I’m sure Multi-Level Marketing has been around since ancient days. Send out street urchins to sell stuff and take a big chunk of their income. Get them to recruit other homeless kids and let them have a share of what their protegé earns.
But Multi-Level Marketing (or MLM) is big business now, with one estimate* putting it at around the US$200 billion per annum mark, worldwide.
So, we have to ask:
- What is Multi-Level Marketing?
- How does it work?
- Is it a good way to earn a living (here’s a spoiler: no)?
- And how do you spot an MLM scheme if offered one?
Continue reading Multi-Level Marketing (MLM): Pyramid Schemes?
The Long Tail is the other half of the same chart we saw in an earlier Big Ideas article: the Pareto Principle. Vilfredo Pareto took an interest in the head of the chart, where a small number of people accounted for a huge proportion of wealth. In 2006, Chris Anderson published a book that looked at the huge number of products that form the remainder, when you exclude the few that account for the majority of sales.
How many categories of item does Amazon list? I found the statistic from January 2018 that:
Amazon lists more than 3 billion products across 11 marketplaces worldwide.
But most of their sales and revenue come from the top few highest performing goods in each category. A small number of books may sell thousands a month. But there are millions of books that rarely sell any in a given month… or year.
Continue reading The Long Tail: Infinite Consumer Choice
Seth Godin is a marketer and a communicator. His stream of valuable ideas about 21st century marketing is something we’ve written about before. And we’ve featured his idea of Permission Marketing in a previous Big Ideas article. But perhaps the most resonant of his ideas is that of Tribes. This is the idea that marketers need to lead change. And we do that by building a coalition of the willing: a tribe of like-minded people who share our vision.
What I like best about Godin’s idea of Tribes is that it works well on two totally different levels. And different managers in our readership will find greatest resonance in one or the other. The idea of tribes can be about:
- leading change to build a better future
- creating demand for a new product, idea, or service
So, Tribes is a big idea about change leadership or about marketing… or maybe about both.
Continue reading Tribes: From Shared Interest to Change
When I first thought about Social Media as a Big Idea, it seemed like a good topic. Until I started to think about it. Because forms of Social Media are ubiquitous – we all use them, so what can I tell you that you don’t already know?
Well, take a look, and find out.
Continue reading Social Media: Making Connecting and Communicating [too] Easy
Have you ever been wandering around the internet and been surprised to find the same advert following you? If you have, welcome to remarketing.
Or maybe you looked at an online product and then, later that day, saw a discount advert in your social media feed. Or you clicked an advert in Facebook, and then found it at the top of your searches.
Yup – those are remarketing too. Which sounds just a little less creepy than its former, but now less favoured name: retargeting.
Continue reading Remarketing: When Advertisers Stalk You
Branding started out as deliberate mutilation of cattle, to assert ownership. Now it’s about leaving more than a physical mark: it’s about creating an emotional connection.
Brand has arguably become as important as function and quality in the world of products and services. The craft and skills of branding experts are tuned to a high pitch. But that’s not to say there have been no missteps. And there’s been a backlash too.
So, let’s have a look at the big idea that is branding.
Continue reading Branding: Creating a Relationship with your Customer
The secret to selling is creating an environment where people want to buy. And that’s the insight at the heart of Neil Rackham’s scientific approach to sales. He called it SPIN Selling, from the acronym that will guide you through the process.
SPIN Selling is one of the most widely known sales methodologies. It’s a best-selling book, and is promoted worldwide to companies of all sizes, by Rackham’s company, Huthwaite International.
But we’re not here to help with that promotion, but to assess what managers can learn from Rackham’s big idea.
Continue reading SPIN Selling – Neil Rackham’s Scientific Sales
The explosion in online business and the effectiveness of Software as a Service have created a new boom: Marketing Automation. This allows marketers to address prospective customers almost personally. But to do so in a way that scales with your business.
It sounds almost too good to be true. So, what is marketing automation, and how does it work?
Continue reading Marketing Automation – Automated Personalisation!
Santa Claus is a chimera of historical and mythical figures.
He is also a cultural winner, having dominated the competing winter-time icons.
But first: if you’re reading this on the day of publication…
- Merry Christmas
- Joyeux Noël
- Feliz Navidad
- Fröhliche Weihnachten
- Buon Natale
- Feliz Natal
- मेरी क्रिसमस!
- Счастливого рождества!
- Nadolig Llawen
- Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Continue reading Santa Claus – aka Father Christmas
There’s nothing new in the idea of enchantment. It’s been turning up in fairy tales, legends, and myths for thousands of years. So, when Guy Kawasaki applies the word as a metaphor for how to influence customers, is he telling us anything new?
Like many big ideas, the modern version of enchantment isn’t new. And also like many, you could interpret it as stating the obvious. His book contains nothing a well-read and experienced manager won’t have encountered before.
But, also like many big ideas, the value really comes where we too-easily overlook the familiar. So we need reminding of what we already know. And coining a great metaphor is a good way to do it. So let’s look at what lies at the heart of Kawasaki’s Enchantment.
Continue reading Enchantment: Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions