Monthly Archives: December 2016

Strategy

What is strategy? The etymology of the word has two parts with PIE roots – strategos was Greek for ‘general’, or the art of the general, and it was a combination of ‘stra-‘ (stretch, structure, stratos, strong, stride, strict) and ‘ag-‘ (agility, act).

Here are some definitions from acaemics, according to wikipedia:

  • “A pattern in a stream of decisions” – Henry Mintzberg from McGill University
  • “Strategy is about shaping the future” and is the human attempt to get to “desirable ends with available means” -Max McKeown (2011)
  • “A system of finding, formulating, and developing a doctrine that will ensure long-term success if followed faithfully. – Dr. Vladimir Kvint

What’s the difference between a strategy and a philosophy?

A philosophy is about inquiry, about a sense of how things work, how the world works, an idea how things should be. It’s about ideals. A philosophy is embodied, a strategy is enacted, executed.

What’s the difference between a strategy and a principle?

What are principles, anyway? I can think of two definitions. One describes axiomatic truths or fundamentals – ie principles of design, principles of music. They’re kind of like rules, but maybe less dogmatic. We mean different things when we say “he is a man of philosophy”, “he is a man of principle”, “he is a man of rules(?)”, he is a man of discipline. Each thing means something slightly different in a very subtle way.

The other thing about principles – I’m thinking about Ray Dalio now, who has his principles published at principles.com. He describes principles as concepts that can be applied over and over again in similar circumstances. There are parenting principles, management principles, skiing principles and so on.

What’s the difference between a strategy and a plan?

Casually, I find that people often use the phrase “so what’s the plan?” when discussing something that’s to happen next. What’s the plan for the dinner party tonight? People make weekend plans. (In contrast, people tend to have a ‘life philosophy.’ We tend to ask “what’s your philosophy…” over drinks in the evenings.)

Sometimes we ask, what’s your plan for the future? What’s your plan for the next 5 years? But those tend to be grasping at straws a little, and we don’t expect people to have great answers to those things.

I find it interesting to think about when we ask questions like “what’s your strategy”. I’ve definitely asked it before – I think when people tell me that they intend to make something, implement something, when they want to become something. You want to become a successful writer? What’s your strategy?

It seems to me then that strategy is all about implementation. You embody your philosophy and then execute your strategy, which will involve making plans and so on. The strategist figures out what to do, and what she will do if things change. She will identify what is important and what is not important, what to do with the limited resources that she has, and how to deploy them.

Diagnosis -> Guiding Policy -> Action Plan

President Kennedy illustrated these three elements of strategy in his Cuban Missile Crisis Address to the Nation of 22 October 1962:

Diagnosis: “This Government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba. Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites are now in preparation on that imprisoned island. The purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere.”

Guiding Policy: “Our unswerving objective, therefore, must be to prevent the use of these missiles against this or any other country, and to secure their withdrawal or elimination from the Western Hemisphere.”

Action Plans: First among seven numbered steps was the following: “To halt this offensive buildup a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba from whatever nation or port will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back.”

Plan, Pattern, Position,  Ploy, Perspective

Henry Mintzberg described five definitions of strategy in 1998:

  1. Strategy as plan – a directed course of action to achieve an intended set of goals; similar to the strategic planning concept;
  2. Strategy as pattern – a consistent pattern of past behavior, with a strategy realized over time rather than planned or intended. Where the realized pattern was different from the intent, he referred to the strategy as emergent;
  3. Strategy as position – locating brands, products, or companies within the market, based on the conceptual framework of consumers or other stakeholders; a strategy determined primarily by factors outside the firm;
  4. Strategy as ploy – a specific maneuver intended to outwit a competitor; and
  5. Strategy as perspective – executing strategy based on a “theory of the business” or natural extension of the mindset or ideological perspective of the organization.

Growth Hacking

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6526222 

I don’t feel like it’s even necessary to make a distinction between “growth hackers” and “marketers”.

A growth hacker to me is simply somebody who found a way to acquire more-than-expected number of customers with less-than-expected resources.

It’s like calling yourself a “viral marketer”. Viral is what happens when your work resonates with people and takes off. It’s not something you can manufacture consistently.

