Voice – the oldest marketing and sales medium in the world and said to be “the second oldest profession” has now become the newest most exciting social media.
This week I have been doing a telephone survey and the freshness of insight I gained from speaking to real people whose job depends on having a good working relationship with my client was pure gold. I found them a chance to win back a big lapsed client; we understood their ethical leadership position in the industry; I was able to differentiate two core customer groups and develop golden questions to identify these tendencies in others.
As a marketing campaign it has delivered huge ROI already – and that was just the pilot.
Clubhouse rolls out
The launch of a digital chat room where you can speak (but not write or emoji) to other people who are gathering because they want to discuss the same topic as you has become the latest “wow” of the online social media world.
I see this as the digital opposite of my phone survey.
The excitement from pundits is real. Somehow having an app which allows users to schedule events with catchy titles like
10x List Building Secrets
Shark Tank winners: how to be a founder and keep your sanity!
Beauty industry DISRUPTION [yes, their capitalisation, not mine]
How to talk to racists
is making marketing and tech folk around the world go mad with enthusiasm. [See screenshots at the bottom of the page.]
Some of these topics are frankly of no interest to me at all. And others have been nice chats with smart, well-meaning people. There’s a good UK marketing room which does “breakfast” every morning – they theme each weekday and sustainability was Wednesday and Tuesday was packaging. Both were well moderated and the topics included examples and case studies as well as discussion about challenges (Hello Fresh’s high plastic use; How to enable kids to unpack their toys and reuse cardboard as a play resource).
And copycats are already coming along – Fireside is a rival service already being talked about.
Same old same old?
Is Clubhouse just a symptom of the pandemic or has a truly new marketing medium launched?
The nicest part of a voice only platform has been the civility. Attendees don’t seem ready to yell and abuse each other and there hasn’t yet been a “Jackie Weaver” incident made public. A kinder version of the internet would certainly be welcomed.
I was also introduced to Frames this week – a virtual reality version of Zoom which is in private Alpha. It looks like any VR room but allows you to speak to other avatars; to live stream; put “pictures” and video onto the walls of rooms and design the virtual environment. The best part is a little blue line across the floor where your conversation can only be heard by others inside the line.
Yet is this really worthwhile?
From a brand marketing point of view, not yet. Mass adoption hasn’t begun.
From a direct marketing point of view – not at all, there’s no way of finding and contacting people except by hoping they’ll show up to your next room event.
From a personal branding and ‘influencer’ content creation point of view – yes some people are punting their expertise – but are they finding the right followers? Who knows.
I do not like marketing that depends mainly on winning a personal popularity contest. It is not replicable or repeatable.
Marketing done well
The best marketing is done direct to people who have the possibility of becoming customers. Going niche not going broad involves finding the right audience not the largest audience, sharing resonant messages not undifferentiated spray-and-pray, where customers appreciate that helpful insights and advice gives a better return on investment.
For now, I’m not recommending you spend too much time on Clubhouse – but I do suggest getting on the blower – you never know what you’ll find out with some open questioning of your clients and prospects.
Get notified of the room going live & follow the moderators
As ever, marketers are early into the new gig and some set some pretty onerous conditions for joining. And the coders have set up some simple ‘gamification’ tools to enable the fame game of popularity to grow your group.
The Clubhouse app is still in development – it’s not yet available for Android users (70% of all smartphones) and there are clear missing tools like the ability to search for a group or a user using key words or the ability to “produce” content, record or stream media into the group. It’s early days.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Clubhouse-follow.png804658Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2021-02-18 15:33:382021-02-18 15:33:38Is voice the new marketing medium?
Bloggers are continuously being sought after because of the relationships they have with readers. When you are going to reach out to a blogger to make a connection, there are things that you should do and things that you should avoid. As you learn more about blogger outreach, you can work to improve your authority in the search engines.
You Need Bloggers to Boost Your SEO
You’re already ahead of the game if you know that you’re in need of SEO help. Search engine optimization isn’t just about doing some keyword research. You need the bloggers to help you with your visibility. When there are more backlinks from authoritative websites and blogs pointing to your own site, it can help you immensely.
Bloggers know that they can help you. However, it’s not their job. This means that you need to ensure that you don’t come across too needy. Before you reach out to bloggers, be sure that the rest of your SEO game is in check.
Not All Bloggers Have a Good Reputation
Bloggers are not always nice. They know they have a good blog. They’ll try to get you to bend over backward – and it may not be the best relationship to have.
Some bloggers inflate their audience numbers. Some bloggers will want to charge. Some bloggers may even refuse to communicate with you.
By doing a bit of digging, you can find out what kind of reputation a blogger has before you even try to reach out to them.
