The Agenda

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When I returned from my military service in Feb, 2006, sahibinden.com was turning around chasing tails. My best friend at that time brought a new general manager to the company that we established in 2000 .The company was changing from the American company model that I was trying to set for years into what we call the public office style slowly and I could not stop it.

It was lack of fundamental .An investor from the hotel sector and a house-wife-became general manager were causing a lot of different value to migrate to other companies. E-commerce was something else really. But they could not see.Esin was one of those migrating values .I could only stay as a spiritual partner until the end of 2007. They shared their numbers, my old friend and his 2 unknown friends of this site. And I shared with Esin, without realizing, the things that cannot be expresses with numbers at the end of 10 years. I wish that Forcemind were to be the place for the things that cannot be expressed with numbers..

At the times when I was growing with sahibinden.com, there was someone among the managers that you could easily spot. Year 2006 .M .Cengiz Can, whom I will make an interview with in a little while, is a person engraved in the memory of many people he worked with as a person who values people more than success .

First of all, can you introduce yourself?
I am a serial entrepreneur creating brands from business ideas with my principles of honesty and friendship.

What do you think about the digital marketing getting more sales and individually targeted?
Digital is a method of marketing, Individual targeting is its philosophy. Methods can vary. 10 years ago there was not a digital marketing but there was individual-focused marketing. I am not interested in the methods as long as the philosophy is not correct. B-52s bombarding carpets, wide-spectrum antibiotics, I do whatever you want bothers are in the past now. Choices and information pile so high, it is a necessity for the brands to contact directly with the individual to be noticed. And that contact has to touch the heart.

No matter how advanced the technology is, in the end, the people that use it the same. Even though we evolve with time, our feelings and values are not changing. We want to feel important. We want to be taken care of. The approach focus is “I”. We say “Don’t send the general invitation, send the one you wrote in my name”. We check the signature on a bank letter if it is a photocopy or an original one. Now it is a standard talk saying we make banners, we prepare advergames, we make facebook applications, we make tweets for you. Where is the differentiation point if everyone uses the same methods, then? “Where am I in this crowd?” All this has to be defined. I believe in goal-oriented, accurately measured, point targeted marketing that uses reasonable resources.

What can you say about the four main headings of the marketing (Product-Place-Price-Promotion) shaping up with Participation?
Marketing used to have that 4P rule. In time they saw that it had no emotion. They included the emotion and it became 4C. Customer-focused in short. By adding a little technology and differentiation it has become 4V today.
Product – Consumer – Validity
Price – Cost – Value
Place – Convenience – Venue
Promotion – Communication – Vogue

If we look at the basis of the internet, although it was a military project in reality it was used for “socializing”.
Classmates.com 1995, Epinions.com 1999, My Space 2003, Linkedin 2003.Facebook 2004, Twitter 2006. Those examples which grew in a very little time frame shows how important that Participation is. If the topic has a part of “me” then belonging takes place. Then I am able to spread the brand, talk about the brand and grow the brand naturally. Actually Participation has been living in the concepts of Viral Marketing and Word of Mouth anyway.

What is the most important thing in a company under your management other than making profit?

For me the people come first. The people who love their jobs and who work with love. The people who believe in the brand and the product. The people who enjoy being a part of the team. A company must build that first. After that the customer satisfaction comes naturally. The first customer of a brand is the employee of that brand. The employees should be valued most.

Profit will come sooner or later from the work you enjoy. If an institution can create loyalty then it will never lose. If it cannot then my condolences. No matter how profitable it is someone will backstab it .But if you can be a big family with solidarity then the parties will not sell out each other, will not leave you on the half way. This is how the company grows, the employees grow and most importantly the customer base grows.

The young people are so worried about making money that they can ignore the skills and knowledge. What do you think about that?
They should ask themselves “What is the thing that money cannot buy?”. Then they should write down their answers. They should build their life philosophy based on things that money cannot buy. They should follow those. In that case money will lose its meaning for them. They won’t feel the difference if they have it or not. At that point these worries will be gone.

Money comes on way and goes the other way .If you earn more you spend more, if less you spend less. We should not think how much money we will have but what we can sacrifice to have it .Honor? Pride ? Health? Love? Or a close friend? Life is enjoying what you get slowly .Digesting it .Being able to digest failure and even success. Digest having money or being broke. In fact there is no good or bad at that point. Like day and night, like black and white. .The thing is to be gold not money .Gold keeps its value forever. Knowledge and experience are smoothing like that. They should spend their times to improve themselves, to be happy. They should enjoy both rain and sunshine. Money comes and money goes anyway. They should work for the keepers not for the goners!

What do you want to do in the future?
My focus is “now” in life .I am very happy with everything and everyone around me. John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to us while we are making plans for the future”. I can’t help agreeing with that.

I should mention that I am grateful to Cengiz Can for his important touches on my professional life besides thanking for that interview. I thank him very much for invoking my feelings to do something at the times he said “I always want to be proud of you”..

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