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CMO

An Open Letter to Customers from The Brands

by · December 18, 2014

Dear Customer,

So glad you like the stuff! We do make great toothpaste and laundry detergent and we really appreciate your loyalty. We’re really glad the food is good and the car works well. But, we’re worried about you. The fact is, we don’t know why you buy, and we don’t know what the triggers are. We would love to figure that out.

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Mission-driven business will always win

by · December 4, 2014

Last month an article was written and widely circulated about a former employer of mine, the who is not important, what was important was the assertion that they lost their mojo because they shifted focus from being all about the “mission” to maximizing shareholder value. These types of articles always cause me to pause because the downward spiral of a business is not one decision, but a series of decisions. But, the fact remains when you stop delivering value to your customers; you are exponentially less likely to follow a growth trajectory.

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Listening And Measurement Is Useless Without Action

by · November 6, 2014

The past few weeks, I have been writing about listening and measuring to learn what matters most to your audience. I’ve taken a look at my own startup CredHive.com as well as served as an active advocate for my clients about listening deeply to the customer conversation in your category. I am wildly passionate about connecting customers to brands and to do this, I think it is really important to know what customers want. To understand what a customer wants means you need to listen to understand and really know your metrics.

The net of both of these posts (and many of my earlier posts) are about advancing the customer relationship and adding value to the audience’s day. The goal of course is to help your brand stand out in the social and digital landscape by really studying what’s working, what’s not and where any existing white space may live. I think measurement and listening are incredibly efficient ways to do all of these things.

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Enough with Busy!

by · October 29, 2014

Busy, busy, busy. Aren’t we all so charming with how very busy we are? It feels like we are all competing over who’s the busiest. Don’t believe me, just look at your social feeds. Everyone is really, really busy (of course not too busy to take the 2 minutes to update their status with how busy they are, but whatever) We are all just so darned busy with work, and our families, kids sports, events, holidays, special projects and hobbies… Just. So. Busy. And we just keep adding things to our to-do list to be busy with little thought being placed on if we should add these things to the list. We just are mindlessly adding tasks. It’s as if busy has become a sport these days and frankly, there are no winners.

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Getting Past the Social Echo

by · October 20, 2014

Listening is an important part of social strategy. It is important to know what’s being said about your brand where and by whom. I would argue that it is more important to listen to the conversations in your category or industry. In the past, I have called this delineation listening to respond (branded listening) and listening to understand (category listening). And here’s the big problem, when you are listening to just your brand, all you can hear is the echo of your own voice. Brands are creating more and more content each day and this content is being shared on their social channels and it is not following the 80/20 rule, so, the conversation is usually about you. And when you listen to respond, you will see your word clouds be, well, all about YOU. Which doesn’t tell you a whole heaping lot about the conversation. You might see that your brand or product is being mentioned frequently in social channels. And you might be cheering about that, until you see that the mentions are coming from YOU.

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Focusing to level up

by · September 18, 2014

Fall for me is more of a new year. I have always been mentally on a school calendar. Fall means taking a look at things anew. I don’t make many New Year’s Resolutions because I do most of my assessments in the fall at back-to-school time. And in the spirit of leaves turning, let’s take a look at where we are to start thinking about where we can go next.

How can we graduate from where we are to get closer to where we want to be?

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Is Fun Content Over-rated?

by · September 11, 2014

So your friend would be Bender if he were in the Breakfast Club according to BuzzFeed. How about that? And people are clicking all over that stuff and sharing liberally. Someone somewhere is getting your feed’s attention and it wasn’t you. You know why? Apparently that stuff is fun. Not for me, per se, but for the gaggle of people I know on Facebook it must be the most fun thing in the world. And guess what, people like fun. At first, I thought this was all about the fun, but then I realized, it is exactly the type of fun people like. They like fun that is all about them.

So, if you can make your content fun and totally focused on the id and ego of the reader…#win. But what if your brand isn’t inherently fun? There are a ton of products and services in the world that are not at all fun, no matter what. What if you’re a bank or a cable company or other utility? No offense banks and cable companies, but it is the rare individual who views your products and services as “fun”. Yes, cable companies provide entertainment, and banks can help you buy something fun like a motorcycle, but they are merely the conduits to fun. They aren’t the backbone of fun.

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How to Advance the Customer Relationship

by · September 3, 2014

Last week, I wrote a post about raising the bar on customer relationships and how owning an email address is not a relationship. That an email address is a data point and nowhere near “relationship” status. I’ve encouraged brands of all shapes and sizes to work harder to forge a meaningful relationship with their customers; one that the customer values and the brand nurtures. I’ve come to realize that there are so many things a brand can do to nurture a relationship with a customer. The ones that come top of mind are all related to transparency. Of all the scary things I tell people when it comes to getting the best possible results from social media marketing (things like “don’t talk about your brand all the time” and to measure your results), the one that makes them visibly shiver is related to transparency.

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Raising the bar: Customer relationships

by · August 29, 2014

The past few months I have been a little focused, some may say obsessed, with lowering the bar. From my post on creating less content to my ideas on having a point in your social media marketing. I’ve been talking about being more deliberate, I’ve encouraged people to lower the bar in terms of being useful instead of human and being a trusted resource instead of a thought leader. Well, today, I want us to raise the bar on one thing: customer relationships.

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