Category Archives: Traditional Marketing
Posted by Social Media Second
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, then you know two things.
First, this is totally about to happen……Super Bowl
Second, in the world of social media and marketing, two heavy weights went head-to-head with a clear loser!
While one, GoDaddy, decided to create an ad that enraged dog lovers and pet-friendly people across the country, Budweiser showed their chops as the King of Beers (and advertising) by doing what their audience loves best – good ole’ down home man, dog, horses, and beer.
As of this writing, Godaddy has received such an outpouring of hate posts on social media that they have apologized and pull the ad while Budweiser is the toast of beer towns everywhere.
Here…take a moment to compare the two efforts!
In the OH NO THEY DIDN’T CATEGORY!
Why? Cardinal rule – market to your audience. Most women buy beer for their house. If not women, then the next largest segment, MEN, buy beer for their house, at the bar, and everywhere else.
While dogs have always been a man’s best friend, showing the prized family puppy who is lost only to finally make his way home where he has been sold on a GoDaddy site…well, the anger was coming in 3…2….1….meltdown.
On the other hand, it fills Americans with pride to know that the stronger (horses) protect the smaller (puppy) and everyone is welcomed home in the end with a bath, food, and a beer! #BestBuds is a winner on all fronts!
A few quick marketing lessons from this throw down:
- Marketing Lesson #1 – In short, the truth is that humor can backfire on you in a heartbeat and cost thousands of dollars. Know your audience first…and then, know what they find funny. After all, you know what they say about assuming…yes, it waste a ton of money and you lose your audience.
- Marketing Lesson #2 – Make sure to check and double check with a marketing focus group if you are going to release a commercial before millions of people at the biggest sport event of the year.
- Marketing Lesson #3 – There are no hostages in social media…only casualties. Check and double check the pulse of the market before you step into the ring with the champ. If you are going to openly mock a brand that practically OWNS a medium, market, or segment, then you need to make sure you are target.
Enjoy the Super Bowl and let us know what you think are the best ads for 2015.
Do you have a clue what is killing your marketing efforts? Whether you are a small business or large corporation, it is likely at least one of these customer service issues is planning the death of your marketing dollars!
Recently, I had occasion to travel across several states on business and pleasure. Traveling provides a unique opportunity to view the world of customer service from the good, the bad, and the ugly. While noting that the holiday season brings out the worse in both customers and customer service, it was particularly apparent that most companies do not take enough time to think through the rationale of integrating customer service into the marketing department instead, as is traditional in most case, into the sales department.
As an even bigger offense, if for some unfathomable reason, customer service is a department unto themselves because the divide between performance and evaluation increases at alarming rates. Without doubt, more marketing dollars are needlessly wasted each year on ineffective customer service than any other marketing endeavor. Clearly, the most preventable cases the murder of marketing dollars is easily fixed by addressing these five customer service issues:
Man-Handling: Many times, service representatives react with overzealous pressure on customers. Upon asking to be left alone (clearly) to browse for shoes, I was continually followed and addressed by a sales person. When I requested, pointedly, that the sales lady go away, she did only to be replaced by another salesperson from the same charm school. As a result, my shopping experience was ruined and I left the store.
Cow-Towing: For some service reps, good customer service is equated to bowing and scraping before the buyers. The buyer feels horrible that the company or the service individual is fawning over them like an entourage following the diva of the week around the store. With a strange mixture of discomfort and annoyance, the customer exits the store as quickly as possible.
Passive-Aggressive: Interestingly enough, in the past few weeks, I have encountered this behavior in several professional settings. When asking for a call number in the library, the Librarian literally snatched the paper from my hand to go get the book from me with a curt, “that is my job!” As I stood in shock staring at her back, it seemed an odd sense of customer service that resounded of policy filtration. In another case, I was seriously asked, “What do you want?” Looking around a large, brand name bookstore, I humorously ordered, “a double cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate shake.” In both instances, marketing dollars are wasted as customer service is isolated from the rest of the company structure. NOTE TO CUSTOMER SERVICE WORLD: The customer does not care if YOU are having a bad day, so that excuse does not fly for me.
