Category Archives: Workshops

Assumptions, your hidden but very painful growth killers

One of the most stunning things we encounter when we run workshops about strategy, is the confidence managers usually have with respect to knowing their customers well. When we confront them with questions such as “how do you  know this is exactly what your customers want?”, “how do you know this is the way to go?”,  they answer, almost by design, that they know “because we have been working together for so long”, or “because sales have very good contacts with the customer base” or “because we’ve been around for so long in the industry”, and so on.


Phantom facts are hard to manage. They can destroy what you cherish most.

Phantom facts are like castles built in the air, with assumptions being the little building blocks of the master plan.  And assumptions are growth killers. They kill painlessly slow. But the result is very painful.

How can we bring ourselves to making fewer assumptions?

In order to know what your customers need (what they need is not necessarily the same as what they want), you must have a thorough understanding of their way of thinking, their challenges, their problems, their dreams, their goals. You will not find out by asking, because people do not necessarily tell you what they need. They sometimes even can’t know because they are not always aware of all the possibilities around.

So, what do you have to do as a supplier or a manufacturer?
Watch, follow and listen carefully. Give the customers the floor. Give them the opportunity to show you things and to learn from them.  And close the gap between “thinking you know” and “getting to know”. When you talk, you can only repeat what you already knew. But when you listen, you may learn something new.

There is a popular saying in the United States, based on a very simple idea that when you take assumptions for facts, chances are you are going to make a fool of yourself and the people you are taking along with you.

ASSUME = making an ASS out of U and ME.

So, to summarise,  stop assuming. Instead, start on a journey to find out what really matters to your customers by keeping the dialogue open all the time. And finally, by developing your listening skills, you will gradually master the art of catching the difference between what they say they want and what they really need.

De Vlaamse Sportfederatie “marketingtoolbox” website is een feit

De Vlaamse Sportfederatie (VSF) lanceert deze week haar online “marketingtoolbox”: een interactieve website die aan haar leden sportfederaties toelaat hun marketing- en communicatiestrategie eens grondig onder de loep te nemen. Met deze online marketingtool die we binnen speciaal op maat voor de VSF hebben ontwikkeld, wil de VSF de werking binnen de sportfederatiesector strategisch versterken.
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Still want to be in business by 2020?

If you still want to be in business by 2020, you need to come up with a smart online strategy.  A strategy that is different from what most companies do (showing off how great they are).
What does that mean? In the first place you have to ban company-centric thinking and make sure the content of your site is relevant to your audience. As per our our main provider, to be successful, whatever you do is “all about the customer, and not about you”.

1. Without having a goal, it’s difficult to score
2. A website never is a stand-alone given. It always is part of a larger experience
3. Maybe nobody goes to your website because it’s about you
4. Content is king
5. Consistency is queen
6. Create an interactive experience
7. Be a platform
8. Internet is the norm: users spend most of their time on other websites
9. What does not exist on Google, does not exist…
10. Every page is a Homepage
11. Start with listening
12. Contribute to the conversation
13. Visitors are always right
14. Do not fix what is not broken
15. Think big, start small, scale fast

Find out more? 
Book an online impact scan or a workshop and get a practical feeling of what to do through lots of real life examples of do’s and don’ts

Join the Learning Network Marketing (VOKA)

Like last year, Dominique Demeulemeester and Ann Galland will be chairing the marketing network of VOKA West-Vlaanderen.
In case your are interested in sharing your marketing knowledge and learning from peers, feel free to join us at the info session on Monday 19 September (Sessions in Dutch)

For more information




Be yourself…

Today, we are all managing a large part of our networks and personal reputation online, mainly through social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the likes. For many, Social Media thus becomes more or less synonymous with personal branding.

But is it?  To put it bluntly, Social Media is a means and not an end. The word media, which happens to be the plural of  “medium”, tells us that we are looking at tools; tools to help us in reaching our goals.

So then, what is Personal Branding about?

It is about being YOURSELF. Look at the witty phrase by Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”  Frankly speaking, isn’t that the essence?

Therefore, our Personal Branding workshop takes you on a journey that helps you discover how to really “be yourself” while concentrating on all the assets you have. It is by understanding your true aspirations, that your dreams can gradually and systematically be translated into realistic goals and deadlines.

In other words,  the workshop is not about how great the tools are, but about what attitude and what content you need to position yourself in a believable authentic way. It is about how to build your own personal story, with the different tools you have at hand.

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