Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Tag

Is It Time to Change that Tune?   2 comments

Lately I feel like a broken record. I’ve been talking to so many of my clients and friends about an epiphany that seems so obvious and mundane it’s almost embarrassing to share. I stress the almost because if it was that obvious, we’d all be doing it.

My new found mantra?  How can I expect different results if I keep doing the same thing?

The simple truth is that to get different, and by implication, better results, we need to do something different. We need to embrace change, mix it up, step outside our comfort box.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how this applies to marketing, both for Eagle and for my clients. Whether you are using traditional marketing like direct mail and print ads or technologies like mobile, social media and email marketing, we all can get a little stale. And, like the vinyl records of old, we wear a groove so deep, it’s hard to skip a beat and change it up.  The comfort we feel by the familiar and the resistance we encounter around change, the more we can be assured our results will always be the same.

Take your company’s brand for example.  If you’re a business owner, you know your brand can and should be intricately linked to your core values and a reflection of your professional passion. And yet, that’s not always the case. Sometimes we get on autopilot, forget to check in and to reevaluate and reassess. We get head down and caught in the trees, so it’s hard to see the forest.

Our team at Eagle is passionate about helping our clients to see that forest.  We advocate for change, not always a revolutionary but almost always evolutionary, in thinking, approach and execution.

For example, how might we integrate their marketing tools with technology so campaigns are more interactive, engaging and memorable? How do we leverage loyalty marketing and referral programs to reward current customers in creative and meaningful ways? How might we refresh and organize a website so user benefit is more front and center and how can that site be better optimized for higher search ranking?  And always – ensure that the message is consistent, compelling, concise and in support of those core values and passion where it all started.

Even for a professional marketing agency, this can be a challenge.  We at Eagle have been asking ourselves some tough questions and reconnecting with what is our collective passion, what are our core competencies, and what makes us unique. On some topics, there is instant clarity. On others, we get caught in those darn trees.

So we are sharpening our proverbial saw and looking critically at what needs a refresh.

I’ll share a few items on our list and challenge you to reflect on a list of your own.

  • How can we use social media more effectively to promote our services?
  • How do we evolve our brand to better reflect what we do so well?
  • What clients haven’t we approached lately for testimonials?
  • How do we market ROI and value added to customers on a regular basis?
  • Where are the best opportunities for continuous learning in emerging technologies?

Maybe some on our list resonated with you. If not, maybe they should.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

So reflect for a moment back to that old, worn groove in the vinyl record.  What are the results you seek? Is it ROI, increased sphere of influence, brand awareness, customer base, or traffic on the web? What is it that you haven’t done? And what are you willing to do to get different results?

I think you’ll agree we could all sing a new tune now and again.

How have you made a change, even a small one, that made a big difference in your business? We look forward to your comments.


A Timeless Truth – Listen and Learn   Leave a comment

Last week we talked about An Inconvenient Truth of marketing, Know Thyself – who you are and what you stand for. This week — a Timeless Truth that has nothing to do with the coolest new marketing idea. And everything to do with getting back to basics.

I had one of those “Aha moments” a few weeks ago when I attended a social media seminar at the swanky offices of a digital agency with high end décor and an incredibly breathtaking view of the ballpark. I went to learn new ways to engage consumers with the latest digital tools and techniques. During that hour, experts talked about ROI, social CRM and on-line clout. What stuck me most though was their common theme — an ageless fundamental.

To be successful, companies need to create connections. Build trust. And engage the customer to inspire their loyalty. You do this by listening and learning. Fostering two way conversations that matter. The tools – be they social media, direct mail, email marketing, mobile — are relevant only in that they allow that process to take place and that they best fit your target market.

Think for a moment about how your organization cultivates loyalty and generates business. Are you focused on telling and selling or are you in a meaningful dialogue that resonates with your customers? This requires asking their opinion, understanding their needs and making adjustments along the way. It also requires vision, commitment and work.

As a consumer, I don’t just want to have it my way at Burger King; I want to have it my way wherever and whenever possible. Not because I’m some high maintenance prima donna (and so what if I am?). But because I’m a busy working mom of three and if you know me and take care of me, I will love you for life.

