How to find digital marketers

You can look on freelancer websites and marketplaces. Some of these are specialist sites, e.g. Toptal is for UX/UI people.

  1. Upwork | Hire Freelancers. Make things happen.
  2. http://Freelancer.com
  3. Clarity — On Demand Business Advice allows you to ask questions first and then hire the people who answer. You can buy advice over the phone by the minute. It’s a good way to get quick answers.
  4. http://Peopleperhour.com
  5. Expert360 | Freelance Management Software
  6. Toptal – Hire Freelance Talent from the Top 3%
  7. http://Freeup.com
  8. Log In or Sign Up Linked In will allow you to search for people with those skills in your region.

After you have chosen the marketplace and the skillset you want; you will need to be expert in how to brief an agency, how to write an agency pitch and ways to select from a range of candidates for your work. That’s the subject of another question!

customer review, 5 star review, happy customer review,

Customer Reviews – what about the bad ones?

Reviews are essential for businesses building brand visibility online.

But bad reviews make my toes curl. Sometimes they are fair, sometimes not. What can the marketing team do about this?

Different pathways for different reviews

Treating different customers differently is a core principle of good CRM. But until the review is published, you won’t know whether the customer is going to give you a good or a bad review.

Take a look at this – an alternative pathway for your “less good” business reviews.

Make every review count

A Mock-up Review Page

Starting from a review page set up within our software, your customer then moves down three possible pathways. If they give you a 4 or 5 star review, they arrive here.

And this is of course, the normal Google Business Reviews page.

If the customer selects a 1,2 or 3 star in the first screen they head off a different path, to this page. Where the review is captured and forwarded to the business. But the crucial difference it’s not on your public Google Business page.

The red square links to the Google Business page, so the customer can post a public review.

Sneaky or “allowable” marketing?

You choose – would you do this for your brand?

I have the contacts to set up this service for any business – get in touch.

marketing problem, angry man problem, problem solving marketing,

Problem Solving for Marketing

Solving marketing problems is difficult.  I don’t like doing it – unless I know a solution or have a good, educated guess about what could work.

A client situation emerged which serves to illustrate the challenge.  We reached an impasse.  I had offered advice, our progress was smooth until we got to the point of marketing to new customers who don’t yet know the brand.  And one of the client team was deeply opposed to the tactic I proposed.  I’ll explain how we got through this later.

Solving marketing problems

One of my podcasts summarised three types of problem – messes, problems and puzzles.  These are ‘complex’ problems – ones with multiple factors affecting the situation.  Modern marketing gets more of these – because with omni-channel promotions it’s increasingly hard to isolate a single input-output signal to explain an outcome.

The author paraphrases Gerald Ashley as he describes the different approach needed for each type of problem 

  • Messes are ill-defined in form and structure and so are most like real life.
  • Problems have a defined structure with potential solutions, but none are absolutely clear and right.
  • Puzzles are well defined and have specific solutions that can be worked out.

Marketing problems are frequently perceived to be puzzles, but in actual fact are probably messes.  The big insight is in this quote:

Most of us crave certainty and as much control as possible. Politicians and business leaders are just the same and perhaps even more so. ‘Bring me facts and experts. I want a solution now!’ By implication, those in positions of authority tend to treat most issues as puzzles, sometimes problems and never messes. As a result they tend to seek shortcuts to answers that are probably wrong. The biggest mistake is to carve out part of a mess, treat it as a problem and then solve it as a puzzle. This can lead to very bad decisions.

Back to my client ‘problem’

We reviewed the situation and whether it was a complex problem or not.  It was.  

It wasn’t a puzzle because the structure of marketing activity was reasonably clear-cut.

It wasn’t a mess because there was structure, there was a framework of activity and the desired output was prospects who hadn’t previously known about the brand.  And so we decided this was an actual problem.

I thought hard about what to do.  This was the series of steps

 

  1. I asked the client what they did when they were advising someone and had disagreement
  2. I reviewed the steps we’d taken thus far and gained agreement around the success of the process, method and outcomes to date
  3. I narrowed the discussion to the point where the “leap of faith” sat. What were the inputs we had prepared (there were 2) and these were acknowledged
  4. Then I walked away and left the client team to discuss.

They have not specifically told me what they discussed or what they decided. But it’s clear we are still working together. And so I am presuming the first (tentative) step towards the leap of faith activity has been taken and I’ll hear what the outcomes are in due course.

woocommerce, Full multi currency list

Case Study: Multi Language Website

New challenges are what we thrive on and so the opportunity to work with a client on migrating them to a Multi Language and Multi Currency website was exciting.

