Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Facebook pages - are Likes worth anything?

If you are in marketing, or running a business, you can't escape the buzz around social media.

Facebook is one of the behemoths of the space, with 700 million users. As someone that runs several Facebook "pages" for clients, I can attest getting Likes takes time and effort, and can be slow going.

There are some good cheap tools appearing to help go beyond the basic interaction (such as Wildfire), but I guess the question on many people's lips it worth it?

I thought this quote was telling, in an article published yesterday on Smart Company, about the sale of for a reported $45 million.

News Limited chief John Hartigan said in a statement Kidspot was attractive partly due to its 31,000 fans on Facebook, representing one of the largest, "most active" fan bases of any Australian media group.

So I think that's a rather resounding yes, it probably is worth it, for even more reasons that you thought! And as a Facebook page is a great zero budget marketing tool, it is well worth your consideration for inclusion in your box of marketing tactics.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

How to make a sales call more successful

Sales meetings, with targeted prospects, are hard to achieve. It can take months of research and work to get in front of someone. So when you get there...try not to waste the opportunity!

Having recently been on the receiving end of a bad sales call (as in, someone trying to sell something TO me) it reminded me that the most fatal mistake you can make is this: Forgetting that there needs to be a benefit for BOTH parties.

You often need to "sell" more than your product or service. You may need to sell:
- your point of view,
- you might need to sell a partnership opportunity,
- you might need to convince someone to speak at an event,
- you might need to get someone to cross-promote with you.
All of these are "sales" opportunities.

So consider this perspective of your "prospect".....Just because you want to sell to me, doesn't mean that I should buy from you. It has to be a smart choice for BOTH of us. That means, you might need to LISTEN TO ME about what I need - and work out if you can deliver that. You absolutely will no be able to magically convince me to buy something (or buy into an idea) if you're the only one that will "win" from the deal. Know that even if you're dressing it up well, if you're a slick sales person, I'll still be able to spot a bad deal. So don't waste my time.

Sales is such a critical part of marketing - give it the respect and effort it deserves.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Take the time to BE your customer

Every now and then you're reminded of something so critical to your customers' experience that you can't believe you ever forgot about it.

In my case, I was doing some work for my carsharing client, Flexicar. I was checking out some new potential parks in a parking garage and reviewing the signage of a competitor. So, never having been to this car park, I had to use the tools our customers have available to them - in this case, our website & the map of parks...and I discovered that the publicly available information was NOT ENOUGH to find the park. The floor and bay number were NOT available. We did send more detailed information in a booking confirmation email, but what if they didn't have that with them...customers rarely doing exactly what you ask!

So by putting myself in the customer's shoes I inadvertently identified a pretty big issue - by updating the information on the site, it will ensure a smoother experience for new customers visiting that site, will cut customer service phone calls and will generally create a more positive experience for the customer. And it's the ultimate zero budget marketing fix - it will cost NOTHING to do and take only a few minutes of my time.

I have been preaching "put yourself in your customers shoes" forever - but this proves it something you need to do in ALL facets of your business, over and over again. I find that with many online businesses I visit, it's IMMEDIATELY apparent there are obvious - and quick - improvements that could be made to improve a customer experience, and improve sales.

So if it's been a while since you took a step back and tried to BE your customer, then I can only recommend giving it a go today. OR even better, sit behind someone who hasn't used your site and watch their experience with your online business (or physical space). I guarantee you'll identify several things you didn't even think were issues.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Turn a window into a billboard

I'm a little obsessed with window displays lately - they are just such an underutilised marketing asset. I spotted this yesterday and had to snap it. It's the ultimate "zero budget marketing" case as the window is advertising a business THAT ISN'T THERE ANY MORE!

These clever people have used a standard "we've moved" message to create an eye-catching display that is there long after they've stopped paying rent. (The landlord will likely keep it there as empty shops usually ensure you can't see in...just too tempting to trouble makers).

And in true zero budget marketing tradition, they didn't pay for expensive signage, this is painted onto rolls of butcher's paper. Of course, someone is obviously a talented artist, which helps, but if zero budget is all about using creativity instead of bucks, this is a perfect example.

What underutilizsd physical or virtual space you could be using to make people aware of your business....

PS. The window is for Kappaya, now at Abbotsford Convent.