Step Away From That Social Media Suckhole

Social Media SuckholeJim said, “One of my clients was talking about his experience on FaceBook. It seems he has looking for a high-tech app for his company, saw an ad on FaceBook, clicked on it and within 15 minutes someone from the company was calling him.”

He told me that he suggested the CEO turn it around and use it for his own company.

Then he asked the wrong question!

No, I said, you should not be advertising on FaceBook. And you should not think about LinkedIn or Google either. The reason is simple: That is not the right model to build your business.

Until the customer/ client/ patient gets access to your product you don’t have a business.

Service Businesses require someone to provide “hands or minds on” actions. There is direct contact.

Product Businesses make an item that can be used but the company may or may not have direct contact with the end user.

Combination businesses make products and provide services associated with those products usually but not always directly. Their passage or physical distribution may be direct or through several intermediaries.

Distribution businesses provide physical distribution of products to end users or resellers such as retail outlets. The most common are independent distributors and wholesalers. The amount of inventory they carry varies across a full spectrum.

Agent/Broker businesses sell products or services to end users but may not handle physical distribution. Most independent salespersons fall in this category. Frequently they handle several lines that are used in an industry but are not directly competitive.

What is the right model to build your business?

  • Consultants and Professional service providers usually do best when they use tools that generate referrals
  • Business to Business B2B organizations that offer services need a combination of promotion, referrals and a sales force that connects with customers efficiently
  • B2B organizations that offer products at low cost may orient more to advertising and telephone follow up like Jim’s client experienced. The controlling factor is the cost of the products offered. Higher priced products generally require a more knowledgeable sales person and sometimes the best solution is an engineer partnered with a salesperson.
  • Business to Consumer B2C companies have the broadest selection of distribution possibilities that run the gamut from direct sales to distributors, wholesalers and retailers. But here, too, the price of the product being offered will have significant impact on the level of salesperson required.

Do you or a competitor have a way to change an industry?

Examples abound: Amazon, Lyft, Driverless Cars, Disney’s Magic Band access to hotel and park, Airbnb and a host of Internet of Things (IoT) applications that may not have existed last week.

You need to think about how FedEx technology adaption forced UPS to leapfrog them. Can you do something like that? No matter what your product or service, you can, if you think it through, make your offer in such a way that it stands out form the crowd.

That’s when Social Media fits in.

Use the social media platform that gets you the most exposure within your target audience at the lowest cost until you move on to pay per click advertising. Hire a professional organization that makes a living doing that. You will save yourself time, pain and money in the long run. But first, make sure your landing pages and website support your Mission, Position and Value Proposition.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Deja-vu Testing for On-line Success

The Marketing lunch bunch“It’s not a new idea” Kate said, “So don’t try to take credit.”

Rick groaned, took another sip of wine and nodded. Then he rose to the bait saying, “I know I didn’t invent the idea but at least give me credit for figuring out how to apply it to the funnel hacking e-marketing world we live in.”

“So what brilliance did you come up with?” I asked.

“Daily déjà-vu of simultaneous synchronized multi-variant testing of multiple elements is my claim to fame,” he said.

Gail guffawed looked him in the eye and said, “What a mouthful! Rick, my boy you are brilliant at times but this is not one of them. You know as well as I do that direct marketing copy controls have been tested every which way you can imagine over the years and that something as simple as an A-B split test is so easy online that anyone that can afford the software or the service can get it done. So what are you claiming?”

Kate piled on noting, “And don’t try to pull that tale of having to dumb down your ideas of how to test that the programmers couldn’t figure out 10 or 15 years ago because Fletch was sitting beside you in that meeting you’ve told me and as I recall he’s the one that had to explain what an A-B split test was.”

Rick swished his wine in the glass, carefully set it down and replied, “You all would agree that we need to find out the relative importance of the offer, the list of people you are addressing and the approach. That principle is true of direct marketing, e-mail marketing, e-commerce stores/catalogs on-line or even a web site developed to begin a relationship for a professional service.

My approach takes the ability of the internet to produce quantifiable data quickly and the need to look a multiple components of the message to new levels. There are entrepreneurs out there right now that are pushing the envelope. They test everything. They find a control that works and then start testing to improve it. Sometimes as simple shift can increase ROI by hundreds of points.

What are you doing to make your web-based marketing activities more successful? Why not try tests of formatting, subject lines, subheads, arrangement of paragraphs, captions, descriptions, addition or deletion of photos and a host of other variables. There is hard data that shows that at least half of these have increased response levels.

The time to test what works for your business is right now. And tomorrow. And the day after.

