Category Archives: Marketing

Consumers don’t expect brands to be flawless

Consumers will embrace brands that are FLAWSOME*: brands that are still brilliant despite having flaws; even being flawed (and being open about it) can be awesome. Brands that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor, and (dare we say it) some character and humanity.

Two key drivers are fueling the FLAWSOME trend:

  • HUMAN BRANDS: Everything from disgust at business to the influence of online culture (with its honesty and immediacy), is driving consumers away from bland, boring brands in favor of brands with some personality.
  • TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH: Consumers are benefiting from almost total and utter transparency (and thus are finding out about flaws anyway), as a result of the torrent of readily available reviews, leaks and ratings.

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Facebook starts to deploy the new Timeline for businesses and brands

Facebook just started to make Timeline available for business pages, all pages will be switched to Timeline on March 30.  There is a lot to like about it and  some to dislike.

What to like:

  • For a start, Timeline has a more graphics oriented interface.  That will allow even small businesses to brand themselves at a much more affordable cost
  • The timeline allows businesses to tell their story, from birth, a great tool to build relationships with customers and prospects.  Everybody likes a good story and sharing the story of your brand or business will help forge stronger bonds with your audience, leading to more engagement and more sales.
  • The cover photo is now 851px by 315pix and can easily be changed to promote new services, specials, events, you name it.  A piece of advice, choose a high resolution image instead of picking a low resolution image already on your Facebook page.
  • You can now “anchor” stories for up to 7 days, anchored stories will be features at the top of your feed.
  • Highlight stories  with a star if they are important, hides the ones that are not driving engagement.
  • Show miles stones on your timeline, important events, number of fans, new stores, new campaigns, build your story
  • Timeline is based on engaging and communicating with your audience
  • Users will be see how many of their friends like your page and what their friends say about your business or brand
  • The admin panel is more extensive and notifies you of new comments, new “like”, messages and Insights in a single view, making it easier to see what is happening on your page

What’s not to like:

  • Branding is more limited than previously, Facebook wants uniformity in the interface, as a result, extensive branding options have been removed and it will be interesting to see how big brands that made extensive use of page customization will adapt.
  • Custom tabs have been removed and replaced by a limited number of apps (5), that’s including the Facebook preferred apps, you will have to be very selective)
  • More work and expense, the interface investment you put in your previous page is, well… gone
  • It will take more time and interactions to build followers, but again, interactions are what social media is about in the first place.

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7 Little Words That Sum Up the Entire Marketing Machine

Marketing is essentially getting someone that has a need to know, like and trust you. Of course then you must turn that know, like, and trust into try, buy, repeat and refer.

That my friends is the entire practice of marketing summed up in seven little words that make up what I call The Marketing Hourglass.TM

The idea behind the hourglass is that you look at each of the seven stages and intentionally plan products, services, processes and touches that logically move prospects along to the point where they become customers and then receive such a remarkable customer experience they become repeat customers and referral advocates.

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That Complaining Customer Could Have Become Your Next Advocate!

It’s a mistake to think that because a customer has expressed dissatisfaction with your product or service, they will not come back to you.

They won’t return if you handle the situation badly. However, some of your most vociferous complainers could become your most loyal customers, because you handled the situation well and treated them with respect.

This means recognizing some essential traits:

• Customers want to be respected
• They want attention
• They want to be appreciated and recognized
• Most of all – they want to be understood!

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How to Make a Brilliant Mistake

Everyone makes mistakes—every entrepreneur, every business leader, every employee. The mark of a great company isn’t that it avoids failures—that’s impossible—but that it has the wisdom to take full advantage of them.

Behavioral economics tells us that we humans are short-sighted by nature. We are wired to seek out evidence that confirms what we already believe and to ignore evidence that contradicts it. On top of that, we are usually overconfident, thinking we know more than we do and underestimating how much we don’t know.  This leads to tunnel vision and myopic judgments. The great virtue of mistakes, whether by accident or design, is that they widen your range of experience and shrink your ego—and thereby open you to discoveries you’d otherwise never make

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An Introvert’s Guide to Networking

I learned the critical importance of networking, and discovered my natural aversion to it, early in my career. I was a new college graduate working in the strategic planning division of a $10 billion company, and our business unit had been invited to a retirement party for one of the top executives. The gentleman retiring was someone I’d looked up to during my brief tenure, and I wanted him to know he’d made an impact on me.

While I wanted to attend the party, as an introvert I usually avoided these types of events because they made me uncomfortable. Knowing there would be a lot of senior executives at this party made me even more fearful. In the end, I tamped down my fears and went. When I arrived I found a relatively empty room save for the executive’s friends and close colleagues. That night, because of the small turnout, I had the pleasure and advantage of engaging in one-on-one conversations with some of the company’s top executives, an experience that would prove crucially important in advancing my career.

That evening I learned the importance of networking and realized I had to figure out how to engage in business events in ways that were comfortable for me. I went on to discover an array of strategies introverts can use, ultimately writing “The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership”.

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You Are Only as Good as Your Vendor

When Joy Randel set out to build an online retail shop last year, one of the first steps she took was to find companies that could provide the products she wanted to sell.

But Ms. Randel says some of the suppliers she initially struck deals with for her start-up, Dazzle Dog Delight, did a lousy job that cost her sales. “They either sent out the wrong items or the packaging was terrible,” recalls the Oakland, Calif., entrepreneur, who started her business after getting laid off from a large health company.

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The 20 Worst Prospecting Voicemail Mistakes

Among salespeople who make sales prospecting calls, there’s a hot debate about whether or not you should leave a voicemail message.

I’m of the opinion that you definitely should – but only once every three days.

For a voicemail to have any impact, however, you have to avoid the common blunders… and many of them are easy to make.

During one of these hot debates, I asked our followers which are the worst voicemail mistakes you can make in prospecting.

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