Hey guys, Ken Courtright. This is Episode 24 of Today’s Growth: Growing Business Today. This is called the Value Experiment. I’m going to cover the concept of value in positioning a product or a service, but I am also going to do an experiment at the end of this. It should be quite interesting. Let’s get cookin’.
When moving a product or service into the marketplace, we have to understand it’s kind of like an Oreo cookie. There are two pieces, and there is something in the middle. Two cookies and something sweet in the middle. There is a customer on the left, there is you, the offerer of the solution on the right, and in the middle, there is this sweet, tasty thing called their needs.
Vary The Solution Without Changing the Product
A customer needs something. A manufacturer, vendor, or store supplies and fills that need. Here is the key. Needs vary and change. Needs vary, and needs change. Your solution must vary, and it must change. It’s not the same. Varying a solution is not the same thing as changing a solution. Changing a solution means you are flat-out offering a completely different product. Varying a solution says you’re going to go into your product and tweak it a little bit. It will be slightly different, but it’s the same product.
With that said, with customers having needs that vary as the benchmark for this one, we are going to cover some key points.
First of all, value can only be relative to the past or the future. If I go out and buy a Mercedes, I might have made that decision because I want to be safer in the future than I have ever been before. If I go for my master’s degree, I am buying that product because I might earn more tomorrow, which is the future. It’s strange to put it this way, but value is relative to the customer themselves, and all of their past and history and what made them, your product is relative to that. It’s also relative to their potential future. This is key when understanding copyrighting the features and benefits of a product. But it’s also key when understanding one of the strongest ways to move value in the marketplace is when you understand product value can’t actually be measured statistically or numerically. It can only be summarized. It can only be guesstimated.
You have to play with this one for yourself to figure it out. The way you play with it is you poll your clients and customers, asking them, “What was the value of working with us?” It is going to surprise you how every customer’s answer is completely different, and none are technically measurable.
I love the travel industry because the travel industry is one of the first industries that left the farm when it came to positioning value. It was the first industry that allowed the client to position product value themselves. When positioning product value, sometimes it’s better to let the potential customers fill in the blank.
Have you ever heard travel commercials that went something like this: “How would you feel if you and your wife escaped to Jamaica?” Or, “What would be different when you got back from seven days at Sandals Resort?” They are physically asking you to fill in the blank of value.
The Value Of A Product Is Relative To The Customer
Value is completely relative to the customer, and it’s relative to their past or what could be drastically different in the future if they take on your product or service.
Here is an interesting one. Often urgency is more valuable than value. Often when there is scarcity or a timeline, something available for a short period of time, the value of that product gets internalized. The psychology of this is called FOMO. When you put in scarcity, it allows someone to do that self-fulfilling prophecy of the Fear of Missing Out. You look at a lot of marketing materials today, and they play on FOMO bigtime.
I want to begin an experiment because we just got offered up some really interesting news centered around our Digital Footprint event in Philly. I have not promoted Digital Footprint. We sold out; we sell out every year. I want to take everybody on a journey of our Digital Footprint event, and then I am going to break this value situation into pieces and give you an idea of how to think about your own product or service in a completely different light.
When you walk into our event, April 8-10, you get handed a brand-new iPad Mini. It’s a true iPad Mini, the small one. Embedded in the middle of the home page is an app called The Next Step Tool. It took us two years to program this. It is one of the most unique apps I have ever bumped into. We have had to rebuild it three times because we keep adding to it. It is truly amazing.
Proprietary Next Step Tool Gives You A Detailed Glimpse Into Your Website
What this tool allows you to do is plug in the domain name of your website and let it go to work and tell you what you should do next on your website. It’s like IBM’s Watson. It thinks for you. It’s incredible.
You walk in the door, you get handed your iPad, and you enter our event. You get met in the beginning with a little red carpet; it’s kind of cool. What a lot of people come to our event for is they just want to get their hands on the iPad because the iPad has the tool, which we almost brought to market as an app in the App Store for $8,500. We may never do it; I don’t know.
You get the iPad. You find a seat somewhere. You take it out of the box, remove the cellophane, and turn it on. Then you put in the domain name of your website. You let it run. If your site is small, only been around a year or so, this thing could finish in a half hour. If it’s a huge website, it might take two days for this thing to run.
