Group Think

 

Force Multiplier

Definition: (DOD) A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.

The definition above comes from the Department of Defense and we are taking the liberty of using it in a business setting. This week’s AH-ha! moment suggests that every brand needs a Force Multiplier if it wants to see growth. The challenge is finding the right force multipliers (note the plural) to apply to your business.

While these shots of marketing adrenalin always put marketing at the top of the pyramid of business management, other may disagree, especially if they are not in marketing. Grudgingly, we have to agree. The marketplace continues to change, and the change is constant. There is no end to the change messengers affecting the marketplace. There is no such thing as being safe in doing business in the Age of NOW! Every brand is at risk. Last week, Vemma was shut down by the FTC for not having enough customers and too many distributors. At the same time another MLM is building a Customer Centric Strategy so that their distributors percentage is around 5% of their customers!  This suggests the imperative for identifying the force multipliers that can drive your brands’ growth need to be identified and cultivated.

While traveling last week, we paid particular attention to what was important to the clients we visited. It’s one thing to draw out their key points of pain. The concept of “points of pain” may be stale and overdone. What management should do is focus on what can be done to positively improve the business. Most think creating a new focus for the business is a good thing. We believe the benefit of “Force Multiplier” has a direct relationship to the “hook” or the addictive nature of the offer.

In the definition above, the focus is on adding a capability. Our focus is on adding processes because we want the sum of the marketing parts to cohesively come together and be larger than the whole marketing effort. In most other disciplines in an organization, the force multipliers are more operational to improve store operations or manufacturing productivity.

THE MARKETING IMPLICATIONS

Force multipliers in marketing begin with strategy and process. Modern marketers must create new strategies because we all know the marketing landscape has evolved and changed dramatically, equally impacting both retailers and brands. Linear thinking is doing business in the Age of Yesterday. Force multipliers explode the myth of linear thinking to give marketing teams the opportunity to keep up with the pace of change.

Setting a crisp strategy is not an easy task because even though there is a wealth of data available to the marketing teams, the challenge is defining the right strategy. In a business review last week with one of our clients, we noted that customer counts for February had tumbled, and while sales did not fall as drastically, customer count declines are a potential harbinger of things to come. Getting the strategy right begins with getting the data right and then determining a course of action. In this case, there are two schools of thought as outlined in an Elcom white paper. How do we best use consumer data? According to Elcom, “Some experts claim the financial return of selling more to existing customers outweighs time and effort chasing new business. Others advise companies to forget retention efforts and focus on the ‘here and now’ – seeking consumers that want your product of information today.”

This suggests that there are multiple strategies that can direct force multipliers. We offer the following suggestions for identifying the optimum force multipliers to use – with the caveat that as conditions change so must the marketing strategy that is instilled in the current force multiplier.

Understand how data-driven marketing impacts your business. Your data strategy must withstand anticipated changes to the data landscape tomorrow. That means using the right data that is integrated and standardized across all touch points.

Think content marketing but think beyond content. Ginger Conlon, editor-in-Chief of DM News, says we have to be contextually relevant. “One form of ‘personalization’ growing in popularity is context: What is the customer doing, why, when, where, and on what device? Targeting communications based on some or all of that criteria can be incredibly effective.”

Let go of the old force multipliers that may have been effective THEN. This is the Age of NOW!

Every Business Needs Force Multipliers To Survive

 

The military has long recognized that machine guns are force multipliers for rifles, but businesses have been slow to capitalize on this concept. Sometimes all the planning in the world isn’t enough for business survival, when things change as fast as they do today. Every business, especially startups, needs all guns blazing quickly on every opportunity or insight into the market.

This point was highlighted well in a book I just read, Disrupting Digital Business, by R “Ray” Wang, CEO and Principal Analyst of Silicon Valley-based Constellation Research. I recommend that every entrepreneur and small business investigate and implement as many as possible of his seven new business force multipliers that I will paraphrase here:

  1. Information sharing through social media networks. The speed, interactivity, and sharing we can do today through the social media networks of Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and many others is a major force multiplier. Communications that traditionally could only be broadcast to all can now be done on a customized person-to-person level, interactively.
  2. Soliciting user-generated online feedback and reviews. User generated content that is immediately available to other users is another positive force multiplier. Of course, it can also be a negative force multiplier, if you are not paying attention as an entrepreneur, or choose to challenge your customer’s view of reality.
  3. Crowdsourcing for funding and ideas. Crowdsourcing allows entrepreneurs to bypass the experts and professional investors, to get quick validation and help for efforts that meet the needs of today’s audience. New ways are being developed every day to reward and influence people who participate in crowdsourcing, for a very low cost.
  4. Flash mob activities created for immediate impact. These can be utilized as force multipliers by creating “pop-up” stores or events at a moment’s notice in the middle of an opportunity to get interest, attention, and sales. Apple did it with a pop-up store in Austin to sell the new iPad to 20,000 technologists near the South-by-Southwest music festival.
  5. Nurture dedicated customer advocates and fans. Consider advocates to be a step up from customer engagement. Advocates talk about you and become influencers to the many who are undecided. These dedicated fans and partners believe so much in your brand, your cause, and your product, that they do all the force multiplying work for free.
  6. Improve situation awareness for real-time decisions. This means that your network has connectivity to the right people and groups to hear the right information at the right time and place to make speedy and informed decisions. It’s a force multiplier by allowing your business to react and jump into something important before everyone else does.
  7. Do predictive hot-spotting to anticipate near-term changes. Effective prediction of the future is the ultimate force multiplier. It’s already in use by law enforcement to predict security hotspots, health-care to predict needs, but most businesses are far behind in the use of analytics and big data. It’s time to exploit your network for trends and direction.

