How to Build Your Email List with Your Best Prospects – Teresa Heath-Wareing

What is an effective email marketing campaign? By now I think we all know that it’s not measured simply by the number of emails we send out, but rather the quality of those emails. So what’s the key to sending emails that get opened and convert to leads and sales?

Today we talk with Teresa Heath-Wareing, host of the Marketing That Converts podcast, as she helps us work through our frustrations with the constant changes in digital marketing and social media, and shares insightful, easy, and actionable steps that anyone can use to help grow their business. (more…)

How to Audit Your Content for Better Performance – Travis McKnight

It’s not enough to just throw some blog posts and other content online if you want to rank in the search engines. And reaching the top 3 once also doesn’t mean it’s there to stay. But what can you do to increase your chances of ranking high and being seen as a source that consistently delivers a high-quality user experience?   

Travis McKnight, senior content strategist at Portent, is here to share the proven strategies he uses with his own clients to help them rank higher and create meaningful content that consistently delivers a clear and polished experience for users.  (more…)

How to Take Boring Out of Your Branding – Denise Blasevick

All brands say they want to be different, but very few actually take that jump and do it – or at least do it successfully. So what does it take to ‘wow’ the masses and elevate your brand above others? Denise Blasevick, of S3 Agency, fills us in on what to steer clear of and how to inject excitement into a brand, all while still remaining authentic to the core values of the brand.  

Rich: My guest today is the founder and CEO of the S3 Agency, a creative agency specializing in helping brands become more well-known and well-loved. She is a self-proclaimed ‘battler of boring branding’ and believes that every brand has a powerful and valuable differentiation hidden inside.  

Her agency’s proprietary brand elevation process helps uncover that, so that companies can maximize their brand power. So let’s get creative with Denise Blasevick. Denise, welcome to the podcast.  

Denise: Thank you so much. It is great to be here.  

Rich: So what is boring branding, in your opinion?  

Denise: Boring branding is when, look, every brand has a brand, right? Either they’ve defined it, or they haven’t and it’s a brand by default. And the brands by default tend to be pretty boring. There’s nothing special you can say about them. You might buy them because they happen to be cheaper than something else, but you’re not buying them specifically because something about the brand speaks to you. And that to me, it’s just such a lost opportunity to stand out, to connect, and bond with people. And it’s the lost financial opportunity because you’re a commodity at that point.  

Rich: Why do we, as humans, choose a brand that’s more exciting or a brand that’s more in alignment with our values? Like, how often does that change our purchasing choices, do you think?  

Denise: Well, I mean, I think, look, we are emotional creatures. We love to imagine that we’re logical, but we backfill with logic. So we make our decisions based on what we feel. And then we see if it’s correct for us, if it can pass the whatever the test, the brain test, after that. And sometimes it doesn’t even matter, right?  

Maybe you spend $5 a day on a cup of tea at Starbucks, and I could make this at home, but there’s something about that, that appeals to you. It’s that’s not a logical decision. I love walking in and talking to the baristas, or I like holding the cup, or the logo says something about me. So we choose things because we feel that they appeal to us. And that can be, to what you were saying earlier, maybe it’s the social thing they stand for or what I believe they stand for. So it’s how that messaging is put out, how brands live into that and make people believe, or have people see through what’s going.  

Rich: And then also how that brand makes me feel about myself and how I’m consistent in my beliefs. Like you said, whether or not that brand is real or not. I remember recently reading some research that talked about the fact that they had shown two groups of people, either the Apple logo or the IBM logo, in a video for a split second. Like so short that you couldn’t recognize it, that subliminal messaging. And people who saw the Apple logo had 25% more creative ideas than the group that saw the IBM logo. So whatever you think about this, at least on some level, it must be working. 

Denise: And people identify with it. They do. Absolutely. Absolutely.  

Rich: So what can a company do to avoid this fate of boring branding? Is it just that we need to create a new logo. 

Denise: No. A logo isn’t a brand. I mean, look at Apple. Their brand is an apple. Could that possibly make people think that what came out as a computer years and years ago would be this worldwide domination force and lifestyle? No, it wasn’t because of the logo. It’s because of what the brand did and stood for and pushed themselves to be and lived into.  

