Blog

Journey to the Center of the Marketing Universe

center of marketingThere was a time, just a few short years ago really, when small businesses finally concluded they must use the web to supplement their marketing efforts and create another potential channel for marketing messages.

Today’s business must evolve that thinking radically again or face extinction. The onslaught of social media use didn’t simply create another set of marketing tactics, it signaled, to those viewing it strategically, a shift in the marketing landscape that has become preposterously evident as we race towards the end of 2010.

The Web and digital interactivity now represents the center of the marketing universe. Most marketing decisions must start and end there. Today’s marketer must view their marketing strategies and tactics with an eye on growing the online center and radiating beyond with spokes that facilitate most of the offline transactional functions that drive sales and service.

All businesses, regardless of industry, have become what I call O2O businesses – their primary marketing objectives are focused on driving people online to drive them offline and in that effort the online core web presence has significantly heightened responsibilities.

Here’s some of what I mean

  • While advertising was used primarily to create a sale or enhance an image it must now be used to create awareness about web content
  • While SEO was primarily a function of optimizing a web site it must now be a function of optimizing brand assets across social media
  • While lead generation used to consist of broadcasting messages it must now rely heavily on being found in the right place at the right time
  • While lead conversion often consisted of multiple sales calls to supply information it must now supplement web information gathering with value delivery
  • While referrals used to be a simple matter of passing a name they now rely heavily on an organization’s online reputation, ratings and reviews
  • While physical store location has always mattered, online location for the local business has become a life and death matter

If you are still looking at your marketing efforts in a linear way – with online tactics falling somewhere in line – it’s essential that you change the way you view this model entirely. Today’s marketer must build from the center first and only then can you create the strong foundation that will carry your marketing into the next decade.

Customer Service Is Everyone’s Job

UPSThe International Business Series is brought to you by UPS. Discover the new logistics. It levels playing fields and lets you act locally or globally. It’s for the individual entrepreneur, the small business, or the large company. Put the new logistics to work for you.

serviceHere’s something your customers won’t ever tell you but that you had better understand: Your employees probably treat your customers about the same way you treat your employees. Let that soak that in for a minute, and think about the ways your everyday behavior might be affecting your organization’s ability to generate positive buzz.

Organizations that provide the best customer service consider service traits when they hire and treat their employees like prime target customers. It makes sense, of course; happy employees are much more likely to represent the brand in a positive manner. Let’s face it: Companies aren’t capable of making emotional connections; people are. But it takes effort.

In all but the most technical positions, much of what employees do on a day-to-day basis can be taught. It’s much harder, however, to teach someone to be trustworthy, to give, or to serve. Yet, as stated above, these are key traits of organizations that known for great service.

If your organization has more than two or three employees it’s a pretty good bet they will interact with customers and prospects in ways that will affect your brand. So the question is, are you hiring and training to create a service culture?

Weekend Favs October Fifteen

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week. I don't go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting.…

Read More

Content As an Essential Strategy

I’m pretty sure you’re sick of folks like me telling you that content is king and that you must produce reams of it in order to compete these days, so I won’t put you through any more of that kind of silly talk.

What I will say is that people today have come to expect to find information about any product, service, company, individual, cause or challenge they face by simply turning to the search engine of their choice. So, if they’re not finding content that you’ve produced that provides them that information, even if someone referred them directly to you, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t be worthy of their trust.

I guess I am going to tell you that you’ve got to commit to content production, but you’ve got to make it a part of your overall strategy and you’ve got to produce content with an eye on doing two things – educating and building trust.