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Posts tagged ‘market’

Single ladies and start-ups, stand up for being special


As someone who’s busy striving to find her feet in a new area of work, I’ve recently made it my business to find out every little nugget I can about what to do – and what not to do – when it comes being successful at selling your services to the corporate world.

This week, my latest lesson, learnt at a business event workshop for the self-employed, was a simple one : specialise, specialise, specialise.

As I sat listening to the Enterprise Champion of Business Link Yorkshire(yes, this is her official job title) explain the importance on strictly focusing on your potential market and firming staking your claim to this territory, I remembered the last time I’d been told this fine-tuning approach to cultivating a career was a canny move.

My former journalism tutor had the same advice while I studied for my Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism, 13 years ago. ‘Find an area to specialise writing in, make your name there, then you’ll have less need to look for work, as it will come to you…’

So, it was with this notion of cultivating my ‘specialness’ still ringing around my head, when a few days later, I read a piece in The Observer – albeit about an altogether different market – which threw this notion out of the window. And left me spitting feathers!

Lori Gottlieb, American author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr Good Enough, is urging women who haven’t found Mr Right by the time they reach 30 to settle for Mr Second Best.

Gottlieb attempts to qualify her laughable ‘theory’ by saying: ‘Every woman I know – no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure – feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried.’

I’m not sure what left me more irritated and disappointed – the fact that Gottlieb was the latest in a long line of hollow mouthpieces who felt it their duty to dig out their rusty loudhailers to dictate to me and my peers on the grounds of gender, or was I more irked at The Observer for giving her such a prominent voice, in the shape of a half-page ‘news’ article on page 7?

Here’s the full piece: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jan/24/women-stop-looking-mr-right

Second best is never good enough, whether you’re talking couples or corporates.

Keep it special!

Surviving the advertising jungle is simples!

There’s no physical obstacles to stop us all giving TV adverts the big brush off. Maybe you’re the kind of person who opts for the classic ‘I’ll just nip off to make some tea,’ trick. Or do you reach for your remote with Olympic-speed, flicking channel after channel until those jaunty singing bankers or odd felt people are no more(well at least for the next fifteen minutes)?

And now, there’s another anti-armchair selling weapon. On-demand TV has arrived in a bright HD-ready dawn, to save us all from the good, bad and downright ugly little slices of screen sell that we can readily skip…

Well, guess what? When it comes to the new darling of the advertising world, it seems the Great British public don’t want to run a mile. On the contrary, they can’t get enough of one particular meerkat with an exotic accent.

Everyone knows advertising revenue – except online which seems to bucking the trend – has been struggling long before the latest drop. So I was as surprised as the next animal-loving media-savvy commentator to read how Aleksander Orlov – the furry public face of price comparison website, comparethemarket.com – has thrown an almighty curve ball into the ring and shaken up the marketing world by becoming a money-spinning sensation.

Someone somewhere hit on a magic formula but few seem to fully understand how the wizards who crafted this ad have worked such wonders. Buying into the brand is one thing, but Orlov’s appeal has extended far beyond the company he’s representing. I’m all for sharing interests on social networking sites but really don’t twig why hundreds of thousands of people are avidly following Orlov on Facebook and Twitter!

Maybe this is another flash in the pan(remember Flat Eric?) but guesstimating your business model is proving to be popular. In these uncertain times, I can think of at least three micro-economies off the top of my head who continually seem to be obsessing over what’s going to be the ‘next big thing’ – the motor industry(more rumblings over the electric car this week), the press/media(will future consumers pay for either print or online content?) and book publishing(latest projections about the e-reading market seem upbeat).

One thing’s for sure, if advertising’s a jungle, right now it’s the meerkat who’s got the lion’s share of the market.

Read all about the Orlov effect: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jan/16/aleksander-orlov-price-comparison-ads

Here’s a couple of other topical items which interested me over the last seven days.

Sheffield’s female steel army of WW2 are finally officially honoured:
http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/article6985651.ece

Debate surrounding the white working class:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/01/2010_02_fri.shtml

Have a great channel-hopping week!