On Demand Advertising Solutions Blog: Six Ways To Market Your Business Outside Of The Box, Podcast #33

Most businesses rely on referrals and word of mouth advertising. But when it comes to getting new prospects–it’s not always easy to find them.

on-demand-advertising-solutions-newsletter-card-image1In Podcast #33, John Verlin discusses 6 Ways To Market Your Business Outside The Box that will build customer engagement and provide an on-going online presence for good or bad times!

marketing platform dynamics infograph

It’s all a part of our three-part strategy to drive SEO and web traffic and make your business exceed the profile and exposure of your competitors with an extended marketing platform!

You may learn more about us and schedule a free appointment.

You may listen to all of our exclusive audio podcasts here.

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Now, enjoy the video podcast!

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Marketing Your Business; 6 Ways To Market Your Business Outside Of The Box, Podcast #33!

Host: John D. Verlin

Transcript:

Good afternoon. John Verlin once again with On Demand Advertising Solutions, podcast #33.

I wanted today to talk about a good article I saw last week in Entrepreneur magazineonline by a guest writer named Dan Stalco about 6 Ways To Think Outside The Box in marketing your small business.

And what I’ve been saying over the last six or seven months in these podcasts is similar to what he’s talking about.

He has a couple of other ideas I’d like to share with you.

Before we get started, I wanted to bring up a quick question to you. How do you use the media today?

How do you use social media? Well, the reason I’m asking is I want you to think about this, because today my girlfriend and I are going to a Ciderfest.

And we knew about it, found out about it on our smartphones.

It had a map of how to get there. It dawned on me how often we’re using this. She saw it advertised on social media from a post.

Had that not happened, I never would have known about it. It was on Facebook in her city.

So, had we not been following or liking social media, we would not have known about this event. So we’re looking forward to go to it.

And I’ve also started, well I’ve “liked” my sister in law’s daughter. It sounds kind of funny—but she has been posting on Facebook almost everyday. And this isn’t just, “oh, here’s a picture of my daughter and I”.

It’s “oh, how do I get over this headache?” What do I do about this? She lives her life through it. Now I don’t do that.

I will post every now and then on Facebook or something personally. Photo’s of my cats, some place I’ve been, whatever.

But there are—and I don’t know how many under forty year olds, post regularly. And they live their life through it. I know that sounds crazy but that is the reality. And if you’re younger—it’s just he way it is.

I actually came back from a walk out in a park today. Two girls were sitting on a rocky trail I was walking on, in the shade, looking at their smart phones. Checking stuff. I didn’t say this but I’m thinking, shouldn’t you guys be out walking getting some exercise instead of sitting under a shade tree on a walking trail on a park looking at your smartphone?

That shows you how engaged people are with these things.

So, six ways to think outside the box in marketing your business. First one Dan says is to get personal.

Everyone loves to hear there name. We all know this. Sometimes we forget about it. Let me give some examples—like personalized M&M’s. Like, John—here’s your M&M’s.

Or Coke will have “America” or the name of a sports team or something to get personal to target who they’re trying to reach? And that is always there.

You know, high school football teams, basketball teams. They associate with the name of the team. Because it’s the name of their team.

Well you can do the same kind of thing with your products or services for your customers.

You know, to the Kansas City Missouri Chamber folks—welcome!

Get a 10% discount. Whatever that is, the more personal you get the better? And I think this has gone back for years. Everyone wants to see their name.

If you can do that. Maybe get a birthday cake—Mary, happy25th birthday! She’s thrilled because her name is on it. So that’s the concept.

The second one is to promote customer engagement.

Now this is what we’ve talked about with social media. He talks about having a “selfie” campaign and you can encourage people who are following you or liking you to tag your business.

Or post it or re-post it. You can add a prize component. Do this, enter a hashtag and you’ll be entered in our drawing, raffle or a hundred dollar gift certificate. Whatever you want it to be.

Promote that type of engagement so that they will want to forward it or share it with fifteen of their friends.

To get more mileage out of your social media. And it ‘s great for marketing. It doesn’t cost anything and it makes them feel instant worthy.

Photo ops—I think of the CEO, John Legere I believe his name is with Verizon (oops, T-Mobile!)

He’s got a picture of him in all of his social media posts travelling around the world from meetings and different things. He’s with mascots or whatever.

He’s always wearing that magnata—or pink I guess. But that’s an example.

He’s using social media to promote a selfie in all of these things so you remember.

The third thing he talks about is saying thanks.