It has five results. The reports that come out are 20 to 200 pages. Result number one, it says that these things are broken on your website. It shows you every broken page, picture, title, and metatag. It pulls in from a number of different tools.
What is incredible about this three-day event is that 20 of the 72 full-time employees are programmers, technicians, designers, in essence, pretty smart people that are in the hallway at desks and tables so that you can walk the iPad over to them and show them what’s broken on your website. If you get an alert or heads up email with FtP passwords, we can lift up our laptops, and our technicians can physically fix what’s broken while you’re there. It’s pretty awesome. Take advantage of them. If everything on your website is broken, there is only so much time in the day. The technicians work in 20- or 30-minute increments. The point is, it shows you what’s broken.
Just that alone, even though there are four other killer things it does, if you had that tool and could take that iPad home to your intern, technicians, or marketing team and say, “This tool says this and this is broken. Can you confirm it?” They will do some homework and will know what to fix.
Step two is it tells you what’s positive. It tells you what you’re ranking on, what’s strong about your website. It also shows you the low-hanging fruit that you’re just off the cusp of getting attention on. It gives you a nugget of, “If you do this and this, you can move to page one of Google.” Step two shows what’s positive.
Step three, it does an exhaustive competition digital footprint scan. It shows you where your competition is kicking your butt. It also shows you what you can do about it. It gives you a physical map of what you can change so you can beat the competitor.
Step four, it shows you something that our Chief Marketing Officer trademarked seven years ago. It shows you the power pages of content that you should put into your site that would launch your site. It’s such a strong tool that if you write power pages that include these keyword phrases, and it’s such a length, it even has a financial revenue predictor where it says, “If you do this this many weeks in a row, you could probably expect that page to earn this much money in 90 days just from general advertising.” Pretty awesome. That step alone we added last year was a game-changer. We use this tool to run all of our websites. Step four is awesome.
Step five we added around Thanksgiving of this past year. It’s what we call the BuzzSumo connection. What we do is pull in all of the viral content in your industry, the fastest-growing pieces of content, and this tool finds it, shows it to you, displays it to you, and even shows you how to find the person who blew up that piece of content.
Why is this relevant as step five? If you have a website, and you now have a tool that you can run every day, once a month that shows you what’s broken, shows you how you can fix it, shows you what’s positive, shows you where your competitors are kicking your butt and what to do about it so you start beating them, gives you power page options about how to be viewed by Google as something of sincere authority in your space, and finally, if you just want the big sledgehammer and want to stay relevant forever in your space, it shows you how to find and create incredible viral content and blow your business up.
What’s cool is this is now your iPad. When you take it home and use it, when you make these changes, which are always free or nearly free, your site is much bigger. Then you run it again, and now the digital footprint is different because you have completely different competition. It’s a never-ending cycle. That’s why it’s called The Next Step Tool. It always tells you what to do next. It’s like your guide and your roadmap at the same time.
The point of this podcast is that value is relative. Value is relative to the customer, and it’s relative to the past and the future. Just the iPad alone—forget the rest of the conference—what is that worth to someone? Is it worth a few hundred bucks for the iPad? Or is it worth more? I think there are people in our room every year at our event that think that iPad alone went from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. They have a small blog, they make a hundred bucks a month from their general ads on their blog. They know if they adapt what this thing says and bring it home and run it every month, that will blow up their blog. They know it.
We also have executive and marketing directors and hedge fund managers that are sitting in a room. They look at that iPad as worth way more than is weight in gold. They look at that thing as potentially a million-dollar iPad. They immediately ask for a second one in case they break the first one before they get home. You can see how certain people hold the iPad of what they think the value of that next step tool is. For some marketing directors, if you have five or ten websites and are responsible for growing your stuff, that thing could make your company fifty grand a month tomorrow.
To each person holding that iPad, it could completely change their future. It’s very relative. Does that make sense? Bottom line is this Digital Footprint event that kick-starts on Friday with an iPad just starts the event. That’s like lighting a fuse and then the event takes off.
Right now, everybody is already buzzing, and it’s not even Friday at 10 am because they can’t believe they watched this little video of what this iPad does. They don’t know how it could possibly get better. And then they sit in their chair, put on their seat belt, and start listening to some of the greatest case studies and teachings from some of the greatest businesspeople that walk the planet.
