I just posted on the Pedowitz Group Revenue Marketer Blog.
Check it out!
Today on Twitter, I posted a Gawker article about Cooks Source. Twitter was abuzz with commentary:
The story is available here in the Washington Post:
A quick summary:
We are still waiting for the ending in this story, but the commentors are out in full force. Sharing stories, contacting advertisers and taking over the magazine’s facebook page. Oh and investigating other copyright infringements. And, unfortunately for the editor, Judith Griggs, they are looking to tarnish her image as well. It has been a bad day for Cooks Source.
For business, social media can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. The number one thing is to remember not to go into hiding when something goes wrong. Ask Hotel 71 Chicago. They handled a social media incident the right way, as covered in this case study. Another good idea? Social Media Training for your employees; social media is key element in your communications strategy. Today everyone has a voice in building your brand, it’s a good idea to make sure it gets used the right way.
The last tip for today? Be cautious before getting into a war of words with a writer. They’ll take to the pen (or keyboard).
I’ve been watching the Great Food Truck Race on Food Network. It is just like the other competition shows with teams, challenges and eliminations. The thing that has impressed me so far: The Nom Nom Truck. I have no idea is their food is any good, but their marketing strategy is spot on.
They have been rolling over the competition with a few key ideas:
Find the right partner
At a stop in Texas, they contacted a local gourmet food market. They figured, Vietnamese sandwiches in Texas might be a hard sell, but going where the “adventurous eaters” go is where they’ll find there customer base. The market made announcements and also helped the team out during a challenge.
In New Orleans, they parked in front of the Pinkberry store. Considering all of the yogurt chasers that chain attracts, the customers would embrace this LA-based food truck too.
Make it work for you: find a complementary product with the same customers you have. It is a lot harder to move upmarket or downmarket via your partners. It is an easier sell when you are already talking to the same people
Your fans are influencers
For the first challenge, the trucks went south to San Diego. The Nom Nom truck went to Facebook and their fans told their friends in San Diego. Suddenly it was a trending topic among SD college students. Sell-outs ensued.
Make it work for you: when you have news, tell your customer right away. You never know where their networks may reach.
What marketing lessons have you learned from the food truck craze?
I just returned from a trip east to my family reunion. My trip started with a little bit of tourist-ing in Charelston, SC. Along the way, we had a bit of debate on picking a hotel. I booked one hotel, and ended up canceling the reservation to try my luck at Hotwire (it was a success). Unfortunately the original hotel didn’t get the memo that I canceled my reservation.
I canceled my reservation about 1 week after placing it, and about a month before my trip. I booked the wrong dates on the original reservation (oops) and canceled for that reason. About a week before I was scheduled to arrive, i received an email “we can’t wait for you to stay with us, here are a few resources and coupons for your trip.” I was understandably alarmed, because I had canceled my reservation! So I called to confirm that the reservation was canceled :
What kind of nurturing is that?!?!?! I ended up with 3 totally relevant emails: look forward to welcoming you, welcome, and a post stay survey. This hotel was probably perfectly nice, but they have solidified the fact that I won’t be staying there. How hard is it to remove people from the lead nurturing program?
So here is a friendly reminder: if you are automating your marketing don’t forget about the remove button. No customer wants an email that says, ”save 20% on all purchases this week,” when you finished shopping last week. Or a message about continuing to research options when you’ve already decided a product and are in the negotiation phase.
A few days ago I got a sales pitch on LinkedIn. Usually I can spot those a mile away, but this time I was caught blindsided. I had a new friend request (or connection request to use the right terminology). In the notes area of the request: I’d like to work with you!
I don’t know about you, but any time I get a request from an unknown name, I rack my brain trying to figure out if I have met them before. In this case I hadn’t, but I did take the time to look at the profile. I don’t want to advocate LinkedIn spam, but using requests wisely, with an earnest pitch can be effective. Or at least get your prospects to open the door.
Less obvious conversion number 2: a form confirmation page, literally. You work really hard to drive traffic to your webform. And you are happy every time someone converts. So what if you could follow up that conversion with a second offer. Let’s say someone downloads your white paper. How about following that up with a webinar invite landing page or ask about their interests. The second form is short and sweet: email address + 1-2 more qualification questions. Instant progressive profiling. And the worst thing that can happen? They close the window and decline the offer. But you’ll likely get a 2 for 1.
