Go Go Grandparent

Go Go Grandparent

This is the story of Go Go Grandparent —When Justin Boogaard was living with his grandmother, she noticed how easily he could call for an Uber when he needed to go somewhere. He tried to show her how to use an app on an iPhone but she just couldn’t understand where to press or how to ask for help. So Justin would order cars to come for her. Grandma would call him and he would arrange the transport. And then a lightbulb went off – how many other grandparents could he help? Is there a market for other seniors who need a lower tech way to get a ride and could benefit from how Uber and Lyft work. Justin and a business partner, David Lung created Go Go Grandparents. His user interface was simple. The telephone. You set up an account for grandma or grandpa on a telephone talking to a human being. (Digital savvy grandchildren can go online and sign them up and register a credit card). To get a car, you call a phone number (855) 464 – 6872 and press #1 on the phone a car will show up in 15 minutes. (Go Go arranges the service with Uber or Lyft). You can even show your grandparent a demo so they understand how to order a car on their phone. When you want to come home from the beauty parlor, supermarket or drug store, you call the same number and press 3. (Pick me up from where you dropped me off). GGG serves as a concierge helping the elderly parent or grandparent with the arrangement. They...
Five Habits of Master Marketing Networkers  

Five Habits of Master Marketing Networkers  

Of all the valuable advice, I received in the last thirty years in marketing; the single greatest insight was how important it is to nurture, maintain and build your network. If you aren’t reaching out to people every week that you know on LinkedIn or similar contact collection systems, you are missing a big opportunity. And I’m not talking about networking when you get laid off or leave your job, I’m talking about every single work day. You need to reach out to help others, not to ask for assistance. That’s the big secret.  Networking isn’t about asking someone to help you but offering your help and opening up your network to them.  Helping is a lesson I learned by watching both of my grandfathers when I was a boy. I’d see them always assisting other people and not asking for anything in return. Not surprisingly, I also observed it as a regular behavior by my Mom and Dad too. I can hear my grandfather, Poppa George ask me, “who did you help today?” It is a Game of Give and Take As The Supremes sang in 1966, you can’t hurry love, and it is a game of giving and take. By offering to help others, you build trust, friendship and personal equity. So that one day, if you need a favor, your connection will be happy to help you. Have you read Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook? He succinctly explains this concept. Five Habits of Master Marketing Networkers Help Them First: In reconnecting with someone you have spoken with in a long time, ask them how...
Happy 90th Birthday Mom

Happy 90th Birthday Mom

My mom turns 90 today, May 22, 2017. She was born in Philadelphia in 1927, the same day that Lindbergh landed in Paris. If you have thirty seconds, would you send a Happy Birthday email to wish to her at bea.slater@gmail.com?  Yes, she uses email, has an Instagram account, loves Facebook, texts, and Ubers like a teenage girl? This post ran a few years ago but is worth the reprise. Happy birthday, Mom. I love you. BEING BEA   My ninety-year-old mother Bea has not grown up. It’s actually very sweet. One of her most endearing qualities is that she believes that candy is a form of vitamin and that no meal is complete without dessert. It isn’t as if she suddenly realizes the idea that eating dessert first is a good idea; it’s always been how she rolls…as in cinnamon or jelly rolls. In Mom’s world, she can enjoy a nice dinner, have a candy apple from Halloween for dessert and still have room for a big handful of M&M’s or malted milk balls later in the evening. A coconut cupcake is like a portal to the past. Sweets are Mom’s time machine that takes her back to her childhood.  A sugar high is a place to relive days gone by when she and her older sister Annette would play outside on Catharine Street in West Philadelphia with cousins like Bobby and Morris and friends like Rita and Adele. They all seemed so overdressed for hopscotch in the beautiful sepia toned photographs my grandfather Poppa George took in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Even today in her ninth decade,...
Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Did you know that when I first joined my last employer in 2005, I sat through meeting after meeting jotting down notes under the heading; I didn’t know that. The list kept growing and growing over a few months, and I was surprised to learn that we weren’t sharing some of these key messages to customers or even to colleagues. Did You Know?  The GM of the European division, Richard Teply, shared with me a video called Did You Know from another firm and planted a seed. I said to Richard, maybe we need a version to better tell our story. I told my marketing team, “why not create a DID YOU KNOW video that told our story in a fast-paced and amusing way?” We were able to create and pack important nuggets of information into a five-minute video. A great script was created with a storyboard of ideas to consider to illustrate the points. When it was completed, I would frequently show this video to customers and most of them told us that they didn’t know the majority of the facts we were sharing.  For example, a Nomacorc is 60% air – and very little plastic. The cork is recyclable. These highly engineered technical corks prevented TCA or cork taint. More than 2 billion wines used this style of closure. Nomacorc created a science called Oxygen Management that allowed a winery to manage the flow of oxygen into the wine, just like a sophisticated air filter. The Did You Know format allowed us to tell an engaging story that never felt like a set of bullet points in...
Start Up Advice: Don’t Worry About Scale

Start Up Advice: Don’t Worry About Scale

I feel like a broken record. I’m always advising start-ups not to worry about scale. I remind new entrepreneurs that scale isn’t a BIG issue in the beginning of a new venture. The secret is to find just ten people who will love your product and want to buy it and want to tell their friends. Scale isn’t the issue. By the way, those ten people can’t be people related to you. Then get to 100 and then a thousand. But start slowly and don’t let concerns about how to scale interfere with getting the first wave of passionate customers. Once ten people love your product, strive for one hundred. But start slowly and don’t let concerns about how to scale interfere with getting the first wave of passionate customers. A Snapshot from AirBnB When Joe Gebbia and his friend Brian started AirBnB, things weren’t working out at all. No one seemed interested in renting a room in a stranger’s house even though it was less expensive than hotels. Joe realized that the photography people used were terrible and unprofessional. A person with a spare room to rent would take bad pictures, and the photos did nothing to help entice consumers to rent the space. He needed to fix the problem at hand – and not worry about how it would scale later. So Joe said, what if hired a photographer to take the pictures? His colleagues working with him thought it was a dumb idea because they couldn’t scale this approach. But Joe knew better. He understood that if good photography were the big impediment to success, he would tackle...
Peel an Onion and Know Customer Motivation

Peel an Onion and Know Customer Motivation

How can you get more customers who want to buy from you? It starts with having a deep and thoughtful look at your current base of customers by an outsider. What behavior, actions and attitudes can you understand about them? Do you know the motive behind what they do? Are they framing your business in a way that could help you improve your messaging? Can you see what drives current customers to act – not on a practical and logical basis but at a more deep-seated understanding? If you understand why current customers buy, you can market yourself to new prospects with insights that tap the emotional triggers. Thoughtful and Probing Questions When you work within a business, you are often too close to the business to be objective. You have a preconceived set of notions about why your customers bought from you and how you are perceived. And customers don’t want to offend you so they may hold back from being truthful. People within a business often have a difficult time hearing objectively about their customer’s motivation. Our customer’s buy because they recognize the special features built into our product. Our customer’s buy because they get our value proposition. Our customer’s buy because they see our offering as their best option. An outsider can interview your current clients and give you new insights to help you understand what problem they think you are solving for them and what emotional need you are filling. The critical step is finding the emotional triggers for action and that requires critical listening skills. Thoughtful questions are childlike. They keep asking why. They...