We forget about this sometimes but thanking your customers. TD Bank found that 17% of consumers like when brands demonstrate their appreciation.

Well, it’s not real hard to figure that out. We sometimes forget them.

And if you’re a small business your customer base is huge—meaning it’s very important. They need to be thanked.

You can do that in a variety of ways obviously. Send them a gift card. A discount on their birthday. I think about Baskin-Robbins.

I’d get a free ice cream cone on my birthday. As a kid I’d go there everyday (year) and I was looking forward to that.

What a great opportunity maybe to do that.

We’re going to give you a free something. Buy one get one, whatever on your birthday. Personalize it like that to thank them for being a good customer.

And guess what? Is the competition doing any of this? That’s something to keep in mind.

The fourth thing he talks about is to develop a loyalty program.

And particularly if you’re losing customers, you’ve got to establish a way to cultivate repeat business.

He says that 80% of Gen Z consumers are willing to sign up for a loyalty card in exchange for deals and discounts. It could be anything like a punch card, an app—I happened this past week to download a McDonalds app. I felt kind of silly but I did it to get a free sandwich.

I’ve yet to see the free sandwich on the app (I eventually found it). I fell for it. That’s an example. Download your app, give them a punch card. It could be a membership in a reward program to keep them coming back.

McDonalds is actually a great example. Buy five frosty’s get one free.

Utilize Linkedin—that’s the next one.

Linkedin is probably not used as much as other social media but it is for small business. I use it everyday along with Facebook and Twitter. Occassionally Instagram for posting my business.

I post everyday on Linkedin. Because again, it’s going to be small business owners who might need my services that will see what I’m posting.

And you don’t need a who lot of return on that.

I had a lady earlier sent me a message wanting to be in my network, my group.

And that’s another thing he talks about on Linkedin is creating groups where you can reach out to other small business owners and prospective customers in your area to get involved in your group.

And you’re posting things of interest. Maybe its an art group or a marketing group.

And finally, the last thing he says is—and this should go without mentioning…but survey your current customers.

Ask them, what do they like? This again, it all comes down to the customer experience. Enhancing that.

What is it they like. What is it they want more of? This is all critical. To be able to get in front of them with your marketing to make an impact.

So just survey them. Again you can include like a raffle type component in your survey.

You’re going to give away a $100 gift certificate or whatever and they’ll be entered in that. But that’s really critical.

We’ve talked about this in the past but it’s all about getting to know the customer, staying in front of them, communicating with them.

I sent a post out scheduled for a couple of days. And this really is true. You think about your business.

How good are you in your business or products in compared to your competition, in your mind, number one. Number two, how good are you?

Well, you may be great. You may be number 1. But guess what? It doesn’t matter if nobody knows about it.

And that’s why all of this is so important. They have to know.

They have to know what you’re offering.

They have to know why you’r so good.

That’s why you have to build a marketing platform. To establish your credibility. To establish your trust. They feel better about you.

Then all of your marketing and advertising zero’s in on that to build that experience with them so they’ll want to do business with you and come to you not the competition.

John Verlin, On Demand Advertising Solutions. Email me at johnverlin12@att.net or visit www.OnDemandAdvertisingSolutions.com

We’ll talk to you next week!

 

All podcasts are recorded by Verlin Studios / Gardner, Kansas

Copyright, John D. Verlin 2017

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Digital Marketing Update; Marketing Your Business. I Just Took A Swipe At My Phone Carrier With A Four-Paragraph Rant, Importance of Social Media In Your Business. Podcast #32

In this new day and age of social media–one of the most important aspects for business owners is to pay attention to customer issues posted on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

on-demand-advertising-solutions-newsletter-card-image1

Case in point. In past podcasts I’m discussed the importance social media plays in small business (even though many owners haven’t adopted it in the marketing yet).

Today’s Digital Marketing Update podcast discusses a real-case scenario albeit with a large phone carrier why this is becoming more critical for all businesses to pay attention to with their communication.

Most customers when satisfied with your service or product may never really tell you, or even rate you (unless you follow up and ask).

But when they are unhappy–they now have more than just a backyard neighbor to go to in venting their frustrations and dissatisfaction.

yelling

After cancelling a 24-month iphone 7 lease contract after it was paid up—and returning the phone to my carrier, I was charged a full months service+lease fee on my credit card.

This didn’t really surprise me, but I was only three days into the new billing cycle–but was billed for the entire month. So I thought I would go the social media route after I had talked to two people who said they would credit me back $53.

