Click & Read:
Friday, September 30, 2011
Click & Read:
With technology evolving it should be easy for you to create different campaigns for different clients....
Here's an example why from MarketingProfs.com:
Don't Introduce Yourself to a Customer You've Already Met
How is an existing customer supposed to feel when you send a form letter inviting her to sample your product or service and become a new customer? According to Allison DeFord, mistakes like this unnecessarily alienate otherwise happy customers—and might even send them into the arms of competitor who can remember their name.
Your best defense is a two-pronged offense that combines meticulous database management with a solid content strategy. Writing at the FELT blog, DeFord recommends components like these:
- Random letters of appreciation. Send a note of thanks—perhaps once each year—to let customers know you value their loyalty.
- Acknowledgement of milestones. When you celebrate a customer's birthday, or the anniversary of his first purchase, it reminds him that he matters to you.
- Handwritten notes of congratulation. Supply everyone in your company with high-quality note cards, advises DeFord, and encourage them to send handwritten notes that laud customers' accomplishments and promotions.
- Exclusive customer-only offers and news. Giving customers a special discount or a pre-launch sneak-peak is a great way to make them feel special.
- User forums and online communities. A private space for discussion and interaction is beneficial to customers—and enables you to take notes on their concerns and interests.
The Po!nt: Treating an existing customer like a potential customer might turn her into a former customer. So make sure she knows you know exactly who she is.
Sphere: Related Content
Excellent Advice from Jill:
How to Write a Highly Effective Subject Line
By Jill Konrath
If you're like most sellers, you don't pay a lot of attention to the subject lines. They're an afterthought. No big deal, right?
Totally wrong. Your subject line is the most important part of your message. If it's not a good one, your email gets trashed in a nanosecond. In fact, research by ExactTarget (my email newsletter service) show that the average person spends only 2.7 seconds on a message before deciding if they'll delete it, forward it or read it.
Just 2.7 seconds. That's all the time you have to capture a readers attention. That's why your subject line is so darn critical.
First, let's talk about what you don't put in a subject line. In order to avoid auto-deletes, it's imperative for you to:
- Avoid salesy verbiage. Get rid of words like excited, hot new product, free offer or special pricing.
- Avoid info on your company. No one is interested in your new product announcements or company updates except you.
- Avoid capital letters. Just the first word should be capped. Otherwise it seems like a headline, not a personal message.
- Use a referral. If someone has referred you to this person, put that in your subject line. They'll want to know why. For example, you might write: Terry Jones said to get in touch.
- Ask a quick question. If your prospect feels it's simple and relevant, they'll take a look. Your subject line might read: Quick question re: new client acquisition challenges.
- Tempt with ideas or information. My prospects are always interested in subject lines like this: Idea to reduce your sales cycle time or How XYZ company increased sales to Fortune 500 companies by 127%.
- Mention a trigger event. If something is happening within the company or in their greater business environment that's relevant to your offering, bring that up. For example, if you read about a recent merger, you might write: Impact of XYZ merger on (insert relevant business issue you address.)
Here's a major caveat though. When they start reading your message, it needs to deliver exactly what you promised in your subject line.
If you move into salesy mode or talk about your company, you'll trigger your prospect's auto-delete reaction. They can't control it. And you've lost the opportunity to open the conversation.
Hopefully by now you understand just how critical those simple little subject lines are to your sales success. I'd suggest you sit down right now and create 10 new ones you can use in the upcoming weeks.
Finally, start your experiment. See if you can tell which subject lines are most effective with your prospects. Then create variations off the same theme. You'll immediately see the difference in your sale success.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Vagina monologues. Weird science. Let's launch!
Xerox is back with two TV ads for its "Ready for Real Business" campaign, highlighting how brands hire Xerox to handle business -- which allows them to handle real business. Michelin Man has little time to worry about accounts receivable numbers when he is busy fighting a gas pump with multiple nozzles for arms. Take it away, Xerox. Watch it here. A man on a Virgin America flight was looking to do some business in the bathroom but encountered a different business instead: a call center managed by an in-flight team. He's quickly removed and forced to wait for another bathroom. See it here. Y&R created the ads.
