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Don’t Give People What They Want

I came across a great quote today while reading “Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne (Harvard Business Review Press, 2005).Theater by alan cleaver on flickr

Samuel “Roxy” Rothapfel, previously a nickelodeon owner, started up Palace Theaters. By using the low-cost, lower-quality nickelodeon style of entertainment, he reinvented this experience for more elaborate, extravagant affairs that played upscale at an affordable price. In so doing, he changed the entire industry.

The Palace Theaters, between 1914 and 1922, opened four thousand new Palace Theaters across the US. During this age of non-demanding consumers, ‘movie-going’ became a popular entertainment product. How did Roxy come up with the idea? It’s well explained in the following quote.

Roxy said, “Giving people what they want is fundamentally and disastrously wrong. The people don’t know what they want… (Give) them something better.” By combining the viewing environments of elaborate opera houses, with the viewing content of nickelodeons, a new market, or Blue Ocean, opened up and attracted a whole new mass of moviegoers: the upper and middle classes.

When business owners today choose offerings, they are often advised to decide based on focus groups and surveys. That’s fine if you just want to provide something based on what the consumer already experiences. But as Roxy knew, to find success, you must uncover these unknown, unspoken wants and needs and then create your product or service to satisfy it at the highest level possible. Then you have innovation… and a new Blue Ocean market.

The book, Blue Ocean Strategy has many tidbits of wisdom like this inside and I recommend it for anyone that wants to bring ideas to market. It’s not just for corporate execs either. Every small business entrepreneur needs to determine ways to shake up their products, to anticipate what the next, best thing is that people really want. As Albert Einstein once said, “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you got.”

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their conversion rates by adding proven online marketing techniques to their marketing mix.

 

We do this by integrating inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and by utilizing digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.



Top Three Trends Likely to Upset Your Social Media World

Start OverWhat’s going on?! Lately, it seems like the whole world is in a state of flux. First, countries like Eqypt and Libya are deciding to start over -or die trying. Then Wisconsin decides to do much the same thing… start over -or die trying. With this much upheaval in the world, it leads one to reflect on what’s happening and attempt to look into the future.

I can’t do much about these events, but they made me consider what will most likely impact the world ‘you and I’ live in, a world that increasingly depends on, and is driven by, the Internet, social media, and new media. What trends will arise, perhaps even merge, and continue to change and then further impact our lives?

Trend One

The first trend isn’t much of a departure from my lede. It’s the speed that news is bombarding us. Our ability to grasp and understand it before it has again evolved into a new story is creating an information-overloaded society. NPR recently published an insightful article on this topic called “Media Black Hole: So Much News That We’ll Implode?

Trend Two

Just as we’ve started to understand our communities, I find that they’ve moved and changed! Chris Brogan presents a nice update on how social media communities are evolving, and why, in “The Future of Community“.

Trend Three

Over half of all Americans will have smart phones by the end of 2011. Do you think this might impact marketing in America, just a little bit? Seriously, if there is so much news that we might implode, don’t you suppose that the same could be said of technology trends? Our marketing systems that just recently aligned to embrace Internet technologies must now evolve and align with mobile technology. Lucky for us, the B2C Marketing Insider has some tips in their article “Data-Driven Marketing: Mobile by the Numbers“.

Undoubtedly, right this minute, there is another new technology or trend on its way. What do you think will be the next mainstream trend? And how will we dodge, embrace or benefit from it?

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their conversion rates by adding proven online marketing techniques to their marketing mix.

We do this by integrating inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and by utilizing digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you.

Couponland, here I come!

I’m heading down to Chicago tomorrow for a quick lunch with my daughter and a side trip to IKEA (I HAVE to visit IKEA whenever I get near one and I’m not necessarily the world’s biggest shopper). Winter Shopping Therapy, here I come. It promises something special.Magiano's coupon

What I just heard though is that Chicago is quickly becoming known as Couponland. Brandchannel just recently featured a story on how the Windy City hosts 43 daily-deal groupbuying site headquarters. Two of the oldest are FatWallet and MrRebates and two of the largest, Groupon and CouponCabin.com. Who knew?

It all starts, according to Brandchannel, because of our Midwestern values and frugality. Okay, I’ll buy that, too. But 43, separate sites? I’ll report back and let you know what I find. Coupon anyone?

How Small Businesses Get the Most from Social Media

Just how are small businesses using social media? What level of online presence should you have? One way to start is to review what other small business owners are doing and model it after them.

Once again our friends at Mashable! have provided some insights in their latest Infographics report.

In a nutshell, here’s what they have found.

What social networks are small businesses using?

Twitter: 78%

Facebook: 75%

LinkedIn: 30%

WordPress: 22%

Flickr: 13%

Tumblr: 11%

Blogger: 10%

How many small businesses have multiple profiles on the major social networks?

