Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

One of the nicest things about working at Holy Cow Branding is the flexible schedule.  If I want to leave at 4:30 to get a haircut, that is when I leave.  If I wake up early, and am ready to work, I come to the office.

That was the plan anyway.

I was so engrossed in setting up Facebook Insights for Chile Bomba that I completely lost track of time and didn’t leave until 5:30.  If I had realized it was that late, I wouldn’t have even tried to get the haircut.    When I finally made it to Sport Clips, there were a few guys ahead of me, and I was told it would be about 30 minutes.  At the check in, Sabrina, told me that if I wanted to go get a coffee at Starbucks, I would have enough time.  She even offered to call me on my cell when it was close to my turn.

With time to kill, I headed to the Harris Teeter, to get some food stuffs.  On the way thru Kameron’s check-out line I used my KeyRing App to get my reward prices.  After the usual 30 seconds of blindly staring at the receipt with the only purpose being to look like I am doing something smart, I actually do find an error.  This is an amazing feat due to the complexity that is the grocery store receipt.  Good reporting tip, it doesn’t matter how hard it is to decipher the data as long as there is one number at the bottom that says you are winning.

I went back to the cashier and he apologized and told me to take it to his manager at the customer service desk.  When I first looked in that direction I saw no one, it was a ghost town, and before I was 10 feet from the counter there she was.  The manager person, Alva, appeared from thin air, maybe not thin air, she was helping another customer.  It only took her one look at the receipt to see the error and make the correction.

Ordinarily I would not have wasted the time to make the correction, but I had time to kill and I was rewarded for it.  I got $1.87 back in cash!  (Who knew pears were so expensive) And I had that weird feeling that while the world seems like a dismal place, my neighborhood was doing all right.

After stashing the produce in the trunk of my car I made my way back to Sport Clips and as soon as I walked in am told I had great timing and that I was next.  She even remembered my name! What great customer service!

Now, fueled with a sense of community, I pull out my note pad and start writing about this whole experience.  Of course, before I get much done I am being called up.  We have the usual idle chit chat and she asked what I was working on.  I told her it was a blog article about customer service.  I am not sure if that had anything to do with it, but it was an exceptional haircut.

Post Script

Cara, the hair cutter, actually knows enough about sports to foster that feeling of the barber shop and we had a lively conversation about the National League Central division.  She is a Milwaukee Brewer’s Fan, and I am a Chicago Cubs Fan.  The next day the Brewers beat the Cubs in 13 innings.  At least I got a good haircut, and there is always next year.


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Every organization seeks to acquire many clients in hopes of profit and success in the future. However, in order to do so, it is essential that one builds and maintains a healthy, trustworthy relationship with their clients. Although this may seem like common sense, it takes just as much effort building and maintaining relationship with them as it does working on their business project. It is a continuous ladder of steps to enhance and maintain relations with them.

Tips for keeping client relationships healthy:

1. Keep Lines of Communication Open

  •  Build a professional relationship with them via phone, email, lunch meetings, conference calls etc.
  •  Keep them up-to-date on various projects you are working on and any new company info
  • Get to know your client better, what their business is about, their short and long term goals and what they need.

2. Be Transparent

  • Tell all company policies and procedures up front. Lay it out for them so no one makes assumptions
  • Explain the benefits of working with your company and the consequences if they part ways with you.
  • Be crisp and clear. Tell them exactly what you plan on doing and when you plan on doing it to sustain business with them in the future.

3. Be Willing to Say Yes

  •  Listen to their ideas.
  •  Incorporate these ideas into your brainstorming and projects for them if it meets or surpasses the requirements of the project(s) you are doing for them.

4. Be Willing to Say No

  • If a client wants something that your company cannot offer, point them in another direction.
  •  On the same hand, if they offer an idea that doesn’t work, let them know up front by pointing to various evidence of why it wont work and provide them with alternatives as well.
  •  Saying no will give you more freedom and respect in the long run.

5. Establish Credibility

  •  Let your client know they can trust you. BE THE EXPERT.
  •  Meet deadlines. If deadlines are not met, this may harm the success of your client and your success at acquiring new clients in the future.
  •  Present yourself in a professional manner (the way you dress and communicate!).

6. Don’t Just Stay Inside the Lines: Problem Solving

  • Your client has come to you because they have a problem or want to improve. Develop ways to assist and solve these problems by shedding a light on new ideas that many not be obvious to them.

Although this is easier said than done, following these steps lead to a healthy client relationship; And a happy client always equals a happy relationship.

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Marketing Based Lead Generation is selling through the back door.

Very simply, this is a way to get your name to the public without making even one cold call.  

Generate free exposure by writing what you know. Authoring articles in your knowledge wheel house is a great way to get your name out as an expert in your field. You can write for trade magazines, which is good for B2B sales, but to reach the general public,  a publication with broader appeal or a blog is the way to go.

