Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pleasing Everybody

Every once in awhile, I come across a business owner and the conversation begins with this:

Me, "So, who are your customers?"

Them, "Everyone."

To which I mutter under my breath, "Uh, Oh".

Please, Please, Please understand that you can't get everyone to your store, shop, or website.

And don't fool yourself into thinking that you need to reach everyone with your marketing efforts either.

A couple of the biggest companies, Walmart & McDonalds do not do business with everyone.

When Walmart comes to a new town, the natives used to tremble in their boots, thinking they would soon be out of business because Walmart would beat them up on price.

Yes, you can get a giant jar of pickles for a couple of bucks, but not everyone cares about price over value.

And just as there are some people who never set foot in a Walmart, there are some people who have never tasted a McDonalds french fry.

Focus on what you do best.

Focus on what you can offer that others can't or won't.

It's not the lowest price.

And the lowest price won't please everybody anyway.

Monday, February 15, 2010

How to Measure your Online Marketing Efforts

Recently I was reading about click-thru rates of webpage ads and it hit me.

The web people are wrong.

The way to measure has not changed in the past 100+ years. (Even though the Internet is only 40 years old.)

The web people say that measuring your online marketing efforts is easy. All the data is available. Real Numbers, not estimates.

Traditional Media can give you estimates of who is seeing your ad with traffic counts for Billboard exposure, Nielsen ratings for Television shows, Arbitron ratings for Radio stations, Circulation numbers for Print, etc.

But all of these measurements are designed to measure who is watching, hearing, seeing, or reading the advertising medium, not the results that each business receives.

The real measure of the effectiveness of your advertising and marketing is results. Is your company doing better than it was last year? Or perhaps the question might be is your company gaining market share compared to your competitors?

Unless there is only ONE way for people to hear about your business, then all advertising analysis are flawed. And when you consider word of mouth along with advertising, you'll see that there is always more than ONE way for people to hear about you.

So, when I first talk to a client, I want to know all of the methods and medias they are using to spread the word about what they are doing. This includes paid advertising, and free efforts.

Next I want to make sure we are presenting a consistent message in all areas.

Can you measure the results of any marketing efforts accurately? Not really. At least not in the manner that the medias are trying to sell to you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Face To Face in Fort Wayne

I'm going to do a little self-promotion on this site.

The opportunities to share with others in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area, keeps coming more frequently these days.

Last month I spoke at nearby Huntington University. This week, I'll be attending a couple of evening events.

And next week, if you are in the area, I would like to welcome you to this event:

OurSpace, LLC, located at 825 S. Barr Street, will host

“Social Media Explained” on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

The brown bag seminar, featuring Eric Hall (EH Design), Chad Pollitt (Digital Hill Media), Scott Howard (ScLoHo Marketing Soultions), Jean Bransemer and Jason Matthews (Matthews Painting), will assist small business owners, artists, technologists and others develop their online brand via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

There is no cost to attend and, door prizes will be given away! To RVSP send an e-mail to ourspacefortwayne@gmail.com.

Monday, February 8, 2010

It's Not All About the Fans

Over the past few months, I've had a few people ask me how to set up a Fan page on Facebook.

I've told them to figure it out themselves.

And I ask them why they want a Fan page on Facebook.

I also ask them what are they doing to generate money, to create new customers, to retain current customers, to set themselves apart from their competitors.

Why don't I tell them how to do it? Because if they are going to use Facebook as part of their marketing, they need to learn the basics of Facebook. It's not that hard.

But there is another reason.

A Fan page on Facebook means nothing to the survival of your business. It's too easy to be a fan. I get an invitation and I click yes. I never have to spend any money to be a fan. I, as a consumer have no investment in your Fan page.

If you want to create a Fan page on Facebook, go ahead and do it. But don't fool yourself into thinking that because you have 500 fans, that equals $5000 dollars, or whatever the dollar amount you think you can assign to a fan.

Sunday was Superbowl Sunday and for the 2nd time the Indianapolis Colts were in the big game.

Living in Indiana, everywhere you went, you saw Colts Football Fever. Royal Blue with horseshoes was the official color and logo worn by MILLIONS of Fans. I'm sure the same was true for fans of the New Orleans Saints.

But, no matter how enthused, how passionate, how crazy the fans are, it's up to the players to win or lose. It's how you react to surprises, how quickly you respond to things going wrong, and taking advantage of opportunities when they open up.

That's why both the Colts and Saints made it to the Superbowl in 2010. It wasn't the fans, it was the team. And in the final game between the two, the same was true.

Make sure your team is the best they can be, and then you'll generate fans, the real kind that keep you in business.

And if you want a Facebook Fan page, Click here for a few tips.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Calculating The True Value of Your Customers

We want to spend money on things we want, not things we need.

Do you really want to pay a mortgage, car payment, doctor bill, income taxes, or anything that you "have to" pay?

Probably not.

So these types of businesses need to make it as painless as possible for their customers to take care of business and move on with their life. Maybe they can do something nice for their customers every once in awhile too.

Let's look at the "want" based businesses.

Nearly every Friday night, I take my wife out to one of her favorite restaurants. Usually just the two of us. And it is usually a place about a mile from our home that has a spectacular view overlooking a pond with plenty of wildlife. And it is right in the city.

I've had better food. I've had less expensive food. But this is a "want" in our lives.

We've introduced hundreds of people over the years to this favorite spot of ours. And many of them have come back time and time again.

I did some math on how much my wife and I spend at our Friday night spot per year and it adds up to around $2000 or more. We've been doing this for about 10 years. Before we met, my wife was coming here and bringing friends. I bet we have spent $25,000 or more so far at this one restaurant, just by visiting 4 times a month. And there is no end in sight.

We are not the only ones who make this restaurant apart of their regular routine. What if we are one of 100 couples, or one of 1000 couples with a similar routine? See how the dollars add up?

And not only do you need to count the dollars we spend when I sign for the check, there's also the new dollars that will be coming in as we are spreading the word about this restaurant and bringing in new customers to share this experience with us.

This is one more reason why marketing is so much more than just your advertising and why every customer is worth more than you can imagine.