Successful failure

Marketing, Methodologies, Product Management, Testing

I read this term today while I was reading the book The Bezos Letters by Steve Anders.

I just finished reading the 1997 letter to the shareholders and started reading the first chapter of the book. I was astonished by the amount of emphasis Jeff Bezos places on successful failure.

I keep writing about testing everything because only the market has the right to decide what will succeed. You may have the best product, the most expensive and elaborate media roll out, but if you don’t first test and see, it can bomb.

But Bezos takes it further, he’s talking of billions of dollars that he’s spent on failures, learnt from them and made other things successful and made many more billions.

In marketing and product management, especially when you are a small company , you need to be very agile at testing continuously, learning and adapting to make your product more attractive in the market.

When you do testing ensure you only do with one variable at a time, to keep reducing the risk of a complete disaster. Never try multi variable testing because you will never be able to figure out the interplay between two variables which could create an indeterminate third variable.

Everything that you do has risk. You mitigate it by testing, identifying the failures and then converting into success.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Prioritizing the top 2-3 in sales

B2B, ideal customer, Methodologies, prioritizing, Sales

The 80/20 rule works even in sales. As I have said before the best thing about this rule is that its fractal, which means there’s always an 80/20 within the 80/20 also.

So within all your customers 80% of the complaints about you or your product or your service would come from 20% of the customers. However you could go one step further and identify 4% of the customers who are actually responsible for 64% of the problems. If you eliminated these 4% your life would be much more easier.

Similarly there will be few customers who would be responsible for more than 64% of your business. You need to ensure that you are constantly doing everything possible to not only keep these customers happy but to also ensure that you are growing your business with them.

As a sales person you also need to analyze which 20% of the products get you 80% of your incentives or commissions and then analyze which 20% of your customers account for 80% of the sales of those products. That will give you a clear indication of where you have to spend your time and prioritize your day.

While you’re supposed to sell all the products that are assigned to you, by following this mechanism to prioritize your day, you will also hit your financial goals faster. The only constraint for a sales person is time. If you can focus 80%of your time on these 20% customers you would get a massive boost to your achievements.

Its always how you can leverage your time for the most productive use. After all small hinges move big doors.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Prioritizing top 2 or 3 – challenges -2

differentiation, execution, Marketing, Marketing Ecosystem, Methodologies, prioritizing, Product Management, route to market, segmentation, single target market

Yesterday I wrote about the issues which come up in prioritizing the top 2 or 3 for me, in my day-to-day life. This post will talk about the top 3 things in marketing that you need to address and the challenges which come up in real life situations because of revenue pressures.

In marketing if you summarize the issues with respect to lead generation or getting business then they would be

  1. Getting footfalls (incase of a store) or hits on your website or people coming to your webinar
  2. Cost of various media to get you the traffic
  3. Cost of converting the footfall into a buying public

Perry Marshall calls this the Traffic, Economics, Conversion combination. Within each of these three you can do a prioritization of the next top 3. Like I mentioned earlier 80/20 is fractal, so there’s always an 80/20 within an 80/20 forever, you just need to identify it. That will help you dramatically. I am amazed the amount of leverage I keep getting once I recognize the 80/20 in anything. Like I have been saying – small hinges move large doors.

Now something outside this equation is Reference customers. I would like to put this in category of itself, provided you already have a running business, because this can change the game in your favor dramatically.

Now every marketer would understand the things which I have listed above. But what happens is that there is pressure from sales for leads and while you start testing one item and things are not working out, you start analysing all the issues. In the meanwhile because there’s a pressure on revenue you try something in the short term to boost the revenues and the spiral starts and things go out of control.

During this time someone from delivery comes up with another product and sales being sales, they always want new products to take to the market and suddenly you are being pushed to launch the new product in the market.

The companies who do good in marketing are the ones who ensure that they don’t mess up the prioritization, focus on it to keep things running smoothly and then look at new product launches or sales pressures. Chances are if you have a system than the system will incorporate the failures that can take place and have a place to learn from them.

Master these priorities and you could be way ahead in your marketing.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!