Customer satisfaction isn’t good enough. What about marketing customer ecstasy?

We hear customer satisfaction, customer service and reducing customer churn as things important to any company. That stuff is usually relegated to people that come in contact with customers.

What if marketers began to think about these things, and how they could make a difference an entire company? Customer satisfaction isn’t good enough. A company should be serving its customers better than any competitors if it wants to realize optimal success.

Certainly

What should we call an excellent customer experience? Let’s call it customer ecstasy! Think about it. If you are ecstatic about a product or service, are you likely to do business with the company again? Certainly.

Probably

If you are satisfied with a product or service, are you likely to return to that company? Probably. Probably leaves a chink in the armor–a gap in he organizational fort. Why allow a way for your competitors to steal your customers? We do it every day.

Culture

The culture of an company must be to provide customer ecstasy before the experiences and products and services can be marketed properly. Imagine the impact providing and marketing customer ecstasy might have on a company. It is incumbent on marketers to insist on this level of excellence so we can share the news of this excellence with the rest of the world.

What companies do you think provide customer ecstasy?

Share your thoughts and this post.

‘Watch’ Out! Local SEO May Change Big Time!

There was a great article recently on Forbes.com written by Jayson DeMers that details a huge shift that may occur in local SEO. “How The Apple Watch Could Change The World Of Local SEO,” makes a clear argument how the device may impact how users search. Who is going to type on a watch screen? Think about it—searches will be spoken, and Siri will serve up her choices.

When you speak to Siri, you are really speaking to Bing. Google will be left out of the Apple Watch search picture, and Bing Local searches will be the concentration of search marketers. Depending on the popularity of Apple Watch, Bing may become a larger rival to Google.

You won’t have to look at the Apple Watch for directions, as it will provide buzzes to guide you to your destination. Apple Maps has greatly improved over past years, and it will be the watch’s navigation system controlling the directional buzzes.

The navigation could also mean a major shift for marketers to help business be found on Apple Maps. Unlike Google Maps, Apple’s navigation system is ‘pre-populated’ with business locations, and it is up to the owners to correct the listings and locations if they are not accurate.

DeMers points out that “super local” search is something we should take into consideration as search marketers. I think he is steering us in the right direction. Think about the possibilities for super-localized customer-focused coupons, QR codes, offers and the like!

Are you ready for the emergence of this new way of reaching and engaging customers on another level?

Dan Morris is an Integrated Marketing Expert with a B.A. in Visual Communication and Commercial Art completing his M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications at WVU. He has worked for two Fortune 500 companies, an advertising agency and managed a newspaper.

Can blogs be magazines? Can magazines be blogs? VOTE!

An article on www.slate.com from 2010 explores these questions. At that time, the Gawker was converting from a blog to a full-blown online magazine. Blogs have quickly become an outlet for opinions about any subject you can imagine. I agree with slate that www.gawker.com is still not a magazine even after claiming the status with its own “magazine” website. It’s slogan is “Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news.” This sounds like a blog.

I contend blogs are not magazines, and nor are they considered professional media. Magazines are a professional medium where journalists publish content. A blog is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a Web site that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also:  the contents of such a site.” Journalism is defined as “the collection and editing of news for the presentation though the media.”

This does not mean blogs are not written by professionals (this one is). It also does not mean they are not written professionally. Blogs have a function, and that is to editorialize about any subject, ask questions and provide insight that has little boundaries. Do you agree?

In my opinion, bloggers are not journalists. However, journalists can be bloggers. What do you think?

Dan Morris is an Integrated Marketing Expert with a B.A. in Visual Communication and Commercial Art completing his M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications at WVU. He has worked for two Fortune 500 companies, an advertising agency and managed a newspaper.

Your business can profit from Twitter.

Is Twitter in your business’ marketing plan? Twitter is like a garden. If you cultivate, plant, fertilize and water, you will harvest the benefits. It provides customers and prospects with personal access to your brand. Imagine your brand being viewed much like a person or friend. How cool is that? Where do you start?

Understand the medium first.

A Tweet is like a glorified billboard along the highway. It provides 140 characters to make your point. Don’t forget to make room for hashtags (no more than 2) and links that make tweets more interactive. Tweets lose effectiveness in 24 hours or less. You must be committed to a relevant flow of them.

Understand the audience.

Users like to use Twitter for keeping up to date on news, people, brands, styles and more. They also use it for customer service interaction with organizations. It is all about the audience and what is important to them.

Provide original content.

If you have something unique to offer, you will get the most from your Twitter activity. Much like a paintbrush—anyone can use it, but it’s how that use it that matters.

Build a community.

People do not like to be sold stuff, but they like to buy stuff. You cannot build a community by being ‘salesy.’ Your approach must be genuine, and offer customers and prospects value. They will congregate around brands that interact with customers. Your organization can build a Twitter community in a quicker and simpler fashion than Facebook.

Great resources

31 Twitter Tips: How To Use Twitter Tools And Twitter Best Practices For Business

Follow @kenkrogue on Twitter

The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools & Strategies for Business Success

Social Media Examiner: How to Use Twitter for Business and Marketing


Dan Morris is an Integrated Marketing Expert with a B.A. in Visual Communication and Commercial Art completing his M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications at WVU. He has worked for two Fortune 500 companies, an advertising agency and managed a newspaper.

