What kind of marketing is the most effective?

sneezr.ca Have you ever asked yourself that question? I did. In fact, many years ago I spent countless hours trying to figure it out.
The answer turned out to be quite simple: word of mouth marketing. Or as I call it: the art of cultivating recommendations.

Surprised? Probably not. With recommendations, there is no sales pressure and no credibility issues. When your friends, family members or trusted co-workers recommend something or someone to you, they are genuinely trying to help you. That means a lot, which is why you usually remember it for a long time. But here is the catch: recommendations must be earned. How do you do that? Where do you start? How do you give people a reason to talk about your products/services? How do you nudge your story into every day conversations? I launched sneezr.ca to help you answer those questions.

Your best friend is a stranger.

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Facebook reviews.
Amazon reviews.
Google reviews.

Those stories by ‘strangers’ matter. A lot.
Please treat ‘strangers’ who interact with you today better.

Jan 31, 2016

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You know that your company could miss the future, right?

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“I looked at lots of companies and why I thought they don’t succeed over time… And I said, what did they fundamentally do wrong? What did those companies all do wrong? And usually it’s just that they missed the future.” – Larry Page, CEO of Google

How not to miss the future: the short answer.

Step #1: Embrace Internetting. People have voted: Internetting is the foundation of the future. Yes, you read it right — Internetting is a thing. The digital has become physical.

Internetting isn’t a buzzword or a passing trend. It’s a mindset, and it’s the bridge to the best business opportunities of the future. Just look around: without Internetting, the life you love would not be possible.

Case in point: Netflix. Netflix’s ability to release entire seasons onto their streaming service all at once would be impossible without the Internet. (The Netflix way — watching your shows whenever and however you want to watch them — is obviously the best way to watch shows.)

Step# 2: Invest in things that cannot be copied or bought off the shelf.

“But hey, the Internet is like a giant copy machine — pretty much anything can be copied. Usually for next to nothing, or even for free.”

Is that what you’re thinking right now? If yes, let me remind you that only the shallow things can be copied. The truly meaningful things, the things that speak to the gut of the public, actually cannot be copied (with or without the Internet). There’s an old saying among guitar gurus: “Tone is in your fingers.” This means that even if you buy the same guitar and amp that Carlos Santana has, you will not sound like Carlos Santana. (Go ahead, open YouTube in another tab and play ‘Black Magic Woman.’)

“OK, invest in meaningful things that cannot be copied, got it. But what did you mean by ‘things that speak to the gut of the public?'” It’s simple: The money in the Internetting economy does not follow the path of the copies. The money in the Internetting economy follows the path of the things that feel right to the gut, things that display authenticity, empathy, and generosity.

Let’s go back to Netflix: for $8 per month, it will serve you hundreds of shows whenever and however you want to watch them. Contrast that with Blockbuster’s offer. Which brand embraced Internetting? Which brand better represents authenticity, empathy, and generosity? Which brand has missed the future?

Let’s wrap this up: If you don’t want to miss the future, embrace Internetting and invest in things that cannot be copied or bought off the shelf. Think: things such as fun (GEICO, Dollar Shave Club); education (Luxy Hair — check them out on YouTube); design (Tesla Motors, Method cleaning products); ease of use (Tangerine, Uber, Google, Amazon); remarkable customer service (Zappos, The Ritz Hotels); trust (Apple, PBS); etc.

Internetting isn’t a buzzword or a passing trend. It’s a mindset, and it’s the bridge to the best business opportunities of the future. If you are interested in the future, if you’re interested in investing in things that can’t be bought off the shelf, write to me. :)

Jan 23, 2016

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Trend report 2016.

krisp trends 2016

To know… scratch that. To even get a glimpse at the mass mind is no simple matter. To interpret what to do with that insight? Well, that is a bigger challenge yet. As everyone here at krisp loves a good challenge, here’s my 2¢ on some of the things that will matter in 2016.

Fingers.

