I want to kick off the New Year with some food for thought.
From Good To Great by Jim Collins is one of my favourite business books. In it, Jim and his team identify ‘The Hedgehog Concept” as one of their key concepts for taking an organisation from good to great.
To paraphrase the concept, the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. Each time a fox tries to hunt for prey it tries a different tactic. And often goes hungry. A hedgehog however, does only one thing to hunt. He snuffles along the ground picking up food. And when there is danger – it curls into a little spiky ball.
As Collins says:
“A Hedgehog Concept is not a goal to be the best, a strategy to be the best, an intention to be the best, a plan to be the best. It is an understanding of what you can be the best at. The distinction is absolutely crucial.”
The concept looks a little like this:
I’ve been thinking about our Hedgehog. And here it is:
Basically inbound marketing means that people come to you, instead of you going out to find new clients with traditional, outbound marketing tactics, such as Advertising and Publicity.
Publishing content that your target audiences look for and value is the heart of any inbound marketing strategy. By offering value before people buy from you, you are creating better qualified leads.
In our experience, these kind of prospects need less explaining. Which means less work on proposals. And a much better chance of converting into a client. Inbound marketing is what we are passionate about.
My motto for 2010 remains the same for 2011: start from the people that you know. People who trust and believe in you. Work from the inside out. The clients you have served well are your most valuable asset to build your business from.
By actively working our clients networks, we improve our word of mouth. By the end of 2010 we were being called half a dozen times a week by people who were on the edges of our network – referred to us by our existing clients. We love and nurture our network!
Online: You Are What You Publish. But how do you keep publishing!? It is all in the way you are talking about your company, about your products and services, about your industry. Inform, don’t market at people.
Right now we are helping our clients with their story telling, by creating an editorial plan. This plans tells you what you need to publish about, to whom and towards a specific business objective.
But this is only the start. My business partner Steve Seager will talk about Story much more on his blog (new blog live next week!). Meanwhile, it’s nice to see that according to Mashable ‘Social Storytelling will become a reality in 2011’.
And so I leave you with a big question for what we know we will be a big year … what can you be the best in the world at?
Happy New Year!