Apr 022014
 

art or scienceThe question should be asked as often as possible. I think Seth Godin‘s blog posr (I get them delivered to my inbox regularly) answers this.

He begins by writing “It’s both, and that’s the problem. ….Some marketers are scientists. They test and measure. They do the math….The other marketers are artists. They inspire and challenge and connect..” We need both, don’t we.

Read what he has to say … Is Marketing an Art or Science?

Good. It makes you look at your marketing in a new way? Tell me what YOU think!!

 

photo credit: Capture Of Dreams via photopin cc

Mar 222014
 

findWhen we had a conference company in San Francisco in the late 90s, we called people (our prospects) to see where they went to learn or find out about an event on a particular subject. We learned from that knowledge where we should advertise and those we called asked us to keep in touch especially since we said that we were doing research for our event. A bonus for us!

Here’s what they told us. They learned (before the internet was so prolific) …

  • in magazines on the topic (both ads and  articles)
  • in newspapers either large or local (ads, articles, event calendars)
  • at conferences
  • at training seminars
  • from colleagues

Today people also go to

  • magazines online
  • newspapers online
  • search engines (like google)
  • social media sites like facebook and linkedin

Where are you? Are you in any of these places? How do people find YOU and what your company does?

 

Image courtesy of Phaitoon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jun 132013
 

The world has changed – as it always does and we in business must keep up if we want to be successful (no matter how we define success for us). Offline marketing has become online marketing – or has it? Do you need both? I think so.

Technology has REALLY changed. I remember (I’m 63 now in 2013) co-owning an Apple computer dealership in the 1980s and a conference company in the 1990s where we held events for people who used what were then called hand-held computers (PDAs). We were always at the “bleeding edge” of technology (just before the “leading edge” – always in the red and not making money but always the first to know about things).

When we had the computer dealership we had:

  • one of the first fax machines (as big as a small photocopier but with very few others having one and therefore no one to send things to),
  • one of the first cell phones (the battery for this was the size of a car battery and the handset like that of an “older” phone

And when we ran the conference company we were:

  • one of the first to use the internet to market with our “email blasts” which were formerly “fax blasts” (some people had email addresses but most companies didn’t have websites yet)

Times continued to evolve and with this came what was then a revolution (we even produced a print booklet called A Revolution in the Making which in 1984 took 6 weeks to produce even though we had the latest desktop publishing software at that time) that caused all of us to transform ourselves and our thinking.

In fact my nephew who is 23 now and studying at Ryerson University and producing art by paint and on computer, films on his Macintosh and photos with his digital camera and his cell phone is a great testament to this transformation. He is of the generation who grew up with and used all technology. He even had access to my brother’s Macintosh when he was a baby. 

(From left to right: my brother Phil, his son Jake – the one I write about here and my other nephew Josh who’s 30+ now and has been in the computer business since he was 17.)

But I digress :-)

There are at least 6 ways in which online marketing is different from offline marketing and here they are. One just needs a computer, a hookup to the Internet and a browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.

  1. Speed – one can do EVERYTHING faster. Once you have set yourself up, input some data you can send it at the “touch of a finger”
  2. Cost – EVERYTHING costs less or is free (do you know of the book   Free: The Future Of A Radical Price )   – audio and video production and even payment processing
  3. Reach – one can make contact (for free) with many contacts both locally and globally
  4. Measurement & Tracking – one can easily get access to key metrics with ad trackers, newsletter openings, website analytics etc.
  5. Easy to do marketing -  one can “do it yourself” (if you’re not a technophobe AND have the time)
  6. “Abundant”  information at your fingertips – with most search engines like google or Ask one can search for and find anything – anywhere in the world. Remember that this info has the caveat of buyer beware as does any info you find online)

How has this blog made you think – you “technophobes” who didn’t grow up with technology?

Here is access to the other post I wrote  13 Ways Offline and Online Marketing Are The Same

Compare the two and tell me what you think. I’m VERY interested in what everyone has to say!

Feb 242013
 

Recently I had a conversation with a friend about sales and marketing. He said they are separate and I said that sales is another part of marketing (like market research is).

I’d like to clarify my beliefs. If you draw a “marketing funnel” then every marketing activity you do to get prospects is at the top or widest part of the funnel.

As you proceed down the funnel it  gets narrower and you keep marketing.

Then you get to the narrow part of the funnel (see in my diagram I’ve drawn a line there). You’re now meeting the prospect face to face .. or these days by phone or skype or online … and when you “close the deal”, they become a client (at the bottom of the funnel).

Then you go back to the funnel and repeat your marketing activities.

I know that you don’t use the same activities to sell as you do to market. I agree that they should be taught as two topics – but I still believe that sales is in the marketing funnel.

 

That’s my opinion. Tell me yours

Feb 062013
 

The world is always changing and we in business must keep up if we want to be successful (no matter how we define success for us).

Technology has REALLY changed. I remember (I’m 62 now in 2013) co-owning one of the first Apple computer dealerships in Toronto in the 1980s and a conference company in the 1990s where we held events for people who used what were then called hand-held computers (PDAs). I’ve always been at the “bleeding edge” of technology (just before the “leading edge” which means always being in the red and not making money but always the first to know about things).

