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Entries Tagged as 'Customers/Clients'

Your best customers are pure gold

July 19th, 2014 · Books, Customers/Clients

best customersYou’ve heard it before — the top 20% of your customers, your very best customers, account for 80% of your profitability and referrals.  We intellectually know that and yet our behavior sure doesn’t show it.

We spend all kinds of dollars, time, energy and worry chasing after new customers and after someone starts to buy, the typical business sort of forgets all about them.  Much like people’s dating patterns — there’s a lot of wooing that goes on before the wedding but after the “I do’s” get said, the florist goes broke.

Our poor best customers get the same treatment from us and that needs to stop.  We need to shift a portion of our marketing focus away from prospects and invest even more in our best customers — the ones who have already proven that they’ll sing our praises, buy more and more and bring their friends along for the ride.

Fortunately, my friend Stan Phelps has written a book to help us all do just that.  This book, What’s Your Golden Goldfish, is the third book in a trilogy of marketing books that are all built around over 2,200 crowdsourced examples of real life marketing smarts.

This particular book shares over 100 examples of what leading brands like Starbucks, Doubletree, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Virgin Atlantic are doing differently to cater to their best customers and earn even more of their business and loyalty.

The book showcases nine different ways to let your best customers (and employees) know how much you value them. By doing those little extras, you will make your company even stronger.  You will differentiate yourself even more from your competitors, you’ll keep both your best customers and employees longer so they contribute to your success and with every little extra, you will create more word of mouth buzz.

The entire series of books is all built around the idea of lagniappe which is a creole word for “a little something extra.” In this edition — Stan helps his readers explore how organizations large and small can do a little something extra for their most loyal customers and employees.

You’ll love the storytelling but make sure you have a pen and paper handy because this book is going to spark so many ideas that you’ll never remember them all.  And as you implement them — your best customers will reward you with even more buzz, money and referrals.

Sounds like it is going to work out well for everyone, doesn’t it?

If you’re interested in Stan’s entire series, here’s how you can get them from Amazon.  If your an Amazon Unlimited customer, you can read the electronic version for free.  If you want the paperbacks, click on the links below:

 

Note:  If you click on one of the Amazon links, I get a few cents.

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Building a website your users will love

July 14th, 2014 · Customers/Clients, Marketing, Web/Tech

website your users will loveIt seems like a “duh,” doesn’t it?  Of course you want to build a website your users will love.

But remember, not that long ago, many businesses were wondering whether or not they even needed a website.

It seemed so far-fetched that any of their customers would ever do anything but show up at their store or pick up the phone to place an order.

How quickly times change. Now, a business isn’t considered legitimate until they have a web presence.  No matter what it is you sell, odds are your prospects are going to visit your website to decide if you’re even in the running.

I’m hard pressed to think of an industry or business category that doesn’t rely on their website as the main workhorse in their marketing arsenal.

It used to be that you had an opportunity to make the sale when someone walked into your retail location, your salesperson called on the buyer or you answered your phone.  But today, a good portion of the sales process has nothing to do with you actively engaging with the potential buyer.  They’re doing a great deal of their due diligence tire kicking without you being in the room at all.

It’s happening on your website, within social networks and with the help of a Google search.

Which makes what you put out on the web absolutely vital to your business’ success. You must build a website your users will love.

All of that being said – most websites stink.  They’re badly designed, built for the business’ ego rather than the customer’s utility and they’re out of date.

Why?  I think most businesses think of their website like an ever expanding junk drawer.  They just keep tossing more stuff in there and hope that when someone rummages through it – they can find what they need.

If you’d like your website to be the effective workhorse you need it to be, consider these best practices:

It should be an experience: Keep in mind that many people will decide whether or not to do business with you based on their web visit.  So you want them to have a memorable and enjoyable experience.   Get them interacting with you – give them a quiz, help them find answers to their specific questions or offer them something they might want to share with others.

