Category Archives: marketing

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marketing noise

Marketing Noise and Your Branding Voice

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Is the plan to make some marketing noise? How will you reach your target audience?

For most, the first thought has something to do with the internet. Social feeds, videos, podcast, and email blasts. In one form or another, all brought to you by some form of internet streaming.

Then there is the brutal truth of it all.

The brutal truth is, most of what happens on all of these channels is nothing more than noise. Noise that the masses don’t care to see, hear, or read.

For your market though, for your tribe, your network, and your true followers, it’s not just noise.

There is a good chance that your audience is not as large as you might believe. Your audience is probably better described as the smallest viable audience instead of the concept that hundreds of thousands of people will see, hear, or read your message.

Marketing Noise

Your branding voice is for your smallest viable audience.

It is the people or businesses that really want to experience your noise. They care, they’re inspired, and they would miss you if you went away.

It doesn’t matter if your product or service is about baseball, weddings, or footwear. Your audience, but not the world, cares.

Be mindful of what you show them. Their attention spans are still limited and they have to look for you through a sea of noise.

Be timely. It is a delicate balance where more, is sometimes less.

Most of all ensure value. That starts by understanding what your market really wants or perceives as a need. Think carefully, because it may not always be as it appears to be at first glance.

If you’re going to make some noise. Make the right noise to the right people.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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building personal brand

Building Personal Brand Is About Value

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Mike Tyson has a different brand when compared with Sarah Jessica Parker. The same is true for Jim Parsons when compared with Daniel Tosh. Building personal brand depends on the value you are trying to create.

What is your value about? What is the image of your personal brand?

It is common when we speak about personal brand that the conversation may shift to money. Who can achieve the biggest salary, the most perks, and the best benefits?

Chances are great that there is a small local grocer who has a reputation for high quality food, friendly service, and a reasonable price. The same may be true for the hair salon, the hardware store, and the pizza shop.

People will go out of their way to get what they desire. If they are more interested in image, they may shop the trendiest place. Regardless of price or value.

For most, the workplace as we know it has been disrupted. Many are trying to reinvigorate commerce. When it comes to people and jobs, what will be most valuable now and in the future?

Building Personal Brand

You have to keep in mind your personal brand. What does that look like and who should hire you?

Employers will largely hire (or keep) based on their perceived need. From their perceived need, they’ll be considering value.

A Chevrolet Sonic will get you across town, so will a cab. You could also drive a Bentley to get there. Price varies substantially, so does the cost of ownership.

If an organization does not see the value that you bring to them, they may make a different selection.

Not everyone is a Bentley, and not every employer would want to drive one.

Remember that some organizations will make hiring decisions that don’t seem to align with price.

Perhaps because they see value as more important than price. Yet, some will see price as an identifier of value.

Choose your market and build the appropriate brand.

Mike Tyson and Sarah Jessica Parker both have something to do with knockouts. A Sonic or a Bentley will both get you across town.

You decide.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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takeover message

Takeover Message and The Service You Receive

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Have you ever been part of, or the victim of the takeover message? This is the message you see on the hand written cardboard sign at the store that is about to have a new owner.

I’ve seen plenty of these signs.

Bear with us while we clean up our mess.

Now under new ownership.

New management means a new attitude. Coming soon!

The same may be true for the new boss, the new employee, or the recently reconstructed team.

Why do people feel that this message is so important?

Sending the Signal

In simple terms, they want to notify onlookers that things are changing and whatever happened before will be a better experience now.

Yet every time we make an attempt to change, give it another try, or correct a wrong doing, we’re really doing the same thing. Of course, if the previous owner, boss, or employee teams resisted change, perhaps nothing is new.

When we start a conversation with an old friend we may ask, “What’s new?”

We make the assumption that the normal is complacency, the status quo, and the same old stuff.

Should we have a takeover message?

Takeover Message Failed

Recently, I walked into a small privately owned business to buy dog food. The store is not in a convenient location but I like the store and my dog eats a special brand.

The shelves were completely empty. Employees were present, but that was about it. Some hand written signs indicated they are in the process of selling the business. I saw the same signs two months ago.

Nothing says poor management or poor taste, like the message of, “New management coming soon.” Both old and new management are losing in this endeavor.

Every day we have a chance to make a difference. The takeover message is really just a stall, and it could easily become a stop.

