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This morning I gave a talk at PTC  as part of what they call their “Marketing Innovators” series (I’m in good company, as the founder of North Face – Hap Klopp – was the previous presenter).

PTC is a fascinating company that – from my admittedly limited vantage point – seems to deeply understand the perils and opportunities expressed in these slides, but, hopefully, I gave them some ideas/context.

In any case, these slides are a distillation of the models my consulting firm uses.

The title of the deck grew out of an ancient blog post I wrote back in 2011 in this space.

This idea – in addition to framing up our consultative approach – has also become the name of a course I teach at Brown, and – heaven help me – will be the title of my next book.

gh at PTC

[Photo Credit: PTC’s Twitter]

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Have you ever wondered why many fruits and vegetables are so vibrantly colored?

I’m no botanist, but I have a theory that I’m working on for inclusion in my next book: For a fruit or vegetable to survive and its growth to spread, it must attract the attention of an animal.

For example, we have a row of – when ripe – beautifully colored blueberry bushes near our house. We’ve probably eaten like ten blueberries; they are delicious. The rest — all surreally beautiful purples and blues — have attracted the attention of, and been eaten by animal(s) (birds, deer, wild turkeys (see exhibit A below[*])).

These animals eat them, go on their way, and then, in one fell “poop” (sorry, couldn’t resist), plant and fertilize the indigestible seeds in various areas along their perambulations.

The color and taste of the fruit act as the attraction agents that entice the distribution agent: the animals who eat the fruit.

The same principle applies, of course, with the products or services we want to spread. We need to attract the attention — by being bright and delicious — of a customer who is predisposed and able to spread the word.

What are you doing with respect to attraction?

Once you’ve attracted the right customer, what seeds and fertilizer are you providing this customer to enable the spread? (Hint: think in terms of social objects. My thoughts on Social Objects: HERE; the always-worth-reading Hugh MacLeod’s thoughts: HERE).

[*]Exhibit A: Turkeys in the Yard

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