Click to see this week’s freebie Continue reading “Friday Freebie”
Reusing old content is a great way to bring it to the attention of your newer audience. You can either share it on social media as it is, or you can repurpose it into an infographic, video, slideshare, anything you can think of. You can read more on this topic in one of my older posts.
My facebook feed is full of improvement webinars & workshops lately, whether that’s business or personal. Which leads me to think of so many people I know who prepare day after day, but never take action. That’s because they don’t feel ready and they’re simply trying to lie to themselves with this whole improvement think. Growth is all about taking action. If you don’t actually do things, they aren’t going to get done by themselves.
Photo by Sabina Ciesielska on Unsplash
Death by PowerPoint. Oh, the horror! Blocks of text, black on white, on that huge screen, read aloud on an even tone with the presenter’s back to the audience. If you are really lucky, they also incorporate a bunch of blurry, boring stock photos. Admit it, you too have been one step away from falling asleep or pulling your hair during one of these presentations. People forget most of the time that the slides do not equal the presentation, they are just the visual support. Continue reading “How to turn those horrible PowerPoints into presentations people are actually interested in”
“We all feel a compelling need to watch stories, to tell stories … to discuss the things that tell each one of us that we are not alone in the world,” says TV titan Shonda Rhimes. A dominant force in television since “Grey’s Anatomy” hit the airwaves, Rhimes discusses the future of media networks, how she’s using her narrative-building skills as a force for good, an intriguing concept known as “Amish summers” and much more, in conversation with Cyndi Stivers, director of the TED Residency.
The saying goes that our client is our master. In other words, clients have the right to interfere and dictate us ways of action. I have seen this happening quite a lot lately, especially when it comes to established brands. It’s a mistake many marketers make, an intentional compromise that lowers the value of their work but fills their pockets.
Our clients may be the best in their field. But they don’t know how to do marketing, that’s why they hire us. They choose and trust us for our expertise. So we should remind them about that when they try to impose their ideas as the only available options. Most of the time, they are all into aggressive self promotion, sales, worthless content, more sales, stuff no one cares about, and yes, even more sales. It’s the sure recipe for failure, and the visible sign is that a page with 3,000 followers has only 2 likes per post.
The marketers who accept such an attitude do it exclusively for the financial gains. They develop long lasting relationships which involve strategies done 90% by the client, so their effort is minimum. They aren’t interested in growing that business or getting results, they are interested in receiving their exaggerated bill month after month. It’s our duty to signal unrealistic expectations and suggest alternatives which are more likely to become reality.
When you really want to achieve something, you fight for it. Even with the most pretentious of clients, we can still do our job the right way. We just need to be subtle when we make suggestions. It means more effort on our side, and people skills, but we’re marketers after all, aren’t we? There’s nothing a cup of coffee and a drop of wisdom and energy can’t solve.
People expect excellence and results from us, but they tie our hands and don’t let us express ourselves. They’re killing our creativity. There are a few things we can do when that happens. You’re not doing yourself or the client any favor by shutting up, on the contrary. So stop pulling your hair and taking deep breaths to avoid an outburst.
You have a finite amount of time and energy. Don’t waste it on something unreasonable which will turn into a source of stress. Don’t feel guilty about moving on. No matter the level your business is at, you can afford to lose bad clients. When someone becomes a pain, you can always stop collaborating with them. In time you’ll see money isn’t worth everything, and especially not your balance. And you will certainly find valuable clients who will respect your working style.
Almost a year ago, I met the owner of a printing agency who said he only takes on projects that pique his interest. Back then I thought he was arrogant. Now, when I’ve grown professionally myself and I’ve seen with my own eyes the quality materials they deliver, I admire him. In this day and age, the agency is not online because they’re swamped with orders. They have exclusive customers and seldom accept new ones, based on recommendations from existing clients.
Clients may think they are experts and assume something is supposed to work a certain way. When they think they know better how you should do your job, don’t forget you have all the know-how you need. Don’t misguide them by letting them think they’re right, it will only harm your business in the long run. Don’t be arrogant about it, but remind them you are the marketer.
The odious phrase “the customer is always right” is attributed to Harry Gordon Selfridge. Yes, that Selfridge. But since 1909 when he defined it the world has changed. You will never be able to innovate as long as you don’t have enough freedom. So know your worth, constantly prove your expertise and work smart 😉
In this day and age, everyone is struggling to grow. Which is why today I’m bringing a new series on the blog, Thursday Tips, dedicated to growth hacking. Stay tuned every Thursday for the weekly tip.
Every decision that a growth hacker makes is informed by growth. Every strategy, every tactic, and every initiative, is attempted in the hopes of growing. Growth is the sun that a growth hacker revolves around. Of course, traditional marketers care about growth too, but not to the same extent. Remember, the power of a growth hacker is in their obsessive focus on a singular goal. By ignoring almost everything, they can achieve the one task that matters most early on.
Marketing is a complex field. Actually it is a maze of its own where you have to navigate carefully to lead clients and their customers from start to finish. I may be a little bit subjective here, since I mostly do B2B marketing, but from my experience B2C is the easy way out because of various reasons you will read throughout the post.