As a general rule I think growth hackers are just people who’re better at connecting the dots- either through superior pattern recognition and insight or sheer brute force (or a combination of both). I think of Chamath of Facebook. Giving away $10 per PayPal account was a growth hack. Giving away free Dropbox space was a growth hack. But to call yourself a Growth HackER feels really presumptuous. I’d say it’s a title that others bestow upon you, rather than something you call yourself.

Oh well. Semantics is typically a circlejerk, anyway. Have we gotten to the stage where we get sick of saying that we’re sick of talking about growth hacking, and do some real work? Hope so!

A list of my Quora answers

Your answer to What is the greatest word of mouth story of all time?

Your answer to What are the companies that rely on word-of-mouth as marketing?

Your answer to What is referral marketing?

Your answer to What is the best niche for referral marketing?

Your answer to What are some word-of-mouth marketing tactics and strategies?

What are the top marketing agencies in Singapore?

Why does advertising still exist?

Your answer to How do I design a referral program?

Your answer to How did Carousell grow without any marketing?

Your answer to How do you choose the right incentives for your referral program?

Your answer to What are some must follow internet marketing blogs?

Your answer to What’s your favorite blog to follow for marketing tips?

What are some examples of “delighting customers” in marketing?

Your answer to Why is email marketing the king?

How did Kotex advertise?

What are some examples of “emotional marketing”?

What are some examples of “Public-facing” used in marketing?

What are some examples of triggers used in marketing?

What are some examples of Contagious principles used in marketing?

What is the greatest word of mouth story of all time?

Your answer to If you were to make a site like viralnova.com, how would you make it grow?

Your answer to What are the most useful apps for Shopify?

Your answer to How do you market an Internet startup with no marketing budget?

What are the top detailed answers on marketing on Quora?

How do I design a referral program?

What are the most popular market research jokes?

What are the next big theories in marketing?

What’s the hardest part about inbound marketing?

Your answer to What’s the hardest part about inbound marketing?

What startups have come out of a very small niche?

Your answer to What startups have come out of a very small niche?

Has opening a can of soda gotten louder?

What do directors of field marketing do, exactly?

Your answer to How did TOMS Shoes educate the market during the initial product launch?

Your answer to What are the weaknesses of mass marketing, as opposed to segmented marketing?

Why do marketers make so much?

Your answer to Why do marketers make so much?

Your answer to What is the social landscape?

What is the social landscape?

How do I promote a web-based debate startup?

Your answer to How do I promote a web-based debate startup?

What events or causes does SolarCity support and sponsor?

Your answer to Is All Pro Student Services a good name for a student services business?

What is Tesla Motors’ marketing strategy?

User Acquisition: Does content marketing scale?

What are some recommended customer referral program vendors?

What is it like to be a Brand Manager at Unilever?

What is the role of social media in marketing?

Is tell a friend marketing dead?

Your answer to What is content marketing?

Your answer to What is marketing?

Your answer to What are the most effective ways to promote blogs?

Your answer to What is social media marketing?

Your answer to What is social media to marketing?

What is social media to marketing?

How should I get started learning more about marketing?

Your answer to How should I get started learning more about marketing?

Why do stores have sales?

Your answer to Why do stores have sales?

In what ways does a marketer contribute to society?

Your answer to In what ways does a marketer contribute to society?

Is social media marketing going to sustain?

Your answer to Is social media marketing going to sustain?

The best market strategy for anti-aging products?

Your answer to The best market strategy for anti-aging products?

Is SEO a waste of time?

Your answer to Is SEO a waste of time?

What are effective ways to turn a blog into a business?

Your answer to What are some good examples of companies driving demand indirectly?

Your answer to What is the influencers marketing? How it relates to the WOM?

What’s the most effective way to market to Military wives?

Your answer to What’s the most effective way to market to Military wives?

Your answer to Do you care what your teammates are working on as a marketing team?

Your answer to What is an efficient way to give 1000 different people your business card?

Your answer to What are some of the most epic product fails?

How can one advertise any software for free?

Your answer to How can one advertise any software for free?

Your answer to What’s the smartest maneuver you’ve ever seen in marketing?

