I have never heard of anyone who has had a bad customer experience with Amazon, Apple, Costco, or Salesforce. The aforementioned companies are incredibly successful due, in large part, to a material focus on the customer experience. Not surprisingly, the stock market has handsomely rewarded these four companies over the past decade.
Amazon is so customer focused that it will literally send you a replacement for a lost package immediately without ever implying that the customer is at fault. The result is a consumer experience that is so optimal that Amazon is the only place where many consumers decide to shop online.
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The internet has changed the way business is conducted in a lot of ways but the most profound change I think is in just how personal it’s become. The key to getting customers and clients today is in letting people know why you do what you do. Consumers now look for a personal connection to businesses.
The message, the story, the big idea are all vital components of marketing campaigns and a brand’s voice is a key part of the effectiveness of advertising and marketing.
Modern communicators can become modern storytellers by doing 3 things:
- Structure their communications as a story – create communications that have recognizable elements and phases
- Put the story in context for the listener – this means understanding the listener and his or her world. Speak to the things they know (and possibly include the things that frighten them)
- Make the listener the hero – tell stories that enable the listener to imagine themselves as the protagonist, and more importantly to imagine themselves being successful
The great joy about working and communicating in a digital age is that we have the tools to do all of these things well. Digital tools enable us to create stories based on insight from our data. They allow us to reach out into communities to develop that sense of shared experience that is such an important element of traditional story telling. And they allow us to personalize our tales to pull the listener into the heart of the subject.
It is about understanding who the audience is and finding the common connection between what a brand wants to say and what resonates with the listener.
Best of all, a business owner can express their honest views and feelings on a subject and be sure to connect with like minded people the world over. The way business is being conducted thanks to the internet and social media platforms we’re now embarking on an era where honest business will prevail and soon be the norm after decades of corruption and a lack of empathy.
David J. Bembry
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Empathy is really about acknowledging the emotions of others, being thoughtful and considerate of their feelings, and making decisions that take those feelings into consideration. http://dbembry.com
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The more I look at social media marketing the more I’m reminded of my days on MySpace. I spent a few years on there and had several thousand friends, many of whom I talked to so often that I spent hours a day there. I’d say I made many real friends. I never pushed for any kind of music sales and I didn’t get more than a couple out of that endeavor. What I learned was that people aren’t on social media sites to buy anything. Mostly they’re just there to be social. They often loved my music and had to know that it was for sale and I’d give away tracks left and right and do you know that not more than 2 people out of 3000 ever bought so much as 1 track!
That’s what you can expect from social media marketing. It’s not about sales. It’s about recognition. It’s about the chance that someone who knows about you will mention you to someone else in a casual conversation. This may or may not lead to a sell of any kind. So why do it? You don’t have any choice in the matter if you’re in any kind of business. You have to be known and over time you will be in very wide circles. The thing to keep in mind is that social media marketing is an investment in branding and not profits. I’m sure that there are some that are making money through social media marketing but I’m willing to bet that they have been at it for a long time. Look at it this way, “if I had a big hit that went international suddenly, can you imagine the buzz on MySpace with all of those people wanting to tell everyone how they knew me personally and used to talk to me all the time?” You never know!
People get excited when they hear something good about you from someone else and they can say they know of you. The longer and more intimately they feel they know you, the better they feel and the more excited they get! As an artist the feeling when you witness this is worth more than gold at least! J
As a business, get involved in social media marketing but don’t let it stress you out. Put what you can into it and just be steady and consistent. Most of all be you. If you’re outsourcing, always be ready to convey what image you wish to establish. There is no set rule of law that works for every business so you must allow time to show you just what pushes the buy button of your audience as well as what peaks their interest.
The one thing that I’d disagree with when it comes to social media marketing is the idea of establishing yourself as an expert. Look around and you’ll see that that’s the trend now and it means very little when everyone is an expert at the same things. I’d much rather be known for being informed and sincere and out simply for the best interest of my friends, fans, clients and customers. My only promise and commitment to anyone is that I will do my best for you even if it means pointing you to someone that I feel can be of better service to you.
The bottom line is that there is nothing that comes even close to what you can accomplish as far as branding and recognition than social media sites and they don’t cost you thousands of dollars to utilize. Every social media site has built in ways for you to promote your business on them for no money at all. The trick is learning how and when to use each platform and for what purpose. In other words what works where? You can’t answer such questions without time, trial and error so relax when it comes to social media marketing and casually jump in! It’s just one part of your complete marketing mix.
David J. Bembry http://dbembry.com