Category: Sales


Is emotional advertising enough these days?

Emotional advertising has been found to be more effective that rational ads. In the book “Brand Immortality” the author, Harnish Pringle, analyzed over 880 cases from the U.K.’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Effectiveness, and discovered that emotional ads are twice as likely to generate large profit gains than rational ones.


The data used in the study spanned a few decades up to 2009, and lot has changed since then. Social media has taken hold with the general public and more companies have embraced it as a marketing medium. We now live in a world were more people are openly discussing their points of view (and emotions) on brands in public forums. Especially online where anonymity grants people the opportunity to behave differently and rally together in larger groups. Surely these new conditions have changed the landscape since the time of Pringle’s study. Continue reading “Is emotional advertising enough these days?” »


Rethinking Your Marketing

Influence and Beyond

I recently finished reading Sam Fiorella and Danny Brown‘s “Influence Marketing” book and I must say that it will make you rethink your marketing. While the book was chalk full of technical details, it also had a strong foundation built on the fundamentals of marketing. It is packed with clear case studies and explanations of their concepts and methodologies of influence marketing. This is an unsolicited review. 

Brown_Fiorella_Influence_Marketing_CoverThe first chapter opens with a single case study that keeps you reading through the entire book; uncovering the how-to’s layer by layer. I imagine this is done to keep your head from exploding because Fiorella and Brown’s methods, although effective, are intricate. The breakdown of the current model of influence and the build up the their methods continues through chapter 8. If you know Sam Fiorella, then you know he is against the current model and methods of classifying influence. No matter your stance or feelings on the topic, this book gives you great ideas. From Chapter 8 on the book begins to share the real meat of their methods.

The most beautiful part of the book are the explanations of the internal and external factors that come into play when analyzing your audience. The detail and understanding of the consumer that Fiorella and Brown insist you have to use their methods successfully, coincidentally are ideal for all marketing tactics – at least in my opinion. As marketers continue to invest more into their online presence, and more “big data” becomes available, Fiorella and Brown’s consumer analysis methods will become even more salient.

There are a number of reason you might not like this book, but take my word for it you need to find a way to pull through. If you have ever tired or considered using Klout perks to market your product or any form of blogger outreach then you definitely need to read this book. The anecdotes are great, and data is amazing.

Apple Announcement Gets Prodded...

iPhone5 announcement gets prodded…

Samsung is also running a really big ad on Facebook’s home screeen (pre login). With the stats update similar to the Tweet.

Recently Apple won the $1 billion dollar award for Samsungs infringement on their patents. Although, it is NOT true that Samsung attempted to pay Apple in $0.05 cent coins, Samsung certainly isn’t bowing out of the fight with the tech giant.

Today the iPhone 5 will be announced by Apple. Do a quick search for “iphone5″ on Twitter and you’ll see Samsung lurking. Great marketing!

So how about you? Apple or Android?

From Pins to Purchases

Last Year’s Pinners are Making Purchases

Below is an inforgraphic that answers a BIG question. Does pinterest have a payoff? Indeed it does! It does not answer for which industry specifically, although in the US the top categories on Pinterest are Crafts, Interior Design and Fashion. The most interesting fact gleamed from this graph is that of the 12% making purchases online and offline after pinning, 46% are from the Pre-Jan2011 boom and are more active on average.

The new question is: Is “warming-up” period for Pinterest users before they get comfortable with making purchases, or is the post boom demographic in a different category all together (e.g. younger with less income)?

The 5 Social Media Strategies

It is still amazing to see the number of brands that are using social media incorrectly. Some can’t seem to shake this “Look at me!!” mentality, which is ruining their customer experience and inevitably causing the loss of the customer.

Brands need to begin focusing their social media strategy and they have 5 choices.

1. Branding
2. Sales
3. Customer Services
4. Innovation
5. Community Experience

Each platform they participate on needs a purpose that fulfills their customer needs. Given the number of big brands that still don’t have a huge following on social media they have a great opportunity. By focusing their Twitter, Facebook, Youtube or Blog on one of these strategies they can “teach” consumers where to find the answer or experience they’re looking for.

The type of content provided under each strategy has very specific purpose:

1. Branding: Complimentary Imagery & Matched Tone
- external and internal content that supports the brand
2. Sales: Offers/Discounts, Links to New Products/Reviews
- content that showcases products and services
3. Customer Services: Public Answers to Questions & Complaints
- recognition of problems and specific answers
4. Innovation: Calls for Feedback & Customer Opinion
- the key is to implement the feedback and showcase it
5. Community Experience: Additional Content, Customer Submitted Content
- keep it interactive and exclusive

Are your favorite brands using one of these?

Professional Expectations

Before you can sell a service, a product or an insight to the naive,
you need to sell them on being professional.
” – Seth Godin

The quote comes from Seth’s recent blog post “Naive or professional?“, where he explains the difference between a naive business person and a professional business person. Essentially the naive person is content with the way things are and when a problem occurs, blames an outside source for the diversion. The professional doesn’t let problems slip by. They analyzes them, try to understand them, and build fail safes to ensure they don’t happen again. The quote is interesting because it relates to building expectation AND good business habits.

