Tick Yes Blog

Tag - marketing

Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

A few days ago I posted an article called The Stupidity of Silence where I suggested that ceasing all contact when someone doesn’t give you what you want is a really dumb strategy.
Here’s another one.
We’re looking to sell our house at the moment. Part of the process is interviewing real estate agents. Theirs is an incredibly competitive business where all they’re offering is reputation and the perceived ability to persuade people to buy.
The first agent who came to our home said all the right things, had all the requisite collateral detailing sales successes etc. and was a nice guy. The only problem was that he completely ignored the adored family dog.
It’s a small point, I know. You could say that his job is to negotiate hard and to sell real estate on our behalf, not to get all cutesy with every pampered pooch that may slobber on his expensive suit.

But you could also say that his job is to effectively engage people and a simple short-cut to doing that is to understand what their emotional hot buttons are. It’s not much of a stretch to assume that a spoiled pet fits the hot button bill for the person – the property’s owner – the agent is trying to influence.
Not surprisingly, that agent didn’t get the business. The agent that did pat Mocha closed the sale.

For those of us who need to emotionally engage and influence people for a living, it’s easy to forget that little things to us may be major things to our market/s. Recognising what that is (by research, experience or assumption) and reacting accordingly can make the difference between success and failure.
 
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Case Study: How Digital Marketing Took a Business to the Next Level

Having an effective digital marketing strategy is central to creating a successful and recognisable brand in today’s digital age. With so many markets in a state of flux, being able to pivot in real-time to adapt to changing market needs is one of digital marketing’s key benefits.
SolarQuotes is a company that used digital marketing to do just that. The company helps Australians buy solar power for their homes and business.
Finn Peacock, CEO and Founder, started SolarQuotes with just $500 for Google Ads using the free wi-fi at his local public library. The company’s website now contains over 17,000 reviews of solar installers, solar panels and inverters.
Thanks to a strong digital marketing strategy, SolarQuotes now turns over about $3 million per year. While still a small business, there are several valuable lessons brand owners can learn from SolarQuotes’ success.
Invest in Valuable Content.
To build those first Google Ads, SolarQuotes needed something to advertise. Over time, the company has built up an arsenal of articles, blog posts and practical tools to help its users navigate the solar market.
These types of articles aren’t just general information about the industry, they contain useful and actionable advice and tools for their audience. You can read about how a specific product like The Sonnen Battery has an unclear warranty or about how leaders in the industry, like Tesla, are faring.
These articles highlight the key thing your content needs to perform well both organically and with paid ads: real value for your target audience. Don’t get too excited though—it’s not enough to just provide value. Your content must end up in front of the right eyes.
Leverage PPC ads wisely.
For SolarQuotes, these paid ads came in the form of Google Ads. There are many other options, like working with advertising technology that re-targets prospects, or social media ads that find a home for your content in already built niche audiences.
The SolarQuotes team has spent six years building up their Adwords account into a “highly optimised machine,” and therefore can rely on their ability to successfully target the market.
That initial $500 I told you about earlier—that went towards design, coding and the cost of clicks.
Peacock explained his strategy to The Sydney Morning Herald:
“I put up the website, tested the concept and when it looked like it had legs, I started spending on the credit card.” His next outlay was around $3,000 on advertising. “I only did it after I was confident that I would get a return,” said Peacock.
These Google ads helped him drive traffic to his website, but once these audience members were there, he had to figure out a way to keep them there.
Grow your Audience and Keep them Happy.
The company kept their audience with organic (in other words free) strategies. In addition to its website, SolarQuotes has several social media channels for which they have built a pretty robust following.
Their Facebook (26,000 likes), Twitter (791 followers with tweets every day), Google+ (423 followers), RSS, YouTube and Pinterest accounts all work toward distributing their content and allowing them to engage with their highly-active audience.
Build Media Relationships.
They didn’t just stop with content. SolarQuotes developed a mobile strategy that would allow them to harness the power of technology via apps.
The company featured several ‘Current Solar Incentive’ apps on various media websites like The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times, Weather Zone and more. They didn’t just talk about their product either, they grew their audience by talking about their success story, and putting a face behind their brand.
Customer Testimonials
Most importantly, SolarQuotes saw huge digital marketing success with their customer testimonials.
Their website features numerous testimonials from real customers and includes a blog that focuses solely on solar panel issues that customers may experience.
These testimonials and articles help build trust with new prospects that find SolarQuotes on the web and drive more leads for their business every day.
SolarQuotes’ success makes for a great story, but it isn’t unique. Businesses across the world are finding success by taking their digital marketing strategies to the next level.
There is one thing you can do to ensure your digital marketing success—ensure that the content, messaging and media coverage you promote is valuable to your audience. It’s through them that your business will inevitably grow.

