Welcome to the 4Growth Blog!

Hello and welcome to the Official 4Growth Blog! Here, we'll share business ideas, topics of discussion, and anything else we think may help you grow your business.

We want to turn this blog into a place that people visit because there is consistently fresh, captivating content that everyone feels welcome to contribute to.

Whether you have a question, comment, or new topic of discussion, you are always welcome to share your thoughts (as long as they are kept friendly!) at the Official 4Growth Blog.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Social Media: A Two Way Street

Chris Kortschot

More and more we are seeing companies trying to fit social media into their marketing initiatives. However, social media is a complex beast. It is still new and quite ambiguous but what almost every company THINKS is that this is the marketing engine of the 21st century.

Like many technology solutions in the past, companies are trying to understand how to use social media in their marketing mix. Without totally understanding how social media fits into their marketing plan, it can have disastrous or no results.

Managers and decision makers believe that they have to be in the game but do not at all understand the process of getting there. What many do not understand is that social media is a two way street. If you do not give to Web 2.0 it will not give to you.

Social media is about connecting with people in a meaningful way. If you are trying to connect with people in a completely self serving way then I’m afraid you have missed the point. Give your web audience something of value. Something that people will want to read or view as opposed to having to trick or force them into it.

Traditional media never really gave the consumer any power. It was based upon a ‘push’ strategy. Pushing (or forcing) ideas upon others. Traditional media wasn’t interested in finding out more about the consumer – they assumed they already knew. Everyday there are greater challenges for marketers who force their audience into viewing their content. PVR’s are widely used, radio presets allow for easy escape, and humans have become amazing at filtering out unsightly billboards.

The next step in marketing is creating communications that people want to view as opposed to being forced into it. The soon-to-be infamous Old Spice campaign is a perfect example of an ad series that people genuinely want to watch. There is no reason to skip over it because it is quite simply as enjoyable as most programs on TV today.

The main message is this; marketers who try harder to force their target into viewing their content are doing so in vain. Whether you deliver value in the form of humor, information, or general interest, make sure your communications have something for everyone.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to Motivate Your Employees

Chris Kortschot

Monetary compensation only goes so far when we are talking about the best talent within an organization. People are complex machines that are motivated by more than simply a high pay cheque and there are certain things that are critical for any organization wanting to retain and motivate their best employees.

Money is a motivator, but not in the way that most of us would imagine. The only time money actually works as a motivator is when an employee is not being paid enough in which case they are motivated not to work. Unfortunately for employers paying employees more than they deserve actually inhibits employee performance. The best answer is to pay employees enough so that they are able to think about the work that needs to be done.

The good news for employers is that keeping employees motivated is much easier and cheaper than jacking up their salaries. There are three things that people desire in a job: 1) Autonomy; 2) Mastery; and 3) Purpose.

Autonomy is the feeling of self control. The reason micro management is so ineffective is not because the immediate outcome is worse, it is because micro management is a vicious cycle. The more an employee is told what to do, the more they depend on being told what to do. The answer? Stop and let them make some mistakes. Mistakes are good as long as something is learned and not too much is lost.

Mastery is the desire to be good at something. Give your employees specialties no matter how lowly you may think the job is. Job cycling is good because it provides a new challenge for employees but this should only be done once they have mastered their current title.

Finally, purpose is the sense of contribution to something of importance. There is no recipe for this but make sure your employees understand the entire system in which they work. If they understand who depends on them and see the actual result of their work they are more likely to have a sense of purpose.

If you are able to give your employees the opportunity to master their craft, ability to make the wrong decision, and the sense that they belong to something more significant than themselves they will more satisfied with their job as well as more effective.