Recently I was taking some time to re-read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. Many years ago, I was lucky to be introduced and work with some of the great people from Franklin Covey, one of the world’s largest and most successful training companies. 

Whilst going through the habits, I came across the model for the Circle of Influence and the Circle of Concern. The principle on its own it’s pretty simple. It comes down to focusing on the things you can influence vs the things you can’t. 

When I started to read this section again, I wondered how it would apply to marketing, and most importantly to good vs bad marketing. So I started to map it out. 

You can find the graphics and all the show notes on our website. 

We hope you are enjoying the show so far, 30 episodes already, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun. Feel free to leave us a review or a comment to let us know your thoughts. 

Many thanks for listening. Regards, Chris.

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Chris Bruno 0:01
Welcome to the All About digital marketing podcast, the show all about digital marketing, digital marketing, digital marketing, digital marketing, brought to you by social Inc. digital marketing agency specialising in social media and content marketing for great brands and forward-thinking SMEs. I’m your host, Chris Bruno. And as always, we’re here to bring you the most actionable tips, tricks, tools and insights to help you achieve more when it comes to your digital marketing. Subscribe to the show. And be sure to share with a friend if you found something useful or interesting. You can find all the show notes and more information on www dot all about digital

Chris Bruno 0:53
Hi everybody, and welcome to a very special 30th episode of the All About Digital Marketing show. I’m Chris Bruno, I’m your host for the show. And today I just wanted to take a little bit of time to talk about something that I realised that is really affecting good marketing decisions versus bad marketing decisions. And it came again to me recently whilst reading or I should say, rereading the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Great book, by Dr. Stephen Covey.

It’s also been used now to create Franklin Covey, one of the biggest training companies in the world. But the concept that exists that was in this book that I was reading, and also that has been used in various other industries and around the world, is the idea of the circle of influence and the circle of concern.

Now, circle of influence and circle of concern sounds maybe like it’s a little bit confusing or a little bit arbitrary even sometimes. But what it is is about distinguishing the facts and the events that are happening around you, that are directly within your control and things that are directly without or out of your influence or control.

So things that you can really sort of worry about, but that not necessarily you can fix. So for example, who’s the current president of the United States, or is somebody like the President of the United States going to start a massive World War because of his tweets, that would fall very much in your circle of concern.

But however, your choice to do more exercise or to eat healthily, or whatever it might be, those would be choices that are firmly within your circle of influence. So how does all of this relate to my idea of how this impacts good versus bad marketing?

Well, the other day I was looking at it and I was thinking about this quite a bit. And I started to look at some of the big brands around the world. And I wanted to try and understand where their focus is, especially when it comes to marketing because obviously, that is my passion. That’s what I do on a daily basis, and it’s something that I really enjoy. But I started to realise that the same rules and the same important distinctions are made within those brands when it comes to their marketing when it comes to their business, in general, when it comes to how they focus on what it is that they’re actually doing.

So for example, things that would fall into your circle of concern for a business would be things like the global economy. What’s the current state of Brexit? What’s happening with fluctuations in your industry, or trends that are happening currently on the day to day basis?

But all of these things are things that we should be aware of, but that we realise that we consciously put to one side as things that we should keep an eye on. Yes. And maybe they’ll have a small part of influence eventually. But the reality is, we can’t shift or change those things in our lives, in our business, in our marketing.

So what are the things that we can focus on? And what are the things that we should be focusing on then?

Well, if we turn it around, and we talk about the things that we have complete control over, so our circle of influence, what we really should be focused on is our own business. So what are the things within our business that we really have control over that can help to influence what we’re doing?

Well for us here a Social INK. And for me personally, I believe that community sits at the heart of that. And the reason I say that is because only you and you alone are the influence and the power that can drive that community and the engagement that happens with that community.

So what we’re looking to do is how we can create a community that we can build on, that we can understand, that we can gain insights from to help us influence our marketing in the future to help us influence price points, maybe, to help us influence the roadmap for our product development, for example, all of those things are firmly within our control and that firmly within our circle of influence, as opposed to focusing on things in our circle of concern, for example, what our competitors are currently doing, whether it be on their marketing, whether it be on their pricing, whether it be on their offers or anything else, but actually being aware of those things might help.

