Perception is reality- in marketing

arrogance, Customers, ego, Marketing, Product Management

I was watching Shark Tank a little while back . There was this young lady who came with a business model which she called as an Ed-Fintech model and she started rattling some numbers from different global agencies on why they are in such a good space. They had not even started on revenue.

What happened – young person, giving “gyaan” with no revenue – suddenly with every statement that she made, most of the “sharks” pounced on her.

Problem perception- those sitting on the other side of the table thought she was acting as a “know-it-all”. They felt she was arrogant and that hurt some egos. No one ended making her an offer. From her perspective maybe she was just being confident with the research that she had done. Net outcome no investment

I remember about 25 years back there was a Korean company called Daewoo which entered India and launched a sedan. It was an extremely well engineered car which the Indian market had not seen till then. Now some of the early users of the car did not understand the way the fuel gauge was calibrated and they got the impression that it its a fuel guzzling car.

That perception got created with some users but the competition took advantage of that and blew it out of proportion. Eventually the car was a huge looser and whatever forecasts were made went south.

As a product manager or a marketing manager you have to keep an eye on the perception that is getting created and handle it, because once its made, it is not easy to brush off and it becomes reality.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Thanks giving – Gratitude

ego, Gratitude, Happiness, Human Brain

When I was a kid my mother was always insisting that whenever I interact with people, I use two phrases always …..’thank you sir & if you please’. I had taken them to heart and it is something that I have used with everyone from bell boys to CEOs and the guys who serve me coffee in front of the CEO when we meet.

In the US people will be celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend and I would also like to thank my readers and especially those who follow my blog. I know you’ll have a lot of options and limited time, so the fact that you share that time on my blogs is very critical to me. I hope I live up to your expectations.

My mother was a very intelligent lady, but I am not sure if she knew the impact those two statements have on us, when we speak them from a neuro science perspective. When in a state of gratitude / thanks keeps you happy. When you are in that state, you can’t be having negative thoughts because in a state of gratitude your brain feels safe. It doesn’t have survival at stake.

With the second phrase, by saying please you do two things. One you don’t let your brain bring your ego into the picture. Also the moment you say please, the other person’s guard is also let down, because you are requesting not ordering.

In today’s world our egos have become so fragile that we get into a rage at the slightest indication of someone even making a statement let alone ordering us. So when we start with ….can you please, if you can please….you are also helping the other person relax and listen to your request. She still may say no. But because she is relaxed she will not react in defensive manner.

By being in gratitude and saying thanks many times a day and requesting versus ordering also keeps you happy. So thank you all .

Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Losing hurts more than the joy of winning – Product and Brand Management – 2

B2B, ego, Fear, Human Brain, life time value, losing, Marketing, Product Management, winning

In yesterday’s post I spoke about how the human brain’s resistance to lose, makes the job tougher for a product management person to get a new product into the market. Nobody wants to be seen as a fool in case something goes wrong. The hurt of losing is very acute.

On the other hand there’s a positive side for the marketing person to utilise. Since marketing is applied psychology, you need to use this same concept to your advantage. That’s how brands are built. They are the trust / the promise that a user feels, when buying something from a known name (brand) versus buying an unknown name.

In the B2B space, therefore once you have entered into an account and done an excellent job, you need to spread your tentacles and try to do as many things as possible. Since the customer trusts you, they will prefer to first come to you to check out before going out into the market to find a new vendor.

So while getting into a B2B customer is tough, once there and if you have done an excellent job, the possibility of doing long term business is very high. So when looking at a B2B customer, you need to look at the lifetime value of a customer before taking any decision of refusing an order. Especially if it is at the time of entry into the account, you have to keep this dynamic in mind. Even if you have to make loss on a one time deal, for the first time, you should pick up the deal, provided you are clear that they do a lot of buying where they will involve you. You can then make up for the money you lose, by getting a logo to brag about in your brand building as well as the long term revenue possibilities.

You will also sometimes come across customers who will always want you to lose. For those types of customers, you should be ready to leave them at the earliest.

But coming back, the same feature of the brain which causes us hurt can also be used to increase revenues by ensuring that the customer realises why they trust you versus trying a new vendor.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Losing hurts more than the joy of winning- Product and Brand Management

B2B, ego, Human Brain, losing, Marketing, Product Management, winning

I had written two posts on my practical experience the other day on how not getting one packet out of the two I had ordered….made me feel bad while getting a complementary gift from the company which was roughly 8 times more in terms of value did not cause me as much joy.

This has a lot of implications for us marketing folks, whether you’re in product management or brand management etc.

Once people have experienced your product or service, then they would not like to try another brand. This is especially true for high value items. Since most B2B procurement tends to be high value, there’s an even bigger inertia to change. No one wants to feel or be seen as a fool who took a wrong decision.

Since our brain feels the loss more acutely, if something goes wrong with a decision to take a new vendor, the manager who took the decision will lose face. They may have taken a lot of right decisions but one wrong decision will keep haunting them. So they would rather go with the tried and tested vendor even if the technology they have is old or product is not as good as yours.

As a product manager , you need to figure out how you will find those companies who have a management which is willing to take risks with your new offerings, if you are coming for the first time in the market. On the other hand if you already have customers, you should always take your new offerings to them to try out. Since they know you they might be willing to experiment with your new offerings.

We will continue on this topic further in tomorrow’s post.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!