Social media is your brand truly engaging – are you “likeable”
Social media has exploded over the last decade and many businesses still view all social media interaction to be the responsibility of the marketing department. The reality is social media impacts on all departments in your business. Don’t make the mistake of not being open and engaging with customers problems. Social media gives you a great chance to apologise if you get it wrong and the opportunity to make amends. Ultimately you have to be honest and likeable in all your interactions. If you are truly authentic your customers will respect you and endorse your brand and its values. Make sure your customer service team listens to and respond to requests and ask your customers to feedback across the channels they communicate on. “Like-ability” is the key to an engaging social media strategy. You can learn so much from your customers, your R&D team can gain brilliant insight from carefully constructed surveys. CEO’s can serve as online spokespeople providing key opinion formers with information. TOP TIPS: Do you know the top 10 reasons consumers like Fan pages on FACEBOOK. To receive discounts and promos To show support for brands to friends To get a “freebie” (e.g., free samples, coupons) To stay informed about company activities For updates on future projects For updates on upcoming sales Just for fun To get access to exclusive content To learn more about the company For education about company topics Source: CoTweet & ExactTarget Its all about the development of relationships! Social media is a great window into your clients world, your sales teams can review LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to meet and engage with new prospects. The key thing is to make sure that as many people as possible in your brand are fluent in social media and know the objective is to treat every customer with respect! Its all about being inspirational! Give your customers lots of reasons to want to like you and they will spread the word! So find what your customers want from you and don’t forget to make sure your Likeable!...read more
Do you know what your customers want?
How often do you hear in the business world, I wish I had known that before I started! It’s easy to look back at a project with hindsight and its great to be clever after the event. What you really need to be successful in business is foresight. The eternal question asked by many a man is “what do women really want?” The strange thing is how often do men actually ask the right question? The harsh reality is not nearly enough. This is also true in business; it’s worth asking yourself the question, do I really know what my customer wants? It should be the foundation for every business, but sometimes you can loose sight of the fundamental fact that you: Serve your customer needs! As your company becomes more successful new opportunities will be presented. So how do you choose which new business venture to pursue? Where shall you invest for the future health of your company? Talking to your customer to gain a clear understanding of their needs today and discussing their future requirements should help you gain the insight to make the right choice. No excuses allowed! Make sure you are engaging your customers through social media, be clear on your performance metrics through on-going customer satisfaction tracking and find ways to understand and define needs going forward. If you don’t… your competitors...read more
E-commerce, but I already have a web site?
I have been working commercially on the internet since 1999 it’s been fascinating to see the explosion of virtual trading over the past decade. Everyone now has a web site and they been convinced by family, friends, consultants or designers that the internet is essential for their companies long term growth. It’s true to say that every year web activity grows exponentially and more business is migrating online. E-commerce is not just about putting up a few pages on the Internet to highlight your company or your facility. It’s a shop window to the world and it’s your opportunity to stand out from the crowd. You need to think why would prospective and current customers come to your site and why is it going to add anything to their lives. The web provides a wealth of free information and content and if you don’t give prospects and customers a good reason to visit your site, quite frankly why will they. Most people now use the internet for research. It might be for finding a restaurant, a holiday, a car, music, friendship or just free stuff, the list is endless. But most importantly they use it to compare the different service providers. So if your competitors web site is easier to use or it has some great content that makes prospective customers lives enriched or it just appears higher in Google’s search engine. Guess where those prospects are placing their...read more
What should you want from an agency?
The first and most important thing is to be very clear and specific! If you have gone through a robust selection process the Agency you have got into bed with should have already ticked the boxes on all of the key attributes you need. The account management team you have met will work with you directly, you’ve established a personal rapport and you have agreed the functional aspects of your relationship like how they charge you for their services. So what next! The most important thing is to give them a vision of what you want to achieve, be as specific as you can as this will get the best out of your team. After that the agency relationship should be viewed as a virtual extension of your team. They need to immerse themselves in your operation and understand what makes you and your customers tick. From that point onwards I want my agency to come up with lots of creative ideas but specifically to meet the challenges I have set. I want them to push the boundaries of the current marketing whilst not alienating my customers. The best way to achieve this is write a good brief with realistic project timelines. You will then get the best value for money from your agency and usually you get the best creative results. However, we all know that life does not always allow you to be well prepared so the better your agency knows your business the better they will respond to last minute intense project deadlines. I don’t want my agency to be bunch of wine swilling ego maniacs but I do want my agency to comprise a team of people I can rely upon, bounce ideas off, give me a fresh perspective and not to be constrained by internal pressures. Most importantly I want experts who can provide me that something special to make my brand come to...read more
Creative agency or in house?
Being in Marketing for over 20 years I have been very lucky and had the privilege to work with some excellent creative agencies? I have also recruited and developed and seen the benefits of a superb in house team. So which approach gets you the best result? The answer in short is both! Some of the most innovative and well-executed creative strategies I have been involved in came from working collaboratively. The key to success was a well-defined brief and ensuring that everyone had a clear vision of the goal. Having external perspective helps you keep in touch with innovation and new thinking. Often your brand is well documented and protected and it can really help to have an outside view, it will challenge your thinking. In house teams are much more in touch with your customer and will keep you from making silly mistakes. The challenge in the creative process is fundamentally to provide clarity during the briefing stage of the project. A good creative team need to understand and be given a clear view on who, what, when, where and how! The trick to effectively managing this process is simple, good leadership. The project needs someone to have a vision and help everyone in the creative process, share it. If you cannot… try and find someone who can help...read more
What makes a good agency?
The image of people who work in advertising and marketing over many years has been formed through stereotypes. I have to admit lots of those stereotypes are well justified. How many ego maniacs have you met over the years who bore you silly about the latest coolest web thing, the next micro blogging fad, trying to be so cool because they are “down with the Kidz”. People in the industry are usually frustrated actors or musicians and they crave the limelight. I guess its to be expected that people who work in the publicity industry are usually the biggest self publicists. Often they are only interested about winning awards and as a result produce outrageous creative pitches, which have nothing to do with your brand, your customers or your objectives. The precious creative director “I am not interested in going to pitch unless this brand gives me total creative license!” The logo needs to change and I must use a serif font! Creativity is vital but only if it supports your marketing goals. If I am the brand owner of a conservative fashion business, I don’t necessarily want to transform my advertising to appeal 16 year olds. So what makes a great agency? Its not where you bring me for lunch or which A-list party you bring me to. A great agency asks who, what, when, where and why? They need to understand the challenge and then work closely with you to find the right creative solution. The need to push the boundaries of your thinking but make sure its aligned to your ultimate goal. I think the best agency’s understand you as a client and establishes a rapport with your brand immediately. If they know what you need they will provide you that little something that creates the difference for your...read more