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Your Customers Want to Talk to You

July 23, 2014

Last week we looked at the Customer Service Theatre that follows a hyper-vigilant Seal Team Six intervention on social media. This week, we should look at the much more pernicious problem of Customer Hide and Seek.

We all know this game because we all play this game. It goes something like this: I have a question/problem/complaint and I would like to share that with the company that sold me the product. So I’m going to visit the website. And I’m going to look for an email or a toll-free number.

If you are like most companies, you will fail to provide that information. So I will either go rooting around on your Investor Relations page to find a contact email, or I will head to social media and try to get Seal Team Six to respond. Read the rest of this entry »

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There Are No Emergencies in Marketing

July 17, 2014

Joan is frequently late for lunch, which has a fair bit to do with her busy job managing social media for a large bank.  There are a lot of urgent things in social media. On a recent day, she huffed into the room looking more frazzled than usual. “Sorry, had a Code Red on Twitter,” she said.

It would seem that a customer had tweeted that she liked the food at a recent commercial banking customer event.  Well we certainly can’t be having that. “What did you do? Call in her line of credit? Take back the swell calendar you sent her?”, I asked.  It turns out the urgent thing was the bit of the tweet where she noted the room was stuffy.

“Stuffy is a very emotionally charged word,” Joan explained. Not really, but it was ambiguous enough to deploy Seal Team Six. Every company has one. In the case of marketing’s urgent things they involve the usual Hand-wringers (lawyers, corporate communications, human resources), a collection of consultants and a project manager to write things down. Read the rest of this entry »

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Should You Centralize or Decentralize Your B2B Marketing? Yes You Should.

July 2, 2014
This was originally published on February 12th, 2014 on the Canadian Marketing Association blog. That’s why it seems so familiar.

As the local marketer at the far end of this well-meant scheme I invested countless hours figuring out how to get around the stuff I didn’t like and how to get someone else to pay for the bits that were helpful. I’m sure that wasn’t what my corporate overlords had in mind, but that is the sad reality of a highly centralized marketing structure. Read the rest of this entry »

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P-Cube Rising: Procurement is Cool Again

June 25, 2014

It’s been a while since we checked in with our friends in the Vendor Abuse department, also known as Procurement, and it seems their lot is improving at last. According to Harvard Business Review, we’re finally spending again and external suppliers are seeing four percent more of revenue than in 2011.

We have also, apparently, run out of road on solution selling.  If you have also spent the past decade of your life trying to convince your Sales Squirrels that solution selling is a) a real thing; b) something they should do; c) possible with the large number of tools you’ve created,  then this is rather good news. It’s that nice feeling you get when you stop banging your head against the brick wall.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Five Solstice Celebrations for Marketers

June 17, 2014

Some people celebrate the solstice by painting themselves blue and yelling at airplanes; others make a fetching crown of daisies, and some of us look up from World Cup long enough to observe the lengthy day. For most of us, however, the Summer Solstice is the time we begin to realize the year is half over. How the fu*k did that happen? Here’s some inspiration to help you through it. A little Xanax might help too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Four Dumb Ways to Prevent Revenue

June 4, 2014
Here is a story about how  four dumb companies managed to prevent significant deals from coming in the door.
Dumb Company #1
In an effort to prevent real people on the outside from bothering real people on the inside, this company decided to remove all information from its website that might lead to that sort of disturbing fraternization. Instead, they created a general mailbox called “sales@dumbcompany1.com”. Problem is, they forgot to make it anyone’s job to look at the emails. So when I sent a request for proposal to them, it was like that tree that falls in the forest. Read the rest of this entry »
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A Refreshing Look at Customer Loyalty

May 26, 2014

The teaser on the cover of The Effortless Experience promises “a business detective story…” Who doesn’t like a business book with a few bodies piled up in the first chapter? I’m in.

Alas, no detectives, bodies, forensics or car chases here, but all is not lost; this is a cracking good read about customer loyalty and it’s one marketers should pay attention to.  Read the rest of this entry »

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