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January 18, 2013

What’s blocking you?

I drifted away in a meeting the other day. One of those tedious meeting trying to persuade a junior client that there is a better way to the marketing challenge she is facing. 3 things that were blocking her mind that day. The Right Answer. Sometimes in marketing there are no right answers. No matter how much you dig. Many marketing issues reside in the deep recesses of greyness. Looking for the right answer can paralyze you. Marketing is Emotional. The only logic you will find is in your Principles of Marketing book. Once you know your 4Ps and whatever, […]
January 17, 2013

When was the last time you wrote?

No, not type. Write. Write as in write with a pen and paper. And when was the last time you wrote a good old fashion letter, put it in an envelope, paste a stamp on it and post it? I have a deep suspicion letter writing is a lost skill. Or rather good letter writing – those that even in the absence of the writer seems like a cozy visit to your home. Here, write a letter today. See how far you can do that. Why would you not?
January 16, 2013

How negative can you be?

In Malaysia, you are not allowed to do comparative advertising. So any reference to the competitors is always “Brand X.” Naming your competitor is not allowed. So marketers use different ways. Using various innuendos from colours to shapes to name or acronyms that connotes the competitors. The challenge with comparing your own brand to the competitor is this. It cannot be ad hoc. You do not run an ad to say how lousy your competitor is and hope to succeed. You only win if you reframe your competitor. A negative campaign on your competitor can work when used as a […]
January 15, 2013

What is your core competence?

You can hire your own graphic designer, copywriter, or whoever – rather than pay the professionals to do it. Sometimes the fee you pay makes you wonder if you should hire on your own. That’s fair. But you have to ask yourself – what is your field of competence? Do you have the expertise to do it? Will it take up too much resources and detract you from your core business? A client of ours recently started a plan to outsource what the previous generation did internally for years. Why? Because the internal people providing the services and products to […]
January 14, 2013

Why are you resisting?

Change doesn’t have to mean you were wrong. Or you are wrong. Change can just mean you are willing to be better. But more often than not people refuse to change because they think it means they made the wrong decision before with their beliefs, the way they feel about certain issues and what they did about certain things. Change = I am willing to be better. What do you believe?
January 11, 2013

Which power are you referring to?

There is a lot of power in social media and it is changing a lot of things. But you should not confuse this power with the media that drives your business. In our experience, for many businesses – traditional media like press, print and TV still drives volume. Which reaches your consumers the most?
January 10, 2013

Is it a luxury you can afford?

I get a sense that a local pharmacy chain in my hometown is shadowing what the big national retail pharmacies are doing. Following their footsteps and such. This local (ok, regional…whatever) chain must think that, whatever the big chains are doing now is the reason for their success. Big companies carry a big stick (or big sticks as the case may be) to the negotiation table. They can threaten if they want to (and most likely will). They can take bigger risks. Big boss, don’t look at what they are doing now. Look at what they were doing then. When […]
January 9, 2013

Are you looking left?

One challenge I have about being in a marketing meeting is that people read the same business publications – books, magazine, newspapers. Then inevitably someone will quote Apple, Steve Jobs, Korean brands, Google, coloured body of water…whatever. It’s great to draw on these case studies and examples. But if you draw the wrong conclusions and make the wrong assumption about these, you could be making very wrong decisions. Use these stories as inspirations. If you want to use them to make a decision, make sure you know the history and background surrounding that decision in the case studies you quoted. […]
January 8, 2013

How much do you know them?

When was the last time you talked to someone at the retailer picking up your brand or the competitor’s brand? It’s scary. You sit in your office and think your consumers think like you. Do you even speak to them?
January 7, 2013

What’s your excuse?

Work. It’s the perfect excuse for procrastinating your dreams. In fact, it is the perfect excuse to procrastinate anything. Because work is consistently there, you have a consistent flow of excuses. What’s delaying you?
January 4, 2013

Can you execute it?

Different doesn’t have to be difficult. Launch a product that is different from the competitor to stand out. But if the difference you are working on is making it difficult to launch, then ask yourself if it is even the right idea? A point of difference should give you a competitive advantage. Not make it difficult for you and your team to sell. Is there a simpler way?
January 3, 2013

Are you proud of what you do?

Ok, you want specifics. Are you proud of what you do at work? Why not? Do that already and stop wasting our time. Where should you be?
January 2, 2013

Why do you have one mouth?

Not a trick question. You already know this. So you talk less. Ever been to a meeting where everyone feels so compelled to give their opinions? Even if they have nothing better to say and the only reason they are even saying something is because the boss is there. Here’s a suggestion. Learn to listen. The more you listen, the more you learn and the experience can teach you when to speak up and when to shut up. Especially, in meetings. Why do you have two ears?
December 31, 2012

When’s the beginning?

