Like many entrepreneurs, gravitating to other entrepreneurs or business people is natural. Talking to a Neurosurgeon is not.
"It's not brain surgery" is one of my favorite sayings. The other, "it's not rocket science". It seems quite apt that I find myself in conversation with a neurosurgeon, whose gene pool is only bolstered by the fact his father is a rocket scientist. Was I intimidated. Hell yes! But how impressed I was to be having such an intriguing and relevant conversation with a neurosurgeon, was only interrupted by moments of wanting to be opportunistic. I had to literally stop myself asking if a sperm donation was a point I could include in the discussion. Now, what single woman wouldn't want to have a child with this gene pool?
Nevertheless, when I pulled myself together, I realized the synergies between business and neurosurgery isn't actually poles apart and much closer than one would think. As a marketer, we have certainly learnt a lot from neuroscience and consumer behaviour, but the outlook of how a surgeon views what they do, was what struck me as being something every entrepreneur can learn from.
Another grose generalization, but the reality is that too many of the Gen-Xers who have started businesses 5+ years ago, are working their butts off and are not spending the time needed to lessen their loads by giving the young, up-and-coming executives the chance to really make a difference.
Here's my experience. I was sharing a glass of wine with Maikayla Desjardins, a Marketing Executive at Marketing Eye Atlanta yesterday and I asked the question, "why did you leave your job in New York and come and work for me in Atlanta?"
Her first response was: "You sold me on Atlanta as this awesome place to live - but let's face it, it's not quite New York!"
Brian Heather is a serial entrepreneur; young, dynamic, good looking and with a real social conscience. Not only is he in the business of sustainable building, landscaping and water proofing, this 30 year old business man is changing the landscape of green buliding.
It may be a buzz word to many, but let me assure you, being green is more than meets the eye. Brian is a much sought after entrepreneur who has landed himself in the spotlight with his inaugural Ted Talk on June 23 on "The importance of reconnecting our cities to nature".
His business, Solterra Systems, is a fully licensed electrical, landscaping and waterproofing company that focuses on integrating environmental technology into buildings.
This can range from green roofs where you are producing food, to rain screen siding systems that protect the building from the elements with plants.
What can communities be doing more of to connect their cities to nature?
The first step is attaching an ROI to the benefits associated with being in nature for all humans. For example, they estimate that the average American spends 26% of the day being distracted whether its a text message or an advertisement - but right now technology is very much a part of what we do - and so, if we just look at businesses for example, there is a loss of productivity in the workplace and people have in general very un-balanced lives.
That age old battle - the ego vs the heart - is more relevant now than ever to us marketeers and anyone directly involved in business development. It dictates how you speak to the people you need to be speaking to; how you capture their attention and it applies to every communication you put out there – online, direct mail, posters, brochures, social media.
The thing is though, with everyone communicating to everyone else - shouting, pitching and bargaining for a share of the market - it can be hard, defeating and infuriating for those of us running ethical business operations to compete with ‘get rich quick’ and ‘lose 7kg in 7 days’.
It feels like the birth of the sweeping social media phenomenon occurred just five seconds ago, with Pinterest’s viral growth to dizzying heights, Facebook’s takeover of Instagram and Twitter launching the new network, Vine.
The new medium is continuing to grow and evolve, spawning a new phenomenon of its own: visual social media.
Like moths to a flame, humans are innately drawn to visual elements including images, photographs and sensational design. As more of us are increasingly mobile and engaging with social media on smartphones, viewing an image is far less tedious than squinting to read a few lines of tiny text on a moving train.
As business owners and managers in an ever evolving world, our jobs become more challenging every day – every hour – to cut through clutter and make consumers notice our message.
How many times do we find ourselves repeating what we say to co-workers to get a message across? For most of us, this isn’t a reflection of how we’re gauged as professionals or individuals but 95% attributable to the ‘151 rule’.
They say a person needs to hear new information at least three times before it registers into his/her mind for immediate recollection. This has been taught over and over again to us and you can test it by saying aloud a new name you come across three times consciously.
When you target a market with a specific message the same rule applies, all except your target isn’t one person and those three times won’t cut it. It’s all about repetition. You have no control over which people are listening at what time of the day - so the logical bet is to be accessible and available 24/7/365.
Four minutes. That’s how long it took for the first Twitter advertiser to bid on “power outage” as a search term after the lights went out at the New Orleans Superdome.
It also didn’t take long for cookie giant Oreo to respond to the now-infamous #superbowlblackout, spawning more than 13,000 re-tweets and nearly 5000 favourites.
Embarking on global expansion has been the most fascinating experience and in particular, working in what is one of America's most untapped entrepreneurial hubs of Atlanta has not only been rewarding, but also very invigorating.
Atlanta isn't the sleepy town that some of the cities counterparts seem to think it is. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The city is full of promise, spirit and an attitude that is less ruthless than say New York, Chicago, San Francisco or Los Angeles. Behind the politeness and accomodating attitudes of Atlanta's business folk are smart, determined, ambitious and thoroughly capable people who drive small businesses in an endeavour to become big businesses.
Capitalizing on an ability to cap salaries and deliver products and services to a national and international audience with America's most proficient transport hub at its disposal, Atlanta entrepeneurs are dreaming big. You heard it right - they are dreaming big. Not too dissimilar to their New York small business friends who have inspired a national through a carefully executed tabloid and magazine advertising campaign that let's the world know that in New York "This is no place to dream small."
What strikes me about the people of Atlanta is their attitude to helping others and in turn, helping themselves. It seems that those who don't come from here, tend to be the one's to watch, whereas if you do business with a true Atlanta local, you are guaranteed that the good old fashion handshake on a deal is exactly that.
Today I had lunch with two talented mergers and acquisition partners at Deloitte. They both are very busy people but were kind enough to take time out of their day to have a chat about business, tax and the run of the land in setting up in Atlanta, buying a home and a motor vehicle.
It’s universally acknowledged that good service will get you places. Whether selling an unnecessarily big screen television to a family or ice to Inuits, good service makes sales.
This said, there are exceptions to every rule and every so often in this world of increasing competition, there are business managers with seemingly decreasing nouse.
It’s no longer just about your product or service – it’s all about the experience.
Marketing encompasses all senses – sight, taste, touch, smell and sound. Combined, these make the experience. The experience that people will walk away with; the experience that – good or bad – people will talk about.
As marketeers, we work tirelessly to communicate your message on each of these levels. We study, we research and we have experience to hone you the best experience for your offering. Not everyone understands the importance - or relevance even - of marketing however… and it shows…
Let’s start this blog with a simple exercise. Go to your Facebook page and look at the last 10 statuses you posted. What are they mostly about? You may want to think before posting if most of your statuses revolve around work complaints, drunken weekend antics or overstate political opinions.
A study by University of Scranton and UC San Diego researchers found that Facebook status updates stick in the minds of readers for longer than you think – one status alone is 1.5 times more memorable than sentences from books, and 2.5 times more memorable than faces of strangers, representing a remarkable difference in memory performance.