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Happy customers = $$$

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Thoughtleadership and Content Marketing | No Comments

cutomer_happiness_bookcover_smallI guess it makes sense that happy customers = $$$ but now there is a book that goes into the who, what and why of it.

Bernd Schmitt a professor, speaker and author latest book is Happy Customers Everywhere and draws on the latest research in the exploding field of positive psychology. SCHMITT offers three unique approaches any business can use to turning a casual customer into a committed fan:

The Feel-Good Method: Use the experience of pleasure and positive emotion to hook new customers, and watch those feel-good moments transform a casual customer into a committed loyalist
The Values-and-Meaning Method: Attract passionate customers by appealing to their core values, like being socially responsible, protecting the environment, or living a simple life
The Engagement Method: Get customers to notice a unique or limited offer, immerse them in the experience, and have them share it with friends and family.
Schmitt shows marketers, brand managers, and entrepreneurs how to design an authentic and successful campaign that will reach, grow, and sustain a devoted base of customers.
Here is a podcast I did with Schmitt about his book:

Video interview here.http://youtu.be/j69oPtIg7bA

Outsource your marketing has become a smarter choice for SMB

By | CRM and lead generation, Marketing Automated Technology, Marketing Maturity, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology, Marketing Tools | No Comments

marketing landscapeAt one stage as a small business it was possible to do your marketing in-house, much like you might do your book-keeping and manage staff. Now SMBs are outsourcing their marketing as the landscape has changed.

Here are some of the reasons:
1. Marketing has changed dramatically over the past few years and has become more specialised. It has become more technical with more areas of specialisation. Think of the landscape for today; google SEO, Adwords, customer databases, social media, event management branding, mobile marketing, marketing automation,PR, research,telemarketing and strategic planning. Each of these areas of marketing requires a certain skill set and so while managers can get there it is very time consuming and not a good use of the time.

2.The breadth of marketing touch points now reflect the buyers journey. Because our customers are using different tools and resources to find us than they once did (i.e. word of mouth and advertising before and now social media, websites, reviews on line, etc) our marketing needs to be where our customers are and this has created more marketing avenues to be ontop of. It is time consuming and almost impossible for a SMB manager to do this and run the operations of a business.

3.Customers do more of their journey without interacting with sales. THe role of sales has reduced and the role of marketing has increased because of customer behaviour. We do our research before we engage with a company we want to buy from be it buying a new car or health insurance. It is marketing job to provide those resources, tools and advice where the customers are looking and so content creation has become a big part of the marketing mix. Content is time consuming and these days also requires SEO and customer mindset to be effective.IBM-outsource-traditional-sub-process

4. Marketing has become more scientific as we have access to more data. From google, social media, email campaigns, forms, third party research we are now able to know more about what marketing is working and what isn’t and improve it month on month. We are also able to see what our customers want and adjust on the fly. The issue is most SMB don’t have the time.

5. Having a cohesive marketing approach is more important than ever before. We have all been to that website that has a post that was done over 12 months ago, seen a logo on a business card that doesn’t match the letterhead or gone to search a person on LinkedIn not to find their profile. Having an integrated marketing approach is critical to gaining trust and a consistent profile and marketing approach is now more visible.

6.If marketing is not your core business outsourcing frees you up to focus on what you are good at. Outsourcing can be a fraction of the cost of hiring a full time marketer and many times they might not have the core skill set that you need in all the areas of marketing. This variable cost of outsourcing means you can plug and play as you need but still have that expertise. Outsourcing also allows you to step away from the tactical and use your business knowledge on the insights that your marketing expert provides to assist you to make better marketing decisions.

7.While it might be tempting to off-shore your marketing make sure you have done the cost V benefit analysis. Some of my clients have gone down the path of odesk, glance, freelancer and alike to outsource their marketing. The regular response I hear is that the time it takes to manage this resource is making the low fee seem irrelevant. So while we are not limited by geographical boundaries any more and we can access any resource, finding someone that you can communicate easily with, understands the local business environment and has the experience will save you time and money. Keep in mind some functions of marketing are make more sense to outsource and others don’t. Marketers outsource Even as a marketer I outsource writing, design and SEO as these are highly specialised skills.

8. The key reason for outsourcing to a marketing professional is growth. If you want to continue to grow your business you need a marketing plan and continually be implementing in good times and bad. Marketing has shifted in importance as a lead generation tool and with sales being less influential in the customer journey, marketing has shifted into top gear for many companies.