If you want to grow your startup, and you are only reaching one customer at a time, one market or one partnership at a time, you’re not going to grow fast enough to be competitive, especially against the larger players that have a full infrastructure in the marketplace. These force multipliers allow you to scale up rapidly, and reach opportunities you could not support any other way.

But force multipliers used without focus are not enough to make a company great. Top entrepreneurs still have to decide what activities and tools are the most important for their domain and their environment. We all have limited resources and time, and need the right force multipliers to leverage every single element of both.

Of course, the concept of force multiplication goes far beyond your startup networks. Simple force multipliers, like product cost reductions and powerful new software tools, have been around for a long time. Every team member needs to constantly seek forces that can multiply their impact and productivity. What new force multipliers are you using in your startup today?

We have an answer for that! One word:

 

We Didn’t Make WordPress

We Didn’t Make WordPress.
But we are making WordPress better! Let me explain:

WordPress has established itself as the 400lb undisputed CMS (Content Management System) Champion. WordPress is taking over the Internet! And MarketHive has retooled to support and make WordPress even better. Over 75 million sites now depend on WordPress. In the realm of self-hosted sites, WordPress accounts for over 19% of all websites. What is even more amazing is that over 70% of sites worldwide do not use a CMS.
22% of new US registered domains run on WordPress. Out of every 100 domains in the US, 22 of them will be run on WordPress. Considering that an average of 120,000 domains are registered worldwide per day, it’s safe to say that WordPress is growing by leaps and bounds. That “18.9% of all websites” figure is exponentially increasing.
WordPress receives more unique visitors than Amazon! WordPress records an astonishing 126M unique visitors per month, while Amazon falls quite a ways behind, clocking in at 96M unique visitors per month.
6 New WordPress posts every second! That’s right. Every second, close to 6 new posts are published on WordPress blogs. That averages out to 34.2 posts per minute. Just about 20,000 per day. And a grand total of 7.5 million annually.
Not only is WordPress.org the world’s most popular self-hosted CMS solution, but the free version is also second in popularity on the list of free blogging platforms, with Google’s own Blogger.com topping it.
 29,000 WordPress plugins and growing daily. Without doubt, the number one feature that sets WordPress apart from any other CMS is their plugins. Plugins extend and capitalize on the functionality of WordPress, removing access to them would cripple WordPress users (and that’s one of the reasons why WordPress falls second to Blogger).
Fortunately, nothing of the sort is happening. On the contrary, WordPress.org’s database of plugins has recently hit 29k and a new one is added nearly every hour. In total, these plugins have been downloaded 286,000,000+ times. Give it a few more years and you’ll be hearing “there’s a plug in for that”.
WordPress is most popular with business websites. Of the top one million sites, the number of business sites (most popular with WordPress) powered by WordPress is five times the number of WordPress-managed news sites (least popular with WordPress).
This statistic is not all that surprising, as online marketing circles will often discuss WordPress more than any other CMS out there. WordPress also ranks high as one of the most blogged topics in the online marketing niche and nearly all its keywords have very high PPC competition.
So the Point is clear:
Do we build a competitive option to WordPress? Or do we move forward with our abilities and our Blog platform to support and make WordPress better? Stupid question! The force multiplier ability of MarketHive’s platform, the technology we already have, our very mission in fact, begs us to support and empower WordPress!
If you have yet to explore or utilize the tools we already have in our blogging platform, do it today. It is becoming a virtual gold mine for those entrepreneurs that have discovered how MarketHive can make your WordPress or many WordPress sites, effective, powerful SEO machines, including an exponential increase in Social Network sharing as well as massive legitimate engagement in the comments systems.
 If you have a WordPress site, join us. If you have already joined us, explore our Blog platform, build your teams, down load the plugins and watch your WordPress campaigns explode!
Now that is what Harvard business school calls a Force Multiplier!
MarketHive did not make WordPress but we make WordPress better!

 

How Often Should I Blog

I have always advocated blogging on a daily basis and this has been at the core of my daily routine, for many years, until I started to review my life and goals over the past year. Yes a blog needs to be regularly up dated, both for SEO purposes and for your readers and followers. How often you post is also connected to the amount of content you write. One of my earlier posts discussed the ideal size of a blog post relating to you target audience. Now a 1,000 word blog can take sometime to research to piece together, so it may be more practical to consider reducing daily posting to weekly posting.

