When I sat down to put my realizations, my “ah-ha” moment about some major changes going on in the business environment into words, I thought to myself, this might be too basic and obvious information for the EJ audience.
I will suspend doubt and elaborate my insights for people who may understand these ideas theoretically, yet run away from the truth and how these changing concepts impact your business.
Realization #1: It’s Never Going To Be The Same Again
Yesterday I checked my inbox and saw several emails, three of which were from Groupon, Local Deals and one other deals website. I am not a Groupon-type daily deals guy, but I signed up to learn from them since I was working on a similar project.
As I opened one of those emails, I realized that Black Friday, was coming close, and wondered if there were sweeter deals on top of the daily deals out there.
Then the lightening struck.
With Groupon-like websites becoming a norm, people are conditioned to pay lower prices for the same quality products. With time sensitive deals, people make decisions faster, if they want to buy something or not. When people would go grocery shopping, they would cut out and take coupons with them to save a buck or two. Now with deals coming to our smartphones via email/sms, we expect to have deals available on products we want to buy. (Keyword: expectations.)
First rule of economics, there is always a limited amount of resources! Gates, Buffet, Zuckerberg and you, all have a set limited amount of money (a resource) in your bank account. Everything (but God) has a limit.
Given that, most of us have been in a buying mode all year round with daily deals emails, I wonder how much people collectively spend on a Black Friday sale?
From this realization, I went into a butterfly effect, thinking that this is more than just buying patterns at work…
Realization #2: We Love Buying, But We Hate Being Sold To
I am currently working with a 100 year old publishing company with 28 B-to-B magazine titles.
This company is making a shift into new media, which is where I come into play. I hear stories of sales people working here complaining that in the good ol days, they would sell 200 ad pages at ridiculously high prices, where today they are considered literally lucky to get 20 ad pages.
The sad part is that these sales people still do not realize that the world is changing. I spoke with one of the guys and he told me that his 23 year old daughter wants to become a sales person for a media company as well. WHAT?????
Didn’t daddy tell the little girl that daddy made that money in different times, and that time will NEVER EVER come again.
Media will not be sold by sales people (in five years). Period. It will be bought by marketers based on data/metrics recorded and provided by the media company and verified by a third party.
Wink Wink…there’s a clue in there (verified by third party).
I am not that old, I am 23, and just recently realized that the world has had its few dents in the last five years. The speed of such dents hitting us is becoming faster.
I am the kind of person who sticks with what works and becomes blindly loyal and bias towards those things that worked for me. Don’t laugh and please don’t just read. Realize that maybe I also described you. Believe me, we humans hate change.
Remember that lightening that started the butterfly effect? That also made me realize that every day I am not experimenting or discovering what is new, I am becoming obsolete, less relevant, less competitive, less efficient.
I made a mental note to revisit my “Proven ideas”, and question them every time I start or develop a project. The same old “Proven ideas” might be irrelevant today. That’s harsh – I hate it. I spent all this time perfecting things and they might not work again – What the BLEEP.
“Life is hard”, he retorted “compared to what”
– Peter Bevelin
Realization #3: There Are Bad Ideas!
It was noon and I was working on a consulting project with a company (small office setting on the 2nd floor of a commercial building), when two ladies (in their mid 30s) came knocking on the door.
Not threatened by the smiley faces, the owner of the company opened the glass door and inquired what was it that they wanted.
These ladies were entrepreneurs launching a new local yellow pages book and offered to sell a listing. Overly optimistic that their product had a new spin, it was local, they were still nervous doing door-to-door selling. These women were politely told that the offer was not something that the owner was interested in, the women left promising to come back and check again.
That was it, that was the story. Lesson! THERE ARE BAD IDEAS.
Who in this holy world with an Internet connection, still searches a yellow book to find a product/service?
Google search has changed how we shop, research, decide (and advertise as marketers). No matter how persistent and committed you are, this “LOCAL” yellow book will fail. In hindsight, I should have walked over to these women and shook them to reality.
Realization #4: I Have To Become More Human To The World
As a student of direct marketing, a well known marketer (arguably the best direct marketer alive today) convinced us to assume a fake personality. He taught us to show the world that we are difficult to meet, that our time was literally worth money.
Internet marketers teach us to mold the truth, to convey how our products are the best things since sliced bread. They convinced us to tell the incomplete story and tell the “I have a secret formula” story.
Convinced by my guru’s, I hired a personal assistant to reply to my customer emails. I became narrow minded and thought that my customers didn’t get it when they emailed me questions. But in fact, I didn’t get it.
Result? I lost touch with my customers. My following grew since my content was relevant and cutting-edge, but my customer service sucked! I was pushing away customers with my own hands..
This incomplete story won’t work for us today. We can no longer hide in our offices, ignoring our real customers who connect with us via the web.
More Realizations Coming Up Next
My butterfly effect thought train did not end at Realization #4. I have more to share.
Next I will reveal my personal inspirations – people who I look up to. I will also tell you about some of my latest projects, what I am experimenting with and why I am doing it.
Until then Aziz Ali signing out.