‘Everyone’ is not your customer

By Francis Moran

I love working with young technology companies, and that’s part of the reason I volunteer as a mentor at startup accelerators like Montreal’s Founder Fuel. I was there yesterday, putting on a session I do for each cohort that teaches these budding entrepreneurs a framework for the strategic planning of their marketing function.

I was reminded yesterday of a conversation I had with a Founder Fuel CEO a couple of cohorts ago. It was just a few days before Demo Day, that high-pressure moment when each cohort company presents its investment proposition to a room full of angel and VC investors. I had been working with the CEO on his messaging for his investor deck, and the revised deck he was reviewing with me and another mentor reflected some of that work.

Then the other mentor said, “You know, this is too high level. Half the people in the room aren’t going to understand what you’re talking about.”

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Why shouldn’t it be made in Canada?

By Leo Valiquette

Last week I had the honour of being involved with Canada 3.0, a digital technology conference put on by the Canadian Digital Media Network. Over two days, the conference explored the many ways that digital technology is transforming our lives and how we are progressing toward the CDMN’s “moonshot goal:” That anyone can do anything on line by 2017.

In addition to a variety of breakout sessions, there were some incredible keynotes about the profound transformations gripping the media and content-distribution industries and how the need for individual self-expression through social media is redefining traditional marketing and advertising.

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Great articles roundup: Viral marketing, engaging community, a Canadian in the Valley, Space Oddity

By Hailley Griffis

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are Convince&Convert, VentureBurn, Kim Garst, TechVibes and Commander Chris Hadfield.

Contagion, social media, and why things catch on

Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School, discusses setting realistic goals with a viral marketing campaign and the science behind it.

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Design by committee is just plain wrong

By Francis Moran

The aphorism that a camel is a horse designed by committee is usually attributed to Greek-born British car designer Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis, who was responsible for British Motor Corporation’s popular Mini. I never quite understood why Sir Alex would disparage a camel’s design — the animal, while unusual in shape and function, seems perfectly designed to be the ship of the Sahara that it eventually became. I take no issue whatsoever, though, with his sentiment that it is a very bad idea to ask a bunch of people to try to work together to design anything.

And yet, it is still too common an activity.

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The business of evolution: We’re not as clever as we think we are

By Bob Bailly

When I was first asked to contribute to this blog, my stated interest was writing a piece that “is really all about you and how evolution has contrived you to be who you are, acting and feeling the way you do. It’s also about how to improve your business performance.”

Since then, I’ve tried to explore how evolutionary sciences can be used for predictive modeling for our business stragegies.

I’m more convinced than ever that if you are looking to build better brands, increase your marketing effectiveness, shorten sales cycle times, improve communication at all levels of the organization, and foster loyalty with customers, stakeholders and employees, you can benefit by understanding how we came to be the kind of animal that we are.

The first thing to remember is we’re not as clever as we think we are.

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