By Brian P. O’Connor, Chief Marketing Officer at Interactiva.
These are the top ten quotes every business owner needs to hear from their CEO, and keep in mind they are also good advice for entrepreneurs as well! These quotes will guide you through a variety of topics including building awareness around your brand, content strategy, creating customer relationships, etc. And if that is what your company wants to do, then you’d better get going! Read on to learn more about how to build your business with these great leaders!
1) “The most important thing to remember when thinking about digital and technology strategies is to always ask yourself, “What would we need to see happen to make things better?”” – Bill Gates
Well-known billionaire Bill Gates has been spending his time in Silicon Valley since 1989 and he is extremely wise. He talks about some interesting stuff with regards to Digital Transformation, such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), Internet of Things, Machine Learning, IoT (Internet Of Things), Digital Skills acquisition, etc. Here is an excellent example of him talking about it here. But this quote can also be used as a helpful reminder:
“The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
2) “The goal shouldn’t be to find a new way, but to be able to take whatever current solutions you have and move it into new areas. You don’t start out by trying to reinvent the wheel. The goal should be to reduce cost. I think people do that when it comes to product development. When I see products, they look like there’s something missing and that’s why it doesn’t resonate. So I think people should try to find ways or approaches to keep costs down. We’re all learning faster than ever. Look at what Twitter did when they were doing video calls. They weren’t very innovative, but they made great use of social media. Why? Because people weren’t paying attention to them. A lot of companies have had the same experience. But now, people are paying attention and people want innovation.
That’s where companies should aim in order to capture opportunities. If you’ve hit on these trends and know where to go next then you’re ready. But then you want to know where to go next. What’s next for you? How many times have you been wrong in your predictions? Most importantly: What is your ability to innovate? I think companies could start with simple activities and expand them. But what’s a little easier than that and that’s going to change the trajectory of the whole industry. Maybe even become a norm. Not only for companies.
In other industries as well, you see what happens and you stay ahead of the curve. Innovation drives growth. So if you want to grow, you need to innovate. This isn’t a one-time activity. Just because your competitors did it in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t do it too. Think of what Amazon was doing with its shipping. It didn’t take long before competitors followed after it. Innovating fast and continually looking to keep up with the competition will be the recipe for success. Start by identifying your biggest pain points. Then work backwards, looking to solve those issues. Don’t wait for someone else to invent it. Be creative, be different. Your competitive advantage will come from your ability to innovate quickly. Focus on finding new ideas, testing them, refining and improving upon them. Never lose sight of having the best customers. At the end of the day, they’re coming for you.
That’s key because they’re your customers. And if you’re really good at marketing, you’ll find that your number one priority would be getting in front of them. Find out who your target audience are, where your ideal customer is. Make sure that you understand that and try to apply that knowledge to your marketing efforts, so that you aren’t making the mistake of giving away money to random advertisers that aren’t aligned with your goals. As much as possible, be a disruptor, find ways to improve what everyone else is doing. Do everything to provide solutions that you think someone else should be doing. If you’re the sole vendor, make sure you stand out and do everything right. If you’re a software provider, make sure you do what you say you’re going to do.
I always thought my product wouldn’t be successful until Apple came along. I made the conscious choice that we’re going to bring it to market first. That allowed us to continue to improve. People will always push back. But it takes a little bit more from each of us. You might feel that you’re delivering more than your competitor. So don’t beat yourself over the head. Keep focused on your mission and stick to it. Listen to what your customers want. Try not to focus on being better than the others. Always think of your product first. Then look at what is better for marketability, which is customer retention and satisfaction. The more efficient your services are, the higher the probability that people will become loyal. You also want to think about your pricing. Lowering prices helps, but do more so on sales. Don’t underestimate the value of word-of-mouth. That is the lifeblood of any business. Know how to give good feedback. Remember to thank people after they accomplish things.
Build meaningful connections. There is nothing more powerful than a genuine connection. Even if it goes wrong, you can make things right. I’m working with IBM and iAnthus to help consumers track cannabis plants from seed through harvest and discover new ways of growing cannabis in the most appropriate locations. Helping them build their own gardens means that they take ownership of their production. It makes all the difference. Good products have a direct impact on consumer behaviour and that includes personalization and quality. Embrace the small changes, just as large ones require change. Create communities. Everyone likes a group. Social media is absolutely amazing. It allows people to share their experiences and build authentic connections. Use it for good. There are hundreds of thousands of groups that are active on LinkedIn alone. People don’t necessarily realize how rich our culture truly is, but I promise you that the world is changing and that it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet people around the world that share interests and passions. Stop pretending like it is less complicated than it is. No matter how complex the task is, there is always something we can achieve with the right mindset.
Embrace the complexity. Take the time to see how simple a process actually is. For example, Google Maps is simply an application that allows you to find the closest point in town. Or LinkedIn is essentially a marketplace where individuals can connect, network and collaborate with others in meaningful ways. And so much more. Work hard. Set clear priorities and get started early. One of the best things that you can do is to set goals at the beginning of the year. Now your tasks are clearer, you understand what they are and you’re prepared. Success does come easy to those who work hard. Follow the path set. This applies for anything that you’re attempting to finish, no matter how big. Let the chips fall where they may. Give yourself permission to fail. Have faith in your abilities, and never underestimate the power of setting deadlines and measuring progress. Get things done. Show respect for others. Respect is essential. I think it is so important that you have a sense of what you’re trying to accomplish. Whatever goals you have, make sure there are rewards for finishing things.
And when the time comes, celebrate and reward yourself for everything you accomplished. Celebrate small accomplishments. Tell the truth. If you aren’t honest, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what is not. You need to remember your purpose and show respect for people who are willing to speak the truth about themselves and others. If you like to lie, then stop lying. Being an entrepreneur requires trust. Trust will lead to growth, and growth leads to success. And that’s exactly what I do every single day. Tell the stories. Sometimes you have to tell your story yourself and sometimes you need to work with someone else. Either way, tell a compelling narrative. Storytelling is so important. Some people prefer books versus movies. It’s a great way to learn things without leaving the comfort zone. There are tons of videos available out there that cover this topic. There are plenty of resources that will teach you a ton. A book on this topic could be worth the investment.
But, you can read a brief history of how democracy came to be and listen to interviews with experts and authors to learn even more. Be bold. Ask questions. Are you asking for directions and they are giving directions? If we’re all living in cities, we’d be confused if they gave directions to city centers when they didn’t live within our boundaries. Imagine living somewhere and expecting city officials to give directions to the nearest supermarket and get your grocery delivered to you on foot. What kind of person do you think this is? We probably all think it’s dumb. But, let me tell you this story. An American family moved to New York City and they had a problem. They needed milk. I was out of state and they couldn’t find any. I told them about a guy named Chris and that he had milk for two weeks. His wife got herself a cow and asked her husband for a ride. Her husband agreed. They rode there and in the middle of the road a cop pulled up and said, “Where’s the milk?” After some hesitation, she said, “There isn’t any milk.” When we went on the trip, he made a note of that milk, took it home, got an electric milking machine and started pumping cows on our property. My kids and I are still laughing about this story today. Be proactive. Plan to make it a habit, even if you’ve never done it before. Check off every box