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Category Archives: Brands

Dear Youtube: Your Ad Strategy Is Extremely Annoying And Ineffective

Dear Youtube: Your Ad Strategy Is Extremely Annoying And Ineffective

youtube no videoI’ve been spending a bit more time on Youtube in the last few weeks, and maybe even months (I’ve loss track). I mostly go on to watch interviews of other successful entrepreneurs that inspire me such as Tony Robbins. I also go on because I obsess over learning new techniques and strategies in Digital Marketing that will give me the competitive edge over everyone else (and I have found a few). Even occasionally when I just want to relax and take a break I’ll go on and maybe check out a movie trailer or 2 (or 10).

I’m not sure how recent it is, but Youtube has an advertising tactic now to generate revenue for them, and brand awareness for other companies. What they do is before each video they will play an ad right before the video. The ads are typically based on other sites that you may have visited, or links you clicked on. So they feed you ads that are either the same or similar to those that you clicked on from other websites.

Let me be the first to say that it is the worst, dumbest, and most ineffective strategy I have come across in a long time (you brought this on yourself Youtube). By my tone you can tell I’m annoyed, and for good reason. If you’ve ever tried to watch a video of interest to you on Youtube only to be interrupted by an ad you have no interest of seeing or clicking on, then you understand my frustration and annoyance.

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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Advertisements, Brands

 

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How Bad Customer Support Is Killing Your Business

what_is_bad_customer_service_costing_your_business

Photo credit: Social Mouths

I haven’t posted in a while mainly because of another blog project I’m putting all my focus on http://www.5y2m.com (#clickbait) . Fortunately, I had a recent experience that gave me an opportunity to rant about (I wanted to wait until I was no longer annoyed to write this).

SO…I’ve been looking for a platform that can offer me certain functions I need for my other blog, namely list building and email marketing capabilities. After weeks of research I came down to two choices, and still needed to make a final decision (which was hard in itself). Platform A had everything I needed, the montly cost was attractive to me, and it pretty much integrated with everything I needed in one. The only drawback was that it didn’t have one key functionality that’s a must for me, based on what I need to do.

Platform B has that one key functionality I need. However, in comparison to Platform A, Platform B has a few disadvantages in that I would need 2 separate platforms to perform the same functions Platform A could do altogether with one. Additionally, Platform B is 4x as costly as Platform A. Platform B was at a significant disadvantage.

I wanted to give you the context of this rant before getting to the point

 

How Support Is Killing Your Business

When it comes to your marketing and branding efforts, the first voice over the telephone, or the first face your potential and existing customers see when they enter your business is the life or death of your business. It is the difference between someone deciding to be your customer for life, or them telling everyone how incredibly horrible your service is, and as the saying goes bad news travels faster.

bad-customer-service2b2Photo credit: The Vinyl Anachronist

It’s not enough just to have any old person as the voice or face of your support team who is just looking to collect a paycheck and go home. It has to be someone who 1). Actually enjoys their job, and 2). Actually likes people. Without these two you’re in trouble.

Many businesses never consider their support as a part of their overall branding. Many seem to believe branding starts and stops with Marketing, but fail to realize that Marketing is responsible for communicating the Brand Message and Value. However, your entire company is your branding, from Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, even Tech Support is the face of your brand.

If they interact with your customers, they ARE your brand.

Anyway…

That key functionality I mentioned, I needed to know for sure if either platform was capable of doing it. So I got on their websites to chat with customer support. Take into consideration before these two conversations I was already ready to go with Platform A, I just didn’t want to leap in without weighing my options first.

So speaking with customer support from Platform A first. Firstly, when asking her certain questions I could immediately tell from her tone that I was bothering her (I suppose she had more important things to do). She answered my questions but it was very half-assed, and it was clear she didn’t care to make much of an effort in answering them. There was even a moment when I asked a question and she said she would find out and get back to me, and at the end of the conversation I had to remind her that she hadn’t answered my question. At the end of that conversation I was annoyed to say the least.

