Inbound Marketing, phpBB3, customer service

Adventures in phpBB3 Land…..

Well, we’ve finally done it. We’ve added a new trick- administrating and moderating phpBB3 forums! Many of you probably are not familiar with what phpBB3 is let alone what php is. “Php” stands for “hypertext preprocessor” which is a very widely used open source scripting language for message board forums. Php was not created strictly for these forums, it is used to write web applications. It just so happens that php is easily embedded into HTML- so that is why it works so well for these message board style forums.  The “BB” part of PhpBB3 stands for “bulletin board.”

At any rate- we’ve had fun administrating and moderating this forum.  It’s a bit complicated at first- setting it up, moderating user groups, moderating the new users that sign up- it can get kind of crazy, but we’ve learned a few things.

  1. Having a phpBB3 forum for your business is pretty cool- not only will your customers come in to chat and ask questions, so will the other like-minded businesses in your industry.
  2. You can set up different areas of the forum that are accessible to different user groups- such as if you have sensitive information in one area that only customers should see, you can make it so that only users from the “customer” user group have access to it.  Similarly if you want to apply a “waiting period” to certain users to make sure they are not spamming your board, you can do it this way also.
  3. Having your employees take part in this adds extra credibility.  I find that since we’ve been working on this most recent bulletin board forum, it really gives the “faculty” a chance to shine- and show that they really know what they are talking about.
  4. It also helps with SEO!  Our SEO guy (Jim Gubiotti) who I interview in the new article coming out later this week, gave us this idea- so not only is it good for your customers, and partners, it adds to the “relevant content” that Google searches for to index pages.  Although there are many things that help with your search engine optimization- this is by far one of the best ways to optimize your site and truly make it a “hub”.

Lets get back to the basics: According to Brian Halligan from Hubspot, Inbound marketing is “where you help yourself ‘get found’ by people already learning about and shopping in your industry.”  It’s sort of like being able to predict what someone is looking for and strategically placing yourself in their path as if to say “hey! you’re looking for me!  let me make it easier and just walk up to you and introduce myself!”  This is also why it has steadily become the gold standard of customer service.  It becomes so much easier for the would-be customer to find the outstanding service they are looking for, saving them time, and consequentially, money.  It becomes so easy for the potential clients to rely on Google because they do rank search results according to credibility.  And although there are many white-hat SEO “tricks” you can use to increase your rank in the search results, the best way, by far- is to create remarkable content.

So… by using a bulletin board forum for people who are your clients, potential clients, and industry partners- it gives you a lot of credibility especially since you open up the door for people to ask your company, staff, and clients questions about the goods/services provided.  It shows you are being totally transparent as a business (this is a good thing), it shows you are the master of your craft, and it shows that you not only care about business, but care about enlightening your industry. It makes people like your business for participating in a meaningful way, and everyone knows that one of the most basic principles in selling things:  people will buy from you if they like you!

If you need more information on how phpBB3 style forums can help your business, feel free to contact me anytime with questions.

Facebook Places vs. Foursquare

Foursquare and nearly seven years ago, Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg. According to Socialnomics.com, it took a mere 9 months to rack up 100 million users. Since then, the world has been dazzled and amazed by the continuous development of the Facebook platform, as well as other social networking sites like one of the newest- Foursquare.  This platform was created in the latter months of 2009 and had accumulated 170,000 users by December 2009. In comparison to Facebook,  Foursquare doing pretty well considering how focused the practical application of this new social media site is.

Here are some of the great things about Foursquare: The nature of “checking in” to different businesses where groups of people meet to socialize or congregate encourages healthy competition amongst your friends for badges, “mayorships,” and even discounts on the product that is being promoted.

If the idea of opening your physical location to the world is eerie, you can modify your privacy settings. This is another feature that is great about Foursquare- the privacy settings are designed in such a way that you have sole control of what you show other users, and your friends.  The only downside that I can see to this social networking site is that you stand to lose credibility if you are caught being the mayor of… let’s say… a specific bar, especially if you visit that establishment too many nights in a row, it tags you as being on a “bender”.

