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Marketing Ugly: How to Create Content for Boring, Complex or Undifferentiated Products

Video Summary

In "Marketing Ugly," participants will discover NINE practical, proven ways (3 each for the 3 topic areas) to create engaging, successful content for our most difficult marketing challenges: boring, complex and undifferentiated (commodity) products/services. Each tactic is backed with real-life examples/success stories.


Since 1996, Jonathan has been the principal of, and chief copywriter for, Kranz Communications, a marketing and content writing firm serving consumer and B2B clients including Harvard Business School, Liberty Mutual, Elsevier, Symantec, Schlumberger, Fidelity, Nuance, and many more. (Visit www.kranzcom.com for lists of clients and representative projects.)

Jonathan wrote Writing Copy for Dummies (available at Amazon.com), is a published author of short fiction (Missouri Review, Green Mountains Review, among others) and has been a guest essayist (6 times) on National Public Radio’'s All Things Considered. He has taught writing courses at Harvard University Extension School, Emerson College and Northeastern University. In addition to writing content, he leads customized, in-house marketing-writing training programs for companies that want to create powerful content themselves.

Jonathan received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College, and a B.A. in Art from Rutgers College. He lives in Melrose, Massachusetts with his wife, two daughters, and a vast collection of lp records.

Specialties: B2B marketing with specialties in health care, high tech, insurance, banking, and education, among others. Also B2C direct, B2B collateral development, and ghostwriting for executives.

What you will learn?

  • How to make content more interesting even when your brand or product is not
  • What to focus on when writing content for these boring industries
  • Understanding the importance of the content you create for these seemingly boring brands


I really was hoping to meet everyone but that doesn’t look like it’s possible. I’m running out of time, but I do want to say welcome and this wasn’t listed in the brochure on the website, but there are prizes. There are prizes and you’re going to have at least three opportunities to win. I mean, I know the prizes are modest because it came out of my pocket and I’m cheap but they’re real and they’re fun. I hope so welcome. I think there still are there still seats left somewhere. Let’s see. There weren’t no. No, that’s taken right.  Wow. I get this a standing-room-only terrific. Hi good to see why not. Are you going to be comfortable enough?  Come on.  Oh my gosh, I guess so. Oh, wow. It’s like I’m a guru. They’re going to be sitting on the floor. I feel like she should burn incense. We should have some temple bells. All right. Is there a time when you close the door we just do say we’re going to give it a shot. Let’s give it a shot.

[00:01:44] Welcome. Everyone to make sure you’re in the right room. This is the Marketing Ugly about Boring, Complex and Undifferentiated Products and Services. Thank you for joining me here today. This session really came out of a sense of frustration.  That attending or speaking at conferences like this.

[00:02:09] I feel overwhelmed with stories from great brands and everyone seems to tap it to the same examples Apple, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, etc. And I can’t help but suspect that many of us sit back there and go, yeah, if I had a brand like that, I could do interesting and fun sexy things with that too.

[00:02:37] And the truth of it is that 95% of us as professional marketers don’t work with sexy brands. The real life is this. I want you to notice how many people here most of us deal with things that aren’t particularly sexy yet, they’re important to somebody we’re going to talk about that in depth.

[00:02:56] My feeling is, that if you’re a talented marketer or even a decent marketer, you should be able to find interesting ways of discussing communicating marketing even those things that other people would describe as dollar an interesting. My promise to you is that for each of the three categories that I set aside as marketing, as ugly marketing, things that are boring, things are undifferentiated that is parity a commodity products and things are complex the opposite.

[00:03:25] They’re just very difficult to talk about for each of these three categories. I promise you three tested practical ways of generating interest through content, and each of the three ways has a real-life example, and I’ve picked things that I actually worked on because I can speak to them some, I don’t know intelligence might be the wrong word. But at least with familiarity, right, so that’s the promise I made.

[00:03:53] So let’s go in. By boring, I mean pretty much boring and you think industrial processes. The hardware, the hardware inside the hardware, the hardware beyond the hardware things that the invisible value someone mentioned they do computer technology but to stuff that’s buried inside the machines you’re familiar with but you would never have heard of the company that kind of thing who here believes that they have the most boring product or service to sell and is not afraid to say so?

