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What Makes a Top-Notch Marketing Executive?

22 Apr

Here’s an informative infographic from Pepperdine University on this topic. What do YOU think about the attributes cited here?
 


Pepperdine University Online Master of Business Administration

 

Iconic PR Campaigns Over the Decades

21 Apr

As we know, public relations activities and media have changed over the decades.

Consider these observations from the Fusion 360 agency:

“Public relations firms and — in many instances, marketing agencies — have the task of maintaining a favorable public image for their respective clients. Currently, that’s primarily accomplished through digital means: social media, content marketing, top-tier digital publications, etc. With respect to public relations, seeing as how things are drastically different now than they’ve ever been before, it’s interesting to take a peek into the past to see what’s worked.”

Here’s an entertaining video on PR over the years.
 
 

 

Etsy: A Pioneering B Corporation

17 Apr

Etsy is an innovative online retailer. On April 16, 2015, Etsy had a successful IPO (initial public offering), which valued the firm at $3.3 billion as of the end of the day.

Its company philosophy is described at its Web site:

“Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell, and buy unique goods, The heart and soul of Etsy is our global community: the creative entrepreneurs who use Etsy to sell what they make or curate, the shoppers looking for things they can’t find anywhere else, the manufacturers who partner with Etsy sellers to help them grow, and the Etsy employees who maintain and nurture our marketplace.”

“Discover handmade items, vintage goods, and craft supplies you can’t find anywhere else. Get curated recommendations tailored to your taste. Find boutiques, craft fairs and flea markets where you can shop from Etsy sellers offline.”

What makes Etsy especially unique is its status as a “B” corporation:

As a Certified B Corporation, we view our social, environmental, and business goals as inseparable. Some call this ‘business as unusual,’ but around here it’s just business. We don’t just recycle and compost in every office, we know exactly how much our trash weighs and we bike our compost to community farms every week. We provide entrepreneurial training for artisans looking for new ways to support themselves and their families. We give our employees five days a year to spend volunteering in their communities. And that’s only what we have room to mention here.”

 
Look below to see one what analyst (NBR) has to say about the firm’s business model.
 

 

Are Marketers Story Tellers Or Scientists?

15 Apr

This is any interesting question, as there are three possible answers: both (the most widely held view), story tellers, or scientists.

With this in mind, check out the YouTube video below by IDG Knowledge Hub:

“According to this 2014 Tech Marketing Priorities study by IDG Research, a successful marketer needs to be the proper balance of storyteller and data scientist. This is a challenge media companies can assist with on several fronts through the design of custom marketing programs to fuel the ‘storytelling’ … to help with the ‘science’ of designing and managing data-driven marketing strategies. This IDG Research survey was conducted of global senior tech marketing leaders providing insights into key marketing priorities for 2015 and beyond.”

 

 

Better Communicating with Loyal Customers

7 Apr

by Joel R. Evans and Barry Berman

 
In this post, we resume our discussion about gaining more loyalty and patronage from current customers. The focus is on communicating with ongoing customers. Our assumption for today is that your business has started to develop a customer database and that you are also now at least thinking about enacting a frequent-shopper program. 

There are several basic issues that should be considered in better preparing to communicate with current customers:

  •  What topics/themes should be covered?

During the year, there should be a combination of “image” and “product/event” oriented messages; yet, the two messages do not have to be presented together. Image messages are broad and intended to portray positive company traits to customers (such as the number of years a firm has been in business, the family-owned nature of a business, the emphasis on customer services and a friendly sales staff, the quality of products sold, etc.) These messages are long term in emphasis and geared to making customers feel good about the firm. Product/event messages are more specific (such as the introduction of a new product, a special sale, holiday shopping, etc.). The purpose is to get short-term business. Frequent-shopper programs are both image and product-/event-oriented.

  • What audience should be addressed?

By examining the firm’s customer database, people may be divided into five categories: regular, heavy shoppers; regular, light shoppers; infrequent, heavy shoppers (those who seldom shop with you, but who spend a lot when they do); infrequent, light shoppers; and former shoppers (people who once shopped with you, but who have not done so in at least sixth months or a year). Different communications approaches should be tried with each of these groups.

  • What medium should be used to communicate?

Personalized communications should predominate. Therefore, E-mail with each shopper’s name (and not with “Dear sir or  madam”) and telephone calls should be the media most used. Because E-mails are less costly and can reach a large group quickly, they are often the preferred medium for communicating with current customers. However, if a firm wants to show greater interest in its regular, heavy shoppers or to try to recapture some former customers, phone calls better indicate to people how customer-oriented a firm really is.

  • How often should communications with current customers be conducted?

E-mails should be sent at least monthly. If possible, a phone call just to keep in touch with customers (not to sell anything) should be made at least once or twice a year. As we have noted before, customers are often impressed when they receive friendly rather than just sales-oriented E-mails and calls; they like to feel appreciated. Obviously, product/theme communications should be sent at appropriate times during the year.

  • What should be the mix of communications targeted at current versus new customers?

The typical small firm, as well as some larger ones, allot very little (or nothing) from their promotional budgets for communicating with just their current customers. They either spend all of their budgets on attracting new customers or, more often, they use the same messages for both current and new customers. Our recommendation is for firms to spend a minimum of 15-20 percent of their promotional budgets on messages targeted exclusively to current customers.

 

Great Service: Be Fast, Friendly, and Helpful

6 Apr

StellaService is a relatively new firm that measures the quality of customer service provided by online retailers.

According to the company:

Dedicated to helping consumers make more informed online shopping decisions, StellaService is the first and only independent provider of customer service ratings for online retailers. Using its proprietary, rigorous evaluation system, StellaService rates thousands of retailers each year across a broad array of criteria, including usability and online tools, shipping and returns, and customer support. To maintain its independence and objectivity, StellaService pays for all products it purchases and relies on its staff of trained, full-time customer experience analysts to test the companies it evaluates. Based in New York City, the company also publishes reports and other research to help companies worldwide improve their service operations.”

Here’s a short video about customer service and StellaService.

 

StellaService: Be Fast, Friendly and Helpful from StellaService on Vimeo.

 

It’s Not Just About Happy Customers; Angry Customers Matter Too

31 Mar

All companies — large and small — treasure and understand the value of their happiest customers. The number and loyalty of these customers is often the difference between success and failure.

But, how should we deal with angry customers? As a general rule, we should not give up on them until we understand their feelings and try to turn those negative feelings around.

Consider these observations from Vision Critical, which provides a cloud-based customer intelligence platform that allows companies to build engaged, secure communities of customers:

“The value of your happiest customers is well understood, but the influence and potential of angry customers should not be underestimated. On average, Americans tell nearly twice as many people about negative experiences as positive ones, and the anger of the social media-empowered customer can easily go viral and inspire a movement. Of the millions of people who post tweets about customer service every week, 80 percent are negative. All it takes is the right hashtag at the right moment to turn one person’s gripe into a social media maelstrom.”

Take a look at this in-depth white paper from Vision Critical.

Vision Critical
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