Seth Godin at Google

A video of Seth Godin’s presentation at Google.

Vintage Godin:

“There is a belief among a lot of companies … that technology wins. …I don’t think it does. I think what technology does is, it gives you a shot at marketing.”

“I believe that what made Google work were some brilliant, maybe not intentional, marketing decisions. And those decisions have allowed you the freedom to do some really cool technology.”

“The challenge is, if you’re going to bother doing something, is it worth talking about.”

“It’s at the edges that people wait in line and talk about you.”

“…emotional marketing: If you want me to talk about something, you better deep down love it. Or why should I?”

“People don’t surf the web. … They poke. They poke around a lot. Poking in and poking out. … Click on one ad and then click back. Click on another and then click back. … Back and forth. Back and forth. And then finally, what you have done is establish a lot of clues…. The problem with clues is that they are too slow. … You’re either going to give up or finally you will have meaning. … You can’t get somebody to be a happy surfer until there is a sense of meaning, until they get the big picture. I think the next frontier is … how do you put in one place enough clues that in one second I get the big picture, I have enough meaning to take action.”

“The Fashion/Permission Complex: Step number one: Make something worth talking about. If you can’t do that, start over. Step number two: Tell it to people who want to hear from you. Step number three: They do what people used to think of as marketing. They spread the word. They interrupt their friends. … And then the hardest part … Get permission from these people to tell them about your next fashion. … As this asset grows … you have the ability to launch new fashions. You don’t have to start from scratch every time. And you end up not having to find customers for your products but finding products for your customers.”

“When are you going to build an asset like that one? … The opportunity with all the things that you are building … is to start now before it is too late to build in a permission asset, to build in the ability to have people want you to be a closer partner. To be there so that you can make them the next fashion and they’ll listen. … The opportunity here is to keep building remarkable stuff, but to build it with a compass that says if we build stuff that people want to hear about in a way they want to hear about it, they’ll want to keep interacting with us.”

Responsiveness: Your success may depend on it

Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, says that responsiveness is essential to business success.

In Hyatt’s experience,

So many people I meet are unresponsive. They don’t return their phone calls promptly. They don’t answer their emails quickly. They don’t complete their assignments on time. They promise to do something and never follow through. They have to be reminded, prodded, and nagged. This behavior creates work for everyone else and eats into their own productivity. Sadly, they seem oblivious to it.

…Reality is that we live in an “instant world.” People want instant results. They don’t want to wait. And if they have to wait on you, their frustration and resentment grows. They begin to see you as an obstacle to getting their work done. If that happens, it will begin to impact your reputation. Pretty soon people start saying, “I can never get a timely response from him,” or “When I send her an email, I feel like it goes into a black hole,” or worse, your colleagues just roll their eyes and sigh at the mention of your name.

…The truth is, you are building your reputation—your brand—one response at a time. People are shaping their view of you by how you respond to them. If you are slow, they assume you are incompetent and over your head. If you respond quickly, they assume you are competent and on top of your work. Their perception, whether you realize it or not, will determine how fast your career advances and how high you go. You can’t afford to be unresponsive. It is a career-killer.

Thanks to my colleague Jason Prini for pointing to this article.

No-Bad-News Fridays!

Julie Freemen reports that many respondents to a survey in the Nov/Dec issue of CW said that bad news in their companies is delivered by e-mail.

Delivering bad news shouldn’t be the simple act of blurting out a tough message. The deliverer should also watch for the impact of the message on the recipient and be prepared to talk it through after the recipient has had a chance to consider the message and its implications.

The worst possible time to deliver bad news in a work environment is a Friday. This gives the recipient little or no time to consider the news and to have a follow-up discussion to work through its implications (and often the solutions) before the weekend. So, he or she is likely to end up going home and mulling over the bad news through the full weekend. Not a very nice way to spend the weekend. And not a very likely prescription to make someone feel good about their place of work!

At my company, Thornley Fallis, we do not deliver bad news on a Friday. If we must deliver bad news, we try to deliver it early in the week so that we can schedule follow up conversations to work through the implications and positive steps that can be taken to turn bad news into a positive experience – an experience that can be learned from and can form the basis of constructive action.

Julie wants to hear from other communicators about how bad news is delivered in your organizations. Post your comments at the IABC Communication Commons Employee Forum.