Jeff Hoffman Of Priceline and Brian Smith Founder Of Ugg Boots Share Their Stories
We have Jeff Hoffman coming, the billionaire founder of Priceline. We have Brian Smith, the founder of the billion-dollar UGG boots company. Obviously I am speaking. I speak every single day. We have so many incredible speakers that I don’t want to leave everybody out, so I am not going to cover this year’s lineup. It is unbelievable what comes off that stage. You can see businesses, people in the room that bring their staff and management, having mini huddles as some of their talks are going on. You know when someone is getting impact from our stage. It’s electrifying.
The cool thing about the information that comes off our stage is there is no theory. When we have a gal, say, Kerri Courtright come up and talk about someone’s presence and how they hold themselves in meetings and on stage and online with their website, this is a woman who was a Chicago Bulls cheerleader, is an elected official, and has been a business owner for two decades. She is not talking theory. She has the physical evidence of businesses that are gained and businesses that are lost just because of some things people say or the clothes they wear or the clothes they don’t wear. That is a powerful talk.
Then you have people like Karen Leland who writes for Entrepreneur, who has personally sold 520,000 of her own books at full price. She really knows how to get a book as a platform in the marketplace so that book can then be the leverage to move your website, which then moves all of your products.
We have the best of the best coming in to talk. We wrap it up with two incredible events. We do a red-carpet event that is truly second to none. First, I go onstage and teach a 20-minute lesson on how to use pictures. I’m not going to cover it in this podcast. Could you imagine getting a picture with Jeff Hoffman or Brian Smith who have worldwide brands, and most people throw those pictures on Facebook? That is the worst place to put a picture. There is a definite right and wrong way to use a photograph to elevate your brand and position yourself in the marketplace. There is a four-step process, and we teach that.
We go right from that 20-minute lesson to the red carpet with all of these celebrities, and they are there for you. They understand the power of this for you. They are there to give, serve, and share. Then the whole weekend wraps up with the favorite piece of the event, which is the “What would you do?” phase of the event.
Panel Of Pros To Tackle Your Business Challenges
This is where any business owner in the room has an equal opportunity to present their current business challenge in front of a panel of true worldwide business owners. I’m sitting on the panel, you have Jeff Hoffman to my left, Brian Smith to his left, Kerri Courtright to his left, Karen to her left. We rotate them in and out, and it is amazing. The audience sits there spellbound for a few hours as people walk up to a microphone, “My name is Bob. This is the industry I am in. My current business challenge is this. What I’d like to say to the panel is, If this was your business challenge right now today, what would you do?”
The panel looks at each other. People know who should go first. We let three or four of the panel members give their opinion. It is awesome. So many people then realize that their challenge has already been solved in a different industry. Because of that type of setting, people in the audience realize that we almost stepped on that minefield. That was the direction we were about to go in. Thank goodness we heard the panel. We almost blew ourselves up.
What I want to do now is take this into a social experiment. You have never heard me promote Digital Footprint. I am not much of a self-promoter. I usually just boogie on down the road in a podcast. I have mentioned stuff for buddies who have sponsored a podcast or two, but you don’t hear a lot of selling coming from me. Well, you are now.
We just found out we are in Philadelphia April 8-10. We just told the hotel that we are bringing our 30 employees. They said nowhere on here is a headcount for your employees. That puts you way past the fire code for the room you’re in. We were at maximum capacity, ten over. They allow that. With the 30 employees, we are way over. They won’t charge us, but they moved us to the grand ballroom. Now, with the amount of people that are coming, plus our staff, the room is going to look empty. This is going to be massive. We are trying to fill the room. The bottom line is there is only a month to go. I am going to test the power of a podcast, the power of doing some crazy stuff.
If you go to digitalfootprint.net, you are going to notice the page we use. You will see Bronze all the way to Gold packages from a few grand to five grand. Why is it that much money? I don’t know if you have ever put on an event. We did one a year ago in New York. In that weekend, I spent more money than I did on my first home. Coffee was $11.85 a cup. We will never have an event in Manhattan again. That was a little bit crazy.
But the reality is we have an event coming up in Philly. The event is paid for, the ballroom is paid for, the entertainment, the band, even the wine is paid for by our sponsors. The only variable is the iPad and the food. The food is pricey, but we just need some bodies. We need some warm bodies. We have 30 days to go.