[00:04:29] Okay, we have a couple of contenders. How many? We only have two gentlemen, three. Let’s go, what we got? Annuities, metal distribution, part lip reading. parrot breeding.  See now, I don’t think that’s boring. I should think that’s interesting ma’am you please?  You think that’s boring? What? No. Who thinks in University Research is boring? No. You do you think it’s boring?  DePaul and I know we got Johns Hopkins, right and we got Mayo Clinic right doing the research who else has got boring you got boring what you got? Mortgages. What you got? Database Manager what you got?  Life insurance annuities.

[00:05:39] Let’s step into the breach. Anyone think they can challenge what we previously heard?  All right. I’m going to so what I’m going to do is I’m going to talk a little bit about the boring. And then when I get toward the conclusion, we’re going to have a contest allowing the crowd to vote for the most boring and you get a prize. That’s how it’s going to work.

[00:05:58] So what do we do with the boring stuff? Oh, I’m sorry. So, before we go deep dive let me explain the three categories. So boring complex. I do a lot of copy and content creation in the world of high-tech. Some of the stuff gets gnarly. The purposes can be very specific and the technology behind it can be complicated is when I say complex.

[00:06:24] Think of it this way, if you’re in a business where you really find it hard to come up with that one-minute elevator pitch, you know, you’re in the complicated zone. Is that the fair asset test for that? I see nodding so that’s what it is, and you know system software. Professional Services, right?

[00:06:41] This is near and dear to my heart because the challenge of Professional Services is how do you go beyond simply saying we’re experts. Because I’m not going to do it, you’re all experts. That’s why you’re in a Professional Services firm. There’s got to be another way. There has to be a better way.

[00:06:55] I hope someone can tell me what it is in the next 40 minutes. I have something to say. B2B Business Services. We heard something there who’s got complex stuff.? Now, you’re not allowed to do boring and complex and undifferentiated. So, I’m going to say no, no, you’re not allowed. So, who’s got complex? You got? Medical malpractice, cyber security, health care insurance. managed cloud services. Yes, in the red? Financial services, managed IT services as opposed to the other kind, we don’t want to think about. You sir?  What aspects of the electric industry you guys involved in? Okay, and that could be and that’s both boring and complicated.

[00:07:44] No, it’s not boring, I’m just teasing you that is complicated who I want to I got to go to the yes.  Yeah, you know that’s my favorite life of Bob’s Burgers. Oh, sounds like homework. Wow, okay, that’s going to be the one that beat right computational something, something, something, something, something, something, something, something, something for academic research.

[00:08:12] Okay. Great. What do we have here? Yes.  Ribs are really it’s even hard to say. It’s painfully here. Yes.

[00:08:25] Did you meet this guy? Oh.  I hear the music, right? You too. Oh, my okay who it’s getting warm in here? Yes.

[00:08:43] Woo. OK, let’s complicate it. Yes.

[00:08:54] Wow, I’ve done work for you. Did you know that if we sell it? Okay, excellent Harvard Kennedy School suited the leadership editor. They make money hand over fist on these CEOs. I wish I had a piece of that action. I’m serious Kennedy School business school who else complicated? Yes.

[00:09:14] Good one. Anyone else think they compete with this crowd, sir.  What data?  intent data. What the hell is tent data intent?  Purchase intent didn’t like about consumers and stuff. Are you a spy for Zuckerberg?  This is Chuck Provancha everyone, big hand for Chuck. Thank you.

[00:09:47] All right, so we understand complex and the challenge with complex is boring as you think how do I generate interest? Complex is how do I communicate this as simply and clearly as possible? And undifferentiated that means parity products.

[00:10:01] That means like things like white bread gasoline these literally these are two different. I swear they’re two different brands of cookies. But the English don’t know enough to call them cookies. They call them biscuits for whatever perverse reason that they have, and you can see you can see easily, you know, you go in the store and you’re looking for your McVities and so and slips you the tower gate happens all the time, right?

