Audience II

Will They Eat It?

A friend told the story about a prominent company that spent millions of dollars on a pest control product….only to find out that once it was on the market….the little rascals wouldn’t eat it….and subsequently no pest control.

This story and the Audience post (08.24.10) make it clear that any business/organization needs to know its customers (audience).

Apple (iMac) ….SAS (analytical software)….LL Bean know their audience.

If an enterprise doesn’t know what its audience likes….no what matter what they feed it….they won’t eat it.

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Eagle CNC

Manufacturing

Muskegon, MI was (and still is) a manufacturing town….though it continues to face economic challenges. In 1985, after almost seven years….our business property was sold….the early 80’s were also a challenge!

Eagle CNC (computed numerically control) machinery….is now in the building we built in 1973.

The walls….ceiling are the same….now the building holds CNC machines that make stuff.

The Eagle group is a solid manufacturing business and we need companies like this.

I am very glad that after 25 years our building is being put to good use.

http://www.eaglegroupmanufacturers.com/

http://www.eaglecnctechnologies.com/

Friend

Dan Bohan (1940-2010)

A UPS Express Envelope arrived at our door yesterday. I glanced at the sender address….it was from Omega World Travel, Fairfax, VA….inside memorial announcements of Dan passing away on Aug.5.

Dan and I were apartment mates in San Bernardino, CA. Dan was also best man at our wedding. Both of us were young Lts. in the Mobile Mid-Range Ballistic Missile (MMRBM) Systems Project Office (SPO) at Norton AFB.

Though I had spent a summer in the missile division of The Boeing Co….my assignement to Ballistic Systems Division (BSD) at Norton AFB was my first “real world experience”.

Dan was the original “energizer bunny”….I was slowly learning to find my way. Dan created his own domain….probably being the only one in Air Force Systems Command to understand the DD Form 1423 (Contractor Data Requirements List). Dan left BSD for an assignment at Andrews AFB….I left to attend grad school. We did keep in touch for a few years….yet like many early connections….we lost contact.

About two years ago….we….in effect his wife, Gloria reconnected. Dan had suffered a major medical setback several years prior. Dan and Gloria had founded Omega World Travel and developed a very large travel business….and became well-respected in the travel industry.

I did not have an opportunity to speak with Dan….however I am very glad to have reestablished contact with Gloria. Our Air Force time together was a memorable time….it set the stage for both of our careers….our time at BSD made a significant and real impact on what we did from thereon.

I am thoroughly grateful for knowing Dan and for Dan being our “best man”.

Omega World Travel: http://owt.net/

 

Audience

My mission is to figure out who the audience is, and take them where they want and need to go, in whatever format works, even if it’s not a traditionally published book. – Seth Godin

Seth is spot-on with understanding an enterprises audience. Often businesses/organizations neglect this vital building block.

While a product/service may seem to be the greatest ever….if there is no audience….the business has no reason to exist.

Knowing the audience is a first step in developing a business/marketing strategy. In our family business we were not high-end (though I tried that-without success) nor low-end. Our market (audience) was straight down the middle of the road….and we needed to listen consistently to what they were telling us.

Communicate

8 Words

I’ve listened to hundreds of presentations….90 % of them dull and boring….failing to communicate a sustainable idea or concept.

Most were too long and with poor presentation skills. Several years ago, I was involved in Toastmasters and greatly improved my speaking skills….though it’s very easy to slip backwards….if one doesn’t practice.

One helpful idea that has stuck….is describe what you do….what yor business/organizations purpose is in eight (8) words or less.

A recent presentation left me wondering – why is not public speaking a professional requirement? Rather than being (getting) better….this particular organization seems to have lost momentum because of less than excellent communication/presentation of its purpose.

Food Evolution

Restaurants on the Move

Food trucks in one form or another have been around for some time. From street cart vendors to canteen trucks at construction sites.

On the west coast….Califorina….the food truck concept has evolved even further….into mobile restaurants.

The Grilled Cheese Truck serves an array of grilled cheese sandwiches from the basic to the gourmet.

What makes these new food concepts really interesting is that most of them rely on the internet and social media to execute their marketing strategy.

In Los Angeles….there is a web site that tracks the LA food trucks twitter sites….as the trucks move around….their customers can follow them.

For any great business/organization….it’s the sucess foundation:

Get Better….Be Different….Excellent Product….Superior Service

www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com

www.findlafoodtrucks.com/ 

Command

Leadership Failure

Several months ago, I wrote about a navy captain who was relieved from her ship command.

The latest navy relief from command took place on the USS Peleliu (08.15.10).

This is the 12th skipper and 7th ship captain to be relieved so far in 2010.

The Peleliu is a major assault ship in the navy….at 820′ in length and a complement of 1068 officers and enlisted.

A navy ship captain has to be very good not only in naval skills….but in ethics and morals. Capt. David Schnell of the Peleliu was relieved because of improper relations with the crew. What was he thinking (or probably not thinking)….after close to 20 years service and a Captain (O-6)?

The navy of course is not the only service to have these issues. As a young Air Force officer….first assignment….my new boss and I traveled to Culver City to fire my first boss (of three weeks) for being too cozy with our primary contractor, Hughes Aircraft.

Of course navy captains (or air force Lt. Cols.) are only human….yet, if an officer takes command of a ship….a battalian….or manages a $180M defense contract….it would be essential that they have superior ethics and morals….or they do get relieved quickly.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/aug/15/navy-commander-charge-peleliu-fired/

http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lha5/Pages/ourship.aspx