Fire down below! Science World launched "Beach Time," the latest ad in its "We Can Explain" campaign. This is your go-to source for strange-but-true facts. Did you know that bellybutton lint makes great kindling? One poor sunbather learned the hard way when he awoke on the beach to see smoke emerging from his bellybutton. He blows at the smoke, starting a fire in his belly, forcing him to think fast and flop atop the sand for relief. Watch the ad here, created by Rethink, Vancouver and directed by Wayne Craig of Holiday Films.
"Dragons aren't the only monsters," closes a chilling ad for ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking). The 60-second PSA begins with a young girl reading a book under a blanket. The story begins with a girl falling in love with a prince, who sweeps her off her feet and takes her to live in his castle. The story then takes a horrific turn with the young girl describing abuse, rape and being held in captivity. A disturbing statistic: roughly 100,000 American children are at risk of being sold into the sex trade each year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Watch "Princess" here, created by JWT New York.
Dragon speech recognition software launched a trio of TV spots highlighting the product's ease of use. Just talk, no need to type. A young boy, writing a report on Blackbeard, decides the pirate isn't scary enough and embellishes a smidge. The updated Blackbeard has no eyes, an eggbeater for a hand and steals children. The last bit hits too close to home, prompting the boy to yell, "delete, delete." See it here. A man writes a sensual scene in his romance novel while he's ironing and the kids are running through the house in the next ad, seen here. A woman pitches her soap products to spas worldwide, hoping to play off the scents of the city. When she reaches New York, however, she realizes that the scent of hot garbage is not something one wants to lather up with. Watch it here. FORGE created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.
Honda TV ads have a new voiceover. Gone is Kevin Spacey, replaced by actor Jason Bateman. When I first watched the ad, I hardly recognized Bateman's voice, though. His debut ad promotes the Honda Accord. In it, Bateman describes the lessons learned from the first Honda Accord made, along with strides in racecars and private airplanes. Information from these realms is implemented in the latest Honda Accord. Watch "Through It All-5 Star" here, created by RPA.
Think of this as the Vagina Monologues: 2.0. Or, if your vagina blogged. The Colony produced a 2-minute Web film for Johnson & Johnson China called "Gyno." The ad is voiced by a woman's vagina. CG animation quickly lets that cat out the bag, with a voiceover offering further confirmation. "At times I am your charm, at other times, your wickedness. I can make you proud or embarrassed. At times I am tender, sweet, at times I am wild." The film drives viewers to a microsite, translated as "little v," where female consumers can submit stories about women's issues. See the film here, created by Ogilvy Raynet, Beijing.
I am a huge fan of "Top Chef." That being said, I'm 100% convinced that season 5 favorite Fabio Viviani has a faux Italian accent and speaks better English than I do. Fabio stars in an ad for Domino's new line of Artisan Pizzas: Spinach & Feta, Italian Sausage & Pepper Trio and Tuscan Salami & Roasted Veggie. The ad plays off Fabio's too-cute accent and takes viewers through a set of multiple takes, as Fabio fudges his lines. Cue the shot of an actual Domino's chef, who's unconvinced that Fabio's charm will sell pizza. See the ad here, created by CP+B.
Random iPhone App of the week: Get your motor running: next week is Advertising Week in NYC. Deutsch updated its Advertising Week app from last year, providing real-time event updates, customized scheduling, local info and directions. This year, look for a new social media capability where users can tweet, post to Facebook and check-in with foursquare, all from within the app. Download it for free from the App Store.
Daily Sales Tip: Salespeople Need to be Great at Closing
Actually, this is true, but not in the sense most people think.
A sale is not a sale until it is brought to a conclusion or closed. Good salespeople know that. Successful salespeople know that closing the sale is not a tactic to trick or maneuver a buyer into a decision. When buyers feel manipulated, they may later cancel the order they felt pressured to place.
Great salespeople know that the best conclusion is getting the buyer to say yes, then following through to see that the buyer is satisfied enough to continue to order again, or to make a referral to someone else who'll buy.
Selling is just finding out what the person wants -- that's the first step. The second step is to help them get it. That's closing the sale -- satisfying the buyer's want.