[00:10:26] Who?  You can’t again no double-dipping you didn’t volunteer for boring. It didn’t volunteer for complex who’s going to volunteer volunteer for the commodity prices undifferentiated stuff you ma’am?  Isolation gowns.  whoa.  Wow, that’s going to be hard to beat. What you got? Cargo nets. You mean the stuff like you lift cargo out of like Bays little like.

[00:10:55] Thank you. Thanks for calling. Yes. Got it the stuff. Okay, good stuff undifferentiated. What we got?  I’m sorry.  Over the road truck driving jobs. It’s driving a truck straight ahead. Very forward what else?  South Florida country clubs.  Can I ask what anyone else representing a South Florida country club?

[00:11:23] Your problem’s solved. There you go. I think somebody up here also held up a yes.

[00:11:32] Oh boy, that’s it. So, this gentleman who’s sitting are you right in here eCommerce agency? A lot of his customers sell the same crap and they got it. And what’s really funny is that you have multiple. Customers competing against each other and you got to come up with different things to do. This is a dirty secret the advertising world that we’re not supposed to let everyone know there were selling one thing and then selling the same thing for somebody else. It’s supposed to be a secret. Yes? Can you can you explain for the audience what non-captive means in the context of insurance? Because I think I know. Sign up to sell insurance indexed universal life with my agency but stop. You’re in the boring category. I’m teasing you. You’re good. You’re good. I need something from haven’t done.

[00:12:27] I’ve neglected this back out here. What else? What you got? Yeah online education which one of you which would American college education what else? I thought I saw more activity back, you know, that’s it. That’s plenty. There’s, oh boy, It’s a practical Festival of the boring complex and undifferentiated here.

[00:12:43] So what can we do? This young man on the floor? He can’t Panic right? I mean one way or another, in order to get paid, his agency has to come up with stuff for these different e-commerce things. So, we have to have an alternative to mere frustration and while that’s very satisfying when you’re drinking with your friends. It’s not enough because that won’t pay the bills. So, let’s think about each one of these things.

[00:13:06] I want to say how can we adjust our mindset in a way that’s more productive and what are some practical tactical things we could do? So, the number one thing about boring is, there’s somebody out in the world who’s not bored by this.

[00:13:24] There is somebody for whom this thing that you have is absolutely essential. So, your number one job is, think about who that person is and what it’s like to be in their shoes. Gaskets, that’s kind of be the most boring damn thing the world, you know, like the, you know, talk about the rubber gaskets.

[00:13:41] Do you guys remember this? This is a young crowd but the space shuttle Challenger the first one that blew up remember it was a cold day in Florida doesn’t happen often?  But suddenly gaskets weren’t boring for all the wrong reasons all the wrong reasons, but there’s an Insight for us. Even boring things like a gasket can be life and death.

[00:14:05] So our challenge is to say for whom is it life and death or if it’s not that extreme for whom is an important?  Similar to that is what’s at stake is a really important thing. So, if this thing didn’t exist for those people, what would be the consequences? So, that would be a negative stake. It’s not something bad that would happen as a consequence of not having it this of course is the essence of insurance, right?

[00:14:29] We don’t go who I’m signing up boy. This is just a thrill, but we got to have it right there’s a lot at stake, but they also can be positive Stakes to like positive improvements greater revenues Etc. And then finally you can see a tactical execution of this. Is sometimes something that we ordinarily is boring becomes very exciting because it’s something in the news and I’ve already alluded to one example that of course is the famous Challenger explosion of gasket failure, but you can think of many others and there may be opportunities to take advantage of that news while people are paying attention to finally get that attention your way.

[00:15:03] So we’re going to talk about three different content plays. One is, make the stakes the star. How to leverage news. And then the play up the players and this will all become apparent when we actually dive in.

[00:15:14] Okay this company these men German manufacturer of super high-end condensing boilers.  Yeah, bring it on. So not that you know a little bit tough to said to get you involved in the conversation of boiler because you generally don’t think of them to your boiler fails and you’re freezing your butt off, But, here is an article that I was commissioned to write and I’m actually going to know read a little bit from the screen.

[00:15:43] They did this enormous project with a multi-tenant, you know Garden Apartment facility where they had to go to each individual building and replace the boilers etc. This is what I mean by stakes.  If you looked at some of the details here, we’re talking. Meet Arthur Johnston lead maintenance technician for Canterbury apartment.