I then got in contact with Platform B customer support right after. However, rather than a live chat the conversation took place over email. Firstly, when the customer support from Platform B responded her energetic personality was infectious, she immediately changed my tone from annoyed to pleasant. She was very personable, and saying she was ‘helpful’ would be an understatement. She not only answered my question by letting me know that the platform had the functionality I was looking for, but she literally sent me a 1,000 word essay in the form of email explaining exactly how I could execute what I wanted with their platform, and two different options to do so. At the end she reassured me that if I had any other questions or challenges she would be more than happy to answer them so I can email her directly. Throughout the enter email correspondent it didn’t feel like I was talking to a support rep, it felt like I was talking with a good friend of mine that just happen to work for Platform B.

In the end that one experience one hour later immediately made me change my mind and decided to go with Platform B, even though it will cost me 4 times the cost, and I will have to setup two different accounts with two different platforms to execute what I want to do. Platform A loss pretty much a sure customer because of one bad rep.

All because of amazing customer service Platform B now has me as a customer (or at least because the other customer service sucked).

So in closing as business owners take this as a lesson. When it comes to the first point of contact for your brand and business don’t hire the most qualified person for the job, hire the most passionate and RIGHT person for the job. Just because they can do the job well doesn’t mean they are best suited for the job.

Your Brand depends on it!

The Ranter.

 

Have you had an experience with customer support that caused you to switch brands? Let me know your story in the comments below

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Brands

 

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The Heartfelt Ad You Can’t Understand (But Can Feel)

What makes a good ad campaign? Is it humourous? Is it entertaining? Is it catchy? I believe the best ones are the ones that are lasting. Not only are they viral and well shared and talked about, but they also leave a lasting impression in our minds for a lifetime.

While doing research on a project I’m working on I came across this video by chance. Just out of cutiosity I clicked and watched. My initial thoughts were “this is nice”, but then close to the end of the video I was so moved that tears came to my eyes, and all I could think was “WOW!”

Take a look for yourself…

 

How POWERFUL is that!!

How powerful is it that even though you may not speak the language, and couldn’t necessarily relate to the experience of the characters that the campaign still had such an emotionally intense impact?

By the end of the ad I didn’t care what they were selling because I was ready to buy, and THAT my friends is the power of an impactful ad campaign.

It can:

  1. Get your audience to not only buy into your product/service, but also you as a company

  2. Create a lasting impression in the minds (and in this case the hearts) of your audience

  3. Cut across race, creed, culture, and even defies the very definition of logic to touch the very thing that makes us human and connects us all…our soul

My biggest takeaway from this ad sometimes the best ad campaigns are the simplest. They don’t need to be fancy or elaborate, they just need to connect with each of us and be memorable.

 

Share your thoughts, what was the biggest takeaway for you?

The Ranter

 

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The Lasco Fiasco: How It Damaged A Brand

facepalm.jpg

So picture this…

You own one of the major corporations in your industry, your marketing team decides to increase brand awareness and customer engagement using Twitter so they create a Twitter account to represent your brand online. One day a sudden tweet is sent out from your company’s Twitter account with a derogatory comment about a particular athlete during the Olympics (keep in mind this is the Twitter account of your very reputable brand)…what do you do?!

To be honest I don’t even have the answer to that, but it just goes to show how even in your Marketing department how very little your Marketing team, who should know better by the way, understands very little on the importance of a brand. Now in case you didn’t know this actually happened a few days ago. I will not mention who the individual was that made such a dumb mistake (I think the person has dug their grave deep enough and dont need me to dig it any deeper). The point is even if said person meant to send the tweet from their personal account instead of the company’s account, the mere fact the thought and action of sending the tweet happened in the first place, regardless of where it was sent, just proves how clueless even marketers can be in regards to branding.

A brand is not just about the company you represent but also YOUR personal brand. We live in a world where people feel that because they have a social media account and their picture on it, it gives them the privilege of mentioning whatever comes to mind, regardless of how detrimental it may be to their own reputation. We have seen it time and again where employees, students, and others post comments on social media where the only response one can have is *facepalm*…this idiot .

Understanding that when you post on social media, whether you’re representing a company or yourself, it can still be damaging to your future prospects for a job, or your credibility. Once your credibility is ruined good luck regaining the trust of those who may have respected you or looked up to you in the past.

