Vol. 12 No. 7 – May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012


The 8020Info Water Cooler

Highlights from the latest information
for managers, leaders and entrepreneurs

1. The Seven Triggers of Fascination

It pays to fascinate. Consultant Sally Hogshead has been studying fascination for many years, and for her first book, Fascinate, identified seven triggers that makes brands and companies compelling. Now she is taking her ideas into the personal realm, Marieke Hensel reports on BrandingPersonality.com, to show how individuals can captivate someone else. The seven triggers are:

  • Power – people who take command
  • Passion – people who attract with emotion
  • Mystique – people who arouse curiosity
  • Prestige – people who increase respect
  • Alarm – people who create urgency
  • Rebellion – people who change the game
  • Trust – people who build loyalty

Not everyone will fascinate in the same way. Indeed, Hogshead recently developed a matrix of 49 personalities by combining an individual’s primary and secondary fascination triggers. “Your secondary trigger plays a major role in who you are and makes you two-dimensional,” notes Hensel.

Hogshead cited as examples the following famous individuals who all have power as their primary trigger but different secondary points of fascination:

  • The Ringleader: Richard Branson (Secondary: Passion)
  • The Guardian: Warren Buffet (Secondary: Trust)
  • The Mastermind: Mark Zuckerberg (Secondary: Mystique)
  • The Maestro: Georgio Armani (Secondary: Prestige)
  • The Final Authority: Darth Vader (Secondary: Power)
  • The Watchdog: Suzy Orman (Secondary: Alarm)
  • The Change Agent: Steve Jobs (Secondary: Rebellion)

You can take her quiz to find out your own fascination approach on Howtofascinate.com. “You probably have a Crayola box of talents that you’ve never tapped into,” the site proclaims.

2. The Seven Productivity Mistakes

Each day we chase efficiency and effectiveness. But we’re often stymied by seven productivity mistakes that blogger Ali Luke identifies on the DumbLittleMan site: 

  • Cutting back on sleep: When we’re harried, it’s very tempting to cut back on sleep. “Skimping on sleep is going to decrease your productivity. In the short-term, you’ll find yourself struggling to focus. You’ll work more slowly than usual. In the longer-term, you could end up getting ill more often,” writes Luke.
  • Multitasking: It’s tempting to multitask, but it doesn’t work, except when you combine a mental task with a physical one, as when you listen to audio recordings while ironing or doing the dishes.
  • Doing everything yourself: There’s an old saying, “if you want a job done well, do it yourself.” Ignore that. Make sure you delegate tasks to others while you focus on high-powered activities.
  • Focusing solely on numbers: It can be useful to track your performance, but focusing on numbers can lead you to miss important things that can’t be quantified.
  • Eating at your desk: This is OK occasionally, but should not be a daily practice. “Taking a proper break helps refresh you for the afternoon ahead. Even getting out of the office and walking around for 15 minutes is valuable,” she advises.  
  • Checking email frequently: Often this happens because we’re not sure what we should be doing. Figure that out, and stop checking email every five minutes.
  • Pushing yourself too hard: Don’t try to be productive at the expense of everything else, as it might eventually impact your health.

3. Would You Fire Steve Jobs?

If Steve Jobs worked for you, you would probably fire him. That’s the provocative claim of entrepreneur Greg Fraley, on his blog. If Jobs arrived in your organization fresh from dropping out of college, you would probably give him some low-level task. You wouldn’t notice the long hours he puts in when you’re not around, nor appreciate the time he spends investigating things that have little to do with your firm. You also probably wouldn’t like him very much — he can be charming, but he’s blunt and thinks he knows it all.

Leaders have a low tolerance for people who think (and act) differently. “Steve became Steve because he was out on his own doing his own thing. If you want to find and keep that kind of talent you’d best make sure you invest in creating a culture that supports people who think different,” concludes Fraley.

4. Plan Your Weekly Outcomes

The single most important thing software engineer J. D. Meir does at the start of his week is to create his list of outcomes. On his blog, he urges you to prepare the list every Monday, in written form. Put three wins you are seeking at the top of the page and then, below that, your longer list of goals and tasks.

“The key, as always, is to focus on outcomes, not tasks.  By having a list of your outcomes, you make it easier to drive results versus getting lost in the weeds,” he concludes.