[00:16:04] He’s an affable host completely at ease. He’s with fingers duties. So, this is the context six-person team responsible for 480 units in 16 buildings. When the conversation turns to the past winter season door to Canterbury his mood changes. We feel that least seven or eight hot water service calls every day.

[00:16:23] This is not talk about steaks residents complain about poor, no heat, complete lack of hot water while free heat and hot water among the attracted amenities Community offers these residents could these resident complaints were Justified and it gets even worse push the limit the boilers, right 24/7 straining the circulators Arthur and his team were changing them constantly an average of 12 to 15 each season with a Peak at 22 in the winter of 2012, 2013 and these cost four hundred to seven dollars each.

[00:16:51] It’s a lot at stake at Canterbury Apartments for a boiler. Can I at the risk of being shot down? Is this a little bit more interesting now we talk about what boilers might mean? Yes, when you know what the stakes are. In real life, what elements are what’s does my next slide look like? Okay in real life.

[00:17:10] After publishing this article and it was a trade Journal about environmentally-sensitive infrastructure projects. They closed two other Garden Apartment facilities for over a million dollars-worth of business each. That’s the kind of impact you can have when you play up, what’s at stake with this damn thing?

[00:17:32] News, Pinnacle strategies is a company. It’s again Professional Services and what they help you do we explain this again? This is getting into the complex. Now, there’s a lot of overlap they do. Manufacturing process analysis this stuff. We usually associate with the Japanese manufacturing processes and quality control and all that the all those stories member from the 80s and 90s, but what they did Six Sigma and all that they help you figure all this stuff out.

[00:18:00] Tough sell, but guess what?  They did a lot of work on the gulf oil spill some years back and their work save more than 700 million dollars, they’re working and looking at shipping and cargo and moving stuff and organizing teams 700 million dollars the opportunity this represented for Pinnacles to take this boring thing manufacturing processes link it to something everyone knows and that everyone appreciates is important and get some credit.

[00:18:37] Extra credit for the audience. How could this have been more improved? I’m sorry that it so such a grainy piece of crap illustration, but says achieving top performance under the worst conditions seven Lessons Learned From a disaster what’s missing in that freaking headline of the title this book?  It’s real obvious.

[00:18:54] It’s real simple. Yeah, where’s the Gulf of Mexico? Where’s BP? Now, maybe they couldn’t name BP in this right? That would be dangerous, but damn it. What is it when they call this Macondo oil spill? I think that’s one name for it. The gulf oil spill they should have put in the top for search engine my God, we’ve been saying they spend all this money.

[00:19:14] They paid me a lot of money to write this damn thing. But the important thing is they had an opportunity, even if they failed to seize it all the way to link their thing and get attention because it’s connected to something or he has generated attention.

[00:19:30] Play up the players ,what I mean by this is, sometimes there’s just not a whole lot you can do with the actual product or service to make it interesting and you can try as you want but one of the things that you can do is take the spotlight take it off your damn product for a moment and focus it on your market, your audience, the actual people who use their stuff.

[00:19:58] For example, this company conversant does and you’re going to find this really fascinating who’s here regulatory stuff. I know they’re couple of regulatory, they do consulting for regulatory issues related Regulatory Compliance related to bio and Life Sciences, right like clinical trials and stuff like that. Who, needs to manage the global compliance platform program from a single integrated platform interested?

[00:20:25] So not likely. But what you can do and what they did here is they answered it with a video. YouTube and I don’t have the video feed. Long complicated story. Actually, my doing this is probably more interesting than the actual video. But what the video does instead of focus on the product or service, it focuses on the people who use it. And by doing that, they’re able to demonstrate empathy, understanding of the issues, and a certain collegial camaraderie in unity with their audience. Now maybe this doesn’t begin to make the stuff more interesting. But for the people involved, it signals to that community, you’re one of us.

[00:21:07] So one of the other old options for boring is build the bonds among your audience themselves and make them here. Now, who do you think were the top three most boring? We had what is it wasn’t there somebody from Metals? Where’s the metals guy Metals? Where’s the Metalman? Metalman? What else do we have under boring? I want to others that you guys speak out loud before really boring.