Don’t be intimidated by the task of writing, you’re putting yourself out as an expert on your subject, not on writing.

If writing isn’t your thing how about talking? Interviews, YouTube Videos  and Podcasts are all ways you can talk your way into lead generation. Again, it’s flexing your expertise muscle in public.

In writing and talking, less is always more. Edit yourself. I try to use as few words as possible.

Has enough been said about social media?  It seems the social media emphasis is overdone but people really are reading , responding and ‘liking’ information put out on social media. You can’t drum up a following overnight;  it does require a strategy, but the effort really is worth it. Who knew 144 characters could be so powerful?  There are entire ad campaigns built around the constraints of twitter.

All this lead generation is completely free. Your own YouTube account, Facebook Fan Page or Blog are  all free and require little expertise to set up. They do need to be maintained, though. If your message is compelling, people will come back often to hear what else you have to say, so keep talking. The next thing you know, you’ll have a captive audience, and the phone will start to ring.

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The advantage of a dashboard is that it’s easy to use, provides timely data and, most importantly, gives an idea as to how to go about implementing potential improvements and solutions. It helps explain your marketing metrics visually, making it a lot easier for people to understand the information… without geeking out on them.

Marketing DashboardFor example, you can use a dashboard to compare marketing expenditures to revenue earned. Unlike reading bar graphs and spreadsheets, a dashboard makes it easy for you to quickly see where the marketing money is going, and, more specifically, which activities are leading to sales. Many people love this because it allows you to measure marketing ROI. Even better than that, is it allows you to make changes to your tactics and rapidly notice the impact.

Now that you realize how great it would be to have a dashboard, let’s talk about a few best practices for creating one.

1. Use Clear Labels
Depending on who’ll be looking at your reports, be sure they’ll know what each graph means. Consider, Jersey, Jamaica Red, Caucasin and Florida.  These words all come from the same category, but if you didn’t know I was listing breeds of cattle you might think I was having a problem with Geography.

2. Avoid Acronyms
While an acronym might be convenient and easy to read, it could lead to confusion, especially if your data is shared with people outside of your field. In a recent meeting I was in, people were throwing around the term, “QSR.” This could mean Quick Service Restaurants, Quasi-Stellar Radio or Quality System Regulation. I thought they meant Quality Satisfaction Rate. Imagine my confusion until I realized they were meaning Quick Service Restaurants. (Click here to see what else QSR means).

3. Use Legends or Keys
Don’t just make sure your reports show your information well, but that they define and describe it well, too. A legend will allow you to use colors and abbreviations to your advantage, while making sure your audience knows what they’re looking at.

4. Use Color Wisely
I’m colorblind, so the use of colors on graphs sometimes is a problem for me. When making graphs with colors use the options that have a marker with the display.  It also helps when you print the graph with a black and white printer.

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Delta AirplaneLast week, I flew up to New York City. I like to have everything ready to go the night before I leave, including checking in, reserving my seat and getting my boarding passes together. When I went to log in to Delta, I saw that my flight qualified for an eBoarding pass.

“What is this!” I exclaimed to myself. Delta delivered a QR code right to my phone! How exciting!

QR Code for WikipediaQR, or Quick Response codes are barcodes that you can scan with the camera on your smart phone or with other barcode readers. They store information the marketer wants to offer to improve or extend a user’s experience. This really helps improve the effectiveness of print as a driver for increased online interaction.

I thought it might be too good to be true, but the QR code worked fabulously. The Delta staff new what it was, knew how to scan it and created a very streamlined experience for me.

Kudos to you, Delta, for using a QR code to positively impact the brand experience.

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Girl Scouts Selling  CookiesSales is the active part of directly engaging with your target market. This is a collaboration between your team and your customer. 

Marketing passively communicates your brand message to your audience. The onus for action is on the customer.

Branding is holistic. It encompasses the experience people have with your product/business through every touch point, from how they are greated when they walk in your door, to how they feel when they leave.



It seems very unlikely to me that marketing professionals define their role as passive communication.

Fred ZimmermanDelete • Feb 16, 2011

The distinction here is more on the impact of engagement. With sales, generally speaking, it is one-on-one with some sort of direct conversation. There is back and forth and give and take with the customer.

With (traditional) marketing, you are providing information, benefits, tools… you name it… to the customer, but you are relying on him or her to make the decision to engage with you.

Think of how often you r an out to buy Oreos because you saw someone licking the double stuffed filling on TV versus buying 10 boxes of Thin Mints from the Girl Scout who knocked on your door with the product in hand. This is what makes marketing, IMO, passive.

~Lorana Price


See my answer on Quora.

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There is definitely a place for levity, and tasteful humor, in B2B communication. The way it is used will depend on the audience, the media and the topic. The tone and manner of your (the company using humor) brand will also impact its effectiveness. Just because your marketing to a business does not mean you aren’t dealing with people. And, most people appreciate a good laugh once in a while.

See my answer on Quora.

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