Monday, October 06, 2008

Wizard Wisdom

Lot's of good stuff here....


Dear Scott,

Here is a tip for handling feedback.

"When you ask for feedback, be sure to listen carefully to the responses you receive, especially if they are not what you wanted or expected to hear; don't explain, justify, or ague. It's best not to comment at all; just listen. Record the feedback in your notebook for contemplation." - Michael Gerb, author, How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci

In this issue:

One Way to Build a Successful Business

Why the Rule of Resemblance Fails

Delivery First... Words Second

One Way to Build a Successful Business

How you treat your people affects how they treat your customers.

Unhappy customers don't come back, while happy customers spend more and become repeat customers. So look after your people and watch your business grow. Need proof?

In the latest issue of Strategy + Business journalist Bridget Finn wrote the article "The Life Cycle of Great Business Ideas." Two quotes I found particularly relevant by Steve Wheeler I have included below. (Highlighting in bold by the editor)

"Sometimes it’s only the long-term comparison in performance that shows you what works. Jim Collins, a high school classmate of mine, wrote the best-selling book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. If you had taken the 18 companies that were profiled in that book and invested in each of them over the next 10 years, you would have gotten about a 150 percent return.

That’s not too bad — until you compare it with an S&P 500 index fund, which would have given you a 250 percent return. And if you’d had the foresight to pick up a copy of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For each year over that same period and just invested in the public companies, you would have gotten a 600 percent return.

So one way to build a successful business is to create an environment where people enjoy their jobs and are eager to work — in other words, a “best company to work for"." - Steven Wheeler
"I think the most interesting changes will come when people start being strategic about building the capabilities they need for long-term success and avoiding the boom–bust cycles that most companies go through." - Steven Wheeler

*Steven Wheeler is a former partner with Booz & Company and currently performs research, with the University of Southern California’s Center for Effective Organizations, on organization and leadership drivers of agility and sustained company performance.

Wegmans Food Markets comes in number 3 on the top 100 best companies to work for. Check out this short video on why staff and customers love Wegmans.

A 600% return on investment had you invested in the top 100 best companies to work for. Maybe there is something in this business strategy of looking after your people!

So the question for you is, "how are you treating your people?"

A tip... unfortunately your view is one of inside the bottle. You are going to answer that question based on your own experience. The current mood and moral of staff in your business is one you have created. Are you big enough and brave enough to see your business real? Is it time you had an outsiders perspective?

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The Rule of Resemblance bundles people together largely by demographics: age, sex, income, lifestyle, postcode etc. This largely flawed marketing strategy is used by media reps when selling to business owners. Don't worry it is used by big business too.

As Wizard Partner Michele Miller puts it, "The Rule of Resemblance strategy usually results in weak response and low (if any) return on investment."

Just because two people are the same age, listen to the same radio station and live in the same suburb does not mean they will respond the same way to your advertising message.

Michele Miller begins to explain the deeper complexities of customers and particularly female customers in her story The Business of Sisterhood. If you are serious about improving the ROI of your marketing dollars take a few minutes from your day and read this story.

Or you can listen and watch Michele in her Wondercast here.

Michele can be reached by email at:

Delivery First... Words Second

"I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest." - Muhammad Ali
Ali re-enforced with his mouth what he delivered in the ring.
Delivery came first. His words simply fast tracked the legend.

Now to your marketing: First, look after your customers at store level. Second, tell the world how good you are. It should always be exceptional customer experience first, advertising second.

And when writing your ads, ask yourself this question. "Can my in-store or online experience consistently deliver my advertising promise?" If it can't, don't say it.

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Previous stories, just in case you missed them:

4 Things Never to Do When Writing Ads

Cost Cutting...Should it be an Ongoing Process or an Event?

How Well Does Your Business Rate on the Customer Visual Checklist?

How to Write Ads That Make the Phone Ring

7 Tips for Surviving a Recession

A Closing Thought

"The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence." - Robert J. Shiller

See you next week.

Craig Arthur
Wizard of Ads

PS. Need help to attract more customers and grow your business?

Australia Call (07) 4728 4866 or email

North America

Call 308-254-2732 or email

Call 440-610-9746 or email

We will never try and sell you. You may punch us in the arm really, really hard if we do.

Call or email to book a FREE alignment meeting. No obligation. No pressure. It is at this meeting we both decide if there is a fit between our 2 companies. It is only then can we explore your options. We will never try to sell you. Call (07) 4728 4866.

Wizard Partners Australia. Call Us: (07) 4728 4866

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