Where Did My Heroes Go?

Several years ago, I traveled the search engine and online marketing trade show circuits and made friends with some very smart people in the space. Over time I was able to weed out those who simply were part of the marketing echo chamber (a great majority of the so-called “rockstars” fit this category) and others who really really thought for themselves, citing real data and experiences and developing notions and strategies that could and should be implemented. The latter group I would call my marketing heroes.

Over time my heroes’ value to businesses has grown to the point where they are now getting hired by Fortune 100 companies more than not. But this has ruined them for me. Back in the day, they were a God-send for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). They were immersed in the SMB world and had great empathy for their needs and requirements. Unlimited budgets weren’t part of that paradigm.

Now many of these heroes of mine are writing articles and blogging about much more philosophical topics and less about pragmatic effective strategies to be implemented on the cheap. But there are two exceptions to this worth pointing out.  Continue reading “Where Did My Heroes Go?”

How to Avoid Falling into the Coupon Trap

coupons-discountsI seem to keep having this conversation so hang in there while I engage in a little blogging therapy as I think aloud in this article trying to align my messaging with my thought processes.

Fact: The people who come to your business with a coupon in hand are less likely than even your children to return any time soon, that is unless you bribe them with another coupon offer.

This means you are giving away product to the people who are the least likely to come back and do profitable business with you. And a lot of these coupon redeemers would have come in with or without the coupon. I know in my household, we will decide to purchase something and on the way out the door someone will say, “Wait, I think I saw a coupon for that.” So with these facts on the table, why would a business owner ever want to use coupons?

I’ve heard all the rationales. They include: Continue reading “How to Avoid Falling into the Coupon Trap”

Public Relations, Your New Name is Outreach

During the past decade, successful marketing strategies have been rewritten and dramatically so. With audiences moving away from traditional media to ‘new’ media channels, the inexpensiveness of online content creation and the ability to attract qualified leads via search engine optimization it was possible to create ones own marketing ‘gravity’ to attract prospects without relying on the media or anyone else to push them. But, that too, is beginning to change. Continue reading “Public Relations, Your New Name is Outreach”

Social Media Management Case Study | Boomer’s Drive-In

imageBoomer’s Drive-In is a single location restaurant located in Bellingham, Washington, a small town with a university population nearby. Boomers had enjoyed consistent revenue growth for over a decade but never fully utilized online marketing nor social media. Boomer’s Drive-In had three social media goals: 1) to capitalize on their ever growing sales and market share; 2) to be positioned for the future with regard to the ever-increasing role technology plays in marketing and 3) to offer existing and new customers new ways to become more connected with and part of Boomer’s continued success.

Boomers turned to a new marketing service, Whatcom Marketing, who was providing social media management services. Whatcom Marketing assessed the situation and advised not to expect any significant benefit from a social media effort for about three to four months.

imageWhatcom Marketing began managing Boomer’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as building out their profiles in online directories and on customer review sites. The Boomer’s Drive-In web site was also optimized for better search engine performance. Initially, Boomers did not expect many people were searching online for “burgers” or even for “boomers.” But once traffic monitoring had been put in place, they discovered two-thirds of their web site visitors were coming from search engines.

imageIn just the second month, Boomers reported sales up more than 13% from the same month the previous year. This also beat the record for that month for all years prior by 8%.

After five months, Boomer’s Drive-In realized a return on their investment with Whatcom Marketing of more than 6000%. Their fan bases on Facebook and Twitter have more than quadrupled and are engaging (commenting, sharing, etc.) with the content being published. Boomers made no other changes to their marketing efforts during this time.

Knowing online marketing channels tend to be quickly replaced by others in the future, Whatcom Marketing is currently working with Boomers to capture customer contact information and implement a strategic email marketing strategy.

 

Whatcom Marketing was able to create real results for Boomer’s Drive-In and other businesses in other industries. We would welcome the opportunity to help you take your business to the next level. Contact us today.

 

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(360) 223-1438
info@WhatcomMarketing.com

Build Up Your Customer Service Via Twitter

Have you ever heard that someone was unhappy about your service but you didn’t hear it from them? That’s because people are more likely to walk away vowing not to repeat the behavior than to seek a fix. But that doesn’t stop them from grousing about it to whoever will listen. Do I hear an “Amen!”?

Enter blogging, Twitter and Facebook and all the other ways that people can share their stories with dozens, hundred or even thousands. The realization of this is likely to send chills down most small business owners’ spines. But, this also presents a big customer service and support opportunity.

Continue reading “Build Up Your Customer Service Via Twitter”

Businesses Turn to Social Media During Harsh Weather

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The very Northwestern corner of Washington State is mostly at or near sea-level and as such rarely sees temperatures below freezing. So it was very inconvenient and uncomfortable to endure temperatures in the teens with near zero wind chill during the last 24 hours. With several inches of ice and snow mixed in, it made for a “better to stay home than go out” scenario.

Local businesses have recognized this and many chose to let staff and customers stay home. This also created the need to communicate this news to them before they set out. Conventional news channels were utilized but more significant was the tremendous uptick in the volume of Facebook posts and Twitter tweets by local businesses in the last day. More than twice the norm by my tally.

I can’t see it from my vantage point but it would be very interesting to know how this burst of activity from the business side of the equation affected the level of engagement from the customer side.

Anyone care to share whether they saw customer responses and other means of engagement from posts or tweets that you would be closed due to the weather?

Top 10 Whatcom Companies on Facebook

Facebook logoIt’s time to recognize businesses who are putting it all “out there.” They have not only made the leap of faith to participate and engage the marketplace using Facebook but are also rocking it daily. In some cases, you will see them posting in the evening hours and weekends alerting followers about what’s happening in their store, kitchen or on stage right then (“You won’t want to miss this!”) or breaking news about what’s just arrived in inventory (“You better get here quick if you missed out last time.”).

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here is the first ever Whatcom Marketing Top 10 Busiest Facebook Rockers List:

Continue reading “Top 10 Whatcom Companies on Facebook”

20 Ways to Make Your Email Newsletter Great

I received this email recently and was taken by its overall content and design. It is an email from The Fountain Bistro & Drive-Thru in Bellingham (a favorite night time haunt for the wife and me). It has most everything I’d want in an email newsletter so I thought it’d be worthwhile to dissect it step-by-step for you.

If it’s too hard to read in it’s shrunken state here, you can open a full size in a new tab/window by clicking here.
Continue reading “20 Ways to Make Your Email Newsletter Great”

Content Curating for Fun and Profit

A quick scan of active Twitter accounts with Whatcom County locations revealed something interesting. There are Twitter accounts not associated with any particular person or organization that are repurposing news, event info and other tidbits of local interest. They appear to exist to fill voids in existing services, providing a public service of sorts by compiling the most relevant local information from a number of sources.

A couple I found are:

BellinghamBuzz  @bellinghambuzz
We curate the best Twitter feeds to broadcast breaking news, things to do and daily deal around our Bellingham.   Bellingham WA · http://breakingbellinghamnews.com

Bellingham Weather @bhamweatherBham
Follow Me and Join the Yahoo! Group for Bellingham/Whatcom County weather year round. Bellingham, WA · http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bhamweather

 

Continue reading “Content Curating for Fun and Profit”