Blogs are a very popular media every Company and millions of people are blogging on a regular basis. Whatever your interests there are steady streams of information which you can divert to your in box or blog reader, much of which you will never get around to reading, so you also need to think about your target audience. If you bombard people on a daily basis with a run of the mill post, you will in time turn your readers off. Daily posting for SEO is one thing, but human readers are looking for more interesting content, that is relevant to them and what they do or are interested in.

A recent Article on Hub spot How Often Should Companies Blog? [New Benchmark Data] concluded that:=

Companies that make a commitment to regularly publish quality content to their blogs tend to reap the biggest rewards in terms of website traffic and leads — and those results continue to pay out over time.

The most important factor is to develop a schedule that works for you and is suitable for what you are writing about and your own personal circumstances. Once you have set up a schedule you need to ensure you stick to it, that way your audience will expect it. I am in the process of reviewing how I work and starting to plan a new schedule as I get back into working my business including changing from daily blogging to weekly blogging.

Having decided on weekly blogging there is then the choice on which day you will publish your blog. I will avoid Mondays and Fridays as not only are they the start and end of working weeks but also often Public Holidays, together with Weekends. Wednesday is midweek so seems to be a prime candidate, allowing two days in the week to prepare your content, so perhaps this is a good day although publishing on Thursday would give a further day of preparation, but then it might not be read until Friday. I found the following interesting article http://www.blogtyrant.com/best-time-to-publish-blog-articles/ which suggests Wednesdays is a good day and even goes as far as suggesting the best time of day, but I will leave that for others at this time.

Now comes the practical part, I actually have a number of different blogs, My personal blog which I will now change to Publishing on a Wednesday with effect from next month plus a few blogs associated with my interests which I will continue to post to on an Ad hoc basis. So the final step is to update my Google Calendar to provide a reminder for the plan to fall into place.

http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Hooked on Social Media

MLM-Social

What makes people addicted to social media?

Social interaction has been a human trait for as long as humans have been around.

However, relatively speaking, social media on the internet is only a recent phenomenon. Is it here to stay? There are many indications to suggest it is.

Only recently, Facebook announced they had one billion users on their site in just one day!

There are so many aspects that attract people to Social Media.

…keeping in touch with friends and family; in some cases finding long lost friends and relatives.

…the ability to find new friends and associates interested in the same subject as themselves.

…attracting new customers to their business and keeping them informed of special offers, etc.

…keeping club members informed of events.

…carrying out research based upon answers to posts, etc.

The list goes on and on.

…but why has Social Media become so addictive? For example, why don’t people stick to traditional methods such as the telephone to tell a family member about an event they are going to, or have been to?
There are many people who will even post a picture of their evening meal on a Social Media website but they won’t pick up the telephone to tell someone what or where they have eaten.
Is it because they can tell lots of people at the same time with just one post?
…or is it because they want to “show off” that they have been to a particular restaurant?
Maybe it is because they want to see the reaction from other people.

There is some research to suggest that the majority of people are basically insecure and many believe using Social Media as a means of communication and conversation is possibly less stressful than face to face interaction.

The kind of communication on Social Media is usually asynchronous, meaning the original comment and its response happen at different times. Therefore, a post is not always likely to receive an immediate response; sometimes it could be days, weeks or even months later (if at all).

Have you ever made a post on FB and then been disappointed that no one took the time and trouble to leave a comment?
Could the need for interaction be at least one of the hooks of Social Media? Of course it is.
Everyone is expecting others to join in their conversation. If not expecting, they are at least hoping.

The “hook” is such that many people will log in “just one more time before they go to bed” to see if they have had a response.

It gets even more addictive. With Social Media on mobile devices being the current trend (a trend set to last a long time), many people are almost glued to their devices. It is no longer a case of waiting until they get home to switch on their pc. They are now in a position to see responses as soon as they occur.
This creates even more “panic” amongst some users because every bleep of their device could mean someone is responding to their post or a conversation they are involved in.
Is it now a case of them wanting to be the first to know what is happening so they can then send a further response?

So what does all this mean for MarketHive?

I expect that most people who become MarketHive members will be business minded. However, there will be some members who do not have a business. There are many features in the MarketHive system for everyone, not just business owners.
All members of MarketHive are obviously potential customers for other members…

…and of course for MarketHive itself when optional services are offered.

…but as already discussed elsewhere, just having members is not enough.

Engaging the members will be necessary. They need to be ‘hooked’ on using MarketHive.
One of those hooks will surely be the social media sharing capabilities of the MarketHive system.

 Hooked on Social Media

Importing the Markethive content to your WordPress

rss.importer.image

This Friday we will be conducting a live teaching seminar showing you the power of Markethive as the content engine for your WP blogs.

I will start out with a brand new vanilla installed WordPress blog. We will be configuring the Disqus plugin and another handing management tool too.

