Tag Archives: permission marketing

Reaching Beyond Who You Think You Are

6 Jun

It’s been three months since I posted.  Wow! I do have an excuse though.  BUSY!  Not only do I own Nosey Parker, create all the products and services for this entity, I also write copy for websites, helping businesses create action oriented messaging.  It’s something I do just for me because I really enjoy it.  Recently I’ve picked up a “music industry” account and it’s really fun, so totally different than all the businesses I’ve worked with in the past.  I’m reaching beyond who I thought I was and expanding my reach.  Getting into the mindset of a hip hop artist and their fans or a jazz musician and his fans, is not anything I would have imagined.

Here are a few tips everyone should keep in mind to ‘Reach Beyond Who You Think You Are” – whether you work for yourself or someone else:

  • Talk to everyone about what you do, it speaks to the passion derived from doing what you love.
  • Expose your talents to different people and types of companies you don’t typically work with or imagine.  It’s a great way to stay innovative.
  • Increases your marketability.
  • Totally makes you spit out a great elevator speech because the person you are reaching out to may have never heard of you or the type of work you do.  Nosey Parker is a perfect example.  Typically, men do not understand it at al, however they look at my work, see that it is highly creative and along with the rest of my resume, assume correctly that I can branch out to their business as well.
  • Deciding to quit a job or close a business is traumatizing, but it can be easier if you have branched out and created connections to use your talents in other venues..

I hope this was helpful.  Love to hear your tips as well.

8 OBSERVATIONS FROM WE2 – #1 Risk & Scalability

24 Jan

I’ve never had an issue with taking risks.  However, in my business (Nosey Parker), I meet women constantly in the small business sector who feel it was a big risk to just open their business – and it is.  Soon after the open sign is up, the fear of failing causes them to fail .. they stop taking risks immediately.  I also find that women mimic other women … if she can do it, I can too.  However, “do it” with a different product or service or audience.  Opening one more brick and mortar clothing boutique may be your dream but is it needed?  Are you solving an issue?  There is a difference between taking risk and just having the “I can do it better” attitude.  Many men and women do this because they think the person they are mimicking took the risk already by testing the market place (e.g group buying sites).

An overarching theme at WE2 was scalability, which implies that the underlying business model offer the potential for economic growth.  I get it and I can write volumes of my ‘potential’ scalability.  It’s necessary to show it in an attempt to predict failure, but the reality is that there are risk factors to predicting economic growth as well.  I am asking myself these questions:

1) Customer Behavior – Do they care? Are they retainable?

2) Recurring Revenue – is money being made while you sleep?  If not, then what is the plan to get them in while you are awake?  My model is transactional and I am now adding recurring revenue.

3)  Resources – Are they assets?  What is the value of these resources to growth?  Provisional assets will define your experience and delivery.  I learned the hard way  that there are “Ponzi Schemers” in the resource field.  Truly be careful, especially when the economy is on the skids.  When businesses need money, they will promise you anything to be your partner.

4)  Rank your daily activities – which ones are crucial? As Seth Godin says “time spent doesn’t equal success”.  I struggle with this.  I have been told by one of my partners that my value is needed in growing the company, not the daily grind.  I admit though that I am afraid that if I turn my back on the daily grind, what I have built so far may lose its position.

5)  Reliability – this is the nail in the coffin if you don’t get it right regarding partners and suppliers.  I receive resumes and business offers quite frequently.  In the interviews I conduct, I have started to ask “please give me your definition of reliability, examples of how you are reliable and three business references who can back up your reliability.”  Reliability = Accountability in my book and it’s a lost character trait.  I say bring it back!

6) Cost – Initial, ongoing, future.  I run a cash business.  It is a service and it pays for itself as long as I personally am involved.  The problem is expanding.  Planning the cost of growth was somewhat delinquent on my part, however I’m working on it now.

