TD12 – Memo to CEOs

While writing this tutorial on memes I read The Cluetrain Manifesto. It prompted me write this ‘memo to CEOs’. The purpose of this memo is to take some thinking time to reflect on the following thoughts:

–  Darwinian marketing is a battle of memes, not a battle of products.

–  Owning a meme in the customer’s mind, over a longer period of time, is the #1 goal of darwinian marketing.
–  Its better to be first in the mind than first in the mass media. It’s better for a meme to be a WOM than an advertisement.

–  A market is a memepool. A market is a meme exchange among human beings, receiving and transmitting their memes by WOM.
–  The internet is a wired memepool. Your company intranet is a wired memepool.
–  Wired memepools are faster and therefore smarter than traditional markets.
–  The balance of memes in the wired memepool is often the opposite of what appears in the mass media.

–  No union can organise workers the way the memepool of a company’s intranet allows workers to organise themselves.
–  There are two memepools. One inside the company via the intranet. One with the market via the internet. These two memepools eventually spill into each other. Workers talk to customers in their own way.

–  Via the internet and intranet customers and employees are using WOM to exchange memes in a powerful new way.
–  WOM is swapping jokes, opinions, gossip and arguments by human voice. WOM is compelling to other humans in a way which is not possible from vendors in the mass media. –  The memepool has all the memes of all the companies and whether the news is good or bad, they can infect anyone.
–  Companies who contribute poorly to the memepool find their markets are often ridiculing their memes.
–  Vendors who offer better memes will survive better in smart markets.

–  The wired memepool, even at its worst, is more compelling than most business meetings or trade shows and certainly more intimate than corporate advertising campaigns.

–  To oldsell corporations, the wired memepool may appear chaotic but it is organising much faster than they are with much better tools and more new ideas.

– In darwinian marketing, your reputation as an attractive meme-fountain is everything. It’s your survival advantage in the memepool. Protect it all costs.
– Avoid infection from cheerless and narrow-minded meme-fountains.

–  In darwinian marketing, attractive bait memes that bring people to you are useful and memes that gain attention are very powerful memes.
– Memes that show generosity are attractive to people and will keep them near to you.

–  Memes that appeal to the patience or forbearance of humans do not survive as well as memes that appeal to people’s self-interest, to their fantasies.


If you could tell your CEO one thing, what would it be?

168 thoughts on “TD12 – Memo to CEOs

  1. that our people are our most important a sense this is our meme,our culture of sales and support is what sets us ocean vs red ocean.

  2. WOM also applies to sponsorship of teams, those teams which have sponsorship will always support and share their sponsors name in a good way. The other teams and supporters of the chosen sport will also support those companies that support their sport. I have tried for 5 years now for sponsorship from my company now and I know that within this sport the other teams and spectators are VERY loyal to those that support the sport and the competitors. Being a national sport and a national company the catchment is extremely large and the image we hold for or sponsors is of utmost importance.

  3. You cant go out and buy new players – bring the right people through and give them strategic plans to increase their thinking and give the company gains.

  4. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to complete these courses. It most certainly helps with continuously looking for ways to improve.
    In a lot of cases the hardest part for people is having the time to think/train/trial them in the business being that we are always busy being busy. I understand that staff numbers need to be lean to ensure a return on payroll but this can also limit the amount of creative thinking and implementation because there is a lot of “Peel the Orange” going on.

  5. Invest in training and make it a KPI that all staff are trained yearly on a whole range of things. Don’t just say the company provides training, we all know it does but only trains us in our current systems. Make that KPI just as important as a sales KPI. Keep your staff learning and thinking and this will create new ideas on how to do business better, service customers better, cut costs, grow sales, grow margin etc. Keep them interested in the learning and they will keep interested in the business.

  6. Give your employees a chance to speak to someone external about ideas or issues – sometimes people can be caught in a situation where they feel like they have no voice (not saying this about myself)

  7. We operate within different market segments, a “one size fits all” approach may not be the best one to take as it generalises your specialty businesses, which is a contradiction in terms. If you can change your approach so that your specialty businesses can flourish the way that your core business does, you might find some quick growth.

  8. Be sure to be in the wired memepool at all times, concentrate on positive, generous memes and ofcourse never forget the power of WOM.

  9. Continue to challenge the cvs and investigate the BVS with a team that is prepared to see through the journey.

  10. Remember the back bones that hold everything together and their contribution in holding up the business.

  11. “Darwinian marketing is a battle of memes, not a battle of products”. A product contributes to the meme, yes, but there are many more aspects to the battle. Are the employees, marketing, sales collateral all aligned to the product you are selling and does this all contribute towards a memorable and powerful meme that will survive the next generate? If not, we have work to do. If you find yourself putting your efforts into multiple memes, then lets find the most memorable and powerful one and align all resources towards that.

  12. Think.

    Think about your and the company’s values.
    Think about your market.
    Think about your employees and leaders.
    Think about growth.
    Think about processes.

    Then act.

    Develop a strategy, find the right leaders and let them run it.

    Spend your days sharing that strategy with everyone in the company. Talk to 5 new employees daily to help them understand and identify how they influence the strategy.

    Then adapt and think so more.

  13. The way that we are looking at money as a scarce resource must be retired. There is really no such thing as a shortage of cash. There are plenty of people with lots of money. These folks want to see their money growing and their investments increasing in value. When we can explicate the profits that can be gained by partnering with us and investing with our company they will be more than happy to spend their money with us.

  14. Focus more on the overall growth of the business and relinquish many of the administration tasks to others – create new role to accomplish this if necessary.

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