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The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast Archive

Scroll through dozens of past shows and subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher.

The Role of Luck in a Startup

Marketing podcast with Mikkel Svane

When you look at a seemingly successful company – say one that went from meager to startup to household name to public phenomenon – it’s easy to gloss over what it took to get from the garage to the board room.

ZenDeskMy guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Mikkel Svane, founder and CEO of Zendesk.

From humble beginnings: “Zendesk was started in a Copenhagen loft by three friends who used an old kitchen door as a desk. They wanted to bring a bit of zen to the chaotic world of customer support. And they wanted to do it with software that was nice to look at and easy to use.”

Today Zendesk is a publicly traded company located in San Francisco with customers worldwide and a market cap around $1.65 billion.

Svane chronicles the ZenDesk story in his new book Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business.

Perhaps most notable in the story is the role Svane assigns to luck. Many great companies are often in the right place at the right time, but of course it’s what they do with that timing that makes the difference.

Zendesk was started at a time when the voice of the customer movement was still a bit of a whisper. With the mainstream adoption of social media, customer service became a public affair and companies large and small had to get very serious about providing higher levels of service in the instantaneous and often public manner in which the customer now demands.

Zendesk met the market demand with a product that brought together both customer and market with the fusion of design and functionality that was perfect pitch.

It’s both interesting and inspiring to hear founders talk in such humble terms about how they took side gigs to pay the bills when far too often what we see today is simply the fruit of luck and hustle coming together.

Why You Must Kill the Time Sheet

Marketing Podcast with Ron Baker

The age old practice of billing for time is both unethical and profit robbing.

photo credit: factoryjoe via photopin cc

photo credit: factoryjoe via photopin cc

It’s unethical because it misaligns you and client. Your goal now is to bill as many hours as possible at the highest possible rate. This is the exact process that has many firms tracking things that don’t benefit the client at all and throwing senior people at things they shouldn’t be doing.

It’s profit robbing because you can’t make more hours and you probably deliver far greater value than your hourly thinking allows you to consider. Imagine if premium brands like Apple added up what it ultimately cost them to build an iPad and charged us cost plus a 100% markup. We would all own iPads for about $27. Instead Apple charges and receives much more because we value what they do.  They don’t obsess over market share, they obsess over profit and value.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Ron Baker, founder of VeraSage Institute and author of six best-selling books, including: Professional’s Guide to Value Pricing and Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms.

Our discussion centers on the idea of building value in some as of yet still radical ways.

The idea of creating, tracking, measuring and pricing based on value rather than time is so significant that most organizations could benefit from the appointment of a Chief Value Officer on their executive team. Some accomplish this via a focus on branding, but this, I think goes even deeper.

One of my favorite moments in the interview is when we talk about scope creep in projects and how a remodeling contractor simply uses a change order to address additional requests. Change orders are now going to become a central tool in my proposal and project management kit.

Below is an overview of the Eight Steps to Implementing Value Pricing from Baker’s book- Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms:

  1. Value Conversation with the customer, including the best opening statement to begin this conversation: “Mr. Customer, we will only undertake this engagement if we can agree, to our mutual satisfaction, that the value we are creating is greater than the price we are charging you. Is that acceptable?”
  2. Price the customer, not the service. Establish a Value Council, appoint a Chief Value Officer (CVO). Why do actors and authors use agents?
  3. Developing and Pricing Options: Offering 3 options, Goldilocks Pricing; heuristics—mental shortcuts we use to decide how to buy; the anchor and framing effects and how they influence the prices we’re willing to pay.
  4. Presenting the options to the customer––should you lead with your most expensive or cheapest offering?
  5. Codifying the option selected into a Fixed Price Agreement
  6. Proper Project Management: Project management is important no matter how you price.
  7. Dealing with scope creep and utilizing Change Orders
  8. Conducting a Pricing After Action Review

Work Simply

Marketing Podcast with Carson Tate

photo credit: garryknight via photopin cc

photo credit: garryknight via photopin cc

Routine, process, to-do and task lists – that’s how we get stuff done right?

Turns out the most productive individuals all have one thing in common and that’s a system.

In search for that one, perfect system people use GTD, Franklin-Covey, Note pad, Evernote and a variety of hybrid tricks and tools.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Carson Tate, author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style and founder of a productivity consulting practice Working Simply.

My favorite part of Tate’s work is the recognition that everyone has their own personal productivity style and that because of that one person’s system won’t necessarily work for everyone. So, if you’ve tried to use GTD or Evernote and couldn’t wrap your brain around why others swear by them when you just can’t get the knack of them, turns out they just don’t fit your style.

It’s lot like learning – some people love words, some pictures, some math, some history. The trick to unlocking your productivity is to embrace this fact.

Tate has even created a personal productivity assessment to help you determine your style – take the test here.

Getting more done each day, managing the demands of a growing company and juggling all the new things that come at me each day consumes a great deal of my thinking so I invest a great deal of energy in ways that allow me to do more, but with less stress.

 

Telling the Story of You

Marketing Podcast with Judy Carter

The message of you

photo credit: Will Tull via photopin cc

Storytelling in business is a hot topic. Marketers, leaders and brand builders are all encouraged to create narratives around their business, culture and even products. Pay attention to a great deal of the television advertising you see today and you’ll find that many possess a little story about who you could become if you only bought their product.

Stories possess the power to drive emotional reactions, simplify complicated ideas and create immediate connection between the storyteller and recipient.

I’ve long professed the value of creating a personal marketing story as part of your marketing message.