Here’s the original post I made on Facebook and their response. Now, imagine this is one of YOUR customers and you have over 1000 likes on your business Facebook page.

How would you feel and what would you do?

That’s the subject of today’s video podcast.

Here’s a screenshot of  the post and their comments:

sprint post

TEXT:

John David Verlin to Sprint
21 hrs · 

Sprint using deceptive billing practices, charging for a full months usage even though only 4 days were active in new billing cycle prior to cancellation? 
\
Here’s my vent.

Sprint has an opportunity to do the right thing with a KC customer.

Ended my two year iphone lease with them after lease period was paid up.

Was told I needed to pay anotehr $143 to “own” the phone.

Battery was dying otherwise I would have stayed with them especially since they were going to go with $35/mth free talk/text and up to 2G data plan rather than $60/month.

All I really wanted was to spend $100 or less on a new phone and a $35/mth plan (which I did get with a prepaid carrier and up to 5G data)! Many of these prepaid phones are Android perform similar to my $650 iphone 7s.

However, I noticed that after four days into my new billing cycle, i decided to cancel and go with a cheaper phone on prepaid. Then i saw an $87 charge on my credit card. when I call to talk to a rep–I told them that i cancelled after four days but they still charged me for a full month.

I was passed upward to another person who said that they would credit my card on Sept. 10 (today) for $53 (which is still not enough because prorated it was $2.90 per day or $13, not $33). I was told they needed my “phone” approval before they’d credit my card and i would be called today at 10:30a CST per my request.

It’s now after 10:50a and no word from anyone–which is leading me to post this.

IF THEY JUST WOULD HAVE TOLD ME UPFRONT–“sir, we’ll pro-rate your bill and only charge you $13 since you cancelled after four days into the new billing cycle and returned your phone two weeks ago…”

THIS WOULD NOT BE NECESSARY! SHAME ON YOU SPRINT!

This action would separate you from your competitors when it comes to how you treat customers.

Now, over 3.5 million “likes” are reading this on social media and my guess is others will chime in.

Is this how you want to be seen by customers?

This is why it’s crucial in this day of social media to be proactive in treating customers right!

I will UPDATE this post once I hear back from them.

 
 
 
Comments
Sprint
Sprint John David Verlin – Apologize for the inconveniences, we’d like to take a look at the situation, please send us a Private Message for further assistance. -Paola C
LikeShow more reactions

 · Reply · 20 hrs

Manage

John David Verlin
John David Verlin Would appreciate getting my credit card credited back the last month pro rated fee. Thank you
LikeShow more reactions

 · Reply · 19 hrs

Manage

Sprint
Sprint John David Verlin – We’d like to review the status of the situation. Please send us a Private Message so that we can further assist you. Just click ‘Message’ at the top of our profile. -Paola C
LikeShow more reactions

 · Reply · 18 hrs

In the first hour, there were 38 responses to my post. They have over 3.5 million “likes” on Facebook that were exposed to this message.
Most of those comments were angry at Sprint and I just opened up a small can of worms. I realize this is small potatoes for a huge corporation–but competition is fierce among carriers–no different probably for your business.
The key is to answer it swiftly and turn it into a marketing/sales opportunity.
 

It’s all a part of our three-part strategy to drive SEO and web traffic and make your business exceed the profile and exposure of your competitors.

You may learn more about us and schedule a free appointment.

You may listen to all of our exclusive audio podcasts here.

Now, enjoy the video podcast!

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Marketing Your Business; I Just Posted A Four-Paragraph Rant With My Phone Carrier, Importance of Social Media In Your Business. Podcast #32!

Host: John D. Verlin

Transcript:

Good afternoon, John Verlin with On Demand Advertising Solutions with Digital Marketing Update, podcast #32.

I’ve entitled this—I just posted a four paragraph rant against my phone carrier, the importance of social media.

Today ironically is the day Iphone 8 came out and the Iphone X at Apples big event and announced their new products. Which ties in to my rant basically with my phone carrier.

I’m kind of looking at this as a “teachable” moment.

And I’m seeing myself as more of an educator to business owners as well as a marketing individual, consultant.

But I’m having to educate as to why all of these elements tie in together in marketing, social media, your regular advertising, PR—all of these facets work together to create your branding platform, your marketing platform.

I had recently ended a twenty-four month lease on an Iphone 7 with Sprint.

No problems with the service, but the battery on the phone seemed like it started to hold less of a charge for what I needed.

