(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Why you need to become a Farmer not a Hunter to sell technology

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I’ve talked about the power of metaphors in selling technology, but what of the use of metaphors in shaping how we view our own roles in the sale? …

I’ve talked about the power of metaphors in selling technology, but what of the use of metaphors in shaping how we view our own roles in the sale?

For this I’ll use the metaphor of Hunters vs Farmers.

Hunters chase their quarry.

Farmers sit and wait.

In industry terms, hunting is far sexier, carries far more appeal and glamor than simply sitting and waiting it out.

Hunting is the next big thing, finding that one killer app, that insight, that silver bullet that will change everything.

We are an industry of hunters by training.

We’re not used to sitting around waiting for things to happen.

We like to pick up our spears and go chase down the next big thing, celebrating our kill and feasting on the rewards.

Farming is doing the work.

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  • 1. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Why you need to become a Farmer not a Hunter to sell technology BECOME A FARMER NOT A HUNTER I've talked about the power of metaphors in selling technology, but what of the use of metaphors in shaping how we view our own roles in the sale? For this I'll use the metaphor of Hunters vs Farmers. 1 / 5
  • 2. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Hunters chase their quarry. Farmers sit and wait. In industry terms, hunting is far sexier, carries far more appeal and glamor than simply sitting and waiting it out. Hunting is the next big thing, finding that one killer app, that insight, that silver bullet that will change everything. We are an industry of hunters by training. We’re not used to sitting around waiting for things to happen. We like to pick up our spears and go chase down the next big thing, celebrating our kill and feasting on the rewards. Farming is doing the work. HUNTERS vs FARMERS Hunters Farmers Strategy Chase trends, hunt the next big thing, gamble resources on a big outcome Spread risk over large food base, invest and master process Advantages Immediate return, excitement, wins awards Ability to invest, conducive to planning, diversification, greater yields over time Disadvantages High risk, minimal leverage on resources, no ability to save or invest Slow ramp up to results, requires faith (the internal sale) More From Graham Brown's Series on How to Sell Technology Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology 2 / 5
  • 3. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org These 2 Social Experiments Show How Stories Sell Technology Why you need to become a Farmer not a Hunter to sell technology Technology Companies need to Embrace the Unofficial or Die Why People Buy Technology: Social Proof AN ADDICTION TO HACKING We live in a world where people would rather spend their money on a quick-fix diet, learn Chinese in 15 minutes a day or hack their way to a happier life. Agencies cling to the idea of viral video campaigns that can project a boring brand into the world of youth authenticity overnight thus bypassing the necessary groundwork and foundations that often takes years if not decades to create. Perhaps the root of the problem lies in an industry that exists on a quarterly basis, where very little space is given to projects that provide long term structure and authenticity for a brand, favoring instead short, sharp “hits” that spike youth attention only to die away until the next campaign is resurrected. Most people don’t want to do the work. DOING THE WORK But just because “most people” don’t want to do something doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Precisely because the majority are running round like headless chickens we should be doing the opposite. The farmer plants his seed and waters his crop everyday even when there are no visible signs of shoots pushing through the soil. The farmer has to have a long term view, faith and patience. PLANTING THE APPLE SEED 3 / 5
  • 4. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org seed starting (Photo credit: kbowenwriter) When in 1998 Apple release the iMac, it gained a significant press buzz over its approach to design, with Apple declaring, “the back of our computer looks better than the front of anyone else’s.” Apple continued to make headlines over its design and user-focused interface as it began its long march to occupy the market’s mindshare. It released products that continually redefined the market: iPod, iPad, and of course the iPhone. By 2011, the company was named the most valuable company in the world, usurping Google. While many companies tried to follow in Apple’s footsteps what they missed was that Apple’s success did not only come from its product designs. It also largely came from the company’s approach to finding the love of its fans and a strategy played out over 2 decades. Back in the early 90s you can find videos on Youtube of Apple’s concept tablet aimed at teachers. Apple painted a picture of a device usable by both the educators and students to interact and empower learning. They had a clear goal on what they wanted to achieve and a market they would target. 4 / 5
  • 5. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org APPLE'S VISION: PLANTING THE SEED Contrary to the hunter approach of many tech companies today, Apple was a farmer. Apple had to sell the idea of marketing to a low-spend category of customers (students and teachers) as opposed to high end road warriors. Apple had to sell a vision that would take years to effect with its K-12 education strategy, summer camps at Apple Stores and student discounts. You, when I graduated University back in the 90s, everything was PC. People who used Macs were left handed architects and designers. Now, however, every student has a Macbook of sorts. These same students graduate to become IT managers, heads of procurement departments and their own businesses. If Apple had followed conventional wisdom and hunted the next big thing, it would have failed to build that invaluable Beachhead that eventually launched it to the high end business market. It takes time. The best time to plant a seed is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a seed is today - Chinese Proverb. Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org) 5 / 5