Sometimes taking part in social media for business feels like shouting into a hurricane. You struggle to be heard. You struggle to stand out and be noticed.
You might be very confident in your abilities to connect, but are you having problems discovering whom to connect with?
You’re probably thinking too narrow. If you have a brick and mortar business and don’t want to ship anything, you might only want to target people in your area (but what about vacationers/visitors?) or if you’re a membership organization representing a particular industry – maybe you need to remain limited in your search but everyone else can look for business in broad terms. Social media allows you to do this sort of prospecting with very little investment, other than time. Continue reading “Looking at Your Business Through Your Customers’ Eyes”
Serving what your audience wants is crucial to maintaining one
I went to a baby shower a while back. All of the dishes served had some form of nuts in them – almond string beans, peanut-encrusted chicken, carrot cake (with walnuts). You would’ve thought the momma-to-be loved nuts. Actually, she hated them but the hostess thought everything was better with nuts and people liked them.
The hostess, in this example, is an old-school marketer. She is serving up what she wants to serve, what she thinks should be served. She’s mistaking general popularity with what her guests want, when in reality, the guest of honor doesn’t even want it.
I finally listened to all the people who were telling me to visit Oregon. It was an amazing trip — beautiful weather, friendly people and way too short.
On my return flight, a red-eye, from Portland to Houston, I sat next to a woman who was feverishly playing a handheld blackjack game (circa 1986, with digitized sounds and cards that looked pixelated). I couldn’t even suggest headphones or ear buds because this gizmo wouldn’t have had a jack for them. I closed my eyes and tried to rest.
“Is that sound normal?”, she asked.
I opened my eyes and tuned into what she was asking about. I nodded. She nodded.
Dirty marketer alert: I’m going to be frank with you and the words may not be pretty. If you’re running a business or a member-based organization, there are things you are going to want to say. If you’re in business, you’re going to want to make money. It’s not ugly, it just is. Your customers or your members don’t really care about what you want to say, unless it just so happens to be something they also want to hear.
The truth is this: you have stuff you want to say.
They have stuff they want to hear.
If you’re good at what you do and you keep your audience in mind, everything you create will overlap and be what you want to say and what they want to hear. Sometimes, just sometimes, you have things you want to say that they don’t know they want to hear. So how do you deliver your message in a way that is palatable to them? That’s when you need Mary Poppins as your marketer – and just a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down. Yes, I just referred to your important marketing message as medicine — and if it’s something your audience doesn’t want to hear or know they want to hear — that’s how it will be initially met if you come at them and try and force feed them your message. Continue reading “Just a Spoonful of Sharing Helps the Business”
David Ogilvy, the father of modern advertising, said all products (in a given category) were the same. It wasn’t about a unique value proposition but a unique selling one. The brand (and the perceived differences) was what sold your product or service not the actual differences in your product. (I, too, came to the same conclusion as an Economics major in college I could never get past the assumption that the consumer made a rational purchasing decision. I gave up majoring in Economics because of it.) When Ogilvy was king, many products subsisted on their brands alone and consumers were very brand loyal. They were also less cynical when it came to dealing with companies and marketing/advertising. 70% of customers trust brand or product recommendations from friends and family, 55% trust online reviews (written by total strangers), while only 32% trust information on websites of brands or companies. (Additional resource: Check out these trust ratings for ads.) Continue reading “Business is Personal. Your Content Should Be Too.”