Testing ought to be Deja-vu, over and over again.”


Jerry Fletcher weaves the tales of the Lunch Bunch based on his experiences in advertising, direct marketing, consulting and helping build entrepreneur businesses.

Jerry Fletcher KeynoteJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.
Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at http://www.brandbraintrust.com/home.html

Form With A Personal Touch

“It all comes down to your form, “I said.

“Are we talking golf or Tennis? “ Chris asked as he sat down.

Getting Subscribers

“Neither” said Rick, our direct marketing expert. “We’re talking forms for web sites and landing pages and other uses on line. One of Fletch’s clients was unhappy that he recommended that a form to capture visitor e-mail addresses be included on every page of the website. The client argued that it wasn’t classy and interfered with his branding.”

Chris, our digital director in residence, turned expectantly to Rob the Branding authority in our midst and said, “So the branding viewpoint is….”

Bubba didn’t disappoint him. “Son,” he said, “That feller’s got his knickers in a knot for the wrong reason. Heah’s the thing. You got folks comin’ to a website and the reason they are there is to find out some more about you or your product or service. They may be looking to meet you. If you were dealin’ with them in person what would you do? You’d make it as easy as possible. You’d answer their questions. You would try to connect with them. You’d invite them to keep in touch. That means the form has got to be there but:

  • The form needs to fit in with the personality of the site
  • The design should emulate the rest of the site
  • The language should fit in with the rest of the site

Kate, our sales veteran took over. She said, ”If you think of the form that way you treat it less like a form and more like an invitation. You tell people what they are going to get and you treat them with respect. You make your approach more personal. For instance, instead of having a button that says Submit you use language like ‘Sign Me Up’ or ‘Connect Me.” (Here’s an example)

“Limiting the amount of information they have to supply is important in that situation,” said Rick. “The other thing you have to tell them is that you won’t sell or give away their information to anybody. Of course, there are other kinds of forms. Those need to include Bubba’s rules but forms that are designed to detect digital body language or for gathering more information such as an application need to assume a couple things:

  • The fewer the queries the better. (Try to keep it under 7)
  • Make it as simple as possible for the visitor
  • Consider gathering information sequentially to build up a prospect profile for multiple interaction situations
  • Put your labels above the fill-ins
  • Use Drop down menus to conserve the visual space of the form
  • Use checkboxes to allow selection of multiple values at the same time
  • Use radio buttons where applicable to allow for faster viewer scanning.

“If I bring my client to lunch will you guys repeat yourselves?” I asked.

Gail, our writer/editor quietly spoke for the group saying, “You’re big boy. You can convey what was said here today. “What I hear you saying is that you’re not sure you can convince your client. Try telling him what you learned.”

The Takeaway:

Forms on web sites, landing pages and sales sites are all better when they are built with a personal touch in mind– like an invitation. That means designing the form to fit in seamlessly while making it as easy for the user as possible.

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue.

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

Why Tech is Wonky

Gail slammed her purse down and said, “I tell you all I am sick and tired of just getting to understand a piece of software and they up and change it!

Interface frustration“Now what?” said Chris, our digital director.

“My assistant simply clicked yes to an upgrade on the blog software and it went all wonky. There is no way to edit new posts on it now,“ Gail replied. She continued, “I write and I edit and I always review the post before we publish it. Fat chance at the moment.”

“Thas not the only thing goin’ on at the moment said Rob, the Georgia peach of branding. I understand that the new Google change is driving people that understand this SEO thing kinda crazy, too.”

“You’ve got a point Bubba,” I chimed in. “But not everything is worse because of changes. I upgraded to a new I-phone and I have to tell you the interface is a whole lot easier to use. But I still think they should give you some sort of instructions with the darn things. Those of us that haven’t grown up using them to take photos and e-mail them plus push those apps around could use some help. Besides, I’ve got big thumbs.”

Kate our sales specialist smiled and asked, “Can I join this pity party?”

“Jump in,” said Bubba.

“The thing that gets me is how different all the contact managers I run into are,” Kate continued. “They’ve been around since the 90s and you would think that how to make them easy to use would have been figured out by now. Every time I go into a company to tune up their sales operations it seems like I’m dealing with a new way of doing the same thing. It starts with trying to upload a list of contacts and goes downhill from there.”

“I can tell you part of the problem,” said Rick who runs a world class direct marketing operation. “A lot of software is written by folks in new companies. They try to make theirs look and operate differently from the competition. There is no previous version to narrow their approach and there is no best practices to look at. On top of that they are engineers who seldom if ever try to think like an end user. The result is that we users have to adapt continually to the bizarre solutions they come up with.”

