Check out the goodwill efforts by U-Haul:
You can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ScLoHo
12 Social Media Marketing Gurus to Follow on Twitter
If you’re a blogger, entrepreneur or just someone who’s looking to build your following with social media, there are a lot of web resources available to you to help you beat the competition. You’ll find news articles and blog posts devoted to social media marketing, but if you really want to find out the best secrets to building your brand and attracting online attention, why not head to social media sites themselves? The real experts share their tips on Twitter, and by following these 12 social media marketing gurus, you’ll receive a constant, daily stream of advice.
1. @GuyKawasaki: Guy Kawasaki is the co-founder of Alltop, a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine, a former Apple fellow and the author of nine books. Follow Guy’s stream for insightful tips for using Twitter and the Internet as strategic marketing tools.
2. @Mashable: Mashable founder Pete Cashmore is on top of all kinds of technology trends and frequently shares links and tips that help out everyday entrepreneurs, designers, writers and other freelancers who depend on social media for business.
3. @Engagingbrand: Anna Framery is a UK-based social media expert who tweets news stories about social media companies as well as social networking techniques of the pros.
4. @CarlosHernandez: Carlos Hernandez is helping baby boomers get used to social media. He shares lots of practical advice for networking, hacking social media sites so that they work best for your needs, and more.
5. @mediaphyter: The mediaphyter is really Jennifer Leggio, social business blogger for ZDNet.
6. @Scobleizer: Robert Scoble tweets from California about social media and Twitter in particular.
7. @chrisbrogan: Follow Chris Brogan if you want to see an example of effective Twitter networking.
8. @dwestjr: Daulton West, Jr.’s feed is supremely devoted to sharing Facebook, Twitter and other social media tips to boost your business.
9. @ev: This feed comes from the CEO of Twitter.
10. @ChadALevitt: This young sales 2.0 author and social media guru has tips for tweaking your business and marketing plan to keep up with the techie revolution.
11. @charleneli: Charlene is the founder of the Altimeter Group, and she has advice for business leaders who want to learn how to use social media.
12. @SocialMediaWonk: Drew Selman is a self-proclaimed social media evangelist.
This post was contributed by Donna Scott, who writes about the online bachelor’s degree. She welcomes your feedback at DonnaScott9929 @yahoo.com
As an advertising/marketing/sales person who has studied and taught marketing and sales concepts, I know the influence women have on the rest of us.
Speaking in generalities, men have a tendency to go out and conquer; women tend to protect and care for.
That explains the following report from AdAge.com:
Survey: Women More Pessimistic Than Men on the Economy
Gloom Among Chief Purchasers Bodes Ill for Consumer Spending
Published: August 27, 2009
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — For a majority of women, the glass is still half empty — and for marketers that could be tough to swallow.
Even though they have arguably fared better in the recession, women are more pessimistic about the economy than men, according to a 300-person survey by Performics, part of Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi Nerve Center. While men appear to have improved their outlook on the economy, women have not.
The unit’s “2009 Online Buyer Economic Trend Study” reported that 53% of women said their situation is worse than a year ago. By contrast, only 38% of men said they are worse off than a year ago. In April, when Performics posed those same questions, 53% of both genders said they were worse off.
|Women More Pessimistic Than Men About Economy|
The trend is interesting, considering unemployment among women is more than two percentage points lower than it is for men, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Men, by many accounts, have born the brunt of the job cuts.
But the divergence is more eye-opening when you consider the rule of thumb that women are responsible for more than 80% of household spending. And that “chief purchaser” role may actually be contributing to the pessimism.
Reduced household budgets
“In this down economy, household financial situations are negatively impacted by lower incomes, no raises, no bonuses and, in some cases, unemployment,” Michael Kahn, senior VP-marketing at Performics, said in an e-mail interview. “Given that women are the primary purchaser in many — if not most — households, they may bear the brunt of having to watch dollars more carefully and make a reduced household budget work. This applies not only for a two-income household but a single-income household as well.”
What’s more, 73% of women said the recession has fundamentally changed the way they think about saving and spending money vs. 57% of men.
But there might also be another explanation, said Marti Barletta, the author of “Marketing to Women” and CEO of TrendSight Group. She said she’s not surprised to see women are more pessimistic, because they just tend to be so.
Women’s overall pessimism likely signals that consumer spending isn’t going to return yet. And if women remain gloomy, the implications go beyond marketing. Ms. Barletta said women, thanks to their purchasing power, are a group the government needs to worry about as well, because they hold the key to consumer spending.
“If we can’t get women to feel more hopeful and confident about the future, it’s going to have significant implications,” she said.
The right messaging
From a messaging perspective, she said marketers should address women “not as pessimists but as rationalists.”
“The optimistic message [from marketers], all the ‘You deserve it’ stuff, is completely wrong right now,” she said. “What is right is saying, ‘You’re smart. You can handle this. You can make the right decisions, and here’s how we can help.'”
