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BOOK REVIEW: You can’t be seen until you learn to see

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This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See. By Seth Godin

With the title of “This is Marketing”, what marketing isn’t should be described upfront.

Marketing has become synonymous with advertising, and it is the default many turn to as the solution to attracting more buyers. To a large degree it is the “shameless pursuit of attention at the expense of the truth”, says Godin.

While advertising might have worked in the past, repeating old-fashioned tricks won’t work anymore. The assumption that everyone ‘is just like us,’ but uninformed, and so can be addressed widely, is simply wrong.

Godin describes marketing as “the generous act of helping someone solve a problem. Their problem.”

This book describes a compass for what marketing is today. Its focus is on the human condition, and the culture within which we function. Marketing involves very little “shouting, hustling, or coercion”.  The approach is simple, but requires patience, empathy, and respect. There is no obvious road map or a description of a set of steps and a series of tactics. It is more of a compass that provides a pointer to true north.

Just a few moments of thought will confirm Godin’s assertion that it “doesn’t make any sense to make a key and then run around looking for a lock to open.” It is far more effective to find a lock and then make the key to open it. 

Connecting

Effective marketing focuses on understanding our customers’ worldview and desires, so that we can connect with them. It starts with identifying the product or service worth offering, with a story worth telling, and a contribution worth talking about. Then you design the product or service and build it in a way that a few people will particularly benefit from it, care about it, and miss it if it is not available.

The next step is to tell a story about your offering that resonates with the needs and dreams of that tiny group of people, the ‘smallest viable market for the offering’. If this is a perfect fit, everyone using it gets excited about what you have brought to the market – and spreads the word for you. To make this enterprise a success you will have to give your ever-changing clients what they want regularly, consistently, and generously, for years.

To connect with your target market requires that you shed the belief that people make rational choices – they don’t. “When in doubt,” Godin urges, “assume that people will act according to their current irrational urges, ignoring information that runs counter to their beliefs, trading long-term for short-term benefits and most of all, being influenced by the culture they identify with.”

We all tell ourselves stories that, as far as each of us is concerned, are completely and totally true, and it’s foolish to try to persuade us otherwise.

It was Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt who famously said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want a quarter-inch hole.” While this is undoubtedly true, Godin doesn’t believe it goes nearly far enough. What people want is the shelf that will go on the wall once they drill the hole. People don’t want what you make, they want what it will do for them, and how it will make them feel.

They may want to feel safe and respected. They may want to feel that they belong, are connected, have peace of mind, have the status they expect, or any of the other desired emotions. Do this and you are doing something worthwhile.

Godin suggests beginning with the smallest viable market for your product or service that you can survive on. Your search is for people who want you to succeed so badly, that they’re willing to pay you to produce the change you want to make for them. The ‘smallest viable audience’ you are seeking are people who will understand your intentions and will fall in love with what you want to give them.

The pool, not the ocean

This requires the discipline of deliberately walking away from an ocean of potential clients and looking for a large swimming pool instead. To the smallest viable audience, you then make a simple marketing promise: My product is for people who believe ___________ (fill in the missing words). I will focus on people who want _________(fill in the missing words). I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get _________ (fill in the missing words).

Now, make it easy for your clients to spread the news of your offering.

Consider Way Bakery, the largest gluten-free bakery of its kind in the world. The promise they are making to a very small segment of the market is that by buying their products, no one is left out. “By offering people gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher baked goods that happen to be delicious, we let the entire community be part of special family occasions. We change hosts from exclusive to inclusive, and guests from outsiders to insiders.”  

Empathy is at the heart of marketing, and it starts with grasping the unacknowledged fact that people don’t believe what you believe. It further requires that you realize that everyone around you has an internal life as rich and as conflicted as yours.

Marketers have virtually no chance of insisting that their potential customers ‘get with our program’. Rather, if the customer understands what’s on offer, and chooses not to buy it, then it’s not for them.

