Tag Archives: marketing

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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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marketing promises

Are You Living Up To Marketing Promises?

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People grow tired of being fooled. It is easier to not respond than to interact with someone determined to alter your desired direction. Advertisements make marketing promises and that creates expectation.

When we call for technical or customer support, we expect to get it. Instead, we sometimes get a sales pitch.

If the resume or performance evaluation reads, “Exceeds expectations,” it sets the tone for everything that happens next.

When the mission statement suggests that the organization is successful because the employee teams care, we expect to feel the proof.

Expectations are Created

Are the marketing teams creating expectations that can’t be met? What about when Betty is having a bad day? What if Travis decides it is just good enough? Not good, but good enough, and then ships?

At the high-priced hotel, the luxury resort, or a five-star restaurant, we don’t care that much about the condition of the staff’s job. We have our own set of expectations. Exceed them, or we’ll tell everyone with a photo and a hashtag.

Does the sign at the hospital really mean emergency care, or does it mean you don’t need an appointment? When I visit the barber shop, I don’t need an appointment, I wait my turn. Is that an emergency? What are the marketing promises?

Marketing Promises

The truth of it is that every person and every organization run on emotion and human interaction. Sure bots are emerging, but because they lack the caring emotion, it may only mean more frustration.

A promise is a promise.

The technical support team solves my technical problem without trying to sell me anything. The parcel carrier puts the package on the porch, beneath the roof, especially when it is raining. A five-star restaurant has exceptional staff, and if they are having a bad day, I would never know it.

Why? Because you promised.

-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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marketing doubt

Removing Marketing Doubt Builds Better Brands

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Are you creating marketing doubt? Marketing doubt can make or break your brand. Should you remove some of the doubt?

Recently a colleague and I talked about a place to meet for breakfast. The immediate question was, “Is that place open?”

Marketing Doubt

Perhaps not many people walk into a bank these days, but I sometimes I do. One problem is, I’m almost always wondering about days of the week or early morning, or near the end of the day. Then there are the holidays. Are they open?

I’m a motorcycle enthusiast. Many of these shops or dealerships are small family owned and operated establishments. It is common for them to be closed on a Monday or a Wednesday, but which is it?

Pizza shops, same deal. I can count on most of them being open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, Saturdays too. Sundays, though, seems like a uncertain day of the week.

What about the self-serve soda fountains? Is that all you can drink? Do they have free refills? I’m never sure.

What are the hours? What are the rules about all you can eat?

When we don’t know, we may try to look it up, ask Siri, or Google, or we may just do something different.

Removing Doubt

The convenience store that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is a safe bet. We know they’re open.

A full money back guarantee gives the buyer confidence, even though management knows some people will make any excuse to return a perfectly good product.

When people are in doubt, or when the answer to the question is too complex, they’ll go the easier route. They may step a little out of their way for the guaranteed outcome. The tried and true, no questions needed, without doubt.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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culture pivot

Do You Have a Culture Pivot or Are Things Stuck?

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Businesses and individuals alike often set out on a path for change. When things aren’t working the CEO may decide the organization needs a culture pivot. Is something broken or what is prompting the shift?

Perhaps it is too much shifting, or maybe things seem to be stuck. What is happening at the root?

Symptoms, Causes, and Marketing

There may be many symptoms of a culture problem for your organization.

A feeling of being stuck, stalled, or stopped is one of them. You may also wonder why clients aren’t engaging, products aren’t resonating, or the leadership point of view isn’t persuasive anymore.

Much of what happens in organizations or what moves them into action happens because of marketing. Certainly, there is external marketing and advertising. Internally and externally we can consider personal marketing, influence, and persuasion. Is anything working?

What will make your desired culture pivot a success?

Culture Pivot

When you want change yet things are staying the same, you have a problem.

How much time and effort are you devoting to working on a solution? Often, when things are stalled, it is feels easier and safer to just go with the flow. Then you’re stuck.

The culture pivot you desire is likely attainable. Root causes for being stuck may vary, but repeating what you’ve always done likely won’t get things moving again.

What are you doing to market your pivot? What will make clients engage? If engagement isn’t happening, perhaps you aren’t marketing effectively.

Are employee teams bought in? Are you persuasive? Do they believe you? What evidence is shaping their actions, behaviors, and beliefs?

If your quest for a race to the top feels more like it is heading for a race to the bottom, check your marketing.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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personal marketing

Personal Marketing, Are You Marketing or Advertising?

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Your personal brand is important. It is important for the people and teams that you engage with, the committees, the meetings, and especially for demonstrating leadership. Are you doing personal marketing?

Yes, you are. If you arrive and are present, perhaps even if you only arrive, you are marketing.

Advertising, conceptually is more about content and campaign dollars. Marketing is generally accepted as inclusive of advertising and so much more.

Everyone Watches

In the workplace, all eyes are on you. This is especially true if you are a supervisor, manager, or other designated leader. What you do and how you perform is marketing.

In the committee meeting you have a voice. Even if you choose silence, that is part of your personal marketing.