I began to think maybe it’s time to trade up but I didn’t want to spend $700. So I decided, you know what, I don’t need all of the bells and whistles.

My actual usage has gone down than it was a year or two ago.

And I began to highlight like most of us do what the real features are that I really wanted.

So, bottom line is, I contacted them and they said, “yeah, your $87/mth fee is no longer applicable. It’s now down to $60/mth since you’ve finished your lease.

But, if you want to buy the phone, you pay $143 more and you own it.”

Or, “you upgrade to a new Iphone and that’s another $33/mth, on top of the $60/mth for up to 2gigs of data.

So, I thought about it and after 2-3 days, I decided I’m just going to turn it back in. I’m gambling on how long that battery is going to last cause the phone is sealed.

I’m just going to go ahead and get a $100 phone.

And that’s exactly what I did. And I love it! I actually got two phones. A $100 one and a $50 one to play around with.

Both have Android, same apps, same everything.

I kept the other one as a backup when this one dies, because I can change the battery in it, which a lot of these you can’t anymore.

But this is an older phone.

Brand new though. I went through a prepaid carrier. Virgin Mobile which I believe runs off of Sprints tower.

Basically I’m going from what I had to a lower cost plan, $35/mth for 5gig data which is four times more than I was using.

That was what I decided. I went ahead and sent the phone back to Sprint. Three weeks later, I see a $87 bill on my credit card.

I’m a little baffled, because I had paid everything off. I had sent the phone back and now they’re charging me for another month.

So I contacted them. Talked to somebody for twenty minutes.

They shifted me to someone else who, after waiting thirty minutes said, “we’ll go ahead and credit you $53 of that $87 because you were actually three days into the new billing cycle.”

And I thought, oh—ok. On September 10th, we’ll go ahead and credit your account. So, I’m waiting. Two weeks later I’m thinking I’ll be I won’t hear from them. We’ll guess what—I didn’t hear from them.

So I put it on my calendar and I thought—you know what, this irritates me. It’s not the money as much as the principle.

I came up with a four paragraph rant. I was going to wait to 10:30a CST (when they said they’d call). Then I was going to post it on their Facebook page.

And I have this as you can see on this blogpost. You can see the rant that I posted. After I posted it—within five minutes they responded.

“Please contact us through private messenger”. Standardized message. But there were 38 responses to my comment. I don’t know how many there are today.

It’s a few days later, I’m sure there are quite a few more.

People were going off on them, all this kind of thing. But I want to talk about why this is important for your business.

We sometimes overlook social media. We think, I’ll get around to it. I’ll post every now and then.

The problem is—if you have a guy like me who is not happy.

And I went ahead and conjured up a four paragraph negative post—basically accusing you of account misrepresentation and possibly fraudulent billing practices.

And that gets in print in front of their 3.5 million likes on their Facebook page, what do you think that’s going to look like? Do you think they really care? Maybe, maybe not.

But with that many people viewing that kind of commentary, from customers, that can get around.

That opens a can of worms. It could open a can of worms. And probably, realistically, they know most people are in debt and don’t looks at things, and they can go ahead and slip in that $87 charge.

Nobody is going to notice and they’ll pay.

And that irritates me.

Because I think that’s exactly what happened.

And particularly they say they’ll get back with you and put that back on your credit card.

Never heard a word. That irritates me even more is why I did this.

Why is this important?

Well, if you’re opening yourself up to not knowing what your customers think about you, your products or services.

And you don’t have some sort of engagement on social media.

You’re doing a couple of things in my opinion. You’re not able to get feedback from them. Good or bad.

But you’re not engaging them early on as we’ve talked about on other podcasts for future for growing your business.

Now, yes, you are going to get people upset—they’re going to rant.

But guess what? This gives you a chance to get back with them.

Find out what went wrong. Correct it. And this is all part of your marketing platform, because people will see that you’re engaged.

They see that you care about them. They see that you’re wanting to make an attempt to correct things.

And that’s all a part of your brand image.

Now, if you don’t have a Facebook business page, or a Twitter page or any way for them visibly online to get in touch with you, they’re still going to make the rounds.

At a chamber meeting or over a fencepost. At least by having some sort of engagement with them, you can prevent these kinds of things from having a backfiring effect on your business.

And you know that Sprint and all of these phone carriers are out there spending money to compete and bragging about how many new people they just got.

Well guess what.

If Sprint were to have read what I said. What I really wanted. They could take what I’m saying and turn that around and make it part of their marketing.

Well, the guy wants a $100 phone with a $35/mth plan—well, we already have a $35/mth plan. We can go ahead and match that with the competition.

