Tag Archives: Value proposition

Flip the Fundamental says Youngme Moon

I Listening to Youngme Moon has me fascinated.  You know I love marketing, and I spend a good part of every day helping my clients stand out from their respective crowds.

According to Moon, the author of “Part from the Pack, Meaningfully”, the genius of the brand is often in  the negative.
Think about Twitter, now one of my favorite social media platforms. Think back to when it came out.  I remember trying to get one of my kids to explain it.  “So let me get this straight, it’s just a whole ton of status updates?”  Who cared about that?  But in a word of social media that was getting more complex, more conversational, as we were spewing out diatribes on Facebook, Twitter turned it on its head.  Genius.
Moon also mentioned Ikea, who follows none of the traditional value propositions of the furniture industry.  Imagine if someone came to you with the concept of a furniture brand, but you were going to have no interior designers, make people lug huge boxes into their cars, then build the furniture themselves.  Different value proposition?  Or a crazy idea?  
Think about the Mini Cooper.  In 2004, we were driving mini vans and SUVs.  In comes Mini Cooper, a brand never seen in the US.  The turned the marketing on its head, and instead of trying to be LIKE everyone else, they said, yeah, we’re vastly smaller. They had ads wine Mini Cooper strapped to the top of an SUV.  Different? Crazy?  Hard to say.  Successful?  YES.
Moon says of you want to be different from your competitors, you have to have a different idea.  Staying competitive implies you are LIKE your competition, not different. It reminded me of the famous quote from Henry Ford, “If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”
Do something that no one in your category is doing.  Might be one of the hardest challenges you receive.  I’m thinking it might also be the most important.
Karen Yankovich is a social media brand strategist, business consultant and speaker, and the CEO of Uplevel Media.  Having ‘been there and done that’ in the arena of losing (and then re-finding) a focused approach to business and life, Yankovich now offers coaching and consulting for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Her unique specialty blends her ‘get it done’ attitude with a passion for authentic connection in her personal services and online workshops. Social media and LinkedIn Evangelist, Yankovich guides entrepreneurs to creating wealth by combining smart business practices with simple proven systems that develop and maintain strong customer relationships. She offers results oriented and expert conversational marketing strategies that position her clients to bring in instant results. Yankovich’s background includes over 30 years in the fields of information technology, marketing and customer relationships, making social media her ideal niche.  www.karenyankovich.com

Using Key Insights to Optimize Your Marketing Campaign

Today, marketing optimization can be overwhelming. Marketers
have to design a strategy and hit their lead gen goal, let alone optimize
everything. As a marketer, it is important to focus your optimization efforts
on the elements of your inbound strategy that will have the greatest impact.
Here are six ways you can optimize to impact on your bottom line.
Landing Pages
Through your landing pages, you gather lead information so
you can to market to them using personalized emails and web content. They
are a key part of an effective inbound marketing strategy, and even small
conversion improvements can impact the bottom line. In addition to
the prospects and leads, repeat visitors will also come to your landing
page, so optimizing landing pages will ensure that they engage with the
In order to begin uncovering opportunities for better
optimization, ask yourself questions like: Can someone look at your landing
page and after five seconds know what the offer is, why you’re offering it, and
why it’s valuable? Do you have an attention grabbing headline? Do you have a
relevant image? Is your copy clear and compelling?

Conversion Path
The conversion path is the series of clicks that a visitor goes
through on your website, from their first interaction with what you are trying
to accomplish. It is very important to understand how all of your pages work
together. Ask yourself: Which ones generate the most leads? Which ones are
preventing your prospects from advancing?
The website is your primary online presence as all marketing
channels, including PPC, SEO, and social media will all point back to
the website. This is where you control the conversation about what makes your
products unique, so optimizing your landing pages and conversion path is
crucial to the success of your marketing campaign. Map out your site’s possible
conversion paths. Then, look at the conversion metrics as visitors progress
through these pages to see if any are over or under-performing.