That Facebook or Twitter post, marketing. Instagram, yup, marketing.

When you apply for the new job or the promotion, marketing.

Standing nearby the coffee pot chatting about politics, religion, or the best place to buy shoes. Yes, more marketing.

Believe it or not you have a voice in nearly everything that happens.

The committee bickers and argues. Social media threads go on for days, may ignite anger, and tarnish opportunities for something constructive. All of this is marketing.

One of the challenges is understanding what is being seen or heard. What are the impacts?

Personal Marketing

Every day you have an opportunity to improve your marketing. You can self-monitor, fact-check, and adjust for harmony instead of destruction.

Occasionally, someone will tell me that they hate marketing. Too much work, too much psychology, and too hard to track the results.

A small business may claim, “We don’t do much marketing.” What they probably mean is they don’t spend a lot of money on advertising. Yet, they are always marketing.

The same is true for your personal brand. You’re always marketing. Even when you aren’t spending much money.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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magic marketing

Magic Marketing for Business, Career, or Life

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It often seems like more should be better. More coffee, more dessert, or more menu options. How are sales? Are you satisfied with your career or life choices? Do you need more of something? Magic marketing could be required.

It is funny how our first approach to solving many problems is to do something more.

Is More Better?

In the workplace, when teams believe they have communication problems they often suggest more communication.

When we need more sales, we often contemplate how to increase the budget for more advertisement.

If we aren’t getting where we want to be in our career we think about more skills, more credentials, or just more job opportunities.

Sometimes this logic is known as the spray and pray approach. While I’m not sure of the exact origin of spray and pray, the analogy often described is the farmer spraying pesticides all over the field and praying that it keeps the insects away.

Another common analogy is the Chinese restaurant menu. Hundreds of options, so many that you don’t know what to choose.

More options, choices, people, jobs, careers, skills, customers, and products, none of these in more quantity may create the outcome you desire.

Magic Marketing

Is there such a thing as magic marketing?

Marketing is sometimes counterintuitive. People dream of that place where the lines of supply and demand, opportunities and sales, and job openings with applicants perfectly intersect.

In all these cases, more is not necessarily better. One job opening with the right applicant is perfect. A menu with three choices may be better than a menu with thirty-three choices.

Position your business marketing, your career pursuits, or nearly anything in life on not being more, but being better.

Magic marketing is about focus, not spray and pray.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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AI Change

Will AI Change The Customer Journey

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Is AI (artificial intelligence) going to change the customer journey? AI change is happening now. Nearly everything is being influenced and driven by data. Data means automation, and automation means AI.

It has been happening for years. In the past decade it has been accelerating. Are you moving towards AI? Probably, whether you recognize it or not.

Front runners in AI will change the definition and behaviors of the customer journey. Businesses who have not adapted will appear to be offering an inferior experience.

Data Driven

We once went to the bank on Friday to cash a paycheck. Then direct deposit became popular, first as an option, eventually as the norm. People are also using less cash and doing more debit or credit card purchases.

This isn’t news, but what does it mean? It means data. Data means automation, and automation means AI.

Now imagine interfacing this data capture with other data to enhance the customer experience. Imagine knowing when, how, and what your next move will likely be, or perhaps, should be.

Imagine every Friday you go to a local ATM and withdraw fifty dollars in cash. Next imagine that every holiday weekend in the summer you spend at a family home two hours from your residence.

What is the AI application here? Will AI change something?

AI Change

On the Friday of a holiday weekend imagine the ATM asks you one additional question. “It is a holiday weekend, you’ll likely be out of town, would you like to withdraw additional cash?”

Of course, some would quickly identify that the ATM could be programmed to do this without knowing your usual travel plans.

What if you started out of town on Friday of a holiday weekend and your smartphone reminded you that you had not yet visited the ATM?

Imagine that you also normally visited the dry cleaner, stopped at a convenience store, and checked the weather through an on-line app.

Now imagine you are running late and you get a (smart phone) reminder that the dry cleaner is about to close, the convenience store is nearly out of ice for your cooler, and a thunderstorm is about to break out in the area.

Better yet, it reminds you that you’re now traveling away from your home and with the coming storm you’ve left two windows open.

Wouldn’t it be great? It is coming. In fact, most pieces of this are already emerging.

-DEG

Originally posted on July 16, 2018, last updated on May 4, 2019.

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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pleasing everyone

When Pleasing Everyone Pleases No One

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You have probably said it, “You can’t please everyone.” If you haven’t said it, you’ve certainly heard it. Are you pleasing everyone, or just creating an atmosphere of average?

Many people like to operate in the averages. They have some willingness to cooperate, to compromise, and they try to just get along.

We see this with room temperatures, the audio volume in the movie theater, and often on the highway as we keep the pace of traffic.

Stand Out

Yet, most people, most products or services provided by organizations are looking to stand out. They aren’t necessarily looking to blend in, to make everyone happy, or to keep operating within the averages. Or, are they?