Maybe we offer another type of phone or whatever—not to cannibalized prepaid businesses or whatever, that we let them run on our service.

Maybe we offer another option. If they get enough of these.

People saying I don’t want to spend that much.

I have a feeling we’re going to see more of that in spite of this Apple new release with the higher price tag.

I have a feeling there maybe some pushback or kickback to that.

They start to say, well the customer is telling us what they really want.

That’s how you can use that negative feedback you’re getting to turn it around. Maybe you don’t even have to do a survey anymore.

Just monitor your Facebook page.

The comments people are making. Answering them and getting back with them. Then turning that around to make it a marketable opportunity.

That’s what I’m talking about.

Now, Sprint can make this right.

By simply getting back…”we saw that you only used three days into your new plan cycle. We apologize (which they already said) for inconvenience.”

And what if they were to take that as a part of a marketing campaign?

We will not charge you for a full month usage—and we will prorate usage into the time, prior to cancellation if you ever do. We’re making it right with you.

What comes to mind is this big Wells-Fargo fiasco.

Where they made up accounts.

Charged customers for unknown accounts they didn’t even know they had. A huge, gigantic, fraudulent…I can’t even imagine anything worse.

As big of a bank as they are to stake their trust, reliability and reputation with their customers to so mislead them. To brag about it. I don’t quite get it.

At any rate, here’s four things why this is important for you to consider for your business:

Engage in a Facebook business page oer Twitter page. Start that engagement process with prospects and current customers.

Monitor the pages on a regular basis.

See if there are any questions or comments that you can respond to.

That’s again, part of your marketing platform. It shows people you care, you are engaged and you are alive.

You’re not hiding behind a website. Or hiding behind an unknown phone number. That you are for real.

You are answering them.

In answering questions and complaints, try to make it personal.

I know if you have a big business and a lot going on—well maybe it’s time to hire somebody in-house, or freelance it to a social media marketing person or agency. Because you need to answer these.

If you let them hang out there, and people see they were never answered, and it’s over a month old—a day old, two days old, three days old—that’s unacceptable.

That forms the brand impression on the marketing platform I’ve been talking about. And they are going to assume things about you and your business.

And finally, learn from this and incorporate this and what they’re saying into the marketing to enhance the customer experience.

This is what everybody is spending money on with artificial intelligence and data and all of these things is to enhance the customer experience.

That’s what it’s all about. I guess if you’re a big CEO and shareholder value and all.

It all comes down to that bottom line, the customer experience.

And you can use social media with the positive and negative comments on it from your customers and prospects to enhance that experience with them in a positive way to grow your business.

So, read my rant.

You can see what I was upset about. I spilled it out.

People jumped on my rant comment to respond and they were angry about other stuff. It opened a can of worms.

In the big scheme of things with all of the customers that they have it doesn’t really count much.

But, for a small business, you have a couple of customers doing this—this could effect your business.

So those are four things I wanted to leave with you to consider starting a Facebook business page or Twitter page. Start engaging prospects and customers.

Build a relationship with them by consistently posting. Responding to the questions and complaints.

Learn from these comments, questions and complaints. Incorporate it into your marketing to advance the customer experience.

John Verlin can be reached at johnverlin12@att.net.

Website: www.OnDemandAdvertisingSolutions.com.

And we’ll talk to you next week about more on demand thoughts, ideas and comments! Have a great day!

 

All podcasts are recorded by Verlin Studios / Gardner, Kansas

Copyright, John D. Verlin 2017

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Digital Marketing Update, Marketing Your Business; Is Your Business Ready For Voice-Enabled Shopping? Podcast #31

It’s the future of customer purchasing as foretold by Google, Amazon and Samsung.

In this video podcast, John Verlin discusses why an online presence is so critical for businesses to take advantage of voice recognition ordering–think Google Home and Alexa on Amazon Echo.

on-demand-advertising-solutions-newsletter-card-image1Getting listed in search engines with an online presence is more critical for service businesses on sites like Google My Business, YP.com, etc.

Without a web listing–voice recognition purchases will not be feasible as there will be no data for search engines to find your business.

Quality content can help you get found in the search engines as well as engage your customers and prospects.

It’s all a part of our three-part strategy to drive SEO and web traffic and make your business exceed the profile and exposure of your competitors.

You may learn more about us and schedule a free appointment.

You may listen to all of our exclusive audio podcasts here.

