Friday, April 24, 2015

Communications mischief - Where is your customer's "to do list"

What if every time you had to figure out all of the things that you needed to do, you had to walk to each room of the house or to each floor of your office or the conference rooms where you had your last meeting to find sticky notes that you had left there with the reminder?

This scenario plays out every day online when companies that have some type of follow up that is needed by their customers assume that the customer will come back to their site to find that follow up.

Yesterday alone, I transacted on a dozen websites for different things.  As marvelous as those sites were, they are not the center of my world.  [GASP]

Sometimes I can't even remember the name of the site.  Sorry marketers, but if I don't need you every day or even every week or month, you just don't penetrate my psyche.  [DOUBLE GASP]

Email may be passe, but I know for me, it is the central place from which I generate my to do list. 

If I order something for my son's birthday and need to track the package, or need to order business cards once the new design is done on our logos, no matter the task, it generally crosses my email first.

BTW, for those who have been following my email saga (yes, I'm still cleaning out my email box every day), I have graduated from leaving everything in my email box until it is cleaned off.  Now I put everything in separate lists in an amazing tool called Basecamp, which I use for all my projects at work and all my to do lists at home.  

Why do I like it?  I have tried dozens of free list management apps.  Why do I like Basecamp?  First and foremost, it is because every day, it delivers to me a summary of what I have to do.   It is my new virtual assistant.  Further, it allows me to invite others to each project and to delegate things on the list to others. 

I recommend that you find the tool that works for you, but what this blog is about is your customer.
  1. Think about what your site/business is all about.  If it isn't about your customers, then rethink your strategy.  Make it about them and what works for them.
  2. Think about the frequency with which you interact with your prospects and customers.   Make sure that your communications and expectations are appropriate and that you have permission to email, call or text your clients for reminders.
  3. If there is a reminder needed, or an update in information, don't wait for them to come back to you and retrieve the information.  Push it to them in an email or a text if they prefer.

If you are not asking about communication preferences, then you don't know your customer.  And if you don't know your customer, then the chance of them coming back to you is slim to none.

Stay tuned.  I've been busy building a new business, but I'm back to writing.  See you Monday.

Chicke Fitzgerald
chief mischief officer


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Marketing Mischief - Stale Branding

Oh my.  What a week.  Actually, what a couple of months. 

When MK got back from down under in February, we got together in New York and we started working on our personal branding.  Each of us had things we had been well known for in the past and some had to go, some were tweaked and new things emerged. 

As a small aside, on that trip MK mentioned to me that she thought my logo needed a little "softening". 

The funny thing is that I loved my logo. 

I had switched to the Solutionz brand in 2004 and the wife (now ex-wife) of a friend of mine in Barbados had developed the original logo.

The past week, we've been working with 99Designs to get a design template for our family of brands. 

We have our advisory services firm, Solutionz Services, and our tech company, Solutionz Technologies.  We also have our Media company.  Of course, Solutionz Media.  We have always had a network of associates but missed the opportunity to brand them as the Solutionz Network. 

Today we settled on a new logo and I have to tell you that I am in LOVE.  It is light, it is more modern and it really speaks to who we are as a company. 

Out with the old (on the left) in with the new (on the right).

Yes, it is simple, but simplicity is good.

Check out our new website as well.  Fresh branding deserves a new look.

Oh, and thank you MK!!

Is your branding stale?    Stop the mischief.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Daily Mischief - My mailbox had consumed me...

AUTHORS NOTE:  After I wrote this email, I looked at this past week's stats and saw that a post that I wrote on email in 2009 was the #1 post last week.    I obviously didn't learn my lesson.  If you are struggling with your email, go back and read that one.  There was some very good, timeless info there.

By any measure, 20,000 emails is a lot of email. 

Each time that I tried to weed it out, I barely made any progress before 200-300 more would pour in.

The problem?  Unscrupulous marketers that say that they don't sell your list, but in fact they do.  And UNSUBSCRIBING just takes too long and often doesn't stop the flow of mail.

And trying to go through them to figure out what to save?  At one minute per email, that could have eaten up as much as 333 hours.  And for what?  Complete and total mischief.

Today I took back control and it feels good.  I moved off all 20,000 emails out of my inbox into a mail archive folder.  If I need to find a specific one, when I search for a name or a company or an idea, it will be there.   

From today forward, my email box ends up empty.

No more mail mischief.

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