Folks will keep on scrolling with their fingers in 2016. Like. Never. Before.

The tone.

Today, someone is always listening. This is why the tone is the substance. Your brand gives off a certain tone at your brand’s touchpoints (that is, the places where customers experience your brand). Do you know what your brand’s tone is? Is it Sears-like or Starbucks-like? Are you sure? :) You should care about the substance of your brand’s tone at least as much as you care about the substance of the thingamajig(s) you sell.

Love.

More brands will start including love (not the romantic kind) in their communications and core values.

Interactions instead of transactions.

Most businesses will still, sadly, focus the bulk of their marketing efforts and dollars on driving immediate transactions. You. Yes, you. Don’t be typical. Focus on the interactions instead. If you make them as human, simple, and timely as possible, the transactions will happen.

Invest your marketing dollars in places where the average brands aren’t going, or where they wouldn’t even think to go. Be like the brands people love: invest in interactions, not just transactions.

Movements.

If you get interactions right, you’ll have a chance to catch the ‘next’ wave in branding: movements. Case in point: TOMS shoes. TOMS is doing very well, no? So much so that it is, likely, the most well-known un-Apple-sized movement in the world. (The ‘One for One’ movement.) Ever wondered why TOMS is doing well? Have they invented a new Facebook, or sent a person to Mars?

Look around: people are craving a sense of belonging. The general lack of meaningful, trusted, and valuable community gathering events are leaving people feeling more isolated than ever before. Brands have a unique opportunity to be gathering places for people with shared interests, values, and mindsets.

If you’re a big-hearted entrepreneur, this is an opportunity to set in motion the impact you were born to make.

Simplicity.

Help people take things off their ‘thinking list’ in 2016. Case in point: clubw.com. 6 simple questions get you handpicked wines from notable winemakers delivered to your door. Plus, and this is a big plus, you never pay for a bottle you don’t like.

Protecting simplicity is hard. But it’s worth it. If you bother to look around, you’ll notice that it’s often those who narrow their focus right off the bat – way more than an average person would want to — that end up being the brands that people love.

Digital advertising.

Digital advertising will become more expensive. Why? It’s simple: competition for creativity in the digital advertising world has increased dramatically. Even the so-called late adopters are finally starting to shift away from a worldview where everything revolves around one shiny ad. Here comes the flood. Swim or… ? :)

Branding.

There will be more pressure to establish a unique presence for every major life platform. A friendly reminder: life platforms are the engines of empowerment. (Think Facebook, Google, etc.) Why are they new engines of empowerment? Because they give us more of what we can’t get enough of: a sense of connection.

Social media.

Most business will slowly realize that what bacon is to breakfast social media is to their marketing. We’ll see more business leaders than ever before looking for an advertising partner that can help them be and stay relevant on social media.

Email.

Email = reach. Email is still the most effective way to communicate with an audience of ANY size. Despite this considerable promise, there are big challenges with email. You see, email is a mature channel. This means that sooo many players — more than ever before — are showing up in people’s emails.

A single but fundamental takeaway: create email campaigns with a mobile-first attitude. 65% of emails get opened on mobile first.

Storytelling.

How do you get people’s attention in 2016? The short answer: tell them a story. Better yet, make them part of the story. Don’t just ‘target’ an audience. Support it. Grow it.

Jan 2, 2016

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Your children might never buy a traditional newspaper.

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“What do I care? I’m not in the newspaper business.” Is that what you’re thinking right now? If yes, fair enough. So, your business is almost 100% in-sync with the digital economy? Or is your business still in some/many ways like the newspaper business?

Dec 27, 2015

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Why does it end?

If customer experience is the new marketing, why does experience end in so many companies once someone becomes a customer?

In theory, ‘Relationship Marketing’ is the name for activities focused on developing and nurturing customer loyalty and long-term engagement. In practice, it means that you matter; your voice is recognized; you don’t have to spell your name; etc.

My 2¢: 1 > 0Giving > Taking. Step up. Give more. Now.

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