Not exactly something most users would want their supervisor, clients, or Mother to see.   Always remember, what you post on the internet could be there for days, weeks, months, years, or even gasp forever. Yes, it’s true. Take heed now. The security settings are pretty simple and straightforward so most people (possessing average intelligence) should be able to avoid these possibly awkward situations.

Does Foursquare have any significant competition?  Yes.  It does.  Recently, Facebook developed and released an application called Facebook Places.  To put it mildly, it’s not great.  The concept behind the Facebook version of Foursquare seems a bit rushed and there are inherent flaws in the design that we are now discovering actually pose quite a privacy risk.  When you post on the internet, or any social networking site, the assumption is that you are there to socialize.  The assumption is that you want to socialize with your friends and share information.  However, each user has a different comfort level of what type of information they would like to share.  The privacy controls that Facebook set forth allows the ability to custom tailor each Facebook account to meet the discretionary needs on a per-user basis.

In the past there have been some “issues” with privacy settings.  There is a ton of information on this topic- so I’ll save that for a later article.   Recently, I was updating my Facebook privacy settings- and was surprised to find new settings for Facebook Places:

  1. Facebook privacy settings allow you to control who can see which places you check yourself in to.  This is good, obviously.
  2. Facebook privacy settings allow you to enable or disable if other users at the same location can see you in the “people here now” area of the application.  This is also good if you do not want people to know your every move.
  3. Facebook privacy settings allow you to enable or disable whether or not your friends can check you in at places.  This is where it gets tricky.

The Facebook Places tool does offer some control over settings as listed above. Some being the operative word here.  The users of this tool must actively check themselves in, as opposed to automatically being checked in as they move around town.  So this is good, obviously, however by default, friends can tag you at places where they have checked in to whenever they want.  Although you won’t show up in the places application if you don’t allow it in your privacy settings, your geo-tag will show up in your friends statuses, their friends statuses, and anyone else who can see the various tags involved in the specific place where you’ve “allegedly” checked in to.  But wait!  There’s more!  All of these tags that you can’t see- you can’t do anything about.  Because they are all controlled by your friend’s privacy settings, and the privacy settings of their friends, and friends of friends.

So now that we’ve discovered that your friends can tag you into one of the places where they’ve checked in, the question of validity arises.  In this application, a tag is (or appears to be) just as “official” as a check-in.  Once you are tagged in a post, your friend, other people who are tagged, and their friends can see this.  If they have their account totally “open” so that anyone can see their wall, then guess what?  Literally everyone can see this “check in.”  Nothing that you can change in your own privacy settings can prevent this.  This opens the door for mis-information to be spread around the world-wide web very quickly.  Obviously each user can un-tag themselves in any post that they can see- however it might be too late, the damage could already be done.

According to a recent article on MSNBC.com, a miffed co-worker or angry friend can “broadcast to everyone (including your boss) that you are in a coffee shop, museum or airport — even if you are sitting in your cubicle working. Even if you haven’t agreed to use Facebook’s location service. And even if you aren’t logged in to Facebook.”

This seems pretty frightening to me.  Imagine what could happen if this spirals out of control- here are some hypotheticals:

  • What would stop a Facebook Places user who opposes the current Administration from broadcasting odd, untrue, and possibly damaging things about our President?  Seemingly, nothing.
  • What would stop an angry ex-girlfriend/boyfriend from broadcasting malicious things to the world that could defame the character of the other half of that previous relationship?  Probably nothing.
  • What would stop a co-worker gunning for your position from broadcasting that you were out doing non-work related things during work hours?  Certainly not the weak-to-non-existent privacy settings that Facebook provides….

The point of this article is not to “slam” Facebook, because I think it is a great marketing platform for businesses, social circles, and Farmville fundamentalists alike.  The point of this is to make everyone aware of the frequently changing privacy settings- and that every single time a new feature is added, or changed, your privacy settings are compromised all over again, and in this case, some control is removed completely.  This seems ridiculously unfair and stands to cause problems that transfer over from the cyber world to the real world.

