Tag Archives: Customers

Are you a successful business?

Three of the most important things startups need to focus on / demonstrate if they are raising money, want to grow or just plain want to be successful:

1.       Gaining customers (or if no proof of concept then a list of qualified customers)

2.       Showing they know how to grow their business

3.       Demonstrating profitability and ROI

These points may sound easy to achieve and you may be saying to yourself, ho hum, I don’t need to read further.

Point number 1 – gaining customers is something that many startups and small businesses don’t focus on. They fall into my Lie #1 – If I build it, they will come.  Investors (and actually the company owners should feel this way too) are looking to see where your market is – are you marketing?  And startups, even marketing startups, often get lost in this space.  Ask yourself:  Would I invest in a company that can’t show me their market?  The customers lined up to buy the product as soon as it’s available?  A list of beta-testers?  ANY INTEREST AT ALL?

More and more I’m seeing startups and small businesses flounder in this area.  Forget for the moment Michael Moore’s crossing the chasm…these businesses aren’t even getting the early adopters.  Take heed and show the market interest.

Here’s some interesting related points:

http://www.alleywatch.com/2014/02/5-red-flags-of-startups/?utm_source=AlleyWatch+Daily+Pulse&utm_campaign=c1ae92d926-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e01c347085-c1ae92d926-62886025


Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.

She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

GOOD THINGS TO DO FOR BETTER CONTENT

Brandpsych logo

Sometimes we need a checklist to remind us of what is important. In the new world of all things “Content,” let’s review:

➢ Emphasize what your products and services do to satisfy your customers’ wants and needs

➢ Don’t market based on YOUR own preferences and behaviors. Think / Be Consumer Centric! Develop and use the number one communications skill of –“I’m Listening,” which indicates that you care if you act on what you are hearing.

➢ Explore customer behaviors and lifestyles and shopper personas. How do customers self-define their personas?

➢ Have customer data that is not influenced by your mindset. This is the customer era – bottom up not top down.

➢ Rely on onsite research to deliver insights into content useful to customers. What will initiate their discovery that you/your brand can help them solve their wants and needs problems?

➢ Good marketing content begins in imitation and develops innovation. The innovation doesn’t have to benefit those who are not your target market. Create specific strategies to focus mainly on loyal customers.

➢ Create your ideas for interactions by engaged-with potential customers

➢ Plan to answer customer questions in Real-Time (or Close-time). Remember – “I’m Listening – hearing – and acting upon your requests.”

➢ Develop intriguing, fascinating, compelling content that draws consumers into your brand’s world. The sense of discovery will bring attention, interest, desire and action (AIDA still applies).

➢ Trust and transparency in content and actions are critical to maintaining a sustainable relationship with today’s customers

brand content Drawing by Art Winters
Drawing by Art Winters

What do we understand and what can we put to use from this review of some of the key elements of Content Marketing Communications?

Let us know what you think…

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Thanksgiving to Personal Shopping

By Jove: The Biz Buzz

Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider

Ok, so what are they saying?  The Friday after Thanksgiving is no longer black, its charcoal grey? Or is it barely black and now starts at 8 pm on the day before. Wasn’t grey the new black this year, anyway?

According to the WSJ, Tuesday 11/26 black Friday is a retail illusion.  I guess the market expression, “Mark it up to mark it down.” finally traveled from 7th Ave. to Wall St. Article- http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304281004579222370781619390

In case you missed the NYT, Sunday 11/21 article “It Takes a Lot of Money to Look This Good” both Emma Sosa and Joan Volpe (FIT Center for Professional Studies) were quoted. The article validates personal shopping as a service and career opportunity.  Kind of reminds me of the old cliché “Does Macy’s tell Gimbel’s?” since the WSJ ran “Really Personal Shopping” on 12/4 underscoring the same theme.   Of course we knew the value of the personal shopper  already since Image Consulting is the longest running Professional Development certificate program. But it is so nice to see top media thinking like us. Article- http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/fashion/Personal-Shoppers-Still-Busy.html?smid=pl-share

At the Retail Marketing Society luncheon on Tuesday 12/4 (absolutely one of the best networking and learning experiences in the market, www.retailmarketingsociety.org) the always profound Robin Lewis told it like it is in retail today “The Retail Future: Landscape or Landmines”. According to Robin the faster retailers embrace an Omni-Channel strategy the better their chances of survival. Pure players will not grow and Amazon is already opening stores.  Robin says the market desperately needs talent who understand Omni-Channel and can adapt decisions and merchandising to multi-formats.  Head’s up all of you taking courses in the Omni-Channel certificate.

Have you noticed? Students in the Color certificate program develop a trend forecast in SXC 260 and try to predict the hottest color for the coming season which is then used for the next Hot Topics catalog.

Guess what color Spring 2014 HT will be???

“Love it or Hate it, a new Pink is coming” the WSJ, Thursday, 12/5 as well as Gawker and several other media sources.  Just remember we’ve known about that color for weeks – it’s a Hot Topic! Article- http://gawker.com/the-2014-color-of-the-year-assaults-eyeballs-everywhere-1477259786