As always, your actions and behaviors will speak louder than your words.

Make the changes. Make today better than yesterday. Isn’t that what everyone expects?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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better service

Better Service Is Typically Not Cheaper

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Are you prepared to deliver better service? In your workplace, at your job, for the customer, or because you care?

It sometimes appears that everyone is dumbing things down.

Does it make sense? If it does, for whom?

Doing It Cheaper

Why send a direct mail piece when you can send an email? Why walk into the grocery store when you can order ahead and pick it up at the curb? No need for a face-to-face meeting, let’s stay in our offices or cubicles and meet through technology.

Is less expensive better?

On the flip side, someone is always looking for the expensive car, the high priced bottle of wine, or a pair of shoes with a red sole.

When is better, better, and cheaper, cheaper?

The answer is pretty easy, “Always.”

For your commute to work you may not need the most expensive car. A nice tasting wine may not necessarily come with the highest price tag. And, there is a good chance you can make a great impression around the office without wearing Louboutin.

While all three may be great and make you feel like a million bucks (literally) they are not a requirement.

Better Service

There is a difference when you get to the bottom though. The cheapest of the cheapest feels, well, cheap.

We wonder why there is so much frustration with the tech support hotline. We wonder why the burger just doesn’t taste like a burger. For the business, they wonder why no quality candidates will apply for their job opportunities.

The answer is simple.

Some things are good enough and some things are better.

The lowest price is probably the wrong option.

The cheapest will always be the cheapest.

Every time.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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capture attention

Capture Attention or Face a Bigger Challenge

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For the majority of the people in the workforce today, the World has changed. Some suggest we are in an information overload society and we filter much more than we consume. What are you doing to capture attention?

When I was a kid, after school I would jump off the school bus and run as fast as I could to my house. It was an exciting time. I couldn’t wait to get started.

Get started on what? What captured my attention?

Whatever it was that a few friends or one of my siblings may have established for what you do after school. At times I played alone. It may have been with a ball, a matchbox toy, or throwing around a few sticks in the nearby woods.

Pace of Technology

Consider this, just a little over a decade ago there were no smartphones. Text messaging really started to take off around 2005-2007. YouTube was founded in 2005, and didn’t start to become largely known until a few years later.

What does this technology history lesson indicate?

If you are in the workforce today and you are more than 25 to 30 years old, things have changed dramatically. It has all happened, right in front of you.

If you lean towards the younger side of the workforce scale you may not really remember much difference. If you are in the middle to older side of the scale, change is very noticeable.

The challenge today for every career conscious workplace professional and every business endeavor is not so much about change as it is about attention.

How do you capture the attention of your marketplace?

Capture Attention

We’re all selling, whether it is our expertise and why we are the right choice for the job or promotion, or whether it is our products and services, or a third category is perhaps, both.

When I was a kid, on a lucky day I had just a couple of friends to play with.

Technology hasn’t made us more reclusive; it has opened up the World.

The challenge then, is being interesting and valuable enough to get the attention of your market.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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buying choices

Buying Choices Every Customer Makes

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What choices do you make when you are shopping? New shoes, a dress or a shirt, or perhaps a new car, what do you decide? Buying choices can be challenging.

I’m thinking about an ice cream sundae.

This smartphone is probably outdated, what are the newest features in phones?

My car has been paid off for two-years, maybe I’ll get a new one.

When a hot new technology is introduced the first brand to bring it market has an advantage. The buyers only need to decide if they will buy, they don’t really have choices about brand.

Competition Can Be Good

In many places, there is a gas station and convenience store on each side of the street. At the exit of the highway, to the left and to the right there are food options. When you find a TGI Friday’s you may also notice nearby a Ruby Tuesday.

Certainly, there may be many reasons for this. One competitor may be trying to beat the other, show their dominance, become the best. Run the other out of town.

On the other hand, we may wonder if it would be better to be the only place in town?

Buying Choices

In many buying situations the buyer is making two initial choices.

The first decision is if they will buy. They may want the ice cream sundae but they have to decide if it is within their caloric allowance.

Competition sometimes answers the question the first question. When we see a McDonalds to our left, and across the street, to the right, a Burger King, we may now accept the if, we only have to decide which.