December 28, 2012

Where is the top?

December 27, 2012

What counts in this life?

No, really. What counts in this life? Just list five. For some people it takes all of five minutes to know this. Others take a lifetime. If you have got your list, how much time and effort do you spend on them? How will you make this life count?
December 26, 2012

What’s working for you?

Nothing wrong doesn’t mean it is right. Also doesn’t mean it is best. Of course, if you like to settle for mediocre, nothing wrong may be just right for you. If you want the best, you have to keep pushing even if nothing is wrong. What’s right for you?
December 24, 2012

How to improve yourself?

You want to improve yourself next year? Here are 2 simple things to do. Decide and devote. Decide what you want to change. Decision is a one-time action. Once you have decided, devote time and effort into that decision every day. Best is to write it down. Then every week, look at that written decision. For some people, they feel motivated. For others, they feel guilty. Either way, I hope they spring you into action. What’s next?
December 21, 2012

Is it time yet?

December 20, 2012

What’s your job?

December 19, 2012

Which one are you turning on?

December 18, 2012

Are you intruding?

We had a call this morning. The caller wanted to know if we are able to increase their Facebook “likes” by xxxx% in x months because that’s what the boss wants. We told the caller, there are tonnes of people out there who can do it with questionable tips, tricks and techniques. We went on to explain our house views on Facebook. You can read them here. How About A Loyal Button? What If Facebook Has A Love Button? It’s Not Called Commercial Media Is It? How Deep Is Your Love What Is Your Dunbars Number? Interaction not interruption. Don’t […]
December 17, 2012

What experience can teach you?

Life-changing happens when life threatening happens. A clogged whatever. An unexpected growth. A spot on an x-ray that’s not supposed to be there. HARD and RUDE. No way else people learn. Are you even listening?
December 14, 2012

How should we discuss this?

December 13, 2012

Are you hungry?

December 12, 2012

How old are you?

December 10, 2012

Are you measuring the right thing?

You can sell a lot of products and yet not have a very strong brand. In fact, people may even know your name but if your brand values, beliefs and experience is not attached to your brand then you don’t have a strong brand. It’s entirely possible that you can have strong sales and high awareness of your brand but people have absolutely no relationship with your brand. In that case, do you have a strong brand? What’s the measure of a strong brand?
December 7, 2012

Can you crack this?

December 6, 2012

Can you cross this gap?

December 5, 2012

Who do you think you are?

Minus all good attributes you think you have by ten times. Multiply all bad attributes you think you have by ten times. That would be about right. Mileage may vary. What aren’t you telling yourself?
December 4, 2012

What have you done?

December 3, 2012

What’s your CRM response rate?

One of my favourite charity organizations is Kiva.org. I like the idea of being able to help strangers from mile away. I like helping entrepreneurs. I did an experiment back in October 2012. The idea was simple. Kiva.org was giving FREE loans. That means when you get invited, all you have to do is join, choose a borrower to loan the money to and Kiva sends the money to the borrower. The invitee pays NOTHING. I sent out a personal email to family and friends whom I am in contact carefully selecting from my list, explaining to them in detail […]
November 30, 2012

What can you do?

I can’t say it any better. Let Zig tell you and perhaps you can feel better. “There are going to be times in life when you do everything you’re supposed to do, and somebody else drops the ball. That’s life.” – Zig Ziglar. This may help you feel better on days when you are one of the guys who drops the ball. What if you did nothing? Zig Ziglar passed away two days ago on Wednesday 28 November
November 29, 2012

How to invest in your brand?

We meet a lot of small medium businesses who are keen on branding their products and services. A lot of these have huge potential but almost always, the brand owners are nervous about spending. No matter how you try to convince them that it’s really an investment in their brand; they will still be skeptical. I don’t blame them. After all, branding cost money. Cold hard cash these brand owners worked hard for with their bare-hands. Starting a branding exercise is like sparring for the first time in a ring. To be good at sparring you need to do these: […]
November 28, 2012

What should you have first?

Just because you are the most passionate football fan you know doesn’t mean you will be successful running a business that has to do with football. Do not confuse what is needed to be successful as a marketer. You may not have a passion for philately but you can be very proficient at selling stamps. Proficiency and passion. One is an expertise, the other an intense love. It certainly helps if you are passionate about bath tubs and selling it. But it’s not a must. In fact, it maybe detrimental. If you are a passionate fulltime traditional Shotokan instructor you […]
November 27, 2012

Why aren’t you doing what you love?