You got an awesome product. How do you market it?

Your answer to You got an awesome product. How do you market it?

How do I become an ad man?

Your answer to How do I become an ad man?

What are the biggest lessons from Seth Godin?

Your answer to What are the biggest lessons from Seth Godin?

How does Red Bull manage to sponsor so many huge events?

Your answer to How does Red Bull manage to sponsor so many huge events?

Your answer to Is your Marketing team a picture of chaos or is it a well-oiled machine?

Your answer to Can anyone successfully sell stupidity / nonsense online/offline?

Your answer to As a Marketer, what are the 10 typical things your day is filled with?

Your answer to What are some techniques to attract people to an event you are promoting?

What is ‘Marketing Solutions’?

Your answer to What is ‘Marketing Solutions’?

What is the importance of accurate timing in marketing?

Your answer to What is the importance of accurate timing in marketing?

Is good marketing the most important factor of success?

Your answer to Is good marketing the most important factor of success?

Your answer to Advertising and Advertisements: What are some great advertisements?

Your answer to How can I find out what my local community is googling the most?

What was Viagra’s initial/launch marketing strategy?

Your answer to What was Viagra’s initial/launch marketing strategy?

What was Google’s initial marketing strategy?

Your answer to What was Google’s initial marketing strategy?

Your answer to What exactly is tribal marketing and why is it significant in the digital age?

How to go viral on social media?

Your answer to How to go viral on social media?

How do I market a magazine?

Your answer to How do I market a magazine?

Why does popular music predominantly target teenagers?

Your answer to Why does popular music predominantly target teenagers?

How big is the referral solutions market?

Your answer to How can I come up with a brief slogan that explains the essence of my website?

How should I market my Slogan Company?

Your answer to How should I market my Slogan Company?

Your answer to Online Journalism: Should twitter posts be viewed with skepticism ?

Your answer to Why isn’t there a dominant player in Referral solutions market?

The Mind: What is an idea?

Your answer to The Mind: What is an idea?

Why is digital marketing so cluttered with middlemen?

Your answer to Why is digital marketing so cluttered with middlemen?

Your answer to How do you define engagement “content marketing”?

Coke and Pepsi:  is the ROI on their marketing respectable?

Your answer to Coke and Pepsi:  is the ROI on their marketing respectable?

Your answer to What is a good book/ebook that teaches about online marketing?

Your answer to Marketing: How do sell a product inferior to that of your competitor?

Should i detail all my services on my brochure?

Your answer to Should i detail all my services on my brochure?

How do you prove a social media campaign was successful?

Your answer to How do you prove a social media campaign was successful?

Your answer to “How to convience people so that they can purchase our product?”

How did you convert to Google, the search engine?

Your answer to How did you convert to Google, the search engine?

What are your favourite marketing blog posts ever?

Your answer to What are your favourite marketing blog posts ever?

Your answer to How do I make a presentation creative whilst still remaining professional?

Your answer to What is the difference between direct and indirect marketing?

Your answer to What is the best slogan ever created?

Your answer to What are the worst advertisements ever?

What are the most overpriced items that people buy?

Your answer to What are the most overpriced items that people buy?

Job Descriptions

Let’s look at some job descriptions.

I’m going to use these to influence some of the blogposts I write next.

Uber – Content Marketing Manager, Southeast Asia

Uber seeks full-time Regional Content Marketing Managers to create, manage, and distribute web content in each of our operational regions. The ideal candidate understands how content works across a customer journey to fulfill both regional business objectives and local user needs. The Regional Content Marketing Manager will be the strongest advocate for transforming global insights and initiatives into impactful city-based content.

