Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Organizational Permeability: Breaking Down The Walls Between You And "Them" And You And "Us"

This weblog is going back to its initial purpose of finding articles and weblinks that help to create personal beneficial paradigm shifts. One of the more important areas to learn from has been marketing. As with so many other topics of interest, the definition of marketing has become "New" again and seems to continue to expand. My main source of insight and inspiration has been Seth Godin but others also contribute to my education. My take on the following isn't really "marketing", its more communication and collaboration. Each of the following links though provides some important insights as to how to best nurture both both internally and externally whatever organizational aspect you are trying to enhance.

Seth's Blog: Meatballs and permeability

When your organization starts freely sharing internal data (like rolodexes and schedules and cost info) and allows easy use of motivated outsiders, things get faster and cheaper and smarter. That's one of the side effects of organizing around the new marketing as opposed to organizing around the factory.

This strikes me as creating not only an organization knowledge base but an organizational identity as well.

The Entrepreneurial Mind: Is Web Changing the Nature of Customer Relationships?

The TaxingTennessee blog has a post about an interesting analysis at the Lunch Over IP blog based on Doc Searls' The Cluetrain Manifesto. (Lots of links, I know, but this whole blog thing is supposed to be a conversation after all).

It is arguably not only a conversation but one that is as open as possible. There are limits to be sure but increasing communication within in organization up and down the organizational levels and beyond the organizational limits seems to be a requirement for organizations to grow and thrive.

ROI? Not With Those Ads You Won't...

If you haven't been around forever, you don't have as much money as a companies like Coke or Pepsi (who bombard consumers with brand messages so hard and consistently that it's a wonder the subconscious hasn't caved under attack), distinguishing yourself, making people care, and making them remember who you are can be tough. Before you agree to pony up thousands for a pretty face, a catchy tune or just the services of one more run of the mill advertising firm, make sure you think about how effective your portrayal of your brand message is within the already over crowded space that is the consumer's mind.

This suggests that you already have your organization's portrayal or public face firmly established in the mind of all of your members. Knowledge is power is a well known adage and all too often managers develop their power by denying others knowledge. Even when knowledge is shared, if its the wrong knowledge in the wrong market its not going to do anybody any good.

Seth's Blog: Your ads are not for you

Here's the puzzling math of advertising, offline and on:
  • Everybody doesn't read, remember or click on your ads.
  • Nobody isn't the right answer either.

In other words, you don't get 100% attention when you buy an ad. In fact, you don't get 50% attention or even 1%. If you're very very good and very lucky, it might be .1% but it's more likely to be one in 10,000. Which is exactly the right number, it turns out, to make advertising work.

I am beginning to believe more in "niche" marketing. You don't have to beat out Britney Spears for Google hits your just need to get your message in front of those who need to see it as stated below.

Seth's Blog: Frequency, Frequency, Frequency and the paradox of the Net

I think there are two strategies that are shaping up online.
The first: burn your permission. Every time you have something to sell, either buy enough ads on popular sites to achieve frequency, or just burn out your core base by repeating your message over and over again. At least you'll make enough money to be able to rebuild your audience later.

The second: go easy on the frequency and embrace your audience. Give them what they want (interesting, new stuff) instead of what you need (frequency). Play for the long run.

My natural inclination is to go for the second though I realize there are times when the first is more appropriate, but I would tend to error towards the long term if left to my own devises. You can target your audience, and you can create two way dialogues.

Seth's Blog: The joy of the commons

Garr Reynolds shows us the joy of the commons. Basically, he's written a book (the book) about presentations and PowerPoint and put entirely too much effort into it. It appears that it has taken him tens of thousands of hours, tweaking endless invisible details to bring us this piece of work.Because the market is crowded, he overdelivered. Dramatically. And it shows. I've built a page about his book and his work. I can't imagine someone who gives presentations not being positively impacted by this book. Well worth it.

In the end, it is not only what you say but also how you say it.

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