Because you are poor in time; “I have no time” to whatever. Because you are poor in know-how; “I don’t know how” to whatever. Because you are poor financially; “I don’t have the money” to whatever. Because you are poor in courage; “I am afraid if I fail” in whatever. Good thing though. You have a wealth of excuses. Congrats. What’s a good reason?
November 26, 2012

Do you recognize your inflection point?

November 23, 2012

What is your right size?

We are small on purpose. That’s because the people at Roar Point knows what we want and we know what will make us happy and the clients happy (well, at least most of the time.) I am not saying don’t grow. I will be stupid to say that. Every business strives to grow. Bigger profits, bigger market share, bigger share of wallet, more share of stomach, more share of throat. I am advocating the right size. Right enough for your customers to be well served, right enough that it does more good than harm. Right enough that it is sustainable […]
November 22, 2012

Do you see what I see?

You don’t always see what you need to see. That’s why you need mirrors. Sometimes mirrors come in the form of comrades, competitors and consultants. Don’t break them. They show you your ugly side so you can be prettier. Unless of course, you are setting out to be ugly. Who’s bringing you silver and gold?
November 21, 2012

What are you doing with Google?

Google is becoming “Godgle”. You already know that. You use it every day as a consumer. So, how is the brand you are handling using Google and its services? Oh I see, your consumers don’t use Google. Hmm… Is your brand out Googling your competitors?
November 20, 2012

Who can hurt you the most?

YOU. Yup. YOU can hurt you the most. The things you should do but didn’t do. The things you turn a blind eye on. The ego that you did not train to shrink. The mouth that refuses to shut-up. The anger that refuses to be extinguished. The “I am staying true to myself” pseudo-logic. The “I will do it tomorrow.” The greed that refuses to be contented. Swat that analysis. Just look into yourself. It works for brands, people and career. Who can benefit the most?
November 19, 2012

How much does your brand write?

Brands want to own the experience that consumers feel about them, they want to own the personality and values that their brand reflects or espouse. Sadly, how many owns those words on the net via the very keywords or the group of keywords they want to “own”? Especially, here in Malaysia. Content marketing should be a key component of your communication strategy if you accept these as facts: The number of people who will look for the information via the net will increase. Content marketing is one of the more convincing forms of communications. Over the long run it delivers […]
November 16, 2012

How do you learn?

Non admission to ignorance can breed arrogance. Each time you are challenged on what you hold to dearly – for example, a marketing technique, perhaps savour that as an opportunity to unlearn what you have learned. Just because you have been successful with it in the past: Doesn’t guarantee it will work this time. Perhaps there is a reason why you are being challenged now?  Doesn’t mean the person challenging you is wrong. Can mean this technique is now known to your competitors. You think you know, hence you don’t know. Ignorance breeds arrogance. What did you unlearn?
November 14, 2012

Are you staying true to yourself?

Sometimes I wonder if people take this, “Stay true to yourself” to the extreme. I mean, if you know you are an asshole, do you remain an asshole? Because that way, you are staying true to yourself even when it takes a toll on the people you work with, your love ones and more importantly the immeasurable price you are paying for it. Perhaps these people should ask themselves, “What is my true self?” before they qualify to say “I am being true to myself.” What lies are you telling yourself?
November 12, 2012

How much time do you have?

You will never find time if you try to look for time to do the things that you want. You will not find time to do the things that you love, to attend to your priorities, to whatever. You make time. Yes. MAKE. TIME. That’s how you get things done. Do that or stop complaining. How do you make time?
November 9, 2012

Can you create a new category?

Of course you can. Just don’t expect it to be a free ticket to market success. Just how do your consumers slot your product and service into his mind? The simple answer is through his world view; which is a collection of his experience that shapes how he sees things. Of course you can create this slot amongst the masses. But you have to start with the innovators and the early adopters first. That means money to educate a whole new group of people in the hope that they influence the rest. Having no competitors doesn’t mean it is easy. […]
November 8, 2012

Who’s your competitor?

I am sure you are new. So new you have no competitor. Just because you feel and think you have no competitors doesn’t mean you have no competitors. In fact, it might even be a fact that you have no competitors. But in your consumer’s mind, YOU will ALWAYS have a competitor. Why? Because the consumer asks a very simple question in his mind, “What is this?” This three word question necessitates that he slots your product and service into a category in his mind. That way he can relate to it. So you see, once he slots you into […]
November 7, 2012

How much effort does it take?