Mr. Kahn also said marketers should “reinforce value and use budget-friendly messaging in [the] marketing mix.” They should “focus on the ‘essential’ aspects of a product as appropriate. He also suggested advertisers “utilize ad copy and visuals that reinforce the basic needs a product fulfills.”
According to the survey results, 55% of women expect to spend less in the next 60 days, vs. 37% of men. And 41% of women expect to spend less on household essentials in that time period, up from 34% in April.
The study also noted regional differences in spending expectations and attitudes: The Southwest was by far the most optimistic region, with 32% of respondents reporting that they are better off than a year ago. That was followed by Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, at 16%, the Southeast at 14%, the Midwest at 9% and the West at 7%.
from Skip Anderson:
The Sweet Spot of Selling
Salespeople will have the most opportunity to influence decisions with those who are “on the fence.” These are the prospects that could go either way and either become a buyer or not become a buyer.
Many salespeople waste time and energy on prospects who are at either end of the “likely to buy / not likely to buy” spectrum instead of those in the center (what I call the “sweet spot”). But this is a strategic sales error for most sales situations. Fence-sitters are the prospects that give a salesperson an opportunity for a high performance sales career. A weaker salesperson will focus on the hard-to-sell types, or the buy-for-sure types. But this is a miscalculation that has limited sales results for many.
We only have limited time and resources. Therefore, we have to spend our influence time on those that are most likely to reap sales results. The “very likely to buy” crowd will take care of themselves and usually require minimal energy and resources from a sales representative. The “not likely to buy” group can suck the life out of a sales career.
Do you want to be influential with your prospects? Spend your time and energy in the sweet spot of selling.
Skip Anderson is the Founder and President of Selling to Consumers Sales Training. He works with companies and individuals who sell to consumers in B2C, retail, in-home selling, and the financial, real estate, and insurance markets.
From 60 second online University:
By Joel Sussman
President, Optimal Marketing Communications
Readers: Joel Sussman offers some marketing insight and some practical advice for businesses both large and small. We’d love to hear back from you – what marketing blunders have you made that others should avoid?
Marketing blunders can cost a business thousands (if not millions) of dollars — or they can sometimes just be responsible for a minor setback; but one thing’s for sure about marketing blunders: most of them are preventable. Here are eleven of some of the most common marketing blunders that are committed:
Marketing blunder #1: Using an untested advertising message or concept on an expensive print, broadcast, or pay-per-click campaign.
Marketing blunder #2: Trying to sell your products and services to everyone and their brother, rather than directing your marketing message to a targeted audience.
Marketing blunder #3: One of the most pervasive marketing blunders in the business world is being too passive. In ads, that translates into not having any ‘calls to action.’ In direct sales, that means not asking for the sale. If your sales letters, flyers, brochures, and ads are producing no results, the reason might be that they’re boring, poorly laid out, or offer the prospect no solid reason to take action. Some sales letters and ads don’t even tell the prospect specifically what they should do to respond to the offer: call, visit, log-in, or whatever.
Marketing blunder #4: Another common marketing blunder is not staying competitive. If your competition is doing TV advertising or newspaper advertising or coupon distribution, then you might want to seriously consider whether those forms of marketing would benefit your business. Whether it would realistically fit into your budget is, of course, another question which must be carefully weighed….
Marketing blunder #5: A marketing error which is rampant throughout the business community is attempting to create an effective ad, brochure, or web site by yourself. Unless you’re an experienced copywriter and/or graphic designer, you’re setting yourself up for failure by attempting a DYI approach. The possibilities for committed a major marketing blunder are immense. In the vast majority of cases, you’ll save yourself disappointment, wasted money, and lost opportunities by hiring a competent marketing professional.
Marketing blunder #6: An all-too-frequent marketing blunder that will condemn a small business to mediocrity or failure is not taking the time to develop what’s called a ‘unique selling proposition.’ If you don’t offer customers and prospects one or more distinctive reasons to choose your company over the competition, you can be sure they won’t feel compelled to try your products and services.
Marketing blunders #7: One of the biggest marketing mistakes businesses of all sizes make is to focus their marketing message on what a magnificent company they are, how many awards they’ve won, and how much they’ve grown over the past few years. While that’s all well and good, and there’s certainly a place and time to brag a little bit — the reality of the situation is that customers are really only interested in one thing: “How is this product or service going to make my life better?” (What’s in it for ME?) The reason they’re considering your product or service is because they want you to solve a problem, make their life easier, improve their quality of living, make their lives more secure and safer, help bring more admiration or love into their experience, or increase their enjoyment of life. If you can help them imagine or visualize the benefits that may accompany the use of your product or service, then your powers of persuasion will have multiplied exponentially.