The Stupidity of Silence

For my sins, I’ve been brought up to say “please” and “thank you” and even, heaven forbid, open the door for ladies. I know that such behaviour is archaic, uncool and totally unexpected in today’s ‘every man for himself’ age, but it works for me.
That’s not to say that all people don’t appreciate manners. Take me, for example. Not surprisingly, I love it when people are polite. Mainly because it shows that they actually give a damn about our interaction.
That’s why it always astounds me when people in business don’t follow-up with a simple thank you email or even a note – when was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? – after we’ve had some type of interaction.
This is particularly the case when someone has unsuccessfully asked for a meeting, a job or a sale. Most of the time, if I say “no thank you” I get nothing back. Silence. They’ve moved on to new prospects because I didn’t give them what they wanted.
How stupid. As the old sales expression goes ‘No doesn’t mean no, it just means not now.’
For the cost of spending 2 minutes writing a “Thanks, sorry we couldn’t do a deal this time. Maybe we can work together in the future…” email, their last impression with me would have been a positive one. Instead, their silence showed me that the decision not to work with them was probably the right one.
We’re all in sales, so rejection comes with the territory. You have to look beyond today’s no and focus on the long-term relationship you can form with the person who has just rejected what you’re offering. It’s important to remember that they didn’t reject you, they rejected what you were selling.
Some of the best clients I’ve ever worked with said no for several years until the time was right for them to say yes. The only person who misses out if you don’t keep in touch with the person who just said “thanks but no thanks” is you.

Keep in touch. Keep showing up. Show you care. It’s the smart thing to do.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Chris Rock’s Oscars Lessons for Marketers

Did you see Chris Rock at last night’s Oscars? Man, he nailed it: loose, funny, topical, irreverent, black.
Hang on, what was that? Black? You can’t say that! That’s, that’s, well that’s racist!
In isolation it’s jarring to refer to someone’s skin colour or any other personal feature when judging work they’ve just completed. Of course, it’s also completely irrelevant.
But let’s back up a bit. This year’s Oscars were all about race. After the nominations were announced in January there was a furor about the lack of black nominees. Plenty of black presenters and entertainers appearing on the night mind you. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite swept the twittersphere faster than you can spell equality.
In the midst of all this hullabaloo along came host Chris Rock. From the opening monologue he hilariously answered the question on every observer’s mind: how is he going to deal with it? He dealt with it by confronting it head-on. As in citing lynchings, rapes and racism. Full-on you might say. He didn’t pretend it wasn’t happening. In fact, it was his recurring theme for the night. Rock didn’t just confront the elephant in the room, he invited the elephant on to the stage and into our lounge rooms to share hosting duties.
Here’s the funny thing, though. Rock managed to get the message across and demonstrate his support for the cause by metaphorically inviting the audience to join him. Too often zealots bore and antagonise the very people they’re trying to influence. They’re so wrapped up in their own self-righteousness and feeling that everyone else is wrong/stupid/ignorant that their words and actions isolate them even more. In the end, more harm than good is done and no-one wins.
Rock took a different approach. His performance was so nuanced and clever that we couldn’t help but warm to him AND his cause. He made us laugh while making the points that needed to be made. He took us along for the ride because he earned the right to do so by taking into account what we wanted: to be entertained.
Many marketers often take the zealot approach and try to get us all hot and sweaty about their cause by breathlessly telling us about the most banal facts about their product / service. They use their media budget to repeatedly bludgeon their market/s with their offering which is usually no different to the other 20 options that are available.
Most of us aren’t in the entertainment business. Selling breakfast cereal and ball bearings will never have the inherent interest of the Academy Awards or one the world’s best loved comedians. We are all in the persuasion business, though. We all need to market with empathy and flair lest all is lost. By that I mean that if we fail to bring our customers along with us we’ll end up in the mire, cutting prices until the cows – or liquidators – come home.
Chris Rock took many risks last night. There was no guarantee that his many potentially controversial jokes would work*. The alternative, however was even riskier: to be an apologist for both sides and end up pleasing no-one.
We marketers also need to take risks and make a memorable stand on behalf of what we’re promoting. Often, it’s the only way to stand out. Our customers are crying out to be engaged, entertained, cajoled, informed and even just included. Take them along for an enjoyable and memorable ride and you could well end up at the cash register more often than you could have imagined.
*Apparently Rock did try out his routine at an LA Comedy club over the past fortnight. No matter how much you practice, however, you still need to step up on the day and take a leap of faith.
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The One Immutable Law of Selling

