Archive for the 'Social Media' Category

08
Sep
09

Do your customers trust you?

I’m reading a very good book that hits the nail on the head when it comes to the sea change that is happening in marketing. “Trust Agents” is a NY Times Best Seller written by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith that lays it out clearly and if you plan on being in business five years from now you better pay attention.

If you’ve been reading my stuff for any length of time, you already know that I advocate building credibility and trust as a core principle of marketing strategy. Brogan and Smith’s book not only agrees but it takes the concept to a more focused level (I’ve never been accused of being focused…). What I really like about this book is that it doesn’t just tell you WHY it shows you HOW to leverage social media and other digital tools to achieve the holy grail of marketing – trust.

If you’ve been wondering why your marketing and advertising just doesn’t seem to work anymore (and it doesn’t matter if you are Proctor and Gamble or Joe’s Fish Shanty) it’s because of a  perfect storm of factors including:

  • people are tired of you shouting how good you are or your widgets and interrupting them
  • people don’t believe you anymore and they know you are just trying to sell them something
  • media fragmentation and info overload overwhelms them
  • the very nature of a “market” has changed since the Internet came along
  • buyers have scads of information at their fingertips and are better educated and more informed than ever
  • basic human behavior drives interaction and community building

I’m sure there are more but I hope you are seeing where this is going.  Buyers seek information. They buy from those individuals and brands they trust. No longer will a clever ad on TV do the trick. No longer can you hide behind a carefully crafted brand – there is no hiding on the web. No longer can you trick people into buying. The new era of marketing is about truth, reciprocity and value. It’s about being a good human. It’s about relationships.

The problem is that what works (relationships and building trust) is at odds from what company shareholders want (fast results). Creating trust takes time and dedication.

The good news is that the web is awash in tools and communities where you can shine like a benevolent diamond of value and helpfulness. I haven’t read the whole book yet but from what I have read, the deal is not technology or social media or computers. It’s about people – sharing, connecting, conversing. Take part in this conversation, do the right thing always and you’ll be awarded with trust and business will follow.

Oh, I also had lunch with Chris. He lives by his principles. We had salad.

I’ll be blogging more about this in the coming weeks. Why not leave a comment so we can have a conversation?

26
Aug
09

Coffee, laptops, wi fi, Starbucks and marketing

moochmugI’m sitting in a Starbucks right now typing this on my laptop sucking their electricity, using their wi-fi, taking up a seat and consuming a beverage. I’m the worst human being in the history of the world. I’m a freeloader. A mooch. A squatter. A parasite. A burden.

As the economy punches laid back coffee shops in the beans, in their hyper caffienated states, they are starting to make rather stupid decisions with regard to riff-raff like me. Another word for these relentless carpetbaggers would be…..uh…customers.

Case in point, one local, Austin coffee shop that is popular with business people, offers good coffee, good food and free wi-fi has been taking customers aside and informing them that they need to spend more money if they are going to patronize the place. Next, they covered the outlets saying they are tired of people stealing their electricity.

Granted, I am there about once a week working with my coaching clients. Sometimes I scarf down stuff. Sometimes not. I use the wi-fi very little. However, I do see people sitting there who never buy anything, crank the laptop for hours and generally take up space at the shop’s expense. That’s not right. And I don’t doubt that it’s a problem for the coffee shop.

But here’s the problem I have with it and why I no longer bring my clients there (none of whom had ever stepped foot in the establishment before and all of whom buy something when they are there). I understand the owner’s issue and I agree but it’s the way it’s being handled that will ultimately drive customers away and hurt the business even more.

The truth of the matter is that most coffee shops don’t market their businesses. They rely on passive word of mouth. When times are good economically, they can thrive. When things get tough, word of mouth isn’t enough. In essence, their failure to promote and market their businesses is what is causing them to hurt financially.  Blaming your customers and making draconian decisions that drive them out is not the solution.

I’m not suggesting that they start spending money on ad campaigns or start cold calling customers. But they can do some very low cost tactics that will drive customers, strengthen loyalty and communicate their expectations in a positive, supportive way. For example, how many coffee shops have an email list of thier customers and regularly touch them with offers, specials and other info? How many are strategically using social media? How many are marketing events? Partnering with other businesses to cross promote? How many have web sites that are pathetic? Developing products that people want to buy?

Even simply posting a sign saying “We welcome our wired brethren, but please do your best to help us keep the lights on and the electrons flowing” would be better than pissing off the very people you depend on for survival.

19
May
09

Case studies – small business using Twitter

From AdAge –

Excerpt:Twitter’s real-time messaging service is turning out to be a boon to local establishments, who are starting to get onboard — mostly because the message pops into users’ Twitter feeds and they’re close enough to act on it. For Mr. Leach, who is targeting people within a three-mile radius of his store, that’s key. He’s gone so far as to erect a billboard outside his store publicizing Naked Pizza’s Twitter handle (which got him written up in TechCrunch). After that, Twitter contacted him; he’s going to be working with the company to beta test some applications for small businesses.

Read it here




Who is Pete Monfre

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I'm a serial entrepreneur, marketing and media guy, raconteur, writer, producer and consultant. I write this little blog to help you unravel the mysteries of marketing and selling, to expose the silliness that masquerades as marketing and help you make better decisions that will grow your business. And I have fun with it. Why not comment? That way we can have a conversation. Or better yet, hop on over to my web site and drop me a line.

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