How Well Are You Realistically Managing Customer Expectations?

August 8th, 2017

Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_georgerudy'>georgerudy / 123RF Stock Photo</a>A frequently quoted “formula” in the field of customer relations tells us: “expectations – reality = disappointment.” While this may seem simplistic, don’t relegate it to the ranks of witty sayings or bumper sticker slogans. There is a great deal of truth in this straightforward equation. Most business owners, managers and customer-facing employees have dealt with unhappy customers. It’s part of the job. But all too often, that customer frustration or disappointment can be avoided by properly managing expectations. Read the rest of this entry »

Being (Appropriately) Social Online: The Etiquette of Social Media Engagement

August 1st, 2017

As the name suggests, social media is often a very informal means of conveying information. It’s familiar, colloquial and often has a personal touch – it’s social. So, when you’re using social media to support your business’ marketing needs, how should you behave? What’s the appropriate etiquette?

Generally, we advise clients to use the same communication principles and considerations when online as when interacting with people in any traditional setting. Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media Metrics: Are You Focused on the Right Data?

July 25th, 2017

pen, magnifying glass and the working paper with a diagram

The modern marketing strategy just isn’t complete if it doesn’t include a social media element. As we’ve discussed in a previous blog post, tools like Google Analytics are great for tracking your social media activity and its impacts on your business. While we encourage social media marketers to read that blog and the background information linked within, it’s also important to discuss some of the misconceptions many businesses have about all the social media data they are collecting. Some might focus on information that isn’t particularly helpful, while others might be disregarding, or missing entirely, key metrics. Read the rest of this entry »

They Might Come Back: Why It Pays to Treat Exiting Customers Well   

July 20th, 2017

38309393 - group of different families together of all racesNo company retains every customer they do business with. There is a natural ebb and flow of customers over time, whether your company provides a product or a service. Understanding that ebb and flow is important. Calculating the lifetime value of your customers, anticipating potential losses and determining how much time and effort to spend on prospecting for new customers are all very important elements of running any business. Read the rest of this entry »

Retailers on Red Alert: Are They Doomed?

July 18th, 2017

Sears. Kmart. JCPenney. Macy’s. These are just a few of the growing list of retailers announcing store closures.  

And yet, at the same time as many stores are shutting down, Amazon is opening brick and mortar stores and recently purchased 431 Whole Foods stores.

It’s an interesting dichotomy and one I considered recently as I was writing a column for the summer issue of Chippewa Valley Business Report. Read the rest of this entry »

Driving Revenue Through Public Relations and Media Placement

July 13th, 2017

At a basic level, generating a profit in business revolves around a simple formula: revenues – costs = profits. In other words, the goal is to bring in more money than you spend. This is what makes the marketing function so tricky for many businesses. Marketing – if done properly – drives revenue. At the same time, marketing can be a significant part of an organization’s budget. According to a recent CMO survey, marketing can account for as much as a quarter of the overall budget for the consumer packaged goods industry, and ten percent for industries like retail wholesale and healthcare/pharmaceuticals.

So, any time you can find a way to do successful marketing on the cheap, it’s a great idea to take advantage. Using PR and free publicity to drive revenue is one of these methods, and here we examine what it takes to be successful. Read the rest of this entry »

Some Do’s and Don’ts For Successful Social Media Marketing

July 11th, 2017

It’s no secret that social media is an important part of the modern marketing mix. According to a 2016 Statista survey, 81 percent of survey respondents said they had integrated social media into their traditional marketing mix. But doing social media marketing and doing it well are two very different things. Here we offer some basic do’s and don’ts for beginners and even seasoned social media marketers. Read the rest of this entry »

Toward a Broader Understanding of Brand

July 6th, 2017

Most businesspeople and students of marketing would probably agree with the statement that your brand is important. Yet, despite this importance, the concept of a brand isn’t always easy to grasp. Part of that problem is because a brand is made of so many components that it needs to be considered very broadly.

In an article for Forbes titled “Your Brand Isn’t What You Think It Is,” author Ty Kiisel points out that most people don’t truly understand what a brand is. Kiisel writes: “I think most people would agree (although there are still some holdouts), your brand is not your logo or your colors. Of course the colors you choose and the way you present your name to the world is considered part of your brand, but it’s not the most important part. Your brand isn’t what you say you are either.” This is true … but what is your brand? Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media: Not Just For Sales; Another Area of Big Value

June 29th, 2017

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for any business. Business and marketing professionals are particularly drawn to the extensive reach of social media and its potential for driving droves of new customers through their virtual doors. However—and this may surprise you—social media marketers shouldn’t be focused exclusively on bringing in new business.

A recent article on the American Marketing Association (AMA) website by Lawrence Crosby looked at the effectiveness of social media marketing on another important measure of marketing success— Read the rest of this entry »

Where Are You Along the Continuum of the “Five Levels of Social Media Engagement”?

June 22nd, 2017

Just as not all restaurants, auto manufacturers or artists are created equal, not all social media marketing efforts are created equal. Some marketers feel like it’s enough to simply have a Facebook page that serves as a relatively static landing point for curious potential customers. Others spend a lot of time, effort and resources to research and develop sophisticated social media engagement strategies that incorporate multiple social channels—and lead to some quantifiable desired results.

Obviously, we strive to encourage everyone to move into the latter camp; however, we recognize this isn’t always feasible and know that there is a wide spectrum of quality and effectiveness. Read the rest of this entry »