[00:21:33] Regulatory services for healthcare, metal distribution and what was another one that was really boring? We had another really good one. No one else. Come on. I want one more. No, yours was complicated. No, she’s complex now. She’s not boring, she’s complex. Metal regular was that was that complex or boring?

[00:21:56] Undifferentiated. Yes.  Credit Union, so we have credit unions, metal regulations. I want the crowd. So, first Credit Union and pretend my hand is over her, how many people vote? Give it, just being high. Sorry, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, man. I’m sorry. Okay regulatory. Woohoo. Metal? You win a scented marker. Hold onto that you’re not done because the winner of each round goes for a final round. For the grand prize for the ugliest thing. You have to market for the ugly marketing award. Okay, great.

[00:22:45] What about the complex stuff? What I struggle with is and I think you do too is just who was telling me this I was asking for an explanation from somebody here about something they did.

[00:22:55] Oh you yes. Now did you see how? Okay. What is a non captive? Do you see how difficult this is your on a train you talking to a person? Well, I’m insurance. It’s not like okay, how do you even begin to communicate this stuff.? Now, what I suggest is look for entry points, not the whole Kahuna that is ,as we’re thinking about messaging, as wer’re thinking of developing content. It’s not about selling the whole damn thing is there, other pieces of it draw people in and then once they’re engaged we can sell the rest of it. And that’s what all these things are really about. One is, is there a way to make this urgent? Looking for the urgency where are the fires? Not the nice to have, the must-haves that are related to this.

[00:23:40] Where’s the easy entry point? Is there a way to slide into this without having to go for the whole package of people do understand like as the captive Insurance, you may begin with a story about a person who’s starting a business and they need something, you know Insurance just to get them on their feet like a little entry point.

[00:23:55] And then how do I make this personal relatable? So I’m going to talk about three different content plays. One of them, you know about I’m going to go talk to talk briefly course case studies by going to get a little bit in the weeds here about how to make a stories better because too many of them aren’t that good.

[00:24:07] You have no idea what I mean by plumbers magnet. I’ll explain when we get there. And then I’m going to tell probably the I think one of the most interesting things you’re going to learn at this conference here. This is this is this a different kind of interview technique. I want to share with you because it’s so powerful and it’s easy and it works wonders.

[00:24:26] First real and tangible. So, here’s a company Infinity QS and what do they do cloud-based SAS solution for quality control. So you take in from Individual factories and you’re moving everything up into the cloud and there’s all kinds of reasons why that’s valuable. So they did your typical case study.

[00:24:43] And here’s what I want to say about this. You all know this already. You know that you start with a challenge, you know, you move into what they actually did and then the results, and you guys are best at articulating results because those are the benefit statements. How much money was saved? How much in taxes avoided? Etce. My two comments with this, when you get into the challenge phase of any case that you’re tempted to do, articulate what’s at stake not just what the challenges was. But why did the challenge matter?  So-and-so had difficulty integrating the computer systems. So, what? That failure to integrate meant that they were losing X number of sales opportunities or it was compromising their ability to deliver Healthcare something.

[00:25:24] What’s at stake with this challenge? Why does it matter? The solution part most of these are too short? This is too short.  The purpose of the solution part of your case studies is to paint a word picture so vivid that the reader imagines him or herself in the shoes of your protagonist.

[00:25:49] It’s just like a regular a novel or a short story the reason they’re written in a way that’s vivid is that without you even realizing it you’re in the shoes of the hero. That’s what this part has to do because if you can bridge that in a prospects mind get them imagining your stuff in action.  You’re like a third of the way to the sale.

[00:26:12] Because you’ve bridged it in their mind first and you have to bridge it in their minds. You got to get in their minds before you get in their wallet. So, please when you’re doing the case studies don’t skimp on that middle portion, which most of you are. I’m sorry. I don’t know you personally, but many people are tempted to do because it’s your best opportunity to get people deeply engaged and imagining what you do.