Value Proposition
Your value proposition should power the messaging on every
marketing channel. It should state why someone would make a purchase from your
company among the others that do similar things. Online, the value proposition
is the first sentence that your visitor will scan. It’s important that with
just one sentence, you can address why your company, products, and services are
Begin with defining your value proposition by asking
yourself: Does everyone in your company agree with your one-sentence
differentiator? Next, look at your competitors. How do your claims measure up
against your competition? Once you have internal buy-in, run a test with
different versions of your value proposition explanation on a high-traffic
landing page. When you ask people that know nothing about your company, could
they explain what value your company gives?
Your marketing content is made up of the words that populate
your campaigns. But your content encompasses more than just the copy — it’s
also the layout, the topics, the publishing strategy, etc. Great inbound
marketing campaigns begin with great content — you’ll use this content to
attract and convert customers, pulling people into your website, blog, and
other online resources. The  language you
use is the thread that ties all your channels together.
For online content optimization, you need to look at not
only your copy, but your keyword strategy, topic selection, internal
linking, SEO, etc. You need to understand not only what you’re writing, but
also why you’re writing it, how to write it, where to add links and sharing
buttons, and where to publish and promote it.
Your homepage is an ambassador for your brand. The homepage
is a company’s most frequently-viewed digital asset. Optimizers need to pay
attention to the design of and content on the homepage. In contrast with single
purpose landing pages, company homepages are hard to design for one focused
conversion goal.
Homepages are often burdened with the demands of multiple
departments, which can make them hard to streamline. Step one in homepage
optimization is to hone your messaging. Narrow down your goals to one target
business outcome per web page. The purpose of a website is not to make your
business units happy; it’s to accomplish your goals by addressing the
customer’s concerns.
Email marketing plays a role in your lead nurturing
efforts. Your email list is your most engaged audience -  the people who have opted to hear more from
you. Email optimization is vital to converting your leads, and involves
thinking about every aspect of your email campaigns, from headlines and design,
and when you send your messages.
So to begin your optimization, start with a well-optimized
list. When you design your email campaigns, it’s imperative to think from the
prospect’s viewpoint. At the end of every template is a person who is going to
get intrigued by your headline and open your message. Because your database
includes people at different stages of the buying cycle, you must segment your
list to align your content with your prospective buyers’ needs.
Optimization is one of the best ways to assess the success
of your marketing efforts. By developing an optimization culture in your
organization, you will develop a better understanding of your audience, better
position your products and better execute your campaigns.
Want to learn more about the business impact of marketing
insights? TMRE (The Market Research Event)
is like attending seven events in one. TMRE will give you new skills to add to
your departments like strategic decision making and insight integration. 

NACCM 2009: Managing the Customer Service Experience

Customers today are more interested in the experience they have with you, your products and services than ever before. Making the customer experience your value proposition should be our goal according to Lewis (Lou) Carbone, founder and CEO of Experience Engineering and author of ‘Clued In, How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again.‘ Carbone reminds us of a quote from Peter Drucker that brings light to this concept, ‘The purpose of a business is to create value for its customers and the reward for that is profit.’

Two companies, Disney and Howard Johnsons, have influenced his thinking about the customer experience. In working with Disney, he found that their management was concerned more about the customer experience, i.e., concerns over the melting rate of ice cream in their different theme parks, the scent of chocolate chip cookies to enhance the experience, down to the design of Main Street in a way that visitors perceived a long entrance that went on forever and perceived a quick exit after a long day at the park. Compare this to Howard Johnson’s model which lost its customer focus over the years.

According to Carbone, the economy has affected how we look at customer service today. One way a business can differentiate itself is through the service experience. Companies must move from a ‘make and sell’ product-based mentality to a ‘sense and respond’ experience-based mentality. The ‘sense and respond’ mentality focuses on what our customers really want from the service experience and examines the impact of cultural influences and psychological needs. When we factor these into the service experience, we can significantly improve customer loyalty and retention.

An experience audit can help us compare a current customer service experience with a desired customer experience. We can audit our current customer experience with a variety of tools including, language analysis, clue scanning, one-on-one customer interviews, etc. Clue scanning, for example, allows us to look for clues in a service experience that can be improved to better meet the needs and desires of the customer. By using these tools we can close the gap between the current and desired customer experience.

Carbone believes that improving the customer service experience involves both art and science in today’s world. ‘It is not enough to say ‘let’s treat them well,” says Carbone. We must look beyond that and decide what we want our customers to feel about themselves when they do business with us. Managing customer clues will become extremely important as time goes on. He foresees a day when every customer is treated as an individual unit as we perfect our ‘clue-consciousness.’ Until then, we must continue to keep our eyes focused on improving the service experience to remain competitive and successful.