Guest Post: CRM—How to Maximize Your Referrals

For those of you who have read my thoughts on CRMs before, you’ll find these tips very helpful.  

Guest Post: How to Maximize Your Referrals.

blog-thegivegive-chart

Contactually is one of the tools out there to help you manage your customer-base… it also happens to be the one I am using as well.  Want to try it out? Sign up using this link and get an additional free month of the Premium plan. 

How To Eat A Sandwich (The Daniel Kahneman Way)*

How eating your sandwich may determine how you market to you customers

Brian Juicer Blog

This is a post about how to get a better experience from your lunchtime sandwich.

Here is a sandwich. This particular sandwich is a chicken, bacon and avocado baguette, but don’t worry! This powerful psychological trick works with any kind of sandwich.

sandwich1

How would you eat this sandwich? You might start at one end and finish at the other. But then you are left with this as your final bite.

sandwich2

Not very exciting.

But why does that matter? It’s all to do with something Daniel Kahneman hypothesises in Thinking, Fast And Slow: the peak-end rule.

View original post 443 more words

How to Build A Trojan Horse

Trojan-horse-001
The last principle in Jonah Berger’s STEPPS from his book “Contagious” is the “S”, which stands for Stories.  Information travels under what seems like idle chatter, but stories are like vessels.  They carry ideas forward in a neat little package, but often they carry more than just the primary story we tell.
You see, every story also has a number of sub-messages wrapped around it, intertwined to the point that by telling one you  by proxy have to share the other.
For example, if I tell a story about my vacation to an sandy beach in the Caribbean, I may spend most of my time focusing on the things we did and saw and experienced.  You’d likely hear that story loud and clear.
But you’d also take away from that story a few sub-messages, some of which are true, and others that are only your perceptions of the story you heard.  They could include:
  • I like to travel, especially to someplace with a beach
  • Going away on vacation helps me relax and enjoy life more
  • Caribbean vacations are exciting
  • I must be doing pretty well to afford a beach vacation
  • I think you should go on a beach vacation too

Did I mean for you to take away any of that from a simple story about my vacation?  Likely not.  In fact, some of the items above are flat out false, but your perception that they are true is all that matters.

And like a Trojan horse, that sub-message rides hidden within the story and begins to change how we see the world.

So how can you use this to get others to jump behind your idea or product?

Your job is to build a Trojan Horse narrative within a story that people want to tell.  People are more likely to share a memorable story than a list of technical facts and features about a product.

There are some great examples of companies that have used stories and sub-messages to drive conversations about their brands.  The story of Subway and Jared (“Our subs can help you get healthy!”) or Dove and their Evolution campaign (“We care about women and real beauty”). 

So what story do you plan to tell?  How will you tell it?

Do you want to move your message from Common to Contagious? Keep an eye on future posts in this series as we delve into Berger’s 6 STEPPS for why things catch on.

Are you looking for help in setting crafting a Contagious message now?  We can help with that. Click here to contact us.

How to Get Noticed by Getting Practical

real-value-of-network-marketing

Not everything can be an iPhone or Google Glasses… you know, those products that are high tech or high hype, but for many don’t have an immediate application to their daily life.

People like things they can use, and the faster they think they can put it into practice, the more value they attribute to it.  These could be things that save them money, time, or frustration.

Jonah Berger highlights the power of Practical Value in his book “Contagious- Why Things Catch On.  It’s the second “P” in his 6 STEPPS principles for why things catch on.

He has a great example of this that blows me away every time I see it.  Let’s say you like to cook, and one of your favorite foods is fresh corn on the cob.  And when you are browsing around the internet, you find this. Take 2 minutes… and prepare to have your mind blown.

Did you find that amazing?  I know I did.  Do you plan to try that the next time you make corn?  Would you share that video or technique with someone else?  If so, that video practical value… and proves Berger’s point.

I’d love to hear your examples of an idea or product that had such clear practical value that you just had to spread it.  Please use the comments section to share, and include links, if possible.

Do you want to move your message from Common to Contagious? Keep an eye on future posts in this series as we delve into Berger’s 6 STEPPS for why things catch on.

Are you looking for help in setting crafting a Contagious message now?  We can help with that. Click here to contact us.

How to Go Public

public t

Whether we like it or not, we all make conscious choices to imitate other people.  No, I don’t mean those king of imitations… and no, I don’t want to see your best Bill Clinton’s impersonation.

We imitate how others dress (movie stars)…how they talk (valley girls)…how they walk (the gangsta stagger).

Our kids imitate their favorite athletes on the basketball court or at the skate park.  They’ll wear their collars high (80’s) or their pants low (00’s)… all because they saw some enough other people doing it that they felt comfortable taking the leap.

But  you  can’t  imitate  what you can’t observe. What if those public displays had never happened?  What if no one had every left the comfort of their own bedroom wearing those ripped jeans or gelled up hair?

Do you think it would have caught on?

Jonah Berger, in his book “Contagious- Why Things Catch On”, highlights the power of Public.  It’s the first “P” in his 6 STEPPS principles for why things catch on.

The more public something is, the more likely people will imitate it.  That’s why with today’s internet moving at the speed of light, a trend that starts in Europe on Monday morning could reach Los Angeles Monday afternoon, and contrary to public perception, it could even be in Iowa my Tuesday morning (gasp!).

So if a product or Idea has been built to show, it’s been built to grow.  And the more visible it is the faster that can happen.  Making behavior more public enables social influence, and also creates an opportunity for Social Currency, driving quickened adoption.