[00:26:34] That’s my comment. So that’s it. You know, this one these other ones. I don’t think you know. If you buy a home, somehow or another your name and address goes everywhere, comes on the list and you’re going to get tons of crap in the mail, right everyone. I see nodding heads. One thing you’re going to get, you’re going to get tons of these.

[00:26:52] These magnets right from the plumber.  And it’s humble.  But I think there’s a little bit of a genius in it. Now, I’ll tell you what, I mean that plumber probably makes real money in things like renovations and large projects, right? That’s where the real money is. However, those are hard things to engage people in a conversation about. Hey, is it time you upgraded heating system or hey, you know, how about that wastewater? You know, how is that going? Complicated difficult, but what if there were an opportunity to engage in a relationship with the potential prospect or customer first? Well, guess what? There’s a leak or you can do a lot of research. No, you can’t turn your head. There’s a phone number on my refrigerator. Right, you see where I’m going with this? This is, where getting a new sink is a nice to have.  But fixing the leak is what an urgent emergency the house is on fire. You got to solve this now.

[00:27:50] This is content. That’s johnny-on-the-spot.  You called Minutemen. Hopefully have a great experience and guess what? Now, this guy Minuteman can begin to have that conversation with you. Hey, have you considered doing this or have you considered doing that? But the relationship is built first with that urgent thing. So, you need content that meet that urgent thing. What would that look like?

[00:28:10] This is a company called Executive Benefits Solutions. They’re a Professional Services Company. I think somebody here said they did executive benefits. Somebody did? Yes. Okay, so it’s negative benefit Solutions what this really means is, they put together the big health insurance and other kinds of Benny’s for the big-ticket people and this is important because it’s part of the recruiting and retention strategy correct, right. Recruiting and retention is what this is all about.

[00:28:37] These guys are brilliant. They’re mathematicians, they know the numbers. I don’t understand anything about really what they’re all about. But here’s one of the things that they did. On the website, they have these free modeling tools and modeling tool is simply that you saying how much money do I need to set aside to accomplish this retirement goal for this kind of executive?

[00:29:00] Well, a modeling tool allows you to plug in some numbers, plug in numbers for the amount of money, plug in numbers for estimated interest, plug in numbers for time and you get results. The beautiful thing, the genius of this is this is a reason to go to the damn website. You start doing you start doing compensation modeling or other related terms you end up at Executive Business Solutions site and you have an actual thing that you can use right now.

[00:29:28] The advantage for EBS is they’ve begun that engagement in a safe easy way and now there’s a greater reason for people to call them say I liked your modeler. That was really helpful. But tell you what I got such going down. Can you help me with this? Oh, yeah, we. Can you think of ways to initiate the relationship without having to do the full-blown thing?

[00:29:54] I’ll give another example this a restaurant my community a small town and offers Wednesday nights $5 burgers.  You can have any topping, comes with french fries. All you have to do is buy a drink and it doesn’t have to be an alcoholic beverage, It can be soda and I thought to myself. That’s an expensive way to sell Burgers man, but it’s a cheap way of creating buzz. Everyone in town and my town talks about we do them as an agent not a shop.

[00:30:23] It’s cheaper to go to Marco’s get the five-dollar burger. So here you go my God, that guy’s brilliant in one stroke in the product itself, he’s created something that people are going to be talking about this issue that draws people adore, you know, what’s happened as a consequence of that. I don’t just go the Wednesday nights for the $5 Burgers now that I got used to going to Marcos.

[00:30:40] It’s a Thursday night. It’s a Monday night. I don’t feel like cooking, I just say honey. let’s just go to Marco’s boom. Want you to be thinking about these kind of opportunities.

[00:30:49] Horse’s mouth, any of you familiar with Playboy magazine?  Yeah, so yeah, okay, and if you are you’ll know that Playboy is really famous for its interviews and no, it’s true. Actually, this is true and they were. The Playboy interview was a real breakthrough in the 60s. It was it was the first time we saw celebrities in a candid light. In fact, I think the very first interview was Miles Davis and I also think it was the first time the word shit was published in the mainstream publication in a Playboy interview with Miles Davis in the mid-60s.