Specifying the Minimum

WordPress Multi Language plugin logo

WordPress Multi Language plugin logo

Key to getting a great outcome was the first step of the site adjustment – what was the minimum viable site which would work?

The site has three main parts – a membership area, an online shop and a blog.  We decided to start with the blog and shop.

Creative Agency Secrets used our Sub-Contracted Services to find a great developer for the job.  It was important that they had already used the plugin we selected – WordPress Multi Language (WPML).

The most visited pages were prioritised for translation and the migration plan included adding shop products in descending order of popularity.

Integrations with MailChimp were also planned and a range of marcoms tactics to publicise to the existing user base.

Currency choices

Stage two was to add multi-currency to the site.  Since German was the language we added, it was clear the Euro currency was needed.  Finding a good plugin wasn’t hard – but customising the display to suit the site made usability better.

The default install is below – the user has to notice that the flag doesn’t match their country and then click the down arrow to find alternatives.  This was clumsy and not very obvious since nothing actually mentioned that this related to payment choices.

Woocommerce. multi currency shop,

Drop down currency choice

 

Our improvements were made with two changes – firstly displaying the currencies side by side in a grey bar and secondly by adding a label “Change Currency”.

label to improve currency selection visibility

Change Currency label

Lastly we recommended the client pay for the fully functioned version and add many more currencies – we selected these based on the countries where website visitors come from.

woocommerce, Full multi currency list

Full multi currency list

Unexpected outcomes and challenges

Here’s our list of things which we found challenging and which should help you shortcut your own learning.

  • Back end is duplicated now in each language – but you have to select each page or post individually for translation
  • Creating new landing pages for each language means that the URL needs to also change, making the site structure more complex
  • The tags and categories can be translated, listed for the translation team to work on or left untranslated
  • Categories lists (created alphabetically in English) are listed differently in other languages
  • The media library is common to both – but labels, naming and searching is in each language
  • Publicity tools like OneSignal work across the whole site and were sending out updates in both languages.  Customers noticed and told us they didn’t like this.
  • Mail Chimp allows editing of database field labels e.g. “Subscribe here” but we found that a lot more work was needed to update all the messaging with subscription confirmation emails, unsubscribe messages etc.

Overall we found that we needed to create “rules” for the teams using the site – marketing, translation, web and merchandising so that it was clear where and how we expected any product, image or article to display and be included in the taxonomy.  Many of these rules could not be anticipated and so necessitated detailed checking of each others’ work to identify mis-matches.

cleaneze, carpet cleaning, Auckland carpets

Daylight savings promotion ideas

Twice a year you get a chance to run a promotion themed around the biannual clock changes in spring and autumn (fall).  We call it daylight savings or “summer time” but either way, the clocks advance or retreat an hour.

Here are 5 themes for promotions you can run in your marketing

cleaneze, carpet cleaning, Auckland carpets

Daylight Savings promotion for clean carpets

5 Daylight Savings Promotions

A reminder – some products change over time and so using this clock change as a reminder can help your customers.  Toothbrushes need changing each season; Carpets get cleaned twice a year – a campaign we did for Cleaneze carpet cleaning.

Something to do – A new activity which reflects the new season we move into.  Start a sport in Springtime.  Or new clothes for winter.

Stopping doing something – This is great for diet products or changing habits – if you swim in the ocean in summer, you could move to pool swimming in winter.

A change of routine – working with children and particularly small babies is challenging getting them to sleep.  Promotions for Sleep remedies, child care advice and behaviour coaching.

Modern clocks are often automatically set to change – but how about all your old manual clocks – could you offer a service to show how to change the clock on your car dashboard?

Meanwhile, what could you customer be doing with the time saved?  Send her a stress ball, a gel eye mask to relax with, a new book or magazine voucher or a coupon for a free coffee and a muffin.

 

Email list, marketing permission, contact options, GDPR

A nicely written GDPR email

Today I received a GDPR email message from a LinkedIn connection – we are 1st degree connected.  But because he’s in Europe, all his written electronic mass communications are now governed by GDPR – the European Union legislation General Data Protection Regulation.

The full email is reproduced below.  Here is my analysis of why it’s such a nicely composed text.  If you are in B2B marketing, I recommend taking a close look and deciding if this sort of annual review of your mailing list is appropriate.

Because we pay (mostly) for our email mass communications in a monthly fee calculated on the size of our mailing list, it’s worthwhile doing a “cull” to remove people who are either not reading your messages (since Gmail introduced the tabbed viewing this has increased for my list)  or those who are no longer relevant to you or vice versa.  It keeps your messaging tight and focused.

