An Intern’s Experience At CAS

Before I Start

Before I go into what I learned from Creative Agency Secrets and the benefits of the experience, I wanted to start by explaining what an incredible opportunity this really was. Very few people are given the chance that I was. An international work experience is absolutely invaluable. The fact that I was able to, halfway through my undergraduate degree, fly to another side of the world for two months simply to experience another culture and essentially take a potential career path on a “test-drive” is absolutely insane and I am deeply grateful to all the amazing people who helped me make the most of it.

So Let’s Talk About CAS

That being said, Creative Agency Secrets has been a strongly defining part of my time here and has introduced me to a variety of new skills in the digital marketing realm. It’s worth noting that, with the ever-rising presence of social media, mobile integration, and online interactions, digital marketing becomes increasingly more important to understand by the day. While it is true that print media and other forms of “traditional marketing” are not dead, as a member of the younger generation, I do know that what we see doesn’t come from newspapers or magazines, but from websites, Instagram, and YouTube. This is where the future of marketing lies and this is exactly what I was trained in during my time here.

The benefit of working for a small company like Creative Agency Secrets is that, as an intern, you aren’t simply filing papers or running errands; you’re applying your knowledge from the classroom to a real-world context with actual clients. During my time here, I did everything from plan, design and build landing pages in six different languages, to run social media campaigns for events. Just to highlight a few, these are some new skills I learned during my time here:

  • How to optimize blog posts with internal links to decrease a website’s bounce rate
  • How to use WordPress to code websites, landing pages, and press pages that enhance the user experience and achieve the site’s goals
  • How to create graphics, logos, and sites that align with a company’s brand and make the mission/message of the company clear in every aspect of the experience
  • How to plan a business promotion event with everything from creating the concept, planning the marketing strategy and adapting to hurdles
  • How to use a variety of programs send out newsletters, emails, and promotions

And much, much more.

However, I believe the most important thing I learned from my experience here was not the technical or business skills: it was the ability to face and overcome a challenge that arose in the process. This sounds straightforward, but it’s an underestimated and vital skill to have. I believe that regardless of the company or job, every project will have some challenge or problem; this is inevitable. What defines a strong worker from a weak one is the ability to effectively deal with these setbacks and turn them into successes. This isn’t really something that can be taught in textbooks or lectures, but rather, needs to be experienced. During my two months here, every single issue I encountered taught me a little more about how to deal with hurdles and that is more valuable than anything I have encountered here. While marketing platforms and relevancy of strategies might change over time, this is a skill that will stay constant through the years. For that, I cannot thank Creative Agency Secrets enough.

 

Shout-outs And Thanks

I would also like to give a small shout-out to the CAS team for being such a cool group. Thank you to Conrado for being the best supervisor I could ever ask for and teaching me so much over the past two months. I don’t think I have met a more dedicated and patient teacher in my life, and without you, I probably wouldn’t have learned half of what I did. Tabhitha, your incredible knowledge on social media and website design never fails to amaze so thank you for showing me how logical and interesting digital marketing can really be. And of course, shout out to Rebecca for helping me with my email writing skills and explaining whether I should say “bollocks” or “bugger”. CAS team, I will miss our morning coffee sessions, midday snack runs, and all of our amazing conversations. Thank you all for helping make my internship abroad such a valuable one. I can’t wait to take what I have learned to future endeavors and wish the company the best of luck as I move on.

Stay cool, fam.

 

Your favorite (favourite) intern,

Shubha 

Dear Valued Customer – How Not To Write Customer Service Letters

From: Jim Bird  On Behalf Of reviewus@XXXXX.com

Sent: 16 October, 2012 10:04 PM

Subject: Thank you for using XXXXXX – Please Review Us

 

Dear Valued Customer,

According to our records you placed at least one order through XXXX in September. Thank you very much for your business and may it continue for a very long time.

We at XXXX hope that you are very happy with our services and ask that you spend just a few minutes leaving us a review at either (or both if you would be so kind) of the below sites:

http://www.trustpilot.co.uk/evaluate/www.XXXX.com

http://www.reviewcentre.com/add-XXXX.html

Of course we would prefer a glowing 5 Star review, however we are also interested in any feedback, suggestions or ideas you may have.

Thank you once again for using XXXX, and please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries.

Kind regards,

Jim Bird

Customer Services Manager


What could be improved in this letter?

I find it incredible that this type of templated mass messaging is being used FOR THE FIRST COMMUNICATION to a customer.

Hey did someone just think – it’d be a great idea to get some customer feedback?  What ho, Jeeves, let’s off and ask them to say we’re wonderful.