Building your customer expectations of your product or service from the first engagement is important. Equally important is building the expectation of their involvement in the fulfillment process. This is fairly easy to do and can be chalked up to three steps.

Identifying the Problem
A few years ago, I consulted a company that sold a product on a B2B basis. The sales team was making their sales quota but the sales that were won the company had trouble retaining – about 50% of sold clients were “troublemakers”.

I analyzed the sales process; the before and after sale, the materials, the sales scripts and sat in on sales meetings. Turns out that the sales people weren’t “overselling”, which is what I expected to find, but what they weren’t doing was selling the experience. The product involved a specific amount of “homework” to be done by the customer to ensure the highest quality product and timely delivery. The issue was the sales team never mentioned or emphasized this part of fulfillment. So when it came down to the customer doing the work they needed to make the service work, they weren’t ready or willing.

Corrections and Fail Safes
We changed the sales script and developed very detailed points on what was expected of the customer when we began working with them. We also built in a touch point in the customer relations process to remind them of their “homework” and offer assistance (this only added about 30 minutes to total customer time). The result? Retention increased to 80%. Sale percentages weren’t affected.

As a professional, it is important that you constantly reevaluate your business processes. As a professional, it is also your job to ensure that your customers are ready to be professionals as well. They need to understand that they have a stake in the product or service you’re delivering and they have to be ready to learn and adjust as they engage with your company – this can be a fun process! There is no “be all, end all” solution to your customers’ problems. In a world of instant gratifications, it is your duty as a business owner to build the correct expectations of your product and of your customers.

$100B Facebook IPO, Novelty or Legit?

Facebook is rumored that they are anticipating a $100 billion dollar IPO in 2012. That opening amount figure is 61% of Google’s current market capitalization, 33% of Apple and 5 times the valuation Groupon hopes to go public (related article). Now, I know about as much about stocks and valuations to get me through both Wall Street movies in one sitting, but this rumor throws up some red flags. Facebook has rocketed into the stars in the last 6 years, but is it really worth that much?

First, you have to believe that Facebook is worth $100 billion dollars to even consider investing. I’ve spoken about the “social media bubble” in the past and how enormous valuations of companies like Twitter, Groupon and Facebook fly parallel to the Dot Com bust. The perceived value of these companies are inflated by the overwhelming amount of attention they receive from the public, not necessarily the hard numbers. So, let take a look at the hard numbers. Google valued at $162.5 billion dollars and annual revenues of $28.8 billion (2010). That feels right, a great company, internationally known, diverse product lines and a great revenue based market valuation. Facebook expected IPO of $100 billion dollars and revenues of $4.5 billion dollars (2010). Facebook has been around half as long as Google, is a great company and it is internationally known, but the revenue based valuation is a bit lacking considering it’s value compared to Google alone. Facebook especially pales comparison to Apple’s $300 billion dollar market cap. with revenues of $63.8 billion dollars. Chalking up the numbers is great information for the opening investors. What about you?

Can we consider buying 1 share of stock as rights to ownership of your Facebook profile? As users, we’re known to love Facebook; especially the avid daily users. One of the main reason these high valuations are appearing is, now more than ever, the public and end users have a huge influence on the perceived value of the company. The number of stakeholders in today’s tech IPO’s are much greater number than when Apple or Microsoft went public. Consider Facebook 600+ million users – all stakeholders – anyone in the media, app developers, and anyone who has had contact with someone who has a Facebook profile or been to a URL that was shared in Facebook which gained higher SEO ranking. It is probably not far fetched to say that anyone who has used the internet has been influence by Facebook, not to mention the people involved in the political uprising in Africa and the Middle East. We’re driving up it’s value despite it’s earning potential because we’ve all vested so much time, energy and information…

Information, this is where Facebook has the true potential. The one piece that could be considered the true asset and value add to the IPO if used correctly. As mentioned in a recent article if was describe how, Facebook, if it used its database correctly, could overrun Google in search. Search, one of the most powerful tools of the last 20 years has not been Facebook’s focus. However, we as users and stakeholders have submitted an overwhelming amount of information into Facebook. So much, that if a Governmental Conspiracy Theorists were to actually think about it, their heads would explode. Facebook has enough data to profile us all, recognize our buying habits, not just on past purchases, but on links shared, comments, pictures, and what we like. It can predict who we’ll meet in real life, who our next relationship would be with, even where we will go next for lunch. Facebook could… if Facebook wanted to. That data is what is incredibly valuable, but Facebook hasn’t used it for that yet. It hasn’t announced plans to, although I’m sure it in the back of their heads. But does that ability and that information become a $100 billion dollar value in an open market? Especially with the certainty of government regulations that comes with being a public company. If you thought the privacy policy were a headache in the past, you’re in for a whole new world when the SEC and other agencies get involved. Facebook is opening its door to potentially ruining it’s user experience.

Facebook is valuable, it has played an important role in the advancement of marketing, business, relationships and has been at the helm of social media. The big questions is whether Facebook’s $100 billion dollar IPO is legitimate or just novelty. Are we buying stock as a true investment in a company this will provide and grow revenues that justify it’s price. Is Facebook stock a true investment or is it like buying a star? – Fun because we own a part of something greater than ourselves.

What do you think? Would you buy Facebook stock?