You can get the CORE feed plugin for free by following the links at their site:
http://www.wprssaggregator.com/

The following video will also help you learn how to use this powerful application with Markethive.

Time for some orientation and sharing of thy wisdom?

This week we are going to begin at the beginning to integrate your WordPress blog with the power of Markethive, the rss cocktails, the groups, the ability to track, manage and build a huge SEO presence backed up by a huge social net.

Markethive offers the most sophisticated and powerful platform for building huge blog clouds, capture pages, press releases, forums, that all work in concert, complementing the entire portfolio of assets, utilizing chaos structures, that Google and other search engines reward because it is all following their good practices.

And it all begins here, at this first web based conference. These lessons will be recorded and published within the MarketHive and on our YouTube channel too.
 
Picking up where I left off over a year ago, with my Establishing A Credible Hive Part #1. You can watch it here or in the MarketHive.
 

This week, WordPress is the word, and Markethive is the engine to build the content and drive your campaign.

Check the Calendar below for the appointed times in our conference room.

Access the conference room via the Blog
CYA There,
Thomas Prendergast
CMO Chief Marketing Officer

The Customer Centric Model

customer.centric.banner

It has been my agenda for nearly 20 years to reform an industry that is for the most part built upon a shifting and unreliable foundation that has always been broken and is heading for total annihilation. If you have attempted to build a business in MLM you will relate to what I am addressing.

For over a decade this vision has grown in urgency and definition to help direct a broken industry towards developing a customer based centered direct sales model. All of this was originally inspired by a maverick move towards customer acquisition by a company called Trivita. In 2001 I was introduced to this new direction in MLM by the simple statement, just buy your customers. I had already been engaged in the MLM industry for nearly 10 years at that time. My first exposure to MLM was in 1992 with the first to market a consumer (customer) based ISP, nationwide dialup Internet access for $20 per month.

I have been an entrepreneur my whole adult life and a good portion of my teen years as well, with my first business started at the age of 14. Prior to my exposure to MLM, I was and still am a traditional business entrepreneur. Therefore to say, I found the MLM model of exclusive distribution to and consumption by distributors and only motivated to this action by pursuing profit; “alien, illogical and disturbing”.

Let me explain:

My introduction and very successful sojourn with Trivita helped me discover the stark contrast between the artificial economies of a distributor based sales company in contrast to a customer based sales company. I studied this comparison for many years and it became painfully clear, the reason traditional MLM fails, regardless of the compensation plan, regardless of the motivational speakers, regardless of the training to sell the “Hope and Dreams” as that is the only way to promote when the products and or services are frankly, always overpriced and usually underwhelmingly ineffective. There are very few exceptions. So the glaring difference I found in Trivita was the fact that for every distributor I recruited, I averaged 100 customers. Then the fact, I did not have to sell Hope and Dreams and instead, the pitch was just buy customers. The reaction from the potential distributor was always extremely positive and the close rate of a distributor was very high. When you factor in that every distributor usually meant 100 customers, the potential success was superior to anything else like it.

This was just a company that offered co-op acquisition of the leads and customers Trivita acquired via their infomercials and not much else. Even Trivita’s products lacked true demonstrability and the pricing was not competitive. The only viable benefit regarding being customer centric was the fact you could just buy customers, that for the most part, only about 20% stayed a viable reorder over the years.

Because of this one aspect with Trivita, I have enjoyed a significant income for over 10 years with little attention, a true residual income. Over the years as a vendor to the MLM industry, occasionally getting involved with a few companies because I was promised they were going to offer customer centric solutions. None of them ever did and in my opinion, the super majority of MLMs are run by greedy sociopathic owners, that understand the game and that being the 3 month rule. They build their businesses to inspire, motivate and separate their new distributors from as much money and contacts they can. They know their business model only attracts distributors seeking some semblance of financial success therefore they lay their snares with grand claims of Hopes and Dreams. I consider it borderline criminal. Now we finally arrive to the meat of this article, that being what is a true Customer Centric direct sales company look like. Being that there really isn’t any yet, we have to go to the imagination and vision that to some part is guided by good business principles and look at some of the true customer centric businesses on the scene today.

Amazon could easily be the epitome of customer centric.

amazon.button

Wow. “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.”

That is big, it’s bold, and it’s risky for a brand to make the promise to fulfill on that 24/7 every week of the year.

Service recovery design pays off

Of course the shopping and purchasing experience on Amazon has been exceptional for years. But what if a customer has a post-purchase problem? A big part of customer experience design is a focus on “service recovery,” or designing and refining the process when something goes wrong for the customer. Beloved brands like Zipcar know this is a critical opportunity for delivering moments of delight.

READ MORE:

http://delight.us/earths-most-customer-centric-company/

It is all about Customer Satisfaction.

Let me repeat that,

“IT IS ALL ABOUT CUSTOMER SATISFACTION”!

