volume 1 :: october issue :: 2010
featured offer p2 :: savvy article p3 :: savvy girls p4 :: savvy case study pp5+6 marketing article p7 :: social media article p8 :: savvy tip p9
Because thatâ€™s what we do. page 3
helping you integrate social media into your marketing I love October–the changing of the leaves, pumpkin décor, ghost stories and all the hype on the paranormal. I find it entertaining that creepy movies make their way back on television, that shows such as Ghost Hunters receive a lot of attention and that people embrace the eerie and the creepy for a little thrill–regardless of their normal opinions on such things! This month inspired this edition of The Savvy–debunking of myths! Or more specifically, debunking of marketing and social media myths. Myths can be super spooky at times. They grab hold of all reasonable thought and push it right out of your head. This month’s issue is all about challenging common marketing myths–the scary, the funny and the plain old outdated! We’re taking stock of what we hear on a regular basis and exposing the truths and myths behind that way of thought in order to help you move your business forward. Hope you Halloween!
Ah...Autumn. My favorite season of the year! Leaves giving one big, colorful last hurrah before winter arrives, seeing apple cider and caramel apples on store shelves, and corn mazes beckoning from every side. I’m excited to share this issue of The Savvy with you...I think it may be one of the most important ones we’ve produced! Myths abound when it comes to marketing and social media, and too often we are taken in. The only remedy for falling into the traps that myths hold for business owners is factual information, and that is what this issue of The Savvy provides. This month’s article excerpts are quite long and informative, so be sure to click the link at the bottom of the article to read the whole piece in your browser. Enjoy, and Happy Autumn!
photo by Candy Rice.
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debunked by Cassie Bair
Because that’s what we do.
There are many erroneous assumptions out there about what marketing is, and what it should be. We’re here to dispel those little monstrous thoughts and bring your business marketing back to reality! Take this short quiz and check out the marketing myths you may be buying into–and that may be bringing down your business! True or False 1. Anyone can do marketing. 2. Research is optional. 3. Marketing materials must have a professional look. 4. Marketing should produce immediate results. 5. Web marketing should be your single marketing effort. 6. Everybody is my audience. 7. Cheaper is better. 8. Only the best products/services sell. 9. Trim your marketing when times are slow. 10. Social media marketing is free. Answers to the Quiz: 1. Anyone can do marketing–False! People can be trained on marketing. But that doesn’t mean that the people trained can do the job, or much less do it well! People that succeed in marketing tend to have a knack for it. So if that’s not you, but your business needs marketing assistance, hire someone else! 2. Research is optional–False! Research is often skipped over, especially in small businesses. It takes time, money and resources. But the fact of the matter is that it is also essential from a planning
perspective. A little research can go a long way in regards to how effectively you utilize your time, money and resources! Marketing materials must have a professional look–False! Marketing should be professionally executed, but that does not mean marketing itself should actually appear “professional.” Depending on your strategy and goals, you may want your marketing efforts to appear grungy, home-made or childish. Don’t get stuck in a rut that may not help you! Marketing should produce immediate results–False! Marketing is about building relationships and educating your audience. Therefore, you may need to “touch” people repeatedly in order to drive action – or complement it with a trained sales force to close the deal. Web marketing should be your single marketing effort–False! Rarely does using just one type of marketing work for a company. Typically it takes repeat messaging through a variety of channels to have impact. So think about print, web, radio, out of home and more when you are thinking through your marketing mix options. Everybody is my audience–False! No marketing campaign should ever be for “everybody.” Your product or service is not really needed by everyone, so why should your marketing campaign target everyone? You are just throwing money and resources out the door if that is your philosophy. Narrow your scope,
target your marketing and chances are, you’ll increase your sales! 7. Cheaper is better–False! Whether it’s your product’s/service’s price point or the price point of your actual marketing campaign costs, cheaper is not always better. Many people base their idea of value on the cost of the goods or the services. So depending on your overall strategy, “getting what you pay for” may not be to your benefit as a resource or sales promotion! 8. Only the best products/services sell– False! Great products can sell–but so do bad ones! It happens all the time. A great business plan, strong marketing promotions, and concerted sales efforts can make the difference between successfully selling (or failing to sell) goods or services. 9. Trim your marketing when times are slow– False! This is a common thought, but the truth is you may do more to harm to your business by cutting back your marketing in down times. There are many reasons you want to keep up your marketing during slow periods – you want the people spending to buy from you may get an edge on competitors that cut back, and more. 10. Social media marketing is free–False! While the platforms may be free, someone has to manage your social media efforts, design your graphic elements, and handle incoming sales and more. Nothing in life is free! How’d you do on the quiz? Let us know on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ collectivesavvy.