And I always go back to living into it. A lot of companies will say, okay, and they’ll do this whole study and do the exercise and determine what the brand’s going to stand for. And they’ll say they stand for, and maybe they’ll put some social media content out there, but they won’t change anything internally. They won’t actually make their brand different, they’ll just have different messaging going out. And that can get you some people trying your product, but it’s not going to keep people becoming kind of part of your little brand cult. It’s not going to, because they’ll go there and they’ll say, oh yeah, this is just something, that’s not as special as I thought maybe it was.  

And why spend the money to do that? Why spend the money to get people in, try your product or service, and go, “Hmm. Yeah, not as special as they said it was” and leave. That’s the worst, because then they’re telling people don’t bother, because we love to tell people about things that aren’t worth it. We really do. We like to have that negative… look at all the social comments, so many more negative comments than positive comments. I mean, unless something’s over the top amazing. Then people are talking about it. But usually it’s the negative stuff we see.  

So we’ve got to be very careful when we’re working with brands. If the brand isn’t going to live into something, maybe there’s an aspirational thing they want to be, but if they’re not going to live into that, don’t do that. Be real. Be something that’s very real.  

My big thing when brands come to me and say, how can we differentiate our brand? I use AR, and it’s not augmented reality. It’s how can you come up with something that encapsulates who you authentically are, that’s the ‘a’. In a way that’s relevant, that’s the ‘r’, to your target audience. Because if it’s authentic to you, but not relevant to who you’re trying to sell to, it doesn’t matter. Maybe you need to find a different audience. Or maybe you need to find something else that’s authentic about you that is relevant to that audience.  

Rich: All right. Awesome. So let’s talk a little bit about brand differentiation. How do you define it? And then how do we implement it?  

Denise: Yeah. So brand differentiation. If you look around at others in your competitive set – and competitive set doesn’t just mean things that are exactly like me. I’ve had companies say to me, “Oh, well, nothing competes with me.” Very few companies is that true for. So if I’m a candy bar and there’s no candy bar like us, we’re candy bars made with spinach and nothing else competes with that. You go, well, maybe actual spinach competes with you, maybe apples compete with you. Maybe Cheetos compete with you. It could be anything. So you have to look around.  

So determining what is the emotional and functional value that’s special about you. That’s what a brand is. What can you stand for? And it doesn’t have to be, you don’t have to create something that is completely different than the whole rest of the world. You just have to own a piece. And what we do a lot of times, and when we’re doing this exercise and we have to solve brand elevation process that we go through. But part of that is looking at quadrants, and we have the X-axis and the Y-axis. And you look at different things. On the X-axis you try to find polar opposites, maybe it’s premium and inexpensive. That might be one. And then maybe on the Y-axis, you take I don’t know easy to get hard to find. And you can use emotions, whatever they are, and you start plotting out a whole bunch of different ones of these, and you put the competitive set in there and you see where they fall. And then you start looking for the white space. 

Now, sometimes there’s a reason nobody’s in that white space. So it’s not just because it’s white space. You should go there. Sometimes it’s a terrible idea to go there. But you try that with different areas that are again, relevant to your audience and find where you authentically can be, “Oh, this is different about us.” So that’s how you do it. You don’t go, we’re going to be different over here. You’re like, we are different over here, and going in on that.  

Yes, there are going to be other functional values of your product or service. If you’re a cleaning company, you’re going to clean the place. We get that. But what’s special and different about you? And is it that you come dressed as animals because you like to go to places that are children’s hospitals and make them happy, and you walk around dressed like teddy bears. Well, that’s very differentiated because you’re making children happy, not just cleaning.  

Rich: Right. Absolutely. And so then implementing this, might it just be that these are already things that we’re doing, or these things that once we identify who we are, that we should be doing? Or is it it could be either? 

Denise: It can be either. I love it when it’s something we’re already doing when it’s just pushing more awareness. Like recognizing, oh, people love this about us. So let’s let more people know we do this, and make sure we do this all the time. And it may be something we only do sometimes and people think that’s really special. 