Offerings can be lined up in simple forms by their cost: a Hermès bag is more expensive than a Louis Vuitton bag, which is more expensive than one from Coach. However, these offerings fall naturally in more subjective categories like ‘stylish’ or ‘fashionable’ or ‘status’, where we pick the best one – for us. These subjective categories cannot be lined up as cost can.

Meanings

Even objects that have a practical benefit have different meanings for different people. For a teenager, a car enables a change from dependent child to independent adult. That’s a shift in status, in perception, and in power. For the parent, it offers the children freedom, but raises its own concerns.

The central question is always who is the product or service for? What do the people you seek to serve, believe? What do they want? Whom we wish to serve must be based on what they dream of, believe in and want. As such, psychographics is more useful than demographics.

Consider the marketing efforts of a neighbourhood music teacher. If he simply marketed himself as a local teacher, other teachers might be just as local. Saying he is a good teacher and won’t yell at your child, is a presupposition, not an attraction.

When he defines himself as serious, and my students are serious, and this is about rigour, or my students win competitions, he has selected the group of people who will be his small viable market of right students. Being completely satisfied, they will likely share their excitement with other right students. The teacher’s work from here on is to exceed the students’ expectations.

When you know what you stand for, you don’t need to compete. The heart and soul of a thriving enterprise is the pursuit of becoming irresistible. The people who don’t choose you are correct in their decision not choose you, because, based on what they see, what they believe, and what they want, you simply aren’t for them.

This is a refreshing perspective well worth considering carefully.

Readability         Light -+— Serious

Insights                High -+— Low

Practical               High —-+ Low

Ian Mann consults internationally on strategy and implementation and is the author of “Strategy That Works” and the “Executive Update”. Views expressed are his own.

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Riot police squads intervene as pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters clash in Montreal

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People wave flags atop cars in traffic during a demonstration to voice support for the people of Palestine, at Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 15 May 2021.


People wave flags atop cars in traffic during a demonstration to voice support for the people of Palestine, at Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 15 May 2021.

  • Violence
    between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protesters in Montreal was condemned by
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • Montreal’s
    city police force intervened and declared the protests illegal after tensions
    heightened and clashes broke out.
  • Israeli
    strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily
    toll in almost a week of clashes.

Montreal
– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday condemned the violence and
“despicable rhetoric” that marked several weekend protests throughout
the country, after clashes between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters in
Montreal.

The
worst violence in years, sparked by unrest in Jerusalem, is raging between the
Jewish state and Islamist militants.

Israeli
strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily
toll in almost a week of deadly clashes.

Speaking
after protests in Montreal, Trudeau condemned what he said was “despicable
rhetoric and violence we saw on display in some protests this weekend”.

While
insisting on the “right to assemble peacefully and express themselves
freely in Canada”, Trudeau stressed in a tweet that there was no tolerance
for “antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind”.

Earlier
on Sunday, Montreal police used tear gas following clashes between pro-Israel
and pro-Palestinian protesters.

Several
hundred demonstrators, draped in Israeli flags, had gathered in a central
Montreal square to express solidarity with the Jewish state.

‘Protesting is a right’

Although
the protest started peacefully, tensions ratcheted up with the arrival of
pro-Palestinian demonstrators and clashes soon broke out.

The
SPVM, Montreal’s city police force, declared the protests illegal, and squads
of riot police intervened, using tear gas to separate and disperse the two
groups, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

The
police spent much of the afternoon in pursuit of the pro-Palestinian
protesters, who spread out and regrouped in commercial streets in the city centre.

Following
the clashes, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said on Twitter that
“protesting is a right”, but that “intolerance, violence and
anti-Semitism have no place here”.

She said:

Montreal is a city of peace.

Several
thousand pro-Palestinian demonstrators had gathered on Saturday in central
Montreal to denounce what they said were Israeli repression and “war
crimes” in Gaza.

“Terrorist
Israel”, some protesters chanted, while others held up a banner that read,
“Stop the genocide of Palestinian children”.