What You’ll Do

  • Ownership and responsibility for regional content covering the Southeast Asia region
    Operationalize web content strategy within a region, working with City Marketing Managers to produce and publish localized web content
  • Develop and manage editorial calendars for a region
  • Create editorial best practices, from writing and publishing to tracking and optimization
  • Strategically prioritize content initiatives based on their region’s unique business requirements and customer needs
  • Track content across its lifecycle, optimize top performing content, and provide recommendations that help enhance web content strategy at Uber
  • Track content production for each operational region
  • Work closely with cross-functional teams including SEO, Uber.com & other marketing channels to maximize ROI of content

What We’re Looking For

  • Strong writing abilities—while overseeing content production across cities, Regional/Country Content Marketing Managers may also write core content on uber.com.
  • Passion for developing sound content strategy, determining message hierarchies, and developing user experiences that communicate exactly the right message to the right person at the right time
  • A keen eye for measurement, helping to provide reports against KPIs and key strategic insights
  • Knowledgeable or willing to learn about amplification and distribution, including organic and paid strategies, social media platforms, and native distribution (platforms include but are not limited to: Sprinklr, Outbrain, Media Partners)
  • Experience publishing for SEO, Social, or CRM channels is a bonus
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and manage deadlines in a fast-paced environment

PayPal – Content Marketing Architect – Merchant

Job description:

  1. To design merchant content strategies for our APAC Markets to enable the delivery of the right message to the right customer at the right time in a delightful way to create outstanding customer experiences and strong business outcomes.
  2. To continuously improve the content, we are delivering to our customers and also continually improve the way (cost, time and processes) that this is being delivered to market.

Key Responsibilities

CONTENT DESIGN & CONTENT STRATEGY

  1. To define the content requirements and needs by market, by segment, by initiative and by customer touch point to develop a prioritized plan to deliver a program of content delivery to the APAC Markets
  2. To leverage customer insights to design customer journeys across the lifecycle for key segments
  3. To partner with the markets to design content offerings around business requirements, customer needs and pain points to deliver outstanding customer experiences that unlocks growth for our business units
  4. To partner with RHQ Channel Owners to deliver outstanding content for core customer experiences across key lifecycle streams for website, email and social channels

CONTENT CREATION

  1. To develop wireframes and content briefs for key customer touch points for internal production resources and agency vendors
  2. To create a roster of trusted vendors and partners that can develop quality content for APAC Countries at scale
  3. Partner with Local Country Teams to develop the capabilities to localize content in an effective and efficient way

OPTIMISATION AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IN CONTENT

  1. Develop content playbooks for key Merchant segments in APAC
  2. Develop ways to track and measure effectiveness of content across all touch points to drive continuous improvement

Key Skills And Experience

  • Bachelor in Business or Communications – Journalism, Digital Marketing, Communications, PR
  • 5-10+ Years in Content Creation – ideally for digital channels
  • Experience in design thinking
  • Experience in information architecture, working with a content management system and ideally SEO
  • Understands translating customer needs and insights into commercial strategies and communications
  • Outstanding communications skills – written and verbal
  • Team player – high energy and passionate about impacting team dynamics. Outstanding collaborator
  • Ability to influence in a complex matrix structure (VV: Lol)
  • Strong Planning skills – highly structured, organized, logical and drives towards outcomes
  • Strong Process Skills – ability to map and improve business process
  • Strong attention to detail and care about quality of work
  • Critical and strategic thinker

Uber – Marketing manager

About The Job

As a Marketing Manager, you’ll be responsible for implementing and advising on strategic initiatives that drive acquisition and engagement of riders and driver-partners. You’ll own projects that span growth, brand, content, product positioning, user lifecycle management, and retention for both existing and newly-launched regions.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Translating complex and varied inputs including market data, market research, consumer insights, and more into actionable campaigns that drive growth or retain users
  • Wordsmithing and executing targeted email campaigns, and helping to build the voice of the Western Canada brand
  • Working across teams to better understand the customer and derive insights to improve targeting, segmentation in order to acquire users
  • Growing existing acquisition channels and bringing new ones into the mix, focusing on results and the scale of the opportunity
  • Owning campaign processes from end to end from ideation, execution, to measurement
  • Acting as a thought partner and mentor for the marketing team to encourage data-driven approaches and decisions

WHAT YOU’LL DO

A Mix Of Day-to- Day Activities And Broader Projects Could Include

  •  Building out a scalable plan to drive user acquisition, loyalty, retention, and advocacy
  • Developing and executing a rider growth and education plan for newly-launched cities within the region
  • Building the furniture of targeted email marketing campaigns to drive ridership
  • Building out go-to- market strategies for new products and in-app features
  • Evaluating performance metrics to inform new projects or areas of opportunities