My guest for this week’s episode is Judy Carter, a comedian, magician, motivational speaker, and author of four books on comedy and self-improvement including – The Message of You – Turn your life story into a money making speaking career.

Carter tells a funny story about how she got into comedy. She was a magician and on one evening the props for her show went missing, but the promoter said she had to go on anyway. She went on and told joke after joke about her mishaps and another promoter of comedy shows hired her to tour through all of his clubs.

In The Message of You Carter talks not only about stories, but how to find and use your story as a pivotal element of your personal brand.

She talks about finding your story in a number of classic story types. I particularly like what she calls the Signature Heart Story - a story that gets under people’s skin and takes them on an emotional journey that can truly inspire change and transformation.

The Message of You is also filled with some exercises aimed at helping you find your story and then use it as a tool to promote your business through public speaking.

How to Create Buyer Legends

Marketing Podcast with Bryan Eisenberg

photo credit: Anna Fischer via photopin cc

photo credit: Anna Fischer via photopin cc

Like many marketers I’ve trumpeted the virtues of something called buyer personas for years. A persona, borrowed from the theater, is a thorough description of a character in a play. Who that are, what their story is and what motivates or demotivates them.

When you couple strong customer personas with an accurate journey through your business, or something I’ve called The Marketing Hourglass, you have the makings of a strong marketing strategy.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Bryan Eisenberg, co-author of Buyer Legends:The Executive Storyteller’s Guide

In Buyer Legends, Eisenberg emphasizes a critical component in building personas – or what he calls legends – and that’s data.

If a persona and buying journey are to serve the entire organization they must be tied to business objectives and metrics.

When you do this you can lead with buyer legends, teach with them and guide the entire organization based on strong narratives.

The book is a quick 46 page read with exercises and additional online resources included and I believe every marketer will find something useful in this book!

Marketers Must Be More Accountable Than Ever

Marketing Podcast with Paul Roetzer

Marketing Performance Back in the day all a marketer need do is create a compelling ad, run it in the right place and if sales went up, job well done.

Today there are several hundred television options in a local market, countless social channels and a host of web and mobile advertising platforms to choose from.

More than ever marketers must measure every event and track performance based goals and objectives they can impact.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Paul Roetzer, CEO of PR 20/20 and author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint: Strategies and Technologies to Build and Measure Business Success

In addition to running a very successful inbound marketing agency Roetzer now spends a fair amount of time consulting with other agencies. His approach to fee based billing, account teams, internal training and performance measurement make an essential blueprint for any service based business.

Make sure you check out Roetzer’s free Marketing Performance Pack.

The Power of Renewable Referrals

Marketing Podcast with co-authors of Renewable Referrals

I love referrals – you might know that already because I write about referral generation all of the time. If fact, I wrote a book on the topic.

renewable referralsBut today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to my guests for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast – Rosie Taylor, Kelly Weppler-Hernandez, and Dawn Westerberg, who along with Debbie DeChambeau, Jeff Stec, and Ray Perry, co-authored the book Renewable Referrals.

The book was written by this group of independent marketing consultants who also happen to be members of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. The collaborative nature of how the book was created is in itself a ringing endorsement of one of the book primary messages.

Renewable Referrals serves as a great reminder of the importance of referral generation while introducing hundreds of ideas about how to systematically generate more referrals.

Perhaps my favorite thing about the book though is the emphasis on building strategic referral relationships with like minded businesses. I’ve long advocated this approach as the single most potent way to generate a steady stream of referrals.

Books are fabulous bargains when it comes to continuing your education and I heartily recommend that you pick up a copy of the just released Renewable Referrals. (It’s currently less than $10)

Just one idea that allows you to amplify your referral efforts will make your investment a pretty wise move.

You can grab a copy of Renewable Referrals here.

How to Create Ridiculously Good Content

Marketing Podcast with Ann Handley

The simple answer to the promise of contained in today’s title is this – get Ann Handley’s latest book – Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Ann HandleyHandley is my guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast and she knows a thing or two about writing. She’s a former writer for the Boston Globe and this is her second book. Perhaps more to the point, she’s the cofounder of early web news provider Clickz and currently acts as the Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs. In those roles she rummages through and sometimes edits hundreds and hundreds of pieces of ridiculously good content and sometimes ridiculously bad content.

By keeping an eye on the types of content people love to consume and share as well as the typical mistakes many first time and long time writers make, she’s gained a pretty keen insight into what works and what doesn’t.

In Everybody Writes she makes the case for the fact that writing is inevitable to success in business and that in some form or another we can all stand to get better at this most basic form of communication. She also sticks a flag in the sand and takes a stand for better writing in general.

The great thing about Handley, and you can hear in the interview, she’s serious about better writing, but doesn’t take the notion too serious at all. In fact, her writing style is down right humorous at times.

In my last book, Duct Tape Selling, I suggested that writing may be the master skill for anyone that needs to communicate an idea. Even if you don’t write for a living, but developing a writing practice you will become a better salesperson, speaker, thinking and communicator.

Everybody Writes is jammed packed with ideas, stories and great advice as well as simple practical tips that every writer can use to improve their written communication. I love the last section of the book that breaks down how to write better landing pages, video scripts, emails and on and on – very practical stuff that everybody writes!

Just for fun I thought I would also toss in this infographic from the grammar checking folks at Grammarly. The graphic attempts to answer the age old question – are women or men better writers? Click on the image below to see the full research and draw your own conclusions.

Better WritingClick to see full infographic from Grammarly