You will read me referring to “getting your pod chirping” throughout this blog. What do I mean?  Well, dolphins swim in pods. And as it turns out, these aquatic mammals are actually quite social. They communicate by producing chirps, whistles, creaks, chuffs, screams, squawks and pops.

What does this have to do with marketing? Well, the ocean is a big place and so is the marketplace (if you are going to be all things to all people).  If you are tossing a pebble into the sea it is time to rethink your strategy.  Here are five simple rules to help you focus (click here for the video).

1. Pick a pod.  One that will immediately find value in your product or service (will help the pod catch more fish, swim faster or discover new ways to play).  You want to find the pod you can make “chirp.” If you are setting out to be a better Google, Microsoft, Publix, Ebay, Hoover, Nebraska Furniture Mart, the Rolling Stones or any other dominant market leader then I propose you may be trying to drink the entire ocean in one gulp.  Are your resources inexhaustible? Better to change the rules, disrupt the status quo and find a niche where you can be the best in the world.  Pick a pod like Addthis, Quicken, Wholefoods, Skype, Dyson, PB teen and Lou Reed.

2. Get the attention of the pod. The pod is busy chasing its next meal. To get its attention requires a product that will resonate throughout it.  One that is different, unique, extraordinary, of real value and delivered with a true passion.

3. The right product or service must be focused on gaining the attention on the alpha influencer. Which dolphin is leading your target pod? If your idea can get the alpha influencer chirping, then it will evangelize it to the rest of the pod.

4. Is your pod chirping? If so, you’ve succeeded in reaching the tipping point within your market niche. Now you need to deliver on the promise of your brand. Do you provide irreplaceable value? Do the members of the pod bestow status upon users of your product or service?  Can your pod rely on you to deliver time and time again?  Can the pod no longer imagine the ocean without you?

5. Now that you’ve left the “long tail” of “OK,” “average” and "also run" behind; you are a market leader in your pod.  It is your job to stay alert and ahead of the sharks (the next disruptive wave).  Remember, if your looking ahead, with each disruption comes a new opportunity.  While the music, automotive and movie industry pods are threatened and scattered, allmusic guide , smartcars, solaris and imdb thrive.

To stay motivated on your quest, check out Seth Goodin's post - In search of dolphin leather


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