6 direct mail copywriting tips

  1. The opener explains why – in large font.  The subject line is “Why did we connect in the first place?” so I was intrigued to open it.
  2. The addressee (me) is personalised.
  3. The four points summarise Paul’s brand offering and gives me more reason to check out his current work.
  4. Then he justifies continuing to mail me post-GDPR (not sure I buy this – but points for trying)
  5. He gives permission to unsubscribe and suggests reasons why I should do this.
  6. Lastly, in the footer he reminds me to update my LinkedIn contact preferences – a very nice touch

So here’s his article in which he explains what IDK means and here’s the list management options for future communications showing my selections.

I think this is clear and totally appropriate.  Get in touch if you’d like me to review your mailing list strategies.

Email list, marketing permission, contact options, GDPR

Email list marketing permission options

The Full Email Text

Rebecca, You are receiving this email because we are 1st. grade connected on LinkedIn.

Rebecca,

“I did not have time to write a short note” sic. Mark Twain The words appeared in a letter [JRMT] 1871 June 15, Letter from Mark Twain to James Redpath, Elmira, New York

  1. Was it because my profile caught you attention, or was it something in my Company  page which appealed to you?
  2. Was it one of my groups on Business Development or Logistics Collaboration that inspired you?
  3. I know …it’s my management books drew you over the hurdle, and gave you courage to send me an invitation!
  4. Or you wanted to network and reach out to bring your services or product under my attention.
Good because Linked-In delivers leads!

We are lost without connections!
Sic. Owen Jones

All good reasons and fine with me…, as these are my reasons too.

By connecting 1st grade you signed-in = pre GDPR opt-in – when accepting the connection request.
Your connection is as valuable to me as exchanging a business card containing all contact data during a life network event. A licence to contact… by phone, fax (I still remember), mobile phone (now WhatsApp), mail … This in order to set-up a business deal, meeting (now virtual) and social event… stay in contact.

And which is more, exchange or reach out for knowledge, an introduction, bring articles, whitepapers, books – all now with e- extension – which added to our success to each other’s attention and use. Shortcutting the learning curve, avoiding pitfalls, grow faster.

It is cumbersome to maintain contact with your network (it contains the verb …work) so here is how I do it: I am a giver – the golden rule in networking: give and not expect to be given – by sharing courtesy content, summits, introductions…. Proper GDPR set-up in place to safeguard and cherish our contact.

When your interest, position, business evolves, it is okay to: * Unsubscribe * or hit the * No longer interested *,  * Unspecified * , * Other * (a reason appreciated) tab. No hard feelings!

But don’t throw * Did not sign up * back at me because you did  – pre- GDPR – check your linked-in connection list.

It gets worse  with * Inappropriate content *: how am I supposed to know things changed when you are not telling me, your once 1st linked-in chosen contact, what changed, what your interests are today… so Update your preference.

Have we lost the art of 1to1 communication?

Do not *S.s.s.s.p.p.p.p.a.a.a.m.m.m.m.m.m.* me.
I for one will never do that. Never!!!

Next time before sending: IDK * Think 2-ice .. Here is Why 

Having said this, I rest my case with respect for your decision and the consequence that our 1st connection will be discarded.

Best Personal Regards,
Paul Van den Brande
Co-Managing Partner

—We Never Forget You Have A Choice —

—–&—-

You are receiving this email because we connected on LinkedIn.

Our mailing address is:

Noble House Group

Max Hermanlei 74a

Brasschaat 2930

Belgium

Add us to your address book

–We Never Forget You Have A Choice! —

Your GDPR safety requires you to update your preferences

GDPR Contact Paul Van den Brande – pvdb@noblehousegroup.eu
Your data will never be shared without prior information.
You can change your mind at any time using the unsubscribe from this list
No hard feelings!

Digital Channels for Sponsorship

Getting digital marketing sponsorship right is a challenge.  Activations using digital channels depend on robust messaging strategies and careful persona creation.  In this presentation we have a case study from Air New Zealand and Akzo Nobel Volvo Ocean Race which you can adapt to your needs.

Rebecca was speaking on the topic of digital channels for sponsorship at the Conferenz Sponsorship Summit and NZ Marketing Summit joint event.  Here are the slides and a video of my keynote.

 

Thanks to Lana Mihelcic who kindly shot the video for me.  Connect with her if you want a dynamic sports event manager or have contacts in sailing and The Americas Cup.

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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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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