Friday, August 31, 2007

Rumors multiply of 'Google Phone' launch

"Specialized blogs are all abuzz this week with rumors that Internet giant Google will soon launch the "Google Phone" or "GPhone," a cheap mobile phone equipped with a Google operating system."

The most interesting thing about the rumored "GPhone" is that Google will likely not be willing to contract with just one cell phone provider. So, in stark contrast to the iPhone, Google's phone will only cost $100 and will potentially work with all cell phone service providers. Google may be doing what everyone wishes Apple would have done with the iPhone. If I were Steve Jobs, I'd be nervous because we all know Google has the same skill that Apple does when it comes to designing intuitive platforms that work exactly as a user thinks they should. A $100 version of the iPhone that works with my current cell phone provider? Sign me up!

5 Annoying Habits of Entreprenuers

Fortune Magazine wrote an article called "5 Annoying Habits of Entrepreneurs." I know a lot of entrepreneurs but none of them have ever come close to annoying me. *ahem*

More than being "annoying" the article talks about how those habits negatively impact the entrepreneur's business. For that reason (and not because you annoy me), its a good read.

Database Marketing Made Simple

They say that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. A loyal customer is estimated to be worth ten times the value of a one-time purchase! Yet, the average company invests six times more to win new business than to retain its current customers.

Imagine the impact on your company if 25% of your previous customers suddenly purchased from you again today. It’s not unrealistic as you may think. That’s because those who’ve drifted away typically aren’t dissatisfied – they’ve simply been ignored. Statistics show that if you approach four former customers with a new offer, one of them is likely to buy! But first, you must identify the right customers to contact and what offer will be the most compelling.

Database marketing in its most basic form can be as simple as building an excel file of all of your customer contact information. If you are lucky, you may have the ability to track the last time each customer made a purchase, the value of that transaction and (if you are really lucky) exactly what they bought! Once you have the list, segment your customers by type, frequency, recency and dollar value! Then, you’ll know who your best customers are and will be able to develop specific marketing tools to communicate with them frequently (at least once a month). E-blasts (graphic email messages) are the most cost effective method and if your list is qualified (true customers who want to hear from you), they usually have a pretty high success rate. Direct mail is also a good option but costly and should be used to market to your BEST customers who are very likely to respond.

Stop ignoring your customers today. Think of a compelling offer, pick up the phone and call four really good customers that you haven’t heard from in a while. Let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 Television Campaign

One word to describe this ad: "WOW" (and not in a good way)

When I saw this TV spot for, I was reminded of a conference I attended in Vegas a couple years ago during which Seth Godin gave a speech about why he believed internet companies should NEVER, under and circumstance, advertise anywhere but online. Why market to people who are away from their computers when you could target people who are staring at the monitor and ready to respond? Are there not enough people online for to drive traffic and awareness via the internet? His point was that internet companies should BE MORE CREATIVE! There are literally thousands of ways to generate awareness online without resorting to a television campaign.

Seth was brutal in his portrayal of internet companies who market via traditional advertising mediums. The thing I enjoyed the most was watching the guy in the front row act awkwardly uncomfortable. As it turns out, it was the Chief Marketing Officer for Ebay and he was on deck to speak about his “Found it on Ebay” television campaign.

What do you think about internet companies advertising on television? Post comments.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ready? Aim. FIRE! Direct Mail that Works

Direct Mail
When Targeted, An Excellent Way To Reach Your Customer and Gain Sales!

Often scorned as junk mail or spam, direct mail is actually a very effective marketing tool. The most effective types of direct mail are postcards and direct e-mail. According to the USPS, an impressive 94% of postcards are read.

Effective direct marketing depends on three things:

Attention grabbing creative,
A high-impact message, and
A targeted list.

The real “catch” to direct marketing is a highly targeted, research-based list of recipients. When targeted, direct mail is an excellent way to reach your customers and increase sales.

If you don’t have a snail mail list, they are available for purchase from a host of companies. E-mail lists, however, must be permission-based to be legal and require a direct opt-in from the recipient and should never be purchased.

You may think – “I don’t know if I can afford a direct mail campaign.”

The real question is (as with any marketing medium you use) – can you afford not to?

Ask yourself how many customers you need in order to pay for a direct mail campaign? Chances are that number is lower than you think. And suddenly you are thinking strategically - the way people who run major corporations do - that marketing is an investment, one that will continue to net returns long after the initial implementation.