It has to be about your customer

We work with a diverse group of clients, from consumer based to those in the business to business space, selling both services and products. We help them with their marketing, using both online and traditional mediums.

One of the most common challenges we face is getting our customer to put themselves in the shoes of their customers or prospects. It’s hard but when you get it right, the results speak for themselves.

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Marketing for the Ages

As I’ve (let’s call it) matured in life, I’ve noticed a change in my perception of everyday things.
I’ve recently felt very susceptible to suggestion. On the way to work this morning, I saw a sign in the window of a popular burger-and-fries joint asking me, “Love Bacon?” and alone in my car, I answered aloud, “YES (burger joint name), I LOVE BACON!”

baconEven though I am a marketer and am certainly more likely to take note of advertising and marketing more often than the average bear, I can say with great certainty that I’ve never actually tried to engage said advertising in a conversation.

This got me thinking about whether age has anything to do with our overall response to marketing. Obviously, the basis of a good marketing campaign and one of the first things we do pertains to audience – identifying one’s target audience is fundamental to marketing success.

But more than that, I started to wonder whether certain demographics truly digest (mmm, bacon) marketing messages more readily than others.

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Perfect Vs. Good Enough

I will be the first to admit that I often fall victim to this “Perfection Trap” and wanting to create the perfect work product – be it that perfect website, artwork or in my writing.  I know that I am not the only one because a lot of my clients are perfectionists too who are just as interested in perfection as I am!

Perfect vs Good EnoughBut truth be told, the lesson that I’ve come to learn is that there is a point where the effort you spend on achieving perfection is not financially beneficial to you or your business.

We’ve all heard of the 80/20 Pareto Principle. The 80/20 rule tells us that the first 80% of your project or task will only take 20% of your time while the last 20% will take up 80% of your effort.  So, as your project or task progresses, it will get harder and harder for you to achieve perfection.

Simply put, perfection just isn’t profitable.

When faced with the “Is this good enough?” dilemma, ask yourself these questions:

 

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Take time to reflect

Taking the time to reflect and make improvements is important, personally and professionally. I’m going to stick to professional here and specific to marketing.

reflectionAt least once per year, you should review the past years marketing activities and see what has worked well, what didn’t work well, what needs to continue as is, what needs some tweaking and what needs to be dropped completely. As taking the time to review and adjust can really help with your return on investment.

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A Case of Soft Launch in a Hard-Hitting Business

One of the questions that always comes when one unleashes a new brand is the question of soft launch or hard launch.

Hard launches come with a sudden, impactful change, often with a company announcement and immediate, synchronized change of all appearances, while Soft launches, however, will happen over time with more subtlety.

Over the last half year or so, I’ve been tracking one of these soft launches and I thought I’d share with you how this particular brand change has occurred, especially since it’s for an organization you wouldn’t expect to be making a slow transition – WWE.

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Not always viral but social media can work well

Does social media really work or better yet, can it work for you? I have recently watched someone trying to sell some furniture items because they find they no longer need them or just want to finally upgrade.

Years ago, it might have meant putting a notice up on the local grocery store or restaurant and if you included a picture, you would get a call or two. And you would probably put an ad in the local newspaper for some sum of money in the hopes someone would see your ad and want your stuff.

What-We-Do---Social-Media-Cohesive

In today’s world, online seems to be the only way to go. You still see ads at the diner and at the grocery store, but I just checked Kijiji and the caption said “Over 6,276,369 Free Local Classifieds”. Now that’s a lot of advertising for a city of less than 1,000,000 people. In this case, Kijiji was tried with some response but it still wasn’t overwhelming.

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The Philosophy of Marketing

Be-Fresh-Be-Found-Be-CohesiveWhat does philosophy mean to you? In university, I had to take a philosophy course to satisfy the degree I was seeking at the time, and to say I hated the course would have been an understatement.

This was, ahem, let’s say a few years ago, and contrary to my current manner of thinking, at the time I was analytical above all else. Philosophy simply made no sense to me, it seemed too subjective.

I’ve since come to both understand and appreciate philosophy a little bit more. Nowadays, societal changes are so frequent that subjective is the new objective.

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What Not to Do: Charging Your Guests a Fine for Negative Reviews

What to do with Negative Online Reviews

Here’s a perfect example of how not to make the news…

A hotel in Hudson Valley, New York gained some unwanted publicity this week when it was reported that they were threatening to charge wedding guests a $500 fine for any negative reviews posted online.  The fine would be taken off the wedding couple’s deposit and applies to the wedding couple as well as any of their attending guests.

The policy has since been removed from their website but it hasn’t stopped media outlets from posting the story and outraged readers from flooding Yelp and Facebook with fake reviews and comments!

So what can a business do when they receive bad reviews online?

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Want more business?

Doing workCreating good content and marketing it in the right places should be the focus when it comes to increasing qualified traffic to your website, which should lead to more business.

Google is constantly refining its search algorithms and some past search engine optimization (SEO) tactics may hurt more than help you be successful in this realm.

This article in The Guardian goes into more detail.

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Presentation Do’s and Don’ts

Those who are avid viewers of Shark Tank, Dragon’s Den or similar pitch shows know how important proper presentation is when you’re in front of a potential financial backer. Those who don’t watch these shows, this is a very important blog for you to read.

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