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background photo ÂŠ Peanuts
Savvy Case Study
Yellow Lotus Healing Arts, Denver, Colorado One business owner’s reality: A case study on social buying websites When we sat down with Ryan, our goal was to debunk myths and expectations around social buying from the small/medium sized business perspective. What we got was a great review of strategy and one that many business owners should consider when debating whether to use a social buying service. Social buying websites are all the rage right now. While social buying websites vary a bit from one another, the basic concept is as follows: a deal or two a day is heavily promoted through email, Facebook and Twitter to thousands of eager folks who have signed up to receive the information on the latest hot deal in their area. People normally have 1-3 days to purchase the deal, consisting of a product or service available for half off, typically expiring in 3-6 months. The deal is usually ready for download within 24 hours by the customers that purchased it and the company that offered the deal typically gets payment in one lump sum, up front.
Ryan had heard plenty of buzz about companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial. He’d seen the deals, talked with other business owners that had tried similar promos and he did his research. See, Ryan is a one-man show. And companies such as Groupon can do such a great job of promoting your business, sales can actually overwhelm your business to the point of harming it if you aren’t careful. So Ryan took stock of the promotions–what types seemed to be working well, sales volume on deals and which companies offered him better contracts and payment ratios. He picked LivingSocial because he thought he could handle the influx of business it would generate, he got a higher
There is a mixed review of social buying Web sites such as Groupon or LivingSocial. Customers are absolutely flocking to the social buying sites for deals on local restaurants, beauty services, entertainment facilities, carpet cleanings, photo sessions and more. Companies are competing for placement, jockeying into position to be the “deal of the day” and setting themselves up for a high level exposure in a down economy in the hope of receiving a boom in sales and of course, plenty of repeat business. And last but not least, the social buying site keeps a portion of all funds collected, prior to paying out the company offering the deal. At The Collective Savvy, we hear a lot of rumbling from business owners when the idea of social buying gets discussed. How deals are “unfair” or that the companies that opt to do one are “not thinking things through.” So we decided to chat with one local small business owner, a recent promoter through LivingSocial. Meet Ryan Albizu (pictured at right), owner of Yellow Lotus Healing Arts, a massage company in Denver, Colorado.
rate of return on his deal and he ha business owners. Then he got persis a deal in his area.
Ryan then thought strategy. After m with a company called Integrative massage or acupuncture. In addition price, rather than just one. Why? To it was a good deal to their potentia numbers to estimate the average nu for massage work. He checked out w per massage. He mentally prepped work harder “busting out the mass massage therapist to help with any average amount of LivingSocial de estimated how many people may n
ad heard “good things” from other stent until LivingSocial opted to do
much consideration, he partnered Health to do a combo offer for n, they offered 2 services for a set o build up exposure and to ensure al customers. Ryan crunched the umbers of LivingSocial Deals sold what his take home rate would be d himself to receive less tips, but sage.” He partnered with another overflow. And he considered the eals that are not redeemed and not redeem their second service.
And then he went for it. Ryan and LivingSocial estimated they would sell approx. 350 deals. LivingSocial promoted it, Ryan promoted it and friends promoted it, primarily through web channels. They also let it run for 72 hours in order to gain the maximum amount of exposure. And at the end of that 72 hour time period, they had sold over 850 promotions. Ryan estimates he is temporarily making $18 per massage, he has to share some of his profit with another massage therapist and he has business booked into November. WOW. That was a bit more than he had bargained for! But here’s what Ryan did right in his situation. 1. He did his homework, made sure his overhead was low and set a contingency plan. In this case, it is paying off in regards to his long term planning strategy. 2. He figured out a way to maximize his opportunity. For every client that comes in, Ryan collects general contact information, which includes their email address. Why? So he can do follow up promotions and/or stay in touch in order to stay top of mind for massage work. 3. Ryan also takes it a step further and finds out where his clients work and what their role is there. See, Ryan wants to do more corporate massage rather than hosting strictly private clients–this is a perfect opportunity to connect with decision makers who are out of his usual business circle, but fit perfectly into his marketing and sales plans. 4. Ryan also opted to do cross-promotion. He worked with an Aveda contact to secure coupons for hairstyling services and hands them out to his client. This has a 2-fold purpose–it’s a nice, practical thank you for his clients and it builds alliances in organizations that are likely to refer new customers his way. 5. And last but not least, Ryan was prepared for reality. He knows many of the people who come in for their discount massage may not return or may book him on a sporadic basis. But he also knew he would find clients that like his work and would likely return.