So now I’ll say… when predicting the winner of Facebook Places vs. Foursquare, I’d definitely have to say- overwhelmingly, Foursquare, for the win!  Facebook needs to get on it, fix the security settings, and fix the glitches.  Once that is done, they will be in top shape to compete against the surprising power of one of the newest additions to our savvy little social networking world.

ReTweets: Followers, Semantics, Timing, and Virtual Snowballs

Who would have ever thought that such an innocuous little feature on Twitter could have turned into such a ground-breaking concept for SEO and viral marketing?  Certainly not myself.  I’ve had a Twitter account since I heard Barack Obama had one back in 2009.  I also heard on that same day that he was making tourney picks for the NCAA Championship.  This inspired me so I jumped on my computer and started tweeting about how cool I thought it was that THE PRESIDENT had a Twitter account and that HE ALSO PICKED HOOPS.  So obviously, being a very astute and like-minded constituent, I hoped he would see my Tweets.

No such luck.  I got frustrated and bored and ignored Twitter for a while.  THEN a little bird (how ironic) told me about the re-tweet feature.  So I decided to research the phenomena.  According to Dan Zarella, viral marketing scientist, and author of “The Science of ReTweets”- there are “four factors that make certain Tweets more viral than others.”  I’ll break it down for you along with my analytical drivel.  I’ll try to make this concise.

1) Followers do matter.  Zarrella states that although more followers might mean the likelihood of possible ReTweets increases, the correlation is weak and other factors may play a larger role.  He breaks it down using a mathematical formula:

Dan Zarellas ReTweetability Metric

Once looking at those numbers, Zarrella states that based on the trends he sees, he finds the content is actually more important.  The quality of the Tweet is much more important than the number of followers a user has.  This makes sense to me.  Quality matters.  Obvious.

2)Semantics and your Tweets: Zarrella suggests that while analyzing the semantic content of Tweets, several trends become obvious such as key language that gets the most ReTweets.

  • Include a call to action such as “please ReTweet“- although you think it sounds a bit elementary, it works.  Please refer to the K.I.S.S. theory.
  • Regular timely updates on Twitter get more ReTweets also.
  • Freebies are popular (I don’t necessarily think that I would strongly push advertising freebies for all types of business, typically retail does better in this aspect)
  • Self referencing (Tweeting about Twitter)
  • Lists are major
  • Blog posts are very popular among ReTweets

For further information on key words that are ReTweeted the most, please see Dan Zarrella’s article.  He also notes that polite calls to action (where the word “please” is used) have higher rates of being ReTweeted.

3) Timing is everything- Tweets posted during business hours – Eastern Time– are more likely to be ReTweeted.  The best time to Tweet would be hypothetically at the beginning of the work day.  According to Zarrella’s research, there is a marked increase in ReTweets during business hours and from then on throughout the day and into the night.  He suggests Tweeting at the beginning of the day to capture the most ReTweetability.  I agree with this.  Research that I have done on social media shows that the best time for new blog articles to be posted is also during EST business hours.  One could hypothesize this is because more people are surfing the web at work…. I believe this could be one of the factors as to why these hours are the best times to see ReTweets.

4)”ReTweet Cascading” is the theory that people will ReTweet content that they have already seen posted as a ReTweet.  I can say without any doubts, this is true.  At least for myself it is.  I cannot imagine my thinking is too far off from everyone else using Twitter- I am more likely to ReTweet something that I see my friends ReTweet.  For the same reason that people form friendships outside of Cyberland, they also form virtual friendships with like-minded people.  Chances are, if I like something enough to ReTweet it for my followers to see, it’s something I think they would like.  Ipso ergo, they are probably going to ReTweet it as well, thus causing a chain-reaction, a virtual snowball effect.  Zarrella also shows through his reasearch that the  more times content is ReTweeted, “the more likely it is to be further spread.”