The last tip is a little harder for marketers. We like to explain things, but being direct and getting to the point right away is a lot more effective. I’ve been reviewing the “Which Test Won” blog, and it has a ton of useful info on A/B testing and successes. One continuous theme is really how the most direct buttons, images and wording are more effective. That might mean putting the button at the top, clearly spelling out terms and conditions, or listing out the rewards for a registration.
To put this in practice, here are a few ideas:
To recap, here are 3 easy ways to improve your conversions, and be sure to share your tips in the comments:
I typically visit the farmer’s market weekly. Last summer, or maybe the summer before I discovered Blue Chair Fruit, a local jam/spread/marmalade maker. They make the best jam I’ve ever tasted, I am sure I am know to the Blue Chair team as the girl who stops by every week to try all of the samples. (I like the stone fruit and berries the best so far.)
I’ve chatted with the owner/creator, Rachel, regularly about her upcoming book, all of the flavors and the typical banter. It’s great to be able to meet the purveyors, and that is one of the main reasons I go to the market (and of course the fact that is fresher and tastier).
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed Blue Chair was on twitter and facebook. I “liked-ed” them on Facebook and the next week when I was at the farmer’s market, Rachael commented “Hey, you are our newest facebook fan!”
Facebook moved from online to reality!
A few weeks later, I gave Blue Chair a shout on twitter.
And sure enough, at the market I met Jamie, and she was holding 2 jars for me.
We all know twitter is a great way to connect with people online, but it great to take that connection offline too. If you have a business where you meet your customers in person, encourage them to follow you online and off. And reward them for participating in the conversation. Your customers (and your revenues) will thank you.
After exchanging a couple of tweets with @AdamBlitzer related to some of the metrics marketing automation systems track. It looks like a good segue way into a post on choosing the right platform.
Here are a couple of potential scenarios:
1. The sales rep asked “how did you find out about us?” After you clicked on a paid search ad and filled out 4 web forms. (They should know)
Better: it looks like you have been researching us for the past few weeks, what are your key requirements for choosing the right platform?
2. You ask to see your history, on your contact page inside the app to get a sample on what “digital body language” has been captured. The rep responds, “I do not have access to that information.”
Better: Here is the notification I received from your last form submission and a screenshot of your info in our app.
3. The only visitor reports available are the top XXX companies that have visited your site in the past week. There is not info available on people you already “know” that have been identified and linked in the system.
Better: Standard website analytics tools can give you data on generic visitors, recognized by the “whois” entry for their IP address, tools like ours help you tie that visit to an actual person and track their behaviors and responses on an ongoing basis.
4. When you ask about CRM integration/connection, they respond, “since marketing is a separate department from sales, we see no reason for the systems to connect. Marketers have limited impact on the sales once it is thrown over the fence.
Better: Connecting marketing automation and CRM solves a few key challenges: it offers sales the opportunity to see how their leads, prospects and customers are interacting with the company. This also offers marketing a way to track prospects through the full funnel providing a way to prove marketing leads to revenue. And that’s the real reason tools like these are critical.
What’s on your list of faux pas?
Over the past few months I’ve noticed many of my doctors are trying to go online:
Obviously this can be really expensive, time consuming and resource intensive. I switched to a new primary care physician. I wanted to make an appointment, and I sent an email.
The email auto-responder included links to her policies, pricing (co-pays, no co-pays…), hours. And even availability over the next 2-3 weeks: Mornings on Tuesday, Afternoons on Wednesday and so on. The response also of course let’s you know when they’ll respond to your request. But with a simple auto-responder and a couple of links, the family practice has practically created a self-service portal. You can reply with a preferred time for appointment, and her staff updates the auto-responder accordingly.
This is simple, effective and cheap. Win-win for everyone.
Earlier this week, as I was headed home, I passed EA Active. EA is rolling out a few pop-up store/demo stations to lure fitness-minded women into buying video games this holiday season. I like the concept of the pop-up store, it reuses vacant space and offers retailers a low-risk way to try something new. Pop-up streetfood malls anyone?
This store opened a few weeks ago, and is shiny an new the same way current retail stores are: clean lines, modern furniture, etc.
I hadn’t passed this location since it was completed, and I did a double take when I saw this sign in the front window:
Twitter and other forms of social media have been critical to the success of new school food carts. Local businesses use Yelp, respond to reviews, and place targeted local ads. Big Business is using Twitter as a customer service channel. And now, as witnessed above, brick and mortar retail is using social media to connect after hours.