I just finished reading "The Circle", a novel by Dave Eggers. It may not be the greatest novel I've read, but I couldn't put it down. It's a must read for anyone working in high tech &/or actively engaged in social media. The Circle is a story of how one company can do evil under the guise of corporate good will. It's about the positive and evil powers of social media. The novel illustrates the mechanisms of a cult gone viral on a global scale. It's hard to believe the "world wide web" is 25 years old. Remember when a virtual visit to the Louvre was the most exciting web application? The Circle takes a dystopian view of how the internet might look well within the next 25 years. Most of the technology exists today - the NSA certainly uses it.
Here's an excellent review by Margaret Atwood from the New York Review of Books.
I'm an avid Podcast listener - Fresh Air, BBC's Kermode & Mayo, Maron's WTF & anything Slate. A new favorite is The Gist with Mike Pesca - topical, short, & sweet. I especially liked the podcast from last week with author Stephen Dubner: "Freakonomics is Basically a Peanut Butter Cup". To paraphrase:
"...Working with Georganne, it took less then 2 hours to develop and start implementing a focused business plan. I’m thrilled that my investment paid for itself in less then a month! "
It's a blast to see clients have a major "Aha!" moment. Like when they see the benefits of targeted marketing campaigns vs. hit & miss activities. While concentrating on the day-to-day aspects of running their business, the basics of effective marketing are often overlooked. My own Aha moment was remembering to drink my own champagne. As I was developing consulting services to offer Tiger Team Marketing clients, I put them in practice myself.
One result was the development of a simple program that leads Tiger Team clients through the process of mapping out their marketing strategy: " One-Page . Two-Hours . Five-steps". By focusing on business and marketing best practices, I provide a a framework that guides clients through common discovery & planning exercises:
1. Deciding their business & marketing goals
2. Describing their customers
3. Defining their products
4. Developing a marketing plan
5. Doing it: setting a budget, creating a specific set of activities & deliverables, determining a timeline
Typically we begin with a Kick Start coaching session that helps the client take an outside-in view of their company. This builds a framework for the marketing conversation they want to have with their customers. From there we brainstorm on the strategy & plan. After the coaching session, the client is likely to engage with Tiger Team for implementing the plan in a way that best suits their needs.
It's a great journey as I continue to drink the champagne & go through my own 5-steps, making continual improvements along the way. Check out the Tiger Team website, updated to create more focus on the small business market. Another step towards achieving my own business goals. Let me know what you think!
Georganne Benesch is the principal of Tiger Team Marketing, CMO of Centerline Farm and a over zealous Yoga practitioner. With 25+ years in high-tech product marketing, she consults for start-ups, small businesses and technology companies.