Differentiating Your Company in a Tough Market

April 30, 2009

It’s not a given that companies must accept massive customer losses during a recession. However, that is exactly what’s likely to occur unless a company takes aggressive steps to boost its customer retention through quality of service. Fortunately, there are software tools available to support effective customer-focused strategies.

Given the current state of the global economy and the risk that customers might defect to the sidelines rather than to the competition, it seems obvious that retention strategies should be at the forefront of any business with direct customer relationships.

With the business line that has the most direct customer access and can create the most emotive customer experiences: the call center.

Businesses use a range of metrics to measure call center effectiveness and efficiency, including its ability to drive customer satisfaction and increase sales.

An increasing number of companies use Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) software as part of their customer experience program to measure customer attitude.

By understanding what customers want and which issues drive retention, business will realize the following benefits:

  • growth in the number of products per customer or household due to the enhanced relationship built on trust;
  • increased customer retention due to better complaint handling and increased loyalty;
  • a spike in customer acquisition due to increased advocacy from existing customers who have been turned around; and
  • greater visibility and control over the entire customer relationship, whether the sales model is direct or indirect.

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25 Must Read Social Media Marketing Tips

April 30, 2009

The benefit from a firm grasp of social media for companies is impossible to ignore. Whether you work in marketing, advertising, public relations or interactive, there are distinct competitive advantages for both individuals and businesses from a better understanding of the social web.

So much of social technology and media engagement is centered on listening – not something many people, let alone companies, are very good at. What are some of the significant corporate cultural shifts and behaviors that you see as necessary to understanding, energizing and embracing the groundswell?

We lay out in the book five key objectives that you can achieve by tapping into the groundswell: Listening, Talking, Energizing, Supporting, and Embracing.

  1. Never forget that the groundswell is about person-to-person activity. You are not speaking as “the company”, but as a person. Most companies don’t know how to do this, and it takes a lot of practice to find that voice and feel comfortable with it.
  2. Be a good listener. All companies say they listen to their customers, but do they really LISTEN and let people know that they are listening?
  3. Be patient. This takes a long time because you are going to be transforming your company, one person at a time.
  4. Be opportunistic. Start small with the people who are most passionate about building relationships with customers.
  5. Be flexible. You never know what’s going to happen so you have to constantly adjust your thinking and learn.
  6. Be collaborative. You need people from up and down the management chain to buy-in.
  7. Most importantly, be humble. Remember that you are not as powerful as the groundswell. If you forget this, they will let you know.

Read full article and all tips from the experts >


HOW TO: Plan and Promote Events With Social Media

April 29, 2009

Events, whether they are a local tweetup, a championship game or the world’s largest conference, can be notoriously difficult to plan, promote, and execute. But the end result can be amazing, and that is why we plan them in the first place.

Whether you need to work with organizers, generate buzz, or share post-party photos, social media should be a primary weapon in your arsenal. With the power to share comes the ability to spread the word, increase awareness, and accomplish your goals.

Step 1. Plan with social media tools

Step 2. Organizing and inviting

Step 3. Promotion and distribution

Twitter and Facebook should be your primary promotional tools – they are built for spreading a message.

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55% of Search Marketers Plan to Increase SEO Spending this Year

April 28, 2009

While the recession may be hurting the search engines’ revenues, it’s apparently not having an affect on the spending habits of search marketers.

According to the latest UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report from Econsultancy, search marketers plan to increase their spending this year.

Highlights include:

  • 55% of UK search marketers plan to increase their SEO spending this year.
  • 45% plan to increase their paid search budgets
  • 49% plan to include Twitter in their marketing efforts–up from 3% last year–and 65% are including Facebook.
  • 48% are seeing an increase in ROI from their SEO campaigns (compared to 6% that have seen a decline) and for paid search, 43% have seen an increase (versus 15% that have seen a decline)

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53% of interactive marketers expect their budgets for social media marketing to increase

April 27, 2009

The survey of 145 interactive marketing professionals suggested companies will focus more on customer engagement in 2009

Highlights from the report include:

  • 53% of interactive marketers expect their budgets for social media marketing to increase as a response to the recession.
  • Social media budgets remain miniscule compared to the rest of interactive marketing. Three-quarters of marketers say their social media spend is $100,000 or less over 12 months.
  • Social media is not yet a marketing line item. 45-percent of marketers say their social budgets are determined as needed and 23-percent say they scrape together funds from wherever they can find them.

Only 25% of companies are spending more than $100k a year on social media and it’s not yet a line item? Reminds me a lot of search engine marketing circa 1999. If you spend peanuts on social media, you’ll get…peanut butter–not filet mignon–when it comes to seeing results.

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Huge Growth for Social Media Marketing

April 27, 2009

Forrester Research is holding its own conference down in Orlando and has just revealed its predictions for the growth of online advertising. The bottom line is that social media and mobile will be the hottest, but just about everything will see an upward trend.

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6 Social Media mistakes other people make – and how to avoid them

April 24, 2009

Internet marketing is complex and it’s becoming more so every day. You can’t do everything, so it is essential that what you do is done well to maximize your investment in time and money.

Social media is all the rage at the moment, and astute business builders realize that business is where the people are. Yes, you can incorporate social media in your marketing strategies. And the fact that most businesses still are not doing so only enhances the value for those that do.

Getting it right is essential. In fact, getting it wrong in this space can be very damaging, so read this list carefully.

1.  Not having a social media plan Every successful campaign needs to have a set of goals. Ask yourself what you want to achieve.

> Attract subscriber

> Sell a product or service

> Increase the recognition of your site/brand

> Create a community

The solution If you don’t know what your goals are then neither will your new visitors. Whatever your goals, make sure you adapt the tactics to the strategy, not the other way around.

2.  Not understanding your audience – This is simple and obvious – and yet often forgotten.

The solution Learn about the demographics for any given social website. Each one has their own rules, ethics and, sometimes, their own vocabulary.

3. Not Listening It is inevitable that you will get negative comments as well as positive ones.

The solution If you want to know what people are saying about you or your company, track online discussions and learn from them.

4. Trying to interact with ‘everybody’ Do not try to interact with and respond to all the messages, discussions and tweets available. Be selective. Go deep rather than broad.

The solution Align with peers in your industry. Interact with possible pain points.

5. Social media spamming One of the worse things you can do is to send out your content to completely the wrong people

The solution Don’t spam.

6. Lying and trying to fake it. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not.

The solution Act normal, collaborate, talk about what you do, about what you like, or dislike, your stories.

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