What Would Walt Do?

sleeping-inWhat’s not to love about a cartoonist turned businessperson? Especially, one who’s an undisputed marketing genius? No, not me (but thanks for the 2 of you who thought that), but Walt Disney.

Drew McLellan at the suggestion of CK has compiled his excellent series “Marketing Lessons from Walt” into a free PDF ebook. From the intro:


While vacationing with my family at Walt Disney World, I decided that I was going to capture some of the marketing genius that I believe began with Walt’s passion and has now grown into one of the world’s most powerful brands.

I have long believed that Walt Disney’s genius was not animation or theme park design, but in truly understanding the human heart. Somehow, in the midst of ROI, measurability, counting clicks and studies that can track a person’s eye movements to see what part of an ad captures their attention first — we have forgotten that marketing and branding is ultimately about wooing and winning someone’s heart.

I thoroughly enjoyed the series when it appeared on Drew’s blog and highly recommend the ebook version. Drew does an awesome job of capturing the essence of fun and wonder that makes the vision of Disney such a draw.

Marketing Lessons from Walt

Networking is a Conversation, Not a Lecture

herbHave you ever been at a networking event and been cornered by one of “those” types of networkers or salespeople? Mike Sigers (whose birthday happens to be today – happy b-day, Mike!) calls them Herb Tarlek types – what I feel to be a very accurate portrayal.

Herb charges up to you, asks you what you do, barely gives you a chance to answer, then shoves a business card at you and begins his elevator speech (as in boring like elevator music, not short like an elevator ride). You’re no idiot. You can tell he’s not really listening to anything you say.

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Just Because You Love An Idea Doesn’t Mean It Will Sell

hanging-guyNot really the headline you’d expect from a guy whose main focus is motivating and inspiring. Yet this is an important, but often difficult thing every home-based entrepreneur must grapple with.

I’m an idea guy. I’ve got a million of them. Always have, since I was able to formulate an idea – sometime shortly after my conception. The thing is, not all ideas are good. Just because you think it’s the greatest thing since Heelys, doesn’t mean it’s something people will want.

Know Your Market

Let’s start with your niche. Hopefully you have one. Your niche knows itself very well. The goal is to know it even better. Can you anticipate what your market will want? It is possible, but so is accurately predicting the weather, and look how often that happens.

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