Category Archives: Marketing

How Cool is BlackBird Pie?

So now you can embed a live tweet in your blog using WordPress Blackbird Pie.

Like this that i just posted on Twitter.

Doesn’t have to be your own tweet.  It takes two seconds to do. – very cool.

Details HERE

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QR – Not a Drive-By Technology

There have been many new technologies come up over the last decade and a half. People tend to jump on the bandwagon often without knowing why and what they hope to gain. After allowing the new technology to fester on its own for a while, it is declared a failure. This is usually followed by a smug “I knew this stuff wouldn’t work.”

There are also those folks who don’t even try to use the new technology because they are afraid they’ll be in over their heads, or they don’t have the long-term vision to realize the potential

Sometime later (often years) eyes begin to open wide. People are dancing. Poets are writing sonnets. Hosts of angels begin to sing. The masses begin to realize what the early adopters grasped at the outset: Read the rest of this entry

FourSquare + Twitter: Might Be A Double Edged Sword

Social Media lovers who use both Twitter and Foursquare really need to look at the impact of cross-pollination between the two. You may be hurting your online image if you’re not doing it right.

There are basically two kinds of Foursquare users – casual and passionate.

If you are a passionate user, you most likely have your FS posts automatically posting to your Twitter and/or Facebook profiles. You need to think it through to make sure you’re accomplishing what you intend.  If you are involved in Social Media to be a part of the global online community you have to consider it what you are doing is furthering that goal or hurting it.

While your FS friends may be interested to know where you are every minute Read the rest of this entry

You’ve Tried the Rest, Now Try the Best!

How many times have you seen that slogan on a take-out pizza box?  Does it somehow validate your decision to choose that particular restaurant?   If you see it on a pizza box at someone else’s home does it somehow persuade you to switch your own pizza preference?

How about the plethora of  auto insurance companies that each claim they will save you hundreds of dollars if you switch from your current carrier, or the bank claiming they have the best loan rate?

Do any of these statements have any meaning for you? Of course  they don’t. They can’t all be Read the rest of this entry

Let’s Talk About You Now. What Do You Think Of My Hair?

Did you ever have a conversation with someone who talks like that?  Would you buy anything from them?

Guess what – the rest of the world is just like you.  Most people are turned off by someone who speaks only about themselves.  The instinct is to get away as fast as possible.

To bond with others and have them look forward to talking with you, you’ll have to demonstrate that you are interested in them.  If someone’s goal is to avoid you, what are the odds that they will buy what you sell?

You can’t fake interest either Read the rest of this entry

My Ship Came In While I Was At The Airport

This is a subject that I talk and write about a lot, because it’s one of the most important ways to maintain and grow your sales revenue.

I was recently cleaning out some old clothes (at the behest of my lovely wife) and a came across a T-Shirt that I bought about 20 years ago. I got it in a gift shop at LAX. The phrase was “My ship finally came in but unfortunately I was at the airport.” (I shortened it a little for the title of this article.)

I was on my way to speak at a convention of Photo Retailers.  My topic was how small retail Read the rest of this entry

5 Things Not To Do at Networking Meetings

There are a lot of different types of Networking meetings.  There are many formats. There are large groups, small groups, free groups, breakfast groups, evening “cocktail party” groups, event groups and others.

The thing that they all have in common is the vast majority of the folks who attend are doing so in order to grow their own network of prospective clients and referral sources. Everyone is there to meet others and increase the size of their community.  We do this by learning about the other folks at the meeting and helping them get to know us as well.

The one exception, is the paid, industry limited groups – you know, where there is a limit of one person per industry. These groups primarily exist not to help people grow their network but to exchange leads.  The following list does not necessarily apply to those groups.

The thing that I am fascinated by is the number of attendees whose behaviors are counterproductive to their own best interests.

Here is a list of 5 of them.  Read the rest of this entry

Marketing Is Worthless If You Don’t Convert Leads

There are many different types of marketing, each having a specific goal. At a high level though all marketing has the same goal – To generate interest in your product. It is about getting people to raise their hands and acknowledge that they are aware of what you sell, and there is a possibility that they are interested in making a purchase.

There a soft value to putting your name in front of as many people as you can. Brand awareness can be critical to a company’s success. While it’s not a bad thing to increase awareness of your product or service the question becomes that in terms of ROI, marketing programs are often measured using circumstantial evidence.

The bottom line goal of every company is to increase profit.  That’s why profit is on “the bottom line” of a financial analysis.  There are only two ways to improve profitability – increase revenue or decrease expenses.  The prime revenue source for a company is sales.

Take a look at this sales results graph from a hypothetical company that launched a new marketing campaign in January and ended it in May.  “Sales Results” is typically defined as orders that are delivered and invoiced.

