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Articles filed in: Marketing

Are You Measuring What Matters?

The cafe owner thinks that what’s most important is getting customers seated and served quickly. Because she believes her customers simply value tidy lines and orders pushed through, she creates standards and KPIs. She measures things that enable her staff to tick boxes and make them look hunted.

The truth is people don’t visit her cafe in order to tell themselves a story about how they got fed quickly, for three times the cost of making a salad at home. When they want quick there’s always McDonalds.

Your metrics should be created around what’s most important to your customer. Is he looking for a shortcut, reassurance or love? Whatever it is you need to understand it and deliver it in spades.

Businesses and brands succeed when they deliver value based on customers wants, not the metrics of a well-oiled machine.

Image by Coffee Common.

The Difference Between Traffic And Visitors

When you optimise your website for “traffic” are you doing your best work?

Working out how to get “traffic” to find you is a tactic, that anyone with better technical support than you can win at. Giving “visitors” a reason to stay, means having a strategy for creating great content that can’t be easily duplicated.

“Traffic” is passing through. Far better to think in terms of how you can turn a visitor into someone who cares to return.

Tiny distinctions make all the difference.

Image by Sefano Corso.

The Internet Is Not A Shortcut

Here is the cold hard truth about the Internet, viral marketing and the way to make your ideas matter.

The Internet gives you a million and one chances to amplify what’s great about what you do.
It doesn’t actually make your idea better.

70,000 people found Philippa on Instagram. She was an amazing visual storyteller, who touched people, long before she downloaded the Instagram app.

There’s only one formula for getting your work noticed over and over again.

Do good work.

Then do it over and over again.

If you do good work people will find you. If you give them something to come back for they’ll keep coming back. And if you make them care, they’ll share you with their friends.

Image by abrinsky.

The World Is Your Focus Group Now

Think about every conversation you overheard today. It may have been on the train, in the coffee queue, or while you waited in the hair salon.

You know, the one where the guy on his mobile explained loudly that his taxi hadn’t turned up. Or when forty something Sarah confided how stressed out she was about the amount of time her kids spent on Facebook to her stylist Jill.

Not forgetting the tweet Phoenix sent to her followers: “So I have to get fitted for a bridesmaid dress in June… but the wedding’s in September… #problem I’m freaking huge!”

These are real reactions to the world. Your customer’s world. The world you as a marketer want to be a part of.

They are gold to you.

Every day people are telling you the problems they want you to solve. The world is your focus group. All you need to do is keep your eyes and ears wide open.

Image by Noise 64.

Being The Best

When I was a kid growing up in Dublin we always sat on the top deck of the bus on a Saturday evening coming home from a day in the city. As we passed Christchurch Cathedral we pressed our noses to the window and looked out at the long queue which snaked half way down Werburgh Street. The crowd didn’t just gather on Saturday either. They lined up every night at Leo Burdocks take away fish and chip shop.

A Dublin institution which first opened its doors in 1913, Burdocks has survived wars, uprising, recessions and outlived the Celtic Tiger. Celebrities from U2 to Liam Neeson have lined up to sample the secret batter recipe from the most lauded chipper in Ireland.

I’m sure Leo knew he had a great product when he started out all those years ago. The best.
He just had to figure out a way to let his customers know that too. So in the absence of billboards, TV, AdSense, Google or Groupon he just set about being the best.

He didn’t have to be the best to the well heeled barristers who could afford to head out from their Georgian homes in Fitzwilliam Square to dine at the Gresham Hotel. He just needed to work at understanding what ’best’ was to the aul fella who would buy a battered cod every Saturday night on the way back from the pub. Or what would make the young housewife dig deep into her purse on a Thursday pay day for a little treat for the family.

With that understanding Burdock could not only become the best, he could also communicate why he was the best to the people who mattered.

That same opportunity is open to every single brand. And you.

Image by Conor Larkin.

The Art Of Giving People What They Really Want

The group fitness instructor at our local gym is exceptionally good at giving people what they really want. During a tough early morning Pump® session he doesn’t talk about resting heart rate or thermogenisis. Duane punctuates those last thirty seconds of effort by telling us that this is how we’ll get Michelle Obama arms. So we just keep on lifting.