Hopefully this information can lend some perspective when you are considering what your next Tweets will be.  For more information on Dan Zarrella’s research, you can see the link referenced above, and you should also take a look at another article he authored on some key words and phrases that will get you the  most ReTweets. 

Inbound marketing, blog your way to millions, web presence, SEO

How To Blog Your Way To Millions

Millions of eyeballs reading your content, that is.  While I’m sure if you own a business, you’d want to make millions of dollars, you need to first focus on winning friends who believe in your brand.  That is the idea behind social media:  to engage your audience by giving them something they can use.  You’re going to need to abide by a few very easy and simple cardinal rules of blogging in order to be effective and show your craft-mastery.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

1)Keep it simple:  The web is full of white noise, you need to keep your  message simple so it does not get lost in the frey.  Be suscinct, don’t be overly wordy.  If you’ve already written blogs, go back and edit to be more concise.  Don’t feel bad, everyone makes this mistake.

2)Be Relevant: Don’t use your work blog as a soapbox to spout your views on topics that are totally unrelated.  Make sure you stick to the subject at hand, and only stray from the pertinent subjects if you are extremely clever or witty and can find some way to make it relevant.  This is a word of caution, not everyone can pull this off.

3)Use Keywords: Tag your blog articles with relevant tags.  For example, if you are writing a blog about medical device measurement, make sure you are tagging the posts with “thickness measurement,” “medical device,” “medical device inspection,” etc.  This will increase your visibility on the web.

4)Be patient: You are not going to be an overnight success.  Do not expect it.  It will take weeks, maybe months, maybe even years to get to the “millions.”

5)Participate in a meaningful way:  Find other blogs that are either industry relevant, or geared towards success in business and start following them.  Subscribe to other blogs.  Comment on posts.  People want to receive comments, just like yourself.  In this case, one hand washes the other.  DO NOT leave spam comments with links to your site.  Think about what you are going to say first, and make it relevant, ask a question that provokes an answer from the author.

6)Post regularly:  You’ve worked hard to gain the readers you have thus far, you don’t want to lose their interest.  Update frequently to give them the content they want.  Also, if you are posting regularly, the search engines will crawl your pages regularly looking for new content to index.  Again, this circles back to the whole concept of increasing your visibility on the web.

7)The More The Merrier: Quantity does matter, when it comes to increasing your web presence.  However as a word of caution: don’t post just for the sake of upping your post count.  Make sure your articles are relevant and remarkable.  Keep the quality standard high so you don’t lose credibility in the eyes of your fans.

8)New information matters: You don’t want to post about topics that are outdated.  If you do post on an outdated topic, it needs to be relevant to something that is going on right now.  Your readers do not want to read old news.

9)Encourage participation: Always make sure your articles call your readers to action.  Ask for their opinion, their resources, or even just feedback on what types of future articles they would like to read on your weblog.

10) Research everything: The quickest way to lose credibility is to publish misinformation.  You want to make sure you have your facts straight, or you won’t be seen as the master of anything.  Also, cite your sources- you want to give due diligence to the professionals whose work you use for your information.

11) Have a voice:  Give your weblog a personal side.  You want your readers to feel as though you are speaking directly to them.  It’s okay to have opinions, so long as they are industry relevant.  Do not be afraid to write about controversial “hot topics” in your industry, as this is one of the best ways to inspire participation from your audience.

12) Use different posting styles:  It’s a good idea to mix up the styles of your posts- you can post “How To” articles, like this one.  Post video interviews, transcripts of real life interviews (always get permission to use these first), white papers, or business best practices such as “10 ways to increase your sales.”  Do not bore your readers with continuous long research style posts.

13)Titles matter: This is the first thing your readers will see when gauging if they want to continue on reading.  Make sure it’s catchy.  This becomes even more important if you are blogging in an industry where your audience will not have long periods of time to read long articles- and if they do have time for one, they will be drawn in by the post title.  Know your audience so you can tailor your weblog style to meet their needs and time constraints.

14)Get your blogs out there: Use these articles in the rest of your social media and your other marketing strategies.  Make it known that you have important information to give to your fans.  Make sure you have the option to subscribe on your blog- RSS or other types of subscription services will work very well.