So don’t be reckless (and I would add stupid), when posting on social media. Your words today could very well hurt your future tomorrow.

The Ranter.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Brands, Social Media, Twitter

 

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Is Donald Trump A Marketing Genius???

I just had a very interesting thought, and that thought is reflected in the title…could Donald Trump be a marketing genius? Really! It’s a serious question!

Before I go any further let me first say I do not support or endorse him, or any politician for that matter. I am in no way interested in politics of any kind, of any country (I’m just being honest).

Now with that out of the way…

I haven’t paid any attention whatsoever to the 2016 US elections since it started. However, even when I try to ignore it, I still get overwhelmed with news of Donald Trump this and Donald Trump that. I turn on my TV it’s Donald Trump. I go on social media it’s Donald Trump. I probably go into my bathroom right now and see Donald Trump (no bathroom is safe from him!). Say what you will about him and I’ll probably agree, egotistical, narcissistic, overbearing, loud and obnoxious, the devil reincarnated…the end of the free world as we know it!

 

Donald Trump’s Marketing Brilliance (and what you can learn)

Still, you can’t ignore his presence (as much as we may try to), and this is the reason he could be more of a genius than we really think or want to give him credit for. When you think about when a brand wants to market its products, services, business, idea, vision, there are a few things they have to do:

  1. Market in a way that cuts through noise and confusion of a very loud digital and distracting world we live in, and get the attention of your audience

  2. Get your audience talking about your product/service/business/idea/vision

  3. Win them over and get them to buy into what you’re selling (and oh boy Donald is a sellin’)

I would say based on these criteria Donald Trump is doing a phenomenal job at getting others to buy into him (even if he sucks at being a presidential candidate). If you are truly honest and objective you would see that he is truly a genius. His over the top, down right ridiculous and crazy approach to politics is turning heads and getting attenion. I haven’t seen this much marketing brilliance since Charlie Sheen’s crazy.

So whether you want to admit it or not we can all learn a thing or two from Donald Trump when it comes to Marketing (PLEASE restrict learning to Marketing):

  • Stand out from the crowd and the norm

  • Don’t be a afraid to be a sprinkle of crazy to get your audience’s attention

  • Sell a message people will buy into

  • Add value to the people who buy into you (I know, I know, I’m saying YOU do this even if he isn’t)

I’d love to know, what do you think: criminally insane or genius?

The Ranter.

P.S.

Just in case you doubt my theory I did a Google search for ‘US 2016 Elections’ (not Donald Trump) this is what came up at the top of Google…trump post

 

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Why the First Point of Contact in Your Business Could Be Your Customer’s Last

The heading is pretty self-explanatory what this rant is about…customer service right? In a sense yes but it goes much deeper than simply that; it could mean the destruction of your brand and business as you know it.

Recently (like literally yesterday) I had a run in with a sales rep. In a sense she is the first point of contact for a popular online CRM company (no I will not say which). “First point” meaning once I showed any level of interest in their product or service she would be the first person that contacts me at the beginning of my buying decision. She had requested a bit of information by email, which I gave her, to get a better understand of what I wanted out of the product. Okay fine, good job, find out the customer needs and such, good first approach. After which a follow up call was made to me to further discuss what is it I was looking for, for my business…okay. We started the conversation and I was content with it, until she began asking questions. I began answering the first, mid-way through I was interrupted, okay fine. The second third fourth and fifth I began realizing a common trend of interruptions with trying to finish answering each question. It was as if I was being rushed into answering each question under 5 seconds, as if the conversation was being timed by someone with a stop watch beside her. I began questioning if she was truly interested in what I wanted or was she just following a sales script trying to get through it as quickly as possible to move on to the next potential customer, which in the eyes of the current potential customer is not a good look. No customer wants to feel rushed when making a purchasing decision, whether to buy or to have questions asked answered. Which brings me to my point.