We had/ were:

  • one of the first fax machines (in 1984 as big as a small photocopier but since very few others had one there were few  to send things to)
  • one of the first cell phones (in 1985 the battery for this was the size of a car battery and the handset like that of an “older” phone)
  • one of the first to use the internet to market with our “email blasts” in the conference business in1995 which were “fax blasts” using email addresses (some people had email addresses but most companies didn’t have websites yet)

Times continued to evolve and with this came what was in 1984 a revolution (we even produced a print booklet called A Revolution in the Making which in 1984 took 6 weeks to produce even though we had the latest desktop publishing software at that time) that caused all of us to transform ourselves and our thinking.

  In fact my nephew who is 22 now and studying at Ryerson University and producing art (by paint and on computer, films on his Macintosh and photos with his digital camera) is a great testament to this transformation. He is of the generation who grew up with and used all technology. He even had access to my brother’s Macintosh when he was a baby.  (From left to right: my brother Phil, his son Jake who I wrote about here and my other nephew Josh who’s 30 now and has been using computers since he was 4 and has been in the computer business since he was 17. He’s now 32!)

But I digress :-)

There are at least 6 ways in which online marketing is different from offline marketing.
One just needs a computer, a hookup to the Internet and a browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.

  1. Speed  One can do EVERYTHING faster. Once you have set yourself up, just input some data and you can send it at the “touch of a finger”.
  2. Cost  EVERYTHING costs less or is free (do you know of the book   Free: The Future Of A Radical Price )   – audio and video production and even payment processing.
  3. Reach  One can connect (for free) with many contacts both locally and globally.
  4. Measurement & Tracking  One can easily get access to key metrics with ad trackers, newsletter openings, website analytics etc.
  5. Easy to do marketing   One can “do it yourself” (if you’re not a technophobe AND have the time).
  6. “Abundant”  information at your fingertips  With most search engines like google or Ask one can search for and find anything – anywhere in the world. (Remember that this info has the caveat of buyer beware as does any info you find online)

How has this blog post made you think – whether you use technology a lot or you’re a  “technophobe” who didn’t grow up with technology?

Here is access to the other post I wrote  14 Ways Offline and Online Marketing Are The Same

Compare the two and tell me what you think. I’m VERY interested in what everyone has to say!

Feb 012013
 

Mindmapping is a visual way to do a number of different things including planning what you want to accomplish in your business this year or what you have to do in a new website or to take notes.

I was first introduced to it by my friend and colleague Aletta de Wal “way back” in the late 1980s. She now runs  Artist Career Training . She uses it all the time and for everything including note taking on coaching calls with her clients. I’ve used it myself for planning and now that I can only use the computer in order to write, I use the Tony Buzan software.

As Aletta says “… Adapt your recordkeeping to the way that you think, instead of cramping your style. This visual note-taking and brainstorming method is a fun, easy way to get your thoughts out of your head and on paper.” She just interviewed Chris Welsh of Mastery of Learning who she introduced me to 20 years ago and they talked about “ideamapping” and how he uses it. You can find that interview here.

Tony Buzan is known as the originator of mindmapping and as such is world renowned and a respected authority on it.

Wikipedia lists some of the things you can use mindmapping to do.

  • problem solving
  • outline/framework design
  • structure/relationship representations
  • marriage of words and visuals
  • individual expression of creativity
  • condensing material into a concise and memorable format

Susan Gregory is a trainer and as a local Toronto person teaches productivity and thus mindmapping workshops and she adds to this list:

  • memory improvement
  • brainstorming
  • note tasking with clients or in meetings
  • organization of projects
  • writing blogs, articles and even books

Would you like to know how to use a visual method for your planning?  

Buzan suggests the following guidelines for creating mind maps:

  1. Start in the centre with one word and an image of the topic.
  2. Use multiple colors throughout the mind map for visual stimulation and to group things.
  3. Use images and symbols throughout your mind map.
  4. Use one keyword per line.
  5. Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.
  6. The lines should be curved.
  7. The central lines are thicker from the centre and thinner as they radiate out.
  8. Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.

If you’re looking for a non-linear approach to planning then mindmapping is for you.

How do YOU use mindmapping? Try it if you don’t yet and share your experience in a comment here. Remember to develop your own personal style.

Jan 162013
 

Recently I went to see a movie alone. It wasn’t one I REALLY wanted to see but I wanted to get out of my place, be with people, have a coffee (there’s a cafe in my local theatre), and get “lost” for a couple of hours.

I had read the movie reviews of it and so thought I knew what I was going to see. It went along and I was enjoying myself but I wasn’t prepared for my feelings.

Near what I thought was the end there was a surprise. I felt sad at the time and happy at the very end. Happy AND sad — hmm – two very opposite emotions.

What I REALLY wasn’t prepared for was how strongly I felt each emotion. I stayed and watched the credits and thought about this and came up with this question — do people feel a “strong” emotion while using your product or experiencing your service? For example, we Apple computer users are often called “rabid fans”.

