As I write this, I am listening to Mitch Joel talk about his new book on one of my favorite podcasts: Christopher Penn and John J. Wall’s Marketing Over Coffee. If you have never tuned in, please do. They also broadcast the show live each week over Google Hangouts.
We haven’t traditionally done book reviews here at Brand Fast-Trackers, but have instead included the book review piece in the podcast write ups that I do. This time around, Mitch Joel was able to send me a preview copy of his new book Ctrl+Alt+Delete, so blogging a separate review seemed appropriate. I also love the idea of providing you with additional relevant content.
When we last spoke with Mitch around this time last year, we spoke a lot about his concept of the One Screen World: meaning it is not about all of the multiple screens that a consumer is using, it is about THE screen they are using in ANY given moment and how you as a marketer or brand can make that moment the most relevant for them on that device.
This concept is included in Ctrl+Alt+Delete. The book is divided into two main parts. The first section is directed towards business and addresses Five Key Fundamental Shifts that have happened in this digital first world. These are massive movements that have forever changed how business must be done (for continued profits and prosperity).
The Reboot: Business Keys are:
- Direct Relationships: Brands must build true and sustainable lifelong relationships and value with consumers. Think as a consumer, not as a businessman. Businesses can’t broadcast or blast their messaging anymore (at least not solely). It just doesn’t work anymore.
- Consumers Want Utility: Consumers want to connect with brands because these businesses are giving them a true utility that is adding value to their lives. If a brand can help me fulfill a need, I will return time and time again. I think this especially true if it doesn’t always directly correlate to sales. Customer service going out of its way to help me with an order. Providing me a branded, and yet non salesy app. Mitch uses the great example of the Charmin branded Sit or Squat app. What could make more sense than a TP brand telling me where I can find a clean toilet? Smart.
- Passive and active media: Brands must figure out the balance of active media and passive media. This ties into broadcast messaging no longer being as effective. Sure, go ahead, create the same passive broadcast content you have always made, BUT think about what kind of active content you can also create where the consumers will WANT to engage with you.
- Data is telling us much, much more: People are constantly oversharing in online social networks and yet begging for more privacy. The paradox will continue to get more complex as brands have the ability to connect and share more with consumers through direct relationships.
- One Screen World: As we discussed above, the only screen that matters going forward is the screen that is in front of the consumer at any given time.
In my mind, the first section alone would have made a fantastic business book. In reality, it really is a new business bible for brands, but what are brands composed of? PEOPLE! So Mitch brilliantly continues on with the latter half of the book. Reboot: You. How can you be one of the people who can embrace the times and move both you forward and your respective businesses forward? Mitch shares 8 keys.
- Digital First Posture: It’s time to shift your attitude. The internet has fundamentally shifted how business operate, especially given the on set of social media channels. The first place your consumers go when making a business decision is to their computers, smartphones, etc. If you are not there to meet them and provide relevant content, you will become obsolete.
- Embrace the Squiggle: The most successful and interesting entrepreneurs and business people don’t have a very linear career path – it’s very squiggly. Embrace it. I can think of countless entrepreneurs some of whom we have spoken with on this very show that had all sorts of careers or failed businesses for the one that fit. Jimmy Wales had a failed encyclopedia project before Wikipedia. And now look how even the concepts of a wiki has changed the nature of finding information on the web.
- The New Way We Work: Working in Silos is no longer an option. Marketing not knowing what sales is doing or let’s face it, email marketers not knowing what social is doing or what ecommerce is doing or promotions not knowing what shopper marketing is doing. The ability for success while operating in a silo no longer works. For a great book on marketing without a silo, see Gini Dietrich’s Marketing in the Round.
- Be a Perpetual Entrepreneur: When you stumble upon a great or inventive idea, don’t stop there. Keep inventing!
- The Marketing of You: Rapid, regular and powerful content is the new advertising. We’ve covered why broadcast no longer works. This is the new medium, for brands and for you as a brand. For Mitch, if you are able to be real and tell sincere fascinating stories, people will share and people will buy.
- Anywhere is your Workspace: I think this ties into a trend we have been seeing for awhile. Flexible work spaces and configurations are becoming the norm. Having a dedicated office or work space is no longer going to be the ways offices are laid out. In fact, traditionally offices are no longer the norm. As Mitch puts it, it “is increasingly less about where we are physically are and much more about the people we are collaborating with and our access to the information or tools we need to create.”
- Your Life in Start-up Mode: Companies are no longer looking for the same talent they used to hire. They are looking for smarts, but also extremely adaptive people who can reinvent themselves and their job roles on a regular basis. Keep contributing in a new and meaningful way or there won’t be a job there for you. This section in particular contains some key steps everyone should be taking. Go read it. Act on it. Trust me.
- Embrace the Next: Mitch wraps up the book by looking at six forward-facing trends to watch.
This is a pretty long post for me, but I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed and needed this book. Buy it. Read it. Read it again. Use it as a guide. I really do predict it will become a new business bible for the times. And if you haven’t heard of Mitch, please do subscribe to his blog. Listen to his weekly podcast. You will be smarter for it. We speak with Mitch on the podcast today and I’ll post the interview early next week.
As a treat, here is the first interview we did with Mitch last year. Enjoy!
[Lead image via Doug Savage | Savage Chicken]