The dive bar just outside of town may have the best wings, they are different from the franchise operation downtown. They aren’t average, they are exceptional as proclaimed by some. Yet there may be those who find them too hot or the atmosphere inappropriate for kids.

Anthony Robbins, who some admire very much, doesn’t have an average presentation style. It is part of his strategy. It appeals to some, but not necessarily to all.

At the carnival you don’t really remember much about the ring toss, the ping-pong ball throw, or the hot dogs. You remember the biggest, scariest ride that some wouldn’t even think about trying. You did, or maybe you didn’t, but you remember.

How should you position yourself or your organization? Do some things make sense existing in averages.

Pleasing Everyone

At a table in the restaurant our coffee probably comes in a ceramic mug or cup. A fountain soda from the fast food chain often comes in a paper-based cup with a plastic lid and a straw. Most smart phones are close in size and are available in black.

The challenge in all of this is that pleasing everyone is not memorable. That is why the restaurant needs to set itself apart. It is why the dive bar has the best wings, and perhaps precisely why Anthony Robbins is well known.

Comfort and averages keep people locked in to something that is just okay. There isn’t really any risk and so the reward is average.

Yet the business or person who risks giving more, doing more, and being a little different can become memorable. Memorable is probably not based in the average.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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attraction matters

Attraction Matters For Your Success

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There are people who don’t like baseball, apple pie, and certain automobile manufacturers. Who do you appeal to, who is in your crowd, your network, or your tribe? Do you believe attraction matters?

To some extent we all sell, we all market, and we all deliver a customer service promise. We do it in business, and we do it person to person without a formal business model or plan. Wouldn’t it be great to connect with lots of people who share in the same or similar aspirations for life, community, or career?

Much of this may depend on your market reach, where you spend your time, and what your formal philosophy on life is all about.

Habits Create Culture

I’ve tried to convince some coaching clients to read more. I’ve even presented them with the idea that they may read more than they realize, why not do it more constructively? It matters for some, but for others they just never indulge.

Podcasts are popular in some circles, but everyone wants to know the best of the best first, without really shopping around. These are limits, limited beliefs, values, and ways of doing things.

Values and traditions, they of course build what we call culture. Is the culture where you work strained? Is it because everyone is like minded or is it because of different values, beliefs, and traditions? Are those differences managed constructively or destructively?

Attraction Matters

Do you believe attraction matters? Whatever you do for your business, what you do for your customers, or what you do to grow your career, will always matter most to those who are interested.

People who don’t get involved with social media, they don’t really care about social media. People who don’t like football, NASCAR, or reality TV won’t tune in and they won’t see your masterful thirty second commercial.

When people don’t like to read, they probably won’t. When they don’t like social media they probably won’t join. An organization that doesn’t see a bigger future probably won’t care much about your career.

Everything that you do or want to accomplish will only happen in an atmosphere that embraces what you are selling.

It is true for advancing your career, for selling your product, or for building an effective team.

People who don’t connect with it will probably never buy it.

Attraction matters.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect,Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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trusted relationships

Trusted Relationships and Other Marketing Fails

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Everyone seems to agree that trust is important for business relationships. Do you have trusted relationships or are marketing efforts slowly eroding them?

Recently I received a call on my cell phone that I wasn’t sure I should take. I didn’t recognize the number and largely I don’t openly distribute my cellular number, but it also isn’t a secret.

When I answered the call, a female voice seemed somewhat robotic, but honestly, I couldn’t tell for sure. Was this a digitized voice, an advanced form of telemarketing? I was thinking, “Siri is that you? Cortana, Alexa, is it you?”

I interrupted, asked a question, and still I was stumped. Was a real person on the other end or a computer? I stopped listening and starting trying to think of ways to trip up the caller. Finally, after I quit interacting the caller hung up. I’m still not sure.

Marketing Fails

My email inbox gets some interesting messages. First, if you want to build a business relationship with me, my name is Dennis, not Denise. This is not the same as Denny or Dennis. Denise is not my name.

Occasionally, I will get the popular, “I wanted to reach out to you personally” email, yet the content is a complete duplication of an unknown volume of email messages that many others have also received. I guess I am somehow missing the feeling of personal.

Certainly, we cannot ignore the database merge email. Do they spark anyone into action? They start off friendly because if they have the correct name in the database, and a little bit of data about you or your company, at first glance they appear sincere and trusted.

They may start off with, “Dennis, will you be at Expo 2.X in September?” or they may try to be more friendly, “Dennis, we’ve missed you.”

In a moment you feel violated. You thought they were addressing you personally. You are really just another number.

Trusted Relationships

Many people will give you the benefit of trust. You don’t always have to earn it, at least not the first time around. As we all know trust can be destroyed in a moment. Rebuilds are difficult and costly.

If you are seeking new opportunities, building a sales funnel, or otherwise trying to grow a business that you believe depends on trusted relationships, be careful how you market.

Trusted relationships take time and sincere effort. Do your efforts feel sincere?

Easy for you, may mean easy off for your target.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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