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The Formula for Business Success

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As I was preparing to interview EyeTrackShop's Jeff Bander for this week's episode of Marketing Smarts, I did what I usually do: I Googled him. And the first result was Jeff's LinkedIn profile.

Now, when I interview folks on Marketing Smarts, although I have generally checked them out on LinkedIn before doing so, I rarely ask them about what I've found there during the interview itself (though I may remark on something before we start recording). In this case, as you can hear if you listen to the interview, I did.

Specifically, around minute 20:30 I asked Jeff how he built EyeTrackShop's US business, as his profile states, from "0 to $200 million in the first year."

And in his response, I  believe, I found the formula for business success.

Recognizing Potential


For those of you who don't know, EyeTrackShop provides a platform that allows companies to perform eye-tracking studies (that is, studies that monitor and record eye movements to discover what someone is looking at on a web page, for example, how long they remain fixated on this or that spot, how they scan the page, and so on) via a web cam.

In the past, if you wanted to conduct such studies, you had to bring people to wherever the eye-tracking machine was located and run your tests there, thus incurring, among other things, substantial travel and associated costs.

Jeff told me that he immediately recognized the potential of a product that could conduct these studies anywhere in the world and summed up the benefits of EyeTrackShop's approach as: cost reduction, fast deliverables (since all travel time, for example, was eliminated), and global reach.

He added that, "When people use us, they keep using us."

Finally, he pointed out something else of critical importance, "We're the only ones in the world that do this," which, as he also pointed out, not everyone can say.

The Formula

Listening to Jeff, I realized that we had stumbled on that elusive formula of business success and here's how I played it back to him:


  1. Have a great product that is truly unique.


  2. Solve a real problem that people are really struggling with.


  3. Make your solution affordable.


  4. When people use your product, make sure they get good results and have a great experience.


Jeff told me I was missing one thing---great people. He said, "You've got to have a culture where people are encouraged to think outside the box."

So, adding that to the mix you get:
Great product + Real Problem + Affordable Solution + Great Results and Experience + Great People = Business Success.

Any questions?

If you would like to hear my entire conversation with Jeff Bander of EyeTrackShop, you may listen above or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. You can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!





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My name is Matthew T. Grant, PhD. I'm Managing Editor here at MarketingProfs. I divide my time between designing courses for MarketingProfs University and hosting/producing our podcast, Marketing Smarts. You can follow me on Twitter (@MatttGrant) or read my personal musings on my blog here.

If you'd like to get in touch with me about being a guest on Marketing Smarts or teaching as part of MarketingProfs University or, frankly, anything else at all, drop me a line.

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Comments

  • by Gerardo Dada Mon Dec 3, 2012 via blog

    Matthew,

    Thanks for a good post. Earlier this year I wrote a similar post (almost identical title)
    : http://theadaptivemarketer.com/2012/01/31/the-basic-formula-for-business-su...

    That is very similar, but expands into the profitability and dscipline required for true business success. Still, the core idea is essentially the same. Would love your thoughts.

    Thanks

    -Gerardo

  • by Matthew T. Grant Tue Dec 4, 2012 via blog

    Thanks for the comment and for sharing your post, Gerardo. In that post I especially liked how you read so much into the simple phrase, "Give customers what they want." That sounds simple, but there is quite a bit packed into those words and you were correct to point out the difference between "what they want" and "what you sell."

    As far as my formula goes, as simplistic as it is, I believe that the "make money" part is implied. If you actually provide a service or product that solves a real problem or meets a real need and you make it affordable, etc., the money should follow. However, that is not necessarily the case. In an effort to make it affordable, for example, you may slice your margins so thin that you go out of business! That is not success.

    If you are in a "for profit" enterprise, the end goal has to be to make money. But there are a lot of ways of making money, which means that "making money" doesn't provide enough focus. The tricky part is making sure that you are making money whiling marrying what you are trying to accomplish to what customers actually want.

    The secret is, of course, that there is no formula for doing that!

  • by Gerardo Dada Wed Dec 5, 2012 via blog

    Thanks for your comments Matthew. I think we are in absolute agreement.

    Have a great day

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