The Blog Audience Matters
It’s important to do some blog research. You need to make sure that the audience of the blog meshes with your business. If you have a similar target audience, it’s going to make it easier for you to show the blogger that there’s a connection. If you’re focusing solely on the number of readers of that blog, you’re bound to fall short.
Show What You Have to Offer
There are all sorts of things that you can offer to a blogger to show that you can help them.
Offer to write a blog to share in their blog. Run a contest for their readers. Provide something that they may not be able to get from just anywhere else. Make it unique.
You cannot simply ask for something without offering something in return. Bloggers aren’t looking for charity cases. If you want to get your link shared on blogs, you need to establish a partnership. Present your offer within your first effort to reach out to the blogger so that they know that you’re not looking for a handout.
Make Genuine Connections
Most bloggers already know their worth. They get contacted all the time for purposes of SEO. This means that you have to make genuine connections. Focus on following the blogs and the bloggers for a while. Connect with them on social media. Like a few of their blogs. Share a blog post on your own social media account.
After you’ve followed them for a while, make a connection. Reach out to them by email or even by tagging them in a post. Try to get a natural conversation started. Then, only after you feel as though you know the blogger, reach out to them. Talk to them more about who you are and why you think it would be great for the two of you to work together.
Ultimately, when you reach out to bloggers, make it personal. Think about what you’re going to say so that it’s not coming out as a cry for help. Remember, too, that if the idea of reaching out to bloggers makes you sick to your stomach, you can learn more by using a blogger outreach service.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2021-02-14 09:00:182021-02-18 15:38:185 Things to Consider When Reaching Out to Bloggers
Anyone who is updating their marketing plan or business plan knows that there’s a section that includes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And within this section is the PEST acronym for political, economic, social and technology – all areas to consider where changes may come from that affect your business.
How to assess politics for marketing?
Unless you are super into politics, most of us are not aware of the plans of the civil service and the government of the day. Some things hit the news, but most of the work goes on without too much hitting our consciousness.
So you write the Political part based on general knowledge and guesswork. And it’s not good.
No more, here’s a great way to find out what is coming up that will affect your business planning.
Briefings to Incoming Ministers
The New Zealand civil service writes a briefing for all the new ministers after a general election. This document is later published so we, the electorate, can see what they are planning. The BIMs are now all published for the current Ardern government.
Take a read of the briefings most relevant to your area of business – from the Finance Minister, to Revenue, Small Business, Tourism, Callaghan and the Digital Economy Communications – I found these fascinating.
Not all the briefing is public – there are redacted parts which are sensitive (some relate to jobs, others to matters like likely tax changes).
Every year, a little over 135,000 prospective students apply for MBA programs across the United States. MBA programs are a popular option for those who desire to work in a variety of business fields. As the next group of applicants prepares to begin their journey, it is important to answer one question: which MBA program is right for me? The program you select shapes your professional influences and network. Luckily, since there are a vast number of options, applicants will find a program that best suits their personal and professional interests.
In the COVID-19 world, it is important to investigate strong online programs since you will unlikely be spending much time in the classroom. The following guide is a helpful tool to learn more about finding the best online MBA program. The contained information can help you determine whether the requirements of business school will help you achieve your academic and career goals.
Considerations for Choosing an MBA Program
Deciding to pursue an MBA is a major decision but applicants have additional aspects that must be considered before starting the application process. Before making a concrete decision, create a plan that suits your skills, career goals, and academic talents. The following considerations will help you craft this plan in more detail:
The strength of alumni networks impacts the school’s perception and reputation, as well as the success of graduates. Questions to ask when reviewing the alumni network include:
Do alums participate in local events?
How engaged are the alumni?
What are the alumni doing now?
What is the size of the network?
In addition to providing top educational opportunities and teaching students the skills to become the next business leaders, one of the most important services a school can offer is assisting graduates with jumpstarting their careers. Most MBA programs have a career services department to support all new graduates with career opportunities.
Most MBA’s have concentrations in marketing, finance, human resources, international business, etc. which can help you further tailor your career business interests.
Cost is probably the most important factor for those considering an MBA. You must find a balance between potential salary and cost when selecting a school. With MBA’s notoriously being a costly degree, you want to find a school you can afford. Average tuition costs for an online MBA can range from $11,000 for a public graduate school to $25,000 for a private graduate school per year. More reputable programs run even higher.
Most programs require students to complete between 55 and 65 credits with around one-third focusing on core topics. Core classes are consistent across all business schools and include a curriculum consisting of financial accounting, managerial statistics, operations, management, business analytics, and the global economic environment.
When considering the location of prospective schools, students must determine whether they wish to work in the same city post-graduation. Networking is a critical aspect of the MBA experience and that hard work can be wasted if you move away.
