Note: This does not apply to any of my Wax clients so if you’re reading, don’t get paranoid, K?
I was talking to a PR colleague of mine about client management yesterday. There are many, many things that can screw up a marketing/communications campaign but lack of trust is probably one of the biggest obstacles to good results. You might think an intangible like trust wouldn’t have such a strong impact, but it does. Perhaps it’s due to some new age universal energy factor, or maybe it’s The Secret, but if you don’t trust your marketing or PR person you’re going to get terrible results. Every time. I promise.
Here are five non-new agey ways in which trust plays a part in your campaign results.
Lack of trust often results in micromanaging. When I’m nervous about a project, I tend to micromanage my staff. Business owners often think they “know marketing” because they see it all day long. But micromanaging your marketing person has a huge negative impact. Your marketing or PR person loses confidence when constantly questioned. And without confidence, it’s impossible for them to be at their creative best or pitch your story with enthusiasm. The best people are always second-guessing themselves all the time anyway. Add your own partly-uneducated helicoptering and you will circumvent many of the things you hired them for in the first place; experience, passion for the project and organizational skills.
Lack of trust often results in impatience. (more…)
By Joy Gendusa, CEO of Postcard Mania, a direct marketing firm
Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising can be a great addition to your small business marketing arsenal. It allows you to build brand awareness and generate leads by displaying targeted ads to prospects on any of the millions of websites within the Google Display Network. However, it can be a complicated process. There are 4 ways that you can maximize the benefits of PPC marketing to build business growth.
Let’s take a look at them…
1. Organize campaigns into niche keyword groups (more…)
Here’s the last of a small series of blog posts by Jeanne Bradford, a innovative leader with a track record at AOL, Cisco and Apple. Jeanne shares her wisdom and advice for accelerating innovation in today’s business environment. B.
Below is a sample of the results of a Social Innovation Readiness Scorecard. The boxes in grey indicate those areas where the mean value is less than 3.0. The team will want to consider further preparation in these areas before launching a social implementation to increase the likelihood of success.
By analyzing the results of the self-assessment and collecting any further information, the facilitator should be able to create an an action plan. Your organization will have a prioritized list of initiative areas to improve the readiness of your social innovation efforts.
The Benefits of The Social Innovation Readiness Scorecard
Provides a new methodology for accelerating innovation and time to market in your product development organization
Here’s the second of a small series of blog posts by Jeanne Bradford, a innovative leader with a track record at AOL, Cisco and Apple. Jeanne is a brilliant new product marketer and manager. She shares her wisdom and advice for accelerating innovation in today’s business environment. B.
How to get started using social innovation
When companies first applied social media to their enterprises, there was a big rush to implement a social strategy. Unfortunately, many companies stumbled because they jumped before they really understood the framework they needed to be successful. They needed new tools, processes, roles & responsibilities, and decision-making models for successful implementation. Getting the most out of social communities also requires changes in how organizations share information and make decisions. It’s critical to understand these nuances to optimize the effectiveness of this methodology.
We developed the Social Innovation Readiness Scorecard to quickly solve this problem and allow the management team to provide their organization with their best chance at success and ensure that you get the most out of increasing the quality of ideas while accelerating the rich collaboration that leads to groundbreaking innovation. (more…)
I’m thrilled to host a small series of blog posts by Jeanne Bradford, a innovative leader with a track record at AOL, Cisco and Apple. Jeanne is a brilliant new product marketer and manager. She shares her wisdom and advice for accelerating innovation in today’s business environment. B.
Social Technology: The New Secret Weapon for Accelerating Innovation & Speed in Product Development
By Jeanne Bradford
Never has it been more important to innovate on an accelerated timeline. Yet many companies are stuck in the myth that you cannot achieve both innovation and speed in new product development. This is not true!
Our research has found that you can get both by tapping the collective minds of your employees and your customers to ideate faster by using social technologies. Many companies use social solutions in marketing and customer support, but they can also apply them to the product development process to increase both innovation and time to market.
The most important aspect of applying social technologies to product innovation is the ability to create a “community” of technical thought leaders where they can share, build upon, and develop ideas. However, you need a methodology to prioritize and implement these solutions. You can apply social communities internally to harness the innovative thinking and problem solving across the company. You can also use them as an ideation and collaboration platform with your customers. For geographically dispersed organizations, social solutions are a superior method for gathering, evaluating, and managing internal ideas. And there are several third-party social collaboration tools that are available from companies including Spigit, BrightIdea, Communispace and Innocentive, to help you collect and manage the new set of data that comes with social innovation.
