everyone got a taste of it. Creating and selling something that was meh, that was good enough, was enough. While it meant your business wouldn’t be front-page-news successful, it was probably enough for you and your employees to tick along. Today, the business game is about changing the game. The rules, as they say, are there to be broken. Just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean that you can’t come along and change it. The problem with complacency in business, is your competition don’t necessarily think in the same terms as you do. The longer the business environment stays the same, the more likely that players within that space look outwardly the same to customers. And that’s a bad thing. Something that, eventually, a business owner decides is enough – and changes the …

Why Video Speaks Louder Than Text

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

Loic LeMeur is a San Francisco-based entrepreneur behind the popular Seesmic application for monitoring your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn social media profiles. Loic has recently started to publish a series of 30 short video tutorials called How To Build Your Brand Online. He made the videos as an aid for anyone who wants to know more about social media, what to do to get involved, and how to do it. A noble cause, no doubt, and I’m sure it will be very successful. But that’s not what I find interesting. What impresses me is the the fact that he chose to make the program as a series of videos. It would have been far easier, faster and cheaper to write it all down. Stick a bunch of screenshots here and there, offer the whole thing as a downloadable eBook, and he’d be good to go. Instead, Loic chose to take the time and trouble to express his ideas using video. Today’s online visitor is more likely to watch a well-crafted video than read a lengthy piece of text. Initiatives such as Loic’s acknowledge this trend, as well as reinforce it. Your text-only website was fine five years ago. But today, …

design importance for small businesses

Business Designs On Commerce

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Customer Service, Marketing

How important is “Design” in your business? “But we’re not a design business!” you exclaim. Excuse me, but that’s irrelevant. The fact of whether you’re ‘selling’ design as your business isn’t the issue. It’s that the very essence of every customer-facing touchpoint in your business is dripping in design decisions. Even deciding to not make a decision is a decision in itself Design is much more than simply another way to imagine a lemon squeezer, personal music player, or a vacuum cleaner. But I’m not (just) talking about the design of your product, or the look of your website. I’m talking about the design of your actual business. Not what it makes. Most marketers and small business owners will spend a lot of their time evaluating what are basic – but nonetheless superficial – design elements. The shape and color of your business logo. The typeface, image choice, and layout of the content of your website. Sure, these are part of the design aesthetic of your business. But business design is so much more. It goes so much deeper. Business design is the way you choose to describe what you do to customers, to partners, to the press, to your …

marketing with permission

Asking For Permission With Your Marketing

Gee Ranasinha Business, Marketing

Everyone hates advertising. If you’re like me, the instant the TV show you’re watching goes to a commercial break you almost unconsciously reach for the remote control to change the channel. We buy set-top boxes that allow us to record the TV that we want, while at the same type removing the advertising that we don’t want. We cut the cord and bypass cable / satellite TV altogether, opting instead for (usually) subscription-based streaming services. We are even willing to pay certain websites for the sole purpose of removing the advertising from our viewing experience. Our hatred of advertising seemingly has no bounds. The advertising industry’s response to get their product in front of our faces? They try to remove the choice – and add more advertising. They force us to watch ads at the beginning of web videos and DVD films that we can’t skip past. When we enabled pop-up window blockers in our browsers, they put the ads INSIDE the web pages themselves. But it wasn’t always like this. I remember when ad campaigns – both print and TV – were more creative, interesting and entertaining than many of the articles or shows that they served to punctuate. …

marketing, video, translation, traduction, InDesign,

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Gee Ranasinha Business, Communications, Marketing, PR, Sales, Social Media

Have you heard of the phrase “Do as I say, not as I do” ? Many business leaders have the right intentions, the right thoughts or the right motives to effect change, yet exclude themselves from the application of the directive. Yet, more often than not, change is only truly embraced when applied from the top downwards. Perhaps it’s implementing better interdepartmental communication. Or maybe a more consistent, strategized corporate or product message designed to permeate throughout the organization. Except the CEO – or the Sales Director, or the Customer Services Manager, or whoever – doesn’t think that this new thinking applies to them. They carry on improvising their sales presentations – or describing the product their own way, or emailing a distributor without cc’ing the appropriate territory manager – the way that they have always done. In other words, dutifully ignoring the carefully-crafted initiatives that, often, they were an integral part of devising in the first place. The result? Well, if my boss doesn’t bother to make the effort, why should I? Subordinates see that their bosses aren’t taking the new initiatives on board. Within a short space of time the best-laid plans of mice and men have collapsed. …