Monthly Archives: September 2009

Listening To Your Customers – Now Made Easier

techrigy logo smallThis month I was introduced to Techrigy, a new marketing tool that measures your brand’s mentions in social media – blogs, twittter, facebook, message boards, etc.

Why use a tool like this? While you may use social media to proactively market your company, they are also accessible tools for your customers to talk about your company online. Monitoring these mentions can help you understand what is important to your customers, and help you learn from their experiences.

Techrigy will monitor your brand activity online and lets you dissect your data by demographics, sentiment (positive or negative comments), geography, days of the week and other metrics. It also identifies who writes about your brand the most; this can be helpful for marketing and customer service purposes.

It’s important that you know what people are saying about your company. Check out Techrigy. Free and Premium subscriptions are available.

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Filed under Social Marketing, tracking

Stop Saving Your Business And Start Building It

Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi

This week’s blog entry is a pep talk to all those business owners who are hesitant to invest in growing their businesses.

Flat sales are considered the new up.   You’ve made many cuts and are hesitant to make any more.  You may have experienced layoffs.  You wonder what else is next.

Guess what?  You are not alone.  Your competitors are facing the same uncertainties.

The reality is if you have survived this long, you’ve run a good business.

You probably think your conservative nature has helped you make it to this point. That may be true, but it’s time to make a change.

People are spending money.  They still need products and services, and they are going to buy from companies in which they are aware.

This requires spending money on marketing, product innovation, introducing new services.  As I have mentioned in the past – give people a reason to do business with you instead of your competitor.

By doing this, you are letting people know you are open for business.

–   Email current customers with a loyalty discount offer. (If you sell a product, a subject line of “Free Shipping” increased click-thrus 60.7% versus other subject lines, according to an Internet Retailer study.)

–   Call customers to reconnect with them.

–   If your staff needs work, offer discounted audits or analyses.  Chances are you’ll find something your customers need help with.

Here are 15 companies that started and succeeded during a recession:

  • GE
  • HP
  • Microsoft
  • Federal Express
  • Clif Bar
  • Method
  • Hyatt
  • Burger King
  • iHop
  • Jim Henson
  • Lexis/Nexis
  • CNN
  • MTV
  • Trader Joes
  • Sports Illustrated

Enough with the pep talk.

Stop saving your business and start building it again.

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Filed under recession marketing

Recession Continues To Breed New Thinking

Toys R UsIn today’s Wall Street Journal, Toys R Us announced they are opening 350 temporary stores in traditional shopping malls and other locations to take advantage of the holiday season.   This strategy is borne out of two market changes:

  • KB Toys, traditionally a mall-only toy retailer, going out of business
  • Sears expanding their toy department to help grab share from the KB Toys deficit

Holiday sales were down 3.4% last year for Toys R Us. Anticipating similar results for the 2009 holiday season, the national toy retailer realized they could not rely on the same approach to reach customers and drive sales.

Toys R Us is leveraging three key areas:

  • Inexpensive rents – With retail sales down and retailers going out of business, there is excess capacity in shopping malls.
  • Lower pricing – Higher rents were baked into KB Toys’ pricing (so much that they weren’t competitive). Since rents are lower, TRU can keep pricing on par with freestanding stores.
  • Convenience – The convenience of a mall location should attract people who are already shopping versus having to go to another location.

Toys R Us stopped looking at their business the same way.

You should to and see where opportunities might exist to change how you do business.  There has never been a better time to do it.

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Filed under recession marketing

Hey General Motors, I Want OnStar.

OnStarOnStar is a great product GM offers on all of its vehicles.  OnStar is a service that helps drivers with everything from directions to unlocking doors to passive crash response.

It seems like a great service but it’s not appealing enough to convince me to purchase a General Motors product – based on GM’s sales, I’m not alone.

In this day with GM and other car manufacturers begging for new revenue (see Cash for Clunkers), I would hope GM would find a way to make OnStar available to the general consumer.  I would certainly add it to my car.

Do any of your add-on services provide a bigger opportunity by making them available to a larger audience?

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Filed under Innovation