Let’s begin with the audience and market. While B2B audiences are avid for knowledge and info because they need and want to stay on top, B2C audiences are looking for something entertaining, short and sharable. And if it’s a bargain, all the better. The message is completely different and has to be tailored to that specific audience. While in B2B content has to be detailed and long, and to make use of jargon as much as possible in order to show expertise, in B2C it needs to be fun, easy to remember and spoken in the audience’s daily language. And since we’re on this topic, the markets vary in size as well. B2B markets are generally small niche markets with at most a few hundred thousand customers, while B2C are incredibly wide markets, with tens of millions of customers.
Purchasing decision is another hot topic with tremendous differences for both areas. B2B purchases are usually based on logic, while B2C purchases are all about emotion. While B2C marketing addresses just one individual at a moment in time, B2B marketing is about a group of individuals who have to reach an agreement and to be able to justify their decision using arguments. This decision can turn them into heroes or it can cost them their jobs in the long run. Naturally, more individuals involved in the decision making process and the organizational procedures which have to be followed translates into more time (months up to years) and money spent on the sales cycle.
B2B marketing is by far more expensive, and it has to be backed up by 3 key elements: logic, financial benefits for customers and data. For the B2C category, the purchasing process is much shorter, varying from minutes to days at most. B2C marketing is based on one-off opportunities where the audience has to be convinced they need and want that product. Basic needs such as hunger can be triggers, but most of the time it’s about cost, desire and status. B2C marketing is led by want, and its cost scales from a few dollars to a few thousand, while B2B marketing is driven by need and budget and it can cost anything between thousands and millions.
B2C marketing is about convincing a single customer to buy a product in order to satisfy an immediate need. Ok, maybe that lipstick isn’t an immediate need, but if you were a woman, you’d understand why you have to have the exact shade your friend just bought. B2B marketing, on the other hand, is all about offering complex solutions for corporate pain points. It’s not as easy to sell technology to a bunch of C level people who have no clue about needing to upgrade. While B2C relationships are usually short, B2B relationships are lengthy. A company won’t switch providers easily, especially if they are satisfied with their services. Sales will be repeated throughout the relationship, and customers can benefit from extended services such as installation, updates, upgrades, etc. Of course, the marketing & sales effort has to prove deep knowledge about the product, about how it works and about exactly what the customers receive upon purchase.
Marketing in general focuses on the benefits a product or service can bring to customers, and less on its features. B2B marketing should be specific on how the product saves money, time and resources, while B2C marketing should be very clear and to the point about how the product will help consumers. Individuals do not have the patience or willingness to try and understand all about new products, while companies can designate a department for that matter. Whatever type of marketing you choose, do it smartly and sprinkle some creativity on top. Don’t be afraid to find new angles and do what hasn’t been done before.
According to BusinessDictionary.com, a marketer is
A person whose duties include the identification of the goods and services desired by a set of consumers, as well as the marketing of those goods and services on behalf of a company.
So far so good. Except it’s nowhere as easy as it sounds. It’s like in those memes with sections like what the world thinks I do, what my friends think I do, what I think I do and what I actually do. The lucky ones who get to lead departments stick to planning and make sure those plans are implemented according to their vision. The rest of us do anything and everything, from establishing a strategy to setting a budget to designing and collecting branded materials. It’s a hands on approach that benefits us personally much more, because we can develop a wide range of skills. Some days can be tougher than others, and our to do lists look a lot like children’s lists to Santa, but in the end it feels great to know you’ve accomplished so much.
A marketer is first and foremost a strategist who adds value to a business. We build the bridge between our clients and their customers. As Seth Godin sees it,
“Our job is to make change. Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.”
We will learn everything there is to learn about your business, understand the way it works, then spread the word about your company, your products and services and do it without being too obvious about it. Instead of stuffing products in the customers’ faces, we will raise their interest and attract them to you. Marketers aren’t sales people, we don’t spend our time ringing doorbells or making phone calls at any given inappropriate time.
We will define your brand and create or refine your visual identity. We will research and analyze the market to see where you can best emerge. We will create fabulous content and visuals to be shared on social media or your website. We will do everything in our power to provide your customers with relevant info that will weigh in their purchasing decision.
Although it may sound a bit presumptuous of us, we work for both our clients and their customers. Since the buying behavior has suffered radical changes, leaning on research and recommendations now more than ever, we have adapted our ways. We have to leave our selves at the door and put on the shoes of the buyer. Apart from offering information, we should pique their interest and emphasize the benefits they can have if they choose the product or service we are marketing. We should be level headed enough to do that using their own language and way of communicating instead of choosing jargon and a formal tone that nobody appreciates.
You may offer the best services and products, but only a handful of people would know about them if it weren’t for marketers. For a business to succeed, potential customers need to know about it. Marketing takes care of a wide range of details, from advertising and PR to promotions and sales. A marketer’s priority is to create awareness among potential buyers, to get the word out, with the final purpose of increasing sales. Because whether we are willing to admit it or not, it’s all about higher sales volumes. Happy customers will always spread the word about the amazing new product they’ve bought and how much easier it makes their lives. Of course, that’s an ideal case, and it does not apply to every business. But you get the drift. Through branding, a marketer will also help a company establish a reputation, which in turn will transform one time buyers into loyal customers who adhere to the same values.