Remember, this is not the final say on what will help your blog gain readers.  The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to be patient.  If you are doing these things, along with incorporating your blog into your other social media and your existing marketing strategy, you will definitely see your numbers increase.  Be consistent with your work on your weblog, if you cannot meet these requirements, consider hiring someone to do it for you.

You  may wonder if a blog is the way to go with your business.  Trust me, it is relevant for any business regardless of industry or size.  You want your customers, contacts, industry partners, competitors to see you as someone who really knows what they are talking about.  You want to be seen as someone who cares about your industry as a whole.  These articles will help your customers feel like more than just a number.  They give your audience a sense of importance, it gives them information that is useful to their own agenda, and ultimately becomes the gold standard of customer service.

If you blog, what are your strategies to increase your readership?  If you already have lots of readers, what have you done in the past that has worked really well?

Inbound Marketing Tip: White Papers Demonstrate Expertise

I like this term.  A white paper is jargon for “research paper.”  White papers are typically based on a topic in your industry that warrants further research or discussion.  Why would a white paper help you in a business sense?  In several ways, first, if you are on the receiving end of a white paper, it’s usually going to be something you are interested to know more about.  If you are on the giving end of a white paper, it shows your audience your “marketing muscle.”   How does this show marketing muscle?  It shows you know a LOT about your industry.  Who wouldn’t pay for a good/service from someone who is a true craftsman?  Hands down, when all things considered are equal, I’d much rather give my business to someone who cares to continually learn and educate people on important matters that they are passionate about.

Here is how I need your help.  What (in your opinion) is the more accepted standard for writing research papers?  There are two widely used formats: MLA Format (Modern Language Association) – I used this format throughout high school and college.  Then there is the APA Format (American Psychological Association).  I’ve personally never used APA, I can easily become acquainted with it, so there is no issue there.

My friend, Jill, said that “English uses MLA and science uses APA.”  So that’s why I’m stuck.  I can see that marketing is an art form, a very intricate art form.  I also see that in marketing, the use of quantifiable data and statistical analysis is prevalent to get your marketing to where it needs to be from a numbers standpoint.  My first thought is to write papers with less data using MLA and papers with more data using APA.  I do not want to come across as a research paper format basketcase.

What are your thoughts?  APA or MLA?  What is your reasoning behind this?  Here is a handy poll to help me figure out what is best.  I’ve included an “other” category for your thoughts as well.  Or feel free to comment.  Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter.

Effective Advertising and the White Noise of the Web…

There is a lot of noise out there, especially when it comes to the world wide web and advertising.  There are millions of people with important things to say.  How do you set yourself apart from your competitors in a meaningful way?  How do you get your very important message out there to the right people?  Social media is the answer, if its being implemented correctly.

So, let’s say you’ve decided to venture into the world of social media… you’ve set up a few accounts, perhaps even uploaded some pictures.  You’ve very astutely filled in all of the pertinent information fields, and probably have even found some “friends” or “fans” depending which network you’re on.  Then… you come to a screeching halt.  It’s ok.  It’s totally easy to do when you don’t really know what to say.

The best way out of this debacle is to become opinionated.  Drink lots of coffee and find a soapbox to stand on.  In order to throw you a nugget of wisdom in regards to your soapbox derbies- here are some things you should consider when it comes to being opinionated about your business:

1) DO NOT rant about the person who cut you off in traffic today.  DO rave about a product or service that has helped better your business in some way.

2)DO NOT take strong political positions on your social media, unless you are a politician, or unless legislation directly effects your business and you can back it up with factual information.  Although you may have many people who agree with you, your business facebook page is not the proper platform.  DO take strong positions on industry-relevant matters.

3)DO NOT post about anything on your blog other than work related content.  If it is not directly tied into your industry, find some way to make it relevant.

4)Get involved in other discussions surrounding your industry.  Join a forum, post on message boards, find out what people want to know about.  This helps your content to be relevant.

