Archive for the 'Web Stuff' Category

CUSTOMERS BUY WITH EMOTION AND JUSTIFY WITH LOGIC

 

Throughout time people have loved a good story. The best are built using the three pillars of storytelling which Aristotle diagramed thousands of years ago. A memorable tale has credibility, logic, and most importantly, emotion. Emotion is what engages the audience.
In sales and marketing, appeal to a person’s emotions, and you will engage them for life. Do you know your client’s story well enough to tap their emotions?
GET CONNECTED
Look at all your marketing material. Think about how you introduce yourself in public, your written short Bio or “About Us” page. Are you presenting your resume, capabilities, history, and testimonials? Or, are you first appealing to your best prospects emotions, like happiness, security, reducing stress, safety, health, or personal growth?
Logic and credibility are important because they are the foundational elements of any good relationship. They build trust and respect. However, appealing to their emotional side first propels them to the trust and respect phase.
CLIENTS SEEK OUTCOMES NOT SOLUTIONS
Solutions fix things, but outcomes create change. People buy when they need something different to happen. Creating the right change ignites emotion and action. Clients pay more for better outcomes.
Today we “GOOGLE” to find a solution, and it provides lots of them. When they locate your business, does your website (or other marketing materials) tell a story about better outcomes or are you just selling solutions?
DO YOU SMARKET?
Smarketing is marketing smart because it identifies your best clients and their emotional connection to you. Smarketing is value-driven, clarifying, and moves to action. Done right it will increase sales and/or profits by 20%
IT’S TIME TO DEVELOP YOUR 2020 SMARKETING PLAN
Let’s achieve better outcomes, I want to learn about your company’s story and use a proven process to engage both your clients and employees. Let’s spend a little time working on your business. Then when we apply solutions they will accomplish more.
WHAT ARE SOME OUTCOMES FROM SMARKETING?
Loyal customers, a secure business that supports your family, happy employees committed to your mission vision and values, and freedom to do the work you enjoy.

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admin on September 30th 2019 in Web Stuff

Websites Accessibility and the law

Read an interview with Tom HERE to learn more about web Accessibility 
 
Listen to Tom’s Podcast HERE to learn more about Web Accessibility
Lawsuits targeting business websites over ADA violations
are on the rise. — SOURCE: LA Times, Nov. 11, 2018
If ADA Title III federal lawsuit numbers continue to be filed at the current pace, 2018’s total will exceed 2017 by 30%, fueled largely by website accessibility lawsuit continued growth.”
The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) affects websites, apps, and all other IoT (Internet of Things) applications.
Are you digitally accessible?
Don’t Be Caught Off Guard
All websites in the medical and banking and government space must provide equal access to their websites by law. However, the number of lawsuits targeting the hospitality or retail businesses (e-commerce) is growing. Besides the risk of legal action, there are good business reasons to address equal access compliance.
  • It is excellent PR.
  • It grants you access to a growing market driven by the baby boomers, over 50 million and growing.
  • It is more cost-effective to deal with this compliance issue before you start programming than after
  • If it is not fixed properly the first time, a lawsuit may come back to haunt you!
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
There is no guaranteed defense against an Equal Access lawsuit. The Reynolds Group has partnered with a court-certified auditing company that performs Live-User Audits and Support for websites, digital platforms, native iOS & Android apps and also on the IoT hardware/software integrations.
Live audits are the most reliable approach with the alternative being automated scans. Automated scans cover less than 30% of the WCAG 2.0 AA testing criteria. This very low-reliability rate is partly due to false positives the software flags. A Live-User audit is performed with sighted and blind accessibility engineers that work in teams to do the audits.
The Reynolds Group programmers have also been trained to code and design websites to be accessible. Our goal is the get the process done right the first time.
We can help you with:
    • Third-Party Live-User Audits on new and existing websites
    • Ongoing ADA support and consultation
    • Trained web development teams
    • Full design and marketing expertise
Call us to learn more and watch the VIDEO of a visually impaired person accessing a website… it’s fascinating

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admin on September 30th 2019 in Web Stuff