Drop by drop an empty bucket is soon filled with water. You know that. But it’s worth mentioning again and again until it sinks in. If you did one small thing every day, it will make a huge impact in your life and business in a year. Eat a little more fruits and vegetables a day. Get into the office earlier. Leave the office on time. Personally attend to a customer. Resist making just one complain a day. Give one compliment a day. You don’t need more examples; you need to say, “That I can do.” But chances are you […]
November 6, 2012

When are you walking away?

Some prospects find it interesting that we leave money on the table. They think we are cocky when we turn down their business. But I assure you not. Sometimes, we turn business down when the values do not match. Other times, when the understanding of what branding is, the role of marketing and what advertising can and cannot do tells you the partnership will not work. Almost always, we walk away when the prospect feels only his business has the legitimate right to make money. More importantly, we know what we want. Do you know what you want?
November 5, 2012

What differentiates you?

You are a marketer. But it is also true you are a consumer. If you as a consumer agree to these statements: I want to be treated with respect I want to be cared. I want to be loved. I want brands to be genuine to me. I want to know I can trust you. I want to know you have my best interest at heart. Then why is it that you craft your marketing plans with elements of trickery? With promotions and sales that is not genuine? With mechanics that makes people distrust you? No, all demographic groups wants […]
November 2, 2012

Are you following one guru?

Variety is good. Having variety doesn’t mean you aren’t focused. Just means you have a choice to pick and choose what you can stir into the best cocktail. Used to be one language is good enough. Knowing English will get you a good job. Now knowing English is barely enough, adding Chinese and perhaps Hindi will get you a brighter future. Variety works for a lot of things like nature, food, spices, art, even marketing theories and gurus. There are very few things in this world that are absolutes. Narrowly following one thing will only give you tunnel vision. Can […]
November 1, 2012

You don’t know us?

It’s no longer an excuse to not know. If you are coming to sell us something, even if it is a mind-numbing shredder machine, check us out.  It’s there. If you are coming for an interview? Look us up. Not knowing and no time to do research is no longer an excuse. That excuse expired a long time ago. This of course works for everything else as well. For whatever industry and whatever title you hold. Don’t say no one gave it to me. Look for it. You can even do it on the phone now. Don’t say I have […]
October 31, 2012

Is there a freebie with this?

Give your freebie with good intention and give it the right attention. Not something that has tricks built into it. Sometimes the consumers know this. They buy it not because they think it is free. Or that they believe you. Give them some credit. They aren’t so stupid all of the time. They buy it for other reasons. It’s dangerous if you think they bought it because it is free. Because that’s how you conceived it. Now, you don’t know the true motivation behind your consumers’ action. Beats the purpose of doing it, ain’t it? What’s the price of your […]
October 30, 2012

Why do you ask questions?

You can use questions to: Kill ideas. Murder initiatives. Make people tired. Sound smarter than others. Confuse. Go off tangent. Distract. And a host of other uses. But questions are best use to clarify. To deepen understanding. To diagnose a problem. With clarity comes focus. With clarity solutions break out of the dark clouds of ignorance. Use questions carefully. What answers do you want?
October 29, 2012

What do you value?

October 25, 2012

How do you build?

“You build a player like you build a house. You start with the foundations. The fundamentals.” – Arsene Wenger The coach knows this. But does the player? Especially a fresh junior player who sees the greats plays without witnessing the sacrifices of time, sweat and blood. Every generation of managers tell this to their executives, every father tells this to their son – “When you get to my stage, you will know why I say what I say and why I do what I do.” Awareness must couple with experience and effortful study. Otherwise it is just a nice quote […]
October 24, 2012

How will you turn out?

October 23, 2012

How do you read people?

If you have ever sold something, you probably know what I mean. I don’t care if you are the creative director in an ad agency, an insurance agent, you peddle unit trust or you are an entrepreneur. If you ever did something you cared about, you know just because you are tired doesn’t mean you are not happy. Just because you are frustrated doesn’t mean you have given up hope. You find meaning in your dissatisfaction. You press on. You are an entrepreneur, an artist in an art you care about. Sometimes that art puts food on the table. You […]
October 22, 2012

How to confuse a moral compass?

October 19, 2012

Where are you now?

When you say nothing is wrong with the way your product is and the way you market your brand; you need to be careful if there is a dash of ego in it. It is utterly perfect if that is the objective diagnosis. But if the truth is that you have muddied it with your ego, then perhaps you won’t know where your brand can go. Why? Because you aren’t clear where you are and why you are there. If you don’t know where you are then it is difficult to know where you can be. Nothing wrong is not […]
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