Crikey.

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Email Auto Responders – A Quick Tutorial

I am a fan of email auto responders that send a pre-determined email reply out from your address.  They can be very helpful for new business development as an information tool for prospective customers.

As ever, there are good and bad examples of automatic emails.  Here are four examples we have received recently that can show you the best and worst examples.  Most are from marketing and sales agencies / organisations and so the bad examples make me cry with shame….. there’s so much to improve.

Let’s get to work.

Example 1 – Failure Message

We got this after trying to email J Walter Thompson in Houston, TX.  Their website didn’t list the office contacts so we used a directory called MacRae’s Blue Book.   This is what came back from our email:

Directory Listings fail message

A request for contact that failed.

  • Check and update all the free listings services that have your company and office.
  • Create a unique email address so you can track effectiveness e.g. macraes@jwt.com would have worked here.
  • Contact yourself through them as a mystery shopping exercise at least once a year, preferably 6 monthly
  • Where do email enquiries go?  Which phone number do they list and who answers it?

Email effectiveness 4/10

Example 2 -Zero Information

Membership organisation NYAMA (New York American Marketing Association) whose membership-based services are surely the profit engine for the organisation.  But hey, send them a membership enquiry on their auto form and one week later [hardly an automatic response] this comes in:

Thank you for submitting this form

  • “Thank you for submitting this form.”  Great – send me what I already know I sent you
  • What happens next?  No mention of next steps towards becoming a member
  • Timeliness – this reply came back 5 days after we completed the online form
  • Nothing happened

Email effectiveness 2/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example 3 – Inbound Emails

When you send an enquiry in to a company’s ‘general’ email whether by form on the website or direct, what happens to that email?

Everyone knows that spammers and malcontents will be using it too – so what reassurance can you give people that their message has got through?

Great information auto-response

  • This one came from a retail marketing agency fronted by a TV celebrity.
  • They have good information about what to expect from the agency, the celebrity and where to get more information free / cheap and also training
  • But the email came from one general email address – they need to split the contact so people interested in the celebrity and people interested in the agency are directed to different places.
  • We wrote back to confirm our interest in the agency and received the same auto-response again.  Irritating.

Example 4 – the perfect first reply

And finally, a look at a nice, short friendly reponse from a media agency.

Perfect auto response email

  • The message gives a real person’s name as a point of contact
  • Sets clear expectations about what the agency will do next
  • Sounds genuinely friendly

Copy this one.

Autoresponders are a good tool to kick off your online marketing.

 
Simple. How many emails do you write daily? How many blog posts? You only have to write an autoresponder once. It will then go to as many new recipients as activate the trigger. Forever. It will always go out in the same time format that you set up at the start. It’s easy. You don’t have to think about it. And all the while it keeps up a relationship with your readers. Voilà.

And if you need help, let us know! Hire a Creative Agency Secrets team of copywriters to set up your auto responder – we know what we’re doing and can give you the shortcuts to great outcomes and customer engagement.

More With The Creative Agency Secrets GUIDE TO AUTORESPONDERS

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MBH Law logo

Law firm website case study

Mandee Sebire is the Practice Manager of the Wellington Law firm, Mahoney Burrowes Horner Lawyers.  She recently workedMBH Law logowith Creative Agency Secrets to get website redesign quotes for the business and we asked her to talk about the experience.

What was the challenge you faced when needing a new business website?

We didn’t have the knowledge of the basics – where to look for suppliers and what to look for.

What went well during the job?

Working with Creative Agency Secrets we gathered the right information, so we knew what we needed to look for. The businesses responding were giving prices in a range which helped with the selection of the agency we chose.

What was offered and was it what you wanted?

The people that applied gave us a good sense of what was out there and what we are looking for – we narrowed it down with different points for each one.

And if you were to give advice to someone else in the same situation?

Give Creative Agency Secrets a call – trying to do it on your own and not having the knowledge and the experience is like a needle in a haystack – talk to someone who has the knowledge of what you need and where to look.

If you want to use the Creative Agency Secrets team expertise to brief in your marketing project – get in touch.  We offer a range of services from briefing, assisting selection and project management.  

The Jedi Mindset for Selling Creativity

by Blair Enns host of Pricing Creativity, a workshop on 26th October 2018

blair-enss-webinar-banner

I used to think that business development effectiveness came down to knowing the right thing to do in the moment and that almost anybody could be trained to match the proper response to the appropriate stimulus. Silly me.

Of course, it’s not true, and that’s why most sales training is only marginally effective.