So it might be time to think about your business model and what you spend time on day to day. If it is doing marketing in when you can and you don’t have the expertise then it might be time to change. If it is not at all and you have ignored marketing, maybe be it is time to rethink that strategy. If you hate marketing but you recognise it is important in generating new business talk to us.

Fill out my online form.

Your customer has changed and now he has a voice

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight | No Comments

How to love your customers in 2015 was a great post done by Hatchback recently. What I really loved about this post was some key stats that really resonated with me about our customers:
1. We always have our mobiles on us and 70% of us check it every hour
2. A third of us are using social media to share our opinions on things
3. Peer to peer recommendations carry a lot of clout
4. 88% of consumers think companies should try to achieve their business goals while improving society and the environment
5. 75% of consumers don’t believe that companies tell the truth in advertisement

Even though these are US stats they seem to ring true. What this means for marketing is that the old way of communicating with your customers has to change because they have changed. See persona Mike below for more insights.

Meet Mike

The Marketing Performance Blueprint; we need all the help we can get!

By | Content Marketing, customer centric marketing, Customer Insight, Marketing Automated Technology, Thoughtleadership and Content Marketing | No Comments

“The marketing industry is advancing at an unprecedented rate, creating seemingly insurmountable gaps in marketing talent, technology and strategy. The job of marketer is more challenging than ever before; things like changing customer expectations, proliferation of media outlets, greater customer power, globalization and media fragmentation are making it harder and harder to create a message that will be heard. The result: marketers are largely unprepared for the marketing paradigm shift happening now.”
Paul Roetzer

Today requires a new type of marketer to do better marketing The marketing Performance blueprintOverwhelm is commonplace for today’s marketer. Paul Roezter new book, The Marketing Performance Blueprint is an awesome guide to asking some of the right questions to ensure you have marketing that is effective.
Paul from PR20/20 has run his own agency and so knows how broad marketing is but also understands how we now need to be performance driven and should measure everything we do. We now have the data, and Paul has a great dashboard to assist us make sense of those drivers that shape effective marketing.

I was speaking with a small business today about their google adwords and they said; “Dan I paid all this money and I don’t know if it is working and I don’t even know what to look at to know.” This is a comment that is not uncommon for small businesses. Understanding the elements of your marketing be it; Adwords, SEO, email marketing, networking, trade-shows, SMS, telephone message or whatever and measuring its effectiveness will only allow you to alter those things to make better marketing decisions. Paul’s book is all about understanding and managing the marketing process and measuring what matters.

Listen to my podcast with Paul to gain more insights.

Visit the PR20/20 website to learn more about the book and download a free chapter.

Blog worth reading: Overcoming Extinction

How mature is your marketing?

By | customer centric marketing, Customer Insight, Marketing Maturity, Marketing Strategy, Small Business Marketing, Value Proposition | No Comments

I have just finished reading the book Connect the Experience. This book tracts the maturity level of a company based on a customer centric approach. What I really love about this book is that it is connecting all the activity we do to a maturity model and is based on the customer experience.
Customer Marketing Maturity Level

This book acknowledges the dramatic change in the marketing landscape that has occurred over the past few years and how customers are now in control of this landscape. “Even though we’re faced with radical changes in customer behaviours, expectations and preferences as a result of technology, to lead the next generation of customer experience does not begin with technology. It starts with people.”

Businesses want to do the right thing by customers and what to have brands that both employees and their customers love. We all have sincere intentions (for the most part) and recognise that the future of business lies in customer experience however “only 37% of executives are actually beginning to move forward with a formal customer experience initiative.” As the Connect The Experience a spouses these companies that aggressively invests in customer centricity in the innovation of products, processes and services will grow faster.
“The future of digital marketing and customer experience is in your hands. Feel it. Design it. Advance it.”

What I love about this book is the resources around mapping the maturity of your marketing. It is worth checking out.
Customer Journey

We also have our owns audit tool for SMBs. marketing audit tool.

Adobe also has a great digital marketing maturity assessment survey.
Digital Marketing tool

Adobe state; Digital Marketing success is dependent upon an organization’s focus and investment in its People, Processes, and Products necessary to deliver successful customer experiences. The strength of each area is measured by its ability to execute across the seven Digital Marketing dimensions; which include Channels, Audiences, Context, Content, Assets, Campaigns, and Data.

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