But the reality is your community, your company, your products and services, how you’re going to develop these and what price points feels good and right to your customers only you’re going to really know that and only you have the influence over that to make that change and make that distinction.

I was doing a little bit of research so I could have some numbers and statistics to help kind of understand some of these things. But what I realised that was really interesting is when I started looking at the smartphone market, and the distinction between Apple and Samsung, for example.

Now, both companies don’t just make iPhones. So some of these stats and some of these figures have to be taken into context that there’s more to the story than just this simple idea of circle of influence and circle of concern.

But, Samsung currently has 22%, roughly, of the smartphone market. Now, Apple on the other side with their iPhone only has about 11% of their market.

Now again, both companies make very different things and they have a much wider scale. But today, Apple is worth nearly 10 times what Samsung is worth. So what are the things that we can look at and what are the sort of things that we can take away from this. And some of these I feel that are really important to kind of note, but in Samsung’s last advert for, I believe it was the s 10 when it was coming out, they made fun and they poke at Apple for the little notch in the top of an Apple iPhone on the latest designs.

Now, this might not seem like a lot, but it shows you that the company is focusing on what their competitors are doing. They’re focused on trying to make that distinction or trying to make that kind of ingrain to just give you that little element of Well, yeah, I don’t really like that or I’d prefer Samsung because it doesn’t have that notch.

The reality is why they’ve been trying to do that was that carrying on doing things like that? on Apple’s side, Apple is focused on who they are, what they’re doing, their products, their community, and they’re building on that.

So for as much as people might not want an iPhone, for example, the people who actually do are massively invested in this community because it keeps growing and what I mean by that is, for example, iOS has its own software and some people don’t like the fact that it’s limited to just that software, for example, or just being able to access the products that Apple have.

But actually, there’s a hell of a lot of people that don’t mind that and actually quite happy about that. But Apple has continued to build and iterate on them. So it’s not just a case of Yay, we have an app store. But now we have an app store. We have a stocks app, we have a news app that we can subscribe to, we have a TV app that we can subscribe to, we have an arcade app that we can subscribe to. We have the music section that we can also subscribe to.

What Apple has done is by focusing on themselves and by focusing on their community, in regards to everything that they’re doing to develop their roadmap and their product cycles, is that we realised that they are actually showing us that the dedication and the focus and the concentration on themselves and their community and building for those people, again, remembering that 11% of the market share is iPhone and 22% of the market share is Samsung phones.

But Samsung doesn’t have anything else built around that. Samsung’s phone works with Android with Google Play, store, all those other things. So they’re not taking advantage of building this amazing community and this amazing group of people that are surrounded by an ongoing evolution of the products and services that are built just for them.

And Apple’s okay with that. They don’t want to be the smartphone for absolutely everybody. Yes, they’ve released cheaper models now. And yes, they’re trying to go after bigger market share, of course every company is, but they’re still focused on the people who are with them. And they’re still focused on building the best possible solutions for those people.

And this is where the differentiation comes from focusing really on your circle of influence versus your circle of concern. And it’s something that I wanted to talk about today. It’s our 30th episode, which I’m really excited about. It’s gone remarkably fast, and we’re really ecstatic about how the podcast has been received.

But I’m going to chuck into the show notes or post that I did about this a couple of graphics that I think will help you guys to understand a little bit more about this kind of model, but also to encourage you to take a step back and review what it is that you’re currently actually focused on within your business.

Is it firmly within your circle of influence, something that you can do something about that you can take action on, that you can influence in terms of the outcome?

Or are you focused on things that are actually completely outside your control, but that find a way somehow to consume what you’re doing to keep you up at night, and to make you worry, even though you can’t actually do anything about them?

Something to think about guys. Thank you very much for listening. And again, it’s our 30th episode, so far. We’re really happy about this, and we’d love to hear some comments and feedback from you guys. So you can find us all over the web, but we’re on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

If not, you can check out the website and you’ll find all our show notes from all our guests and all the interesting links and everything that you can need to find out more about that particular episode.

Thank you very much, everybody.

Music by Hani Koi from Fugue