Posts Tagged ‘Seth Godin’

SETH GODIN’S POST

February 1, 2016

Writing without anything to say is hard. Even with all the information that came out of the Aspen Live Music Conference’s 20th Anniversary in December, I still haven’t had the drive to tell you. Then today one of my marketing heroes, Seth Godin wrote his blog below (thanks Seth)…using the music business to make his point, and even mentions one of our amazing guest speakers from Aspen, Scott Borchetta (thank you Scott)…so knew I had to share it with you. Just wished I had written it.

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Living with your frustum

David Bowie left behind an estate worth about $100 million.

And there were perhaps five hundred musicians of his generation who were at least as successful. From Brown to Dylan to Buffet to Ross, there were thirty years of big hit makers.

That’s the top of the pyramid. Lots of people tried to make it in the music business, and there were many thousands at the top, hitting a jackpot.

In geometry, a pyramid without a top is called a frustum. Just a base, no jackpot.

The music industry is now a classic example…

The bottom is wider than ever, because you don’t need a recording studio to make a record. And you don’t need a record store to sell one. More musicians making more music than ever before.

And the top is narrower than ever. Fewer hitmakers creating fewer long-term careers. Radio is less important, shelf space is less important, and so the demand for the next big hit from the next reliable hitmaker is diminished. Without Scott Borchetta or someone similar leading you to the few sinecures left, it’s almost certain that you’ll be without a jackpot.

A similar thing happened to the book business, of course. The big bookstores needed a Stephen King, a Jackie Collins and a Joyce Carol Oates, because they benefitted from having something both reliable and new to put on the shelf. Printing a lot of copies and using a lot of shelf space is a gamble, best to bet on the previous winners. The ebook world doesn’t care as much.

The long tail, easy entry, wide distribution model does this to many industries. It’s easier than ever to be a real estate broker or to run a tiny dog shelter–easier, but harder to get through the Dip.

While the winner-take-all natural monopolies get the headlines and the IPOs, it’s not surprising that many industries are frustrating frustums.

The frustration, though, doesn’t come from the lack of a top to the pyramid. It comes from acting as if the peak is the point of the entire exercise. For more on this, check out Derek Siver’s honest and generous book.

The good news is that it’s entirely possibly you don’t need the peak of the pyramid. The leverage that comes from digital tools means that it’s entirely possible to do just fine (and have a powerful, positive life) without being David Bowie. Once you know that this is it, perhaps this might be enough.

Enough to make a difference and enough to make a life.

The way music used to be. And is again.

 

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TOP 10 CUSTOMER SERVICE LESSONS

September 14, 2015

In our busy lives, we touch so many products and services, we are bound to call, email, or chat with those businesses (perhaps your business) for help with directions, questions, and problems we are having. Over the past several months, I’ve had more than my share of interactions with customer service departments. Here are the 10 most important lessons I learned:

  1. Don’t Leave Customers On Hold – If the government knows this, why don’t we? When your customer service lines, live chat, or even in-person CS desk starts to stack up, offer customers the option for a callback. It really makes all the difference. Even the IRS does this!
  2. Ask For A Callback Number – Great way to get permission to follow-up, can be used to identify the customer in the future, and of course gives you a way to call the customer back if you get disconnected. If you haven’t already, you should read this by Seth Godin, his first big hit… http://www.amazon.com/Permission-Marketing-Turning-Strangers-Customers/dp/0684856360.
  3. Ask How To Pronounce The Customers Name (and what they prefer to be called) – Calling someone by his or her name makes a big difference.
  4. Listen Carefully To Your Customer’s Questions and Concerns – Although many customer issues can be very similar, every customer is unique, and so are their concerns. It isn’t enough to say; “I understand” from a script. Sure there are tricks like repeating back what the customer said, but without authenticity, it feels hollow. Disney rocks it here!
  5. If Transferring To Another Representative, Stay On The Line Until That Connection Is Made – My bank (Wells Fargo) does a great job with this. It makes the customer feel safe and shows you care.
  6. Don’t Script Everything For Your Reps – A simple example, delivering a rehearsed apology without real knowledge of what you are sorry about is worse than not saying you’re sorry at all.
  7. Train, Don’t Just Script – Go to the Genius Bar in an Apple retail store and you will see and feel what good training will do. Knowledge of a product or service is everything. Spend the money to train your staff properly.
  8. Follow-up – So easy to do, yet so few of us do it. Make sure you have resolved your customer’s question or concern. It can be as simple as an email. Less than a minute. Asus makes the best routers, their customer service is amazing, and they followed-up to make sure everything was straight.
  9. Keep Your Promise – If you say you will call on a specific day, do that. If you promise to have your customer’s issue resolved by Friday, make sure that happens.
  10. Don’t Reward Only New Customers – I’m an AT&T and DirecTV customer, and have been for many years (been through several name changes with AT&T…remember Cingular, AT&T Mobility). AT&T is running a promotion with DirecTV but the small writing in their TV ad says “DirecTV new customers only”. Rewarding loyal customers will get you far.

When is the last time you went through your own customer service process? If you haven’t lately, do it now! You may be shocked at what you find, and remember, the customer service team should be a big marketing advantage for you. Want to create a message for your customers to spread? Solve a problem for them. Exceed their expectations. The money will come.

 

 

GODIN ON HIT RADIO

May 28, 2014

If you read the newsletter regularly (when it is actually written), you know I like to share wisdom from marketing guru Seth Godin from time-to-time…and always when he writes about music.  Please see below from Seth.  Sign-up for his daily blog for bits of wisdom every day without fail (the guy is amazing).

The problem with hit radio

When you only listen to the top 40, you’re letting the crowd decide what you hear.

And if you consume nothing but the most liked, the most upvoted, the most viral, the most popular, you’ve abdicated responsibility for your incoming. Most people only read bestselling books. That’s what makes them bestsellers, after all.

The web keeps pushing the top 40 on us. It defaults to ‘sort by popular,’ surfacing the hits, over and over.

Mass markets and math being what they are, it’s likely that many of the ideas and products you consume in your life are in fact, consumed because they’re the most popular. It takes a conscious effort to seek out the thing that’s a little less obvious, the choice that’s a little more risky.

Popular is not the same important, or often, not the same as good.

• Email to a friend •

FREE MARKETING EBOOK

March 28, 2014

If you haven’t subscribed to Seth Godin’s blog, you really should.  Below Seth shares a free ebook with some amazing stuff inside.  A must read! Remember we are all marketers.

Speaking of marketing, are you in LA Monday, March 31?  If yes, please join the Aspen Live Conference family @ 8pm at The 3rd Stop…8636 W 3rd Street, LA 90048 for drinks and fun.  Besides continuing to strengthen our network (or Tribe as Seth would say), our goal for this family reunion is to make sure Dan Steinberg and Jason Zink don’t pay for one drink!  They always pay.

AND

Speaking of Aspen Live, Super Early Registration opens Tuesday, April 1st for the 19th Annual Aspen Live Conference…and only lasts for one-month.  You will save a bunch of money for registering early.  Don’t miss “Sun Valley for the Music Business” another year.  There is a reason the Aspen family does business together.

Thinking about placebos (a new ebooklet)

After months of working on this project, I confess to being amazed at how little we talk about, think about or use placebos.

Here’s a 25-page ebook to get the conversation started. I think you’ll find some pretty surprising research and analysis inside…

Feel free to share, or repost, or print it out:

Download the Placebo booklet

I wrote it as part of the curriculum of the Skillshare marketing course I’m teaching right now.

Based on what I’m learning about the power of commitment, we decided to double the price of that course at the end of April. The other course, on new business invention, also doubles.