“Business success is 1% vision and 99% alignment” – John Collins

“Business success is 1% vision and 99% alignment”
– John Collins, Good to Great
Smart SMARKETING starts with a robust 5-step process called a Strategic Brief that focuses on your sales/marketing efforts. It increases sales, saves money, reduces stress and brings alignment to your organization. It has a proven track record for success. Download White Paper
Good SMARKETING starts by answering the most basic questions that form the foundation of your business. By aligning those answers in you and your team, reaching any goal is faster and less stressful.
Clients often start marketing conversations with the word: “HOW, CAN or WHAT.” My pat response is “WHY.”
Typical Marketing Questions
  • How do I motivate customers to buy more?
  • Can you build me a new website?
  • What Social Media or Digital Marketing is best?
Without understanding what drives those marketing questions, it is tough to offer the right answer.
For example take: “How do I motivate customers to buy more?”
“WHY?” I ask, and they say...
  • I want to separate myself from the competition.
  • I want a bigger market share.
  • I bought a new machine or have unique expertise.
  • The market is dying.
  • My sales are just flat.
  • I want to sell my business.
These are great reasons, but each requires more information and a different strategy. Download White Paper
The HOW is more straightforward to deliver if the WHY is clear.
The “WHYS” are basic:
  • Why does your business exist?
  • Why should clients care?
  • Why do you do care?
Once this clear, you need a process to get your team, suppliers, and customers on board.

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admin on September 30th 2019 in Web Stuff

Smarketing – Marketing Smart

“If you don’t have a strategy, you’re part of
someone else’s strategy.” ― Alvin Toffler
Start with the end in mind – Franklin Covey
I have been working on more effectively introducing myself. Here it is:
  1. I help manufacturers sell more through strategic “Smarketing”.
  2. It is no longer sales and marketing but “Smarketing”, a combination of both that delivers up to 20% Return On Investment (ROI).
When was the last time you stepped back and thought about your business as it really is today? What is 20% of your business that creates 80% of your income? Where are the threats or opportunities? What should you be focusing on tomorrow?
Like it or not, the way we do business is changing. Ever improving companies like Amazon, UBER, Netflix, Purple Brinks, AirBnB, and YouTube are affecting your customer’s expectations, and what your competition is doing, now and in the future.
To be an effective “Smarketer” I need the client to be clear on who they are and where they are going. It is much easier to move the “sales needle” forward with those two points clear on the map.
We all know strategic thinking is important but often put it off. One excuse is that it takes too much time. My 5-step Strategic Brief takes 3-6 hours over a month’s time. It is a fast, simple and effective way to get started!
This process awakens the sales-generating machine within every business and answers the question “why”, “what” and how” — turning plans into action.

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admin on September 30th 2019 in Web Stuff

Is GDPR The End of the Wild Web?

You have been getting emails about GDPR. Those are new laws from the E.U. about the personal information that went in effect on Friday, May 25, 2018. If you have missed them, and are doing business in Europe, call your lawyer now. If you have any concerns about what you have read, call your lawyer now. If not read on.
My opinion is the GDPR is a good thing. With security breaches increasing something needs to be done to protect people. Moreover, with all the Facebook news, and Google tracking our every move, perhaps we do need more controls on our personal information. One thing for sure about the GDPR, there will be more legal jargon added to the world’s privacy policies in the near future and most people will still not read them!
DOES THE GDPR AFFECT MY BUSINESS IF MY CLIENTS ARE JUST IN THE U.S?
My understanding is that if your company has an online presence such as a website and they have an opt-in (collect emails) for a newsletter, ebook or white-paper and they do NOT specifically exclude E.U. citizens from opting in, then GDPR applies. Do I think you will be caught in the near future… no? DO I think you should think about it sooner than later…yes.
WHAT IS THE REYNOLDS GROUP DOING ABOUT IT
We are working on simple recommendations for our clients to follow (after they show it to a lawyer). They should be ready in the next 30 days. Need help now? We have a legal specialist to talk with… email me and I will send you the name and contact information.
CONCLUSION
The U.S. will have stronger laws like the GDPR soon. At a minimum, you should update your privacy policy and be sure you are following through on whatever it says
It will be complicated for US companies doing business in Europe – But it may be a good first step for needed controls.

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admin on September 30th 2019 in Web Stuff

Is Your Website Relevant?

