Archive for category Marketing

Share, Learn and Meet on facebook with TapDancingSpiders

Posted by on Tuesday, 7 October, 2014

Learning-on-facebookDid you see it? In the top right menu? that new little facebook button. TapDancingSpiders is now on facebook. Woohoo!

The facebook page has been a long time coming because I wanted to have a strong strategy behind it. There are so many marketing agencies and consultants just pushing self-promotion or sharing random content, and I didn’t want to add to the clutter. Plus, it would be hypocritical to go against my own advice, not to mention I’m too lazy to manage a profile for the sake of having an extra one.

So what is the strategy behind me being on facebook?

I want to make this all about you. I want to facilitate a place where we can learn and share ideas together. Digital marketing isn’t an exact science and we all have different backgrounds, experiences and education. I’m hoping that by sharing case studies and dilemmas to discuss we can bring together all the ideas and learn from each other.

What do you think? Are you in?

Pop on over to facebook, like the page and join the conversation. We’re currently looking at strategies to deal with unhappy customers who turn internet troll.

Let me know what you think, either in the comments or via email.

I hope you enjoy it.

Marketing Campaign Round-Up

Posted by on Sunday, 5 October, 2014

When was the last time you saw a brilliant marketing campaign? How about a not-so-brilliant one? I’ve seen a few around Seattle that fit each category.

First Aid Shot Therapy

No one likes a migraine, or even a hangover. First Aid Shot Therapy have a new treatment and a very innovative way to get the word out – while concurrently creating brand evangelists. If you live in Seattle or Boston and tweet about your migraine, hangover or just a headache you’re likely to get a response offering a sample pack of their new medication delivered to you, that day, for free.

The package is rather impressive too. It has samples of their headache remedy, and their stomach relief treatment. You can see the gorgeous box, filled with the medical background on their new treatments. Apologies for the missing one. I had a migraine.

First Aid Marketing Campaigns

I love their use of real-time marketing and it’s really not that hard to do. Many social media management platforms allow you to set up keyword searches within a specific geographic area. That’ll pull in your data set, then you have their profiles (and maybe Klout score) to qualify who should be approached. First Aid Shot Therapy asked for addresses via direct message, offering privacy but also increasing follower counts. Both parties need to be following each other to direct message on Twitter. The end result was influencers saying this new product is great. Much more valuable than a newspaper ad.

 ReadyPulse

Seattle has always been a little different for marketing campaigns. I don’t think I’ve ever seen agencies advertising jobs on billboards or buses in any other city. Therefore ReadyPulse’s low cost and low-key outdoor marketing campaign shouldn’t have been a surprise. ReadyPulse has a marketing suite (their jargon) that helps you recruit and manage ambassadors and sponsored athletes online. A valuable and important tool, that’s not being offered by many.

I’m assuming it’s part of the Silicon Valley company’s push into Seattle (my jargon), and very creative. They’re taped flyers to power poles in downtown Seattle streets. I’m not sure how far they’ve spread, but I’ve mainly seen them between a major transit spot and South Lake Union, i.e. Amazon and a sea of start-ups. The flyers are too swish to be mistaken for the usual house to rent ads.

ReadyPulsePulseReady

Forever 21

Here’s my not-so-brilliant marketing campaign. Apologies for the not-so-brilliant photo. The window was clean and iPhones have great cameras. In hindsight, I’m not sure if this is a bad campaign or just a representation of current society. And not in a positive way. Forever 21, the teen to young adult clothing company has a new Barbie range. My first disgust was that they chose to have a Barbie range when Barbies are being ridiculed as poor role models for young girls. Then I thought of some young 20-something women I know. There is a trend of regressing back to childhood, so maybe this was a genius move and I’m just too old.

Barbie Marketing Campaigns

 

What brag-worthy campaigns have you seen recently? Please share in the comments.

Is Good Customer Service Good Enough?

Posted by on Sunday, 7 September, 2014

Good Customer ServiceIn the last week I’ve experienced two poor customer service experiences. Both were takeaway food purchases gone wrong, and both companies ticked all the boxes to turn it around. I’ll only go back to one.

The first was with a local Mexican restaurant near my new house. The yelp reviews were average to damning, but I really wanted it to be nice.

The food was horrid. Sloppy enchiladas, dry rice and stale corn chips. A few days later a Mileage Plus Dining Rewards email gave me the chance to give feedback, so I did. I was honest and fair. I chose not to share it on social, but did elect to keep it public on the rewards site.

A few days later the restaurant responded asking what they could do to make it better.

The restaurant did everything by the book. The responded nicely; they asked how to improve the situation. It was perfect, right?

Let’s look at another situation from the same week.