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  • On the go and in the know–successful entrepreneurs use the latest business and success information to further their business pursuits.
  • Now, On Demand Advertising Solutions is making available our Digital Marketing Update newsletter for you to follow–sent to you inbox each month!
  • Get all the latest entrepreneurial tips, business trends and marketing information tailored to the small business owner, FOR FREE!

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Now, enjoy the video podcast!

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Marketing Your Business; Is Your Business Ready For Voice Recognition Orders? Podcast #31

Host: John D. Verlin

Transcript:

Good afternoon, John Verlin with On Demand Advertising Solutions with another Digital Marketing Update, our 31st podcast.

I’m kind of excited about today’s topic. I noticed a post last week by a gentleman named John Swanciger, he’s the CEO of Manta.

I’m entitling this “Is Your Business Ready For Voice-Enabled Shopping?” It’s sort of he’s predicting the future. Because Walmart, Google and Amazon are changing the way we shop.

And he’s sort of defining what this will mean for small businesses. Or businesses in general.

In the past I’ve talked on various podcasts the importance of being searchable on Google and having a web presence.

And again, I’ve talked about too how a lot of small business owners aren’t really keen on
even having a website.

Well, what he’s talking about it’s pretty much where it’s all headed. And why you need to have not only a web presence, but a searchable presence that can be accessed through voice.

Three things he’s talking about. He’s saying that we have now and Google Home. These are voice assistants. Where you ask Siri about the weather. It’s all voice-enabled software but it’s getting better and better.

This is where it’s all headed with Amazon Echo, Google Home speakers, even Samsung is coming out with a home smart speaker.

Well, we’ll be ordering products by just saying, “Hey, Alexa—get me a plumber”.

You better hope your plumbing business is listed in the search engines to come up when I throw that out by my voice for Alexa to pick it up.

This is why an online presence is becoming more and more important for small businesses.

He goes on to talk about now how smartphones are pretty much everywhere. Touchscreen, keyboards not a great way because you have to input that in text.

But also the fact that if you’re driving hands free—it’s all moving towards voice-activated searches. And ordering through voice-activated.

Twenty percent he says of mobile searches on Google are now done through voice. I just recently got a new, actually older smartphone through a prepaid servce—and I just clicked on the Google mic and said, “hey Google, find me a pizza place”. And boom—five pizza places near me. Fast!

So, I’m already experiencing what he’s talking about just on my own little phone. In the past, he brings out that the voice recognition was limited by the accuracy of that software. Maybe seventy-five percent accurate.

I suppose Siri had issues. Or Google’s assistant had issues when you tried to say something they didn’t understand it.

Voice-enabled shopping is the next logial step. Don’t bother writing a grocery list he says, just shout out what you need and Alexa or Google will do the rest.

They’re getting better at recognizing voices. So, how can you as a business owner benefit from this?

The first thing he talks about is be familiar with the technology.

Start using Google Home or Amazon Echo so you can understand how that interface works. He suggest to start syncing your calendar to get voice reminders of appointments.

There’s a Rhino Fleet Tracking Skill to follow locations of drivers for deliveries. Or use Shopify Skill to track inventories and orders.

Again it’s voice recogntion technology that you can become familiar with. Now to use voice-enabled shopping, you need to become an Amazon Marketplace seller. This is for selling products.

Because listing your products on Amazon will give you access to Amazon’s consumer data and their distribution muscle. It’s also going to allow your customers to place orders with a simple verbal request on their Echo devices.

So, that’s why if you’re selling products in general, get listed on Amazon as a marketplace seller. Even with local businesses.

You can be listed on Amazon and people can vocally order. And they will recognize that local business for them to order.

You’re taking advantage of their data and their distribution.

Now, if you’re a service, like I am—plan to have your business listed on online directories used by the search engines.

For example, I am on Google My Business. There’s Bing Places, Foursquare, City Search, dozens more. I’m on Yellow Pages—YP.com.

Consistently having this type of information, your name, address and phone number on these sites that you’re a local business, you’re legitimate and you’re alive.

And I brought this up a few podcasts ago about being listed in search engines and owning that first page.

Google My Business was one of the top things on my search that came up for my business. If you’re a service or you’re selling a product—whichever, make sure you’re listed on these directories.

These are used by the search engines. You may say, well, I really don’t need a web presence—well–it’s going in that direction—you really do.

Because, when this voice-enabled ordering takes place—you better be thankful you’re on that search engine and showing up, otherwise you’re going to be left in the cold.

And he talks about the future of shopping is ready to be “heard” .

