Three Ways You’re Wrong about What Your Customers Want
Most marketers think that the best way to hold onto customers is through “engagement” — interacting as much as possible with them and building relationships. It turns out that that’s rarely true. In a study involving more than 7,000 consumers, we found that companies often have dangerously wrong ideas about how best to engage with customers. Consider these three myths.
Is Instagram Useful for Nonprofit Marketing?
Instagram, the mobile photography app purchased by Facebook, has been getting a lot of attention lately. From critics saying it is killing photography to hype and hoopla from marketing pundits saying it is a must-have as part of your “visual marketing tool box.”
Four Easy Steps for Handling Complaints
No matter how impeccably your business is run, you're going to get complaints. Customers will call you, angered by a mistake you or a member of your team made. And employees will air grievances, feeling management has been unfair to them. How you handle these situations can make or break your company. When the inevitable complaints come, it's natural to get defensive and explain why the person's complaint isn't legitimate--but that never gets you anywhere.
Klout, Schmout. Connecting Is the Real Clout
Let me start by saying, I’m not against numbers, scores, or analytical methods that give us an objective understanding of how far-reaching our brand’s impact is, be it our personal or professional brand.
Four Rules for Creating Interactive Content for A Multiplatform, Multidevice World
The interactive world is constantly changing, and the number of different devices that connect it all is growing every year. The problem that arises is that there are no rules for the game. As big corporations create new products with different systems and technology, it’s inevitable that we’ll have to come up with creative ways to adapt.
How Your Brand Is Abusing Social Networks
As consumers, we might sigh in frustration when our sister-in-law posts the 285th picture of her new cat on Facebook. But we most likely won't share that frustration with the world. We might be annoyed and surprised at the vitriolic politics or the annoying FarmVille requests of all of our "friends." But other than "block" those post, we certainly won't @reply with a complaint about their behavior. And, if Dad mistakenly posts a picture of himself in his underwear, we certainly won't be blogging about this with the title "Family Social Media #Fail."
Brands, on the other hand, have to be much more careful. Marketers are the nerdy freshman at the cool kids' senior party. Say the wrong thing -- or say it in the wrong way -- and risk getting ridiculed and bounced out. Come with a case of beer and some great conversation, and you just might be a hit. But even then, you are only one mistake away from a viral case of #Fail. Your mistake could become the fodder for endless blog posts of how it "shouldn't be done."
Why Prescheduled Tweets Are the Most Horrible Thing in the World--Half the Time
Depending on which guru you ask, you’ll get very different--and very strong--opinions on whether to preschedule your social media. Social Oomph and HootSuite give users the ability to write now and Tweet later, but is that really what you want attached to your name? Anti-autos see scheduling tweets as inauthentic and misleading. The pro-automation set sees them as effective time-management tools that allow them to be “present” on social media--even when they aren’t. Can we split the difference?
Production: The New Call to Action
Customers … why don't they just do what we want? That would make direct marketing so much easier, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, it's not that easy. In today's marketing climate—with so many choices, technological devices and brand messages bombarding the senses—it's more difficult than ever to get customers to do anything, let alone what you want them to do.
In printed direct marketing vehicles, the stalwart "order now" or "go online" prompts simply don't cut it anymore. You need to do more. How? By creating a compelling call to action that cannot be ignored. Prompt customers to act, to see the call to action screaming at them from the printed piece in a way that moves them to react and act. To do something!
Free Social Media Advice for Brands: Find Your Obsessions
Brands continue to flock to social media, but the massive growth phase for most networks is over and you no longer are going to rise with the tide. Now, if you want mindshare, you're going to have to fight for it. I'm here to help. I should admit up front that I am not a credentialed social-media consultant. I don't use Pinterest and Path to sell shoes. But I do think about how to build audiences and how to design content that people want to read and share. So, consider these thoughts as notes from an outsider. I'm talking mostly to lifestyle brands here, businesses that would run ads in high-end consumer magazines/websites, but the lessons could apply more broadly.
Boost Sales Using Social Influence
Referrals from friends have a significant impact on typical buying behavior, an effect commonly known as social influence. Social influence is part of the reason so many marketers, as well as investors, get excited about the marketing potential within social-media networks. However exciting the potential, marketers and investors still need to understand the relationship between social influence and online sales. What effect, if any, do friends have on one another's buying decisions when engaging on a social network?
The Secret of Neuromarketing: Go for the Pain
We all like to think we make buying decisions on a rational level, but neuroscientists tell us otherwise. While marketers have known this instinctively, brain mappers have shown that the smallest part of the brain, the amygdala, lights up like a Christmas tree when confronted with fight-or-flight or in this case buy-or-fly situations.
Seven Things Your Social Media Consultant Should Tell You
If social media consultants are doing their jobs, they should put themselves out of business. I speak as one of their kind. Before joining Fast Company last spring, I was the social media editor at the New York Daily News. So I'll say it even bolder: At some point, Fast Company should fire me. (Just not too soon, please!) Your company will never be truly social if you silo social activity within a consultant or a staff manager.
Eight Tips for a Kick A$$ Kickstarter Campaign
All Kickstarters are not created equal. I get an average of five to seven cold requests (meaning I don’t know the person asking for the donation) to fund Kickstarter projects each week. It has become a bit of a game for me to place my own internal bet on whether the project will get the green “funded” light or not, based on how the campaign was created. (If I were playing my game with real $$$, I’d be able to fund my own Kickstarter by now!)
You'll Need More than Facebook to Smash the Wall Between You and Your Customers
Twenty years after the Internet first went mainstream, most businesses have yet to take full advantage of the most fundamental opportunity it has created for them. Thanks to digital media, companies can create their own relationships with consumers at incredible scale--and they can use the data from these interactions to build better products, produce more effective marketing and, ultimately, make their customers happier.
Why Millennials Don't Want to Buy Stuff
Compared to previous generations, Millennials seem to have some very different habits that have taken both established companies and small businesses by surprise. One of these is that Generation Y doesn't seem to enjoy purchasing things.