And more importantly, he assumes many people would work in the area near his location–a tech center full of companies likely to want his corporate massage services. Given the fact his sales volume was not extremely high prior to the promotion; he made it a numbers game and gambled until he felt like he got it right. Ryan ran his promotion over a month ago and business is booming. He does not know yet how effective his long term plan will be, but he is still receiving calls for bookings and referrals; he feels very confident it will get his long-term sales volume where he wants it–at full price. When asked about myths and misunderstandings regarding social buying, Ryan said there were few surprises–credited again to him doing his homework and making a plan to leverage this opportunity. LivingSocial answered all of his questions and were upfront with potential scenarios. Ryan feels strongly that social buying is not for everyone. For example, well-established companies that may have their usual clients overwhelmed by folks coming in “for the deal.” But for a small company, relatively new to the area and with low overhead and few hard costs, this scenario has proven ideal. The one thing that surprised him–and in this case, LivingSocial? The number of vouchers sold! We don’t advocate that social buying is for everyone either. There are many things to take into consideration including hard costs, overwhelming your resources and setting people up to associate discounts with your business. However, we do believe social buying can work for the savvy marketer who really thinks through the pros and cons of the repercussions and prepares for all scenarios! by Cassie
Marketing Article (Post) Modern Marketing Myths: Busted Excerpt of an article by Sean Carton at www.clickz.com
I’ve been speaking at a lot of conferences lately, and the most interesting part of the whole experience is the Q&A. I like it because I get challenged and get to hear from a broad range of marketers and communications people about what’s bothering them. It’s a rare glimpse of the “real world” that’s often quite different than (and I mean this with great love and respect) what you hear from those of us writing about marketing. Lately, I’ve heard a lot of untrue statements; a lot of “conventional wisdom” that people either have to butt heads with their bosses or co-workers about. These myths are usually stated with a large degree of certainty but are rarely backed up by anything more than anecdotal observations. While it’s human nature to want to make sense of things based on your own experience, a lot of companies (both clients and agencies) are wasting money or missing opportunities because they believe them. Today, I’ll take a stab at busting these common digital marketing myths.
Social Media Belongs to the Young This is by far one of the most common myths. In many ways, it’s not unlike the arguments that people would make back in the ‘90s about sinking money into Web sites. “Well, all that techie stuff is all fine and dandy for the young folks,” went the common refrain, “but our audiences are older and they don’t use that stuff.” Baloney. It was baloney then (well, unless you went back to 1994 or 1995) and it’s baloney now when it comes to social media. Look at the statistics on social media usage and you’ll see that “the kids” are actually a lot less likely to use social media. Seventy-seven percent of mobile social network users are over 25 and 43 percent are over 35. More than 50 percent of Facebook users are over 35. As for Twitter, while the 24 and younger set make up the fastest growing segment of the services’ users, fully 52 percent of users are over 35. Print Is Dead I usually hear this one from wellmeaning people who are big believers in online marketing. I totally understand this sentiment, but it’s just not smart marketing.
“Nothing is more difficult than competing with a myth.”