5. Zingers

  • Fun focus:  Barbara Corcoran, who built the largest residential brokerage firm in New York City, says she found the more fun she created in the company, the more creative and innovative staff became. (Source: Entrepreneur.com)
  • With gusto: Leadership coach Jon Gordon offers this mantra to follow daily: “Attack this day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.” (Source: Jon Gordon’s Blog)
  • Before we meet:  Suzie de Rohan Willner, chief executive of the FitFlop online shoe store, suggests you request a purpose and intended results from anyone who wants to meet with you: “This makes people think harder about what they want to get out of the meeting and helps to focus me more swiftly on the topic.” (Source: Management Today)
  • Action words: Marketing consultant Roger Dooley says in selling – be it a marketing brochure, or a letter of recommendation – verbs have more power than adjectives. They are vigorous, and force you into clarity. Adjectives should be used sparingly, and only when they are vivid, sensory, specific, or emotion-inducing. (Source: Neurosciencemarketing.com)
  • It’s how you hold me: “Would you mind holding for a moment?” Of course you do, and so you shouldn’t let anyone in your organization foist that phrase on your clients or suppliers. Serial entrepreneur Ron Burley suggests they say, “I am going to put you on hold while I speak to my supervisor about that request and I’ll check back with you in a minute or so if I haven’t had an answer by then.” (Source: Inc.com

6. Q&A with 8020Info:  Five Tips For Email Marketing

Question: How can I boost the impact of my email marketing?

8020Info President and CEO Rob Wood responds:

Research from ExactTarget’s Channel Preference Survey in February 2012 indicated that, compared to channels like direct mail, social media and telephone, email is a stronger communications vehicle for almost all types of content except unsolicited content/spam.

Nevertheless, you need to be clear on what you’re trying to accomplish with your email marketing program, and then implement, monitor/test and tweak it on a regular basis to get the greatest impact for your effort.

Morgan Stewart, CEO of Trendline Interactive, offered some additional tips on a recentMarketingProfsUniversitywebinar. You might find them helpful:

  • Review the foundations of your program:  First look at the strengths and weaknesses of how you handle subscribers as they pass through the initial lifecycle stages of awareness, interest and subscription. Your subscriber needs to clearly see real value in receiving your marketing emails or e-newsletter.
  • Keep it relevant – from the subscriber’s point of view:  You need to understand their motivation. He notes: “your competition in the inbox is every email that is more relevant than your email.”
  • Align Messaging With Segmentation:  If you understand your subscribers well and can identify different content needs, you can improve the relevance of your messaging by sending different versions to specific sub-groups on your list.
  • Activate unengaged subscribers:  It’s natural for subscriber engagement to decline over time — accelerating if the content is not relevant, of low value to the subscriber, or is too frequent for their level of interest. Will you let these dormant subscribers eventually opt out or will you pursue re-engagement?According to iMedia Connection, it’s not uncommon for 40% or more of an email list to be unengaged or inactive in response to your calls to action. They’re not bringing you much benefit for your efforts. Stewart suggests you can appeal to them with win-back offers, new feature announcements, requests for feedback, or decreasing the frequency of your mailings to these subscribers.Perhaps his most surprising re-engagement tip, based in part onUniversityofMichiganresearch, involves sending a “This is your last email” message to unresponsive subscribers, since they will often reconnect to avoid a sense of losing something.
  • Review your timing and triggers for mailing:  Should they be regular bulk mailings (as many e-newsletters are)?  Or triggered by an organizational event, such as a news alert, anniversary, special offer or up-sell message?  Or, conversely, should they be sent in response to subscriber behaviour, such as signing up, making an enquiry, responding to an offer, or re-engaging as a subscriber?

Other tactics and tools are available to stimulate growth of your mailing list, test content, and coordinate online and offline marketing touch points, but these five tips offer effective first steps to sharpen the impact of your email marketing program.

7. News From Our Water Cooler:  Process Mapping

This month a number of 8020Info clients are embarking on process mapping projects to smooth customer service flow, eliminate duplication and operational inefficiencies, better assign resources and/or improve internal teamwork and coordination.

One of the important first steps is to clarify what is to be mapped and in what level of detail. It often helps to start by determining the general scope (what’s in or out), how finely to break down the input/output “steps” in a process, and whether the process crosses operating units or is self-contained within a single team. Consider the most appropriate lenses to use when you look at your processes, including maps of: 

  • The flow and use of information/documentation
  • Communications contact and points of interaction
  • Critical decisions made at various points in a process
  • Use and allocation of resources to various tasks and processes
  • Governance and accountability

8020Info helps teams develop and implement their strategic plans, research and marketing communications more effectively. We would be pleased to discuss your needs and welcome enquiries at (613) 542-8020, or by email at watercooler@8020info.com

8. Closing Thought

“A long dispute means that both parties are wrong.”