5)Resist the urge to “moderate” your comments on your company blog.  I mean- completely disable the “approve comment” feature on your blog.  If people see that their comments have to be “approved”, this will further discourage them from speaking their mind.  Even if a comment is negative to you or your business in any way- this is the platform to show your customers that you want to make it right.  This is the platform where you stand up for your product/service.  It shows you care about giving the gold standard of customer service without “censoring” what people write.

6)Avoid schlepping your product/service all over the place.  The point of social media is to increase web presence- however you don’t want to come across as being annoying with your product schtick.  You want your audience to feel that you care about bettering them in the process.  Offer networking opportunities, best practices, webinars, etc.

You will without a doubt be seen as a master of your craft if you provide useful information.  What are some of your social media strategies?  What do you like to avoid when populating content?  What are you more prone to read when looking for information on your industry?

Our Passion: Making Your Marketing Work for You and Seeing Your Business Succeed

The reason why we’re so passionate about effective marketing is because marketing dollars are precious.  The costs of keeping your marketing goals alive and updated can be daunting.  Having worked in advertising, I have a real working knowledge of the costs of most mediums to advertise- what it costs from all perspectives- from radio rates, to billboards.  It’s costly.  To any business owner with passion and a great idea- the gates of business ownership are guarded by fierce looking guards, which is why most would-be entrepeneurs never just go for it.

The cost of failure is high.  Luckily, we found a solution.

Here at Daly Marketing, we’re able to keep our rates so low because of our mutually beneficial professional relationships with other local businesses. We’ve built a network with other like-minded companies to help each other out, to help each other win.  I’ve always wanted to find a way to be able to magically be able to wave a wand over the business here in Rochester and manufacture a winning streak for them, too.  It seems we’ve finally found a vehicle to be able to to this.  Rochester, NY offers the resources that so many small start-up companies need to get past the tense initial incubation period.

At Daly Marketing, we have access to these resources: a myriad of professionals to help us with coding and site work, all the way to business networking opportunities that we can pass on to our clients.

Our passion is to foster such a positive entrepenurial atmosphere that business owners realize they can manufacture their own success.  Eventually, we want to spread the prosperity to other regions of the country to help other business owners build their dreams into a reality without feeling so overwhelmed at the costs of marketing.  Obviously we want to profit from this business venture, who wants to work for free?  But if we spread the seeds of success now, everyone benefits.  Everyone gets a shot at building their own American dream and the entire economy is better for it.

If you have any questions at all, or suggestions on how we can improve our content to best suit your needs, feel free to e-mail me personally at kristin@dalymktg.com

Working With Charity: A Way to Give Back to Our Community

I’ve written quite a bit about what a great city Rochester is.  Part of the reason why Rochester is so unique and wonderful is because there are so many caring people who live here.  There are multiple charities and foundations to help people that struggle in one way or another.  An important part of rooting Daly Marketing in the community is to donate our time/resources to a local charity.  To be fair, our goal is to be able to give a little to each charity.  So rather than align ourselves with one specific charity, we are going to help a bunch.  Here’s where I need your help:  I’ve put together a Poll of ideas for our inaugural volunteer opportunity.  Please just take a moment and vote!

If you’re really ambitious, you can even e-mail me to volunteer your time.

Social Media Tracking? Or Social Media Stalking?

I would say among all great things having to do with the Social Media Revolution, is the ability to track your viewers. Whether you are using an e-mail program, a newsletter design program, or are just moderating your blog, you can track visitors down to their e-mail address and street address. Creepy, right?

No. Not if you’re using it the right way. The reason why trackability is so important is so you can strike while the iron is hot. The moment someone opens your e-mail, you can follow up with a phone call. I’d advise against calling and saying “hey I just saw you opened your e-mail” because frankly, that sounds a bit stalkerish.  A better way to phrase your follow-up call is to wait an hour or so, then call and say something to the effect of “Hi! This is XYZ from ABC company.  I am just calling to see if I can answer any questions for you regarding (insert product or service here).”  This way, you’re reaching out to them while the content you’ve delivered is still fresh in their mind.