To close a sale a salesperson must first invest the time to understand exactly what the buyer wants. Second, the salesperson must show how his or her product or service meets that want. If the salesperson really understands the buyer and makes recommendations based on the want, the buyer will close himself or herself as soon as the connection between the want and the product or service is understood.
The close simply becomes pointing out the desired outcome to the buyer. A close is not trying to wrestle with the buyer and pressure him or her into making a purchase he or she may regret later.
Source: Sales author/speaker Terry L. Mayfield
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Click & read:
This article from Mediapost is talking about teens, but I think most of it applies to all of us:
Teens will not support a cause-marketing program that is a wolf (marketing) in sheep's clothing (cause marketing).
How do you build your brand and change the world? Here's what teens told us they want -- the top 9 list. Why 9? Because top 10 lists are getting boring (see #5 below).
1. Be authentic. Repeat: Be authentic. No gimmicks.
2. Engage them with more than 'stuff' and self-interest.
3. Be transparent. They want to know what charity you are supporting and the impact they and you are making. They don't want percentages (i.e., 2% of profits); they want real numbers.
4. Do not use cause marketing to fix a bad or broken product. This strategy will backfire.
5. Don't bore them. Contest fatigue is setting in. They love to vote, but too many lame voting campaigns are out there. This goes back to being transparent; they want to know that their votes count.
6. Keep it simple.
7. Be relevant. Ignite a movement around an issue that is important to them. Some of their hot buttons: Gender equality, clean water, combating child sex trade, ensuring environmental sustainability, ending poverty and hunger, universal education, attacking HIV/AIDS and other diseases, violence and bullying, health and fitness, animal welfare, and saving children.
8. Understand them and what motivates them. Here's just one example that will show that you need to do more than kitchen research to really understand what motivates them: Lulu Cerone, the teen founder of LemonAID Warriors, tells us: "I was motivated by the effectiveness of President Obama's grassroots movement during his 2008 election. At nine years old, I was a campaign volunteer. After the election, his online campaign continued to reach out to us volunteers and encourage community service. I took that seriously. When the earthquake in Haiti hit, I used what I learned about grassroots motivation to reach out to my friends and family and watched my little classroom lemonade stand spread across the country to raise $4,000 in two weeks. I decided to keep motivating my community and look for issues that could benefit from our work." Would you have learned this by asking your daughter or niece?
9. Educate people and move them to action (emotion).
Who does it right? One of my favorites that keeps getting better and hits all the points listed above:
From TOMS website -- it's on every page: "With every pair purchased, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One."
- It's a movement that is about people making everyday choices that improve the lives of children.
- TOMS makes shoes. Shoes are needed to protect children's health. TOMS gives children shoes. It's simple, it's their core business and it changes the world.
- Their story creates conversations. One Day without Shoes (I love this video) -- on April 5, 2011, TOMS encouraged people to go without (shoes). It was the #1 Twitter trending topic and the #4 most-searched term on Google. They walk the walk and people walk with them.
Do you have a cause-marketing campaign? Is there a campaign that you like or don't like? Rate them; take the nine points listed above and see how the campaign scores. Can you check all the boxes above? More than five? Fewer? Please share your scores/thoughts via comments below.
|Denise Restauri is founder and CEO of the tween-teen girl media company, AllyKatzz.|
from my email:
Daily Sales Tip: Diagnose Before You Prescribe
Think about the last purchase you made where you felt you had a positive experience with the salesperson. Did the salesperson introduce themselves and immediately tell you what they thought you needed? Or did they ask you questions to better understand your situation and accurately diagnose your needs?
Here is a good way to test yourself to see if you understand your customer's real problems. Think of a specific opportunity you are working on and name two or three challenges that your prospect wants your capabilities to help them resolve. In most cases, this is the easy part.
Now comes the hard part. Ask yourself, "What bad thing will continue to happen if they don't do business with us?" It could be that their revenue won't grow, they will lose market share, miss a goal, etc. Obviously, it varies based on product or service.
But if you can't answer the question, chances are your prospect can't either.
