Don Schindler

Executive Reputation Coach & Digital Marketer

Category: Web 2.0 (page 1 of 3)

“Proven” Methods Don’t Change The World

So every morning I basically do the same thing.  I get up, get the kids fed and on the bus and then head to work.

Photo by Kevin Dooley

Photo by Kevin Dooley

It’s pretty chaotic in the morning.  The kids make sure of that.

So when I get to work, I get to slow down right.  Well, not really.

In the world of digital, there is so much going on.  In fact it’s really chaotic.  There’s new technology – like everyday something fantastic comes out – and there’s new techniques.

What I did yesterday, may not work today. There are no real standards – and I would question what your outreach company says if they say they have a “proven” method.  How are you going to change the world with a “proven” method?  If that is the case, then everyone would be using it.

I’m not staying that you don’t need stats or some kind of proof that the strategy and tactics will work.  You should ask for examples of other successes but if they are suggesting that you do the same thing that someone else has already done.  Well, then how is that unique thinking?  How will that change the world for you.

I read this morning and had to print it out and tape it to the wall.  Things I like make it to my wall.

It’s from Scott McCloud.  And he says:

Learn from Everyone
Follow No One
Watch for Patterns
Work like hell

Love it. So how will you change the world today?

Marketers, want to save your job and the company? Use real customer service.

Several things happened last week that made me take notice. And since I don’t believe in coincidences, I had to pull it altogether in my mind.

First, an amazing client story.

J.D. Gould Company is a family-owned business.  It’s been around since 1951. They make solenoid valves. It’s really hard to get excited about solenoid valves unless maybe you are an engineer but, according to the client, a lot of engineers don’t think about them as much as they once did. They are one of those things that don’t seem very important but they are. A bad valve can shut down an entire line. And that’s what happened to the an unnamed American Car company back in 1950’s.

At 2 am, the Gould family was awaken by an extremely upset plant manager. He told Mr. Gould that he better get up there right now and fix his broken solenoid valve. That it was costing the company thousands of dollars because the line was down. He expected Mr. Gould in six hours. The drive from Indianapolis to Detroit.  At a fury pace.

Mr. Gould got in his car and drove there as fast as he could. He couldn’t figure out how his valve had broken but he was going to make it right. When he arrived, he was met by the plant manager, the heads of the union and a lot of executives.

Mr. Gould and the union representatives along with electricians and plumbers climbed separate ladders to inspect the valve. Upon removing the top of the valve, they all could see it was stuck in the open position. Mr. Gould said he couldn’t understand why the valve would do that and asked if there was anything in the line. The union workers claimed there wasn’t along with the plant manager. They cut the valve out of the line.

And there, sticking out of the valve, was a plumber’s pencil. Whoever cut the pipe, put his pencil in the valve and forgot it. The valve was stuck open and Gould’s valve wasn’t at fault.

But he said nothing. They put it back together. The line was functioning again.  Mr. Gould drove home.

Next week, the local car dealer of the company called Mr. Gould. They had two new cars waiting for him if he wanted to stop by and pick them up.  The owner of the company still tears up thinking about how proud he was of this grandpa.

Here’s the other pieces I read.  Two blogs. One by Chris Brogan and his struggle with GMAC customer service.  And another from Seth Godin on How to answer the phone.

Imagine what the car company would have done if Mr. Gould had not picked up the phone or not gotten into his car and drove to Detroit.  Would he have gotten more business?  Even after they found out it was their own problem.  Would the lack of care overridden the problem?

Marketers complain to me about how the companies don’t understand what they do and how they are always the first to go when economies get tough.  I sympathize.  I was once on that side as well.

Marketers also understand how when a new customer comes calling, you better get it right and answer the phone on the first or second ring.  You treat those new customers like gold.

But current customers, heck, that’s not your problem.  That’s customer service.  That’s a different department.

Well, it shouldn’t be.  Marketers – the new marketers – should handle both sides of the fence.  If a call comes in, whether it’s a brand new customer or your oldest, they should be handled the same way.  Like the gold they are.

Every marketer knows that a current customer is 10 times less expensive to keep than to try an earn a new one.  But yet they get the crappy phone calls from overseas or the phone tree from hell.  Or nothing.