There is a hotel in California. I’m in California right now. There’s a hotel out here that is very interesting. They have a rooftop pool and bar and there is a phone that you can pick up or button. I can’t remember which, but either way. And it’s the ice pop hotline. It’s a phone and you can pick it up and they ask you what color you want. Not even I want raspberry, or lime, or I want red. And then they come out and they have a silver plate, white glove, and you get one of those frozen red ice pops. It’s really good stuff, but that is quirky. We call it micro weirding, it’s quirky and it makes people remember it and they tell people about it, and they put it in reviews. And it’s not that the hotel is so differentiated, but there’s one little thing they’re going out on.  

So brands who can think about something like that, that’s an easy thing to do as long as it’s going to be relevant and interesting to your audience.  

Rich: Absolutely. Yeah, exactly. That also reminds me of whatever the chain is that does the cookies, DoubleTree. They were famous for the cookies for a while. So there may be something that, and again, it’s still got to be relevant to your audience. If you were passing out spinach pops, maybe this wouldn’t get such a big play except, you know, certain micro audiences.  

Denise: So your point about DoubleTree, that is something, those cookies re really good. They had forever, I think they still have it, and what does that say? That idea. Yes, it’s a cookie, but it’s you go in that smell of being a place that it’s your home away from home. and that comfort is captured in the cookie, so that’s why that’s really special  

Rich: Yeah. It aligns with it. There’s a reinforcement of what they’re trying to get across and hopefully what’s important to their audience as well.  

So you’ve talked about digital discovery. And since every brand just about is online, how can we create an opportunity for the right people to find us online? How do everything you’re talking about with brand elevation align with our digital landscape today? 

Denise: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, for a long time, everybody was saying content is king, content is king. That’s true. I mean, cash is king, content is king. But really now there’s so much content, clarity is king, right? Understanding that your content, what you’re putting out there, the way you’re reaching people, we’re all being bombarded with so many messages all over the place, it’s overload. That we need to have something. When we have a brand that is differentiated where their content is very clear around their differentiation. So people who are going online and searching for things, that we’re capturing what they’re searching for, and they’re finding us. And that the Google spiders are saying, yep, these people really are experts in this, so we’re going to put their ranks higher and higher. Because when people go to their website, because they’ve searched for this piece of information, they’re staying on there, they go, “Uh huh, that makes sense.”  

So making sure that our websites are optimized with the right kind of content, that’s again, authentic about where our brand is. It’s bringing people in. So that’s blogs, videos, all the things that are the right kind of content. Our social needs to be around that. Email marketing, never been more important. People say, oh, people don’t read email. They do read email. When it’s relevant, when it’s important to them, they look at the subject line. So yeah, maybe they’re not opening it, but that’s pretty good. If someone sees a headline somewhere and then they know when it’s relevant and they open it and maybe they file it away. Very, very, very important. 

PR, doing PR and making sure we’re connecting our brand with our digital media outlets who are then the ones that are putting kind of the third party endorsed stories about us out there. And that’s getting into the Facebook feeds, and people are searching and having this ongoing long-term ability to find information about us – that we’re not saying, that somebody else is saying. And then they go to our website  and see that’s really true. All of those things are critical for digital discussion. And it all comes from the right place, right?  

If you aren’t differentiated in a way that’s authentic to you and relevant to your audience, the PR audience. The outlets don’t care about you, because why not talk about a different brand that is. The content won’t be unique enough to capture the spider’s attention and be higher in the ranks. And the emails will basically just be triggers for if someone needs a commodity and you happen to be cheaper that day. And that’s really not a super winning model.  

Rich: So I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who have the idea that they want to be all things to all people. And so this kind of goes against it. What do you say when somebody is like, “Well, I really don’t want to push anybody away. I want to be available to all the left leaning people in the right week, but I want be open to environmentalist as well as people who want to put more roads down in America.” Whatever it is, what’s the response to that kind of approach? 

Denise: I mean, unless you have all the money, you can’t be all things to all people, it’s just impossible. But even if you did have all the money, you can’t authentically be all things to all people. You certainly don’t have to take stances.  