The basic principle here is to diagnose before you prescribe. When you can answer the question, "What bad thing will continue to happen if they don t do business with us? , you are ready to provide your prospect with a recommended solution. Challenge yourself to answer that question for your clients. They will reward you with their business.
Source: Nick Maslanka, a Regional Sales Executive for Sales Performance International
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Click & Read:
Now is the time to prep for next year.
Three Tips for Tradeshow Success
"Many have pronounced tradeshow marketing dead," writes Bob Hebeisen at MarketingProfs. "But with the right strategy, hard work, and flawless execution, tradeshows can still be a productive part of your marketing plan." To make the most of your lead-generating budget, he suggests a twelve-step process that takes you from pre-show planning to post-show analysis. Here's a sampling of his advice:
Make sure the audience will want your product or service. Most tradeshows have a "who should attend" page at their website, and that's a good place to start. Go one better, though, and ask to see a complete list of the previous year's attendees—you can check for relevant job titles and company names—and confirm actual attendance numbers. "Don't expect every registrant to be from your target audience," advises Hebeisen, "but determine whether the ratio is acceptable."
Get on the presentation agenda. "Tradeshow attendees in North America are so jaded about walking the exhibit floor, especially at the executive level, that exhibitor presence alone might not be worthwhile," he notes. When you're on the presentation agenda, it validates your relevance to the audience, and gives you an opportunity to mention your booth for follow-up discussions.
Demand professional and aggressive performance from booth staff. Hebeisen recommends a strong elevator pitch, uniform attire, a ban on distracting smartphone usage and engagement with everyone who walks past the booth. It's not for nothing—an active approach can make the difference between 50 and 500 leads.
The Po!nt: Tradeshows can still generate solid leads, but you have to plan and work for them.
Source: MarketingProfs.Sphere: Related Content
from my email:
Daily Sales Tip:
When presenting a written proposal, always remember your audience. Keep it simple. Eliminate media jargon and acronyms.
Instead, use short simple words and sentences. Include content specific to the customer's industry or vertical market, particularly in the cover letter and executive summary.
Remember that people buy ideas, solutions, and feelings. Data should support that, not the other way around.
Source: Brandeis C. Hall, RAB, BHall@rab.com, (972)753-6786
Monday, September 26, 2011
Click & read:
from the Not-So-Secret Writings of ScLoHo:
No one cares how many hours you work.
No one cares if you are working 2 hours or 16 hours a day.
What they care about is if you are available (working) when the decision is being made.
Do you have the answers?
Do you have the solution?
Do you have it when they need it?
This is part of the beauty of the Internet.
It is why Google beat Microsoft, Yahoo and all the others as a search engine.
Google connects people to answers.
Do you have a website that provides answers?
Does Google connect people who are looking for answers to your website?
Is your website designed to move people from the visitor stage to the customer stage?
Are you sure?
Every day someone is looking for what you have to offer.
They are spending money, every day.
Once they buy from someone other than you, they are no longer going to buy from you.
You lost that one.
You can win more than you are right now.
This year I joined Cirrus ABS, the regions largest website development company that impressed me with their focus on net-centered marketing.
I can help, we can help.
Contact me at 260-255-4357 or SHoward@CirrusABS.com
The words of Scott Howard aka ScLoHo
from a sales perspective:
Daily Sales Tip: Get An Annual Checkup
Just as you should regularly go to the doctor for a checkup, you need to get a sales checkup.
You need to see a videotape or listen to a recording of yourself that captures how you look and sound when you pitch. What's good enough for your golf swing goes double for how you make your living.
Even if you saw a tape of yourself 18 months ago, you've changed. And even if it's for the better, you need to know.
Source: Marketing consultant/author Michael Schrage
Sunday, September 25, 2011
My local supermarket stocks waxy, tasteless tomatoes from Chile and Mexico and Florida. They even do this in early September, when local tomatoes are delicious, plentiful and ought to be a bargain.
Are they clueless, evil or incompetent?
Perhaps none of these. This supermarket, like most supermarkets, is a checklist institution, one that is in the business of providing good enough, in quantity, at a price that's both cheap and profitable. You need a staple, they have it. They have flour and salt and eggs and macaroni and cheese. They've trained their customers to see them as an invisible vendor, as an organization that satisfices demand. It's too much work, too demanding and too risky to do the alternative...