Want to save job your job?  Then take responsibility for every customer.  Use those marketing dollars to save your current customers from phone trees and incoherent operators.  Use some more by giving your current customers an EASY way to spread the word about how great your company is.

And you better do it soon.  Because customers are starting to realize that they have more firepower with social media.  They can organize and spread the word for you or against you.

Who knows…there may be a new company car waiting for you instead of a pink slip.

How can the Motrin screw-up be a blessing in disguise with Social Media?

So they screwed up.  Motrin ran this ad on their site and moms around the world were offended (check out this blog from Sarah Evans) and struck back.  Motrin brand managers quickly pulled the ad campaign and threw up an apology on the front page of the website.  Check out the offending ad below.


And now there are parody ads coming to life so the viral aspect of this ad campaign has come to life and this ad will have a much longer campaign life then ever expected. I hope the appropriate people were fired…or not. Maybe this isn’t such a big thing.

So how in the world can Motrin find any goodness in this PR mess? Well, now they know a lot of moms who are very passionate about themselves, how they are portrayed, and how they feel about their babies.

In fact, now a lot of people know who these moms are and all they have to do is a twitter search for Motrin, a blog search and google search and bam look at all these wonderful moms that I can put in a spreadsheet and try to reach out to when I have a new product offering.

I would use them as a connector focus group. I would send them special items, ask them to be involved with my products and brand, and treat them like the gold they are. That’s what I would do if I was Motrin and/or anybody else looking to grab this influential group.

Just my two cents.

Seth Godin “Tribes” Video

This is a great video to check out. Seth does a great job of showing how marketing will be in the future.

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Top Ten Websites for Black Friday Discounts – How Do Hot Trends Work For You?

So here are the top ten sites to get the Black Friday Deals – I didn’t steal this from anyone.  Just did a little research and this is what I came up with.

Creative Commons by Olaf

Creative Commons by Olaf

This is more of an article about the speed of Trend Marketing and the your company’s communications.

I love Black Friday; even though, I don’t shop it.  I probably should but I just don’t get into shopping like that.  But you’ve got to love the deals.  I was in retail marketing for a few years as a marketing manager and coming up with the insane deals for Black Friday was always a good day.  Even when the rest of them weren’t so great.

But here’s what I wanted to do with the Black Friday that I love so much.  I wanted to see if I could grab some of the limelight that Black Friday is getting right now.  You see, Black Friday, is now raising at very fast rate on Google Trends – Oct 27th.

People are searching it.  People are starting to look for the deals.  People want to know where they will be camping next month in search for the bestest, cheapest gift ever.

So as Black Friday rises so does it’s importance on social networking sites.  Technorati, Digg, etc…  News outlets have articles out there.  Soon it will be all over the place.

Now if my hunches are correct, I’m going to drive good traffic with my title.  Now these won’t be my customers but you never know who may click over and read this article.

And to me, this isn’t black hat SEO, this is smart SEO and linking strategy.  All I’m doing is talking about a hot trend and how it relates to my work.

Think about this.  TV commercials spam me (not anymore since I finally got a DVR – how did I live without that before I’ll never know) in the middle of my favorite shows and nobody calls the better business bureau.  Though with the way some commercials are using shock techniques, somebody should.

This is how marketing on the internet should be.  Companies should be participating in the conversation, whatever the conversation is – not just what you think it should be.

What’s hot within your industry?  Do you have a take on it? What if you did, where would you put it?

I’ll bet in the past you put your take in a hard copy newsletter and sent it out to the people who unfortunately signed up for it.  Do you think they read it?  Can they comment back to you on it?

Come on, it’s 2008.  With the net, you can know what is hot in your industry or the world in general.  You can put your take out immediately.  People can respond to it.  Amazing.

Let’s see what happens to this article.  Maybe it will go through the roof – maybe it will die but it only cost me a half an hour to write.  How much time did you spend on your company’s newsletter?

If you would like some help to figure out social media marketing, trend marketing, SEO, SEM, and all that good digital stuff, we could help you.  Here at MediaSauce, we live and breathe it.

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