Ctrl Alt Delete

Summary Written by Chris Taylor
"In short, when something goes wrong: reboot."

- Ctrl Alt Delete, page 234

The Big Idea

You're not really customer focused

"Customer-focused in 2013 means looking at things as a consumer and not as a businessperson."- Ctrl Alt Delete, page 15

You’re not really customer focused. If you were, you wouldn’t be trying to push the same ads on Facebook as you are on LinkedIn, as you are on Google Ads. If you took a minute to think about it as a customer, you’d realize that you’re in a totally different headspace when you’re on these different platforms.

There’s a subtle, yet powerful shift that happened for me when I read the quote above. How often do we think we’re being “customer-centric” when we try to design products, services or features for the customer’s best interest? Mitch’s shift in thinking on this is to actually start from the consumer’s perspective. To be the consumer. It’s a matter of putting yourself on the same side of the fence as the end user, rather than looking over that fence from the business side and being analytical about what you think they want (or should want).

How do you use Facebook? What kind of ads do you like to see when you’re in a “Facebook headspace”? How does that differ from a “Google-search headspace”?

Like I said, it’s a subtle shift, but a powerful one, and one that breeds authenticity, loyalty and excitement. It’s also a refreshing viewpoint to take.

Insight #1

Be Useful

"We could very well see a day soon when utilitarianism marketing budgets overshadow those of broadcast advertising."- Ctrl Alt Delete, page 46

In Brand New World, Max Lenderman wrote about Charmin creating an iPhone app – called “sit or squat” that helped you find the best public restrooms nearby, using your phones GPS locator. (It’s since been added to the Android platform as well.) Sit or Squat has been a fantastically successful app since its introduction 4 years ago, and no doubt excellent exposure for the toilet paper company.

But you have to imagine what the boardroom conversation looked like when the concept of the app was first suggested:

“Where’s the ROI?” laments the CFO.

“What’s the total reach and number of impressions?” asks the CMO.

New mediums require new ways of thinking about marketing. Utilitarianism marketing (ie. the creation of something actually useful to your client base, provided without a price tag) is a new way of thinking about brand exposure and customer relationship development. What’s the ROI on Charmin’s Sit or Squat campaign? It’s hard to say. But is it any harder to identify than the ROI of a series of bus shelter ads? More importantly, when we think about the campaign from the consumer mindset, which one is more valuable? Which one is more memorable? Which one strengthens the consumer’s loyalty to the brand?

It doesn’t have to be through an app, but we do need to think more holistically about the needs of our customers, and how we can provide them with value. You’d hold the door open for a customer leaving your store, wouldn’t you? What’s your digital equivalent?

Join our newsletter

Sign up for the very best book summaries right to your inbox.
We care about your data in our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Insight #2

Less Content (Yes, Really)

"Instead of looking at your content calendar or barking at someone in your organization to tweet more frequently, take a fifteen-minute siesta and ask yourself this one question: What great stories can we tell? Stop thinking about content as the endgame and consider that the true value is the stories you tell."- Ctrl Alt Delete, page 195

If you’re a business owner, or a marketing professional, this one is for you. With the roar of constant noise generated by a million brands pumping a million ads into every conceivable online channel, there can be an incredible pressure to feel that we need to keep pace or risk becoming irrelevant. Mitch disagrees.

Instead of thinking about how to put out more content, let’s take a pause and consider, instead, how to produce great content. Content that resonates with our customers. Content that tells a story – no, a great story – and is distributed through a channel that makes sense for that story. As we discussed in the The Big Idea, not all channels are created equal; a story that resonates on Facebook is not the same as the one that people connect with on Twitter, LinkedIn or a blog. The content of your great stories needs to resonate, but so does the context. Craft great stories that will be of interest to your customers, determine the appropriate channel to share it with them, and only then click “publish”. In a world drowning in noise, less is more. Stand out from the crowd.

It’s always bittersweet to me when I get to the end of an Actionable Summary and realize I’ve barely scratched the surface of the book I’m summarizing. On one hand, I feel like I’m doing you a disservice, not going into detail on other brilliant concepts from the book; like what it means to have a Digital-first posture, or the true implications of a One-screen world. On the other hand, it’s always a testament to the value one can gain from reading the book itself.

Read the book

Get Ctrl Alt Delete on Amazon.

Mitch Joel

When Google wanted to explain online marketing to the top brands in the world, they brought Mitch Joel to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. Marketing Magazine dubbed him the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing” and called him, “one of North America’s leading digital visionaries.” In 2006 he was named one of the most influential authorities on Blog Marketing in the world. Mitch Joel is President of Twist Image – an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications agency (although he prefers the title, Media Hacker). He has been called a marketing and communications visionary, interactive expert and community leader. He is also a Blogger, Podcaster, passionate entrepreneur and speaker who connects with people worldwide by sharing his marketing insights on digital marketing and personal branding. In 2008, Mitch was named Canada’s Most Influential Male in Social Media, one of the top 100 online marketers in the world, and was awarded the highly prestigious Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 (recognizing individuals who have achieved a significant amount of success but have not yet reached the age of 40). In 2010, Marketing Magazine named Twist Image one of the Top 10 agencies in Canada (and the only digital marketing pure-play to make the list).Joel is the Vice-Chair and Board Member of the Canadian Marketing Association and an executive for the National Advertising Benevolent Society of Quebec. He is also a former Board Member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada. He sits on the content committee for both Shop.org and the Web Analytics Association, and is on the advisory council for many businesses and charitable organizations.Joel speaks frequently to diverse groups like Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Microsoft, Procter and Gamble, Hewlett Packard, Unilever and has shared the stage with former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Anthony Robbins, Tom Peters and Dr. Phil. As a professional speaker, Mitch is represented exclusively by Greater Talent Network in the U.S. and by Speaker’s Spotlight in Canada.He co-launched Distort Entertainment, the only hard music label in Canada to have major label distribution (Universal Music) and whose roster features the platinum-plus, Juno Award and MuchMusic Video Award-winning acts, Alexisonfire and City And Colour.Joel is frequently called upon to be a subject matter expert for Huffington Post, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Marketing Magazine, Profit, Strategy, Money, The Globe & Mail and many other media outlets. His newspaper business column, New Business – Six Pixels of Separation, runs bi-monthly in both The Montreal Gazette and Vancouver Sun. His first book, Six Pixels of Separation (published by Grand Central Publishing – Hachette Book Group), named after his successful Blog and Podcast is a business and marketing best-seller.

Subscribe to digest
Read about our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.