I see now that there are three layers to business development success and that knowing what to do in the moment – what I call applying the point of sales process – is the third and least meaningful one. The other two are far more important. So important in fact that if you get them right, the specific point of sales process is no longer vital. If you can remember to do it, great; if not, you can still get to a positive outcome.

The three layers of success, in reverse order of importance, are as follows:

3. Knowing what to do in the moment (sales process)
2. Knowing how to behave generally (behaviour)
1. Knowing what to think (mindset)

Of the three, knowing what to think – your mindset – trumps all else. It’s only when you’re thinking the right things that you will behave properly. Proper behaviour is the foundation for proper sales process, and it’s all built on the thoughts in your head.
Let me explain. For years, I would get calls from clients about specific situations. “What do you think I should do here?” I would give what I would consider the textbook WWP response. Push back here, say no there, ask for concessions, corral all the decision makers, close on a diagnostic, etc.

Later, I would sometimes hear that the specific point of sales process didn’t work.

When you swim back upstream from those moments it’s easy to see why many of them didn’t work. That specific behaviour was incongruent with the larger pattern of earlier behaviour. For example, pushing back on an RFP in the middle of the process is almost never going to work. It only generates cognitive dissonance and frustration with the client. If you really thought the RFP game wasn’t worth playing, you would have said so the minute you first heard the letters R-F-P.

Your Mindset: What Are You Thinking?

Your larger behaviour is driven not by what you’ve been trained to do but by what you’ve trained yourself to think. The thoughts in your head drive your general behaviour and that’s where you need to start. It’s mindset that makes a salesperson great. Training on process simply makes them greater.

If you want to sell from the high ground, push back on a flawed selection process and lower your cost of sale, you need to arm yourself with a series of mindsets that you can stack one on top of the other. They’ll form sort of a modular mantra that you recite silently to yourself in certain situations.

It would be easier for that business development person to raise the objection to the RFP right away if they had believed a few things, such as:

“I am the expert, I am the prize. I have skills and expertise that are of great value to you, Mr. Client.”

“My mission is to help you. I can only do that if you let me lead.”

The Seven Masteries

I see seven such mindsets that any seller of expertise needs to master so that they can behave like the expert in the sales cycle.

The first four are the foundational ones that lead to proper general behaviour. They are:

1. Mastering Focus (“I am the expert.”)
2. Mastering Purpose (“I am on a mission.”)
3. Mastering Leadership (“We’ll get there if you follow my lead.”)
4. Mastering Detachment (“All will not follow.”)

The last three mindsets are more nuanced for specific situations. They are:

5. Mastering Silence
6. Mastering Directness
7. Mastering Money

Together these mindsets form a plug-and-play toolkit to be assembled in advance of certain situations to form the basis for proper behaviour.

Each of these masteries is easy enough to understand by contemplating the word, imagining how this mindset would be beneficial in a sales situation and then developing your own internal language that you’ll practice and thus wire into thought patterns that lead to the beliefs and ultimately the behaviour.

You might think of other mindsets that I’ve missed or that are more valuable to you – great, just map out what you want to believe and how you want to behave, then work out the language patterns that build such beliefs and behaviours.

When you’re behaving properly then a little bit of training around some specific points of sales process will go a long way.
The subject of how to talk to yourself isn’t taught in the world of sales training. Everyone is teaching process, like I did for years. Think of the person you know who you deem to be the most natural salesperson however and it will hit you: their success is rooted not in what they say to their customers, but in what they say to themselves first.

You are the expert, you are the prize.

Start your pricing creativity training on October 26th by joining Blair at a Pricing Creativity WorkshopTickets are limited so book now!

How To Make Your Anniversary Promotion Campaigns Better

posters for anniversary campaigns

posters for anniversary campaigns

Celebrating an anniversary whether it be one, ten or a hundred years is certainly something to be proud of. You, as a company should almost be bursting at the seams to tell potential and existing customers the news.

Of course, for customers to get as excited as you, they expect something in return. That’s how the system works. They support you for x amount of years and at each anniversary expect a little appreciation. As Mark Twain astutely noted: “It is better to give than receive- especially advice” and following this I will offer my own – He’s right. And this is why businesses offer sales; they give a little in order to gain a lot. 

The question of course is how to celebrate and promote your anniversary. This can depend on a variety of facets such as the length of time of existence, the size of the company and the type of company.

It is for this reason I have come up with 4 simple categories.

