Thursday, May 19, 2011

Finding a Win-Win

Historical gold price in USD and inflation adj...Image via Wikipedia
I was at an event last night met Angela, who is in runs a her own company, Goldsmart. Goldsmart buys gold. 

The gold buying industry is one dominated by people who spend thousands of dollars on TV advertisements (if you have ever seen Toronto TV, you know Russell Oliver) in order to drum up business.

Angela does things differently.  She helps her customers harness the power of group selling to get better prices for their gold and, by giving up to 10% back to charity, help the community.  Organizations, offices or groups of friends get together and throw a "gold buying" party and it makes the whole process fun, informative and efficient. Instead of spending money on advertising, she gives the extra money back to her customers in the form of higher gold prices

It's really a win-win situation.  People are able to turn their gold into cash, Angela does business and a charity/non-profit gets much needed funds.

As I was talking to her, my brain was going into overdrive... how could I make my business, and how could you make your business grow by harnessing the power of win-win situations?  Do we always have to be looking for a transaction in which money is exchanged for goods/services and that's all?

 Look for ways to further align yourself with the values of your target market.

Consider additional products or services that could be bundled with your offering at no extra cost.

I'm sure that most of us believe that everybody wins in transactions with our firms.  We get revenue and customers get amazing products/services... but is that really the case?

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Monday, May 16, 2011

What are you doing differently than everyone else?

It's Me AgainImage via Wikipedia
Lately, I have started to see many people using the same tired tactics as part of their marketing strategy.

They go to events and live tweet the whole thing.  Then, they go home and write up a summary blog post of the event.  Then they proceed to tweet the blog post four times a day for the next three days.

Retails that run through a series of percentage discounts and frivolous add-ons in order to create the appearance of value in an offer.

Instead of going back to the same old tactics, I would spend a few minutes thinking about:

  • Is there an alternative way to promote this that I haven't done before?
  • Is there an interesting new form of content I could develop to make myself stand out?
I think that marketers (and I might also be included here) go back to the same old stuff in the hopes of getting a new and better result.  In the end, we never get any better and instead just move sideways.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

There is no place for brands in social media

The Coca-Cola logo is an example of a widely-r...Image via Wikipedia
Everyone loves to talk about how brands can use social media to engage with potential and/or current customers.  Consultants, agencies and outsourcing firms earn thousands (if not millions) of dollars helping brands achieve some level of engagement through social media.

I think any brand looking to engage an audience social media is wasting their time because there is no place for brands in or on social media.  

I firmly believe there is a place for PEOPLE, and so I believe the focus of any brand wanting to get into social media should be:

  1. Finding the right people to represent your brand
  2. Creating a culture and processes that allow them to be themselves 
  3. Developing mechanisms to capture, retain and nurture relationships
  4. Being consistent in your approach

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