A Personal Letter To Zach Sobiech

Dear Zach

We never met, but we feel like we know you. You are a leader.

You’ve inspired us to look at the brighter side of things.

You’ve taught us that life is not about wins or losses, or success or failures, but it is more about appreciating the gift of life.

Godspeed, Zach, tell us how the view looks from the clouds above.

-M.A.

In 2009, at aged 14, Zach was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Several operations and bouts of chemotherapy followed, but in May 2012 his doctors told him that the cancer had spread and that he only had a few months to live.

In the fall of 2012, Zach Sobiech amazed those around him with his love of life and music. His song, “Clouds” – which he posted on YouTube – exploded and went viral.

On Monday, May 20, 2013 at the age of 18, Zach’s body body was too frail to continue and he passed away.

Zach and his family inspired all of us as they confronted his diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

The 7 Layered Cake of Marketing

“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”
Milan Kundera

If you own a business, manage a business, or want to start a business, you need to know marketing.

Good marketers study their products or service and understand marketing.

Great marketers study their clients, adapt and refine their product or service so it fits well with the client.

The great marketers also utilize all 7 marketing mediums.

If you can use all 7 mediums, I promise you will see an increase in traffic, conversions and sales.

Let’s start briefly discussing the various mediums and how you can begin to use one to feed off another.

The 7 different marketing mediums are as follows:

1. Internet

2. Television

3. Radio

4. Trade Shows or Seminars

5. Direct Mail

6. Sales People or (telemarketing)

7. Print /and or Brochures and Promo Pieces

So, the key is to use all 7 to feed off one another.

For example, a targeted, tracked and tested online advertising may have a “call to action” for the client to call inbound to a call center where #1 would leverage #6.

Another example which is common is to have the client go to a website following a radio or television commercial.

These strategies work. And the more you can use the strategies the better off you’ll be.

Here is a quick example of using 5 marketing weapons.

The Call to action is for the client to call inbound to a call center after they’ve heard a radio commercial.

Once the operator answers (inbound calls are so much easier than outbound calls) the operator can ask the client if they would like a free brochure and quickly tell them the benefit of this brochure and instant coupon.

Now, the company has the client’s name and address, the company can include #7 and have a printed call to action for the client to logon to the company website to learn even more information.

After a few days, the company can thank the company and start with a direct mail campaign and invite the client to a free trade show or seminar.

Its very powerful.

The problem is most companies focus on one or maybe two of these strategies and become complacent (me included)  Get creative, track and test your efforts.

Business is not a Sprint: It is a marathon

My wife, Elisabeth completed her second marathon in San Diego in 2007.

As I watched the thousands of people cross the finish line, I had a couple of observations. See if my business metaphors might  resonate with your own business or service.

Committing to run a marathon is the easy part. Preparing and training is sometimes difficult, tedious and outright annoying.

In the end, though I watched many smiling faces cross the finish line.  Sometimes success is the best medicine for pain.   Business Lesson:   Plan, Plan, Plan for your business. Track and Test your results and push through the tedious, annoying details.  Planning can take time and attention to details can be annoying. In the end,  though, push through and execute and  you’ll enjoy the success you have planned.

Consistency wins (Period).   Business Lesson: Any business, service or relationship takes consistent work. (sometimes referred to as positive habits) Every runner finished the race only one way….one foot after another.

Marathons can be painful, tiring and exhaustive, but my wife admitted the second one was easier than the first.  Business Lesson: Business growing pains can be also be arduous, but its much easier the second, third, fourth etc. time around.

I watched guys and girls dress as Elvis, Catholic Nuns, boxers and other  silly “characters”. Despite the challenging conditions, these  “characters”  were smiling more than the others and demanded louder cheers from the crowd.  Business Lesson: Don’t take yourself or your business so seriously. Have fun with it.

The month before the marathon, my wife, shared that her goal  for the marathon was to  “finish.” Reminding her that she and I already “finished” our first marathon many years ago, it was time to crank up her goals and reach even higher. She set a clear goal and beat that goal by five minutes and just missed qualifying for the prestigious Boston Marathon by a few minutes.  Business Lesson: Set Clear Goals and believe in Yourself. When you set goals, you will be supported and mountains will move to support you and your goal. Set clear goals and visualize achieving them. You may be shocked by how much you and your business are truly capable of.

Runners come in many shapes and sizes. I watched many runners cross the finish line in all shapes and sizes, but in the end they all finished in the same spot.  Business Lesson: Your business can come in many different shapes, sizes and flavors. In the end, it doesn’t really look like. You can have a business with 50,000 employees or a business with one member. In the end, all that is left is the result. The result in how you finished and the relative position you have with other companies.

I watched hundreds of people slow down and walk at mile 26 only .2 miles from the finish line. The crowd around them screamed and literally pushed them with momentum and energy. Business Lesson: Momentum is powerful and can be a great force multiplier. Use it and channel it to drive you to the finish