4 types of anniversary campaigns

  1.  Sales & Giveaways
  2. Promotions & Interaction

  3. Reincarnation (Sticking with the religious theme)

  4. Internal Appreciation

1. Sales & Giveaways – Clever discounts and freebies

This one is relatively straightforward. Simply reducing the final bill for the customer will obviously get them interested – more bang for your buck has traditionally been the ‘go-to’ strategy. Giveaways however can work equally effective. The total bill may not reduce however the value perceived would still have increased. Better yet, it means more of your product is being consumed by your customers.

A common tip often acted upon is to link the number of years celebrated to the sale/gift. Whether it be 10% off if you’re celebrating your tenth anniversary or every 5th item is free for your fifth, linking the years to the deal instils that number into your customers brains, meaning they will be more likely to associate your business with success and longevity. As has been hugely publicised, customers who associate success and longevity with your business are more likely to purchase from you.

Remember, you can be clever about it – 40 years 40% off may be too much of a discount for some stores so be clever! 40 = XL in Roman numerals so have an XL sale, whether it be just a larger sale than usual or a sale focused on extra-large items, it will most likely prove cheaper than 40% off but have a similar effect.

2. Promotions & Interactions – Get the word out there

This deals with how your company reaches out to your customers and the general public. Obviously, if no one has heard that it’s your anniversary no one will be excited. This therefore is critical that it is done right. Larger companies may not have to worry about it and let word of mouth do the work. Smaller companies however have their own competitive advantage – personalization.

Personalized, handwritten notes prove effective time and time again. These interactions will obviously be critical to making your customers aware of your anniversary. Under interaction I have associated cut-cost ways to deliver value to your customer – tours. Customers are always interested in how their favorite good is actually made, so offer it! They aren’t expensive to run as attendees would actually prefer to see the business running as normal as possible and give your business greater exposure to the public..

3. Reincarnation – Bring back the past

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the reincarnation of old products and methods when companies celebrate birthdays or anniversaries so I won’t go into any detail about it. However, many don’t even consider replacing current prices with the traditional ones. An example would be if Coca-Cola were to sell cans for 5c each – their original price. You may be thinking, this should be under the sale category and you’re probably right, but as it refers to the original price, it could be seen as the rebirth of the price; okay compromise, it’s both.

4. Internal Interaction – Celebrate your team

They say nothing is more important than the customer; if that’s true then employees can’t be far behind. When celebrating an anniversary, celebrate your employees’ efforts. They are just as much a part of the company as the customers and therefore, deserve similar recognition and perceived benefits. Traditionally a party always goes down well, however ensure that at least the long-time employees receive a memento, something which they can be proud of and something that will portray your eternal appreciation.

Most successful anniversary campaigns utilize more than one of these categories so for greater success, try and aim to hit at least two. And remember, no matter what strategy you choose, conveying your appreciation for the past and enthusiasm for the future never hurts.

Need help brainstorming and planning ideas? We’d be glad to help. Click here to get in touch with us.

 

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Top 3 Marketing Agency Scams/Ripoffs

When you hire a marketing agency, you need to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth and aren’t being fooled into signing a contract that takes advantage of your lack of knowledge. Here are the top three marketing agency scams to teach you what not to do and help you make the right decision.

1. We can make you the “1st Result on Google”

Nobody in marketing can guarantee anything. These types of extraordinary promises are false because you can’t be sure of the actions of a target audience. Good agencies have their feet on the ground and focus on developing an effective SEO strategy rather than making empty promises. So, if an agency tells you that they’ll procure immediate results, or that they can get you to be the top search result because they have a “priority submit” with Google, it’s a strong red flag.

2. One Size Fits All

A proposed marketing strategy should be specifically tailored to your company and situation. A template marketing strategy won’t be effective because every business has a different model and needs a unique strategy that will cater to their strengths and build on their weaknesses. If they present a proposal that isn’t customised to your business, chances are, they’re after your money, not rooting for your success.

3. Lack of transparency

Some marketing agencies will assume their clients are oblivious to terms and strategies and will take advantage of this by providing very few details whilst promising grand results. If they aren’t being specific about procedures, timelines, and costs, it might be worth a little investigation. For example, we discovered that TopBuzz, a video marketing company,  took advantage of the fact that most people don’t read the “terms and conditions agreement” to hide the fact that as soon as a client gives them a video, TopBuzz owns the rights to the video forever. Don’t let them leave you in the dark. Good communication is key to a healthy working relationship between any marketing agency and their clients.

These are just three of many ways a marketing agency can take your money and not deliver.