He even suggested about how, in his family last Christmas season—all of them sat around talking to the Amazon Echo.

And every one from kids to grandparents knew how to use it. It’s intuitive.

You just blurt out whatever it is…tell jokes—whatever and it recognizes things. So it’s moving from computers and mobile devices to voice.

And completing a purchase he says from Amazon is as simple as saying a few words.

And that Walmart and Google are catching up with this. To stay competitive, you as a business owner need to pay attention to this trend.

This is what I’ve been talking about of where all of this is going through online searchable content to be listed highly on search engines.

It’s why we recommend a three-point strategy to be noticed locally but also in the search engines. Because it’s all part of the marketing platform.

John Verlin, On Demand Advertising Solutions.

I’m keeping it short today. I wanted to just cover this and we’ll be talking more about this technology as we move forward and how you can implement this into your business.

Great post, it’s in Inc. magazine for September 7th, 2017 and I hope you get some benefit from that.

If you’re not on the web—have a web presence. A simple website.

Mine is on WordPress. You can do a simple site on WordPress. I’d recommend going beyond just a Facebook business page.

But again, that’s great, but see where this trend is heading.

Pay attention to the trends. Because if you don’t, guess what? Your competition will! And they’ll be one notch ahead of you. And that’s why this is so important.

Get hold of me at johnverlin12@att.net.

Website: www.OnDemandAdvertisingSolutions.com.

Send me questions, comments, whatever—love to hear from you. And we’ll talk to you next week!

All podcasts are recorded by Verlin Studios / Gardner, Kansas

Copyright, John D. Verlin 2017

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Digital Marketing Update; Marketing Your Business, Is Your Business Marketing Prepared For A Disaster? Podcast #30

As you pursue and plan the marketing of your business, ask yourself this question: is your business marketing prepared for a disaster?

In this weeks video podcast,  the week of Hurricane Harvey gives all business owners pause to play “what if” scenarios and how their business will respond to customers.

on-demand-advertising-solutions-newsletter-card-image1John Verlin discusses why this is so important with a case study of a financial institution facing a venting customer due to a systems upgrade fiasco.

Prevention and planning are the best medicine for keeping your prospects and customers aware and engaged.

It underscores the need to provide regular updated content, monitoring and engagement.

It’s all a part of our three-part strategy to drive SEO and web traffic and make your business exceed the profile and exposure of your competitors.

You may learn more about us and schedule a free appointment.

You may listen to all of our exclusive audio podcasts here.

Now, enjoy the video podcast!

podcast cover

Marketing Your Company; Is Your Business Marketing Prepared For A Disaster? Podcast #30

Host: John D. Verlin

Transcript:

Good afternoon, John Verlin with On Demand Advertising Solutions with another Digital Marketing Update, this is our thirtieth podcast.

And today I wanted to talk about, is your business marketing prepared for a disaster? Now I know that that is a pretty dismal subject, I touched on this idea about a month ago in another digital podcast.

Preparing for crisis and things like that. Today is the Friday before Labor Day. And last week, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. Massive flooding, massive loss.

So I thought I would address this a little bit because several things I experienced this past week reiterate the importance of it.

I talked about in my last podcast about when Voyager I and Voyager II were sent out by the Jet Propulsion lab in Pasedena—they had to come up with a lot of “what if” scenarios in planning before they sent them out.

And this is part of planning. Every business as far as I’m concerned has to have some sort of plan. An evergency plan. OK, what do I do if such and such happens? Such as a flood, or a tornado? Or a natural disaster? Political uncertainty? Whatever.

This is important as you’ve got to have some sort of plan with your marketing. How are you going to respond? What’s going to happen if your database or customer accounts are breached? How do you respond to that?

A whole scenario of things could happen. But it’s good to have some basic rules to live by so to speak as far as how you’re going to respond in your marketing.

Now case in point, one of my clients, financial institution had an upgrade to their systems. They didn’t send out any heads up so to speak.

And unexpectedly I guess there was a two or three day delay and their online banking was down. While they’re an online bank and naturally customers were concerned because they couldn’t access their accounts.

Now this possibly could have been prevented with a little forsight in communicating with their customer base and prospects through not only with secure messaging, but emails and social media posts. But it was done after the fact.

And there were several negative comments on their Facebook page which were correctedly answered by their social media person and compliance person.

But one comment is all it takes indicating that this is unacceptable. And suddenly, you have people they are trying to get as customers by spending money, read that and form an impression and an opinion.