If you haven’t read Al Ries & Jack Trout’s ’22 Immutable Laws of Marketing’ do your 2016 a favour and do so. It pinpoints the art and science of marketing better than any other book I’ve read.
So if marketing needs 22 laws to sum up its undoubted power, how about the other side of the commercial coin? How many laws does it take to encapsulate selling?
Of course there’s no shortage of books, courses and websites devoted to answering that question. In fact, I’d wager that there are probably 10 times more resources focused on selling than there are on marketing.
When I first decided to add sales to my marketing bow I read, watched and listened to many of them and then implemented a good deal of what they suggested.
I actually made a cold phone call to a prospect once after listening to a sales course and opened by saying “If there were a way for you to achieve greater…..” No “hello, my name is..”.
I know: embarrassing.

Not surprisingly, the prospect cut me off by curtly saying “What are you selling?” Needless to say, I didn’t close that sale.
What I’ve learned is that sales is a darned sight simpler than marketing. Not easier mind you.
Selling is both the hardest job and the easiest job in any organisation. Hardest in that you’re often given a desk, a PC and a phone and then the rest is up to you. Easiest in that when you’ve made the sale, all the others who can’t or won’t sell have to deliver what you’ve promised.
Of course, that’s a simplification and there are many variables that can change the picture to some degree. But overall, that’s pretty much it.
So what are the key learnings? Sales scripts suck; you’re not fooling anyone, we know you’re reading!! Closing techniques have no place in professional services business development. And not believing in what you’re selling is always futile.
So what is the one immutable rule of selling? In my experience it’s all about taking consistent action. Picking up the phone, going to networking functions, sending emails and LinkedIn InMails to prospects and being active on social media. Make things happen, push through rejection because there’s always a lot of it and work consistently to politely and professionally get in front of people who need what you’re selling. Do that and you will succeed. Do anything else and you won’t.
I realise that this is not particularly insightful or new. After all the courses and the books I devoured, the same thought occurred to me. It is, however a simple to implement success formula for anyone who wants to promote a product or service no matter what their background.
Some may disagree with this bare bones summation of sales success but I think it’s pretty hard to argue with the overall sentiment: consistently do lots of things that are relevant to your target market.
I loved a piece of graffiti from Shakespeare’s ‘Coriolanus’ that used to be daubed on a wall near the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It sums up what I’m suggesting: Action is Eloquence.

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Serious Numbers

This week we achieved an incredible milestone. Our humble musings about all things digital, marketing and heck, life as we know it clicked over to a zero number of reads; lots of zeros in fact. Since ‘The Message’ was launched in 2011 our posts have been read over 400,000 times; by 266,000++ visitors no less.
Seriously.
So a BIG thank you. It’s astounding that our small blog that we haven’t really marketed in any meaningful way beyond a little bit of social sharing has been so popular. Of course there are many blogs that probably boast these types of figures every month but we never thought we’d be a able to attract even a fraction of the numbers that we have.
Did I mention thank you?
While we’re talking numbers, here are our five most popular posts (in order of number of reads) all of which still get major traffic every month:
1. How social media is helping beat cyber-bullying
2. Caveman porn
3. Instagram Joins the Video-posting Trend
4. A brief history of culture jamming
5. Are Anonymous’ days numbered?
OK, need to get back to work. 500,000 beckons!
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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In Life and on LinkedIn, Saying “Thank You” Can Take You a Long Way

 
 