Paying attention to a program’s reputation is critical since those MBA’s with respected professors and renowned alumni will attract attention. Also, the business community knows which schools function as talent pipelines. Rankings give hiring panels and recruiters a sense of how the school prepares graduates for employment.
In your search for the best online MBA program, still consider top schools but focus on any appealing school. Try to learn about the programs you have never heard of since your dream MBA could be at a location you never expected. Use the above considerations during your review to find the best options to meet your personal and career requirements.
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2021-01-28 15:42:342021-02-02 15:43:53What to Look for in an Online MBA Programs
The freight shipping world continues to go through its gyrations and disruptions that started with heavy impacts in Spring 2020. Now, in the latest chapter of issues, the cost of freight shipping out of China to overseas destinations has skyrocketed. Combined with a systemic shortage of containers internationally, the price tag on moving a container went from $2,000 at the end of 2019 to a whopping $9,000 per unit. But the demand is not being driven by price-gouging on the service side. It’s a far simpler matter of not having enough containers to move goods with. As a result, inventory that needs to be shipped to meet orders is piling up at the docks because there isn’t enough equipment ready to stock, store and load with.
a perfect storm of interconnected disrupting circumstances has caused significant congestion and delays at New Zealand’s ports.
How Freight Containers Move and Why 2020 Was Different
Mechanically, shipping containers have to move in a circular pattern year-round. As goods move out of Asia, the shipping container used to move them relocates to the U.S. or Europe as the destination point. As the cargo boats move back to Asia to pick up more goods again, they either carry inventory headed back to Asia or they move empty units, but the returning container stock replenishes the numbers for new, outgoing orders. However, when 2020 hit with the pandemic lockdowns, the circular pattern and frequency of international container replenishment were disrupted. Instead, thousands of large size containers sat in dock areas at their original destination points without moving back to China and similar. When overseas trade started to pick up again going into the fall, there were few containers to work with and no new ones built fast enough to fill in the gap.
The congestion building up at ports waiting for equipment to ship adds to the problem, triggering more and more delays of freight shipping internationally. And, where companies and clients want their items to move faster, they end up having to pay a premium for that benefit versus waiting with everyone else. Those costs add up and have ultimately contributed to overall container shipping fees jumping 400 to 500 percent in 2020.
Fundamental Changes in the Freight Business are Pending
Eventually, the supply of containers will even out again as shipping picks up, particularly now that a COVID vaccine is starting to make its way through societies and reducing the need for ongoing lockdowns. However, that transition back to normality will probably take another year, and shipping logistics in the meantime are going to be hampered on the international level.
Companies have not been sitting idly by. Many of the big inventory movers and freight shipping services have been investing their capital into increased logistical centre resources on the domestic side so they have the additional stock and resilience to handle supply-side shocks as occurred in Spring 2020. It’s been made clear to everyone that, while freight shipping has come a long way in the past decades, it is still very vulnerable to demand spikes, and improvements in container logistics are still sorely needed.
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Rena7.jpg613920Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2021-01-20 09:42:492021-01-26 09:43:51Where did All the Freight Containers Go?
I have a good website and products. My social media marketing is not resulting in sales. Do I need a media expert?
Analyse past sales patterns
My view is that whether your social media drives sales or not depends on your industry and your target audience.
For the vast majority of businesses, social media does not result in direct sales. This is because customers are not in “buying mode” when browsing social sites.
And so here’s a quick check which you can do – share it here as well if you want more feedback.
List all the sales you made in the past month(s)
Rank them by value highest $ down to lowest
For the top 20% by value, write down against each one how the customer came to buy from you
Is there a pattern?
So for example in (3) above – you might say they came from your mailing list, they might be a previous customer, word of mouth recommendation, or walked into your shop or know a staff member.
It may pay to do some follow up calls if you can – or to ask every January 2021 customer how they found out about you and see if the pattern develops in the same way.
Know your customers
From this, you will begin to learn more about your existing customer base. What their patterns of behaviour are and how your business gets its sales.
Now, if you think this type of customer ALSO uses social and might be persuaded to buy from you via that channel, this is the time to review your marketing strategy and see if social media could bring you sales.
The Bigger Picture of Digital Marketing in 2021
Three things for you to check first
The vast majority of social “sales” come from paid advertising or retail shop listings on social sites. So you need to review your margins and your advertising budget for 2021 in your marketing strategy before deciding to launch into social media marketing in a big way. Can you afford to both hire a social media marketing expert and buy advertising on social? Or would your money be better spent on the channels you already have which bring in customers from your analysis in the steps 1-4 above.
Content marketing is more than just “social media”. The things you are posting on your social channels could also be put to use in newsletters, website blogs and in-store. So don’t only talk about social media – go broader to review whether content marketing is right for your business.
