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Archive for June 2013

Sierra, Nik Wallenda and How to Succeed in Social Media

Sierra, Nik Wallenda and How to Succeed in Social Media

Nik Wallenda Grand CanyonIn a recent client meeting, one of their summer interns was asked to join the meeting.

“Sierra has some great, fresh ideas about our marketing. She thinks we need to be on Facebook and Twitter.  And, I think we need to be on social media.”


Social Media isn’t a Strategy

Now, this is a company I was trying to bring into the world of blogging.  Not only were they in a highly competitive market where customer loyalty was low across the board, their website content was pretty static, un-engaging and un-supportive of a dynamic SEO strategy.  A blog seemed the perfect answer.

“Our customers aren’t interested enough in our services to read about them all the time.  We tried a Facebook page and it didn’t work out.”

I saw their old Facebook page.  There was no engagement.  In fact, there was no attempt at engagement.  It was a page of that infamous social media guilty pleasure of self-promotion.  Nonetheless, I saw an opportunity to leverage Sierra’s nudge to open the social media door. So, I asked Sierra what her goals would be for social media.  It was tough for her to mask her disdain when she answered.

“Goals?  What do you mean?  Don’t you realize how many people are on Facebook?”

No Strategic Plan

We Just Wanna Tweet.  We Don’t Need a Plan.

As it turned out, no one really had a plan for social media.  They just wanted to throw a few tweets and posts at the wall to see what might stick.  Whoa!!!  They  really didn’t care if anything stuck, they just wanted to toss a few things out there.

Social marketing without a plan is pretty close to crossing the Grand Canyon on a tightrope…without a net.  If you’re an undisputed pro (like Nik Wallenda), you may be OK.  If not, you’re screwed.

Social media is tough.  It’s a lot tougher, much more unproductive and a time sink without a plan.  A recent post by Heidi Cohen in Social Media Examiner outlines “How to Setup a Social Media Strategy”.

  1. Set goals
  2. Know your audience
  3. Define core topics
  4. Choose your media platforms
  5. Encourage engagement everywhere
  6. Create processes
  7. Measure results

I learned 2 lessons.

Don’t cross the Grand Canyon without a net.

Don’t attempt social media without a plan.


4 Ways to Guarantee Great Non-Marketing

4 Ways to Guarantee Great Non-Marketing

Non Marketing PerformanceWant to know how to make your marketing a last minute scramble? Want an almost certain guarantee of ineffective, inefficient, inconsistent marketing?  Well, you’re in luck.   Here are the four best practices for great non-marketers:

  1. Don’t focus on customers
  2. Don’t think about marketing
  3. Don’t care about competition
  4. Don’t consider  yesterday or tomorrow

Are you following the Four Don’ts and are you then surprised that you’re rushing around at the last minute to put together a new brochure, mailing, a new website or a new ad?  Kind of silly – don’t you think?

I recently read an interesting blog post  about the “..Frantic Scramble in Marketing” from Drew McLellan

 “…some of the challenges that business owners/leaders face when it comes to marketing, like:

  1. Marketing is not part of their daily routine — so they cycle. Go like crazy when things are slow and then do nothing when they’re flush. If the dry spell is too long, they go out of business.
  2. Chasing after new business and ignoring existing customers (spend time/money in the exact wrong way — it should be spent on employees, current customers and then prospects not the other way around).
  3. Marketing is too self centered/focused. Way too much me/we and not enough focus on the customers’ needs.
  4. Try to do too many different marketing tactics all at once and don’t do any of them for a long enough period of time or with enough depth. Better to do fewer but do them better.
  5. Business owners need an outside perspective. Why/how is their business different/unique? What is the value proposition that only they can offer? But they can’t figure it out on their own. It’s like trying to describe the outside of a bottle — if you are inside it. Can’t unknown what you know.”

“Are you suffering from any of those mistakes?  Are you so busy scrambling that you’re applying the same philosophy to your marketing? Create a marketing game plan and follow it.  Leave the scrambling to other aspects of running your business.”

The dangers of excluding marketing from the forefront of your business go beyond the last-minute dash to get marketing projects completed.  Without a marketing mindset, it is likely that your marketing will be less effective and less efficient.  In fact, it’s likely that your non-marketing will be downright ineffective and inefficient.  You’re likely to spend more money to get less.  If that’s your goal, then go for it.  If not, you need to start living the marketing life.

Best & Worst Times to Post on Social Media

It’s tough to get noticed on social media. Posting at the right time should be part of your strategy.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way, in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.   – Charles Dickens

Water Retention:Not Good … Customer Retention:Awesome

Water Retention:Not Good ... Customer Retention:Awesome

Customer Retention

Can you develop new business without knowing anything about your current or past customers?  Sure you can.  It may not be the smartest, most cost effective, most efficient thing to do… but you can do it.  When money is tight and time is tighter, it just doesn’t make sense to do that.

What’s your retention rate?

I’ve spoken to quite a few small businesses the N.Y.C. area and Long Island.  When I ask about their customer retention rate, they usually say “It’s high”, “It’s good” or “That’s not a problem for us”.  When I probe and ask them for the numbers, 99% of the time I’ll get the disappearing-neck shrug of the shoulders.  Bottom line, they really don’t know.

Your customers are one of your biggest potential resources.  Cultivate them.  Baby them.  Respect them


 Here are 7 easy steps to increase customer retention:

  1. PERCEPTION                      Remember that it’s all about your customers’ perception…not yours.
  2. MEASURE                            Don’t rely on your feelings about customer retention.  Measure it!
  3. DELIGHT                               Focus on customer ‘delight’… not just satisfaction
  4. DEAR JOHN                         Get the facts on why customers leave.  Ask them.  Don’t assume.
  5. FRIENDING                         Cultivate consistent ongoing relationships with customers.
  6. EXPECTATIONS                 Proactively manage your customers’ expectations
  7. BLACK BOOK                      Reach out to all of those folks in your “little black book” of ex-customers

Love thy customers

ScreenHunter_01 Jun. 21 11.37

Your customers are one of your biggest potential resources.

Cultivate them.

Baby them.

Respect them.

Love them even if they leave you!

High customer retention rates could the fuel you need for your business.  Raise those rates and it’ll increase customer loyalty and new referrals.  Now that’s the type of synergy you need.

10 Steps to Email Marketing Success

10 Steps to Email Marketing Success

Email marketing success is within your reach. It can be a cost-effective way to secure new business. Well, it’s only cost effective if you can reach a respectable return on your minimal investment. These tips walk you through a well thought out process that’ll help you optimize your R.O.I. and garner new business.

Email Marketing Success

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What Are People Saying?

Outspent and with mediocre brand imagery scores, Susan developed a strategic plan that focused on influencers across a broad range of target audiences. This plan maximized the impact of the marketing dollars and resulted in increased brand awareness, retailer placement and sales revenue.

J. RutherfordVice President, Corporate CommunicationsFujifilm Holdings

How We Can Help You.

We are marketing consultants based on Long Island, NY. Over the past 20 years, we've built fierce market leaders in a broad range of businesses - from tiny start-ups to global Fortune 500 companies.  Our experience spans multiple industries from consumer electronics to financial services and from food services to photo.  We're looking forward to talking to you to see how we can help take your business to the next level.