Another way tracking is beneficial is so you can populate content that is useful to people in different geographic regions.  What I like to read about here in Rochester, NY, may not be useful to someone- for example- in Niagara Falls, NY or Buffalo, NY.  Sometimes, when tracking your visitors/audience, you can even see their company name if they’re viewing your information from work.  Again, this gives great insight into what KIND of content you want to populate.  What a Marketing person would want to read, is usually a bit different from what a Lawyer or Doctor would want to read.

Thankfully, most e-mail newsletter programs give you the handy tool of being able to use merge tags and edit source code to make different pieces of content viewable to different groups of people on your e-mail list.  This way, you’re not creating fifteen different newsletters each month.

I am sure you know (as any business owner does) that there’s nothing more disheartening to follow up with “dead” leads that have gone cold since your initial contact.

The idea behind tracking your audience, is to give you the unique ability to foster your business relationships- to remain in contact with them for pertinent business reasons at all times.  It gives you insight into their thoughts so you can create relevant content that matters to them.  This sets you apart in the industry as a business with a social conscience who truly cares about bettering their clients, and industry as a whole.  Even if the prospect isn’t ready to purchase NOW, when they are ready, you will be the first person they call.

So… what’s your take on trackability?  How have you been successful by tracking your leads?  What tools have you found to be most helpful?

Video on the Social Media Revolution

My cousin, Tom Hart, also a budding entrepeneur sent me a link to this video to ponder.   Not only did I ponder it, I stared at my screen in amazement.  Facebook took 9 months to reach ONE HUNDRED MILLION users.  Crazy, isn’t it?  If you don’t believe in the brute force of social media now, you most certainly will after watching this video.

The Best Advice I Ever Got Regarding Marketing and Sales

I was going to change the title of this inaugural blog post to be catchy, sassy, marketable…. but I thought better of doing so.  Imagine that- a marketing person actively trying to NOT market something.  I just felt that I had to let everyone know that sometimes it’s just a better idea to keep things simple.  I would even go so far as to say that sometimes we become too pre-occupied with the nitty gritty- that we lose focus on our priorities.

We lose focus on what the goal really is.  Is our goal to make sure you have the prettiest and fanciest newsletters- OR is our goal to make sure the people you send newsletters to extract useful information and actually READ them?  While the former may be true to an extent- aesthetics are indeed important-the latter is the most important.  Not only do you want your target audience to read and find your newsletters useful, you want them to see you as a master of your craft- not solely concerned with the bottom line- but also with the health and vitality of your industry as well.

Long long ago, a wise former boss of mine (Al Casazza, CBS Radio) told me “Kristin- people buy from people they like” – ok so that’s a fairly simple concept, yes?  No.  Not in the way my brain works.  For once in my life-I was totally stumped.  The meaning of this profound tidbit totally escaped me.

Homeward bound I skulked, dejected and sad.  How would I find a way to get these people to LIKE me and not just see me as another person they had to pay?  How in the world would I ever do this?  I could bake my clients cookies.  I could bribe them like all of the other sales reps did with bottles of wine or platters of sandwiches.  I could do lots of nice things… if I were rich.  At this rate- I was doomed!

It took me years… but I finally found the answer.  People like people who care.  They want to do business with companies that have a social conscience.  Would you rather patronize a business that was solely concerned with profits- or a business that was passionate about what they did and passionate about bettering their customers in the process?

All things considered equal- I’d much rather get the product/service that I needed while also getting some useful information in the process.  Time is money and in this day and age you need to believe wholeheartedly in the power of two-fers.  Two-fer-one- marketing excellence AND a pearl of wisdom.  Genius.  Julie Cottineau does such a great job explaining what I am so poorly trying to say.  Read on…

In closing, I truly hope that Daly Marketing can fulfill all of your wildest marketing dreams. 🙂 I hope I can get everyone as excited about this as I am- and if I don’t- I’ll try to distract you with catchy slogans and sparkle-graphics. Totally kidding about the sparkle graphics!