Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Market awarness & Assumptions

A couple of days ago someone emailed me if a certain website was a good platform to advertise on.

I called him back and asked: "Don't they accept your article?" "Well yes. But I want to write good articles, do you know how much time this takes?" 5-10 minutes later he concluded: "I have to think about it, it for sure is an interesting way to look at it."

In 1996 I learned about TOC (Theory of Constraints). Being a student I had limited funds to take the expensive courses. With some creativity and special discounts I learned among many things something called the Cloud

The Cloud is an interesting thing. The Cloud is capable to capture in a very natural way pretty complicated and even complex issues. Not only does the Cloud capture it very condensed, but also in a very easy to communicate way. Right now I'm not going to show you how a Cloud can be created, I'll show you what it looks like and how it can be used.

Interesting thing is, because I have done so many Clouds on so many topics, it braintrains to look at dilemmas in a different way. Most of the times I don't draw the full cloud anymore. I do check quickly some assumptions, I'm too well aware of the ASS U ME, and if they turn out okay and I get a good 'resonance' then most likely it is good enough. If not, then quite often I do construct the full Cloud. It remains a very powerful and often very useful tool.

So back to what happend. When I got this email, I could have written the cloud with this person and verify it. Or I could have speculated and then verify it. In any case, the question started with: "Is it good ..." This suggest a dilemma: advertize vs not advertize on this website ...I took it like websites.

So why would one want to advertise? The need for this is to create more market awarness, to generate traphic to you(r website). If you have the money to spend, do it. If you have to make choices, then you have a dilemma. If you have a dilemma, then pretty sure you have the need to make best use of your limited funds.
And if you the objective to grow a sustainable business, then creating market awarness AND making best use of limited funds is a necessity. And there you have it, this is the Cloud and it looks like the one below.

In a very condenced way the whole dilemma is depicted and can be easily verified. Always smart to do, remember the ASS U ME. Plausible doesn't mean it is correct.

So in what situation can you have this dilemma to advertise and not to advertise? It could be that websites can create very good market awarness and traphic for you. It could be because the only way those websites want to work with you is through advertisments ...and you can list even more ASSUMPTIONS ...remember to check them and challenge them.

I know that the particular website he was interested in is, or at least was, more than willing to accept articles (published a few myself). This person knew this, so that is why he asked. If this website accepts your article, then they do it free of charge. Hence, no dilemma. That was the reason to ask if they didn't want to accept his article(s)? Well, his response was: "Do you know how much time it takes?". Here we have another dilemma: write vs not write articles.

Interestingly, the make up of this Cloud looks pretty much the same as the one above. When raising the assumptions involved in publishing articles, it came pretty apparent that an interesting assumption to challenge was: every publication must be unique.

Every website, or any content publisher, is a unique distribution channel. There might be an overlap in readers, but for sure not a significant overlap. In other words, if you have a portfolio of articles (and he has), then you can republish those articles easily.

The worst would be that a reader sees the same article in different media. Well is this a bad thing or is this a good thing? Now this person also wrote a nice book. It doesn't take much effort to extract nice parts of it and make a reference from that article to the book ...

In hindsight it for sure feels like common sense. But it is in hindsight and the Cloud is a very useful tool to verbalize and test a lot of our assumptions. Sometimes only to proof we were right, sometimes not that we were wrong but that we can think and act in a different way. Sufficiently different to do things we otherwise couldn't do.

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