7) Change – this is vital.  No one ends up using their initial business plan. Are you flexible? There are aspects to my business that I am firm on because of the niche, however, over the last year I have made a few changes that give the business a bigger audience.  I know quite a few brick and mortar business who change their location frequently.  I’m guessing their leases are short term.  They blame lack of traffic 100% on location.  Women will drive up to two hours to shop at their favorite stores.  I’m guessing they need to spend some time on redefining how to reach.

8)  Confidence or Aggressiveness. Which one pays the bills? Being aggressive I say … ask Jennifer Hyman of Rent the Runway.   I loved her story about turning objections from clothing designers into creating a new market for them.   My “scalability” for confidence is off the charts.  This is a kill or be killed business world. I live in the Inland Northwest where aggressiveness is seen as bitchy, networking is opening yourself up to theft and being highly professional is not looked at as a good thing.  However, when I was at WE2, I had to laugh out loud at the aggressive behavior of the women attending.  I loved it … for real.  I was also wishing for an IV hook up to a few people – their blood type transferred to mine, not just for the aggressive gene but the luck and “who they know” quotient.  As I was waiting my turn to speak to Arianna Huffington, no less than 10 women stepped in and interrupted when it was my turn.  Being the southern gal I am, I just tolerated it and ended up walking out with her.  She was polite and informative … worth the wait and at the end of the day, I was aggressive enough and received the information I needed.  Yes … I’ll take aggressive over confident, some may argue it’s the same thing but I don’t think so.

Optism

14 Oct

One more post on mobile permission marketing.  I like this video interview with one of the leaders of Optism.  I love what he says “stop sending out information to those who don’t respond just for the numbers.  Find out what they want to see and send them that.”  Well, duh but for real, you know it’s done incessantly.  It takes time and effort to find out what someone really wants to know about.  However, once you have that trust and interest, it rarely goes away.

Direct VS Mass Marketing

13 Oct

I have a new product coming out for Nosey Parker.  It’s fabulous, however, I  have to decide to Mass Market or Direct Market.  The decision is difficult because I can see all different types of women enjoying the product, however, typically Nosey Parker is geared towards a higher income demographic of shopper.

Seth Godin says ‘A mass marketer needs to reach the masses, and to do it in many ways, simultaneously. The mass marketer needs retail outlets and fliers and a website and public relations and tv ads and more more more and then… bam… critical mass is reached and success occurs.  The direct marketer, on the other hand, must get it right in the small. That pitch letter can be tested on 100 houses and if it gets a 2% response rate, then it can be mailed to 100,000 houses with confidence.  The mass marketer is betting on thousands of tiny cues, little clues, and unrecorded (but vital) conversations. The direct marketer is measuring conversion rates from the first day.  Get it right for ten people before you rush around scaling up to a thousand. It’s far less romantic than spending money at the start, but it’s the reliable, proven way to get to scale if you care enough to do the work.”

You would think that would help with my decision.  The issue is that his opinion is great when you are trying to get business.  I’m not.  I am relaying information for clients.  So, I am helping them get business.  Do I want to create a stir with everyone or do I only want to hit those who would shop with my clients?  I won’t create buzz as fast if I don’t mass market.  However, creating ROI for my client should be of utmost importance. I think I answered my question. 🙂

 

Unsure of Mobile Marketing

12 Oct

I’m still on mobile, mainly because I finally figured out how to use it for Nosey Parker.  When initially approached, I turned it down because I would have to send out 5 texts a day to cover all of my clients.  I think my opt-out rate would be high.  The key for me was to let each of my clients have their own mobile community number and the Nosey Parker fans can choose who they would like to follow.  This also puts my client in full control.  I am the provider instead of the user.

