Tag Archives: marketing

How to Get Buy In

This morning, I’m working on building a marketing team for a church. I’ve been staring at blank emails trying to figure out how to get others to buy in, without sounding lame.

But that’s the trick right? How do you get others excited about something they might have no interest in being excited about?

The answer is something that looks you in the face every time you’re on Facebook or Twitter: transparency and authenticity. Good social media content is transparent and is written by and sounds like a human.

So, in trying to recruit a team, I’m honest about my intentions, their expected time commitment, as well as my level of enthusiasm. Additionally, I write it in my real tone of voice. Nothing made up or contrived. Just transparent and real.

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Expiration Dates

Everything has an expiration date, well except maybe true love and Jesus. Your job is to be prepared for the time when your marketing and/or sales efforts expire.

Whether it’s Facebook or LinkedIn, certain tools you use to help grow your business will no longer be effective. However, instead of holding on to those tools like their precious resources, you should have a succession plan in place.

What does a succession plan look like? It’s really just a marketing plan. Understanding your company, your target, and your why, will give you the foundation you need to be successful marketing on whichever platform makes sense for your business.

Having this solid marketing foundation will help your business adapt to any changes in the marketing sphere. The key is to always be paying attention to where your target spends their time. So, understanding your target becomes invaluable. Once you truly understand your target demographic, you can easily move channels with them.

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No Magic Pills

There are very few magic pills in marketing. Marketing your business, like anything else, comes with almost no guarantees.

Social media is often viewed as a magic pill – a fix everything marketing solution that will magically bring in customers. Social sites like Facebook and Twitter have done a lot of good, and in some ways, leveraged the playing field for small businesses. Still, they aren’t guaranteed.

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Unintentional wisdom from NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens

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During an interview on ESPN Radio, NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens was asked about his creative touchdown celebrations, and how he was able to keep developing original ideas. Owens said, “I was just trying to come up with something just a little more creative than the next celebration.” *

Let that unintentional wisdom sink in for a moment. More creative than the next celebration. He wasn’t worried about being more creative than the last celebration, he was trying to outdo a celebration that hadn’t even happened yet.

Thinking this way in business and marketing means you’re always trying to outdo what hasn’t been done yet. Which could put you in the strategic position to constantly be out-inventing and out-thinking not just your own capabilities, but your competitors. Don’t worry about out-thinking your own abilities, by the way, having a product or idea without the means to create it isn’t a bad thing. That’s an indication it’s time to grow!

* You can find the audio right around the 44 minute mark.

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Think You’re Saving the World?

Think You're Saving the World?

Starbucks has a reusable cup program, where for $1 a customer can purchase the cup. The cups aren’t intended to last forever, as some have stated they are good for about 30 uses. However, the cup gets you a 10 cent discount each time you use it and after ten uses, the cup pays for itself. Even better, the cup is also completely recyclable at the end of it’s lifecycle.

This is a marketer’s dream come true. Customers are offered a discount, plus they get to feel good about helping save the environment. Starbucks’ goal is to have 25% of all drinks made served in reusable cups by 2015.

But, I couldn’t help remember someone once said that all marketers are liars.

Upon careful observation, I realized that in order to keep the drive-thru flowing smoothly, Starbucks employees are still making your drink in a paper cup. The contents of the paper cup are then poured into your reusable cup once you pull up to the window. A paper cup is still used and thrown away.

Let’s fix this Starbucks. Worried about drive-thru lines getting long? Make the drink in a stainless steel cup, pour the contents into a reusable cup, then rinse the stainless steel with hot water. Problem solved.

Edit: Starbucks employees making the drinks in paper cups before pouring then into the reusable up is something that’s been observed at locations in Spokane, WA. I should point out that this might not be happening at every Starbucks location.

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Do Better

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Will tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and a Blog drive thousands of people to your site or to your business? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s not why you’re using them. You’re using them because they are free (from cost but most likely not time) and because you don’t have the big marketing budget for tv, radio, or billboards.

However, just because Facebook, Twitter, etc. are free-ish doesn’t mean you should approach them haphazardly. Think of a restaurant that spends tens of thousands of dollars on remodeling their dining area. New booths, new silverware, new paint, the whole nine yards. But then they cheap out on the menus. There are typos and grammatical errors, and overall it seems as if the owners couldn’t care less about what the menus look like. Patrons might find themselves asking what else the owners don’t care about, like the food.

You can do a million things right every day in your business, but if you’re bad at something as public as social media (or menus) it’ll be noticed more than anything you’ve done well.

Edit: Due to some constructive feedback, I’ve posted a Part II of this blog where I’ve addressed what small business owners can do to be good at Facebook, twitter and blogging. 

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Beating a Dead Horse

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I’ve talked about this before, and I’m talking about it again because I still see it all the time.

You can’t just start a business – a retail store, a restaurant, a consulting firm, etc. – and expect people to magically show up. Customers don’t fall off trees. It’s not “build it and they will come.” It’s build it, talk about it, advertise it, market it and hopefully they will come.

It’s tell a story. Tell a good story. Then trust that the story is so good people will start telling it for you. I can’t say it loud enough or often enough, but an open sign hanging in your window simply is not enough. If you want to succeed, you have to do more. There is no magic pill – no simple solution to becoming a success – other than hard (smart) work.

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Having your cake and eating it too

make-your-renovation-worth-it

When it comes to marketing expenses, you can’t expect to spend zero dollars on marketing your business and still expect to set sales records.

Restaurants are a perfect example of this at play in the real world. Understandably, it costs a ridiculous amount of money to start a restaurant. From renovation fees to obtaining licenses, opening a restaurant can be a huge investment. In fact, RestaurantOwner.com did a survey and found the average cost to start a restaurant was $451,966.  It’s no surprise that once an owner is finished spending nearly half a million dollars they’re reluctant to invest anymore into the business.

But that’s just it. You don’t drop half a million into a venture without expecting an eventual return on that investment. Marketing is just a way to protect the investment.

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The power of the gleek!

Remember that word? Gleek. No, I’m not talking about someone who watches Glee. I’m referencing that odd way of spitting.

I hadn’t thought of that word in like 15 years. Until the other day while I was talking with a co-worker and I gleeked right in the middle of the conversation. It was totally obvious, and hilarious. I had no problem remembering what it was called either.

That’s the point. Stuff like that, it sticks with you. I have no idea why but it does. I think most businesses would KILL to have that kind of memory space reserved in consumers. No one intended gleeking to catch on or stay relevant. It was just a name giving to that specific kind of spitting. It was accidental.

Oh, and if you’ve never gleeked, check out this very awesome instructional video on how to gleek.

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