Digital Footprint Conference Philly
Here is my experiment. I don’t know if I have a title for this. Our Bronze package is about three grand. You walk in the door, get your iPad Mini, attend all of the events, including the red carpet event and the wine experience. We have a band coming in on Saturday night. The only thing it doesn’t include is we have some really cool proprietary Facebook stuff we cover; that is an extra $1,000. The bigger package is another $1,000. That is the $1,000 version of our $6,000 mastermind meeting that is at my home here. We have an event every summer for our mastermind team.
With that said, here is what we are going to do. I am only speaking about the Bronze package, which is three grand. I have three different coupon codes built. One is “pod300,” another is “pod600,” and another is “pod900.” When you put these coupon codes in, it will change the price from $3,000 to either $300, $600, or $900. These are all Bronze. What I am doing is offering the people listening to the podcast the ability to pay based on their ability to pay.
If you are a student and truly don’t have $3,000 or even $900 or $600, give me $300. But get your butt on a plane or in the car and jam five of your buddies in there. Have everybody put $300 and get your butts over there. All five of you will get the iPad. You will get the full experience. I then get five butts in seats. The room looks full, and everybody is happy.
Here is the deal. This is a social experiment. I am hoping everybody sees in and of itself the value of the Next Step Tool. Then in and of itself, the value of these talks for three days. Then in and of itself, the experiment at the end. Then you get to exchange business cards and network and connect with all of these people Saturday night at the red carpet and Sunday during the whole event. We have huge breaks so you can connect with all of the speakers.
The point is the value of this is relative to everybody’s past and future. I believe there is a reason that Forbes says our Digital Footprint events are a Cannot-Miss, Must-Attend Business Conference of 2016. I think there is a reason. Everybody who comes off the stage is case-study evidence of what is working today. There is no theory.
What I am trying to do is give people the ability to pay. If you really have the ability to pay $600 or $900 or $2,997, then pay the full price. The more you pay, the more you pay attention.
For those of you listening to the podcast, if you throw a $600 or a $900, I will do something that will probably knock your socks off. For the $600, I know you could have paid $300, but I am going to honor you with something that you know is more than the additional $300. For the $900, I am definitely going to blow your mind on that one. I am curious to see who wants to take a leap of blind faith basically and pay more than you have to.
Here’s how this works again. Between this podcast on Wednesday, and Sunday midnight, five days, this is coming down, the Bronze package will be offered at $300, $600, or $900. Again, I don’t really care which one you do. If you do more, you get more. You can figure out your travel later.
When I was twenty-something, there was something on the West Coast in Portland. I was in Chicago, and I could not afford to get there, definitely not airfare. I did find a way to get a ticket to something. I pounded seven guys in a minivan, and we took turns driving for 37 hours, attended something for two days, and drove home. We were flat-out exhausted, but it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It actually changed our business.
There is scarcity here. I am going to do a five-day window. That will come down Sunday at midnight. Keys to note. When you are on the digitalfootprint.net website, at the bottom, when you put the code in, you have to click a little thing that says, “Check Coupon.” The link is what changes it from $3,000 to $300, $600, or $900. If you don’t hit that, it will keep coming up for $3,000. There is nothing you can do about it.
Number one is you must click “Check Coupon.” That’s what changes the price. Number two, the code will be down Sunday at midnight. I promise you that I will never run this or anything similar again. This is an experiment to get some butts in the seats in Philadelphia. We sell out every time. Ask anybody that has ever gone. Those that pay $600 or $900, I have lined up something pretty cool that I think you’re going to find incredibly valuable, and I think you will be shocked by both. As long as that room is full, I’m happy. I’m curious to see how many people will pay a little more just on my word that I will honor them with something cool.
I cannot wait to see the results of that. I cannot wait to shake hands and hug people—I’m a hugger—and meet those that are following this podcast. It should be genuinely cool. If you’re coming, I don’t check the back end of our system, but do me a favor. If you do punch the ticket and attend from the podcast, after you book yourself in, would you do me a favor? Would you email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what package you booked? Give me a heads-up, especially if you did $600 or $900 because I have to get something ordered for you and get something started. I think you will find that part quite cool.
Looking forward to getting to know some of you. This is Ken Courtright from Today’s Growth: Growing Business Today doing a social experiment. How cool is this? Talk to you guys soon. See ya.