As sales and advertising pioneer Elmer Wheeler once said, “Sell the sizzle, NOT the steak”. In other words, help your prospects imagine the enjoyment they’ll experience or the benefits of your product or service that they’ll receive, rather than just telling them about the dimensions, weight, color, size, functions, or other features.
Marketing blunders #8: The ‘dot com bust’ of several years ago seems like ancient history, but those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. One of the great marketing blunders of our generation, as illustrated by the series of dot-com failures at the turn of the millennium, was the practice of spending obscene amounts of money on advertising and unrestrained growth, despite that fact that it violated the principles of traditional business wisdom. Slow, steady, gradual growth is a strategy that has lifted many a small business to the top of the heap.
Marketing blunders #9: Ignoring the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ principle can be a fatal marketing blunder for small businesses. Being visible can mean anything from making sure that your web site can be found on the search engines (through SEO) to emailing a well written press release to the appropriate media to help keep your business name before the public.
Marketing blunders #10: Since loyal, repeat customers are one of the cornerstones of a profitable, growing business, then why do many business owners ignore or forget about their existing or past customers? In the rush to find new clients and to continually sign up new accounts, do you ever find yourself looking past the low-hanging fruit? Not asking for referrals from satisfied customers or developing a referral incentive program could be standing in the way of more sales, higher profits, and increased revenue.
Marketing blunder #11: The road to small business failure is paved with a negative attitude and a closed mind! Just because a marketing method didn’t work in the past doesn’t mean you can’t pinpoint what went wrong and give it another try. Sometimes changing the headline of an ad or including a testimonial of a satisfied customer or hiring a professional copywriter to devise a harder hitting message can make the difference between success and failure. Before giving up on a marketing idea, ask yourself “What can we do differently to make this work?”
©Joel Sussman; reprinted with permission. Click for more marketing strategies from Joel Sussman.
From Drews blog a couple days ago:
Posted: 28 Aug 2009 06:27 AM PDT
Vanessa has made a special offer for readers of this blog: Download the 7 truths every marketing and branding person needs to know ebook by clicking here.
In marketing your products and services you have the power to make or break trust. The reality is you are doing most of it inadvertently.
Imagine if you could actually build trust deliberately with your target market? Here are 7 key things that you need to know about trust:
1. Marketing is a maker or breaker of trust
Trust is fundamentally our ability to rely on people, organisations, products and/or services to deliver an outcome to us.
Marketing creates Expectations in the minds of the market, taps into their Needs, and makes a heap of Promises both implicitly and explicitly. It’s on these three things, what I call ENPs®, that your customers trust. It’s what they rely on.
Meet ENPs and you have their trust. Break them and you lose their trust.
2. Their Expectations of you may have nothing to do with you.
Expectations come from lots of different places. While you can use your marketing to create Expectations, if you are in an industry that gets hammered in the media (eg Banking), they already have Expectations of you that have nothing to do with you and everything to do with what other people tell them.
3. You must know your market’s needs
Your market has basic Needs for survival, for safety and security, for love and belonging, for esteem and respect, and for creativity and freedom. Good old Maslow1 is hard to go by when we look at Needs, and marketers are aware of these.
Most people are driven by one core Need in most of their buying and relationship decisions across the board.
Know what your market’s Needs are, and meet them.
4. Your implicit Promises will catch you out
You make a lot of Promises in your marketing. Promises can be explicit or implicit. The explicit ones are usually the ones that everyone knows about, and that your organisation will, most times, back you up on.
But the implicit, suggested ones, like ‘everyone smiles in our store’ (because on the ad everyone looks friendly and happy), are the ones that catch you out.
When your customers or potential customers don’t experience what was implied to them, they don’t even bother complaining, but they don’t buy, either!
5. You cannot do it alone
Too many times I’ve seen great marketing and branding fall flat because the rest of the organisation didn’t back it up. ‘We put weeks into that campaign. We had a significant increase in enquiries, but *&%$# customer service let us down.’
You have to all work together. The customer doesn’t care who in the organisation was to blame. You’ve just broken their trust.
Work with sales, back office, customer service, whoever needs to deliver on the ENPs you’ve just put out to the market.
6. ENPs = ROI
Meet the Expectations and Needs of your market, and keep the Promises you make to them and you WILL improve your ROI. It IS as simple as that!
7. You must have trust if you’re going to extend your brand
Seriously, don’t even bother trying to create a brand extension if you have not secured the trust of your market. When your customers truly trust you, they’ll buy it without too much convincing (as long as you still meet their ENPs). You don’t have to spend as much on your marketing if you have their trust.
Trust is powerful, but it’s also fragile. Get it right, and enjoy the results!
Vanessa Hall is one of the world’s leading experts on trust. Her practical models for trust are gaining global acclaim. She’s as passionate as they come, loves speaking and writing about trust, but most of all, loves watching the amazing results her work has on organisations, individuals and communities around the world.
The truth about trust in business – How to enrich the bottom line, improve retention and build valuable relationships for success is available now in the US.