One of the companies I love is Amazon. And not just because I love buying books. The last time I logged onto, I got a pop up of recommendations based on recent purchases or searches. Gee, thanks guys for knowing what I like and serving it up. Even if it is computer generated, you are saving for me that most precious of commodities – time. Bless you.

So when you think of loyalty marketing, think of this Timeless Truth that relationships do matter and that consumers will care more if we stick to the basics.

I read a quote recently by Irish critic, journalist and novelist Rebecca West that I think sums it all up:

“There was a definite process by which one made people into friends, and it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time.”
        Rebecca West
        Irish critic, journalist, & novelist (1892 – 1983)

Mobile Marketing Insights from the Best In Class   Leave a comment

Last week’s blog focused on Permission Marketing: reaching people who believe that what you have to offer matters. Mobile Marketing is designed around this premise, creating a personal connection with a prospect or customer by engaging with them on their mobile phone. Today, 25% of Americans participate in at least one SMS marketing program each month. But, how do you get them to start and continue believing in your campaign?

Here are a few ways top brands have succeeded and failed:

ESPN: I think few do it better than ESPN and their “Best Screen Available” approach. The broadcasters clearly understand that their viewers have different needs when they’re watching a big screen or checking their mobile phone. They allow mobile subscribers to segment by sport, teams and other categories so they only get relevant alerts. They save the full play-by-play for Sport Center and deliver real-time scores and highlight to their mobile users. With more than 63 million mobile alerts being sent each month, they understand their responsibility is to get subscribers the relevant information exactly when they want it in a format that is accessible.

ESPN Mobile also designs their mobile marketing campaigns to be agile. They keep tabs on what’s a buzz on social media and infuses this knowledge into campaigns in a similar way you’d react producing a live TV show. Keeping mobile subscribers in the know is the best way to gain loyalty.

Coca-Cola: Coke Rewards is a customer loyalty program where members collect unique codes off Coke products and redeem them for prizes. They have more than a million subscribers and an acquisition rate of around 10% per month. What’s their secret? Encouraging subscribers to pull content of interest to their phones rather than Coke pushing out general alerts and coupons. They develop targeted campaigns where the subscribers decide what they want to receive. They stay focused on offering fresh, interesting contest and prizes that keep users engaged.

Kodak: Kodak learned the hard way that it is critical that you understand how, where and for what purpose your target audience is using mobile. They launched a mobile campaign in movie theaters thinking they had a captive audience, but failed to realize that most people turn off their phones when they get in a theater. The campaign bombed.

These lessons are as applicable to local broadcasters and small and medium brands looking to launch a campaign as they are to those with multi-million dollar budgets. Mobile campaigns, done well, can be an extremely cost effective solution to building real brand loyalty. Have you integrated it into your marketing plan? If yes, how’s it working? If not, is it time to consider it?

Familiarity Breeds Trust   1 comment

Remember the first time you fell in love? Not some second grade crush over the new kid in class. Really deeply passionately in love? Maybe your romance started with a chance encounter or an online chat. Or maybe, like me and my husband, with a blind date. From that first lunch 12 years ago grew the seeds of familiarity, comfort, trust and lasting love. And like any strong relationship, it took time, consistency, and a desire to learn more.

Falling in love is a process that’s cultivated in small steps over time. In many ways, you want your customers to have that very same experience. You want their love and loyalty. You want their trust and devotion. And of course, you want their business.

It all starts with getting familiar – with your customers’ needs, their wants, their particular (or peculiar) tastes. Like with any lasting relationship, you need to keep in touch. And keep up to date. And keep it real and consistent.

One major hotel chain puts this into practice in a simple, automated, yet memorable way. Last year, when my family and I made our annual trek to Disneyland, we booked a room at their Anaheim hotel. The week before our trip, I received a personalized email from the manager anticipating our arrival and asking how he and his staff might super serve our needs. I received a second personalized email following our stay thanking us for selecting the hotel and asking for feedback. Even though I knew these emails were auto-generated, I still got a warm and fuzzy from the nice touch. And my next trip is already mentally booked.

So, whether you’re speaking to your customers through email marketing, direct mail, text messaging or social media, make an emotional connection that’s authentic and meaningful. Be familiar with who they are and what they want. And remind them (like my husband does now and again) that they’ve made a smart choice in picking your company or your product or your people. I think you’ll find that familiarity really does breed trust. And trust is the beginning of every great relationship.

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