[00:31:31] The interviews were famous for their quality and their depth. I want to ask you this, if you had turned on a tape recorder in the session where that guy, the interviewer was talking to Miles Davis would a transcript of that tape of quarter looked like the interview that was published in the magazine. Tell me please.

[00:31:47] Why not? What’s really going on?

[00:32:01] Exactly. In fact, I read that they do at least 40 hours of interviewing because they say it takes that much time to clear all the PR crap away and get to the good stuff. So that’s one reason. That’s one reason. There’s another reason you structure the order.  So, I’m going to do it with this. So, this Company Collaborative Consulting also involved in what do they do all compliance that seems to be a big issue in Eastern Massachusetts.

[00:32:27] So I tend to get a lot of these clients. So, what this is instead of featuring a customer we’re featuring one of their experts. I interviewed him and produce the printed interview and now you’re wondering Jonathan why not just do this as a video or podcast because of what she said because if I do this as a written thing, I can Shuffle the deck the way I want.

[00:32:50] So guess what in this interview with this guy?  This is some of the stuff here.  I actually wrote these questions in retrospect after I got the stuff all my notes. I said which questions are most relevant to the what he actually volunteered, and I get to order to stuff it done in a logical way. He may have been all over the back right, but I could the structure with a beginning middle and end I get to cherry-pick his best stuff.

[00:33:14] I get to throw out the boring stuff and I get the craft. The questions in such a way that they make the answers even more relevant.

[00:33:24] This became the most popular page on the website.  It went huge and they so they commissioned me to do a bunch of these and they generate the greatest amount of traffic. People like getting the inside story from a person they believe is an expert. If you’re going to try this and I if you’re a writer I highly encourage you to do it if you’re not a writer get a writer you who can.

[00:33:46] Interview take the notes and then reshuffle it. Write it, as if it’s a transcript when it’s not. Right does everyone get with the principles? I don’t understand why more people don’t do this, because it gives you the market or so much power. Okay? Oh, before we go down different issue who are the top boring a complex.

[00:34:07] Wait, what did I just do complex? Right? We had the math person. Okay, I need two others that were really complicated. You guys thought were complicated. Do you remember what’s the most complicated ones were?

[00:34:22] Who’s got something? Well, who’s got complicated health care? What kind of Health Care Health insurance? We thank you.

[00:34:32] B2B Financial technology software.  math for research and then truck remind us we had. All right, let’s vote.  How many people vote for as the most complicated thing purchase intent data?  No one you don’t think that’s Complicated. Come on, okay.  Math it. Would you describe it? What was it?

[00:35:00] We got to okay. And what was the last one? Where is it? Who was the last one? Where was it? Help me. I’m forgetting my 54 miles going. Yes.  B2B Financial technology. I’m afraid? Sorry. You were game, but the winner has to be right here. You get a scented one. I don’t know what scent it is. Well, that’s for you. Thank you so much. Get ready for the final round. Excellent.

[00:35:34] Finally undifferentiated. This is where we get into the commodity stuff. I got five more minutes. This is this is this is maybe the toughest of the tough. So, I want to think about where can I find meaningful distinctions even when it doesn’t look like they exist remember that whole Purple Cow thing that guy the bald guy did Seth Godin there’s something here. Is there other is there another kind of or there he did that thing that they that the free prize inside.

[00:35:59] Is there another kind of value hidden within the purchase of product that people haven’t thought of that could be interesting. And then how can you stand out so a couple of contemplates process over product surprise inside and contrary taking a contrarian position? Where do these look like in real life company City span?

[00:36:18] What they do is they build custom software applications for nonprofits and the people who give them money the funders to track programs like after school programs special ed programs anything we have, you know Community participation. So, one has to be countable. Thank you. Guess what? A lot of people offer software like this.

[00:36:39] So what we did instead where everyone’s going to talk about their software. Guess what when I interviewed the owners the principles of this company, which struck me.  Was the intensity in the care they put into working with the customers arrive at their lives right solution. So personalized approach people Central processes.

[00:36:58] The goal is translate. Hey, translating complex process of two simple steps. Okay, great message. That’s a nice message. But here’s where it’s cool question assumptions anticipate needs. They bring the 20 years, experience and they come to you. They’re going to not just say this is what you want.