Know-Nothing: In contrast, customer service employees that know nothing about the product or services offered by a company are the worst waste of marketing money. When customers fill the store seeking details about services or directions to products, a customer service representative should at least have general knowledge. If the product or service base is so large that no one could have a strong working knowledge, the product specialist should be assigned to aid the customer. I watched as a bookstore employee advised a beginning PhotoShop7 (yes, I know….groan from the audience….PhotoShop7!) to buy the PhotoShopCS3 Bible because it was about the same thing. Needless to say, I stepped in to advise her to look online for a copy for a Dummies or 24-Hour book appropriate to her version of Photoshop. “What’s the difference?” she asked me politely. “About $75, years of needed Photoshop experience, and the frustration of trying to follow a book that does not represent your software,” I replied with encouragement.
Techno-Interruptus: Shopping for a new cell phone urged me to add one more criminal act of marketing murder to the sphere of customer service. Although I do admit that technology is a wonderful thing for business, it might well be the worst thing ever created for customer service. Encountering service reps texting or talking about a party on their cell gives the worst impression of a company and completely sends me toward the door. If that customer service rep adds a deep resounding huff of “you are bother me” to the mix, then I might ban the store from coast to coast from my shopping experience.
In most cases, customer service initiatives can enrich the return on investment for every marketing dollar spent by a company. Marketing expenditures can lead to increased sales and heightened positive brand awareness with the help of informed customer service force as part of the marketing team.
Tags: Advertising, blog marketing, Blogging, brand, Branding, Business, business practices, customer service, email marketing, How to, Marketing, pull marketing, push marketing, social marketing, social media, Viral Marketing, web marketing
At least once a week, someone writes to ask me why their email list is dwindling in readership and subscription rates are dropping. Almost without exception, the answer can be narrowed down into one of four mistakes. Although it seems to be in fashion to let the instant connection of social media bleed over into email marketing efforts, this mentality poses the problem of overexposure and violation of spamming laws.
In both instances, avoiding these email marketing blunders can help reach customers and avoid losing potential sales:
1. Customer Centric Information: The most common unfounded belief is that customers are waiting to receive an email about what YOU are doing. So many times, business owners focus their newsletters and emails around promotions and marketing of events. In truth, giving readers information to help them solve a problem or answer a question makes you an expert in the mind of your customer.
2. Permission is Precious: The worst offense any business owner can make when using their email list is forgetting that email is not the same as social media, even if that is how you gained permission to use someone email for contact. If you want to keep your email marketing list strong, then ask yourself these important questions before you hit the send button—
- Does it serve a purpose for my customer or is it just marketing for my business?
- If I had to call my customer on the phone instead of send an email, would this message be adequate reason?
- Would I be annoyed, as a customer or business owner, to receive the same email in my inbox?
- Would I stop to read it and start to anticipate the next email?
If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding NO, then take a few minutes to consider how to correct the problem before sending the email. By remembering that every person on your email list can remove their name by simply clicking a button or report you to your email provider for spamming, the goal of providing quality email marketing messages mixed with strong informational content will keep your readers both interested and involved.
3. Time is of the Essence: Many business owners’ loose subscribers merely due to the amount of email they send to their list. Sending email two or more times a week can lead to overexposure and be a huge reason that email recipient lists drop in numbers. Instead of sending several emails a week, it is better to schedule your emails on the same day of the week and set a time for delivery. For example, print out a calendar and mark all important marketing events. Then, back up several weeks and plan to send email blasts on consecutive Tuesdays very early in the morning. By sending on the same day every week or month, you teach your customers to anticipate your email connection instead of resent it.
Note: Studies show that email promotions sent out early Tuesday morning achieve better results because Tuesday is a breather day in the work / activity schedule for most people and early morning puts your emails at the top of the inbox.
4. Your Partner, Your Problem: Partnerships have become very common place between small businesses. Although cross promotion can be very valuable in reaching out to new potential clients, it is vital that the “special offers” be more valuable to an email list than to the business owner. By sharing partners with your email list, you endorse the services or goods of your partner to people who trust you. If you send them an offer that is not specific to their needs or solves a problem they encounter, then they will click the unsubscribe button.
Although many business owners slip into the mentality that the loss of subscribers is acceptable because they are not interested enough to purchase, this is a waste of marketing dollars and can cost the restriction, or possible loss, of an email marketing database.