“All y’all got that right. Every time I get told about an upgrade I know I’m gonna be outa kilter for a while, said Bubba.

“The thing is,” I said, “there’s a whole science to this stuff that nobody ever seems to look at. It’s called User Interface Design. It all comes down to the fact that users just want to be able to solve their problem quickly and easily in the same way from software to software. They want engineers to stop thinking they are creative geniuses and start building stuff that is easy to use.”

You and me and all of us should think about that as we develop our trainings and products. If we stop reinventing the wheel we might get there faster.

The Takeaway:

Truly great user interfaces are the ones that are engineered to stay out of the way.


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and an unruly mob of business development professionals. They discuss what’s new, what’s old, what’s good, bad and ugly plus creative thinking to find what works. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue.

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Passion of Pursue

Passion of PursueI said, “A Linked-In contact in the Middle East described her ongoing education saying, “rather than pursuit of passion, I like the Passion of Pursue :).”

Gail, our writer, replied, “The tenses and words are all twisted around but there is a beauty in the comment.”

Rick, ever the practical direct marketing guy surprised us all saying, “There is something magical in what she is observing.”

“Magic?” questioned Rob.

“Magic.” Said Rick. “All of us spend our days working on ways to build our client’s businesses. They expect us to be passionate about it. But we can never be quite as passionate as they are. And as much as they think that for us it is all about the money. It isn’t.

For us the passion is in what we are doing. It is about psychic rather than physical rewards.”

Surprisingly, Kate, the tough sales consultant was nodding in agreement.

“How often,” she said, “have each of us admitted that we would do what we do even if we didn’t get paid for it. Ours is the passion of pursue… getting it done, making something happen, wanting to make the world a better place.”

“That reminds me of Steve,” I said. He was flat broke when he came across an article in the paper. By the time he realized what was happening he had started what will become a charity. It has a crazy name: Carbon Sucking Trees. Take a look at the website. He’s done all this work with no hope of a personal payback. It’s the Passion of Pursue.”

Carbon Sucking Trees,” mused Rob, our branding guru. “That is one of the weirdest brand names I’ve ever heard. I’m not going to ask, I’ll just go to the web site and figure it out. But I have to tell you this playful approach to words is one of the techniques commonly used to position and brand products and services. Here are some examples:

  • Famous:           The Uncola for Seven Up
  • Not so famous: The Untangler for Shell Tain a money consultant who is one of Fletch’s former clients
  • Sorta Famous: Digimarc (the name Fletch came up with for a “digital watermarking company”
  • Not so famous: KDI Americas (Fletch suggested adding the ‘s’ to broaden the scope of a company already known in Asia and Africa which was moving into this hemisphere. It worked.

I responded, “Bubba, you are kind to use examples from my portfolio. I do appreciate it. But I’d like to get back to what Rick and Kathy were saying. I agree that the true professionals in business development do it for more than the money. They are passionate about it, but it is the results that gets them involved.”

Chris, the digital director said, “Then how come the very best cost so much more than others?”

“They do and they don’t,” I said. If they are good at what they do, they are always working. They have less time and because of that they raise their rates. And the world knows they are good at what they do and more people are eager to work with them. That cycle repeats and repeats. But they are still intrigued and if you can lay a problem in front of them that gets their interest the price to you might not be as high.

The Takeaway

Don’t be put off by your fear of the cost of an expert. That expert may get you answers much, much faster. More importantly, if your problem is intriguing they will give you value in multiples of what you pay. And, should you catch them at the right time, their advice may cost nothing yet be the best you will ever receive because theirs is the passion of pursue.”

The lunch bunch is a group of marketing and sales professionals that meet for lunch each Friday. They discuss what’s new, what’s old, what’s good, bad and ugly but mostly what works. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and the one that writes up their comments. Sign up to get updates on all their discussions at www.JerryFletcher.com/profit


 

Jerry Fletcher has been researching and implementing marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 20 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

How To Do A Home Page Video That Builds Business

Chris, the digital marketing director said, “The websites you build videos into keep people on the site longer, get better click through and higher signups. I want to know why.”

Video can hook people on your website“Yeah,” Kate said, “Tell him the formula, Fletch.”

“It’s simple, I replied. “It’s a combination of selling like Kate coaches people to do and a marketing trick I’ve learned over the last 25 years. All you have to do is make a video of your 30 Second Marketing conversation.”

Gail asked, “Is that the thing you came up with to replace elevator pitches?”

