Ability versus capability

language, Learning

I have this fascination for the nuances between words in the English language and whenever I come across something which I find interesting, I end up sharing with you’ll. Earlier I have shared the differences between being relentless and being persistent and others.

I have generally ended up using ability and capability interchangeably. The general meaning of both the terms is actually similar, so I wasn’t making an error in my usage.

Ability is generally defined as the possession of or the skill of doing something. If you look for the synonyms of ability you will find the word capability listed.

When I delved a little deeper in the formation of the word capability, I realised its the intersection of capacity and ability. So from what I could make out, in terms of the human performance – ability is about having the skill, but if I don’t have the capacity to do it then its not a capability.

So I may have the skill to play hockey – which means I have the ability. Can I play in a competition – may be not because I don’t have the stamina / capacity to last a competitive match – that’s not having the capability. Its a very nuanced difference, but it exists.

How did I come across this issue, which took me down this rabbit hole. Well I was listening to a podcast on morecheeselesswhiskers.com and Dean Jackson used the term ability to define a musician having the instruments and the skill to play and capability as something where she can also make music. So you may have the skill to play an instrument but not be able to create music on your own using the instrument.

Its a very fine line, but if you follow the English language then this could be of interest to you.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Gatherers versus Consumers

B2B, Marketing, psychology, Uncategorized

Gatherers – I heard this term today, while listening to the Morecheeselesswhiskers podcast with Dean Jackson. I heard this in the morning and now its evening, this term is still ringing in my ear and the implications it can have in marketing.

Dean’s logic was that we are hardwired genetically to be gatherers. Since historic times, when human beings started staying in caves, they would take food and store it in the cave so that in case it rained or for some reason they couldn’t go out hunting the next day, they would have food for the family.

At that time if they found some bananas, they would “gather” it and take it to their cave. Till now that characteristic has not changed. People end up buying things, they never use, so that they however have it – just in case – gathering. If you are an avid reader like me, you may also have a lot of books which you have never read, but you bought them, so that you don’t end up missing them- another sign of gathering.

Consuming on the other hand is about something which we actually use.

Now here comes the interesting part. You can utilize this psychological concept in your marketing. How many times have you observed people offering you a free book. Chances are that you ended up taking that book by providing your email address. There’s also a very large chance that you didn’t read much of that book even though the title of the book had interestedyou earlier. So you gathered it but didn’t consume it.

So how can it be used. You offer a product worth “gathering” and in return get them to give you their emails to which you can then prospect on a regular basis. So now I have to think in terms of how I can create an item which is easy to gather which can help me generate leads.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Working backwards from the customer result- Part 4

Assumptions, Customers, differentiation, Marketing, single target market

Till now we have looked at the Future Reality tree, then we have highlighted the unsaid assumptions so we don’t miss a ‘snake in the grass’ which can mess up our plans. Then we identified the various use cases for a simple regular item like engine oil for cars.

Now let’s move forward with the example of the engine oil for cars. We identified OEMs (brand owners like Ford, Mitsubishi etc.), service stations and gas stations.

Lets take first – Gas stations. There could be gas stions which are right in the heart of the city and there could be those which are on the Inter State highways.  Both sell to retailers who come to fill gas and may ask for a top-up. But the ones on the highway will fill a larger amount of gas because they may be traveling long distance. Can you think of how you can package your engine oil sales with the higher intake of gas….

On the other hand the person who is taking gas in the city may not get his engine oil filled because he can send his car for service during the week end. So the gas stations in the city may see a lower number of people asking for engine oil versus the ones who are traveling long distance and want to have a hassle free ride.

For the product management person,  it is now important to figure out the kind of packaging she will do for these 2 different kinds of gas stations , the kind of pricing options, the kind of promotions…..there are so many ways to get creative to figure out how you can work through different markets within in a niche also.

But if you think of only engine oil as the niche then it becomes difficult to think of differentiated strategies. The moment you think from the end result – a person wanting a hassle free long distance ride you can start getting creative.

One person whom you should listen is Dean Jackson on his podcast morecheeselesswhiskers.com and another podcast that he does with Joe Polish ilovemarketing.com. Just listening to them will get your creative juices flowing.

Till next time then

Carpe Diem!!!

Return on Relationships

Business, Partners, relationships

Relationships are all about building bonds which are generally based on trust. Once people start trust you, they also open up and share things with you. As the trust grows, the bonds grow stronger and people start wanting you to also succeed.

Return on relationships is a concept I learned from Dean Jackson. He’s one of the most fundamentally sound people and can cut through the problems and reach the core reason extremely quickly. You can listen to his podcasts on Morecheeselesswhiskers.com or Cloudlandia or Ilovemarketing.com. He talks about return on relationships from the vantage point of how many customers come back to you for more and refer other customers to you.

My concept of partnerships or “riding the elephant” are all about relationships at the core. Nothing in business moves if you don’t build relationships. How good your relationships are is measured by the fact if you get a lot of your business with repeat customers or you get referred a lot to different people.

There used to be a saying – its not what you know but who you know that is important. There has to be an extension to that statement – its not what you know but who you know, who is willing to refer you, that is important.

So you may have a lot of connections on social media platforms like Linkedin, but if they are not willing to refer you, then they are unimportant. The onus of getting people to refer you is your responsibility so that you program them to think about you when they come across something in which you excel. Getting referrals on a consistent basis is the best way to get business, because you don’t have to invest your time in convincing people to look at you.

Have a look at how much of your revenues are happening because of business coming in from the cold versus repeat customers and customers that have been referred. The lower the first part the more profitable your business.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!