WHO YOU ARE

  •  You think big. You’re passionate about this role and the Uber brand. Exploration and experimentation is inherent in your process. There’s strong rationale behind every recommendation you make. You have a thirst for knowledge, and curiosity drives you.
  • You’re a team player. You’re collaborative, respectful, and willing to give and receive fierce feedback. You iterate quickly and respect deadlines. You have strong interpersonal skills with the ability to adapt communication styles to your audience.
  • You’re a hustler. You hold yourself and the team to high standards. You motivate and mentor team members to produce inspiring results. You are very comfortable working in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment and culture.
  • You thrive in a startup environment. Building the vision for a new company excites you. You love growing and scaling new ideas, and having your hand in many different projects at once.
  • You have an ‘all hands on deck’ attitude. No task is too big or small. You love dabbling in different areas of the business, and lending a helping hand wherever it’s needed.
  • You’re comfortable with change. You tackle problems head-on. You adapt to shifting priorities, make efficient decisions in the face of tight deadlines, and manage multiple projects simultaneously with ease.

Qualifications

  • 4+ years of experience-relevant roles include growth hacking or acquisition specializations, product management, or brand management (experience in a start-up and/or consulting is a plus)
  • Experience working in a fast-paced, data-driven, growth-oriented environment
  • Demonstrated success in leading complex projects, campaigns, and/or teams with full ownership over process and performance
  • Strong communication skills, particularly in email and content writing

Grab – Social Media Manager

IN THIS ROLE, YOU WILL:

  • You are a highly motivated, creative individual with experience and a passion for connecting with current and future customers. That passion comes through as he/she engages with customers on a daily basis, with the ultimate goal of turning fans into customers. Social media manager is integral to all our community engagement and content related efforts. You will be essential in communicating the company’s brand in a positive, authentic way to today’s modern, hyper-connected, mobile first customers
  • Establish a strategic approach to social media content that aligns with Grab’s strategic and tactical needs while overseeing owned channels development and management.
  • Work with the regional team to grow engagement, reach and improve customer satisfaction levels
  • Ensure that social content is compelling and meets the strategic goals of the social persuasion.
  • Maintain and coordinate Grab’s social content marketing calendars including brand, product and values.
  • Use established metrics to optimize and drive continuous improvement in Grab’s efforts for social excellence
  • Work with external agencies to develop creative and engaging online and social media content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc.
  • Monitor and analyse online sentiments on social media platforms.
  • Liaise with Creative, operations, strategy and insights
  • Ensure adherence to operating budget of Marketing Department
  • To ensure working seamlessly with other marketing peers in various department

AS OUR IDEAL CANDIDATE, YOU HAVE:

  • Bachelor Degree
  • Proficiency in FB Business Manager, Social Media publishing tools (e.g. Hootsuite), Analytics tools (e.g. GA), online monitoring tools (e.g. Brandwatch)
  • Skilled at planning, organizing, prioritizing and executing simultaneous projects and activities. You can prioritize high impact activities and keep complicated projects moving forward. You’ve proven your ability to work well under pressure and adapt quickly to change.
  • Proven success in driving social campaigns
  • Expertise in both creative and promotional copywriting
  • A data-driven mindset toward social content and publishing
  • Experience in building up social media platforms with a focus on engagement metrics will be looked upon favourably
  • Experienced in managing third party IT vendors, digital agencies with a familiarity of the local landscape of social advocates, influencers and content producers would be an asset
  • Up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in online marketing and measurement, and social media platforms
  • Sensitive to the wider implications and understanding of operational concerns in the development of social communication plans
  • Self-starter with an ability to work independently, whilst also a team player for broader digital strategies, monitoring or tactical campaigns
  • Previous experience in a digital/social media agency will be an advantage
  • 4-5 years in social media with experience in multi-channel content development and a focus on delivering metrics based performance

Content Marketing in Singapore

One of the best blogposts I’ve written in my life is An Epic List Of 47 Referral Programs, where I simply curated several pages worth of Google results. I thought I’d try to do the same thing here.