So if you’re a nonpolitical brand and you go look, politics, aren’t going to play a part in what we do. We’re going to be talking about this particular thing, that’s fine. But you can’t not narrow down your target market. You really can’t. You have to specify who you want to go to if you want to be differentiated. Because for all the reasons that we were talking about, you can’t have content that appeals to everybody, it’s just impossible. Or very, very unlikely anyway. 

Rich: Along those same lines, there’s a lot of vanilla content out there. And so it makes me wonder, does the world really need another blog post? And is that going to help us stand out? And I see you shaking your head, obviously your audience can’t hear this, but so then what is the answer? How do we come up with a different flavor than vanilla, as good as vanilla may be? 

Denise: Yeah. Well, you know, what’s unfortunate is that the people who first discovered the value of having content, of having blog posts, of the SEO and SEM, and all the world working together, they really got a lot of value out of it right before the game. Just like people who figured out influencers right away in the beginning. And then everyone starts watering it down. So all of a sudden you have all these blogs out there that aren’t providing value, that aren’t providing differentiated information. It’s, “three things you can do this summer”. Yeah, I know I can go to the beach. I get it. I can put sunblock on. You have to make that content meaningful.  

So for me, when you’re thinking, and it comes down to, again, that whole differentiation strategy and how you’re going to support it. What are the keywords that are important to you? What are the messages that are, what supports that differentiation and getting that audience? What’s important to them? If you’re not important to them because you’re doing something special, or you can’t be important to them because you don’t have anything special to add, just flooding your own website with tons and tons of content isn’t going to help. It’s got to be special content. 

So yes, we do not need just another blog post, but we do need the right blog posts. We do need the right content. And if it’s healthcare, we need the right white papers. We need the right infographics. We need the right information.  

That’s why you’ll see sometimes, you know, there’s a brand you haven’t heard of, and all of a sudden there’s a post that they’ve done that everyone’s talking about. And that information is because they thought about something really special. I always like to say to clients, what are the ‘aha’ moments when your salespeople are talking to whoever it is that you directly sell to, what is it that makes them go, “Oh yeah. We’re interested in that.” Dig into those moments. Those are the things, because you can amplify the ‘aha’. That’s what your blog posts should be doing. Not just putting words for words. It’s the worst. 

Rich: Right. So it’s not just about churning out content, but it is about identifying those things. And that sometimes comes from real life. But then putting it into your online branding is the critical piece right there. 

Denise: Yeah, absolutely. And not straying from it. I think there’s too much kind of brand ADHD going on. I’ll try this. I’ll try that. I’ll try that. That’s a really rough place to stumble into greatness. That’s not how most brands are made. 

Rich: So, you said something really important, I think, a few minutes ago, and I want to come back to it. Which is, you talked about the fact that the first people to discover SEO or the first people to discover influencer marketing, what have you, they got a lot out of it. But then all of a sudden, everybody knows it. It’s no longer a differentiator. So that’s an important thing in a way. Because there’s a certain level of novelty. And when that novelty wears off or when everybody becomes an expert in that field, suddenly there are no experts. There’s nothing to do. Do you recommend at that point that people start looking for, as they sometimes call it, a new blue ocean, like a different channel or a different message? Or if this is intrinsic, if this is our AR, we just continue to hone in on that message because we were here first? 

Denise: I think that certain things become almost obligatory, right? You don’t have to have social media, but it’s probably a good idea. But it might not do for you what it did 10 years ago. And recognizing that. So the kind of effort that you’re putting into it, the kind of resource you know, we’re going to have stuff there, but that’s not going to be the different maker. 

So yes, looking for what can be different, and sometimes it’s a completely new channel that no one’s thought of before that’s harder to find. But sometimes it’s just thinking, what do you do differently? I’m a big Yankees fan and sometimes it’s good, and I’m a big tea drinker. And many, many years ago I started seeing Joe Torre drinking Bigelow tea. And Bigelow still does that, but that was very different. What tea brand was going after basically guys? Which was, you know, the main audience. Very different from tea brands, which is all the rest of them going after women. It’s very smart. And they stuck with it. If they would have tried it, “Oh, we did it for three months. It didn’t work.” Well that’s not authentic to you now. You’re not saying that’s the audience we’re really going to stick with. And it’s not that women don’t drink Bigelow, women don’t watch sports, it’s not that at all. But it was a very different play for them. 

