What is your ‘just cause’?

I am thinking about this very idea of why I go to work everyday. Why do we do what we do as a company? We are a holiday club company. In a blunt, dry way, we are selling a holiday membership that have a life of forever. It’s getting harder and harder to justify why people would be interested in this product. What is our selling point? Why would people care about our product?

In the past many years, we tell ourselves that we don’t sell a holiday membership. We help people to holiday. But, there are a zillion companies out there doing exact same thing with less commitment. Maybe this is not our “why’, not our ‘just cause ‘ of why we do what we do.

We need to take a step further by asking ourselves, why do people holiday? The answers varies. But again, we don’t have to be everything to everyone. We can pick only one answer and be good at it. And, my pick is – our “just cause (why we do what we do)” is we bring family together. We come to work everyday to help family members being together. Holidays, apartments, hotels, are just a facilitator that allows us to do that.

What is your just cause?


Execution – it’s a key part of great strategy

You may have heard before that one of the reasons why a strategy doesn’t work is because of a poor execution. In order words, a strategy is great but an execution is not so much. This notion is just wrong. Execution is a key part of a good strategy. When a strategy fails, it’s because the whole thing fails.

I read a book called “Good Strategy/Bad Strategy” by Richard Rumelt. He suggested that good strategy has 3 key components namely – a diagnosis of a situation, a guiding policy, and coherent actions. The last bit, the coherent actions, is the execution. What’s the point of having a strategy if you don’t plan to execute it right?

I just finished the second round of a book called “Who says elephants can’t dance” by Louis Gerstner. And this quote is brilliant – “execution is really the critical part of a successful strategy. Getting it done, getting it done right, getting it done better than the next person is far more important than dreaming up new visions of the future”.


A Byproduct of Success

We don’t wake up and feel energetic everyday. Where is the source of our energy? Do you feel like going to work everyday? I think the bigger question is – why do you go to work? Are you successful in life?

What about this notion? To be successful you need to have the right energy that drives you, day in and day out, in the right direction. Where do you energy come from then? Someone has told me that energy is a byproduct of passion and passion is a byproduct of purpose. And, purpose is a byproduct of a need of oneself to contribute something to the world.

What is your purpose?


Don’t be everything to everyone

The one principle in marketing that I learn in my career is that we cannot be everything to everyone. It’s a formula for mediocrity which will turn you to complacency. It is not possible that you could have a product or a marketing campaign that work or suit everyone. It’s like you try to cook a Thai dish for all nationalities. The result? A mediocre Thai dish that is not tasty or spicy enough for Thais, that is not a true traditional dish for Westerners.

What you need to think about is what type audience who would benefit from your offer, solution or product. You then design a product to suit them. It will increase your focus, maximise your marketing spend, and have a message that is relevant to that particular group.

Seth Godin call this concept Minimum Viable Audience – the audience that is big enough for you to be profitable. Find them, create an ecosystem for them, and nurture them with valuable content and solution.


Inbound and Outbound Marketing

General speaking, there are 2 types of marketing – inbound and outbound. It’s a hot topic in our environment. I work in an outbound environment with a little success in inbound. What are the differences between the 2? What is it much harder to do inbound marketing?

My own definition is that – when doing outbound, customers generally don’t know and don’t want to talk to us. We call or email them out of the blue. Some of them, but very small portion, might like our offers. The only thing that works for the outbound campaign is a discount.

Inbound marketing is when customers want to talk to us. Some even look forward to hear from us. How can we do that? An easy answer but difficult to achieve is we have to provide valuable content that help them solve problems. Inbound takes time, and there is no short cut. It’s extremely hard to do if you are in a reactive and a right-now result driven environment. However, it’s the only way to do marketing if you want a sustainable success.

I still struggle today but cannot give up. It’s a long battle and I am prepared to be in this game for a long run.


Program VS Campaign

I work in a big hospitality company. There is one thing that I try to change but find it very difficult. We have been operating the same way in the past 10+ years. We have done the same discounted campaigns and used the same distribution channels.

What I try to do is changing a program model. The concept is to change a business model within a small program unit. We cannot do the same campaigns and promotions on the same program model. Why? Because we have to do more and more promotions to get the same results. The existing model is obsolete. We will have to do more. We need to invest more resources and our cost will increase and we will be lucky to get the same result.

I find it’s hard to get colleagues and management understand. Changes are hard. But, there is no other option. You cannot change your campaign model unless you move one step up and apply the change to the program level. You understand where I am coming from, right?



Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

Oscar Wild


I am Apivut and welcome to my blog. I was inspired by a marketing guru – Seth Godin – that I should blog every day. It took me a while to do this because I am not confident that I can blog once a day, every single day. I still don’t believe that I can but I should give it a go.

I think my stories might be helpful to other people who have the same interest, mostly business strategy, as I do. I tried to do a few blogs in the past but all failed. So, this time, I won’t have any set rules. I will just write, long or short blog posts depending on what I have in mind. And, in the past, I cared too much if anyone would read my blogs. But, as Seth said, it doesn’t matter if anyone would read your blogs. Writing blog posts helps your thinking process. Let see how it goes.

I work in marketing, in a large hospitality company in Australia. I originally came from Thailand. I didn’t plan to be in a marketing area as I like business strategy. But somehow I ended up in marketing for 20 years.

For whoever that comes across this blog and this welcome post, thank you for spending a few minutes of your valuable times to read or skim through this message. I hope we will communicate in the future.