I’m a content marketer, I’m based in Singapore, and if you’re interested in chatting about content marketing you can hit me up.

Let’s start with an overview of the Google search results.

SBR – Why Singaporean businesses fail at content marketing [2013] , by Graeme Somerville–Ryan

  • No strategy
  • No friends
  • Not interesting
  • Short-term

TIA – Asia hasn’t realized the potential of content marketing. Here’s why. [2016], by Carmelo Hannity

  • Content marketing has been growing slowly but steadily [source]

What’s holding Asia’s businesses back from content marketing? by Andrea Edwards

Now this looks like a meaty post.

  1. Lack of understanding
  2. Lack of obvious/clear ROI
  3. “Selling & Telling” – looks like a point about lack of emotion
  4. ‘Hierarchy & Egos’ – erm…?
  5. C-level buy-in –
  6. Global, Regional, Local – point about lack of localized content
  7. ‘Social media, social selling sophistication’
  8. Current agency model being disrupted

I don’t want to reinterpret the post too much – I think it’s primarily focused on large, existing brands, while I’m primarily familiar with new and growing tech startups. Will have to talk to some agency friends to get a better sense of how larger companies work.

A couple of other links:

  1. https://proofperfect.com.sg/successful-content-marketing-in-singapore/  – people struggle with no strategy, inability to produce quantity, inability to produce quantity.
  2. http://www.campaignasia.com/article/the-state-of-play-of-content-marketing-in-asia/401572 

Let’s look at the list of content marketing agencies that Google throws up.

Last updated Dec 2016 – I’ve left out anybody who hasn’t updated in over a year.

Click2View – still active, look like fun folk. Apparently have their own craft beer called Click2Brew.

Proof Perfect based in Kampong Bahru. Updated recently. Their Facebook Page is “SingaporeCopywriters” – well played!

Mutant based in Telok Ayer. Updated recently.

King Content – part of a global brand, acquired by Isentia.

Script.com.sg  and Boltmedia.co are both based in Blk 79…

 

TBC / WIP

 

Experiment #1 – 10x Blog Traffic

This blog currently gets between 4 and 25 sessions a week.

marketing-blog-statistics-2016

The most popular post are “Uber’s Six Personas“, followed by “Tobi Keynote at AccelerateOTT“, “Ev Williams – XOXO, About, In Praise of Airbnb’s MarketingNipples, and Death Is The Most Certain Possibility.”

My goal is to increase this to between 40 – 250 sessions per week by the end of January 2017.

To 10x my traffic.

Of course, 10x-ing is easy to do when you’re just starting out.

But let’s just demonstrate that it’s doable.

After all, if it’s easy to do, why haven’t I done it already?

Constraints (or “Challenges”):

  • Limited time. I can only work on this for a couple of days now, and over the
  • weekends.
  • Limited resources. I’m not going to spend any money on Facebook ads or anything of the sort.
  • Lack of established brand. This means I don’t get free attention, but I think this is actually more of a pro than a con for the sake of this experiment.
  • Saturated market. Lots of people blog about marketing. Breaking through is going to require me to cut into a more precise niche.

Non-constraints (or “Opportunities”):

I can publish absolutely anything I like. I can publish stuff about sex, porn, drugs (all of which I find legitimately interesting.)

I can publish a lot of posts at one go. I think this is going to be a quick and easy way to get a lot of traffic at the start. I’m going to publish a bunch of things with keywords that I find interesting.

Question: Should I do some keyword research first, or should I just go with what I’m personally interested in?

Keyword research is probably the smart thing to do, but for the sake of experiment (and laziness) let’s first test the null hypothesis and see what happens when you work on a blog by trusting your intuition.

I’d like to believe that I’ve developed a bit of a good sense over the years, but maybe I’m completely wrong about that. Let’s test it and see.

The first thing I’m going to do is to publish as many “short posts” that I can in the next couple of days, with some gut-instinct choices for keywords and titles. Let’s try and do, say, 100 posts. Of… 100-300 words each? Okay, that might take a little longer than I’d like. Let’s do 50 posts.

I’ll update this post as I think about what to publish, and I’ll measure how long it takes me to publish each post.