With complete certainty we can state that the marketing program was PROBABLY a driving factor in the sales increase that began in February, continued to rise until about 30 days after the program ended. We deem the marketing program a success.Are there other factors that could be the root cause of the increase in sales?  Of course there are.  Better inventory management, improved shipping measures, better invoicing procedures – just to name a few.

So how do you actually measure the success of a marketing plan if not on sales results. It depends on the objective of the  program.  The most common type of program for small and medium businesses generally has the objective of increasing the number of “Leads”, “Inquiries” or “Requests for information.”

So at the end of the day if the number of leads received during the run of a program went up, the program can be declared a success regardless of the sales results.   Sort of like a surgery that is deemed successful regardless of whether the patient lives or dies.

What exactly is the value of a lead?  I would submit that if you don’t do anything with the lead, it has absolutely no value.  Another way of putting it is this: “A Lead and $2.25 will get buy you a ride on the subway.”

Soooooo – acquiring the lead is important, but selling to the prospect is equally important.  If you don’t have a specific plan to follow-up and close as many of the leads as possible, the money you spend on marketing could be wasted.

As Jerry Seinfeld might say “You know how to GET the lead, you just don’t know how to SELL to the lead.”

Top 5 Cold Call Openings to Alienate Prospects

If you’re a regular reader, you know my thoughts on cold calling. For those of you who are new the neighborhood let me lay it out.

  • Cold Calling is a function of marketing – not sales.
  • It is not the most productive use of your time.
  • If you find that getting in the “cold call zone” works for you – knock yourself out.

If you do choose to prospect in this fashion, it’s pretty easy to alienate the prospect in about 3 seconds.  The commonality of these technique is that they from the the assumption that you can fool someone in talking with you before they learn you are a sales person. Trying to trick someone is akin to saying that you are smarter than they are – not the best way to begin a positive relationship.

Here are some surefire methods to alienate prospects instantly.


Number 5: Hi, my name is Felix. The company I work for is looking for a  top [profession] in your area to partner with us.

Number 4: Hi John, my company is in a bit of a bind. We’ve acquired some highly qualified sales leads and don’t have anyone in your town to work them. Could you help us out by responding to these hot prospects?

Number 3: Hi John, my company is doing a survey of people in [industry] and I was wondering if you’d be interested in being a part of it.


Number 2: Hi John,  Are you making the most money you can as a [profession]?


Number 1: Are you closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge, or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the presence of a pool table in your community!

Effective Communications Means Knowing Where Your Audience Hangs Out

One of the questions that seems to come up pretty frequently in coaching sessions is “What is the best  method of staying in touch with my prospects and clients.”

There are so many different ways to communicate with people today it’s hard to know what is the most effective choice. Here’s the magic answer.

It’s Up To Them!

Too often you hear sales folks say things like.

I don’t believe in all this new technology.  You can Tweet, Email and Facebook all you want but business is done in person.  MY clients like to see who they dealing with and I like to be out there shaking hands – it’s what I love about sales,

or

It makes no sense to use old-school techniques. MY clients have no time to waste on personal meetings.  I stay in touch by Twitter, Texting, Email, and current up to date methods. You have to use the latest thing to show that you are on the cutting edge.  I simply don’t have the time to visit and call everyone.

Either of those positions is fine – as long as you Read the rest of this entry

Like an ocean cruise except there’s no boat, no water and you don’t actually go anywhere

One of my pet peeves is when sales or marketing type people fall into a syndrome that I call “Why use one word when you can use ten?”

It seems to be a pretty rampant tendency to ignore the fact that a prospect is not likely to evaluate a product based on the cleverness of the slogan or sales verbiage.  In fact, a long, cutesy explanation of something can often miss the target because it doesn’t simply let your audience know what it is your product does.  It can even appear somewhat deceptive.

The best example of this that I’ve ever seen is a scene from one of favorite movies of all time – The Muppets Take Manhattan. As they say on the  talk shows “let me set up the clip Read the rest of this entry

“Bolt-On” Social Media

I was having coffee the other day with my friends, Heather Flournoy and Chris Roberts. To be more accurate I was actually drinking bottled water which, although she is far too nice to say anything, I suspect was noticed by Heather. Heather is the founder and driving force behind KATONAH GREEN, a very well-known sustainable living community organization and  blog.  Anyway – I digress.

Somewhere in the conversation we got to talking about how some mature businesses have, in the last year or so, tiptoed into the Social Media waters.

The thing is that more than a few of these organizations have added FB biz pages and Twitter accounts primarily because everyone says it’s the new,  Read the rest of this entry