Engaging Influencers

If you lose a tooth, you’ll head to your dentist to see about getting it replaced.

There are a few ways to replace it.

One of those ways is through a dental implant.

A screw that fits in the spot of your missing tooth. Which then gets a fake tooth placed on top.

Now, your dentist may or may not do this for you. It’s likely they don’t. The most likely scenario is they would refer you to an Oral Surgeon or a Periodontist.

These are dentists that specialize in dental implants.

I sold these dental implants.

The buying process is a hub and spoke model.

The Oral Surgeon or Periodontist is the hub, while the dentist you visit is the spoke.

These specialists have many dentists referring these dental implant surgeries to them.

In this model, there are a couple ways to grow your business.

You can sell directly to Oral Surgeons and Periodontists. Convincing them to use your specific dental implant.

Or, you can sell to the referring dentists and have them request a dental implant to be placed. Typically, the specialist will oblige.

The latter of these two methods is effective. Reason being, the specialists care more about their relationship with their referrals than they do about which implant they use.

This is a classic situation of understanding who the buyers are, who the influencers are, and how they interact together during the buying process.

To succeed in this model, we need to create awareness and demand for the buyers. But more importantly, we need to do this for the influencers.

By doing so, we are able to engage and empower the influencers. Giving them enough reason to introduce our solutions to decision makers.

Rarely is the B2B purchase decision made with a single buyer. Nor, does it lie strictly in a buying committee.

And once you engage those influencers, you get the call from your target Oral Surgeon who finally wants to use your product.

Local Community Engagement

I saw Billy Joe Armstrong, the front man for Green Day, live for the first time in 2019.

For being a fairly big Green Day fan, it took me a long time to get around to seeing him live.

When I saw Billy Joe Armstrong, it was with a side project band called The Longshot.

They happened to be playing at a small club in Oakland. I think it stands maybe 200 people.

This is the exact setting I have always wanted to see Green Day or Billy Joe Armstrong.

The main reason is Oakland is his home town. And the feel of the show is local.

He actually plays quite a lot of local shows in small clubs in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco.

Whether it is with Green Day, The Cover Ups, The Foxboro Hot Tubs, or The Longshot.

He will tend to just show up at places and play.

Which, for someone who does stadium tours around the world, it’s pretty cool to see them in an intimate setting in a small club.

What Billy Joe Armstrong is great at by doing this is local community engagement. He is heavily engaged in the Oakland community.

It’s where he got his start with Green Day and it’s where he lives.

It’s a reminder that we like to see local community engagement.

As marketers, regardless of how big we are, engaging with our local customers is a great way to keep a pulse on what our customers want.

Giving back to our local city is something to enjoy.

It’s special and you can only have it one place.

Just like getting to see a hometown show.

Al’s Barber Shop

Since 1953, Al’s Barber Shop has been cutting hair in Alameda.

It’s a fixture of The Island.

Alameda’s fun and has quite a few of these types of places.

Al’s is a classic barber shop. Minus a small change in ownership when Al retired, it’s gone unchanged for decades.

Even through the change in ownership, the shop itself was renovated to look and feel like the original Al’s Barber Shop.

It’s a place where you get a great haircut and have some good conversation.

Nothing fancy.

It’s like a barber shop should be.

Authentic. Local. They know what they are and the story they tell.

If you don’t live in Alameda, but live in the Bay Area, it’s worth the drive in.

They’re appointment only and you can book online here.

Choosing your customers

At one time, Netflix and Comcast were direct competitors.

Then, Netflix won.

Netflix beat Comcast by putting their customers first.

When Netflix began its streaming service, and Comcast’s streaming service revenue began to decline, Comcast chose their own interests.

Slowly but surely, Comcast subscribers began to strongly prefer Netflix over Comcast’s streaming options.

What was Comcast’s reaction?

To penalize their customers.

The strategy was to throttle Netflix internet traffic.

Comcast decided to actively prevent their customers from watching Netflix. This was their biggest mistake and it’s why Comcast lost.

On the other hand, Netflix decided to do everything thing they could to ensure their subscribers – who unfortunately had Comcast as an internet provider – could watch Netflix.

That amounted to paying Comcast for the increased internet while Comcast customers watched Netflix.

Netflix burdened that cost for their customers. Which, they subsequently won a lawsuit against Comcast, where Comcast couldn’t throttle Netflix traffic.

What is the price you pay when you treat your customers as Comcast has? Consumers try to avoid you as much as possible.

And the business who choses their customers? Bigger than ever.

And, most of us are thankful Netflix won while COVID continues to leave us with very little to do.

American internet providers are loathed. And, for good reason.

Customers are extremely valuable. Don’t treat them like Comcast treats theirs.

P.S. In a survey conducted about consumer sentiment towards businesses, Comcast ranked below the IRS. Yes, people would rather pay their taxes than deal with Comcast.

P.P.S. Thank’s to Unlocking the Customer Value Chain by Thales S. Teixeira for this story.


When Ziggy Stardust made his first appearance, Rock and Roll hadn’t quite seen that level of glam.

If it had, it was in small doses.

When David Bowie brought Ziggy Stardust to life, this wasn’t his first album. He’d already had four. And had hits.

But, in what would become an innate skill that seems to define Bowie, he shed what he was doing before and gave birth to Ziggy Stardust.

His iconic character that was featured on just two albums.

Then, Ziggy Stardust was dead.

Bowie moved on to his next project, leaving behind the past. But, not before he left a huge influence on rock.

He would go on to dramatically change personas as he released albums. Each one creating new influence in music.

Effectively reinventing himself each time.

A master of reinvention.

It’s a bold strategy, even for an artist.

Being able to reinvent yourself and stay relevant over decades of music.

What this shows us, though, is what we were doing yesterday does not have to define the work we do tomorrow.

What our brand stood for yesterday can evolve. At times, even dramatically.

We might have to do this to create the influence we want.

Just like Bowie, we’re allowed to reinvent ourselves and our businesses.

Who knows, we might just create the next Ziggy Stardust.