Do You Really Know Your Customer?

Do You Really Know Your Customer?

So you’ve been in business for years, or maybe just starting. Ask yourself this question. How well do you actually know your customer? What I mean by that is more like, “how well do you know who your customer is?” Its easy to get all fired up and think what we do appeals to most people. Sure, if you own a restaurant, and it has a central menu theme, then it “might” cater to a more specific audience than say McDonald’s. (Maybe not such a great comparison, but I digress.) Or maybe you provide a service, but again, more than likely it doesn’t have universal appeal. Why am I pointing out the obvious? We all may realize this, but how many of us actually focus our marketing on the right potential customer? How can we be sure our message has pin-point accuracy?

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July 1, 2016 0

The Beauty Of Surprise.

The Beauty Of Surprise.

I’ve touched on this before, but I wanted to revisit this idea.

It’s easy to become “programmed” in many aspects of our life. We are so conditioned, that often times, there is very little genuine surprise left in our daily activities. Especially when it comes to our businesses. I thought it might be a good idea, being a business owner, to challenge other business owners to take this next weekend, and come up with a way you can add surprise back into what you do or offer your customers and clients.

If your business sells goods to customers, provide an element of surprise not just by discounting things, but by servicing those customers differently. Put out coffee and donuts, carry their bags to their cars, ask them for input as to how you can be better for them. This notion can take many forms, and only you can draw boundaries for what you can or can’t pull off.

If you run a business that doesn’t directly face consumers, come up with a way to touch your customers like you haven’t before. Do a survey asking them how they feel you can be a stronger partner to them. Who doesn’t like to be asked to help someone be better? There are several free online services to do that. Surprise breeds curiosity and builds loyalty. It’s infectious. The point is, we can all do a better job of adding some personal surprise back into our lives and businesses. And typically, it’s the small things that provide the greatest impact. In return, you keep customers longer, inspire them to talk about you unsolicited to others, and just have more fun.

Happy ideation!

June 21, 2016 0

Your New Customers Stare You In The Face Everyday!

Your New Customers Stare You In The Face Everyday!

So, we all know marketing is important.

But here’s a thought that is overlooked far too often. You work hard to establish a solid customer base, right? There’s nothing better than a loyal customer. So why do we lay awake at night, scheming and wondering how we can market to get new customers using this tactic or that? Because it’s the way our brains are wired.

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June 1, 2016 0

Hey Small Business, Did You Know This?

Hey Small Business, Did You Know This?

Okay, small businesses actually know a lot.

But chances are, you might not realize the real benefits of creating a strategic marketing plan. (Don’t stop reading quite yet, it’s about to get really juicy) I’m not talking about launching email campaigns or social media or any other tactic for that matter. I’m talking about a solid, strategic marketing plan. Let me explain.

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May 21, 2016 0

If I Only Had _____ For My Business.

If I Only Had _____ For My Business.

Face it, none of us have everything we need, or wish for, when it comes to running the perfect business. There is always at least one thing that causes us daily stress. The funny thing is, it typically will be something that is seemingly relatively minor. Big enough to get in the way of us all addressing it and solving it, but small enough that we can somehow “live with it another week.”

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May 10, 2016 0

Thanks Mr. Obvious!

Thanks Mr. Obvious!

I’m starting to feel like the commercials featuring Mr. Obvious with my recent posts. But all of these are worth a second or two of thought and how our businesses do or don’t apply. Many of you probably know this, but when you begin work at Nordstrom, they have an entire training program focused on saying “thank you” to customers. Ever notice how after you purchase something, they bag it, walk around the counter to greet you face-to-face, shake your hand and thank you for shopping with them? How many people do you think notice that? Enough that Nordstrom felt it necessary to train employees this valuable habit. More importantly, it’s part of their culture.

God is in the details. And the companies who embrace this as part of their culture and business regimen win. Especially these days of zero eye-contact, people constantly falling short of expectations, and most often, not even a $#@! “thank you for shopping with us!” Think about how often that happens. Too often. In fact, I’ll share some personal habits of mine when it happens to me. I stay right where I am and stare at them to force eye-contact. Odd? Maybe. But when they look up, they act shocked that I am still there. And I look at them and say, “anything else you’d like to say?” Deer in headlights. I smile, and I tell them a simple thank you for taking my money goes a long way, and I tell them to remember that.

As I walk out, they probably think to themselves “what an old jerk I am, with so little going on in my life, I stand and criticize others.” Yes, branding is that important to me, I’ll take the arrows. Some actually say thanks for pointing that out. But that too is rare. So…why do I go on about this obvious courtesy? Because “it matters.” Brush up your employees, tell them the value of creating a solid relationship with customers, starting with a simple thank you. When you do, they tell friends, they come back, they keep buying. Pretty simple stuff.

Oh, and as for Nordstrom…they also have a class on improving your ability to remember names. Go to the store more than once in the same department and watch how you will be welcomed back by name.

Impressive stuff.

May 1, 2016 0

The One Thing Most Small Businesses Miss.

The One Thing Most Small Businesses Miss.

Running a small business is tough enough. Between the day-to-day responsibilities of managing employees, inventory, quality control, and everything else that demands your attention, it doesn’t leave very much time for you to think about marketing. And as we all know, “getting customers” is hands down one of your top migraine headaches! Don’t feel bad, this is the area that most small businesses miss out on and struggle with.

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April 12, 2016 0

Too Good To Be True…

Too Good To Be True…

As hard as it may be to admit it, we’ve all become cynics at some point when we come upon a deal or offer that sticks out from others. Whether it’s a product or service, I can safely say even I step back and begin to try and poke holes in it to get to the “real truth.” That alone is a sad commentary on how media and marketing has tainted us.

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April 1, 2016 0

You Can Afford Your Own Marketing Director.

You Can Afford Your Own Marketing Director.

Entrepreneurs are incredibly busy, running their businesses and keeping up with their hectic personal lives. You wear so many hats that often times you lose track of who you are at any given moment! And all the while, your focus is on customer satisfaction and getting more of them. So wouldn’t it be great to offload the marketing responsibility to a real pro? Someone with real experience?

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March 1, 2016 0

In Search of Marketing Technology

In Search of Marketing Technology

By Susan Burciaga

 

Google the term “Marketing Technology” and you’ll be presented with results that vary in context and  interpretation. But that’s the beauty of a search engine, isn’t it? You get millions of results and then it’s up to you to find that proverbial needle in the Google haystack. With any luck, you may find what you’re looking for on the first few pages. (more…)

November 22, 2015 0

Do You Really Know Your Competition?

Do You Really Know Your Competition?

By Heather Newman

 

One of the most important things you can do as a marketer during uncertain economic times is to redefine how you view your competitors. In an economic downturn, consumers will reevaluate their purchasing habits and look for ways to cut costs. Doing so, consumers will think outside industry boundaries for cost-efficient solutions. (more…)

November 5, 2015 0

Make it your own.

Make it your own.

By Fred Leo

 

Advertising itself is derivative in the sense that it takes its cues from our culture and from itself, so it’s not surprising that advertising executions can seem to imitate one another. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, so long as the creative device works. (more…)

October 26, 2015 0

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