Facebook: 31%

Twitter: 10%

Does engagement drive traffic?

Yes! On average Twitter got 117 clicks, while Facebook received 250.

Which platforms should small businesses be using?

Both! The Twitter platform engages customers and there is more interaction, while Facebook will drive more traffic to your site.

One thing that ‘the numbers’ do not show is that these social media tools are not necessarily in competition with each other. When comparing the latest social media tools, it often looks like a race is taking place, when in fact their true power comes from working in harmony. Twitter drives people to Facebook and vice versa. It’s like Twitter is the fisherman using a large net, while Facebook is using a Musky Rod.

From the data above, it is obvious that social media tools like Facebook and Twitter are vital to promoting small businesses. Understanding the ins and outs and leveraging their benefits are the key to your success! Give us a call today to make sure you’re making the most of it.

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their conversion rates by adding proven online marketing techniques to their marketing mix.

We do this by integrating inbound marketing techniques into each business’s current marketing plan and by utilizing digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

My Favorite Post for Today’s Entrepreneurs

I found this article to hit the nail on the head. Take a look at where you are and what lies ahead. Introspection is always good. The right mindset is better. And I’ll add Action is vital.Cowardly Lion

The Cowardly Lion’s Guide to Conquering Your Entrepreneurial Fears

The ‘close’ to this article is worth repeating, here’s an excerpt.

But all of those tactics will fail if you don’t have the right mindset

Mindset is what lets you turn tactics into an actual thriving business. It’s what lets you pay the price, to act when you’re scared out of your pants.

And you have to proactively create it. If you hang around successful people, you’ll notice they go to a lot of seminars, listen to a lot of motivational material, and surround themselves with other successful business people trying to do the same things.

It’s not a coincidence. They understand the value of mindset, and they set aside time every day to work on that mindset, to put themselves into the proper frame of mind to stand up and fight.

Because at heart, we’re all cowardly lions. Everyday, we have to wake up and remind ourselves how to roar.”

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their conversion rates by adding proven online marketing techniques to their marketing mix.

We do this by integrating inbound marketing techniques into each businesses’ current marketing plan and by utilizing digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you.

TGIF Friday Freebie The iPhone iPad Touch and more

Hello everyone, I usually don’t post on Fridays, but I came across this cute story and I couldn’t resist. It doesn’t exactly fit into the Social Energizer social media plan, so I decided to make another category – TGIF Friday Freebies. A place for the real light stuff. Everyone needs ‘light’ by Friday.

I’m not able to cite the author on this, so let’s just say it’s from ‘Author Unknown’. It’s probably better that way.

It all began with an iPhone…

 

March was when my son celebrated his 15th birthday and I got him an iPhone.

Apple iPod

He just loved it. Who wouldn’t?

 

I celebrated my birthday in July and my wife made me

very happy when she bought me an iPad.

Apple iPad

 

My daughter’s birthday was in August so I got her an iPod Touch.

Apple iPod Touch

 

September came by so for my wife’s birthday I bought her an iRon.

iRon

 

It was around then that the fight started . . .

 

What my wife failed to recognize is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook and iClean. This unfortunately activated the iNag app.

 

Which led me to the iHospital and iGet out Fr iDay.

_________________________________________

This article has been brought to you by SocialEnergizer.com

INBOUND MARKETING & MARKETING TECHNOLOGY OPTIMIZATION

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their conversion rates by adding proven online marketing techniques to their marketing mix.

We do this by integrating inbound marketing techniques into each businesses’ current marketing plan and by utilizing digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

Please sign up to automatically receive our blog using the subscribe button. We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you.

Thanks for visiting! – Lynn

Dispatches from Blogistan, A Book Review

Described in the subtitle as “a travel guide for the modern blogger,” Suzanne Stefanac’s book, Dispatches from Blogistan, is worth reading whether you are a blogger or not. This is not so much a how-to book as it is a why-to-blog book.

The first two chapters offer a new take on the history of communications. And the book really begins with the introduction of the internet as radicalizing the way communications occur. Instead of pushing messages (from advertising to propaganda), the shift is to pull the audience to the message. Instead of one-to-many or one-to-one channels of communication, the shift is toward many-to-many channels. The blogosphere is the heart of the many-to-many messages.

Stefanac provides a layout of the landscape in her explanation of the blogosphere. Even though the book was published in 2007(by New Riders in Berkeley) and some things have changed, her insights into the culture still ring true. Technorati is no longer the only major search engine for blogs, for example. Google, Yahoo, Bing and most others now include blogs in their search engine results. Such changes confirm how spot-on Stefanac is about the democratization of media.

With a common sensical approach she addresses issues of trust, privacy, security, and legal safeguards. Yet its reading about the power of collaborative discourse — many-to-many conversations — that gets to the heart of blogging.