I enjoy the Optism-ww.com site and read it frequently. The article for March 4, 2011 included this intro: “With the maturing of mobile marketing, we’re starting to see changes in how marketers are approaching mobile, although as we see from the first item below, change is sometimes very slow. Internet Retailing reviews the results of recent research conducted by M-Retailing and Sponge, a mobile marketing company. One of the main findings of the research was that “Retailers see mobile as a business essential but many [are] unsure how to maximize potential.  – continue

This is exactly what I came across when approaching  my retail clients.  They are very good at what they do … selling their merchandise.  Keeping up with technology changes and knowing the best route to take has been a hurdle.  With limited marketing dollars, playing russian roulette with which technologies to use is not a favorite pastime.

I intend to keep up with technology, but more importantly, I need to decipher, based on my research and expertise, what is best to increase their ROI.

 


 

Permission and Trust

11 Oct

Perketing is all about permission.  It takes longer to build but it’s so worth the effort and patience.  Why? You gain trust … something that doesn’t happen in mass marketing.  I like this article by Peggy Anne Salz written for MobileGroove.com.  Key point: “Introducing technology for technology’s sake is not an approach that will guarantee the interaction (or the level engagement) that brands seek to achieve. Put simply, people came first, not technology.”

from Author: Peggy Anne Salz

We are entering into a new and critical phase of development in the mobile marketing industry. The discussion no longer centers on whether mobile fits in then marketing mix. Today we are debating where mobile fits best in the customer journey and whether marketers should craft mobile campaigns that focus on customer acquisition or retention.  (continue)

Is Human Intellect 95% Feelings?

7 Apr

My background is information technology – 23+ years actually.  When I had to study advertising and marketing to write my business plan for Nosey Parker, the goal was to help small business quantify buyers.  So I needed to know how they currently track results from traditional advertising methods. The first question I ask was “Show me your stats. Give me some evidence of how this works.”  As a past systems engineer, I was very into fact-based discussions.  What I learned is that no matter how much evidence you have that something works or doesn’t work, if a mind is made up for whatever reason, this type of fact -based salesmanship is pointless. There is also a comfort in staying with the same old thing because it’s been around along time.

I was talking to a boutique once and ask them the results they achieved from a print publication.  They said that over the years it’s been hit and miss but that the opportunity to be seen by 75k+ people was the biggest enticement.  However, they could not tell me how many clients they had gained over the years from all of their ads.  I called it playing darts, which they thought was slightly insulting. I also made the mistake of pulling in my own personal preference and behaviors in regards to looking at advertising.  I don’t look at ads online or in most publications to be honest … except in InStyle Magazine  … my mindless pleasure.  I watched an Ignite Video once called “A Barbie Girl in a CS World” – that’s me, kinda.  When speaking with the boutique, I was assuming everyone was me.  They are not.

It is hard to associate comfort, relationships and the “nontechnical factors” when you are a statistics based person.  Give me the facts not your feelings.  Guess what?  I am quite sure now that the human intellect is made of 95% feelings for the most part.  Ignoring it will get you nowhere fast.

I was reminded this week of the selling game, gaining clients by permission, building relationships when my 18 year old son text me the following:  “Mom, a pacemaker company brought all the doctors and nurses here in the ER lunch today from Caruso’s!!! So cool, right? I can’t wait til I’m a doctor!”  I am sure that if you just read the stats and information on results from this pacemaker company, you could make a decision on whether you should put it in a human body.  However, with lots of competition and everything being equal … who to use?  The one who brings us lunch that’s who!

According to permission marketing guru Seth Godin “evidence isn’t the only marketing tactic that is effective. In fact, it’s often not the best tactic. What would change his mind, what would change the mind of many people resistant to evidence is a series of eager testimonials from other tribe members who have changed their minds. When people who are respected in a social or professional circle clearly and loudly proclaim that they’ve changed their minds, a ripple effect starts. First, peer pressure tries to repress these flip-flopping outliers. But if they persist in their new mindset, over time others may come along. Soon, the majority flips. It’s not easy or fast, but it happens.”

So true. Press on and go buy someone lunch.