Because … Data

TheDataConundrumData Just Is

Data is not an answer. It is not proof. It is not direction. It is not plan. It is not a strategy. Data just is.

Data is a Tool.

On it’s own, it is not the solution or an explanation or an excuse. Data is a term that is used interchangeably with information and results, both of which it is, but on it’s own, it’s useless. It’s quite like a hammer. I have a hammer. It does not make me a carpenter. It doesn’t mean I know how to use it. In the wrong hands, or in the hands of an uncoordinated or inexperienced user such as myself, danger and accidents will likely ensue.

The same goes for data.

Interpreting Data

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Passionate or Emotional

Engaging Employees

Perhaps you watch too many movies or too much reality TV, but in the work world, Passionate and Emotional are not the same thing. To lump them together is to unwittingly dismiss potential in your organization.

One is excitement, dedication, and fierce commitment. The other is personal and reactive.

I speak from a small company perspective, where these lines are (from what I am told) more likely to be blurred than in larger organizations. As such, in smaller, more entrepreneurial environments, there is definitely a personal investment, not just from the owner, in outcomes, and often more overt passion in the day to day activities. More often than not there is a heightened energy level within a small organization on a daily basis. That bubbles up emotion and reactions. But there is still a very clear distinction between Passion and Emotion.

In a sustained passionate environment, emotions run close to the surface, at the ready to take part. If you want passionate employees, you need to be the type of leader who recognizes this, and be prepared for it. It means you cannot be reactive. It means you must remain in check. It means you have to ensure that it never even appears to get personal, and when it does (because it will) you rein it back in clearly.

Dismissing a passionate employee as overreacting or taking something personally is unproductive, but also a grave error. It changes the atmosphere from collaborative, engaged, and dynamic to defensive and disconnected, and will cause the employee to check his or her engagement to avoid reaction.

Passionate employees are engaged employees, and the melding of the work with the opportunity is the brass ring. It is not a destination though, and it needs to be continually nurtured. If you’re not sure if you have a passionate or an emotional employee at hand, you need to check yourself, first. After all, as a leader, you have more to lose.

An emotional, reactive leader can change a passionate employee into an emotional one, or worse, a disengaged one.


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Best Used By: How Old is your Customer?

linkedinblog1Understanding Your Customer Lifecycle

It costs as much to keep a sick horse as it does a healthy one.

I was told that years ago, working for a former A-Circuit rider now running an equestrian stable. At the time I understood the logic and thought process behind it, but of course it pulled at my soul and heart strings, thinking an older horse (in this case, quite literally) was being replaced with a younger, more healthy one. I get it, I understand, but the human part was missing.

Years later, in the business setting, that phrase keeps coming back to mind, with with a completely different perspective.

We talk a lot about age of leads, customers, repeat buyers, and customer funnel. But what happens once the customers have completed the initial cycle? Do you have a process and funnel for them after that?

If you’re like most companies, you likely have a process to follow up after the initial purchase (or whatever your converted engagement looks like), and a continued, likely automated process, to re-engage.

But do you really have a process? Do they remain in your cycle forever? If they get so far into your funnel but don’t convert, how long do they stay in your re-engagement loop?

It’s Time for an Intervention

Chances are you need an intervention, because you’re hoarding. Sure, you paid a lot for the lead, worked to get the customer to engage and hopefully convert, but then the interaction process ended, either successfully or less so.

Do you know what those inactive contacts are costing you? Time and resources, follow up, management, even storage costs, all these drain productivity from your organization.

Focus on What Works

You know about the 80/20, where 20% of your customers represent 80% of your business. Find that balance. Figure out who those customers are and when those customers purchase. Chance are, it’s not the mix you thought. Once you find that, focus 80% of your efforts on those customers, and the timing. Do NOT ignore the other 20%, just be sure to dedicate the right resources and effort to them.

And put an end to your process. It is ok to let go of non-producing leads. Chances are they will NOT one day come to life, and if they did, do they really need to already be in your system? They’ve probably forgotten about you, you say, so you want to stay in touch, just to remind them. But you found each other before. You’ll find each other again. So you paid $50 in advertising costs to get them the first time, and may have to pay another $50 to get them again when they’re ready. But that first $50, was wasted. It didn’t return anything beyond costs to your business. Let them go.

Then, and only then, will you be able to really do an ROI assessment on your marketing efforts, and make those work harder up front, to get better qualified leads.

