Most of us know that keeping customers is important to the success of our businesses or nonprofits. Yet, there’s still an over-weighted emphasis on customer acquisition even though it costs more.

Retaining customers is part of a much bigger picture. In my upcoming book, Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most to Small Business Success, I delve into this topic.

Without customers, your business would not exist. It’s that simple. Your business success and longevity depend on acquiring and retaining its target customers. You can’t do so without developing and maintaining a customer-centric mindset.”

A customer-centric mindset (or customer orientation) “moves from selling products and/or services to serving customers’ needs and engaging them as people individually, not as a collective or by customer number. It is a mindset that puts customers at the center of every action.”

And, since customers’ experiences are directly connected to your brand, it makes sense to focus on every customer touchpoint to increase retention.

If you need the numbers to convince you, check out this customer retention infographic by Sparked that I discovered on the LoyaltyToday blog. Continue reading

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Baseball PitcherYou know who you are… LinkedIn members who send countless messages pitching your business, products, or services in your first communication with new connections. What’s with that?

Do you really think that people will receive your messages with open hearts and minds? I know I don’t.

How about creating a relationship first? Would you approach someone at an in-person networking event and immediately start selling, or would you engage in some conversation first? (That was rhetorical.) Well, LinkedIn is the same thing!

Plus, how many of these sales pitchers bother to read our profiles to see whether we fall within their target audiences? I can’t even count how many times LI members try to sell me the same marketing services that I offer! Hello? Continue reading

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Guest post by Ivan Serrano

social-media-etiquetteYou’re taught to keep your elbows off the table, to say, “please and thank you,” to treat others as you want to be treated, to say “excuse me” and not to speak out of turn. The list goes on and on.

Though learning the proper etiquette changes across oceans and for different cultures, every culture has a set of standards they expect of the citizens around them. Believe it or not, so too, does social media.

For businesses seeking to expand their name, brand, or face, the way to market is moving increasingly towards strategic online marketing. The platforms to get started on? Everything from Facebook and Twitter to Google Hangouts, Instagram, Vine, and even YouTube.

But the common mistake most businesses make is the false assumption that every social media site is exactly the same, and that a post on one can mean the post gets re-posted on every other site. Every site has its own personality, and with that, comes responsibilities.  Continue reading

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Inbound Marketing Concept. Purple Vintage design.Trying to demonstrate ROI (return on investment) for inbound marketing tactics is proving to be challenging, says a new HubSpot study. With so many companies and organizations trying to “get found,” inbound marketing has been active for many years. (Inbound marketing: “activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospect’s attention.” Wikipedia)

According to the study report “Businesses now turn to inbound methodologies to power sales (25%) and even customer service (10%).”

So, if you’re using content marketing, white papers, special offers, free stuff, etc. to draw in leads, you’ve been practicing inbound marketing. But, have you been tracking your ROI?  Continue reading

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swap-ideas-dayToday, September 10, 2014 is Swap Ideas Day! According to the Days of the Year website, the idea behind Swap Ideas Day is that everybody gets together to exchange ideas.

“People celebrate this occasion by connecting with other people to share thoughts and concepts. There are no rules outlining the nature of the ideas to be shared, thus making Swap Ideas Day an ideal opportunity for people to be as creative and wacky as they like with their ideas as well as learning from the ideas of others.”

Time for all you marketing-minded people to get creative! Here are 5 suggestions:  Continue reading

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Like and unlike stampsI frequently come across good, bad, and ugly marketing, so I decided to collect and share some with you. Let’s start with the kudos.

Kudos go to:

MyFonts for its prompt response in issuing a credit on a duplicate order I made two months ago.

“Hello Elaine,

Oops!

I’ve reversed the duplicate order and issued a full refund to your credit card. You should have already received an email confirming the reversal.

Let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks for using MyFonts!”

And, now for the boo-hoos.
Continue reading

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