Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Words Are Powerful. Choose Them Carefully.

Last week I was watching a video from author and personal development coach Mel Robbins and was struck by a very simple lesson: The words we use make an impact on the people around us. They also have the power to change outcomes, influence moods, alter perspectives—the list goes on.

In her video Robbins shares that she recently became aware of the number of times she says, “I’m sorry” in situations in which she doesn’t really need to apologize for her actions. She gives an example that most of us can relate to: You walk into a meeting 30 seconds late and instead of saying, “I’m sorry I’m running late” she suggests saying, “Thank you for your patience.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unRDUhNTbsc&feature=youtu.be&__s=uzmkrnuwvfms1i5omzww

Robbins explains that when we say “I’m sorry” we are affirming that we are wrong; and by leading with “Thank you…” we acknowledge the people around us—and change the trajectory of the interaction or discussion.

In this video, she also discusses the qualifying language that we often use in our everyday conversations—words such as “actually” and “I think.” Robbins says these words take away from the power and command of our language and we should make the effort to be more direct and assertive in our speech by leaving these “fluff” words out of the conversation.

These lessons on clean, concise language can be applied to marketing, too. Think about it: What do the words you use say about your brand?

At Shamrock, we’re in the marketing business—and we understand that it’s not only important what you say, but also how you say it. It’s our job to choose the words that perfectly paint a brand picture, define services, amplify benefits, etc.

In many instances lately, I’m seeing the less-is-more approach is working. Maybe that’s because in today’s digital age, we all want a quick overview? A concise pitch? Brevity, combined with intentional language, are parameters we can all apply.

What do the words you use, say about you? And how about your brand writing: Does it paint the picture you want your customers to see?

Let’s continue the discussion on LinkedIn.

Tim Connor

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Let’s Get Personal: 13 Places To Research Your Potential Customer.

There’s no such thing as TMI when it comes to doing business research. Today, we’ve got access to data at our fingertips, and even on our wrists, about everything from market trends and industry performance, to products and services.

When you’re looking at research from the sales perspective, it becomes a uniquely personal search. A successful salesperson gathers that critical business data, and also works to make a personal connection with his/her customer by finding what makes that customer tick.
 
While I’m not suggesting you creep on your prospect’s Instagram, I am saying that a little effort to get personal goes a long way. Finding out more about your prospect on both a business and personal level can help you align your products or services to better provide value. By leading with that targeted, personalized value proposition, your communication instantly becomes more approachable and authentic. And when accompanied with diligent industry and product/service research, it gives you the advantage that can help close the sale.
 
To help you get started, I’ll paraphrase a HubSpot article that provides a list of resources for conducting comprehensive customer research:
  1. LinkedIn. Find details about your prospect’s job responsibilities or duties, past employment history, and learn of any shared connections. Also click through to their groups to see what’s being talked about; and review what content they’ve shared recently.
  2. Twitter. Use his/her personal page to get a sense of interests or to identify trends. Also check on the company’s page to understand how they present their brand.
  3. The Company’s Website: Press Page. Scroll through recent news and do the same for that of their competitors.
  4. Blogs. Read what your buyer reads and read what your buyer writes.
  5. Facebook. Pick up personal information or identify shared friends or organizations.
  6. Your Marketing Automation System. Search the prospect's name in your system to turn up existing contact records. Maybe they’ve contacted you? If this buyer is already familiar with your product/service, tailor your approach to their current stage in the buying process.
  7. Your CRM in case another team member has reached out in the past—use the existing data profile to your benefit.
  8. Google the prospect and the company to uncover additional details that might not have turned up in other searches.
  9. Quora. Use Quora to understand what your prospect is hoping to learn or if there are any issues he/she is currently facing.
  10. Glassdoor. Find out about the company’s culture; if they're hiring new employees in a division related to your product, that's a good sign.
  11. Datanyze offers a free Chrome Extension that you can click while on the prospect's website to see which technology tools they're currently using.
  12. Crunchbase gives you information on acquisition history, investors, customers, and more. 
  13. Yelp. If your prospect works directly with consumers browsing their Yelp page is a great way to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses.
Is there any tool that you use that’s not on my list? Please share with me on LinkedIn.
 
Tim Connor
 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Make Tangible Brand Connections with Direct Mail Postcards

If you’re thinking that in today’s digital age, direct mail marketing is dead, think again: Research shows that printed media resonates with consumers:
  • 70% of Americans consider physical mail "more personal" than email (Experian Data Quality Group)
  • 60% of ad mail recipients will visit the website if it is listed on the ad (Experian Data Quality Group)
  • Consumers who receive ad mail spend 28% more than those who don't (USPS)
To gain a greater understanding of how the brain reacts to physical vs. digital mail, the United States Postal Service partnered with the Center for Neural Decision Making at Temple University’s Fox School of Business to gauge responses to physical and digital advertising pieces. Researchers found that:
  • Physical ads triggered activity in a part of the brain that corresponds with value and desirability.
  • Participants had a stronger emotional response to physical ads and remembered them better.
A physical and tangible media, direct mail is a powerful channel for promoting your brand. Based on
neuro-marketing research in direct mail, the Data and Marketing Association shares these best practices to help guide you in making the most of your next campaign:

Be bold. Humans have an attention span of 8 seconds. Marketing that cuts through the clutter with attention-getting graphics and copy are paramount to success.

Visuals rule. In fact, the brain processes visuals 60,0000 times faster than the time it takes the brain to decode text. Selling your story with pictures and graphics is a must.

Keep it simple. Due to cognitive fluency, the brain craves ease and order. Direct mail that creates a simple decision path with limited copy and explanation always tests better.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok579symjbY

As you consider folding direct mail into your integrated marketing mix, remember that research also shows that touch can make a stronger impact that sight or sound alone: Touch has the power to shift the brain into a deeper level of engagement, one more conducive to building lasting knowledge.

This short video from Shamrock designer Deb Smith shows how you can put the power of touch to work in your next direct mail campaign: She features a new clear postcard stock that makes a lasting brand impression and delivers your message in a unique and memorable way by using this clear heavyweight paper with its standout look and tactile feel.

If you’re interested in learning more, connect with me directly at emoriarty@shamrockcompanies.net

Ellen Moriarty