An Interested Lead is not a Qualified Lead

And by the way, that horse …. despite being older and not of optimum health, the owner, despite her cold exterior, kept her in her stable and doted on her, because she was more than a product, she was a family member.

Just be sure you keep your sentiments in check in business.

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Poor Widdle Miwennials

2015trendsreportIt’s here, it’s here, The 2015 Internet Trends Report is here!

You’d think it was a major holiday, as marketers nearly lose their sh&! writing about it. If you follow even a few marketers or agencies on whatever social platform is your go to one, your feed likely exploded this morning with snippets and insights. So who am I to question the trending of the trends, right?

If you want to review it for yourself, and draw your own, informed conclusions, instead of just reading everyone else’s interpretations, analyses, and responses, you can view it here. The KPCB 2015 Internet Trends Report (all 196 pages of it!)

If you want to just get the gist, well, there will be an endless stream of tweets with the individual stats, that should hold the content posting calendars for marketers everywhere full for months. And of course then there’s all the Linkedin Posts and shares about it.

Or you could just keep reading here, I mean, hell, you’re already here, you’ve clicked and committed, so there’s probably something in here you might find interesting.

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Marketing: The Third Date Weeder Movies

harold-et-maude-a02Marketing is really just Business Dating

Dating is like marketing. We have to take a clear approach to the strategy, and align tactics to gain the results that we want. But the recopies that some folks follow are not guarantees. Just like dating, we have to check in at different stages to make sure we’re going down the right path.

Meeting new People

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And the Results are In

2015 Digital Trends Report

Download the report here This report was originally released in January of 2015, but is now available for free download since the next quarterly report is now available. Click the image above to download the full report.

Adobe and EConsultancy Releases the 2015 Digital Trends Report

Adobe just published the 2015 Digital Marketing Trends for 2015, a study based on survey results with Econsultancy. The results were initially interesting, but I quickly found myself lost in the presentation. There was some nice commentary, clean layouts, and just enough content to back up that it came from Adobe, to make it look professional and respectable.

The Results

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Do what I say, Not what I Do

I broke a Key Marketing Rule

My bad, I messed up. One of the key points in marketing is to continue to communicate with your audience on a regular, if not predictable basis. I haven’t done that.

I could explain why, but that doesn’t matter …

Or does it?

I’ve recently been reading quite a few articles, posts, and commentary about marketing approaches, each of which seem to be spurred mainly by the final season of Mad Men, about the industry overall, and a few key points keep coming out. They’re good ones, too, reminding us all what marketing (or advertising as we used to call it) is based on.

The gist of it all is, we have to connect with our audiences. Tell the story, be authentic, be human. Content marketing is about telling a story, so ….

I’ve been very busy being successful. That’s why I haven’t been blogging. I have a full time job, and I love it, and I’m good at it.

I’ve got a lot to say, though. So I’ll be back to blogging soon.

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You Had Me at “Marketing Trends”

The headline called out to me:

The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014

As I eagerly consumed the short summary of the article to find out what the almighty Forbes has deemed important for the coming year, I hesitated with anticipation and excitement, holding on to the moment as if climbing click by click to the top of the roller coaster, building the suspense to the soaring thrill I was about to find, I then clicked.

I scanned quickly, as consumers do, searching through the perfectly coded header tags with the titled numbers to find what I was looking for.

Where was it? Had I missed it?

I scanned again, only to be disappointed that they tricked me, they were going to make me work for my fulfillment.

Damn you Forbes, you know what I want…

…yet you hold out on me, mocking me. We both know I need it. You, after all, were the ones who got me hooked in the first place.

Years ago you showed me a glimpse, told me it would be fine, it would be right, and it would be the next big thing.

You sold me on it. You got me all hyped up about it, you PROMISED, and then it failed. It never delivered.

Next year, you said, wait for it. It’s coming …. so here we are, several years later, on the precipice of 2014, and your list is out. Where is it?

Will it be on page 2? Will it?

My hand started trembling as I hovered over the link to page 2, you evil genius, pushing me further into the depths of desire and cravings.

You made me this way Forbes!

But as if to ease my jonesing, you kept it right there, calming me in an instant with your #5

… yes, 2014 and mobile. Ahhhhhh, relief.

2014 would be the year of mobile. This time for real … with content.

read the full blog post from Forbes here


Posted in Content Marketing, Customer Behavior, Email Marketing, marketing strategy, Marketing Technology, Mobile Marketing, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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