Print still has an important role in the overall marketing mix, as evidenced by studies such as this one that looked at catalog sales and found that print catalogs are still big drivers of revenue (because people like to browse print and buy online). I don’t blame them: print catalogs have a greater emotional impact than an equivalent product listing on a Web site. Every type of media has its place and is best used for...
read the rest >>
-Francoise Giroud French journalist
“You read a book from begi nni ng to end. You run a busi ness the opposite way. You start w ith the end, and then you do everythi ng you must to reach it.” -Harold S. Geneen American busi nessman
Social Media Article 10 Persistent Social Media Marketing Myths Excerpt of an article by Brett Borders at www.socialmediarockstar.com
Social media has broken out of the underground and into the mainstream. And while personal social media literacy rates are rapidly rising, awareness of how to use social media tools for business and marketing campaigns is still very murky. Here are 10 of the most common myths I’ve had to untangle during my social media consulting gigs: 1. Social Media Marketing is Easy Actually, social media marketing is a lot of hard work. You have to find, filter, create and share content constantly… schmooze smoother a social butterfly with 36 heads… and do lots of timeconsuming favors for people. The pace of the social media world is like a busy bar or restaurant: fun to visit, but stressful and demanding to work in. If you’re not willing to constantly read, learn, solve technical puzzles and socialize with people – you’ll just be treading water and going nowhere.
photo by Candy Rice.
“Never assume the obvious is true.” -William Saffire
“Myths are a waste of time. They prevent progression.” -Barbara Streisand American singer
2. Social Media Marketing Works Overnight Actually, social media marketing usually takes months or years of persistent effort before you reach any kind of successful plateau. Your first dozen blog posts are probably only gonna get read by your mom, and you may get few comments or kudos. It might take you 6 months to
crack 1000 Twitter followers, but once you get some moment… things start to spread exponentially. This blog only had 400 subscribers the first 6 months, but by 18 months it crossed 6,000 RSS subscribers. Social Media Rockstar now gets comments and new subscribers even when I don’t post on it. Don’t give up before the miracle happens! 3. Social Media Marketing is Free Actually, social media marketing costs a lot of your time and/or money. You can do it yourself if you’re willing to spend hundreds of hours interacting with people and making chit chat, or you can save some time by hiring a consultant who has already put in the hours and can share shortcuts and personal connections. People who really know their social media are going to be busy and in-demand, and they’ll charge for their fleeting time accordingly. 4. Social Marketing Works Well for Any Type of Business Actually, social media works best for certain types of products and services – and not-so-well for others. In Seth Godin’s excellent book Meatball Sundae, he explains the metaphor of the meatball being a boring / ordinary product – and the whipped cream and cherry on top being “new media marketing.” So the combination of taking a meatball (i.e., a lawn chairs or life insurance) and adding some social media toppings... read the rest >>
Savvy Tip Take Care of Yourself! One of the common challenges in American culture is the myth that hard work will get you everywhere. While that CAN be true, sometimes working smarter is better than working harder. That can be easier said than done; after all, what does “working smarter” mean? We’re not talking about using new technology or integration here–we are talking about doing things to take care of yourself so that you can take care of business. You have to come first in order to make your business succeed! 1. Sleep–The National Sleep Foundation says that adults typically need 7-9 hours of sleep. Achieving the right amount of sleep to meet your individual quota is crucial to your health and productivity. Make sure work is not coming before your zzzzzz’s, or your business may suffer in the long run! 2. Exercise–Multiple organizations tout the benefits of regular exercise in regards to your health, but how will that help you at work? Studies show that getting regular exercise and/or getting fit increases your energy levels, boosts your immune systems so you don’t get sick as often, improves your attitude, and builds confidence. You may think you need to spend another hour on the computer, but your business may benefit more from you taking a walk, a bike ride, or time at the gym!
3. Healthy Eating–Much like #2, eating the right mix of proteins, fruits and vegetables can have positive health benefits that may complement all that sleeping and exercising you are now planning on doing! So put down the doughnut, back away from the counter and run or walk to your nearest salad! 4. Meditate–Take a moment and just breathe–literally! Meditation has many mental and physical benefits, all of which can help you in your business. Studies have shown meditation can reduce anxiety, build self-confidence, provide mental clarity, and decrease muscle tension. 5. Socialize–When you are done with your meditation, make sure you have some time scheduled in your week to spend with friends and/ or family. Taking this time is likely to boost your immune system, decrease depression and can be just plain old fun. Don’t have time to do this on top of everything else? Combine activities! Take a yoga class with a buddy, have a healthy meal with your best friend, or take a walk with your spouse. Your business will thank you for it.
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