They could program the store instead.
Program it the way a great theater programs the stage. No one goes to the theatre two or three times a week, expecting a good enough show. No, we only go when we hear there's something magical or terrific happening.
Over time, as institutions create habits and earn subscribers, they often switch, gradually making the move from magical (worth a trip, worth a conversation) to good (there when you need it). Most TV is just good. Magazines, too. When was the last time People magazine did something that made you sit up and say, "wow"? Of course, you could argue that they're not in the wow business, and you might be right.
One of the disrupting forces of the new media is that it makes harder and harder to succeed without wow. Since you have to earn the conversation regularly, phone it in too often and in fact, attention disappears.
Labels: Seth Godin
from Pat McGraw:
The director of marketing was proudly displaying the new design for a 68-page 4-color brochure that was about to go to the printers. The project had taken her and her team almost 6 months of work because it was viewed as a ‘major deal’ and that meant that everyone and their spouse was involved in the process.
At the quantity they were going to print, the cost was slightly more than $1 per brochure and the total bill was in the low 6-figures. That included manpower (staff), outsourced services (writing, photography), printing and shipping.
The brochure was (and always had been) beautiful. And it offered a complete overview of the business and the many products and services offered.
At the end of a 45 minute meeting, one of the C-level executives asked me what I thought and I responded that I was impressed with the final product – but I did have one question.
“How are you going to use all those brochures?”
Now, you can probably imagine the reaction that brought. Laughter. Head shaking. Shifting in chairs. Whispers.
Finally, the marketing director spoke for the group and replied.
“We need to have this when people ask what we do – so we give them on these.”
So I asked another question.
“Do you qualify those people and make sure they are able to buy what you sell before handing them the brochure?”
More nervous laughter, whispering and shifting chairs ensued before the marketing director replied.
“I don’t know. That’s up to sales.”
Now, that’s a dangerous answer. The marketing team is spending a substantial amount of their resources (human, financial, technology) on something that looks wonderful – but it’s something they have no understanding of how it is used to achieve the goals and objectives of the business.
So I went over the sales department and asked the team how they used the 68-page, 4-color brochure. And, surprise – most weren’t. They thought it was too much information and it confused the prospect. (Most hadn’t gone past the first 30-pages before they lost interest and put the brochure down for good.)
Then I asked what they thought they needed and, together, we created a list of what they felt they needed to help certain buyer types at certain stages of the buying/selling process. I took this back to the marketing team and explained the rationale behind each one – and two important things happened.
First, the print run for the 68-page, 4-color brochure was significantly reduced – saving the company a solid 5-figures. (And that was before fulfillment costs that included postage.)
Second, within the next two months, the marketing team produced the collateral for the sales team at a cost far less than the 5-figure saving that came from the smaller print run for the brochure.
I went over to sales and asked how the new collateral was working for them. Moral went up. Conversion rates went up. Average order size was up.
Imagine what we could accomplish for your business if you took advantage of my free coaching session.Sphere: Related Content
from the Real Sales Dog:
In her 15-plus years teaching entrepreneurs about sales and marketing, business coach C.J. Hayden has found that many of her clients say the most significant barrier to success is that they simply don't like to sell.
"The roots of this dislike are varied," says Hayden. "Sometimes what gets in the way is fear of rejection, or self-doubt of one's abilities. Other times it's lack of knowledge or inexperience; most of us don't like to do things when we feel we can't do them well. But a theme that rears its ugly head over and over again is this: a belief that sales and marketing is dishonest, manipulative, and sleazy."
"You might expect me to argue that these negative portrayals of marketing are not true," continues Hayden. "But in reality, they often are. Most of us experience on a daily basis inauthentic marketing, manipulative selling, and attempts at persuasion that rub us the wrong way."
"I'm not suggesting that you, the person reading this, are a sleazy salesperson," says Hayden. "In fact, I suspect it's much more likely that you aren't. But it just may be that you need to convince yourself of that truth in order to raise your comfort level about sales and marketing. To that end, I offer the following guidelines."
You are NOT a sleazy salesperson, if:
Sphere: Related Content