Tag Archives: social media

Insanity is a root cause of business failures

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

A friend of mine reminded me recently that Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Yet we often  think that doing what we always do will yield better results. If you feel yourself descending into the abyss consider these few suggestions.

1.Is what you are doing to market and promote your business really working? Measure the return on your marketing investment. What works and what doesn’t? Don’t be afraid to change approaches, even midstream.

insanity2.  Survey, measure results What? Was number one a challenge because you don’t measure the success of your marketing  program.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you need to understand what is working and what isn’t, so track sales related to a specific campaign and compare those results to the cost of running the campaign. If it costs more to run the campaign than …I think you get the idea.

3. Talk with your customers Don’t be afraid to talk with your customers, that would be face to face or even on a telephone.  Or use Social Media to create dialogue. Consider a blog. Share your expertise.  Talking to your customers is a good thing.

4. Find other experts in your industry You are not alone. There are experts everywhere online and you can subscribe to any number of blogs that could be useful to your business. Go to Google blog search (http://blogsearch.google.com/ ) and search for your areas of interest.

5. Check the pulse regularly Don’t wait until it is too late to discover your business is under-performing. Set out a plan and check monthly to ensure you are on target.  If you have three months of under-performance, you need to make a change. Be nimble, monitor your business and adjust accordingly.

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Filed under Managing, Marketing, social media, Uncategorized

Word of mouth requires word of mouth

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

About a year ago I watched my 15-year-old grand-daughter text her girlfriend, who was sitting opposite on the couch. My wife thought it was a secret conversation that perhaps they didn’t want to share. But since then, some of my friends have shared similar experiences with today’s youth and I am concerned that they will lose the skill that will best elevate their careers, promote their businesses, advance their cause. Word of mouth.

Text MessagingWord of mouth is the cash cow of marketing. Yet, we seem to go to great lengths to avoid our customers. Are we afraid of what they might say? Do we lack confidence in our product or service offering?

Strange, perhaps, that social media is forcing us to acknowledge that being social is good for business. The tools are there to help build on that social interaction not create a barrier between you and your customer. And for businesses that get it, tools like Twitter and LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest provide a foundation on which to build a strong business relationship that ultimately means face time and that’s where business begins.

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Filed under advertising, Communications, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Pinterest, social media, Social Networking, Stephen Rhodes, twitter

Survive, Revive and Thrive in 2013

JBMG_5500aBy Jeff Bowman

It certainly has been a long haul over the past few years what with the economy shrinking, large companies announcing layoffs and consumers becoming far more educated and selective about who and what they chose to ‘invest” (formerly called spend) their money on. There are many factors that will affect performance this year, including leadership skills, training, ability to quickly adapt to an ever changing market and the culture that exists within the walls of your organization. With that in mind, here are 5 things you need to do address to survive, revive and thrive in 2013.

Strategize – you need to provide superior value to your client base, demonstrate differentiation in your products and services, and be one step ahead of the competition for success in 2013. What is your strategy for moving forward in your market and possibly beyond into new or emerging marketplaces?  Strategy is the route you will take, the tools you will employ and knowing the obstacles that lay ahead and having a plan to overcome them. By demonstrating sustainable competitive advantages over your competitors and any newcomers lining up to eat your market share, you will be creating the success model on which to build as the economy grows.

Diversify your social media tactics – that is assuming you are utilizing any tactics now. What is critical to the delivery of any message you need to send is the diversify ability and willingness of your target to receive and understand it. The mediums for delivery have changed, viral can mean success, Facebook allows you generate followers, Pinterest is rapidly gaining a legion of users and your web tactics must take mobile applications into consideration.

Reward your employees – one truth about recovering markets is that companies begin to take back what they let go years before.  Opportunities for your employees to move elsewhere become more abundant. Will an employee that you had penciled in on the succession plan bolt for greener pastures?  They will if they have been overworked, under trained, under appreciated or underutilized in your organization.

Understand your Brand – review your brand. Is it still relevant, does it send the right message, has it stagnated? Look for ways to re-invigorate the brand. Lift its spirits, polish it up, put it on a pedestal and most importantly love it! When consumers feel the love that the company has for its own brand, it becomes contagious.

