Videos Increase You Chances of Selling

In a recent report at Reel SEO, they shed light on the effects of videos of websites when trying to sell something. As advertising and marketing across the internet continues to grow, new studies have come about one industry that could be changed by the presence of video marketing on the internet. According to Reel SEO, according to a study done by FindLaw, when people were surfing the internet to a lawyer, they, on average, visited five websites before choosing a lawyer. When there was a video added to the site, average sites visited before choosing a lawyer went down to 1.8 websites visited. They were more likely to choose to buy they lawyer’s services if they could put a name with the face.

Chipolte Reaches out to Customers Through Blogs

Recently, in a San Diego Chipotle, there was an outbreak of Hepatitis A. The restaurant in La Mesa, California has seen 18 cases, according to this article here at

Mitch Wagner, a blogger at Business Week, took to his personal blog and explained the situation. So, when he received a reply to his post about this hepatitis A breakout from a Chipotle employee, he began to enquire as to their social media approach to winning back the faith of the fans. The Business Week blog article can be found here.
Joe Stupp, a manager in Customer Services, started finding blogs of those people who had written about their perceptions on the Hepatitis A cases. He responded to them individually through the comments. His care for his company came out in this particular email:
But in this particular instance, we were concerned about local perceptions, and we wanted to try to disseminate as much of the information we know that we can to hopefully help folks feel a little safer about visiting our restaurant.
As Joe has taken the time to reach out to the community of Chipotle customers at that location, he reached out to them through a means that they affiliated with. It’s another case of a company taking the time to communicate with the customer on their level. This is a great example of a company using social media.

Disconnects between C-Level Execs and Customer Service

This article on Marketing Charts displays the latest result from this customer service survey compiled by Genesys Telecommunications Lab. According to this survey, there is a disconnect between what C-level executives promise and what customer service can actually deliver.

Here are some common misconceptions CEO’s have as stated my Marketing Charts:
Most C-level executives underestimate the emphasis their organization places on efficiency, and overestimate how easy their organization makes it for customers to purchase during interactions.
There is a major (16 percentage point) gap between C-level execs who believe they are capturing important customer feedback, and the views of customer service professionals.
Some of the cures mentioned include adding a ‘click for a call back’ capability and improving existing systems to provide real-time customer data across the entire enterprise infrasctruture.

UK and US Citizens have same view on the Environment

In a recent study by Project Green, detailed here at Brand Week, researchers found that those surveyed in the United States and the UK had relatively the same views on the environment. One in three surveyed knew of the term sustainable, throughout both the US and the UK. Project Green’s goal was to find out what people in both countries to survey their emotions and feelings on the current state of the environment. Nineteen percent of those surveyed stated that they would sacrifice certain things in order to save the environment. Other views surveyed were: U.S. vs. U.K. consumers who:
‘ Recycle paper: 71% vs. 87%
‘ Purchase recycled paper: 55% vs. 47%
‘ Walk rather than drive short journeys: 36% vs. 56%
‘ Own or lease a hybrid: 4% vs. 1%

Social Media Spending is on the Rise!

When marketers were surveyed in this latest eMarketer article, over 78% said that they would increase spending during the next three years on social media tactics. More marketers are planning to increase social media budgets than direct e-mail and mobile texting, which were the other two mobile marketing tactics included in the survey.

As social ad spending is expected to grow from $1.4 billion this year to an estimated $2.4 billion in 2011, the focus will ultimately shift away from direct e-mail. Even though e-mail will not go away anytime soon, it only offers a 2-way communication. Social media is a breeding ground for recommendations to products, referrals to services, and it allows marketers to truly target niche groups. Businesses are beginning to truly embrace the power of communities.

Citizens Lives Change as Online Participation Grow

In a recent post at Criss Crossed, Christian Kreutz, identifies the ways that citizens have become more involved in the world due to the fact that the internet is everywhere.
First off, people are always online. With the blackberry constantly connecting to the internet, you’re always connected to somebody through social networking sites, there’s a feeling of protection.
Second, interaction can come from everywhere, whether it’s next door or in China. This can facilitate interaction, coordination and organization throughout the world, whether its through businesses or friends making connections. This has the most impact, according to Kreutz, in Africa and Asia where mobile phones are the primary tool used to conduct business in Africa and Asia.
Lastly, anyone can broadcast from anywhere. Citizens can pick up a video camera and tell their point of view from any computer terminal in the world. These real life portrails can often have more impact than the nightly news or reading about it on the New York Times.
As the Internet continues to grow, more and more ways to facilitate communication will come about. Whether it’s broadcasting the latest news from You Tube, or constantly Twittering about happenings in your daily life, these new ways to broadcast information to the world will continue to shape our future.

