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The Many Ways to Communicate with Customers

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Diana Meyer
CEO/President, Meyer Marketing Intelligence, Inc.

Phones, e-mail, texts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube are all tools businesses use to communicate with their customers. How do YOU communicate with and market to your customers or prospective customers?

Now you may be wondering, “Do I need to communicate with my customers using all these mechanisms?” Quite simply, the answer is “No”. Yes, I know that’s a relief! However, what you would want to do is really understand who your customer is, his or her age profile, and where or how they want to interact with you. Let’s take a quick look at some of these communication tools.

Phone: clearly the overwhelming majority of people have access to phones; however, there is a growing trend in the U.S. away from landlines. In fact, younger customers are more likely to rely on a cell phone exclusively.

E-mail: this is a cost-effective way to communicate with customers. It’s also important to note that those under 44 years of age are less likely to use e-mail compared to those at least 45 years of age (according to a survey conducted in 2010 on internet usage by SSI).

Text: great way to communicate with customers under the age of 25 according to the same study in 2010. Also, promotional information can also be sent out via text messages.

Facebook: another great way to communicate with all customers. Younger customers are most likely to communicate via Facebook. However, do NOT rely on this media exclusively and Facebook posts should be done in concert with other types of communication to establish trust. Although many messages are done electronically, people do not automatically trust these messages. Think of possibly participating in local events to make that human connection and post about the event on Facebook.

LinkedIn: good communication tool if your customers are other businesses or business people. One of the ways to use LinkedIn is to either post questions or answer questions in the “Answers” section.

Twitter: great way to reach a large number of people, but important to remember your message needs to be concise and clear at a maximum of 140 characters.

Just remember, the key is to make it easy for your customers to connect with you on their terms! Also, keep in mind these are all two-way streets of communication. If your customers post or tweet something, acknowledge them with a post or tweet and respond to their question.

 

Diana Meyer
CEO/President, Meyer Marketing Intelligence, Inc.
661.254.6141
dmeyer@meyermktg.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/dianameyer0217
http://www.facebook.com/meyermktg
http://www.twitter.com/dianawm

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E-mail Marketing Tips

January 24, 2011 6 comments

Well it’s 2011 and there’s no better time than now to revisit your marketing approach, regardless of whether you play in the B2B or B2C world. Let’s focus on e-mail marketing, though, as this is the most cost-effective way to communicate your message to people.

First, let me ask you, do you have an e-mail marketing campaign? Yes, my company does…finally! Now I know most of you have an active e-mail marketing campaign or have been thinking about it, so, let me provide you with a few tips to help you be successful with your existing or new e-mail marketing campaigns:

1.       Be consistent – schedule your e-newsletter to be distributed regularly month after month. Be careful not to annoy folks by mailing too frequently. We send e-newsletters monthly.

2.       Keep them interested and wanting more – instead of writing paragraphs and paragraphs or pages and pages, provide a few sentences on a topic then provide a link for more information.

3.       Send to those with whom you have a relationship – time and time again we get e-newsletters from folks we’ve never met but they belong to the same organization we belong. A colleague of ours told us she received an e-newsletter from someone she met at a function a couple of years back. OK, so let me ask you, where’s the relationship in both these instances? Think before you add everyone. It is much better to start off with smaller numbers and not annoy folks than to e-mail the world. Remember, this is a reflection of your company.

4.       Share your e-newsletter and ask others to do the same. You can post links to your e-newsletter on your web site, Facebook page, and LinkedIn account.

5.       Don’t wait until your web site or logo or other marketing is ready. While you wait for your web site or your logo to be redesigned, you will be letting opportunities slip through your hands. Yes, it’s important to be consistent in how everything looks; however, it’s better to be known and reinforce your message about what you have to offer than to let 2 or 3 months go by without initiating any communication.

6.       Spell check, edit, and test. Send yourself a test of the e-newsletter so you see what everyone will see. Need I say more on the spell check and edit?

Best wishes for a most successful 2011!

Diana Meyer
CEO/President, Meyer Marketing Intelligence, Inc.

Most Important Step in Business?

“What is the most important step in business?’ is a favorite question I like to put to business people.  

The responses usually cover the range from “The decision to start in business,” to “The first sale,” to “The successful marketing campaign we initiated last year.”  Although the events cited certainly deserve a special place in the mind of any entrepreneur, the response that is my favorite is “The most important step in business is the next one!”

I like the latter response best because it reflects a forward-looking vision, not mere recognition of history.  Implicit in the statement is the realization that what got you to where you are is unlikely to be good enough to get you to where you want to be.  In today’s fast-paced, high technology world, success goes to the swift and agile over the big and strong. The great American humorist got it right when he said, “Even though you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there!”

The most successful businesses are already working on their next step as their competitors are admiring their last step.  Apple  Corporation is one such winner that readily comes to mind.

One of the many reasons I am a member of VIA is because we have a great group of leaders who understand this concept and it is reflected in the dynamic way VIA is keeping pace with the changing economy and using technology to meet the current needs of members.

What about you?  Are you keeping pace?  What is your next step?

Bill Kennedy, Wingspan Business Consulting

www.wingspanbusiness.com