Is Your Website Relevant?
Your business has changed, do your customers know that?
Open your website. Does it shout today or yesterday? How does it look? Was it built in the Obama Era? How well does it connect, is it easy to navigate on a smartphone? Are you being found by new clients or relying on the old ones to keep the doors open? There are so many reasons why it is essential to be relevant on the internet.
Your website is a window to the world. Not for looking out but for your customers to look in. Is it a picture of what you were a decade ago or now? Do you look sharp, organized progressive and together? Who was the US President the last time you updated your text or pictures?
There is a growing number of people who want to look into your business from their smartphone? On that platform, they can push one button and be connected! Have you addressed them?
What about your marketing message? Does it attract good leads and repel the unqualified ones? Both are important.
Finally, is your website helpful or frustrating to use? 62% of all leads come in through the phone. Is the phone number big and easy to find on your site? Only true love hangs around when frustrated…and that is a rare commodity.
The point is, you checked the box for having a business website, but is it doing more harm than good? Is it selling, creating action, and relevant or turning people off?
Five Questions to answer to determine if your website is relevant
  1. How current are your sales message, text, and pictures? There should be new content added in the last two years, or it’s outdated.
  2. Was your website built before 2015? If yes it is probably not mobile-friendly which means harder to use for 30% of your visitors (and growing!).
  3. Was it built fast and cheap? There should be a marketing strategy behind it!
  4. How do you speak to the customers? Are you telling them what you want them to know or addressing their questions? People are looking for answers and benefits, not lectures.
  5. What do you want your visitors to do? Does the navigation handle both the folks who want to be to hear your sales message as well as the ones in a hurry to get an answer NOW? How many clicks does it take to contact you?
Growing revenue and increasing profit is more than just a handful of efforts, but rather a targeted, precise, aligned set of strategies and objectives executed on your website, the internet and beyond. Let’s work together to make something happen!!!.

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admin on September 30th 2019 in Web Stuff

The genesis of Smarketing

 

One way to create happy employees is to get them all pulling in the same direction. It will help up your sales-game too! Watch a 10-minute video about a simple two-page management tool that works.
Geoff Johansing of Insurance Company of America is one of the nicest and most competent insurance professionals I know. He works hard to help large companies of 100+ employees by providing complete business insurance solutions. He also offers a wonderful ongoing video blog called Happy Employees because he believes that a happy workplace is a sure-fire way to CONTROL INSURANCE COST.
Here is a quick summary of what I contributed. Watch the video for more details.
A 90 Day Strategic Brief is a simple 2-page tool that does five things:
  1. Clarify – Or memorialize in writing – your organization mission, vision, and values – which is the flagpole or “magic castle” your entire team rallies around. It sets the starting point, the end goal and everyone’s behavior in between.
  2. Uncover – Performing a S.W.O.T (Strengths, Weaknesses (inside) – Opportunities, Threats (outside) gets all your “stuff” on the table. Do this with management and in some cases with every department to identify what are the issues affecting your organization today.
  3. Focus – Narrow down all the issues you uncover to just the top three which will make the biggest difference to your business in the next 90 days
  4. Accountability – Assign and map out the tasks to your team and set clear goals so they know – who, what, where, and why – actions you are doing and what you are doing. Check back in 90 days if not sooner!
  5. Measure – If you want something to happen, track and measure it. Design a matrix that can be posted on a wall in a public place so everyone knows what is happening… and what is expected.
At the end of 90 days, review your progress to either get help with what you are tackling or move down the list to the next priority

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admin on September 30th 2019 in Web Stuff

Let’s Jack That Sales Needle

Four Keys to Increasing Revenue
The key to increasing revenue is aligning 4 critical areas; planning, perfecting the marketing tools you have now, people and process. Without having specific, measurable objectives and tactics across all four of these areas, you’re not optimized for success.
The 4 “P’s” That Generate PROFITS
  1. Plan – Create a clear story then plan your work and work your plan. What is your mission? What are your goals and top priorities? What makes you unique, how has your customer changed, where are the new opportunities and what can you leverage right now?
  1. Perfect – Take the marketing tools you currently have and make them more effective or add new ones. Such as: update your website, revitalize your newsletter, rethink and coordinate traditional and digital marketing, refine your marketing database and engage your customers.
  1. People – Everyone in your company is on the sales team; get them pulling in the same direction. This is often the forgotten piece but; include them, listen to them, train them, empower them and have them practice smiling on the telephone.
  1. Process – Selling is a system that combines lead generation, persistence, and follow-through. What does your sales process look like? Is it documented? Does it help sell? Is it fast and efficient? Is the onboarding process easy? Does it include the customer’s buying process? Is there a process to measure, track, post and adjust? And, don’t forget to get out and network.
Growing revenue and increasing profit is more than just a handful of efforts, but rather a targeted, precise, aligned set of objectives across these four areas. If one of them is off, it is a drag. When all four are firing together, it moves the company forward.
Are you responsible for driving sales and revenue? This is not a small task. You must combine storytelling, marketing savvy, and teamwork with a coordinated and consistent effort to make things happen.