There are so many basics to blogging covered in this book I can highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand this new social media phenomena. People all over the world upload more than a million new blog posts every day. Every day.

News blogs are written by citizen journalists and professional reporters. Food blogs by farmers, grocery stores, chefs, home cooks, foodies, gardeners, and upscale food magazines, food manufacturers, product advertisers, etc.

Blogs as diaries. Blogs as clubhouses. Blogs as news feeds.  Blogs as soapboxes.

Stefanac takes the blogger on a road tour. She gives the reader driving instructions but most importantly takes them under the hood of the car to explain how the search engines work. And how to check our own fluids, tire pressure and lights. It’s a handy desk reference for a seasoned blogger and a wonderful place to start for someone who is new to blogging.

Blogging has never been easier. WordPress makes it the easiest.

Chris Brogans- What is the Focus and Purpose of Your Blog

I was digging through some of my archives and came across this article from Chris Brogan, one of my favorite thought leaders in the social media arena. It is about the focus and purpose of your blog.

Chris starts by suggesting that you, “Ask yourself that question: what is the focus and the purpose of my blog? Is the purpose of your blog easy to define? What are you aiming towards accomplishing with it? How are you testing whether or not you’re reaching your desired effect?”

Next, he tells the story of his blog history and brings you up to date.Chris Brogan

“When I started my blog many years ago (it skittered across several domains before I landed in “real” blog software), it was for fiction. I wrote stories. Then, I wrote about fitness and nutrition. Then, I wrote about self-improvement. Then, I wrote about new media. I went from that into writing about social networks and social media, and then eventually, I moved into how businesses could use social media to improve.

What am I writing about these days? Human business. It’s essentially the idea that relationships and human-shaped experiences serve business much better than cold marketing and afterthought customer service.”

Human business, now that’s an idea that can catch on. At Social Energizer, our philosophy is based on this same principle. Finally, Chris helps you define what it is that you need to do.

“Your blog is a media property. It’s also a tool that allows you to build relationships (should that be of interest), to notify and inform (if you like telling the news), to reflect and react (if you like being a commentator), to report (if that’s something you enjoy doing), or a tool to educate, instruct, or establish thought leadership. It can be a call to action, a lead generator, a showcase for your talents, and many other things.

But your community (or your audience, if you’re not as close to them) is there with an expectation. They are seeking whatever it is you’ve been offering along the way. They want your best, and they want your material to enlighten, entertain, inform, inspire, or any of several other functions.”

One thing Chris doesn’t mention in his article is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Sometimes gaining better SEO can be the main purpose for writing a blog. Consistently changing content on your website will affect your search rankings with the major search engines like Google, Yahoo! And Bing. Initially, I think small business owners care more that customers find their websites, then that they are ‘engaging’ with them. It’s sort of the chicken and the egg thing.

What is the focus and purpose of your blog? If you need help defining it and applying it? Give Social Energizer a call. Our focus is on small businesses. Our purpose is to help integrate inbound marketing techniques into our clients’ current marketing plans.

Online FREE, the new Tchochtke

Dog vs Man Danceoff

To view video, click on link below

Henry Ford once said, “The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.” In today’s inbound marketing terms, this could be the new Holy Grail. Business owners successful at providing the right balance of online FREE content and services are most likely to entice and solidify their customers. This strategy is called a pull strategy and means you are pulling customers, not pushing them to buy your product or service.

Yes, I said FREE content and services. Free, as in no cost. Zip, Zilch, Nada, No dinaro. You all know where I’m going with this, don’t you? Here’s my short list:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linked In
  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • YouTube
  • WordPress.com
  • Yelp
  • Webinars
  • e-books
  • surveys
  • data charts
  • content (blogs)
  • Farmville
  • Mafia Wars

You get the idea. In 2011 terms, they’re the new tchotchke.

We spend countless hours online; checking this, reading that, playing those favorite free games and watching dog-vs-man-danceoff.htm.

It’s easy to understand why WE do this, but why are THEY, a.k.a. businesses, doing it? Why is this happening? Why would businesses give it all away for free?

It’s all in the Pull Strategy

As businesses move from Old School marketing methods like advertising to Inbound Marketing there is a change from push to pull. Instead of pushing a message, social media can pull customers to your business. The heart of this new successful strategy focuses on understanding the behaviors of today’s consumer. The online world is being developed as a “warm and fuzzy” place where businesses offer free advice, content, services, and games; and come together in a sense of community. It is where people go first for consumer information, and increasingly where they make a purchase, and begin to advocate for a product, service, business, or brand they like.

This pull strategy proves to be much more effective than the traditional push approach. Why? Because who doesn’t like free stuff?

How about you? You can continue to receive this blog FREE by clicking on ‘By Email’ in the top right corner of this page and subscribing to the Social Energizer blog. Feedburner will have you decode a scrambled word and then click on a link they send to your email. That’s all there is to it.