Websites: First Impressions are Critical

A snapshot of the Advance Auto Parts homepage.

A snapshot of the Advance Auto Parts homepage.

Visit your organization’s website with the mindset of a new visitor. Is it sexy? Does it pop off the computer screen? Maybe you think it looks so cool you cannot contain your enthusiasm. If so, you are probably ready to give your web development folks a high five: Not so fast!

Users visit websites for meaningful content. Put all of the whirly gigs and special effects aside in your mind. Does the site relate to visitors? Does it invite them to engage with your organization? Can they connect with it on social media?

Take some time to look at some sites. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

Advance Auto Parts

Needs work: Are these folks trying to win an award for the most items ever posted on a page? This is confusing. A redesign and rethinking is in order.

General Mills

Not great: It looks like the food giant is confused about the purpose of it’s website. It appears it is geared to its board members and investors. Customers are the bulk of visitors, and this thing is uninspiring.

Arhaus Furniture

Good: The site is clean and conveys the premium position of the brand. It has good content, but it could distill the choices on its homepage to simplify for users.

Asayo Creative

Excellent: The site is clean, to the point and pulls the user in upon first glance.

Dan Morris is an Integrated Marketing Expert with a B.A. in Visual Communication and Commercial Art completing his M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications. He has worked for two Fortune 500 companies, an advertising agency and managed a newspaper.

Websites: First Impressions are Critical

Visit your organization’s website with the mindset of a new visitor. Is it sexy? Does it pop off the computer screen? Maybe you think it looks so cool you cannot contain your enthusiasm. If so, you are probably ready to give your web development folks a high five: Not so fast!

 

Users visit websites for meaningful content. Put all of the whirly gigs and special effects aside in your mind. Does the site relate to visitors? Does it invite them to engage with your organization? Can they connect with it on social media?

 

Take some time to look at some sites. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

 

Advance Auto Parts

Bad: Are these folks trying to win an award for the most items ever posted on a page? This is confusing, and looks like fruit salad. A redesign and rethinking is in order.

 

General Mills

Not great: It looks like the food giant is confused about the purpose of it’s website. It appears it is geared to its board members and investors. Customers are the bulk of visitors, and this thing is uninspiring.

 

Arhaus Furniture

Good: The site is clean and conveys the premium position of the brand. It has good content, but it could distill the choices on its homepage to simplify for users.

 

Asayo Creative

Excellent: The site is clean, to the point and pulls the user in upon first glance.

 

Dan Morris is an Integrated Marketing Expert that has worked for two Fortune 500 companies and managed a newspaper.

‘What the tech?’

     Those of you marketers chasing the youth of America on social media sites may want to rethink your strategy. Younger folks are turning away from social media in droves! They are finding social media a distraction, and are beginning to crave the real world more than the parallel universe of online interaction. Youths are telling experts they are overwhelmed by social media.

     For marketers, it is important to note that we should not be stuck on an age demographic. Rather we should realize youth are more like us than we think. According to the Firefish & The Pineapple Lounge 2014 Youth Marketing Conference, hashtags and fan pages do little to curry the attention of young folks. They crave creativity from brands that use technology to bring meaning and usefulness to their lives.

     Information overload has a slightly paralyzing effect, and begins to make subjects’ brains strategize to deal with it. According to a survey conducted by Lynn Akin, adjunct assistant professor, Texas Woman’s University Denton, Texas, there is evidence of this. Some of the coping strategies that were observed were, temporary non-processing of information, incorrect information processing, temporary delays in processing, neglecting categories while continuing to process others, processing in groups, no processing, etc. As you can see, the human brain will begin to cope with information overload by creating coping strategies.

     How can marketing professionals deal with this? How can this apply to integrated marketing?

Emerging media and terrorism: How should it be handled?

There are many good sides to emerging media, but we cannot ignore the bad side and how it is being managed. Social media and video websites such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and Vimeo have become an emerging media for terrorists. How are the sites dealing with this growing communication and awareness media? Most are having a difficult time keeping up with incessant postings of those who want to spread their message of fear or recruitment (Associated Press, 2014). Video makes it is easy to create an illusion of great scale with professionally produced imagery.

Who decides what stays or goes away on a site? Network policies are usually in place to allow each site to remove content. Users who spot suspicious content or activity can report it to the network. However, freedom of speech can enter the picture. Al-Shabaab is an Al-Qaeda-linked group from Somalia that had its Twitter account taken down. Twitter has faced increased requests from governments to remove accounts, but the network has typically not complied (Kjuka, 2013).

There seems to be a pattern of accounts being taken offline that have English content. Others remain intact. For instance, the Al-Shabaab account in Arabic and Somali was never removed (Kjuka, 2013).

How should this dark side of emerging media be handled? Do sites have human a responsibility to police their networks? Do you believe if criminal activity is occurring, or being overtly displayed on these sites, it should be removed? Does the content help law enforcement officials stop terrorist organizations?

 

References

 

Associated Press. (2014, August 20). Twitter trying to block gruesome images of Foley killing. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/08/20/twitter-trying-to-block-gruesome-images-foley-killing/

 

Kjuka, D. (2013, February 19). How social networks are dealing with terrorists. Retrieved from http://www.rferl.org/content/twitter-facebook-terrorists/24906583.html