Two competing gas stations at the highway may assume the if has been answered. Buyers are exiting, now they’ll decide which one they’ll choose.

Competition sometimes means there is only one question left to answer.

Selling the idea is sometimes the biggest hurdle.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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spend more

Spend More, Get More, or Less

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Most would likely quickly agree that it requires spending some money to make some money. Advertising, marketing, and research and development, they all cost. Are you going to spend more?

One way to beat the competition is to outspend them. We see it in political campaigns, the pizza chain, and entertainment venues.

Should You Measure ROI?

The risk becomes about the return on investment. Unless of course, the metric of measurement is to dominant and annihilate. Still the question often comes back to, “At what cost?”

Spending your way out of problems or the consideration of spending your way to success has perceived value, but what is the cost?

Small and large businesses want to make the most of the Google search algorithm. We call it organic search results. It means we are not spending, at least not directly.

Sure, plenty of businesses spend money on social media and Google advertising. Do they get their return on investment or is it about beating the competition in that space?

There is a saying, “The best ideas sell themselves.”

Should you spend more?

Spend More

Spending more is always an option. If you have the cash, or the investors cash, you can certainly spend your way to some higher numbers. Will it be a positive return?

Gas station style convenience stores are well known for building across the street from each other. Who will win? Can they outspend?

Certainly, merchandising and service will play a role, and so will low price.

The hope may be that eventually one will destroy the other. Bring them to their knees, knock them down, and run them out of town.

What are your metrics?

If you are not measuring for quality, interest, or engagement, you may have to be prepared to buy your way to success.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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bad choices

Bad Choices, Good Choices, or No Choice at All

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When someone suggests that you can pick anything you want, what will you pick? Nobody likes making bad choices. Most people really don’t want to be wrong. Do more choices help?

Marketing is a funny thing. Some marketers believe that more choices are better. More options mean that people get exactly what they want.

What is easier, pick one of three items, or pick one of thirty-three items?

Bad Choices

Netflix is popular. Is it easy to pick something to watch? Not usually, not unless someone has told you about something great that they watched. In that case, the recommendation closes the sale.

The next time you go to a restaurant watch how friends or family explore the menu. It is common that people will quickly glance through the menu only to want to know more about the special. It is a helping hand for the decision.

Chances are good your customers are the same. More choices, more options, it causes a stall or the inability to decide. No one wants to make a bad choice. More choices require more consideration.

It seems almost counterintuitive, but it is no secret to the best sales and marketing professionals.

No Choice at All

We are all selling something. Can you use this to improve your future offerings?

How does this logic affect the next conversation with your boss? Will it make a difference in how you manage future projects? Does it matter for your resume?

Remember, no one wants to make bad choices, with too many options the only choice they may make is no choice at all.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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deteriorating image

The Value of a Deteriorating Image

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If you are in marketing or advertising you have a keen sense of brand value. If you run a business, lead a department or team, or are building a career, you should care about brand. Do you have a deteriorating image or brand?

Building your brand sometimes happens without realizing it. In some circles we may label this an image. What is your image? Have you thought about this lately?

Image Builders

If you’ve watched a few minutes of American Pickers on the History channel you may have heard Mike Wolfe talk about rusty gold. He likes old things. Things that have been used, worn, and maybe with a little rust.

Not so long ago, denim blue jeans with holes were popular. Stone-washed was, or is, the popular label for jeans that appear to have heavy wear.

A new expensive car is nice. Is there any value to one that appears to be in decent operating condition yet notably old or with heavy wear?

Is brand really about taste? Our preference for something that defines an image?

Deteriorating Image

Winter months in the Northeastern United States can be brutally damaging to our homes and vehicles. My vehicles are an integral part of how I do business.

I drive a rusty twenty-year-old Tahoe in the winter, yet, I have a nice car that is mostly only driven in fair weather. Showing up at a 5-star hotel for an event and tossing the keys of a rusty old Tahoe to the valet probably doesn’t have the image of success.

Should it matter? Well, that may be a good question. The brutal truth is, it does.

Regarding your business, your workplace department, or even your personal brand, image matters. Your brand success will depend largely on the feeling you create with those you are trying to attract.

It may be that there is a certain appeal to rusty gold, stone-washed, or old school.

Sometimes a hard-used image creates appreciation and value. It is the alternative to hardly used.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.



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