Rich: So one thing that I know a lot of my clients are always interested in doing is being portrayed as the expert. So with all this vanilla content out there, and all this content that’s been created, how do we stand out online? How do we show our audience that we’re the experts?  

Denise: Well thought leadership is the pinnacle. If you are truly a thought leader and are sought after by the media for your POV and commentary on things happening in your industry or in the news, that’s pretty magical. Because the content that can come around there is, people aren’t just looking for your brand, they’re looking for your point of view and your leadership. And that that’s incredibly special. 

Not every brand is born a thought leader. You know, you have your thought leader brands like you know, Patagonia, right? They have always been who they are and always been differentiated in that space and they lead that conversation. But even if you aren’t leading it, you can be part of the narrative. And I think that’s important. The more and more we go on, there are a lot of consumers from both a B2B and B2C perspective and a D2C perspective, right. Really huge, the whole direct to consumer. They do a note your POV. They want to know. And it doesn’t have to, you know, as soon as I say that people like political – and I’m not saying politically – but they want to know what you stand for. It’s something that people are thinking about now that maybe they didn’t think about as much prior to this.  

So if you’re a shoe company and you give back shoes to people that don’t have shoes, I can feel good about it. I can feel like, “Great. I’m not just buying one pair of shoes. I’m buying two, one for me and one for someone else.” And that taps into my need as a human being to feel good about myself and someone else is making that easier for me. And that’s very different differentiating. 

Rich: Yeah. And even with the Patagonia example, I wouldn’t say they own that space, but certainly they’re well-known for some of their very creative approaches to environmentalism and recycling and everything like that. But you could still just kind of niche down and be like, I’m going to be the environmental leader in my state, or in my city, or in my industry, that we’re Patagonia isn’t. So it sounds like there’s still ways that we can narrow down and really stand out online by just continuing to, whether it’s niching down, going after a specific audience, a geography, what have you. 

Denise: And I think the word that you use, I love the word ‘niche’. And you know, we say it all the time, like’ the riches are in the niches’. That rather than trying to own everything, own something, own it really well. And you will have results on that.  

Rich: Right. And same thing with Bigelow tea and Joe Torre. It’s not that they were saying women can’t drink this. And certainly women can be huge baseball fans, as you’re a huge Yankees fan. But at the same time, they’re saying that we want to own the space for men, or at least we’re going to make tea – at least Bigelow tea – a more masculine brand that men feel okay drinking. It’s ridiculous to think that men wouldn’t feel okay drinking tea, but you know, such is the world we sometimes live in. 

Denise: But it’s smart, too, bringing bout the health aspect of it. You know, making it okay. It’s kind of that permission, right? You don’t have to be drinking beer while you’re watching the game, you can be drinking tea. Or maybe you want to drink beer while you watch the game, but then later you want to drink tea. and just like bringing it into that conversation.  

So I go back to the narrative, the conversation. Whether you’re the starter of it or part of it, you got to be in there. Otherwise you’re working extra hard to get people thinking of you versus hearing about you or talking about you when it’s already organically happening.  

Rich: So a lot of marketers get super excited about customer acquisition. But we not always quite as excited about customer retention. I would argue is much more important. So with that idea, ongoing, how do we stay connected? We’ve established our brand. We’ve put out in the marketplace who we are, it’s authentic and it’s relatable or relevant to our client base. But then what happens? How do we stay in front of them? How do we stay connected? Especially if we’ve got a product or a service that might be a multiple time buy or a long-term relationship type purchase. 

Denise: Again, as human beings, we’re excited by the shiny thing. Right. And so it is easy, even if you really I love this brand. Oh, well here’s a new thing. Let me try it. We have to, as marketers recognize that’s going to happen and we have to work really hard to keep the people who already know and love us. So we’ve got to make them feel special. We have to make sure that we’re going above and beyond, that we’re innovating in the space that we’re in, letting them know about it. You know, we can’t just assume that our loyal audience knows everything about us or that they remember. As brands, we know all this stuff about us and we’re like, oh, we see it all the time. But they don’t.  