Thanks for reading, share if it makes you think…

HOW TO CREATE AWARENESS

January 15, 2014

What do you do to create awareness for your shows?  Do the tickets sell right away or over a period of time?  Most importantly, how do we create word-of-mouth…something viral that spreads (doesn’t have to be a YouTube video)?  The truth is to have something great to offer.  But what if the product isn’t great?  What can you do creatively to make it more interesting, more “sneezable”, and more viral?

For instance, say you have an REO Speedwagon / Styx show.  Both acts have played your market every year for decades.  The acts (product) aren’t changing so what can you do to make the show special, your message unique, worth sharing?  The answer is creativity.   Jamming your show down the same marketing channels hoping for a different outcome is the definition of crazy.

Here is what my “man crush” Seth Godin had to say the other day about awareness…

“Our biggest problem is awareness”

If that’s your mantra, you’re working to solve the wrong problem.

If your startup, your non-profit or your event is suffering because of a lack of awareness, the solution isn’t to figure out some way to get more hype, more publicity or more traffic. Those are funnel solutions, designed to fix an ailing process by dumping more attention at the top, hoping more conversion comes out the bottom.

The challenge with this approach is that it doesn’t scale. Soon, you’ll have no luck at all getting more attention, even with ever more stunts or funding.

No, the solution lies in re-organizing your systems, in re-creating your product or service so that it becomes worth talking about. When you do that, your customers do the work of getting you more noticed. When you produce something remarkable, more use leads to more conversation which leads to more use.

No, it won’t be a perfect virus, starting with ten people and infecting the world. But yes, you can dramatically impact the ‘more awareness’ problem by investing heavily in a funnel that doesn’t leak, in a story that’s worth spreading.

 

 

GODIN ON TWITTER & NOISE

December 21, 2013

Had to cut and past Seth Godin again…please read below.  Kind of exactly what Lefsetz has been saying. How noisy are you?

BTW, stay-tuned to the LiveWorks Newsletter over the holiday break for info from the Aspen Live Conference, 2013.

Noise-tolerant media

Twitter is the noisiest medium in history. Do you actually believe that Taylor Swift has 33,000,000 million (and counting) people eagerly waiting for her next tweet, ready to click on whatever she links to?

In fact, less than one in a thousand people who ‘get’ one of her tweets will click. Most of the 33 million won’t even read it, making the word ‘get’ worthy of quotation marks.

And yet Twitter works just fine at this level. That’s because it immerses the user in waves of media, a stream of ignorable content that people can dip into at will. More noise makes it better, not worse. 

Email was wrecked by many marketers for many people, because email isn’t structured for noise. Noise is the enemy. Instant messages, because there is no easy accessible API, isn’t overwhelmed, but it too is noise-intolerant. Texts you don’t want to get are a huge hassle.

The simple rule is that the easier it is to use a medium, the faster it will become noisy, and the noisier it is, the less responsive it is.

You can play at Facebook and Twitter, and make them work. But they will only work if treat them like a cocktail party, as an opportunity to eavesdrop and layer general connection and value and insight. No, it’s not an ideal direct marketing medium. It’s a metropolis.

 

 

INSPIRATION

October 29, 2013

Godin isn’t even in the music business, yet his passion for music, marketing, teaching, and sharing continues every day…which is amazing in itself (posts every single day).  If you haven’t signed up for his daily blog, you should.  http://www.sethgodin.com Please read below.  Obviously inspired by Lou Reed’s passing…and more importantly what Lou’s music meant to so many musicians.

1,000 bands

Brian Eno possibly said that, “the first Velvet Underground record may have only sold 1,000 copies, but every person who bought it started a band.” [*]

It certainly wasn’t a bestselling album, but without a doubt, it changed things.

The scarcity mindset pushes us to corner the market, to be the only one selling what we sell.

The abundance alternative, though, is to understand that many of us sell ideas, not widgets, and that ideas are best when used, and the more they get used, the more ideas they spawn.

Kevin Kelly has inspired 10,000 companies, and Shepard Fairey, a generation of artists.

How many bands will you inspire today?