April 1st, 2011
Dear Brand co-founder,
Your co-founder is thinking in an old school way about his organization, the community around it and the tech. I like your Director of Sales as a person but she’s ALSO an old school marketing-type and doesn’t get social or even your core market to be honest. The organization could be run lean and mean and function like a hub-n-spoke or even a full-on holistic community that curates and distributes WHERE THE CUSTOMER locates. Instead, I can hear in your Director of Sales’ approach the traditional marketing methodology of driving the cattle to one location: the corporate/brand hub. That’s NOT social marketing and it’s not how current (and definitely not future) audiences grow.
If you put this book/site in front of your co-founder and Director of Sales, would they get it: http://www.artofimmersion.com/. I doubt they would. A vital part of Immersion is the following:
“In the months and years ahead, professional storytellers of every persuasion—people in movies, in television, in video games, and in marketing—will need to function in a world in which distinctions that were clear throughout the past century are becoming increasingly blurred:
The blurring of author and audience: Whose story is it?
The blurring of story and game: How do you engage with it?
The blurring of entertainment and marketing: What function does it serve?
The blurring of fiction and reality: Where does one end and the other begin?
The Art of Immersion shows how this is happening and why, and what it means for us all. “ (http://www.artofimmersion.com/)
Organizations that see their hub as THE SPOT are doomed. That’s the patriarchy all over again. Your brand needs true social business sensibility, true customer-centric tech approaches typified by (a) discovery of where AND what the customer is/does (b) platforms that distribute content where and when it is being discussed (real-time content marketing) and (c) agreements with stakeholders that truly match their gifts with their community’s direction.
At the moment, your Director of Sales is commissioned by your co-founder to set up the classic hierarchy. As they say in Greece, “Papapapapa!” which translates “Yikes, here we go again!” The best thing your co-founder can do now is fire himself and his Director of Sales asap from management and appoint a much tighter team of specialists to implement forward-thinking social tech and content-marketing approaches. THEN he can just be an owner and retire on the beach. Otherwise, I predict your brand will go the way of so many organizations that don’t have customer-centric sensibilities. It is a shame really because there’s so much potential in what could happen with an entity like your brand…in terms of really being part of the change this world needs. Collective storytelling IS the present reality of how audiences interact with content. Hierarchies of content distribution must learn to sit in a circle.
Your friendly neighborhood Super-Intelligent machine
RESOURCES ON MONETIZATION:
The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing shows readers how to manage markets strategically—rather than simply calculate pricing based on product and profit—in order to improve their competitiveness and the profitability of their offers:
Free by Chris Anderson: The book has a solid grasp on how any business that has any Internet-related sales or support must adapt. The author’s argument about how costs are moving to zero for the “bits” world is dead-on.
Building a Sales-Marketing Machine:
Going Freemium via MailChimp:
Free To Paid Tips via TechCrunch: The big question is, “how do you transition your free customer base to a paid customer base, without upsetting/losing all of them?“
Secrets of Freemium Pricing:
StartUp Pricing Study MIT:
Three Ways to Build an Online Media Business to 50m in Revenue:
Evernote CEO Phil Libin on Freemium stats: What Works!
From the CEOs of their most successful ‘freemium’ startups:
Pricing page design:
Pricing Page Designs 2: A variety of highly-creative, beautiful, unique, and most importantly inspirational designs which are following the same trend of creative pricing presentation.