Tag Archives: Marketing and Advertising

Basic Training

I read a blog yesterday with what I considered a very inflammatory theme: Social Media is a fad.  Fortunately I read through the entire post and at the end I had to agree that  with the true theme which is SoME is not the end – it is one of many means to an end.  It will evolve and change as information changes (and that will be verrry fast).

I have been in the work world for more years than I care to remember sometimes and it appears I will be in it for more than I had originally planned.  I used to have a secretary now I do all my own communications.  I planned for an annual sales meeting over three weeks way back when.  Now I can download the info in a half hour.  I actually received all my payments via checks in the mail.  That may have never happened to you.

Is this massive change in how companies operate the reason we often neglect to provide basic training?  When all is said and done some things NEVER change.

  • Customers do not care what you are hearing from anyone else but them.
  • Your business development is totally dependent on your customer’s business development.
  • They are uninterested in your cost saving measures unless they benefit and even then it cannot affect customer service.
  • You must take away the risk from purchasing your product/service whether it’s a personal relationship, a long history of working together or something so extravagantly wonderful it would be worse not to buy it.
  • Sales cannot be left to the sales people.  Everyone has to involved.
  • Bad employees have to be terminated immediately.  You are who you surround yourself with.

Can you do that with SoMe? You bet!  Are there other ways? Absolutely.  Just don’t forget basic strategy.  Without it all the tactics in the world won’t make a difference!

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The Most Important Listening Post Is The One At The Top

Rebellion happens when people do not believe they are being heard.  Sometimes it leads to revolution.

It’s easy to pick out the events of the last decade that changed the world.  Not just due to the events themselves but to the changes that were required because of them. The biggest?  9/11. Katrina. Lehman Brothers closing.

Lehman’s failure and 9/11 were caused directly by organizations.  Katrina was a force of nature but New Orleans could have been more levee prepared and the aftermath better managed by the organizations in charge.

It’s human nature not to change when we’re comfortable.  And boy do we like to be comfortable!  Regrettably one person’s comfort is another’s denial.  How often have you heard “I saw it coming but nobody above me wanted to know.”  I’ve heard it and in a few very unfortunate situations I was the one who didn’t want to know.

Social media experts counsel their clients to put listening posts in several places online.  Listen to customers.  Listen to competitors. Listen to suppliers. It’s great advice!

Here’s the thing.  Listening has to start at the top. And it has to be okay for the other listeners to bring uncomfortable information.  Unless you’re looking for a rebellion, or worse a revolution, it really the only way.

It’s What They’re Thinking That Matters

Ever find yourself at party talking to someone who appeared to be a Stepford Wife?

Ever worked with someone who didn’t have the skill set to really do the job they were hired for and you had to manage them or maybe worse be on his “team”?

Ever tried to convince someone of your product’s or service’s value and simply got a blank stare?

These situations rarely end well.

One of the hardest things we have to do is step outside ourselves and try to think like the other person in the conversation. The great thing about parties is you can excuse yourself and simply move on.  An employee or customer is an entirely different story.

Most of us believe if we simply keep talking the light bulb will go on and we will get exactly what we want from others.  That only works if we are speaking the same language as the other person.

It’s a difficult lesson.  Keep at it.  Your entire world will change if you do.

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Sometimes Coming Full Circle Means You Didn’t Learn The First Time

I became leery of 19th century class books after I delved into Madame Bovary.  Not to ruin it for any of you but the book is full of despair and the ending is tragic.  I needed a vacation after that.

I never read any business book published before Theodore Levitt.  What could books offer that were written before fax machines, FedEx, computers, wah wah wah.

It’s a good thing you continue living as long as you continue learning.

One of the members of my Mastermind group suggested we all read Scientific AdvertisingAnother suggested we start with his original My Life In Advertising.  They were written in the 1920s and were in the public domain.  I said okay and went to Google Books and downloaded it.  We devote a segment of our weekly meeting to discussing a couple chapters.

It is astounding!

Claude Hopkins (1866-1932) understood customers had to be pulled in through value given first. That free samples or guarantees created trust. The word of mouth advertising was far more important than a “well turned phrase”.  That people wanted to feel their vendors understood what was important to them.

Is this not social media?!

Coupons, samples, joint ventures, copywriting.  These were Hopkin’s gifts to the sales and advertising world at the turn of the 20th century.  Here we are well into the 21st century and we are returning to these simple, successful practices.

I have learned so much from Claude Hopkins that I am starting to consider him a mentor.  And how many people can you say that about 78 years after they died?

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Accountability – It’s Not Just For Finance Experts

We seem to be moving into a new era: Accountability for everyone in the business world.  No longer are we allowing advertising and marketing to take our dollars in exchange for hope.

I love internet marketing, search and social media optimization.  I take the greatest pleasure in helping business owners increase their exposure →their business→their sales→their profits.  If I can’t do that I am just another consultant, another person who took money in exchange for nothing.

I can’t work like that.  I have a pay for performance philosophy now.  I am going to start demanding it of the vendors and suppliers who work for me.

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When You're A Hammer Everything's A Nail!

When planning for January and the rest of 2010 I had to really think.  Google says it’s trying to get rid of SEOs and that’s my hammer.

Here’s the thing…

I love what I do. Helping business owners use the exact right words to position their online activities and attract new customers they could not have found otherwise? Empowering businesses to use the internet for sales and marketing instead of just using search to find other people’s stuff?  There is no better feeling in the world! At least not for me.

Should I “re-invent” myself?  Honestly I would like to just continue to be.  But that’s not the world I chose.  Seventy percent of all current workers are in no growth jobs (that means no wage growth either) so staying the same really means going backwards.  Doesn’t sound like much of a plan for me.  I prefer the chaotic, never stops changing, mad world of the web.  So I guess I’ll take a deep breath instead of a breather.

My current nail is invisible websites.  What else can I use my hammer for?  Don’t know yet but one thing is for sure.  The world is not going to slow down just to let me figure it out.

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