The latest results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index reveals Amazon.com as the reigning and undisputed champ in both Internet retailing and across the entire department in overall customer satisfaction. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos perhaps more than any business leader has taken the philosophy of truly caring for the customer and ushered it into the digital era. Bezos has built a company from the ground up purely based off of the unbending, unyielding philosophy of serving the customer across all departments. With a 164 million Amazon customers, few would argue Bezos as the key architect of building an authentic, customer-centric company.

Pointers from the article 7 Customer Service Lessons from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/06/jeff-bezos-lessons.html

1. Don’t Just Listen to Your Customers, Understand Them

Everyone has to be able to work in a call center.”

 

2. Serve the Needs of the Customer

“We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.”

 

3. The Empty Chair

The Most Important Person in the Room “Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.”

 

4. Never Settle for 99%

“We’re not satisfied until it’s 100%.”

 

5. Respect Today’s Customer

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet,
they can each tell 6,000.”

 

6. Strive to Create a Customer-Centric Company

“If we can arrange things in such a way that our interests are aligned “with our customers, then in the long term that will work out really
“well for customers and it will work out really well for Amazon.”

 

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Apologize

“We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.”

 

Over the past nearly two decades, Amazon has held a steady pace of positive press due to their industry-altering company and great customer service. However back in 2009, the foundations of the online book mogul were shook when they remotely deleted copies of the books “1984” and “Animal Farm” from users’ Kindles. The incident prompted an outcry of Internet users to see the dark, “Big Brother” side of Amazon – one that Bezos had worked hard to steer clear of. Amazon quickly made an apology with the usual dry and inhuman statement from the press team. But what really turned people back towards Amazon, was an informal and heartfelt apology from Jeff Bezos:

jeff.deep.apology


 

From “MLM” aka “Network Marketing”,

to a sustainable Coop Customer based Marketing Platform!

Now the vision for a better kinder direct sale company

I have run MLM companies, built them, serviced them as a vendor and engaged with them as a distributor for more than 20 years. I have touched and serviced and influenced over 100 million associates over this period of time. The following is my agenda to change this industry to service the little guy and gal, offering a real solution to build a middle class sustainable income for everyone, not just the elite few, we know as “leaders” in their respective company.

1. A Viable and Competitive Product

First and foremost, the “company” must offer a viable product and or service that does what it says and better than any of their competitors and better yet, have a product or service that has no legitimate competition. I could go into great detail here about the MLM industry and their underwhelming and over priced products with many making spurious claims to eventually be shut down by the FDA, etc.

2. The Virtual Warehouse

This may be putting cart before the horse. Inspired by Amazon’s virtual warehousing for their merchants selling in Amazon, it is time the MLM industry moves forward with a similar solution. Storing your monthly product commitment in your spare bedroom, garages or den has been the standard fro decades. With today’s technology and database management abilities, there is no excuse to not move toward a virtual solution for distributors. This can be done in house by the company, or, use Amazon’s virtual warehousing that is available on a global scale.

This one upgrade to this industry will make reselling, shipping and distribution automated and easy for every distributor, regardless of location or available storage abilities. Bottom line is a doubling or greater movement of product.

3. Customer and Lead co-op acquisition

This is where the company marketing people run ads, driving vertically targeted prospects to an 800 number or website, acquiring quality pre enrolled prospects or customers who have purchased or best have enrolled into auto ship. The distributor’s contribution enhances the company’s budget and the “partnership” enhances the customer’s retention. The company also makes available to the distributor mailing lists to their “enrolled leads and customers” to assist in the continued purchases etc. It is a win win situation and is a proven technique as proven by Trivita.

4. Becoming an E Retailer (automated back office shipping)

Now that the distributors have their inventory, products and samples (if applicable), online, in an offsite virtual warehouse, the process to send product or samples becomes effective and easy. As simple as logging into the back office of their respective MLM company, entering the product (pulling from existing inventory and/or purchasing additional inventory), quantity, and drop ship address, with a simple click, the product or sample is easily on the way, while the distributor is still talking to their prospective client, prospect or distributor on the phone. This seamless process makes the potential growth of the company and distributor 100 times greater than the typical cumbersome processes today.

5. 800 telemarketing service platform

Today’s technologies not only make this proposed service affordable, but extremely effective. Typically, new distributors are assigned an ID# number. The number resides within the servers database to track sales, commissions, etc. of the distributor. Thus the hardest part is already done for an 800 sales number. [A little explanation of current tech] 800 number technology software interfaces display the originating number, or forwarded number. IE: If the distributor develops a radio commercial with a phone number (toll free or not) then forwards that number to the company 800 number, all he or she needs to do is register that number (via the back office) or calling it in. This way the telemarking operators receiving the incoming calls, or the technology, know who originated the call and the orders are taken and assigned appropriately to the distributor.

It can be as simple as the distributor takes a call from an ad, the prospects decides to buy the product. The distributor can easily 3 way into the 800 platform and assist the sale. It can be as easy as an ad running offering a product with the company main toll free number offering free shipping and handling with the special pin number. It can be very easy to build.

nopalea.800

Imagine the projected results with the distributors taking the initiative, no more need for mentors, no more lead for narcissistic leadership, no more need for motivational events, because the motivation is found in the system and the results. Imagine!

