As you might know, I’m a big fan of Facebook. It’s the social media platform I use the most and am the most comfortable with. One of the features Facebook has been quietly developing is their search function. I’m starting to use it more and it’s shown me helpful results. In some cases, it is more useful than Google’s search engine.
There’s a new car washing business that will be opening up soon across the street. In front of the building is a big sign that says $7.62 + GST Car Wash – 4 minutes or less. Except that the “$7” is very very large and the “.62+GST” is very very small. Is this marketing manipulative?
Earlier this week we had Jason clean the ducts in our house. This is the second time we have hired him. The first time Jason helped us he was friendly, polite, and took the time to explain why duct cleaning is important and what his process was. We liked the guy, so we hired him again. He gave us a “loyal customer” discount of $50 off. Many businesses do this. Other businesses offer coupons and discounts for new customers. This begs the question, “Is it better to offer discounts to new customers or loyal customers?”
Charities around the world do amazing work. But they have an inherent disadvantage when compared to businesses. A business has one customer. That customer makes the decision to purchase a product and they also benefit from the product. A charity has two customers. The first customer is the donor that makes the decision to buy the “product” from a charity (I will call them the buying customer). The second customer is the person the charity gives the product to (I will call them the benefiting customer). That is the inherent nature of a charity, that it has two customers.
Yesterday I read an article about 16-year old Natalie Hampton who designed the “Sit With Us” app for people who had the same struggles she experienced. She was inspired to create the app after sitting alone at lunch for her entire 7th grade year. Eating alone was lonely and made her an easy target for bullying. A few years after that experience Natalie created a product for the younger version of herself. Many successful entrepreneurs started their business by creating a product that they wanted to use.
Last month I read the book Deep Work by Cal Newport, which inspired me to do focused writing for a week. This resulted in me being able to finish the first draft of a book in 5 days. The results of my “deep work” surprised me. Today I’ll write about the main points in the book and what my experiment with deep work looked like.
Yesterday evening I came across the story of Estella Pyfrom and was deeply inspired. Estella is 80-years old and is boldly and courageously living out her calling into her retirement. 8 years ago she took part of her retirement money to start a new venture called Estella’s Brilliant Bus. She bought a bus, filled it with computers, and drove it to poor neighbourhoods to train underprivileged children to use technology.
A short summer sabbatical has been in the works ever since my wife and I took a month off 5 years ago (when we were 30 years old). The experience was very valuable and formative for both of us, so we decided to do it again. This summer we are each taking a month off to rest. My wife just finished her 4 weeks off (she writes about her experience of taking a Sabbatical as a mother of two young children on our personal blog), and I’ve just started mine.
One activity that is restful for me is reading. My 4 weeks off will be filled with extra sleep (read: naps), reflection, writing, and lots of reading (oh, and I also plan to play some Pokemon Go).
If you haven’t heard, the game Pokémon GO is taking the world by storm. It was released in Canada on Sunday, so I downloaded it and played it all week. I’m writing this blog post to report my findings with you. My wife made fun of me all week because I would make excuses to take walks just to hunt for Pokémon. But I told her this is serious work, I’m doing market research. Coracle Marketing is a cutting edge company and we need to stay on top of all the latest trends.
On Tuesday I decided to take my wife on an impromptu lunch date. We headed to downtown Vancouver and were thinking of a place to eat. She had heard me tell her about the amazing sandwiches at Meat + Bread and wanted to try it out for herself. As we enjoyed our fresh roast meat sandwiches, we found ourselves analyzing why their marketing works so well. Their key? They’ve limited their menu items and perfected them. Then they let their product do their marketing.