Consult experts to get yourself quickly up the learning curve. BUT be cautious about hiring people who have worked in big enterprise firms – a client of mine got badly burned using an expert who just spent a lot of money with only $800 return for their multi-month investment in their services. Yes they did take up references – and you should too. Become an expert in how to brief a marketing agency first – this will clarify what they do and set expectations. Below are links to articles which you should read first.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/jon-tyson-GdczycaOnug-unsplash-scaled.jpg25601920Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2021-01-13 09:00:192021-01-12 10:20:53The Bigger Picture of Digital Marketing in 2021
Concern continues to mount over the shortage of skilled cyber security experts. Companies across the globe, regardless of industry, are unable to source the talent they need to build defences against threats that are increasing in sophistication and volume. There is a disproportionate rise in threat levels and not enough people entering the workforce to address IT concerns, creating a cyber security job gap that seems to have no end in immediate sight. This also applies to marketers – how may martech experts also have cyber security credentials? Not many I’d guess.
A Hard Look at the Numbers
The Information Systems Security Association conducted a survey of cyber security professionals and came to the conclusion that as many as 70% of those questioned believed their organisation has felt the effects of the skill shortage. Close to 45% of respondents believe that the gap has increased in recent years. A marginal 7% believe things are improving. However, another survey estimated that around 4 million trained IT professionals would be needed to close the gap. This many jobs would increase the cyber security workforce by 62% within the USA alone.
A Look at Training Needs
If you haven’t settled on a career field, or you are looking to change to something that offers more job security, you should explore cyber security careers for a number of promising options. Though there are many aspects of security you can focus on, you will need to enrol in cyber training courses and earn your certification in areas of interest in order to get your foot in the door. If you have already been working in IT but haven’t been able to advance past an entry-level position, becoming familiar with the cyber security framework and threats is a great starting place. You can use advanced training courses to help you stand out from others in the field.
High quality training courses are the first step in bridging the cyber security gap, and there are plenty of ways to access this education. College programs, online organisations, and workplace retraining are just a few ways individuals can move into IT security. However, there is some concern that there is little room for real-world application in these programs, making continuing education (while in the field and on the job) another priority. Dark web threats and cybercriminals are evolving as rapidly as the technology they use, increasing the need for up-to-date training at all levels of IT involvement.
A Look at Factors Impacting the Gap
The cyber security landscape is constantly changing, and with those changes comes a critical need to continually assess talent and educate those entering the profession. Surveys of current cyber security professionals indicate there are several factors contributing to the skill gap. These include:
• IT workers don’t have a specific career path
• Lack of access to basic cyber security certifications
• Inability to find a mentor or rely on peer support
• Difficulty landing a cyber security internship
A majority of IT workers started their careers handling more basic security functions and IT roles, yet as the threats rose and companies were left exposed, many of these individuals were thrown into more advanced roles without proper training. Other professionals thought of moving into cyber security for the career potential, yet they didn’t spend the time systematically developing their skills. Proficiency, when learning on the fly, can take years. This on its own becomes a major security threat. Formal training reduces this liability.
Another factor is business executives’ lack of awareness of the importance of information security. Without a top-down approach to education and instruction, cyber specialists within the company may be trying to handle both operations and the instruction of their peers. This scattered response leaves too many areas unaddressed, and those who could succeed in a cyber security role may never get the opportunity to learn. Organisational priority toward cyber threats and security should make training a priority both for those coming into the company and those already established in their positions.
A Look at Your Future
As an IT professional or someone looking to make a career in the IT security field, you don’t need to wait on a company to send you to school or walk you through their cyber defence program. Your career advancement is your responsibility, and you can give yourself a better reputation over the competition when you enrol in cyber certification courses on your own. Look for programs that emphasise practical, hands-on learning.
Your education will increase your hiring potential and help bridge the gap in cyber security jobs.
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/nahel-abdul-hadi-flha0KwRrRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg20482560Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2021-01-12 09:34:052021-01-12 09:35:19The Cyber Security Job Gap
Dump down any words which could be part of your brand name.
Then do individual words – and create 2 and 3 word phrases with those words in.
Then stop. Take a day off.
Next day do some research – go to forums, reddit, amazon and read reviews people write for products in your niche, for podcasts, books and discussions. While reading, write down any phrases that seem to jump out at you as having resonance.
Add these to your list – one line per name choice.
Short list brand names
Now comes the narrowing down part. Create a short list and write one option on each separate piece of paper.
Hang them around your room. Every time you walk in or out look at them… add ticks to the ones which resonate. Get familiar with them, edit them, add new ones that occur to you.
When you have a short list of 3, ask your trusted friends what they think. Listen carefully to their replies.
When you have a short list of 2, ask the public what they think. Listen carefully to their replies.