6. API (Application Programming Interface).

Distributor selling on Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba, etc.

Basically, the MLM company has an API developed that interfaces with Amazon, Ebay, etc for the distributor. This allows the distributor to develop an online store on Ebay, Amazon, Alibaba, etc, drive and support the prospects and customers, but the sale interfaces through the company. Thereby the company controls the pricing, collects the money (connected to the distributor) and ships the product. All the collecting, shipping, tracking and commissions paid out is done by the company.

API: In computer programming, an application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API expresses a software component in terms of its operations, inputs, outputs, and underlying types.

Basically allows the company to remotely control pricing,

merchant collection, shipping and communication via the

distributors Ebay, Amazon, etc. account

More about Amazon API:
http://support.getdropstream.com/customer/portal/articles/1233046-configuring-amazon-marketplace-for-third-party-order-fulfillment-

More about Ebay API:
https://go.developer.ebay.com/what-ebay-api

7. Retail Sales Only Sites (Widgets and actuals)

Traditional MLM companies give a distributor a self-replicated web site that is upfront and focused on selling the Hopes and Dreams of the opportunity, the money, the comp plan, the hype and flash of it all, designed to recruit more distributors. This is death to a retail customer. Very few MLM companies even consider a dedicated self-replicated retail sales only site for their various products. I have yet to even hear of any companies making a simple widget that allows the distributor to have the retail site hosted via the widget on their own domains, much less the ability to add any customization to it. Below is one of the first and rare MLM retail sites I am aware of. It sells the coffee, the coffee benefits offers one off sale and free shipping with autoship.

VALENTUS.RETAIL.PAGE

More about widgets here:
http://alexmarandon.com/articles/web_widget_jquery/

8. Social Marketing Aps and systems

Marketers, merchants, etc. need a portfolio of tools, to get the message out, to build awareness, to build a sphere of influence and to build a customer and distributor centered loyalty program. Very few people, even entrepreneurs have all the skill sets to achieve this. However, automated marketing, email auto responders, social broadcasters, coop advertising, blogging platforms, materials and videos are necessary tools for the entrepreneur. When you do not supply these types of tools in a controlled environment, the message being broadcasted may not meet the criteria of the company nor abide by regulations.

There are solutions and Markethive is one of the best options. http://markethive.com Markethive supplies all of these tools and more, integrated and easily configured and controlled within the communities vertical structures built for DSA companies like yours. It is called the company Directories and within a company portal in Markethive, your distributors will find all they need; Broadcasting platforms, self-replicating personalized PDF documents, Coop advertising systems, blogging platforms, email auto responders, everything needed for marketing, in one place.

9. Training and videos

I do not mean motivational speakers and cheer leading. I mean, real world training how to build the businesses. Daily classes offered by competent experienced teachers, so the distributors develop a strong understanding, expanding their customer territory and acquisition and operate like a real business.

Summary;

With the accelerated market place awash in innovation and technology, technology that puts the human element right into the center of the equation, you can understand why you see the MLM industry sluggish and many companies dying on the vine and others falling flat on their faces with their much heralded launches. Entrepreneurs (distributors) that once upon a time, a flashy video, a charming pitch man, and a compelling comp plan, worked to explode the next greatest MLM launch.

Not today.

It is only a matter of time a young bold, innovative entrepreneur launches the first true customer centric MLM similar to the framework I have discussed here. And when they do, the world will quake, the swamps will empty and the first multi trillion MLM enterprise will rise to srtand head to toe with the great innovations today like Facebook Google, PayPal etc.

Written by:

Thomas Prendergast

CMO: Markethive

Original article here:

https://markethive.com/marketing/blog/the-customer-centric-model

The Power Of A Vision

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When it comes from Yahweh, it is Yahweh we work for with delight.

“A man without a vision is a man without a future. A man without a future will always return to his past.” (P.K. Bernard)

“A knife cuts because it has a narrow focus” (Cleddie Keith)

“A coward dies a thousand deaths, but a brave man dies only once” (Roman soldiers)

“When God predetermined our destiny, He factored in our stupidity. Therefore there’s always enough time to finish?” (Larry Randolph)

 The level of sacrifice that an environment requires will determine the size of people that will follow” (Kris Vallotton)

A progressive revelation of an ageless revival for our generation is growing in our hearts. It is for those who went before us and for those who are yet to be born. Yet, the question of how the vision is to be implemented remains.

One famous Proverb says:

Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
but happy is he who keeps the law – Proverbs 29:18

Vision is the bridge between the present and the future. Without it we perish or go “unrestrained,” as the New American Standard Bible puts it. Vision gives pain a purpose. Those without vision spend their lives taking the path of least resistance as they try to avoid discomfort. The level of sacrifice that a vision requires will determine the size of people who follow. Sacrifice separates the small from the great.