[00:37:15] They’re going to challenge you to be sure you understand the consequences of these choices and because their experience is going to anticipate things you didn’t think of because you’re not a professional in this kind of software. So, they do that. They don’t give you one option. They give you multiple design options.

[00:37:28] Check this out. Don’t even go to your boards and other stakeholders to talk about what this technology is and how it works. And finally, they’ll actually analyze how you’re actually doing your physical work to see if they can simplify before they translate into an electronic process notice that not once.

[00:37:44] That they talk about the product itself. They talk about the process behind it. Guess what? They’ve just done they’ve left all the competitors in the dust.

[00:37:57] E-sign live is a Canadian company that does electronic signatures like DocuSign like some others you can think of that are more famous how then can they even begin to compete. Well check this out as it turns out you guys have heard of GDP are the general data protection regulation in Europe. Well that’s coming down this month.

[00:38:20] It’s the biggest and most. Sophisticated but they the Europeans have strict rules like you guys do business in Germany, you know that data about German citizens cannot leave Germany, right, you know this stuff. So, one of the things that they’re able to say ihsan live is like, well there are other e-signature Solutions, but guess what when you do hours.

[00:38:37] Our databases remain local they have one in the UK. They have one in Germany. So, what does that mean for the European Union? You don’t have to worry about all the complex regulations if you’re an American company that has EU. Don’t sweat it because their data is going to stay in Europe. That’s what I mean by surprise inside another unexpected value, so you can get e-signatures from others, but they don’t have this.

[00:38:59] They don’t have the European databases to help you just completely elide all the complexities of dealing with European citizen data. That’s what I mean by surprise. Finally, another tactic to take we’re others Zig you zag now I get it the slides a little old. So, it’s semantics. You know, what semantics.

[00:39:19] They create that software that makes you nuts right because we make and that’s why everyone converted to Max because they were just tired of this crap at the time that this page was created. The idea was it companies? You didn’t allow people to bring their own devices. You gave them laptops you gave them tablets you gave them a phone just to use for business.

[00:39:36] What happened in real life utter failure. The truth is you got to deal. So what semantic did is saying, other security companies are saying well you got have a process. You got to control a devices thing. No. No we got away. People can use their own stuff and yet we can keep the personal and the professional separated and they were able to capture attention because they’re tackling an issue secure the everyone knows but they’re offering an unexpected angle bring your own you can deal with it.

[00:40:03] Let people have their own devices. So is there an opportunity if you got undifferentiated stuff to create differentiation saying well, we take a different point of view. This is why you should talk to us because we’re going to do it very difficult. And this is just more BYOD or Bust or your mobile policies keeping up with your mobile employees, etc.

[00:40:22] Etc. So, all right who’s got undifferentiated? What we got? Yes, captive insurance.  What’s that?  Financials are oh That’s a classic on do for you. Let’s have a vote for financial services. What do you think? Woo? Okay, what we got for? What we got for the Insurance will what else who else has got one.

[00:40:47] Yes.  South Florida Country Club, and why is it because it’s a bunch of other what you guys think about the country club? Yeah. Okay. Can I have the three winners step up here, please?  Where’s my? Where’s my country club? Go come here. Come on up here first you get your, I don’t know what that is, but it sounds good.

[00:41:12] Come on up. Come on up.  Come on.  All right. This is the ugly doll.  And I want us you just it’s in here turn and face the audience turn around and come closer. Okay?  I want you to vote for the ugliest.  Is it Metals? What’s the vote for the metal? Metal distribution, calculations for advanced academic research, South Florida Country Club? See they think you’re too beautiful. That’s what that means. I’m afraid that you win the prize for the ugly marketer of the Year. Thank you so much for being so game. Yes, and that’s it. I’m done there hustling me out of here this thing Jonathan get the hook. Just remember go in the buyer shoes.

[00:42:14] Remember, what’s at stake? Think about, how is this even going to work in the real world? I don’t do Twitter. I hate Twitter. So, if you’re interested you want to talk to me talk to me from you know, call me write me or connect to me on LinkedIn. You’ve been terrific go home. Thank you.



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