This was a broadway musical based on the early life of comedy legend, Carl Reiner
2010 will be the year of the search . . . the LOCAL search.
If your business isn’t leveraging the opportunities your prospects have access to on the internet, it’s a a safe bet they’re not likely to find you when they do. Tsk, Tsk.
Want to do something about that?
Google’s “Local Business Center” to be specific.
It’s a free and easy way to help you claim some internet real estate so you can become noticed by people who are looking for what you do.
Learn more . . .
If you’re not putting yourself (and, your business!) ‘out there’ . . . you’re only helping your competition . . . at your expense.
So check out Google’s Local Business Center and get yourself an UNfair share of the market for your wonderful services!
Great Minds Think Alike
When Richard Branson, arguably one of the most successful entrepreneurs alive and Seth Godin, one of the most prolific thought-leaders on marketing get together, under the auspices of American Express . . . it has to be good.
LISTENING . . . to your customer (or, client or patient or prospect) is essential to your success.
Ever wonder, “How can I reach ___________________ over at XYZ Corporation?”
Wonder no more. Thanks to an innovative new online service: PeopleMaps.
This new online service enables you to find not only who knows someone you want to know but, with the more feature-rich, paid version you can actually produce a ‘connection path’ that shows you, visually, you how to best leverage your network connections to reach the person you want using the most potent and closest relationships you have in common.
Rather neat, I believe. You will, too. Check it out!
I have a friend, Fred Wergeles who is a talented, educated and highly successful individual. Fred once worked at the CIA. His expertise? Intelligence Gathering.
Knowing what’s happening in the world is key to either avoiding problems or preventing them from happening.
It’s the same with your business.
You want ‘intelligence’ about your industry, competitors, clients, your own business.
And the Internet . . . the social media that use it (not just social networks) . . . is where you’ll find that intelligence.
There’s a lot of data on the web. Too much. That’s why it’s called ‘noise’. I call it the ‘sea of sewage’. In fact, there’s so much data that you can drown in it (how’s that for an image, eh?) before you get something useful out of it.
Filter the noise out. Focus it into something that has meaning for you and your business.
Today, making business decisions with limited information is dangerous and likely to cost you dearly. But, having ‘intelligence’ so you can make better informed decisions . . . is smart. Very smart! For example:
An executive engaged in negotiation uncovers an obscure blog post about a competitors plant closing, giving him leverage in the negotiation process to seal a deal with the most favorable terms.
A salesperson discovers that a prospect she has been trying to crack tweets about a problem her company can address. She reaches out and puts one more qualified receptive lead into her pipeline.
A brand manager sees a comment left by a disgruntled customer blasting his customer relations experience. The brand manager responds to the post within a few minutes, engages the customer in constructive conversation and recovers the goodwill that might have been devastating to have lost forever.
An investor is evaluating an opportunity and the entrepreneurs tell a compelling story. When the investor probes further into the competition, it is clear that the entrepreneurs are unaware of several large and dangerous competitors. No Deal.
What do these events have in common?
They are making better, more informed decisions using readily available ‘intelligence’ on the Internet.
THE OTHER PROBLEM
Knowing the information is ‘Out There’ is one thing. Making sense of the mounds of data and transforming it into useful information . . . i.e. ‘intelligence’ you can use is quite another!
The days of reading the same publications and hoping you come across the information you need are as relevant as getting a ‘TripTik’ at the AAA before going on a vacation. It’s OLD SCHOOL!
Social Media is both an opportunity and a challenge
The opportunity is the quantity of information it offers, the challenge is finding the quality of information you want and can process efficiently.
In Duct Tape Marketing University’s Social Media PRO — an online / offline coaching program for using social media to drive traffic to your site and put revenues in your bank . . . one of the many tools we use to do this is . . .
This is just one of several very cool tools for monitoring selective data streams across various social media on the internet. Using it you can ‘listen’ for what you need-to-know . . . and only what you need . . . information . . . intelligence . . . that makes your business decision-making better . . . and THAT . . . makes you money!
FiltrBox helps you search millions of sources, qualify results, remove duplication and delivers a ranked report to you . . . every day . . . in a very clean, ‘dashboard’ interface:
The old way of gathering intelligence is evolving and its time to embrace the change
Check out FiltrBox . . . it’s a new ‘cool tool’ that is making the task of managing the mounds of data the net offers . . . a realistic and, dare I say it, a fun event!
And, if you liked learning about this topic . . . you’ll LOVE our new online course from Duct Tape Marketing University: Social Media PRO.
Check it out here: Social Media PRO
I just saw a map of the world that’s unlike any I’ve seen:
It reflects not geographic boundaries but population densities.
Odd, isn’t it.
When you RE-define the basis of your perception, you change the way things seem.
Now, Apply This To Your Marketing
What if, instead of using ‘gross revenues’ to evaluate your clients, you used ‘profit margin’ or even ‘value of referred business’.
What would THAT do to the way you see your clients? To the way you treat them? To the way you invest in them?
In America, we believe “All men are created equal”. But that doesn’t mean they all perform the same.
Analyze Your Clients
One of the key values you’ll gain by doing a client analysis is to realize not all clients offer you the same value. I submit therefore, you should treat them accordingly because of it.
Of course, you can’t do that unless / until you understand just who your clients are and what they’re offering you, can you?
Analyze your existing clients. Learn to discern who’s more (or, less) valuable to you and invest your attention on those who offer you the best ROI for your time, money and energy.
Gap? Yes. The gap between what you think you’re doing and how your customers / clients feel you’re doing. Maybe you don’t have one. Kudos. Unfortunately, odds are you do have a gap. Fortunately, you can correct that. But first you need to know if it exists.
In a recent research study (Delivering On The Promise) conducted by Accenture, it was noted that a serious disconnect exists between business executives and their clients / customers. Apparently 75% of the executives surveyed perceived their own customer service as being “above-average”. Unfortunately, 59% of their own customers felt the service experience they were getting from these same firms was, “somewhat to extremely disappointing”.
Lynn Hunsaker posting at ClearAction’s Customer Experience Optimization blog cited a CMO Council Customer Affinity study where about 50% of the surveyed companies believed they were “extremely” customer-centric. At the same time, only 10% of the customers surveyed felt the same way!
This obvious perceptual difference is significant and serious. Significant in the the ‘GAP’ it suggests is huge. Serious in that it exists at all.
Can you tolerate such a lack of connection to your marketplace? Not for long. And not for anything good. I’m reminded of Marie Antoinette’s famed line, “Let them eat cake” when referring to the French people who, suffering so badly, rebelled and overthrew the monarchy (and, Marie’s head, too!).
Your business competes not only for prospects and their money. You also compete for their attention. And, their loyalty to your brand. The way you earn that is by delivering on the expectations of your marketplace. And how do you learn those?
Survey your customers. If you don’t have customers or clients . . . talk with prospects!