Consider the example of a young man who has just graduated from high school and joins the military. As soon as he steps off the boot camp bus, the sergeant starts yelling at him. He has to march over to the barbershop and get his head shaved. Then he is up early in the morning to exercise with someone screaming at him and talking about his mother. Just a month before, he was in high school. He would have never put up with any of this nonsense from his teachers or classmates. But somehow his whole mindset has changed. Why? He is enduring the “cross” so to speak, because of the joy on the other side of it. He realizes that boot camp is preparing him for a greater destiny. His vision of the future is giving his present physical discomfort meaning and purpose.

So many of us go through life not understanding the purposes of our trials. We spend our days walking a crooked path, believing that every obstacle in the road is a problem and something to be avoided.

The second part of this Proverb says, “But happy is he who keeps the Law.” The law isn’t just something God gave to Moses. It is also the restraint, boundaries and disciplines we develop around our life to direct us through obstacles instead of around them. These obstacles become baptisms of fire that forge our character so we can attain and maintain a life of greatness.

WHAT IS VISION?

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Vision is what we see, but it is also the way in which we see. Vision is the lens that interprets the events of our life, the way we view people and our concept of God. If we have a scratch on our glasses, it may seem like everybody around us has scratches too, but the problem actually lies with us because our vision is impaired. Jesus said that our eyes are the windows of our heart. Paul prayed that the eyes of our heart would be enlightened. In other words, we perceive with our eyes but we see with our hearts. Our minds receive images from our eyes but our heart interprets these images. If our heart becomes bitter, jealous, hurt or in someway infected, the lens of our heart is distorted. What we perceive is happening and what is really going on could be two completely different things. Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). The word truth used here is not referring to the Bible itself, (although all truth is rooted in the Bible) but here the word truth means reality. Jesus is saying, you will understand what is real and that will free you. So many of us live in a virtual reality. The way we view life can feel and look real, or make perfect sense, but still not be real at all. Have you ever watched a good movie and gotten totally into it? You experience all the emotions of real life. You may even leave the theater still “feeling” the movie, but it was just a movie? it was never real. The truth is: we see what we believe to be true. Another way to put it is, if you have the wrong pretext you will misunderstand the context. Having a revelation of what is real will deliver us from a life of torment that virtual reality often causes.

ESTABLISHING CORE VALUES

Therefore, the things we believe to be true determine the way in which we interpret life. These “things” are called “core values.” Core values are the lens or eyes of our heart. It is important for us to realize the incongruence between what our core values presently are and what we really want them to be. Often, the things we say we believe and the things we actually believe are not the same. We must understand that it is not the truths that we believe in our head that are our core values, but rather the ones we believe in our heart. The things we perceive to be true determine the way we respond to the world around us and to God who lives within us.

These core values also help define the part of the flock that we find ourselves called and attracted to. The children of Israel experienced this principle when they came into the Promised Land. Joshua assigned land to them according to their tribes and divisions (Joshua 18:10). In other words, they received land according to their diverse visions. For instance, if they had a vision for farming, they probably did not go with Caleb to the mountain country but instead were given land that best facilitated their vision. Therefore the land they were given and their vision was congruent. From this perspective, it is not very hard to see how some church splits happen. Sometimes pastors, in their zeal to build their churches, attract people that have a vision for things that their churches or “land” (metaphorically speaking) will not sustain. This dual vision eventually ends up in di-vision.

FORESIGHT, INSIGHT & OVERSIGHT

True Godly vision consists of foresight, insight and oversight that come from His sight. Foresight is like looking at life through a telescope. This outlook allows us to know what is ahead as it connects us to our future. Foresight is the element of vision that helps life make sense and gives us the motivation that we described earlier.

Insight is like viewing life through a microscope. This perception gives us an understanding of why things happen in life. It also helps determine the underlying motivations of the heart.

Oversight puts life into context. It is like flying over our house in a helicopter. There is a perspective that we can only receive from this vista that helps us understand where we are with respect to where everything else is. The sons of Issachar are great examples of this kind of vision. The book of I Chronicles says that these men understood the times and had knowledge of what Israel should do (12:32). People that are blessed with this type of vision often have great wisdom concerning the seasons of life.

His sight assures us that the vision we have is from God. A vision from the Lord creates a mission from heaven. This is illustrated in the life of Moses when he went up on the mountain, received a vision of the tabernacle, and was told to construct it according to the pattern that he had received. (Exodus 24:16-28:43) Visions like this are just “pipe dreams” without some sort of administrative plan to complete them. A lot of people have lofty ideas about things they would like to accomplish for God but they seem to have no sense of how to see the dream fulfilled. There are entire books dedicated to this subject, therefore, I will just give an overview of how to accomplish a vision.

PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION

The first part of accomplishing any vision is to take it from the unseen world and bring it into the natural realm. This can be accomplished by simply writing down the vision. Articulating the vision on paper pulls the dream that is in your spirit (that no one can see but you) into the visible world so that others can capture it in their own hearts. Tools that help to visualize the mission such as architectural drawings, models, testimonies of others who have accomplished similar dreams, or visits to places that have a common purpose are all helpful in capturing and defining the vision for both yourself and others who will come alongside and help.

