Hey, Siri, find me a recipe for baked potatoes. Okay, Google, how do I get to Aunt Agamemnon’s house?
Have you done this recently - asked your phone or even a smart speaker in your house for some form of information? With the three major smart assistants vying for a space in your world, you’re more likely than ever to have one in your possession today and may find they’re in more places tomorrow.
The Movie My Fair Lady was a film about the classic debate of nature versus nurture. Are we a product of our environment or is our way of being somewhat predetermined by the core software installed in our think-o-matic? That wasn’t the only Hollywood take on the subject, my favorite trio of goofballs, The Three Stooges, also explored the subject in their short Hoi Palloi.
No matter where you fit on this debate there’s no questioning that your environment definitely contributes to your success. This is, of course, why the librarian is always shushing people who talk too much in the library - you’re supposed to be able to focus.
Setting value doesn't mean lowering pricing
Recently I was at a place enjoying a really great experience and the bill arrived and, after I paid, the customer service person told me I got a discount. But that made zero difference to me. Selling by discounting can sometimes actually hurt your business.
Now I’m no Rockefeller or Bill Gates by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not like I light cigars with $100 bills only because I can’t find bills of larger denominations. So my not putting any value in the discount isn’t because of an overwhelming of lottery winnings that have become so annoying I just want to get rid of the darned money already.
Does your business need an app? Should you invest in having a specific app for your business that smart phone users can download? Well, that depends. A lot of people ask me and I almost always answer the same way.
But first of all, let’s look at the app infrastructure. If your business had an app you would somehow have to market that to prospective users so you’ve got the overhead of marketing an app along with the overhead of marketing your business in the first place.
From whom are you looking for business referrals? Obviously asking your existing customers to tell others about your business is wise but are there bigger fish out there that you can hook? Can you find your voice in a crowded field. I say you can!
There’s an old saying “you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got.” In marketing this can be true or disastrously not. While your marketing may have stayed what was a successful course, the world might be looking elsewhere. Consider how poorly an ad in a telephone book might perform nowadays for most business types.
So with this young year just showing promise of exciting opportunities ahead, it’s time to revisit your marketing. Is where your message is showing up truly the best place for that message? Are you spending in all the right places or is some of that spend just going down the drain?
I can still remember my first time encountering an answering machine - I was so flabbergasted by the experience all I could do was laugh and barely let the device know who I was. That was a long time ago in a galaxy far away.
Today we all have the ability to know who’s calling us and to have that caller leave us a message. It’s just something we take for granted. Unfortunately a lot of businesses don’t use this stealthy little device as a component in their marketing strategy and that’s a missed opportunity.
Are Christmas or holiday cards still valid? This time of year the post office must be inundated with mail - almost like election season. It seems almost daily there is a swarm of cards from friends, business associates and family with pre-printed messages of joy and wellness for this year and next.
Then, at the bottom, the cards are signed and someone is tasked with sending them out.
This morning I was at the meeting of one of the service clubs I belong to and, as usual, there was the common complaint that young people just aren’t joining and that membership is down. This made we wonder - are service clubs passé?
It used to be that being invited to belong to a service club like Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and so many more was a true social feather in one’s cap. Furthermore being on the committee at a Chamber of Commerce or volunteering to help with community-focused functions was a mark of a true forward-minded community member. The Elks dotted the land with their halls and so many clubs did so much for the community.
When you’re market testing things, it helps to have the opinion of people with all levels of maturity, age and background/gender. While studying anything you’re about to bring to market, including slogans, designs and logos, is often done with the most advanced methods a lot of people forget to include the childish people in the audience when doing so.
But sometimes you can miss something based on whom you’re not testing to.