Tag Archives: gain

Marketing Revisited…

Marketing in the current environment needs to focus on what is happening in the moment—old traditional marketing is stale —you have to be talking where people are listening, although social media is not a place for “selling” it is a place to talk to people about what you are offering and when and how—many people now ask their Facebook friends for thoughts on where to eat, where to vacation and what brand of something to buy—anyone with a smart phone is immediately dialed in to their personal network of friends.

A website is essential for your business to operate in this economy and you better have a good site, one that has the ability to interact with your target audience.  Video of real people using your product or service is a great, authentic way to market yourself.  Video of customer testimonials is also a worthy marketing tool as are good facebook posts about your company or positive tweets.

The best way to recruit customers is with other customers.

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks says, “The rules of engagement in traditional marketing are over.  Whether you are creating a brand, building a brand, or running a big one, you’d better understand social media, because there is a seismic shift in how people are gaining access to information and, as a result how they are behaving.”     http://www.amazon.com/Howard-Schultz/e/B000APBK72

No longer can we disseminate information down to the customer or consumer, we now have to approach them from an equal platform sharing information with them and making them feel included.  People naturally want to be ‘in relationship’; they want to be a part of something…social media allows an opportunity for this to happen. It allows a company to create a collection of enthusiasts for their product or service by conducting an ongoing relationship with them.

One concern with social media is allowing employees of your company to interact about your company on social media outlets—the fear here is about controlling ‘message’ and not knowing what an employee may or may not say about company culture or company practices.  Here’s an important point:  if you are running your company the way it should be run and treating customers and employees the way that they should be treated then you have nothing to fear.  If your employees are happy and you have your pulse on what is happening in your business then you won’t get any surprises.  The companies and people that fear social media as a way to market are the ones with something to hide.  I’m not saying that you will never get an unexpected derogatory post, however if you are doing it right the sporadic unfavorable post will be easy to resolve.

Culture is the next big playing field and Jeff Bezos (http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapter-and-verse/2012/1119/Amazon-s-Jeff-Bezos-as-Businessperson-of-the-Year-Can-the-book-world-learn-from-him) understands this which is one of the reasons he paid so much money to purchase Zappos (http://mashable.com/2009/07/22/amazon-bought-zappos/ ).  Zappos has created an incredible culture both within the company and with its customers.  You know that you have an incredible customer experience when people will pay you more money for a product or service that someone else is selling for less.  This was the case with Zappos and Amazon, Zappos was outselling Amazon in some non-footwear categories that Amazon was priced less in.  This kind of consumer behavior is indicative of a company that creates an incredible customer experience and with all the ‘noise’ and competition that is out there in the marketplace today only companies that are creating a culture that results in this kind of experience will be winning.  Zappos is that kind of company and Jeff Bezos being the visionary that he is recognized that and was willing to pay a high price to have it.

A perfect blend is to use traditional media and social media to keep the conversation going with potential and existing customers and clients.  A smart use of marketing dollars is to create ads in traditional media that require some jump to social media to deliver the complete message.

Making Friends…You Had Me at Mah.

Making friends is hard. Keeping friends can be even harder. I didn’t put much though into it, or my own struggles, until the last few weeks. My daughter starts middle school next year. While she has had some tried and true friends, I don’t always hear her refer to them as best friends. She has had one bestie since her kindergarten days, and her parents are fantastic. Shout out to you guys – you know who you are and I’m so thankful for you. So thankful. Last month at Gabrielle’s orchestra concert I witnessed a monumental event in my daughter’s life.

Out of a crowd of jubilant juveniles, a young lady (who looked to be taller than my half-pint 5’2” build), walked straight up to my daughter. They stood facetoface in the gymnasium. Without any hesitation, this fellow odd duckling simply said, “mah”. Gabrielle replied with the same “mah”. The warmth from their hug melted away my angst over G having her own tribe. Not only does G have her own tribe, but the tween-Queens like each other too.

There is something truly empowering about having your own tribe. The enabling freedom you get from having a random person get your situation, because they have lived through similar experiences.

Many moons ago I had a solid tribe. Memories of our elicit adventures still bring giggles and a smirk of days long past. We were not a quiet tribe. We were wild. Not wild in the way that you can’t share with some people. But, CERTAIN people don’t need to know all the details.

That, and I signed a form. Kinda. A marriage license. My ex-husband didn’t like anything about my tribe. He let me know it. His friends let me know it. His family let me know it. One the most asshole things you can do is ditch your friends for a man. No matter how nice he seems. But I ditched my tribe.

But after a drug dealing boyfriend with warrants out for his arrest, I thought I would be happier with a nerdy husband than with my tribe. Nope.

After my divorce, I found that my tribe had changed in my absence. This is a 100% on me.

You can only keep asking to spend time with someone so many times, and after a while; my friends gave up. I was ashamed. I had conflicted feelings about who I had become. I don’t regret much, but I regret leaving my tribe.

After my divorce, someone would always spend the weekend at my apartment with me. I was never alone. These are people who saw me at my most awkward, most crazy, and at the most broken point in my life. They are MY tribe. Rather than walk away, they held my hand. Tight. They still do.

Through every broken heart, bad haircut, and job change: I can call them at any time and they show up. They encourage my hobbies (even though they may change on a dime). They clapped when I went blonde. They were lovingly bossy when I kept canceling on first dates (that means they made me go). They texted me when people I love were no longer in my life. They bought me a stiff drink when my job got eliminated, and they admire each new tattoo I get.

We can go months without talking. Thanks to social media, we are never out of touch for too long. It does my heart good to know I have these people who tell me about sales on leggings, encourage me to go see music, eat the tacos, and buy more shoes.

I’m still working on building a bridge back to my tribe. It will take work, and I’m hopeful that we can re-connect as a new tribe. Some of my tribe members I’ve know my whole life: I love you Chicken!

There are new members who knew me from college and even junior high that have come back into my life. Some I’ve only known a few years: Hey Birthday bestie!

It makes me smile to know that Gabrielle has her own tribe. Maybe someday her tribe will call a bar late at night and order wings, send her music, or share lip gloss. Who knows if that will happen. But what I do know is that they will love her for just being herand that isn’t anything to say “mah” about.

~Caprise~