MDI, week nine

Covers period: 13/11/2017 to 17/11/2017

Some activity dates may be incorrect, but the activities were undertaken during this week.

13/11 – Covered subjects related to Design Innovation.  We helped create briefs, this was due to the nature of one of the deliverables: Create briefs for Undergraduates.

14/11 – Continued project work, continued to undertake secondary research work on current client project and working with teams and documented project work.  Teams also helped create more briefs for one of the deliverables.

15/11 – Continued secondary research, the amount of research is quite large; and requires further categorization. Other teams move to primary research, which is another deliverable for the project.  Another team looks at, and reviews the briefs we created, a task where all teams documented briefs.

16/11 – Covered a topic relating to Business Innovation and continued to compile secondary research, we have almost all teams now working on primary research as we wrap up secondary research.  I continue to document all wall data and also help out a colleague with a Trends matrix. 

A trends matrix documents different categories of a theme (ie: tourist) and then splits it into past, present and future.  The idea with a trends matrix is that it gives a 40,000 foot view of what our secondary research is pointing to, this should identify given trends and also themes.

17/11 – We all created an executive summary of our secondary research, this was a good exercise to see if all teams were on the same page; however it did cause a net issue which was that it was ‘written by committee’.  In addition, whilst we had a state of research, we perhaps lacked a clarity of what that state was in the document.  We have taken the issue to heart and will endeavour to re-write the document, and have a state of secondary research; which I believe should be signed off by all teams for it to progress.

We also started to create a timeline for trends in higher educational faculties; this may further crystalise our secondary research, however I have some mis-givings about this process.  We already have 1 trends matrix, why is another needed? 

MDI, week eight

Notes from 06/11/17 to 10/11/17

06/11 – Today’s business & design innovation session, looking at the topic of market research.  Market research is aimed at making informed decisions. It is the collection, analysis and communication of information to assist decision making.

Market research is considered important for understanding the market, customer needs, geographical locations of customers, whom your customers are, and the general marketing environment.

Market research is made up of Product research, Price research, Sales research, Distribution research; See the 4 P’s of Marketing

Market research can be expensive, especially primary research; buying lists, mailing lists, using third party companies.

A critique that the content seemed more suitable to established, big companies rather than small, starting-from-zero companies, startups; and how they’ve changed the equation to be about building sales funnels and using early adopter models to get a customer base quickly; and scale faster this way.

Market research will often end up into a proposal with findings, and sometimes recommendations (although some companies may not want this) and a proposal should cover things like approach, method, estimated timings & costs, as well as other factors.

A further discussion on sampling customers, whether one can avoid bias in sampling or customer surveys; followed by marketing ethics, codes of practice were also covered.

07/11 – Received new client project brief and we had a discussion on what kinds of secondary research we should collect on the company, brief so that we have a scope or state defined.  I did some background work on who the company was and main competitors in a Google slide.  I have some small ideas on whether we can use agile sprint planning to really help with identifying stories early.

08/11 -Further secondary research on the company’s background and research the brief against PESTILE forces.

PESTLE analysis answers 6 key questions:

Political – What are the political factors that are likely to affect the business?
Economic – What are the economic factors that will affect the business?
Sociological – What cultural aspects likely to affect the business?
Technological – What technological changes that may affect the business?
Legal – What current and impending legislation that will affect the business?
Environmental- What are the environmental considerations that may affect the business?


09/11 – Was at a conference.

10/11 – The MDI residents of practice came in and really helped us get our ideas from Google documents to the walls; I found this very visual, immediate and more rewarding.

MDI, week seven

Notes from 30/10/2017 to 03/11/2017

30/10 – Today we’ve been reviewing some of the ideas we’ve been generating for our current project “How can we drive positive change in Cyber well-being for teens using Fun Theory or Nudge theory“, and attempting them to move them from ideas into pre-prototypes.  I feel it is important to get to prototype’s, storyboards, wireframes as this really crystallises the idea.   

My idea is produce a small card game aimed at 8-14 year olds. Still currently unfinished as the mechanics and the player’s means and motives needs more work.

Further to this, I helped out a colleague with her ideas relating to raising awareness and a product on seeing the consequences of your actions.  Both ideas sit in the realm of guerrilla marketing and am hopeful that this will be produced into a prototype of some kind.

31/10 – Play tested a game for Raising awareness in Cyber well-being for teens; however upon a lot of play testing found the game ended up being a memory game, and not actually addressed the brief.  We also looked at the pool of ideas and tried to pick out whether to use one idea, or multiple.

01/11 – Collected together all our work and tried to evaluate them, and our own processes.

02/11 – Further presentation creation work help structure for presentation creation

03/11 – Put together and finalised the presentation, checking the copy, the flow, etc.

The Psychology of Selling (2005) Book review

The Psychology of Selling BookA very poorly written book about sales.

I read the book in about 1 day, its a pretty worthless book.  It has very little to do with the Psychology of Selling at all.

I was very excited by the chance to read “Psychology of Selling” through my local library, and I was very excited to read it given Tracy’s background and name recognition in the industry.

However, having completed the book in practically one day, I felt the book was incredibly lacklustre. The book was more about self improvement, a self-help book dressed up as a sales book.

It wasn’t even about psychology (where are maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs?), or even sales. Its not even pop-psychology and I would definitely not recommend it as either a sales book, or a self-help sales book. There are better books on the market.

When you compare “Psychology of Selling” to “Spin Selling” by Neil Rackman (An actual Psychologist of 25 years experience), you’ll agree that its night and day in comparison. Rackman methodology goes through different ideas, methods and techniques and explains them; whereas Tracy gives a passing reference to an idea, dresses it in so much new age self improvement jargon that you may even forgot this book was meant to be about Psychology of Selling, not Psychology of self improvement.

Yes, Tracy does cover the 80/20 rule, covering that through prospecting, building rapport, doing a thorough needs analysis of your product/service and the customer’s needs can help identify and turn prospects into winning sales.

Further, Tracy states to set goals, daily, weekly, monthly sales; stay on target, achieve your goals, use vision boards, plan your calls ahead, and look at the reasons why people might buy your product (is it out of fear, greed, prestige, etc); but the problem is Tracy doesn’t give you actionable items to do, except to set goals.

Whereas Tracy argues that the best time to make a sale is right after a sale, and that prospecting via the phone is not a luxury, but a necessity; he seems to categorize the customer as somebody to be sold to; and forgets something that Rackman and others (including New Rules of Marketing author David Meerman Scott) in his book “SPIN selling” readily identified some years ago, and that is — the customer has changed, and the old ways of selling are dead.

Customers are sophisticated, and the way business target, market and reach them have changed; so has the way business sell to them. The image characterised by Tracy as a Business person whom is trusted, is dressed for success and uses buzzwords mis-judges the customer. As many authors have noted, some customer-business relationships demand trusted partners, and the journey of a customer should be explored.

As a final note, I want to state that I felt that this book really missed a lot, it felt like another self-help sales book, there was very little useful in this book and would not recommend it to anyone serious in getting into sales at all and would recommend SPIN selling, New rules of marketing and PR and other more seasoned, tactic-based sales books on the market.

Link: The Psychology of Selling (Amazon)

Editor’s note: Link is not monetised.