Sunday, June 21, 2009

Twitter for e.l.f. and other Brands

Twitter helps to build a brand organically. It is supposed to illustrate e.l.f.'s relevance and keep e.l.f. top-of-mind among our followers. It's also a valuable way to support and grow the brand, and an invaluable way to maintain a dialogue with our consumers. There's no better feeling than to get an excited response via Twitter from a customer or fan about one of our services and/or products.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Again... Listening and Learning will start the Relationship off Right

There was a high level (by title only) marketing/salesman who worked for a sports team. The guy was considered a very good salesman. He dressed the part and worked an event room like a pro. A big part of his job included entertaining on game day and that was really his realm... great on his feet and always presented himself well. A business associate of mine went on a sales call with him to pitch a major piece of business. Now this guy was an opener and could always get in the door, but that is where the professionalism ended. He was a winner when working with a product that sold itself, but as soon as he was picked up and selling for a new player in the market he fell way short of expectations.

When this guy started a meeting he handled the introductions very well, but then he launched right into his pitch. No small talk, no questions about the potential client's business... no listening whatsoever. He did not ask one question, did not pay attention to any cues from the client, and simply told them over and over how great his product was for their business. The meeting ended and he did not learn one thing about the company he was pitching. Incredible that this supposedly senior sales guy barely acknowledged the people he was trying to influence.

When you are meeting new prospects, on a sales/marketing call, or simply meeting new people, you should be like a sponge and try to learn as much as possible. That is the key to building a brand, making a sale, building your network. Yes... you want to peak their interest in you, your product, service, and what you have to offer, but if you do not listen... you lose.

The key to developing any relationship is give and take... adding value is everything! You want to learn as much as you can in that first meeting... especially if it is you trying to peak the interest of the other. Wait to tell your story until after you hear theirs.

The guy/girl who talks the others ear off on the first date without hear anything the other has to say will be left standing at the door. The best sales/marketing/networking call is when you get invited in on the first date.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Social Media and Marketing

Social Media isn't a box to be checked, or department to be manned or even campaign to be launched. It's about thinking differently about marketing, customer service, the entire business.

Consumers are now running the biggest recommendation service in the world, they will define your brand... get on board now or play catch-up later!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Social Media... piece of the puzzle or the straw that stirs the drink?

Social Media isn't a box to be checked, or department to be manned or even campaign to be launched. It's about thinking differently about marketing, customer service, the entire business.

Consumers are now running the biggest recommendation service in the world, they will define your brand... get on board now or play catch-up later!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Twitter and Small Business

Twitter has not been readily accepted as a small business tool yet but there are those who are having success using it. So why should small business be using social media at all? The most prominent reasons are responding to customer questions, networking and education... but there's more.

What most, to date, have not been doing is looking to sell through these channels which is interesting considering some of the success that can be found with a small business that gets it. And for those who do, and execute effectively, the opportunity to directly facilitate and create sales are out there and have the potential to be huge.

So what’s it take to get the little guy involved? Well, extra time, money (but really not much) and people. With social media being so time intensive the barriers to entry get higher as a business gets smaller, but not really insurmountable for those willing to put in the time. In the future it is going to be critical for small businesses to decide where they want to put their scarce resources so they can maximize their ROI. With a constantly moving target however that is increasingly difficult so the future of small business and social media will be interesting to watch. Although with social media the bang for the buck can be enormous.

My vote is study up on the cause and effect, tools, and basic concepts. Develop a basic strategy of what ustility or value you want to offer. Then hire a smart young intern (many available at a mere $10/hr, and some simply to fulfill college internship requirements) to execute with your hands-on guidance.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Don't Chase Latest Technology

Gen Y, X, Z or W... does not matter who you are looking to attract, it is engagement and listening to your audience that will create true value.

Saying that "you should forget about chasing the latest hyped technology," just because the group you are trying to attract is not swayed by that particular subset at the moment... is ignoring the rising tide of social integration and the exponential potential of the social graph. Be careul what you ignore, it very well will come back to bite you in the a__!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Innovate or Follow... but be sure to evolve

Everyone in every business is tempted to continue doing what works, maintain the status quo, don't rock the boat, etc.

Embracing this strategy might seem to work for giants like Cisco, Microsoft, and now Google (although I doubt they will take this approach), but most companies, especially those trying to surprise (and surpass) the “giants” and disrupt the market or simply stay ahead, must innovate and by doing so shake the grounds of the market they work in. If you do not have it in you to innovate, then be sure to watch the market closely and get on the heels of those that do!

If you do not evolve your approach and look to get on the cutting edge of the new... you will be left behind. Maybe not today or tomorrow... but too soon.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Twitter's Attrition Rate

Please keep in mind that Twitter's attrition rate is most probably far from the numbers being published since the tracking apparently does not take into consideration other utilities used to manage your Twitter account... and the majority of users make use of Twitter using one or more of those utilities, not the Twitter site.

I read today that unless your efforts create a new "useful" utility for users/followers you are wasting your time.Please remember that Value and Engagement... are intrinsic utilities. So if your Social Media strategy delivers some added value to your audience (whether it be tips, coupons, or simply fun) and creates engagement of some sort with the brand, then you are on the right track.

Keep in mind the train is leaving the station... do you want to be the one left behind?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A special note for my daughter...

Dani… even before I held you in my arms, I held you in my heart. That is where you began and where you will always be. I wish I could collect the perfect words, place them in your hands, and close your fingers around them… so you could truly know.

When you were an infant you would curl up on my shoulder and I couldn’t move, I would kiss the top of your head. I had no doubt that these would be some of the sweetest moments in my life.

No man can possibly know what life means, what the world means, what anything means, until he has children and loves them. And then the whole universe changes and nothing will ever again seem exactly as it seemed before. In my eyes… that goes double for having a daughters. Especially daughters as special and loving as Dani and Niki.

I want you to know that I love you every bit as much today as the day you were born. And though I may not hold you in my arms the way I did then, I always hold you safely in my thoughts and in my heart.

There is a poem that has always reminded me of you… “Happiness happens wherever she goes, thoughtfulness shines through the kindness she shows, whatever she’s doing, her sweetness comes through, she’s a beautiful person, she’s a daughter… she’s you!”

Now what would a speech to your daughter be without some advice…

- Love yourself. Make peace with who you are and where you are at this moment in time.

- Listen to your heart. Make time for yourself. Enjoy YOUR company.

- Try. Take chances. MAKE MISTAKES. Life can be messy and confusing at times, but also it’s full of surprises. The next rock in your path might be a stepping stone.

- There aren’t any shortcuts to tomorrow. You have to make your own way. To know where you’re going is only part of it. You need to know where you’ve been too. And if you ever get lost, don’t worry. The people who love you will find you. Count on it.

- When you don’t have what you want, want what you have. This is one of the most important things I share with you and a secret of contentment.

Dani… what am I wishing for you? Strength for the future, the feeling of seeing a prized dream come true, a bright carefree spirit, but also the wisdom to know in your heart what is most right for you. And always, I’m hoping that you will remember the most important by far… how much you are loved, how proud I am always, how wonderfully special you are.

Danielle, Doodlebug… I want to close with just one small simple wish… that whatever life brings, you will share all the goodness and grace that’s inside you and… always be HAPPY! Remember… you and your sister are the light of my life and the warmth in my heart.

I love you both dearly.