“Yes,” I said.

She continued, “The one that is intended to answer the question what do you do?”

“Yup. The answer is what I call a hook. The four elements of the formula are:

  • Hook ‘em
  • Hold ‘em
  • Pitch ‘em
  • Close ‘em

Rick said, “I’ve heard you speak on this. As I recall the hook is hard to come up with but once you’ve got it you’re more memorable and people want to talk to you if only to find out more about you… but that’s in person. A video on a web site is more like direct marketing and that is my bailiwick. How does this work there?

“Hooks can be found or developed in a lot of ways, I said. Here are just a few that have worked for me with clients over the years:

  1. Review customer testimonials for simple descriptions
  2. Try to put what you do in terms a first grader could use to explain what you do to his or her classmates.
  3. Think about what you do from the customer’s viewpoint. What problem do you solve for them?
  4. Put it in words that will force them to want to know more.

“But y’all got to be careful of your brand,” said Rob, our branding big brother. “You can’t say something that is gonna hurt you long term even if it gets their attention today. I reckon tha’s wheah the rest of the formula fits in, right?”

“You’re right Bubba,” I said. “the hook is what everyone remembers but what makes 30 Second Marketing TM work is the rest of it. In order to hold ‘em, you have to find the words that come after You know how That means you have to know the problem that brings your ideal customer to you. When I train people to do this I try to get them to know the top three problems that their ideal customers are trying to solve. The pitch always starts with the words What we do is… and then explains how you solve the problem for your ideal customers. The close is a specific Call to action.”

“And, Y’all don’t want to be flappin’ your gums too much either, said Rob. Make it quick. If you go much more than a minute and a half they’ll be gone faster than a fox when a beagle bays.


 

Jerry and the marketing lunch bunch will be back next week. Their discussions are always about small businesses marketing tips that are low or no cost.

www.JerryFletcher.com is Jerry’s consulting web site He meets around kitchen and boardroom tables to change the marketing of companies in the Americas. He prefers working with “Little Guys” with 1 to 500 employees.

www.NetworkingNinja.com is his speaking site. He speaks professionally on three continents on how to craft Trust-based marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy…on and off line.

 

How to Understand Your Ideal Client in 25 Questions.

“Once again I heard someone asked to define their ideal
client.” I said.

 

Ideal client Questions“So, you bit your tongue and did not get involved in the
marketing conversation ,” said Gail.

“Not quite,” said Kate. “I was there and once I got over the
embarrassment I was proud of him.

Here are the questions he asked the new business owner:

  1. Male or female?
  2. Age—Under18, 18 to 24, 25 to 34, 35 to 44, 45 to 54, 55 to 64, 65 to 74, 75 Plus
  3. Income—Annual
  4. Disposable income
  5. Education Degree(s) Other
  6. Profession/What they do for a living
  7. Where they live
  8. Own or rent
  9. Transportation If car, what kind if other, what
  10. White Collar or Blue Collar
  11. Employed by self, government or company
  12. Size of employer (Number of employees)
  13. Employer annual sales
  14. Employer industry
  15. Ethnicity

And that was just the demographic stuff.

He went on to the psychographic stuff that really makes it possible to go find prospects:

Where do they fall on a scale from conservative to liberal when it comes to:

  • Financial matters
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Education
  • And how does that play out in terms of their purchases and actions?
  1. What groups do they belong to?
  2. Who do they turn to for advice?
  3. Is there a group of those kinds of folks?
  4. What do they think, feel and believe about you and your product or service?
  5. What single problem you can help them solve that has made people like them buy from you in the past.
  6. What other problems (Two) do people mention that have worked with you in the past?
  7. Even when they admit they could use your product or service, what do they say is the reason to defer?
  8. If your best client, the one most like the kind you want were to describe you, what would they say?
  9. What would you want them to say?
  10. Have you looked at who is actually buying versus who you want to buy?

Are there other questions you could ask? Sure. But you have to admit those answers will give you a very clear picture.”


Jerry and the crew will return
next week. The topic will be marketing as usual. What question is on your mind?


Jerry Fletcher is a Marketing Rainmaker specializing in New Businesses, New Products and New Services. He is an expert at building professional practices, consulting and coaching businesses particularly as they productize their offerings. www.JerryFletcher.com

Jerry speaks professionally on three continents about Trust-based Marketing and how to use Networking and Contact Relationship Magic to build businesses, careers and lives of joy. Learn more at www.NetworkingNinja.com

Copyright 2012, Z-axis Marketing,Inc. All rights reserved.