Then the LORD answered me and said, ‘Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay – Habakkuk 2:2-3

There is an old story about three bricklayers that helps illustrate what it looks like when people receive motivation from taking ownership of a vision:

There were three bricklayers working beside each other on a wall. Someone came up to the first one and said, “What are you doing” “What;’s it look like I am doing?” he replied sarcastically, “I am laying bricks!” The man asked the next guy on the wall what he was doing. He said,”Can’t you see what I am doing? I am building a wall.” Then the last man was asked what he was doing. He exclaimed, “I am building a great cathedral for God!”

Who do you think will do the best quality work and be the hardest worker? Vision causes people to love their work because they can see the big picture. Someone once said, “If you want to build a great ship, you can go out and find some talented craftsman or you can find a person who loves the sea.” Imparting God’s vision to the team around us is the single most important factor in seeing the mission accomplished.

The next step is to create a plan to accomplish the mission. The Bible says:

Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed;
the plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD – Proverbs 15:22 & 16:1

From these two verses we see that although the vision must be from God Himself, men are to help develop the plan that brings about the fulfillment of the vision. Notice how Solomon highlights the fact that developing plans in a vacuum, (without the expertise and insight of others who have different gifts and perspectives than we do), will ultimately end in frustration.

It’s important for administrative people to understand that they are there to administrate the mission. The word administrate means, “add-to-the-mission,” not change the mission. Visionaries often do not like to work with administrators because by nature administrators are refiners and finishers. Sometimes administrators do not understand that they are being brought in to help visionaries determine how something should be accomplished, not what should be accomplished. If the vision is so large that it requires the help of Heaven (which it often does when it really is from God), it will be important that the visionary impart the vision and the faith to see it accomplished to the team. First Timothy 1:4 says that the administration of God is “by faith.”

FEAR COUNTERACTS FAITH

People often disguise their fear as wisdom when they enter into a supernatural mission that can only be accomplished with the help of God. Moses had this problem when he sent the twelve spies in to the Promised Land to determine where they should enter. Ten of the spies misunderstood their mission and somehow thought they were being asked whether or not they should take the land at all.

This type of misunderstanding of the roles people are invited to play in the mission has caused the demise of so many would-be miracles, paralyzing the church of the living God. For years, the people of God have often settled for what can be accomplished by human effort and ability, because we have allowed the opinion of faithless people to determine what we will achieve, instead of being faithful (faith-filled) to the vision we saw “on the mountain”. This is a perversion of the gospel of the kingdom. We should never settle for anything less than what God told us to do.

SETTING GOALS

After the plan is established, goals must be set. The Bible says:

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus

Philippians 3:14

Goals are simply the vision broken down into smaller pieces that are measurable in time and space. In other words, they are specified parts of the mission that we will accomplish by a predetermined date. Many people don’t like to set goals because they think that if they are not able to accomplish them on time, they have failed. The truth of the matter is that, “If you fail to plan you plan to fail.” Great leaders know that setting goals is what gives the mission a sense of urgency. Urgency is a friend to managers as it sets the pace for those who are carrying out the mission. If wisdom is used in goal setting, very little management is needed to motivate the workers since urgency manages them. However, be careful not to give your workers more to do than they have the faith to accomplish in a given time period. If it is too much, they will not even try, just like trying to catch a bus when it is already a block ahead. You probably won’t even run after it, as there is so little possibility of you catching up to it. On the other hand, if the bus just starts to pull away from the curb when you get there, you will probably move out of your comfort zone to try to catch it. Yet, setting goals too low will not create a sense of urgency at all. People will not be very motivated and it will result in a lot more work for the managers.

When your vision is honestly birthed by God Himself,

He will be delighted to direct your steps

The final stage of seeing the mission accomplished is establishing your steps. Proverbs says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (16:9). Psalms says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the one who holds his hand” (37:23-24). Steps are your day-in, day-out walk with God: the step-by-step, moment-by-moment, hour-by-hour decisions you make and the things you do that take up your time and use up your life. When your vision is honestly birthed by God Himself, He will be delighted to direct your steps. The most important thing to remember about your steps is that they should be found somewhere in your mission. Go back through your planner from the previous month and retrace your steps. Does it look like they are directly attached to your mission? If not, either redefine your mission or redirect your steps. Remember, history is at stake.

MarketHive a Vision born from 3 days of Prayer.

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I can assume that  you are a subscriber of MarketHive, most likely vested as a BOD or Alpha. MarketHive is a work of love, a vision   running as a mission and driven by people who are commissioned to undertake this great project.  Will you join us in prayer and fasting for three days? I am always amazed at the results a simple 3 day prayer and fast accomplishes. You will be too.

Thomas Prendergast

CEO


Written by:  by Kris Vallotton

http://jesusculture.com/posts/1450-the-power-of-a-vision/