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admin on September 30th 2019 in Web Stuff

What Are Your Super Powers?

Who do your clients call when the bullets start flying?

Defining your superpower, owning it and communicating it efficiently will make your brand more valuable, generate more sales and build customer loyalty.  
Marketers also call “superpowers” – your unique selling proposition. Wikipedia defines it as  …the unique benefit exhibited by a company, service, product or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors.
There are things you do in business that set you apart from your competition.  I like to call it your “superpower” because it is the one or two things that customers count on about you. It’s what makes you stand out, the secret sauce, the focus that makes you better.
Do you have greater knowledge, deeper experience, abundant creativity, better processes or more persistence… or do you have x-ray vision or a magic lasso to get out of jams? I know you have something that no one else has to solve customers’ problems and create value or you would not be in business. Are you good at getting that message across? It will increase sales and profits when you do.
Everyone has competitors. If asked, does a casual observer, a prospect or good customer know what you do best? Is it possible that they think everyone in your industry is the same? That is a serious problem for client retention if that is the case!
To be an industry leader you must separate yourself from the pack. This means reinforcing your superpowers. They must shine in your written communications, spoken word and actions.
I find reviewing the core values of your business is a good start. Posting these with a simple mission statement on the wall is quite effective in getting your staff on board. Next, check your outward-facing communication, like websites, social media, blog posts, collateral and branding elements to see if they clearly promote your superpower(s) too.
What’s your superpower?  What makes you stand out? Give me a call, I would love to know!!

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admin on September 30th 2019 in Web Stuff

How Do Different Age Groups Want To Communicate?

These age groups are more alike than you may think!
When we label, sometimes we divide. The conventional wisdom is that these different generations are vastly different in how they interact with technology….that is not the case.  –  Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content – MarketingSherpa
Communicating with all your clients can be challenging. If you listen to popular marketers, they say to reach ALL your clients you have to be everywhere… the internet, airways and print. That takes a lot of time and resources to do!
I mean, who has time to post blogs, be active on Facebook and LinkedIn, make videos, design print ads, use direct mail, etc. Those are all powerful tools but most small to medium size businesses find it overwhelming to manage… so a business may do nothing, or worse yet, try to do it all, but infrequently. Which means it has no impact.
If time is an issue, studies show that the majority of people in all generations prefer business communication by email. It is not texting, social media, print or YouTube after all!
Do you have an email strategy?
Finding out you can focus on one communication tool may be a relief. Concentrate on writing good marketing emails and newsletters. I suggest to actively collect emails of prospects and customers in a database and build a strategy to communicate with them in a meaningful way. However, don’t overdo it or it will feel like SPAM.

10 suggestions for business emails and newsletters
  1. Create content that prospects want on your website, but require their emails to get.
  2. Make it easy to email you from your website. Keep e-forms to 4 questions.
  3. Always have a strong subject line on emails and newsletters.
  4. If your business email starts to have a long string (lots of emails linked together) change the subject line as the topics change so you can track discussions.
  5. Keep all emails as short as possible.
  6. Present one idea or ask one question per email.
  7. Your writing style should reflect your brand but sound personal and casual.
  8. Emails do not go away. Judge appropriate content by whether it could be printed on the front page of the local newspaper… or presented in court.
  9. Re-post content from your blog to your e-newsletter or visa-versa because people get their news in different ways.
  10. Make your emails and newsletters attractive and mobile friendly.

If you only have time to do one thing well…. let it be email!

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admin on September 30th 2019 in Web Strategy, Web Stuff