In addition:

  • Let your company’s personality be a part of the site — both in design and voice
  • Simple navigation matters – make it intuitive
  • Remember eye flow – give them plenty of white space and eye rest

Don’t talk about yourself: Talk about their world and how you can improve it.  Everything should be presented from their perspective, not yours. You might need an outside perspective to help you identify what truly matters to your audience.

In addition:

  • Don’t over share – think hors’ oeuvres, not a six course meal
  • Start at the 101 level — not every visitor will already be an expert
  • Leave them wanting more so they call or send an email
  • Keep the content fresh – stale content does not sell
  • Cascade your content – start with a little and then let them choose to drill down for more if they want it

Make it easy, no matter the device: Don’t assume everyone is using a 15-inch screen.  Within the next couple years, the majority of web searches will be conducted on a mobile phone. Check your site on desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones because if there’s one thing your users will love is being able to access your content no matter where they are.

In addition:

  • Pay attention to page placement — your most important content should be above the fold
  • Give them more than one way to navigate
  • Use landing pages to help diverse audiences get where they want to go

Don’t let a mediocre website discourage prospects from becoming customers before they even shake your hand. If you haven’t already done it — start tomorrow.  Build a website your users will love and share and best of all — buy from.

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How to be a good agency client

July 1st, 2014 · Agency Life, Customers/Clients · No Comments

I’ve been working in advertising agencies for almost 30 years now and I’ve had the incredible good fortune to work with some amazing clients over the years. Early in my career, before I had the deciding vote on who we’d serve, I also worked with some real jerks. For most of us in the marketing [Read more...]

Don’t create a disconnect for your customers

October 16th, 2013 · Customers/Clients, know • like • trust, Voice · 4 Comments

I live in Des Moines, Iowa and fly in and out of the Des Moines International Airport (I’m pretty sure we got the International because of air cargo, not because I can hop on a flight to Madrid from here) a couple weeks every month. Recently the airport went through a major renovation that added [Read more...]

4 tips for writing a strong case study

September 20th, 2013 · Copywriting, Customers/Clients, Marketing, Strategy · 26 Comments

Everyone loves a good story.  And there’s a reason why Aesop and others opted to teach their life lessons through stories that have been told and re-told for many years. Case Studies are the marketing version of Aesop’s Fables. Stories told to make a point or teach a lesson that demonstrates the value of your [Read more...]

We have to earn our audience’s attention

August 9th, 2013 · Content Marketing, Customers/Clients, Social Media · 8 Comments

We have to earn our audience’s attention.  Let’s see how you’re doing at that. If you own or run a business, I’d like to you take this little quiz. Would you ignore your business phone 30% of the time it rings? If a customer was standing in a crowd of your best customers and complaining [Read more...]

Building a great brand means going the extra mile

August 1st, 2013 · Branding, Customers/Clients, Love Affair with Customers · 42 Comments

Want a great brand? Building a great brand means going the extra mile. Let me give you an example. I travel a lot so I decided it was time to invest in a suitcase that could take the beating that 100+ flights a year dishes out without having to be replaced every year.  So after [Read more...]

What do consumers want from brands?

April 24th, 2013 · Customers/Clients, Marketing, Psychology, Trends · 4 Comments

That’s the age-old question, isn’t it? When you think about everything we’ve experienced in the last decade and a half – from the Y2K scare to 9/11, Iraq and then the recession – no wonder that a certain level of insecurity about the future has become a permanent part of our psyche as we ease [Read more...]

Your marketing includes way too much you

March 14th, 2013 · Business Owner/Leader Stuff, Customers/Clients · 17 Comments

One of the most common mistakes marketers make is that they think their customers and prospects care about them, what they sell and how it works. The human truth is consumers really do think, feel and ask “what’s in it for me?” They have something they want to accomplish – from getting a cereal that [Read more...]

Bad things happen in the dark

March 4th, 2013 · Customers/Clients · 9 Comments

When you think about it — being in the dark is always scary. When you were a kid, laying in bed and you heard a strange noise in your closet or under your bed you never thought to yourself, “hey, I bet there’s an ice cream sundae making machine in there!” No — it was [Read more...]