Worst Digital Marketing Advice We’ve Ever Heard

“Be controversial to get traffic to your site.”
Sometimes, controversy can be a good thing. You can get people talking about your brand and gain more recognition. However, trying to be controversial is essentially playing with fire. It is so easy to stray a little too far into the controversy and have the whole thing blow up in your face. Also, it is almost impossible to sustain controversy for too long, and a digital marketing plan is one thing that needs to be sustainable.
“Don’t worry if you mess up. Just delete it.”
In the new age of the Internet, deleting something is incredible difficult. If you make a negative comment or a poor joke online, everyone can see it immediately. Even if you delete it as soon as you realise your mistake, thousands of people could already have seen it and they can share it with many more. Some people think the best advantage about the Internet is how quickly things can spread, but in some cases this can also be the greatest disadvantage.
“It doesn’t matter what you post about, just post as often as possible for new traffic.”
Although posting often is a good thing, if what you post is lousy or boring, it will not help your business get found online. You may get a lot of traffic early on, but readers will quickly get tired of sub-par posts and leave your site for good. This is a common mistake and all businesses should live by the recognisable saying “quality over quantity”.
“Establish a presence everywhere.”
There are SO many social networks and other ways to market you business online that it is almost impossible to be everywhere. The key is to focus on a few popular options and use them dedicatedly. Spending your time marketing on 10-15 different networks takes time away from doing other important things for your business. By focusing on the most important networks, you can effectively market your business without spending too much time managing profiles or updating information.
“Dealing with comments is hard, so it’s better to just disable comments altogether.”
Of all they bad advice out there, this one definitely takes the cake. First of all, people are going to express their opinions in other ways if they cannot comment. They will go on social media or other platforms, which makes it harder for you to manage the conversation. In addition, disabling comments makes you look like a company that is unable to deal with reality. Comments are supposed to help you to know what your readers are looking for. Comments could give you new ideas that help you grow and attract new customers. And yes, negative comments can be difficult to deal with. Readers can complain or unjustly criticise your company, making it hard to respond without hurting yourself. The best way to do this is just to be honest and genuine with your readers. Do your best to answer them if they have questions or help them if they have complaints, but the worst thing you can do is to not let them comment at all.
 
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DON’T Send Flowers (If You Want to Keep a Customer).

We all love added value. Unexpected treats work big time. Well, most of the time.
The following tale of woe falls into the category of ‘don’t do this at home’. In fact, doing it at home is fine; it’s when it happens at work that it becomes problematic.
What’s ‘it’?
Picture this scene: there’s me busily working away in the office minding my own business when a courier arrives bearing gifts. Or A gift.
Think of the biggest, most sumptuous bunch of flowers you’ve ever seen. Then double it.
Another key part of the picture was that working in the office alongside me was my beautiful, newly ensconced Hungarian girlfriend. Did I mention the fiery Hungarian thing? Anyway, you get the picture.
Everything that happened next seemed to be in slow motion.
The courier asked for me by name. Bewildered, like any self-respecting man would be as he confronted his impending doom, I answered. Yes, the flowers were for me.
Now I can’t begin to imagine what my girlfriend was thinking at that point but the two metaphorical holes that were being bored into the back of my head as I signed for the flowers gave me some clue.
They were from my new, young, and yes, female masseuse. This was her way of welcoming me to her practice. I never found out why she chose the very expensive option of sending flowers as a relationship building strategy. A hand written card would have worked just as well.
What happened next was, shall we say, sub-optimal. Now that some time has passed, I can say that Susan was ‘actively intrigued’ that a woman would send me flowers just to thank me for my patronage. OK, she was furious and she took a lot of convincing that I was the ‘victim’ of a misguided marketing strategy.
Not surprisingly, the flowers did not engender greater loyalty from me to my now former masseuse. As well-meaning as her strategy was, it failed the marketing 101 test: having empathy with how it will be received and, more importantly, perceived by the recipient.
Perhaps SHE’D love to receive flowers from a new supplier so why not send it to a new customer. Maybe she was single and didn’t have to consider how her partner would view her receiving a beautiful bunch of flowers from another person.
Frankly, I never found out. After a very short phone call explaining that what she did was not a fabulous idea from my perspective I haven’t spoken to her since.
Add value by all means but before you do so, consider how it will be received by the target market. If there’s even the slightest chance it could have a negative impact, don’t do it.
Make sure your “WOW!!” doesn’t turn into “WHAT?????”
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Marketing Content the Right Way