If you want to learn more about marketing agency scams and how to avoid them, join us on July 31st, 2018 for our seminar How To Hire A Marketing Expert (When You Aren’t One)

 

how to hire a marketing expert flyer

How To Hide Your Business Address On Google

Having your business address easily accessible through Google is a fantastic resource for traditional brick and mortar businesses. However, in today’s world, there are many e-commerce companies or organisations that simply don’t need their address openly available to the public. If you fall into this category, this post is for you.

If your address is on Google My Business and you want to hide it, here are 3 easy steps to get it done.

While I will be using our company, Creative Agency Secrets, as an example, it’s worth mentioning that we keep our address visible to the public since we have a physical office space that many of our clients visit. Nevertheless, this is a very useful tool for many businesses, such as one of our clients, AmCham. AmCham is a virtual company whose employees work from home, and as a result, they don’t want the addresses public. So let’s get started.

Step 1: Get to the “Info” page

The first step is to log in to your Google My Business page. On your Google My Business portal (located on the first page), click the menu bar on the top left corner of the screen and select “Info”

Google My Business Portal

 

Step 2: Edit Your Address

On this page, select your address and a window should pop up where you can edit your address settings.

Info Page With Address

 

Step 3: Change Visibility Settings

Scroll down to the bottom of this window and you’ll see a box saying “I also serve some customers at my business address”. Un-check this box and your address will be hidden from the public.

Address settings

 

Bonus – Step 4: Edit your radius of service

Many companies can only offer their services in a certain area. Google gives you the option to adjust your service area in the window to ensure your business prospects are within reach and that you’re only getting relevant inquiries for jobs.

You can either select the “Region, city or postal code” option and add a general area your business operates in, or select the second option, “Within ___ km of my business”, and establish a radius of access for your business. And of course, don’t forget to click “Apply” at the bottom right to make sure it’s all saved.

Set radius of business

For example, one of our past clients, MethSolutions, offers meth testing in their clients’ locations. However, they can only service locations that their certified samplers can access by car. They have hidden their main office address, but each sampler stationed around New Zealand has a specific but limited area that they can reach and meth test. They used the “Region, city, or postal code” option to ensure that they will get business opportunities from local and accessible clients, but don’t necessarily have to give their exact location away. As the picture shows, one of the areas the can access is the suburb Pegasus in Christchurch, so Google Maps highlights that region.

MethSolutions business area

We hope this helped you optimise your use of the Google location feature. Good luck and let us know if you have any questions or concerns!

How To Create A Seamless Facebook Profile And Cover Photo

Ford on Facebook

Ford on Facebook with matching cover photo and profile image.

A matching Facebook cover photo and profile picture looks professional and exciting.  Look at the Ford one here – see the large image becomes the background behind the smaller logo picture?  Cute!

You can do so many things with it such as making your Facebook followers laugh or just to make your profile look professional. But how do you line up the two images and make it work? Read on.

How to line up Facebook cover photo with a profile picture

1. Screenshot your Facebook profile page: The first step is to take a screenshot of your profile page for size reference. Paste this screenshot into  PowerPoint or a similar programme where you can CROP the screenshot. We’ll be using our client, Rowperfect, as an example:

Screenshot of Rowperfect Facebook page

Screenshot of the Rowperfect Facebook page

2. Crop your chosen picture into two images: now that you have your profile screenshot and have pasted it into  PowerPoint you can begin cropping your desired image. Detailed instructions follow this image…follow steps 1-4 frame by frame below.cropping

  • FRAME 1: mark your cover photo and your profile photo. The blue rectangle we’ve created represents the cover photo size area and the red square represents the profile picture. Remember to paste the screenshot exactly as it is and do not re-size it, even though it is larger than the PowerPoint work area.
  • FRAME 2: import the image you want as your combined profile picture and cover photo. Then re-size it so it is as big as the blue and red rectangle combined. Line it up as you wish.
  • FRAME 3: duplicate your now re-sized imported image, place it in the same location as its original and crop your imported image and its duplicate to be the size of the blue rectangle and red square respectively.
  • FRAME 4: now you have your two images, save the big one as COVER PHOTO and the smaller square one as PROFILE PICTURE.

3. Place them on your Facebook profile page: now you have your two images you can place the PROFILE PICTURE image on your Facebook profile picture and use the COVER PHOTO image as your Facebook profile cover. If all is done correctly your Facebook profile cover photo and profile picture will now line up together and look flash, just like the Rowperfect Facebook page!

Screenshot of Rowperfect Facebook page

Be creative: more interesting ideas

Here are a few ideas we found that might spark some inspiration for you… speech bubbles, a cartoon bird house, multiple images overlaid or a camera icon.  Be creative.

ideas

Facebook profile picture ideas and improvements

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