Three weeks ago, I told a teacher of mine that I was working on a thought leadership project. “What makes a thought leader?” he asked.
His challenge led me to search for a common thread. I studied titans like the IBM Institute for Business Value, Think with Google, and the US Federal Reserve. Then, I discovered what they had in common. Each changed a predominant question in their field.
Lowell McAdam, the CEO of Verizon, told analysts, “This is going to be one of those if-you-build-it-they’ll-come moments…” He was explaining at the JP Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference why Verizon plans to keep investing in microcells and attaching them to buildings.
It’s the same reason John Donovan told analysts at the Citi Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference why AT&T was boosting its network capacity. When network speeds get faster, new technologies spring up to consume that speed. According to Donovan, “5G is different because its performance is so much better that it’s going to enable a whole bunch of new-to-the-world use cases, whether it’s live maps, autonomous cars, virtual reality.” We are indeed witnessing an if-you-build-it-they’ll-come moment for telecom.
I was running on a treadmill the first time I heard the song “Closer” by the Chainsmokers. The pre-chorus came through my headphones. Wow! I started to run faster. I wanted to sing along.
So did millions of others. The band has been nominated for three Grammy Awards in 2017. The music video has been watched more than 1.1 billion times – more than Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself which had an 8 month head start and received two Grammy nominations in 2016.
If you’re a marketer paying $0.30 a view to YouTube then wouldn’t it be nice to trade metrics with the Chainsmokers? People are finding the “Closer” video and clicking the play button all by themselves. The band isn’t paying YouTube for these views.
This post is about one technique you can use to stand on the band’s shoulders and increase views of your stories. The technique is adding imagery. The Chainsmokers used 10 pieces of imagery in “Closer” which propelled it to the top of the charts.
The Tipping Point is a business book that sold 2.5 million copies. In it, author Malcolm Gladwell pitches a theory on epidemics called the Tipping Point. This blog post attempts to reverse engineer the process Gladwell took to explain his idea.
Explaining an idea is hard. My favorite articles on the Engel Journal blog are ideas, and readers often ignore them. Reflecting on my work, I asked, “What can Gladwell teach me about selling my ideas?” I found the answer in the opening pages of the Tipping Point.
Here are three steps Gladwell took to lead readers through his theory on epidemics:
According to Quantcast, Yelp is the tenth most popular website on desktop and the second most popular website on mobile in the United States. With so many sites out there, why is Yelp so special?
My theory involves Yelp’s use of identity. Identity is central to the human experience. One of the first things we learn is how to say our names, “I am Eisaiah. I am Susie. I am Peter.”
Yelp’s users call themselves as “Yelpers.” Top users are called “Yelp Elites.” Businesses identify themselves with stickers that say, “People love us on Yelp.” In the video above, there are 41 pieces of my identity attached to my Yelp profile.
Here is how Paul O’Neill introduced himself to a crowd of Wall Street investors when he became the CEO & Chairman of Alcoa in 1987:1
“Today, I want to talk to you about worker safety… I intend to make Alcoa the safest company in America. I intend to go for 0 injuries,” he told the Manhattan ballroom.
– The Power of Habit
The investors were dumbfounded because he did not talk about profitability – only safety. A year later, Alcoa’s profits hit a record high. When O’Neill retired in 2000, Alcoa’s market capitalization had increased by $27B. Someone who invested $1M in Alcoa would have earned $1M in dividends, and the value of the shares would have been $5M when O’Neill left.2
“This gold pixie dust face cleanser is great, but there’s just one problem.”
Skincare promoter at a mall outside of Vegas:
“What is that?”
“I am not a consumer. So, naturally I would not buy this.”
Skincare promoter at a mall outside of Vegas:
Dear Skincare Promoter, if you are reading this, I have had better quotes since then! Besides the emotional intelligence faux pas, the statement “I am not a consumer” is factually wrong. I am a consumer every time I make the simplest purchase like gas or a 1970s bamboo bracelet.
In 2010, I started a company that forever impacted how I approach product marketing. The company sold data, specifically sales prospecting lists for B2B marketing technology companies. Instead of simply delivering CSV files, our data was packaged in a web app that customers could use to interact with the data. The interface was original. Early feedback from customers indicated they were eager to use it. But, the heat was about to rise.