Discovering Experience

An interactive digest on living and working with humans

Photo by Trey Ratcliff

We’re All Biased: On Communicating with Purpose
Advertising, Communication & Society

We’re All Biased: On Communicating with Purpose

How to Define Product Benefits That Drive Inbound Demand: Prioritize & Simplify
Marketing, Tech & Web

How to Define Product Benefits That Drive Inbound Demand: Prioritize & Simplify

First of all, buyers want to see “benefits” before they see “features” – so be careful not to jump into technical stuff before building a business case. This also means you need to prioritize the order in which each benefit appears on your website. Think of your top two buyer personas, the segments that are going to drive 80% of your revenue, and hit their specific pain points with the first benefits you list on your website. Hook them with the highest value problem-solution sets (benefits) and you can always offer a “read more” option for those prospects that are compelled to learn more…frankly, most aren’t. In fact, the priority problem-solution sets should be enough to move the prospect to click on the “get started” or “free trial” button.
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How to Use Video Content to Boost Demand Generation: Product Demos & Storytelling
Marketing, Tech & Web

How to Use Video Content to Boost Demand Generation: Product Demos & Storytelling

Video is today’s most effective customer education tool. If you’re selling a SaaS product you need to break down product demos into bite-sized screencasts (no longer than 1 minute) that quickly and clearly reveal just how easy, convenient, pain-reducing, and time-saving your product is. No more long-winded 2000s-era comprehensive demos. In fact, no single video should be longer than five minutes unless it’s being stored in a “resources” section – at that point it’s less about marketing and more about customer success. Pro tip: use animated GIFs to bring text to life.
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9 Questions to Answer Before Automating Your Marketing
Marketing, Tech & Web

9 Questions to Answer Before Automating Your Marketing

If you’re considering a new marketing automation platform, your business is at a point where it needs to scale while raising demand and maintaining high-quality customer relationships. Yet, your business is also unique, which is why I put together this list of nine basic questions you have to answer before you even start speaking with technology vendors.

Get in the driver’s seat: Prepared with answers to these questions you’ll be able to build a strong business case with your CFO and CTO, and get technology vendors to deliver a tailored solution rather than a standard sales pitch.

1) Budget: How much are you willing to spend on a marketing automation platform per year? (the technology acquisition cost, not including consulting or people costs)

2) Campaigns: On average, how many e-mail campaigns will you send out per month?
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A Brief Note on Complexity and Enterprise Growth
Business Strategy

A Brief Note on Complexity and Enterprise Growth

Every enterprise, like every person, is on a unique journey. Though, the ultimate goal is usually the same: maximize return on investment. That’s investment in time, money, reputation, etc. — basically, your opportunity cost. I help organizations solve problems that get in the way of earning that return – and for the most part, this has found me working in roles within marketing, policy, research, creative, and technology units.

Throughout my career I have consistently found that growing enterprises inevitably face the “complexity problem.” In order to grow, you have to embrace more complexity in the way business is conducted – failure to manage this complexity creates tremendous uncertainty – which equals nothing more than pure, uncontrolled risk. Continue reading …

Three Tips for Influencing People That Think Fast and Slow
Communication & Society, Marketing

Three Tips for Influencing People That Think Fast and Slow

A couple years ago, while writing an economic policy paper, I read Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking Fast and Slow – a must-read on human behavior, rationality, and the lack thereof. This book validated my own professional experiences doing business with a diverse lot of characters, and opened my eyes to so much I didn’t realize about decision-making. Kahneman won a nobel prize for defining prospect theory, which evolves the longstanding utility theory, by finding that we make decisions not merely by seeking economic rationalization, but by allowing behavioral biases to envision prospective value. Continue reading …

Trust First – Cold Calling in a World of No Solicitation
Marketing

Trust First – Cold Calling in a World of No Solicitation

When I was 17, I cut my teeth in the sales field by cold calling small businesses in Northern Virginia – always ignoring that absurd “no soliciting” sign. My products were those logo-imprinted goods categorized as “promotional products.” That, they were, but there was more to these branded items than the name implied – and the other name, “advertising specialties,” did the same disservice to their value, undermining the product category even further by labeling them “special” – they could’ve just as well been termed niceties, sundries, or what-nots. I’m not even sure how you’d name the category – but business people simply didn’t know what they were by name. Continue reading …

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