But that’s just one example of one issue that came up which wasn’t really planned for. Well now they have a complaint scenario when they get issues upfront that they may suspect might cause problems.

They can go ahead and make posts on social media, on their website, on their online banking, in secure messaging, through emails to their customer base. And pre-plan this in case something might happen.

Now, why do you need social media? And this is kind of what it’s coming back to. Because that’s real time communication. And you can get on it right away to get to your customers and prospects with updates. Now you may think, well millennials use a lot of social media.

When the Houston flood hit, my 73 year old cousin went on Facebook, thanked everyone he’s connected with about their concern for him. And he said “my back yard hasn’t flooded yet, but it doesn’t hold water well, but it could. And I’ll keep you updated.”

Perfect example of staying in touch, putting an update on social media in real time. And this is why businesses needs to be engaged now, before an issue arises that you have to do something.

See what I’m saying? And this is why I’m advocating for all small businesses to start a social media program, whether you see tangible results right now or on down the road. But you should.

Well, you might say—and I did get an email from a listener last week—and I’ll just call him George. George, I want to respond to your email.

He had asked me as a small business that he didn’t have money to spend even part-time to do his social media, etc. And that’s fine. If you have a referral base where you’re getting customers and doing well—there’s no point in changing anything unless you need to in making an investment.

But know that—and this was the point I was trying to make in several podcasts recently—it’s moving in this direction with smartphone techologies. More and more people are doing social media and responding to it.

It would behoove you to not put it off basically. And this hurricane situation is probably a really good example. A lot of people stayed in touch on social media. Letting relatives know how they were doing, asking for help. A lot of things like that.

So, it’s probably a good idea George to go ahead and make some investment, whether it’s your time, a family member just to get something going on whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. to have a presence.

Now, you may not have a website—and you can maybe do that ok for a while. But this is where kind of the rubber meets the road. And you have to make that decision.

Do I need to go there yet and start a program with social media? Or should I wait until something does happen? It’s kind of up to you.

I understand the investment issue and all of that. But this is a good example of what can happen—and there are businesses that have had damage done because they couldn’t respond quick enough to customer complaints on Facebook or perhaps Twitter.

That’s the point.Is to engage your customers and prospects prior to any issue happening.

And the moral of the story is that you’re going to build your business. That’s the whole point of it. To build your business by engaging consistantly with them.

Because we’ve never had this capability before without doing some sort of customer survey, phone calls or a party…or something to get in front of our customers.

Well now we can do it through social media.

So this whole idea of changes going on that could reflect your relationship with your customer. Whether you’re advertising in print right now, or radio, TV, direct mail. Great, keep doing it. This is all part of your marketing program.

It’s just one more element that you can access quickly. And change quickly if you have a person in-house handling your social media and content—or you’re doing it yourself or you freelance it or hire an agency of some sort. This can turn on a dime and that’s why it’s so important.

Because not only can you engage people on a regular basis, but when you really need it—and upgrade happens and you didn’t warn them and you get complaints. You can pre-empt this. A little planning, a little forethought and you continue to build your business without facing any damages so to speak.

So, that’s kind of the story I wanted to talk about today and that is the idea that preparing your business, your marketing or issues such as a disaster that come out of the blue.

Now once that passes, if you have an engaged platform—a marketing platform that I refer to—you can get back in touch with your customers, thank them for their business and I’m sure they will respond.

Glad to know your opening again soon. Felt terrible about the tornado that hit your area…thanking you for keeping in touch, that kind of thing.

That’s worth a lot. Because you’re still engaging your customers. You’re also staying ahead of the competition by letting your prospects and customers know through your social media platform that you’re still in business.

Because your competition can jump on this and say, we’re still open! And they can wreak some havoc if you’re not in touch with your prospects and customers.

So my point is, it’s just a good, common sense business decision. And from my perspective George, in answering your question, I know costs are involved, but pre-planning your marketing should be involved too.

And whether this is involved or you’re doing direct mail or whatever your planning is, I’m sure you’ve thought through that and made investments and budgets. Well, this is a great example that this probably should be included fairly soon.

Particularly as more and more people are moving to these smartphone devices to access websites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. More and more people are doing this. So, probably a good idea to do that.

John Verlin, On Demand Advertising Solutions. Email me like George did at johnverlin12@att.net. Website: www.onDemandAdvertisingSolutions.com.

We’ll talk to you next week!

All podcasts are recorded by Verlin Studios / Gardner, Kansas

Copyright, John D. Verlin 2017

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