And maybe especially if it’s not a frequent purchase, if it’s just sometimes long cycle, it’s very easy if you haven’t been staying in touch, you haven’t been cultivating that relationship, to stray just like a relationship. You have to really make that relationship valuable. 

Rich: Do you have a ratio of how much brand should be talking about what they stand for or what they’re in alignment with? Especially if it’s kind of away from what they sell versus what they sell. So I’m just thinking about conversations I started having with both my clients, as well as a general audience at the beginning of COVID, about leadership issues and taking care of your team and taking care of your customers, and then the whole black lives matter movement and all these kinds of things. Is there too much when we’re talking about what we stand for? Or is there a perfect ratio? Or is it just something that’s, be authentic?  

Denise: It’s all about being authentic. You know, we have brands that the people working there are, “Oh, we really think we want to say something”, but what does the brand say? This isn’t your personal social media. How does the brand relate to this? What can you do about this?  

Because a lot of brands got in trouble for just putting a post out. Which on the one hand, okay, solidarity. But what are you doing about it? You know, people are going, show me the receipts. How are you backing this movement? And there is value to saying we back this movement, but we need more than that for something that is so serious. You can, for something that is maybe less divisive as Earth Day. You can put out a post saying, “Hey, it’s Earth Day ,don’t forget to recycle!” Or you can take Earth Day really far and say, “Hey, this is Earth Day and we’re Patagonia. Please don’t buy new stuff, bring your stuff here and we’ll fix it.” And that kind of thing. But you have to really think about kind of the gradient of where your brand falls on something.  

And then there’s also like maybe you’re founder feels something, but your company doesn’t feel something. It doesn’t stand for that. So again, when you differentiate your brand, you determine that DNA, you want to live into that DNA. If you have clarity around that and alignment, internal alignment, which is a huge issue. A lot of times brands like marketing has this, but the rest of the company, doesn’t. You have that internal alignment around what that brand differentiation is. Those decisions become much easier to make. And people are empowered to make them, they don’t have to go, should we do this? People just, they know what the right answer is.  

Rich: Denise, this has been great. You’ve given us a lot to think about of how we should identify our brands, how we should stand out. If people want to learn more about you and the S3 Agency, where can we send them?  

Denise: Please visit our website, which is S3.agency. Check me out on LinkedIn, Denise Blasevick, good luck spelling that, but I know it’ll be linked in your podcast. And Rich, thank you so much. It has been wonderful talking to you. Anytime you want to talk about battling boring branding, please give me a shout.  

Rich: Sounds great. Thank you so much for your time today. 

Show Notes:  

Denise Blasevick focuses on elevating brands to find more success and recognition by using all the data and information that marketers these days already have. Definitely head to her website for info on that 3-step process, and follow her on LinkedIn. 

Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine, and founder of the Agents of Change. He’s passionate about helping small businesses grow online and has put his 20+ years of experience into the book, The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing.  

What Your Customer Can’t Tell You – Melina Palmer

Humans make 35,000 decisions every day. So once we understand that the way in which we present information makes a difference in what people are going to choose, it suddenly takes marketing our brand or products to a whole new level.  

Using techniques such as anchoring, priming and reciprocity, Melina Palmer from The Brainy Business, explains how to influence your potential client’s brains to help persuade their choices.  

Rich: My guest today is founder and CEO of The Brainy Business, which provides behavioral economics consulting to businesses of all sizes from around the world. Her podcast, The Brainy Business: Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy, has downloaded in over 160 countries and is used as a resource for teaching applied behavioral economics for many universities and businesses. 

She obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration marketing, and worked in corporate marketing and brand strategy for over a decade before earning her master’s in behavioral economics.  

A proud member of the Global Association of Applied Behavioral Scientists, she’s contributed research to the Association for Consumer Research, Filene Research Institute, and runs the Behavioral Economics and Business column for Inc. Magazine. 

She teaches applied behavioral economics through the Texas A&M human behavior lab. And her first book, What Your Customer Wants And Can’t Tell You, was published in May of 2021.  