Pro-Palestinian
protests happened the same day in multiple Canadian cities, including Toronto,
Ottawa and Vancouver.


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Peter Thiel Helps Fund an App That Tells You What to Do

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“How would you feel about being able to pay to control multiple aspects of another person’s life?” asks the BBC.

“A new app is offering you the chance to do just that.”

When writer Brandon Wong recently couldn’t decide what takeaway to order one evening, he asked his followers on social media app NewNew to choose for him. Those that wanted to get involved in the 24-year-old’s dinner dilemma paid $5 (£3.50) to vote in a poll, and the majority verdict was that he should go for Korean food, so that was what he bought…

NewNew is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Courtne Smith. The app, which is still in its “beta” or pre-full release stage, describes itself as “a human stock market where you buy shares in the lives of real people, in order to control their decisions and watch the outcome”. For many of us that sounds a bit ominous, but the reality is actually far less alarming. It is aimed at what it calls “creators” — writers, painters, musicians, fashion designers, bloggers etc. It is designed as a way for them to connect far more closely with their fans or followers than on other social media services and, importantly, monetise that connection…

Whenever a vote is cast the creator gets the money minus NewNew’s undisclosed commission… In addition to voting, followers can also pay extra — from $20 — to ask a NewNew creator to do something of their choosing, such as naming a character in a book after them. But the creator can reject all of these “bids”, and if they do so then the follower doesn’t have to part with the money…

Co-founder and chief executive Ms Smith, a 33-year-old Canadian, has big plans for NewNew, and has some heavyweight backers. Investors include Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, and the first outside person to put money into Facebook. Others with a stake in the business include leading US tech investment fund Andreessen Horowitz, and Hollywood actor Will Smith (no relation to Courtne). Snapchat has also given technical support.

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Sandpapergate will haunt Australia cricket forever: ex-bowling coach

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Cameron Bancroft. (Photo by Brenton Geach - Gallo Images/Getty Images)


Cameron Bancroft. (Photo by Brenton Geach – Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The 2018 ball-tampering scandal will haunt Australian cricket forever, much like the infamous underarm delivery of 40 years ago, the team’s former bowling coach David Saker said on Monday.

Saker was responding to opening batsman Cameron Bancroft suggesting that Australia’s bowlers knew about the plan in Cape Town to alter the ball which earned him a nine-month ban and rocked the game.

Saker was Australia’s bowling coach when Bancroft was caught trying to rough up the ball with sandpaper during the third Test against South Africa.

While refusing to be drawn on who knew what, Saker said “the finger-pointing is going to go on and on and on”.

“It’s like the underarm, it’s never going to go away,” he told Fairfax Media, referring to a 1981 incident when Trevor Chappell bowled underarm to ensure New Zealand lost a one-day match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The notorious delivery is still cited in New Zealand and in cricketing circles as a prime example of unsporting conduct.

However, the ball-tampering scandal – dubbed “sandpapergate” – had a greater impact on Australian cricket, with the then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner suspended for a year from all cricket and stripped of their leadership roles.

Darren Lehmann also quit as coach and all the top brass from Cricket Australia left after a scathing review blasted their “arrogant and controlling” win-at-all-costs culture.

No one else among the team or coaching staff was held to account but Bancroft’s remarks in an interview with The Guardian newspaper hinted that the team’s bowlers at least knew about the plan.

“Obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory,” he said.

Saker added: “There was a lot of people to blame. It could have been me to blame, it could have been someone else. It could have been stopped and it wasn’t, which is unfortunate.

“Cameron’s a very nice guy. He’s just doing it to get something off his chest … He’s not going to be the last.”

In response, Cricket Australia said that if anyone had new information, they would look into it.

Saker said he was not opposed to a fresh investigation but added “I just don’t know what they’re going to find out.”