So when possible, design products and initiatives that advertise themselves (like the RED campaign) or create some visible behavioral residue (like Livestong bracelets or the Susan G. Komen pink ribbons).

But let’s come to an agreement… let’s keep the women’s shoulder pads and men’s capris safely hidden inside your own homes.

Do you want to move your message from Common to Contagious? Keep an eye on future posts in this series as we delve into Berger’s 6 STEPPS for why things catch on.

Are you looking for help in setting crafting a Contagious message now?  We can help with that. Click here to contact us.

Using Emotion to Get Noticed

bobbyknightinterview

Emotion is a powerful thing.  Especially when it comes out in extremes.

If you grew up with a father who rarely showed emotion, there are probably specific events you remember where it surfaced in ways you’d never seen.  If I asked you how many times your saw your father cry, you could probably tell me the exact situation and context in great detail.

And if your parents were the mellow type, you could also probably pinpoint with accuracy the few times that they completely lost their cool with you and went on a tangent.

Anyone alive when Kennedy was shot remembers where they were.  Being a bit younger, my generation remembers exactly where they were when the space shuttle Challenger exploded.

Emotion has a funny way of searing memories into our brains, and these emotions also lead us to share those emotions, and events, with others.  Emotional content often goes viral… but not always for the reasons you would think. High arousal emotions—like excitement, anger, and awe —fire people up. This activation, in turn, drives them to share with others in an attempt to share the emotion.

Jonah Berger, in his book “Contagious- Why Things Catch On”, highlights the power of Emotion.  It’s the “E” in his 6 STEPPS principles for why things catch on.

So how can you utilize this in spreading that great idea or product you have to offer others? Focus on feelings rather than function, and stoke that fire further by using high arousal emotions.  This won’t always feel natural as we tend to focus on features or details instead of emotions when we talk about our ideas.

Stumped?  Check out how Google decided to market its search engine, a product with many competitors and seemingly little differentiation to internet users.

So instead of touting the features of your great new iPhone app, focus on how it can tap into some of those strong primal emotions we all have.  Show me how it will make me feel or what frustrating issues it will solve.

And if that doesn’t work, include pictures of puppies. 🙂

bnps_smallest_puppy_tiny_iphone_thg_120830_wg

Do you want to move your message from Common to Contagious? Keep an eye on future posts in this series as we delve into Berger’s 6 STEPPS to help things become popular.

Are you looking for help in setting crafting a Contagious message now?  We can help with that. Click here to contact us.

How to Put Your Finger on The Trigger

photo-trigger

Have you ever noticed that something.  You know, that special thing that once seen, smelled, or tasted transports you to another time or place?

Or that song that makes you think of your best friend from high school, a trip with your family, or that special someone who passed too soon.

Or can you think of certain situations that lead you to act in a certain way?

I recently noticed that when I get in my vehicle to drive anywhere, I begin to crave a cold soda.  It seems that travelling just goes better with a fountain drink from a local gas station.  Why?  I have no idea.  At some point I’ve picked up this habit, and for some reason, it’s been hard to shake.

People are interesting creatures.  We spend a lot of time trying to build new good behaviors and even more time breaking bad behaviors. But some things we do without thinking because of some sort of cue we get from our environment.  Jonah Berger, in his book “Contagious- Why Things Catch On”, calls these cues Triggers.  It’s the “T” in his 6 STEPPS principles for why things catch on.

This concept is very important in marketing your idea, especially if you want to become the thing people thinks about in a certain situation or when faced with a choice.  Even more, we want people who use our products or ideas to share those with others, or in a sense, share their own response to a trigger.

We have a need to talk about things that are top of mind, things that are on the tip of our tongues.  These are the things we have to tell people about because we can’t get them out of our heads until we do, or because something we saw or heard reminded us of something that was seared into our brain before.

Jonah Berger cites a popular example from the realm of music. Do you know what song has been determined to be quite possibly the worst song ever made?  Some would say it is the song “Friday” by Rebecca Black.  Ever heard of her?  I wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t.  But I bet your kids have… and they hate her song (so will you if you click on the link above).  But that same song has over 61 million views on YouTube. Yep, you read that right… 61 MILLION!

So why would a song that is so bad be listened to and viewed so many times? Because it has a trigger that happens every 7 days.  Every week, thousands of people get on Facebook or Twitter and post something that looks like this:

“TGIF! http://goo.gl/qaZka”

The fact that the song is horrible is irrelevant.  Every week someone looks at the calendar and the reality that it is Friday makes them think of her song.  Once stuck in their brain they have to share it so everyone else can join them in giggling about how bad it is, but how great Friday is.

A more successful campaign from the non-profit side is No Shave November.  If you see a buddy who doesn’t shave in June, you think he’s being lazy.  But when you see a buddy who doesn’t shave in November you immediately see them as a crusading do-gooder raising money for charity. The difference? Someone transformed those 30 days in November into a trigger related to beards, men, and raising money for cancer.

You can use this to your advantage.  By creating subtle reminders to help others think about your idea, they will also be more likely to share them.  The stickier the trigger is, the better.

Speaking of sticky… anyone hungry for cotton candy?  And maybe a fountain drink to wash it down…

Do you want to move your message from Common to Contagious? Keep an eye on future posts in this series as we delve into Berger’s 6 STEPPS to help things become popular.

Are you looking for help in setting crafting a Contagious message now?  We can help with that. Click here to contact us.