Plus, without argument, eliminating these four errors from your email marketing will help you achieve your real goal in engaging in email marketing: increased customer loyalty and higher sales conversions.
Tags: Advertising, blog marketing, Blogging, brand, Branding, Business, business practices, customer service, email marketing, facebook, How to, Marketing, pull marketing, push marketing, social marketing, social media, Viral Marketing, web marketing
As a marketer and web designer specializing in social media marketing, I have one rule that is never broken. No personal pictures of children. I would rather lose a client because I know that the web is a scary place filled with anonymity and people with no value for children. While parents protect their children from those hiding in the shadows of secrecy in real life, many parents unwittingly expose their children to thousands of sexual predators and molesters who are simply a click away.
If there is one message that I would love to give every parent who engages in social media or marketing for their business it would be: the web is not your friend!
Here are six NEVER DO things for social media and websites to protect your children:
1. Never use pictures of your children as your profile picture. So many parents use pictures of their children instead of themselves as profile or avatar images. While I appreciate the need for parents to retain obscurity, think about the exposure of your children and their image to mass populations of people.
2. Never put pictures of your children on your website or blog. Perhaps the most accessible way to gain pictures, a website or blog surrenders pictures with just a right click and SAVE AS. Posing a double threat, many website and blogs are directly traceable to a location by phone number or direct address. Might as well place a google map on your child with a large YOU ARE HERE arrow.
3. Never share pictures over social media. Having seen people post a link to vacation pictures or family fun on Twitter or Facebook, the warning light bulb burns white hot upon the realization that thousands of unknown people exist in each account. Even in the strictest of social media sites that require you to validate your “friends,” people can sneak in to your connections. Further, when connections comment on your photos, your photos show up in the highlights of their connections! In certain social media, your pictures can be shared and re-tweeted to a whole new group of people without your knowledge.
4. Never send pictures over email. If you send pictures of your children to company email addresses, then they go through a server administrated by people. As email can easily be viewed, saved, downloaded, and forwarded, grabbing these pictures of your children is not difficult. Most servers automatically scan downloads and attachments for viruses and generate reports to administrators.
5. Never forget that someone does not have to touch your child to exploit them. When placing the pictures of your children in any online electronic format, never forget that you are exposing them to exploitation by one simple right click. In the thousands of people on the internet and in social media profiles, consider the chances that one of them is either a pedophile or sexual predator. The chances are very good!
6. Never let innocence block your view of the truth. So many parents see their children with innocence rather than the potential for exploitation. Innocent pictures of children in the bath tub or playing in the backyard sprinkler are graphic to a sick mind. Although it might be painful to think in that manner, there are many consequences more painful than protecting your child by seeing the truth.
People often protect their financial information more stringently than their children because they feel safe in tucking their children into bed at night.
Not quite…in reality, it takes less than 10 seconds to right click on a picture and upload it to a new webpage. In those 10 seconds, a charming picture of a 7 year old girl in her new bathing suit splashing around in a pool can hit a child pornography website and be up for sale to thousands of pedophiles for a few dollars.
Are you ready for worse? Social media pages and websites often have exact locations connected to the parents’ profile. Even more directly, many social media profiles have websites that list as a location and phone number on the website or in a domain search. In less time than it takes to post that innocent picture to share with family and friends, a child molester can find the exact address of your child. When posting pictures of children, many parents post their names and ages with the picture.
Is there anything more persuasive for a child than a person who knows their parents name as well as their own? It is quite an advantage for sexual predator.
After watching a recent episode of Raising the Bar, it was very clear that my own experiences with parents reflects the comfortable naiveté of reality in how often people forget that the web is not their friend because we have grown up with the web as a part of our lives. I suggest this episode to every single person responsible for the well-being of children who uses the social media or the web as part of their connection with family, marketing for a business, or expansion of a social network.
Raising the Bar http://www.tnt.tv/dramavision/?oid=49111&eref=sharethisUrl.
Remember: The web is not your friend!
Tags: Advertising, blog marketing, Blogging, brand, Branding, Business, business practices, children, customer service, How to, Marketing, parent, pull marketing, push marketing, sexual predators, social marketing, social media, Viral Marketing, web marketing, website