Social Media and Market Research Go Hand in Hand

Marketers have long used demographics compiled by market research firms, but social networking sites provides a great opportunity to access information in real-time. David C Skul, CEO of Relativity, details a couple of points in this YouTube video Use Social Networking for Market Research

  1. Direct feedback and direct sampling groups are one of the benefits of social networking sites. Businesses can easily send mass messages to all of their friends asking for honest opinions on products and services. Rewards may be given as an incentive for people to give their feedback.
  2. Polls can be created in networking sites, given users an opportunity to vote amongst several choices. This is one of the quickest ways to compile information.
  3. Demographics such as name, age, gender, and income are shown on networking sites, and in turn it helps to ensure that messages are reaching targeted groups.

Are you using social media in your organization to find out more about your customers? Take a look at this informative video. It’s a must see’

Customer Service Innovation: How to get there

In a recent blog post at Creativity At Work, they highlight ten ways to stay in the game when it comes to service innovation and keeping your customers at the center of the customer service strategy. The ten reasons listed were: 1. Approach Service as if you were the customer – See what part of your business customers are having the most trouble relating to, or the most difficult part of the shopping process you put them through. Fix those parts of the process.
2. Create a process map and identify service bottle necks ‘ What are the steps, processes and people that a customer comes to your business? If you see the whole process, and identify the troubled points, the whole company can see what they can adjust to make the service better.
3. Work backwards from the ideal state to a solution. Find where you want to be, and work from that solution down to fix the service in your company. If you start a beginning point, it’s very easy to get off track and not end at that solution.
4. Benchmark to establish standards and reference points. See what other companies are doing to measure and make their service better throughout the company. Strive to be like those best companies.
5. Copy the innovations of industry leaders: Customers look for consistency when shopping with companies. See how other companies are finding and keeping customers through the consistency with their services.
6. Measure and monitor current levels of service: Survey the customers to find their levels of satisfaction, and this will also show where the company is not pulling their weight in certain categories of service.
7. Solicit ideas from employees: Brainstorm with your employees to find out what they know the customers to want. They’re in constant contact with the customers and could have a potential solution to that one thing you’re having trouble with.
8. Solicit ideas from your customers: It’s your customers you’re trying to please, so find out what you could do to make them happy through market research, customer surveys and other means.
9. Seek an outside perspective: Look to other who have no idea of the situations your dealing with. Their clear view could help you find the solution.
10. Employ performance tools like a Balanced Score Card: Find a way to link your service measurement to your company strategy. This process needs to be measured in order to know if you’re making progress.

The Market Research Event 2008

If you haven’t had a chance lately, we’d like to direct you to the Market Research Event website. Not only are there videos from presentation of last year’s event, but a webinar that was recently televised by the IIR and a monthly book list! Check out the resource page here. Also, see whose going to be speaking at The Market Research Event October 13th through 16th in Anaheim, California.

Zappos Take on Customer Care

In a recent post at the Mavericks at Work blog, Bill Taylor sheds light on the customer strategy that the growing Internet shoe brand has to keep its customers. Tony Hsien, the president of Zappos, took time to explain the procedures that were taken to ensure customers were the first priority of the brand. Currently, Zappos ships over four million pairs of shoes a year and is expected to reach $1 billion in revenue this 2008 year. Since this is an internet company, Zappos focuses on allowing the customer have a good customer experience while never having an actual store, so they focus on the call centers. Contrary to most other internet sites, they have their 1-800 number on every page. When you pick up the phone and call, you’ll be greeted by a living, breathing, customer service employee. Zappos a different approach to training these customer service representatives. They are trained for four weeks while being paid a full salary. Two weeks into the process, every employee is offered what they’ve made the last two weeks as well as a $1000. Hsieh believes that those who turn down this truly show the characteristics of the employees Zappos wants to have behind their name. Zappos is a company that focuses on it’s relations with the customer. It also belives it’s employees happiness and availability to please the customer. As a result, in the call centers, there are no scripts and the employees can take any action in order to please the customer. The blog concludes with this thought: It’s a small practice with big implications: Companies don’t engage emotionally with their customers’people do. If you want to create a memorable company, you have to fill your company with memorable people.