While similar to the concepts of Open Innovation, broader research demonstrates that applying social technologies can extend throughout the entire product life cycle. The use of community can add value to innovation and accelerate product delivery beyond ideation to product design, testing and early feedback.
The application of new social technologies in the product development space is a new approach for companies, and we see it becoming an increasingly important methodology. TCGen conducted a benchmark study to identify what companies are applying social technologies to product development and to identify emerging best practices. Here are the key takeaways: (more…)
Today there are many ways to create your own website from WordPress templates to all-inclusive hosting and design environments. This clutter of small business web design offerings has made it easy to throw up a web page overnight. However it’s also caused a lot of companies to look exactly the same online. It’s smart to use an online tool from a host or other vendor to create your website. The trick is not to look generic. Here are some ways to stay unique without breaking the budget on your new website design.
Stay away from the “most popular” templates. WordPress and others tend to push the free templates that are most popular. This will get you into trouble. A marketing firm might look just like an engineering firm online. Remember people see the form first. Look for something that is a little bit different or buy a template that you haven’t seen very often.
Try not to use stock photos. Creative commons (including flickr) offers many free options for photos that are unique. Better yet, grab a photographer friend and shoot some real ones of you and your customers or product.
Don’t be verbose. Good websites are visual and easy to navigate. Too many times people put their “sales speel” down on the site. Read some blogs on writing good web copy before you sit down to write your copy.
Ask others for opinions, but only those that do creative work for a living. Many, many people think they are “good at marketing” when they really don’t have a clue. Or, pick someone who represents your target audience and ask them if a) it is easy to navigate and b) gives them the information they need.
We’re talking directly to the customer in so many more ways now through social media, mobile marketing and other mediums that just came up a few years ago. And yet the tendency to “poo poo” market research, especially for medium and small companies, seems even greater than it ever was. The voice of the customer is incredibly important to understand and it seems like we’re even less informed than we used to be!
Market research and market research software have come a long way since the cumbersome days of focus groups and direct mail surveys. Tools like Survey Monkey can help small businesses become more aware of how the customer is reacting to various promotions, events and other marketing tactics. But those simple tools are not enough. Companies like Confirmit.com are making it easier to create customer programs that really help take customer feedback and turn it into something useful. (The same companies are also working on employee programs as well.)
Some companies shy away from gathering feedback or customer research because they simply don’t want to know when something isn’t quite right. Or they have a defensive attitude that “explains” away bad feedback. Social media has made these types of environments hard to maintain. A regular survey or customer outreach program can help in several ways including:
People get used to feedback and begin to regard it as a valuable tool
Customers begin to see that you are actually listening and changing according to THEIR needs and desires
Customer churn becomes lower and loyalty is increased
And of course, revenue is increased because your cost of sale is lower and your service is better.
I did this webinar a few months ago for a franchise marketer, but I think a lot of this applies to all businesses. In this interview, I talked about patience as a brand marketer and how that can really pay off in the end.
Mobile marketing is the latest trend in attracting more consumers to your products. People are becoming more engaged in using mobile devices in everything that they do from shopping, browsing for information, communicating with others and for entertainment purposes. There are unlimited things that you can do with mobile technology making it the best platform for marketing products and services.
Online marketers invading the mobile platform in their marketing strategies. You can use mobile apps to build a brand and attract the consumer world using the mobile platform. But before you take a step in launching a mobile apps marketing, you need to know these 3 marketing strategies for mobile apps to reach your goals successfully. (more…)
One reason to really, truly know your audience is that the answer to this question is “Everywhere!” In the old days, we had print and TV (and only three channels) and signage and it was an easy bet as to where to place your messaging. Today’s world contains everything from text messaging to billboards to social media. Chances are your audience is looking at about 7-8 different messaging channels a day. You’ve heard of many of the popular ones but others like a podcast ad or a GPS-enabled mobile banner may not be as obvious.
Knowing your audience means you can identify trends. The younger the audience, the more they tend to change channels regularly. The older audience typically finds something they like and sticks with it. (more…)