Gym goers want beauty as much as health. Wearers of five inch heels want longer legs more than remarkable shoes.

Understanding what your customers and clients desire is the key to giving them what they really want. That might not be what they think they showed up for in the first place.

Image by Orin Zebest.

How Coffee Became As Seductive As Diamonds

I have no idea how this happened, but twenty five years ago when my husband and I were choosing my engagement ring on student budgets, I found myself inside a tiny strategically lit room with a £20,000 ring on my finger. £20,000 was enough to buy a house in Dublin in those days.

Fast forward to last Saturday when I had a flashback of the moment we were seduced into a plush room by a hopeful jeweller. This time though I was in a coffee store.

Nespresso have made choosing and buying coffee as seductive as shopping for diamonds. Their stores are expensively lit, architecturally designed boutiques, where coffee machines are uplit in recessed walls, tiny glass cups arranged like works of art and muted coffee pods are displayed in glass cases. Their goal —’a retail experience that satisfies your every desire.’

And it works. I watched as people queued behind velvet ropes to speak to a ‘specialist’ about their coffee choices, while others jostled for position at the Carpe Diem tasting lounge. There are limited edition flavours that sell out in a week and are resold on eBay at a premium.

The last line of a review of the Sydney store on Yelp says it all.

“I purposely buy only 2 weeks worth of capsules, so I can keep going back.”

‘Experience’ has change how we perceive commodities. People buy what they buy, not just because they believe in what you do, but because of what they want to believe about themselves.

Your customers want to be seduced. What will they keep coming back for?

Image by Martin Stabenfeldt.

Well-Designed Moments Build Brands

That moment when the airline tells you that lost luggage is just a fact of life, or the sales assistant can’t exchange a faulty shirt on the spot because of company policy is a crack in the foundation of the brand. In that moment you begin to disconnect and feel like you don’t belong.

Every brand is built on the feelings and experiences it delivers to customers in the blink of an eye.
Returns should be made as easy as purchases. Cancelling subscriptions should be as easy as signing up. They rarely are.

The trick is to see the moment when the bubble bursts as an opportunity to deepen the relationship. The opportunity to make a 404 a well designed moment is open to everyone.

Image by Duncan Rawlinson.

When The Facts Are No Longer Enough

The window on analysis is shrinking. People are moving so fast now that they don’t have time to think. They’re scanning, swiping, clicking, liking, tweeting and moving on at full velocity. They’re making decisions based on feelings not facts. Often choosing not because of what they think, but because of how something makes them feel.

What does this mean for your business?

If you want people to act you must make them feel.

If they say I’ll think about it, you’ve lost them… they’re gone and on to the next thing.

Image by Arun Joseph.

Reframing How You Think About Customers

How many business books have you read where you are urged to think about how to capture the attention of your ‘prospects’? Quite a few I reckon, I’ve read them too, and something about the use of that word in particular always makes me squirm. A ‘prospect’ by definition is either a potential source of profit or a likely customer. Nothing wrong with that you might say. We’re all in business to make a profit —no profit, no business. But viewing your potential customers as walking wallets is another thing entirely.

If you’re thinking about the people who you hope will buy from you simply as prospects, customers, clients, consumers, patrons, corporations or entities, you’re not only missing the point of doing business, you’re also blinkering yourself to a huge opportunity.

The products and services you want to sell will not succeed in the market if you don’t address the emotional wants of ‘real people’.
It’s not enough just to fulfil the material needs of prospects.

Business, (your business), needs to see past the labels it gives the people it serves, to their hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations.

Seeing beyond the ‘prospect’ label has enabled Pebble Technology to tell people the story of how their product will fit into their lives. They’ve raised $7 million and counting in a few weeks on Kickstarter in the process, not because ‘prospects’ needed a Pebble, but because ‘real people’ wanted one.

Customers can get good coffee on any street corner. Real people become regulars in places that take care of them.

Image by Kristen Mckee.