This is a clear example why businesses should carefully consider who they decide to put at the forefront to represent their business. As the person responsible for making the first impression it has to last, and not in a negative way. Something as seemingly harmless as a telephone conversation could severely damage or destroy one’s brand, whether the person realizes it or not. In this scenario the impression that was left in my mind was “For a company that is selling a sales CRM their staff really doesn’t know much about the practice.” Before then I was completely sold on the product. Now because of one negative interaction with the brand, I am strongly reconsidering my options.

This is a lesson that must be clear to all businesses. Whether you know it or not your business (product, service and people who make up your business) is your brand i.e. your reputation. If one person messes up, the entire business messes up, even more detrimental if it is the first point of contact.

My suggestion is carefully select who you employ. Skill and qualification is not enough today. Personality and tone of interaction with customers is far more important, since this will be the determining factor if a potential customer buys or not.

If you were the first point of contact how differently would you have handled the situation? Leave a comment and let me know.

The Ranter.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2011 in Brands

 

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Are You Killing Your Own Business?

There’s an old saying “In order to make money you have to spend money.” Well there’s a new saying “If you want to have a successful business get out of your box.”

Today in such a competitive market where pretty much everyone wants to open their own business there exists little room for chance or for missed opportunities. Everyone wants a successful business right? But you may be killing your business without even realizing, even if you are a big brand that’s been around for years. How you may be doing that is through missed opportunities to improve the level of your business, by ignoring the future of business interaction and communication, or any other area for that matter.

No this isn’t another rant about how businesses are ignoring the power of Social Media. I’m pretty sure that point has been overly stressed for the past two years. They get it, Social Media is a good thing, you can stop now.

This is a rant about even today in such a technological inclined era there are still businesses who are stuck in the old way of doing things. As if that point hasn’t already been proven by the countless other multi-million and multi-billion dollar businesses and industries who over the years failed to move with the crowd and ended up falling flat on their faces…who remembers the railroad era? They ignored the possibility of flight and underestimated the power of the automobile revolution. Well I’m pretty sure Ford, Toyota and Boeing have something to say about that.

Perfect example. Recently I briefly attended a Marketing seminar for University students. There were a lot of companies promoting their products and services to the students. Being a now conditioned salesman my first thought was “opportunity knocks” so I decided to approach one of the companies to introduce them to Enterprise SMS, and how it could further enhance and improve not only their client-communication but also their overall business. Her first reaction was “No not interested”. Again I say being the now conditioned salesman I tried yet again explaining the benefits that SMS offers, especially within their Marketing strategies. Yet again a resounding “No not interested” came from her.

Now it’s important to note that I was not trying to sell her on the product, all I wanted was for her to open up to the possibility and even slightly consider how SMS could benefit the company, even if it wasn’t using our product. I pleaded with her to just consider it; I told her even if she doesn’t spend a dime that’s fine (hey that rhymes). All I wanted her to do was to give me the chance to open her eyes to the possibility. If after she felt that it wasn’t for the company I would forever leave her be. Yet still she refused.

In her mind what the company had been doing has worked for them over the years and she doesn’t see why she should consider implementing SMS. Now a thought like this in any business is dangerous play. Never be so closed-minded to the opportunities that exists around you that you will only end up sabotaging your business in the end.

I was not trying to sell her on the product, what I was trying to sell her was that the future of business communication existed within SMS, and just as how leading up to 2008 many businesses ignored the power of Social Media and are trying to play catch up now, so they may soon be doing with SMS. Brands such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola or Red Bull are not necessarily extremely successful in Social Media because they are the best at it. They are successful because they were the first at it. The Innovators and not the Late Majority or Laggards. Just the same the company will be forced to play catch up or be forced out of business by still ignoring the opportunity for business growth that exists right in front of them.

Many businesses of the past failed because they failed to move into the direction, and with their customers as they were moving. This is why it is important to constantly keep abreast of trends within and out of your industry to have a competitive advantage, to be and continue being successful. Successful brands know that there is no such thing as remaining the same forever. They know that they have to constantly reinvent their brand and business in order for it to evolve and stay relevant and interesting to their target market.

You should do the same and not fall into the trap of stagnation and destruction of your business.

What’s your take on it? Leave a comment below to let me know.

The Ranter.

 

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