Today we’re going to be talking about why people buy, or don’t buy, from you online with Melina Palmer. Melina, welcome to the show. 

Melina: Thanks so much for having me.  

Rich: So I first discovered you through Roger Dooley’s podcast. And I enjoyed the interview so much that I went out and I bought your book, audio book, because I’m an audio guy. Which then led me to your podcast, which I’ve been powering through in between Jack Reacher audio books. What led you to start your podcast, Brainy Business?  

Melina: Well, so as you said, my career really started in marketing. And when I got my undergrad, so going like way back into the world here, but when I got my undergrad there was just one tiny, little piece of one class, one book that had just this little bit about buyer psychology and why people would choose to buy things. And I thought it was amazing. Just the most fascinating thing I had ever heard. And, you know, at that moment I said, someday when I go back to school, I’m going to get a master’s in this. I’m excited. I think it’s the coolest thing ever. And I spent the better part of 10 years calling universities that said, you know, it’s not a thing, that’s not a program. We don’t have anything for that. Really nothing to be done.  

And so when I discovered behavioral economics, and this is the thing I had been looking for all this time, I was so excited and  found a master’s program and jumped right in. And was shocked and amazed that nobody was talking about the things that were so obvious to me. There were no books or articles or anything that was really publicly available in how this brain science applies to communications, and brand strategy, and other areas with pricing, and goals, and things within companies. And. It was just so obvious to me, and finding there was nothing out in the world, I decided, well, I guess I’ll just start talking about it. And because it was the first behavioral economics podcast definitely with a business focus that came out at all, it just took off very quickly and got downloads from all over. We’re actually over 170 countries now with downloads. And so everybody else was looking for it, too, and then that led to the book and things like that.  

Rich: Awesome. So in your book and podcast, you cover a lot of ground about consumer behavior, what we’ve been talking about. And I’d like to today just tackle a few of my favorite topics that you go over, and perhaps with your help apply them to our digital marketing. And one of my favorite concepts that you talk about, which I’ve talked about internally here at flyte, is anchoring. So can you give us a brief example of what anchoring is, and then maybe we can chat about it a bit.  

Melina: Yeah. So, you know, one of my favorite examples of anchoring is from a grocery store, where they had different end cap displays. And in one case they said, “Snickers bars, buy them for your freezer”. And the other said, “Snickers bars, buy 18 for your freezer”. For all of us marketers in the world, you’d go, ‘eesh’. Like, I don’t feel good about putting 18 on something, it’s totally arbitrary. I don’t want to have to justify where that came from. And you also would maybe start to logic to yourself about why 18 is better. Anyway, you know, it’s unlimited and people could get a hundred Snickers bars if they want. Blah, blah, blah, whatever it is. And it may not feel like there’s that big of a difference.  

But what this study found was that there was a 38% increase in sales when the number 18 was used instead of the word ‘them’. And that was the only difference between the ads. And so the number 18 isn’t magical in and of itself, but it’s that anchor that it creates. And because it’s so much higher than what we would normally think of when buying a Snickers bar, it just really breaks through the brain in a different way than something like ‘them’. Which in this case is really a fancy word for ‘zero’. We don’t look to buy really anything, maybe two Snickers that you’re going to get. Whereas when we see the number 18, you think, ooh, like 18 I’m way better than everybody else. I don’t need 18 Snickers. I’ll just get six. And we don’t even realize how that anchor impacted our behavior with that.  

It’s the same as, a lot of this happens in grocery stores. So when things like yogurt are priced at 10 for $10, people buy more than when they’re $1 each. All of those numbers have a really big impact.  

Rich: So what we want to do, and first of all, my rabbi might argue that 18 is a very powerful and mystical number, but we’ll put that aside for right now. But the idea here is not just that we’re trying to get people to buy stuff in bulk, it’s by seeing this higher number that suddenly they’re more willing to buy more than they would have without any sort of high anchor. Is that kind of what we’re getting at with this type of stuff?  