Do clients feel passionate about your product or service?

Marketing Tip: Ask your clients about their emotions when  using your product or service.

photo credit: craigCloutier via photopin cc
photo credit: craigCloutier via photopin cc

Jan 092013
 

For those who don’t go to a “bulk grocery store” you’d be surprised at what they sell there. They have the usual – nuts (did you know that here in Ontario if you buy the unsalted type there is no sales tax?), raisins, coffee beans, tea bags, flour, etc in bulk – but they have other groceries as well. Where I go they sell organic cereal and baking materials!

OK. My anecdote ….

Recently I got some things at the “Bulk Barn” – a chain in Toronto. I  had spent a bunch of money (as you do) and when I was at the checkout, the girl there gave me a gift certificate. I wasn’t expecting it and therefore didn’t spend/ buy accordingly – it was a surprise!

I knew it was to get me to come back (a type of marketing) but because I wasn’t expecting it, and the checkout person smiled as she gave it to me, it was a joy.

I smiled as I received it :-)

Do you give your customers gifts even if they have “strings” attached? This event made me think  about my own business and what I could give to my clients to get repeat business — or referrals — or even to  have clients remember me and talk about me.  HMMMM ….

What do you do to get your clients to keep coming back?

P.S. One Christmas my hairdresser gave me a gift certificate for a haircut at her shop. A very welcome surprise :-)

 photo credit: st_gleam via photopin cc

Nov 262012
 

writingSome people make their living writing like my colleagues Barb Sawyers and Suzan St Maur.  But most of us don’t. We either consider ourselves good writers or poor ones.

We also have many reasons not to write such as:

  • we’re not good at writing and don’t have the financial resources to pay for it
  • we’re too busy to write on social media like twitter, facebook and LinkedIn (and besides that’s not where our clients are)
  • we don’t need a blog (or we don’t have  .. time .. technical expertise .. money – pick a reason)
  • we don’t have the time or the writing ability to write the content for our website so we pay our web developer to do it

I could go on. All of the above are reasons it’s true but that’s all they are … just reasons.

We need to communicate with our clients and prospects. We need writing to do this.

Would you like to know how to change our “excuses” to possibilities?

You CAN do something about your writing and get better. Here’s how:

  • write more. “But I’m not a “good enough” writer”, you say. All the pros will tell you the same thing that if you want to become a better writer you have to write more. Remember the saying that practice makes perfect? We’re entrepreneurs. What do we do to reach our goals? Be focused.
  • write then before you “go live” somewhere with it, have someone edit it. I taught non-readers in the late 70s and one of the things I told them was to write whatever came into their minds then I would make it “look good”. It worked.
  • speak into a recorder then transcribe it. This is one of the tips that Suzan St Maur tells people.
  • “write like you talk” only better as the title of Barb Sawyer’s book suggest. I know that writing is a different skill than speaking but Barb tells you how.
  • learn about how to write. Take courses on writing, or free webinars, read books, and subscribe to writer’s newsletters. Both Barb and Suzan give lots of writing tips.

 

There are so many places you need to write nowadays. You have many places to write and therefore many opportunities. What have you done to be a better writer?

Oct 102012
 

It was raining and that is what my taxi driver and I talked about. We discussed that whether it’s sunny, rainy, snowy or icy people drive as if it’s nice weather here in Toronto. We live in the biggest city in Canada and some people “forget” how to drive in rain or snow after a bout of “good weather”.

That made me think of speed. Do you “rush” your clients or do you really listen and go at THEIR speed?

This is another chance to not only live in the present but also to really listen to your clients. Listen to their words and their tone, look at their faces (if you can – email makes this difficult) and  take notice of the speed they use themselves and answer in your “slower” way.tortoise

Slow or fast?

Do you remember the story about the tortoise and the hare and how the tortoise won? The moral of that tale is that slow and steady wins the race. You don’t have to rush the way people who work in big businesses do or many young people can. Go at slow speed.

As a boomer you’ve already contributed a lot to society and you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. Take your time. Run your business slowly. Do your marketing slowly. Having a lot of energy doesn’t mean you do things fast. If doing things slowly is one of your values promote it. Use it as one of the ways you’re different.

One of the people whose newsletter I get is Tad Hargrave of Marketing to Hippies. A great name, isn’t it? It’s very specific and tells what he does. I’m not a hippie and never was but I AM a boomer. He isn’t a boomer but he does think of himself as a hippie. He wrote a post on Slow Marketing. He writes for people who are healers, massage therapists and anyone who believes they shouldn’t charge a lot for their services.

But I thought as I read it that slow marketing is what boomers should do.

Examples …

Do you remember George Carlin the comedian’s comparison of the names of things in baseball and in football? “Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game. Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.” Baseball is slow and football is aggressive and fast. Which do you watch?

Another example. Do you prefer sailboats or powerboats? Sailing is slow and powerboating is fast. Hmmmm.

 

Is slow better than fast in business? My answer is that it depends but tell us what you think :-)

photo credit: laradanielle via photopin cc