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Mexico’s Andrea Meza crowned Miss Universe

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Miss Universe Andrea Meza


Miss Universe Andrea Meza

UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021 IS ANDREA MEZA FROM MEXICO:


UPDATE:

THE MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021 TOP 5:

1. Mexico

2. India

3. Brazil

4. Dominican Republic

5. Peru


UPDATE:

HERE ARE THE MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021 TOP 10 CONTESTANTS:

1. Jamaica 

2. Dominican Republic 

3. India

4. Peru 

5. Australia 

6. Puerto Rico

7. Thailand

8. Costa Rica

9. Mexico

10. Brazil


UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE TOP 21 IN SWIMWEAR:


UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE TOP 21: 

1. Columbia

2. Peru 

3. Australia 

4. France

5. Myanmar

6. Jamaica 

7. Mexico 

8. Dominican Republic 

9. USA

10. Indonesia 

11. Argentina 

12. India

13. Curaçao

14. Puerto Rico

15. Phillipines 

16. Brazil

17. Great Britain

18. Nicaragua

19. Thailand 

20. Costa Rica

21. Vietnam


 UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE SOUTH AFRICA NATASHA JOUBERT WALKS THE STAGE AT MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021:


74 contestants will compete for the title of Miss Universe on 16 May in Hollywood, Florida. 

The Miss Universe pageant takes place on 16 May in the US (02:00 to 05:00 on 17 May SA time). The show will be broadcast live on 1 Magic (DStv Channel 103) with a repeat at 21:30. 

Reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa will crown her successor at the end of the event.

Representing South Africa is Natasha Joubert, and South Africans are hoping for the “magic double” – back-to-back consecutive wins, which has only happened once before in the pageant’s history.

Natasha wowed crowds at the national costume competition last week and on Friday impressed during the preliminary round

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Miss Mexico crowned Miss Universe 2021

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By AFP Time of article published 16m ago

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Washington – Miss Mexico was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday in Florida, after fellow contestant Miss Myanmar used her stage time to draw attention to the bloody military coup in her country.

Sunday night marked the Miss Universe competition’s return to television, after the pageant was cancelled in 2020 for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrea Meza, 26, finished first ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo.

Former Miss Universe contestants Cheslie Kryst, Paulina Vega and Demi-Leigh Tebow (who won the title in 2017) served as competition analysts and commentators, and a panel of eight women determined the winner.

Dressed in a sparkling red evening gown, Meza tearfully walked the catwalk as Miss Universe for the first time, before rushing back for a group hug with the other competitors.

Meza beat more than 70 contestants from around the globe in the 69th installment of Miss Universe, which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

In the days leading up to the final competition, Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin, who made the top 21, made waves when she used her time in the spotlight to bring attention to the coup in her country.

“Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day,” she said during her biographical video, which showed photos of her taking part in the anti-coup protests. “Therefore I would like to urge everyone to speak out about Myanmar.”

Natasha Joubert, Miss Universe South Africa 2020 competes on stage in Ema Savahl swimwear during the MISS UNIVERSE® Preliminary Competition.

She also won the award for best national costume: during that competition segment on Thursday, she wore an outfit beaded in traditional Burmese patterns and held up a sign that said, “Pray for Myanmar.”

Myanmar has been in uproar since February 1, when the army ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

At least 796 people have been killed by security forces since then, according to a local monitoring group, while nearly 4 000 people are behind bars.

Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong – who did not make the top 21 – also used the national costume portion to make a political statement.

Dressed in a glittering red bodysuit and matching thigh-high boots, she turned around to reveal her cape – in the colours of the Singaporean flag – was painted with the words “Stop Asian Hate.”

“What is this platform for if I can’t use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence?” she wrote on Instagram alongside pictures of her outfit.

The United States in particular has seen a surge in anti-Asian violence in the past year, which activists have blamed on former president Donald Trump’s rhetoric, especially his repeated description of Covid-19 as the “China virus.”

The pageant has also drawn criticism in the past for objectifying the contestants.

In recent years, the competition has shifted image, focusing more on female empowerment and activism.

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