At Tick Yes, we’re marketers first and content creators second. If you’re looking to achieve commercial objectives by leveraging blog posts, articles, White papers, social media updates, videos or infographics THAT’S the way you need to look at content development. Many companies don’t and find themselves staring into the vortex of creating content for the sake of it and wondering what this content marketing fuss is all about.
This doesn’t have to be you.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
 
 

Pinterest: The Most Underrated Advertising Platform

By Megan Ritter
As Pinterest gets ever closer to launching its much anticipated “Promoted Pins” campaign, the spotlight has finally turned to one of the most underrated advertising platforms on the web. If you aren’t yet using Pinterest to boost your brand, then it’s time to find out more about how both free and paid Pinterest marketing can function to optimize your ROI.
Pinterest and Your Brand
For SME’s, Pinterest is a veritable gold mine of marketing opportunities. Unlike other major social media platforms, Pinterest offers users the ability to market posts (for free) not just to followers, but to all of Pinterest. For example, when you create a status update on your business Facebook page, users who do not already have a vested interest in your product are unlikely to stumble upon it. In contrast, when you upload a pin to Pinterest, Pinterest users from all over the world have access to your content.
Who Uses Pinterest?
Pinterest is popular amongst mobile users, with the platform attributing 75% of its traffic to mobile web visitors. With such a large mobile visitor base, Pinterest is particularly advantageous to brands seeking to increase their mobile presence; and with the mobile web accounting for an ever increasing percentage of business sales, who isn’t? By attracting mobile web users, your business can begin to cater the on-the-go demographic, catching the attention of mobile visitors who are perusing Pinterest while on the bus to the shopping mall, or getting a haircut nearby. As well as attracting a high percentage of mobile visitors, Pinterest is popular amongst the female demographic. Statistics show that women between the ages of 25-54 spent a total of over 3,500 minutes accessing Pinterest through the mobile web in January, 2014; almost double the amount of time that the same demographic spent on Twitter
Marketing Successfully Through Pinterest
A great as Pinterest is, just uploading the occasional pin isn’t going to cut it. If you don’t plan on investing in Pinterest’s upcoming Promoted Pins advertising deal, then you have to do the legwork yourself. To grow your consumer base through Pinterest, keep the following five steps in mind:

 Take Professional Quality Pictures: Pinterest users re-pin pictures that have good visual appeal, so photograph your product with excellence in mind. If your budget can accommodate hiring a professional photographer, all the better, but if not then it’s up to you to ensure that your pictures attract optimal attention to your product. If you don’t have a background in photography, then take a crash course to learn the basics of lighting, composition and editing.
Follow Other Pinterest Users: Be proactive in building your Pinterest follower base by following Pinterest users who have demonstrated an interest in products similar to your own. When you follow another Pinterest user, they will take a moment to view your Pinterest profile, giving your product the chance to attract a new fan.
Reward Your Followers: If you have a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter following built up already, ensure that your followers follow you over to Pinterest by announcing follower contests. For example, offer a free goodie bag to your 500th follower, or reward Pinterest users who re-pin your pins with free coupons.
Post Frequently: Posting once a week isn’t enough, posting once a day isn’t even enough. The more pins you post, the higher the chance that one of them will go viral and attract attention.
Link Back to Your Website/Landing Pages: When you post your pins, ensure that every one of them carries a link that leads directly back to your landing pages or your website. If you don’t connect your pins to your sales platform, you could be missing out on potential product sales.

Pinterest Promoted Pins
A little behind its competitors in launching paid advertising, Pinterest has announced that it will soon be offering advertising opportunities to companies in the USA. Although the service is not yet available, Pinterest has begun adding interested businesses to a Promoted Pins waitlist. Interested brands must make a six month commitment and pay a CPM of approximately $30. Brands will have the option to target specific search terms, or place ads in “Everything” and “Popular” feeds. Although Promoted Pins will be initially out of the budget range of most SMEs, the development is still cause for excitement. As with Facebook, Google +, and Twitter advertising, Pinterest advertising will likely become more widely available should its launch prove as successful as projected. So sit tight, and start building your Pinterest follower base!
Post by Megan Ritter: Megan Ritter is a graduate student at USC and an online web journalist. Follow her @megmarieritter
 
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