I am a big fan of a Slideshare and I try to sort through the latest business and marketing presentations at least once a week. When I find a great deck I either use Instapaper or Evernote to save it as a resource for future use.
2011 has been a great year for presentations so I wanted to share some of my favorites. With thousands of presentations published in the business category, I am sure I missed a lot of good ones so please add your favorites to the list.
The topic of the panel was being relevant. We started the discussion on how to define relevancy and then continued into how to become relevant when you are just getting started. We then spent some time on maintaining relevancy and how to know when it is starting to slip away.
Here is a quick session recap from our panelists,
We had planned on talking more about career management but time got away from us thanks to great discussions and contributions from the audience. Here are a few points from the panel captured by Lisa Wells on her blog:
Always try to look bigger than you are.
Look at what you do well and amp that up. (Focus on core competencies – choose what you want to be known for).
How do you know you’re not relevant? When you’re too big to take risks. When revenue going down. When you get fired.
To help get the audience engaged in the discussion, we offered a little T-shirt incentive for participation with one of our messages – Don’t Just Be Social, Be Relevant. Finding the right place, the right time, and the right message was a theme that came up several times in the discussions.
If you would like to see more, the panel was broadcast on the LiveStream and you can find the recording here.
I have a few more takeaways from this year’s winter ProductCamp that I will post later in the week. Additionally, you can find more of the presentations that were recorded here and the slide decks on Slideshare.
The one problem I have with the Kindle is that it’s easy to lose track of a book. Without the physical reminder sitting there, waiting for you to finish it, it is just too easy to get distracted by another tasty read.
This has happened to me more than once and this last time with a very excellent book. While working on my Product-Pruning post, I went back to my notes on Youngme Moon’s book, Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd, only to realize that I missed the last chapter. After finishing it off, I went back and reread several of the chapters.
After reflecting on the book for a second time, I realized what I liked about it so much was its balance between product development and traditional brand marketing. Moon uses several case studies (some that she produced as a Harvard Business School Professor) to show how thick competition often drives product augmentation vs. innovation. All the work done by product mangers to differentiate can result in a category filled with products clones that few can tell apart.
Moon offers several techniques that can be used to create products and brands that really are different. From using reverse-positioning to outright hostility, there are ways to be seen in a completely different frame even in crowded, ultra-competitive markets. Even though Moon doesn’t go deep into her case examples, I am a big fan of her mindset argument.
The year isn’t over yet but right now Different is in strong contention to be my book of 2010. I took a lot of notes while reading this book so I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes with you here. Enjoy!
Have you ever waited in a line around the block just to make sure you are first to get the latest shiny new widget?
Have you ever ordered something because there is only 44 left at an amazing price and this offer is not found in stores?
You have ever paid a more for a particular brand when you could have bought a generic?
You might not have realized it at the time but these products were using triggers to turn ordinary messages into something worth paying attention to. Sally Hogshead covers seven of these triggers in her book Fascinate.
As a marketer I enjoyed learning how you can use techniques such building trust or using alarm to increase consumer desirability. I also found it useful to understand how these triggers impact my own buying decisions.
From a product standpoint, there are a lot of good takeaways that you can use when planning. Reducing options while raising prices, allowing customizations, and using unique ingredients are all techniques that can be used to gain attention and make your product fascinating.
The end goal is to move beyond traditional feature improvements such as faster, longer, thinner, stronger, brighter. This gives you an opportunity to enter a new place in the market that is challenging for your competitor to duplicated (and gets people talking).
Sally offers a concrete example of increasing the prestige of a somewhat boring product line,
Say you’re a leading diaper brand. You make perfectly good diapers, ones that absorb without leaks, and have comfy Velcro on the sides. Your product benefits are necessary; however, as badges, they’re not fascinating. These badges plop in the middle of your bell curve, rather than out at the fringe. How might you create fascinating badges? If you created a line of diaper covers with Gwen Stefani’s LAMB fashion label, that would activate prestige (the trigger) and get people talking (the hallmark).
I have captured a few more of my favorite quotes from the book below:
The good news is a lot of the presentations are now on the ProductCamp Austin Slideshare group site and there will be another camp this year in early August.
Yours truly also presented this year on the topic of building your product story from the start of development. I am attaching my slides below but without the audio, it doesn’t tell you much as a stand alone document. My session was recorded so I will post a link once it is online to provide more context.
I had to leave before the last session was over so I didn’t get a chance to thank everyone that voted for me as the Best Presenter. I was a worried at the start of the day that my presentation would not make the agenda so I am extremely honored to have won the award. Many, many thanks!
It was one of those books that you pick-up off the shelf and within minutes know you have to buy. The book was written by Paul Arden, a famous creative director, as an advertising guide but has a lot of sage advice for business and life in general.
I put together a presentation with a few of the quotes that are worth sharing:
Have been meaning to post this one from a while, my presentation from Product Camp Austin on Product Management. The session was a lessons learned discussion covering customer research, innovation, communications, positioning, politics, delivering results, and other good stuff to know. The deck is mostly for talking points but there were notes taken during the session posted on the Product Camp wiki here.