Software for Podcasting (Why Podcast with Audello)

Last year Audello launched and the Podcast community was divided.

Is it the greatest tool for podcasts or just another faddish slick marketing gimmick..?

Turns out the naysayers were just miffed that a plugin turned what used to be a very time consuming technical process into a very quick and easy experience.

I finally got round to putting it to use in the past month and totally love it.

Uploading mp3’s is easy.


Editing meta tags and podcast info is easy.


Creating playlists is easy.


Publishing to iTunes is… well… I haven’t quite got that far yet.

But this month once I have 10 episodes recorded I’ll be doing a Podcast launch campaign… and I’m very confident the technical aspects will be a cinch with Audello.

Check out the very compelling description for Audello — and become a podcast rockstar like me 🙂

Open Letter to Membership Site Plugin Developers

Dear membership site developers,

In 2015 I’m going to create a comprehensive membership site… Oh no wait, I can’t yet… because of the state of current membership plugins.

I think the problem is the ‘minimum viable product’ mind set where developers create something they can sell, generally as good as the mixed bag of competitors, and then get lazy about creating something truly comprehensive.

In this way, ‘market leading’ doesnt really say much… does it…?

Off the top of my head:

  • Dashboard analytics revealing lifetime customer value metrics including retention and churn rates. (For a membership thats pretty darned important!!)
  • Payment buttons that process via whichever source the visitor came from rather than having to create entirely separate sales pages for clickbank, jvzoo, stripe, paypal, etc.
  • Internal affiliate management including campaign link tracking with the ability to integrate 3rd party affiliate systems that work simultaneously.
  • Credit-based subscription system allowing members to select the premium content they want on a periodoc basis (eg so member can choose which module she takes in month 2)
  • Member can add notes at various places throughout member content and then review them again on those pages or in a separate notes section.
  • Proper Email api integration for email providers… and not just for the usual suspects (aweber, mail chimp).

…where all of these sytems including 3rd party affiliate and email solutions work seemlessly with eachother to properly pause, cancel, enable, remove or add members to lists and product access levels.

Maybe this kind of feedback from more membership site operators will encourage a few developers to quickly fill these gaps at the start of 2015.

The membership site industry needs these features to mature.

We’re all waiting and watching for it.

yours truly,

Gavriel Shaw
Cyclic Media

How NOT to offer B2B services…

I’m searching for an inbound customer contact centre and used the live chat on one service providers website.

Here’s how the conversation went down…

Me: Nice website but the pricing table is clear as mud for me

Todd C: Hello

Me: What’s the economy plan for $29?

Todd C: My apologies. It isn’t meant to be unclear. Our economy plan is 29.00 per month for service. Every minute of operator time is 1.19 per minute

Me: ok then next to $29 it should say p/m
and it shouldn’t say ‘each additional minute’
it should say ‘per minute’
so the next one up is $109 per month and $1.09 per minute right?
do you have call agents that enter orders into your clients ecommerce platform?

Thank you for contacting us.
Your chat session was disconnected because it was idle for too long.

My email to their sales team: 

Wow, I’m instilled with confidence at your company’s ability to handle incoming customer contacts…

Moral of the story?

  • Check your own house is in order before you expect customers
  • They look like a startup so good on them for launching despite not quite being ready (rapid test and learn is fine for startup, as long as they really do optimize quickly)
  • Customers like me can indeed be pesky sarcastic British a–holes

5 Degrees of Consumer Sophistication

Gene Schwartz nailed 5 stages of market sophistication which helped my approach to strategic marketing to no end.

And I’ve just brainstormed an equivalent for consumer sophistication that considers the consumer a little more directly.

Which stage are your customers at? How do you appeal to them? Do you turn other customers off? What can you do to appeal to other customer segments?

5 Degrees of Consumer Sophistication

  1. Naive consumer – New to market – eager for big promises. The bigger the promise the better. “Lose 100lb in 7 days without diet or exercise!”. At this stage they’ll be lucky to select a product that works for them.
  2. Hopeful consumer – Aware of options – hopeful about purchases but impulse buy on claims (first impressions)
  3. Selective consumer – Skeptical but hopeful – needs to know and believe in mechanism of results (product quality)
  4. Guided consumer – Relationship sensitive (aware and educated of both product category options as well as mechanism credibility). They benefit from a credible source of information. Such as Dr Oz for health.
  5. Educated consumer (looks beyond hype and has opinions of what works and what doesn’t, which may be right or wrong, but they are strongly opinionated and you will need to market appropriately (e.g. financial advisors appealing to liberals vs conservatives)

Audience Captivation – Story Loops & Nested Loops

Story loops have been used by brilliant writers for centuries.

With the dawn of television the power of “nested loops” became clear.

Nesting story loops is the most powerful way to keep an audience engaged.

Kevin Hogan shows the lasting power of nested loops with an example of an old TV show from the 1980’s…and how people still remember the plot 25 years later.

Gamestorming for Brainstorming

Gamestorming is a set of best practices compiled from the world’s most innovative people and companies, condensed into a lightweight, low-tech toolkit that applies tools and rules to the problems of collaboration and teamwork.

The approach is a mashup of game principles, game mechanics and work. It’s a set of methods for inventors, explorers, and change agents. A practice made of people, paper and passion.

Huge cultural shifts can be required to foster such an open culture of gamestorming…

It makes me wonder how much of this type of approach is managed internally vs how much is actually delivered by external agencies.

Empathy Mapping exercise to understand your audience

Innovation Catalysts, Wendy Castleman and Suzanne Pellican, introduce the Empathy Map as a tool for unpacking observations to get empathy for customers you’ve done research with.

Neat run down of a simple brainstorming exercise that will help you develop empathy about your audience.


Use these intuitive questions to develop an empathy map, asking:

  • What does your chosen audience say (visible)
  • What do they do (visible)
  • What do they think (invisible)
  • What do they feel (invisible)

Useful before developing more comprehensive personas and storyboarding.

See the picture for an excellent orientation to empathy mapping via the senses associated with different parts of a face.

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