Sell to a need – I have said it a thousand times, consumers don’t want to be sold something they don’t want, in a way they don’t like by a company they don’t know. What basic need does your product or service address?  Have you determined if the prospect has this need either open or hidden?  Is it really a need or simply and opportunity? If you try to sell an opportunity you will often be rejected.

This year holds a great deal of promise to those organizations that plan now to capitalize on observed weaknesses in the market and their competitors.  Follow the five simple tips above and thrive this year!

Jeff Bowman is the “Attitude” in The Marketing Pad.  For a free consultation to determine how we can build success for you contact jeff@themarketingpad.com

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Filed under Branding, Communications, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Media, Sales, social media, Strategic Planning

Is Twitter Right for My Business?

By Jeff Bowman

I have presented to many companies and organizations over the last year on the value of Twitter to their outreach and marketing agendas. I hear the same question with every group, “Is Twitter right for my business?”  My response to them is to figure out if their business is right for Twitter first.  Not all businesses are well suited to using this exponentially growing social media tool.  Many have found that out for themselves, while are others are still struggling to entice followers. The ability to make your point in 140 characters, even less if you are hash tagging or linking an article, is a skill that needs to be honed for most business owners.

Twitter has grown by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and what started out as an application for brief sharing of information has now grown into a popularity contest among celebrities to see who can out twit the other. Lady Gaga is currently the reigning tweeb with upwards of 20 million followers waiting for the next sentence to be delivered from her twitter account. Justin Bieber is not far behind. The Philadelphia Wings Lacrosse Team now have their twitter handles on the back of their game sweaters.  I fear that soon a player will finish their shift and go to the bench where electronic devices are waiting for them to tweet about the last 45 seconds they played. There are already rules in place in some organizations about not tweeting 2 hours before the game, a rule that used to be reserved for another type of expressive activity!

Recent statistics show that 40% of all tweets are “pointless babble”, another 37.5% are merely conversational.  Only about 8.7% of tweets have any informative or pass along value. How will an organization ever be able to effectively use the medium without getting lost in Babylon? This brings us back to the question is your business right for twitter? There are a few questions to ask yourself before moving forward.

  1. Do I have something of note to share?
  2. Is my tweeting going to be consistent?
  3. Am I looking for total number of followers or will I be selective, with a target demographic in my approach?
  4. Is my real intent to spam for sales and business leads?
  5. Will I actually follow and respond to those who choose to follow me?
  6. Can I be succinct and interesting?

If you have valid answers to the questions above, then your business may be right to enter the twitesphere. The next step is to figure out the type of followers you want.  Be aware that after your first couple of tweets, you will get spam followers, self promoters and an assortment of automatically generated none profiled (eggs) following you. You will need to view each follower’s profile to determine if they are people who might have something interesting to say.  By no means do you have to follow everyone back. I usually check to see how many people they follow, how many followers a contact has and how many tweets they have made.  I’ve seen tweebs with thousands of follows, and single digit tweets over a several month period, as well as those that generate 50 tweets a day.

Treat Twitter with a little respect. Understand that not everyone will find you interesting, and that it may take a long time to build a good following.  Try to pass on quality tweets, retweet things you find interesting and start conversations on important topics to your industry. Everyday there is more and more babble, there is still plenty of opportunity to make Twitter an important part of your overall marketing and communication strategy.

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Filed under Communications, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Media, Sales, Social Networking, twitter

The Customer Service Experience

By Jeff Bowman

I had the pleasure of taking part in a podcast on the value of blogging for businesses last Friday. I had known about the recording for a couple of weeks, however it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for my first foray into the world of podcasts.  I was recorded for a blogcast entitled “The Customer Service Experience”.

The recording lasted for about 30 minutes, and questions about business blogging, the intent, the relationship to the customer experience and some tips on getting followers for your blogs were discussed from questions posed by the hosts Michelle, Jim and Steve. It was an interesting experience as I sat in my office, phone in hand answering questions and discussing aspect of creating a better customer experience through the information sharing aspects of blogs.

The time flew by, and within what seemed mere minutes, I heard the music start to come in from the background indicating my time had expired.  I hope that I was able to provide some interesting tidbits for the listeners, and that I have gained some exposure outside the normal realm of my facebook, LinkedIn and twitter accounts.

If you would like to give it a listen see below.  I’d love to hear your feedback on my first time!  (You can fast forward through the ads at the beginning)

Listen to
internet radio with Customer Experience on Blog Talk Radio

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