I often order my lunch online from a busy West Coast sandwich chain. They have a store across from a client’s office, so I can quickly duck downstairs, grab the lunch bag and be back working in 10 minutes. On this day they left an ingredient out of my sandwich. Of course I didn’t realize until I was back at my desk and I didn’t have time to go back to have it remade. So I logged on their site and sent a message letting them know. I also said that I would have gone back to get it fixed, but no time. I didn’t ask for anything and made it clear it was an FYI.

A couple of hours later I missed a call. The voicemail was from Specialty’s and they were sorry about the slip. They were speaking to the store, but also giving my a $10 credit. They’d follow up with via email.

Both places did the right thing. They acknowledged the issue, and offered restitution. However, I will never return to the Mexican restaurant, but I’ve ordered from Specialty’s many times since.

What is the difference? I don’t doubt either place was genuine with their offer, but Specialty’s made it tangible. I didn’t need to think about what would make it better, it just happened.

The customer service bar has been raised, and it will continue to do so. What you previously thought was good enough is no longer so. And what’s good enough now, won’t be in 12 months.

How can you keep up with good customer service?

The restitution has nothing to do with monetary value. Make the response personal. Do you have order history for that customer? What’s their favorite item? Did you mess up big time? Check their social media or website to see what they like. Gary Vaynerchuk is great with this and uses it to thank customers for large purchases. Think of the goodwill (and social mentions) you’ll get for nailing it. Even if it’s a little off, you’ll still get kudos for trying. If your customer is a business, this still works. Send snacks for the team, or a voucher for a team dinner.

No longer can you get away with checking the boxes for good customer service. It’s time to make it personal.

What’s your customer service strategy?

Posted by on Wednesday, 20 August, 2014

Brian Solis - Customer ServiceWhen I started my first customer service job in 1994 it was easy. If a customer had a complaint they called or dropped by. Occasionally they wrote a letter. Sure the grumpy ones told their friends over the garden fence, but that was just the neighbor.

That was 1994. Now it’s 2014.

Brian Solis recently said that an unhappy customer tells 20 people. A happy customer will tell only one. I recall hearing similar numbers back in 1994.

But in 1994 telling 20 people about a poor customer service experience wasn’t a crisis. Social media has given a new customer service tool. It has also given customers a new, public voice.

Let’s look back at the 20 people who hear about the poor experience. Imagine if one of those tellings was a facebook post. The average facebook user has 338 friends, which instantly turns that 20 into 357. Add in a Twitter account and it’s 576. That’s a lot different than a gossip session over the fence.

What can you do about it?

If you’re already listening to your customers (including on social media) and offering great customer service to minimize any poor experiences, give yourself a pat on the back. Well done.

If you’re not there yet, it’s not too late. Look at your policies and your team. Is that how you’d want to be treated? Yes, it will mean some changes and probably cost you some money, but can you afford to lose 20 customers for each poor experience? To quote Brian Solis (again), “Customers have to be asked and rewarded. It’s something new. It’s proactive customer service.” This is from a social customer service video series that he’s doing with Hootsuite. There’s also his book, [What’s the Future] of Business?

And you can always email or Tweet me.

What’s your ROI?

Posted by on Tuesday, 11 March, 2014

What's your ROIMy first marketing lecturer, Dr Mario Miranda, taught me the relationship between price and quality. His example was a Waterman pen versus a Bic disposable. While my tastes are more Mont Blanc, the premise stands. Why do we choose Apple, Nordstrom and Mercedes Benz?

Why don’t we apply the same premise to ourselves? What’s your ROI? Does your price equal your quality?

I was chatting with a colleague last night about clients wanting expert work done at junior rates. We’ve all encountered it, “I’d love to hire you but [insert name] is $500 cheaper.” On eLance, I’m asked to pitch for work at hourly rates lower than the minimum wage in that country. The RFPs are filled with “expert” and “top performing”.

As marketers, we have a choice to make. We can take the work and discount our rates, or we can walk away. We can decide if we see ourselves as a Kia or a Mercedes Benz. In other words, what’s your ROI?

I know you’re thinking, “There’s more to the job than money, Bianca”, and I agree. Sometimes it’s a job title, resume points, or brand names that make up the difference. I’m doing some work currently that gives me studio photography experience. But that’s part of the ROI calculation. I gain experience and a small amount of cash; they get product photography.

It’s when the returns don’t equal or exceed investment (in this case you) it harms the entire industry. Precedents get set, your price goes down and you turn from Apple to Samsung. It’s hard to recover from this, and near impossible if it’s across the industry.

Yes, this was written as a vent over a recent situation, but also because walking away from a particular project was one of the hardest things I’ve done. The ROI figure just wasn’t a good result and saying yes now will mean it gets pushed further and further with each contract renewal. I hope I’m never in this situation again.