Melina: It’s just that our brain is very susceptible to numbers, that they have an impact on us. And when there’s something that’s a little bit out of context, because our brains tend to get a little lazy because there’s a lot going on, they really glom on to a number that they are given. 

One of the ways that I do this when I’m doing presentations with teams and things like that, is where I ask a question like, “Are there more or less than a hundred thousand penguins in Antarctica?” Do you have an idea of more or less a hundred thousand penguins?  

Rich: Well, I’ve heard this in the book and on the podcast. I still don’t remember how many there are, but I’m guessing there aren’t a hundred thousand. I’m guessing the numbers may be like 27,000 or something like that. 

Melina: Right. So we say more, and you can have your number there. Essentially, it’s 12 million, there are 12 million penguins. 

Rich: Oh, so I was exactly wrong. I am a perfect case study for this example. 

Melina: Right. Okay. So, but if I had said, “Are there more or less than 10 million penguins in Antarctica”, do you think your guess would have been closer to 12 million?  

Rich: Absolutely. Right. Because it gave me some context, at least I know where I’m shooting now. 

Melina: Right. And you think this person must know something about penguins, they’re putting a number out here. I’ll just go ahead and use that as an anchor and kind of adjust up or down from there. So when a number is presented just before we have a conversation about something, it can very much impact where we go from that?  

This is also, so there are a couple of concepts at play here with anchoring. Priming is something else, where by I’ve primed you with the number of 100,000, which impacts the choice you make. And yes, it is an anchor, but that makes you know a little bit of a difference in what we choose. So depending on which way you’re wanting to nudge the behavior, I know I wanted you to go low, which is why I threw out the number of 100,000. If I wanted you to be close, I could have said 10 or 15 million.  

Rich: [00:07:43] So, if we’re thinking about putting our prices on our website, does it make more sense then to have a number that high right before we do it, so then any of our pricing might seem low? Like how might we work that in? And should we always lead with our most expensive product? 

And then talk about things that are a little bit less expensive, and this is always a debate we have internally, especially sending out proposals. Do we lead with our budget friendly website, or do we lead with the every bell and whistle website? 

Melina: Yeah. So definitely want to not do what feels most natural, which is to work your way up in the process. And you do want to use that high anchor and start with those bigger numbers first.  

When I work with clients, what I’ll often help them to do is create what within the field we call a ‘decoy’, but not in a way that is bad. So it’s not saying it’s a scam product or something. It’s just the item that you put first that you would love if people would buy and choose, but most people don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with whatever it is. 

So you mentioned doing a website project as something, right? So you have an option, if you were to think through your standard website. I’m just going to throw out and say it’s a $5,000 project, which probably doesn’t include copywriting and a bunch of other items that go in there. It’s just like the design and some of the site map strategy, helping with some of that. And so, that’s a $5,000 thing. And if that’s the most expensive thing that you offer, it feels expensive. And then there are the things below it. And most people, that’s all that they need because they have a team that can do the copy. 

But if you were to say, hey, we’ve got the whole kit and caboodle that is $9,000 or $11,000, where we do the copy and we fly to you for a meeting, whatever. You can throw all these things in to make the big, amazing item that you talk about first. And again, if someone picks that and it’s a good fit for them, awesome. You’re happy to do it. You’ve priced it that way. But most people just want the $5,000 item, and it feels more reasonably priced once we put in this context of something more expensive. And that concept is one of relativity, as well as our high anchor coming in at the beginning.  

Rich: All right. You mentioned ‘priming’ briefly in the previous answer, so I did want to talk about that. And now my question is actually pivoting a little bit. What is ‘priming’ and how is it different than ‘anchoring’? Because it seems like these things might be very similar, but maybe I’m just not understanding the nuances.  

Melina: Yeah. So priming is something that happens just before something else has a lot of impact. And so throwing out a number can using anchoring is a form of priming, but there are really, we want to look at all the senses can be impactful upon priming. So, having a certain scent in a room can impact behavior. There’s also, you know, an example of at a gas station where they had the scent of coffee. 

Out at the pumps and it increased the sales of coffee by 300%. So by putting this out there, you’ve been primed and then there’s something going, oh yeah. I want to get some coffee. Maybe they had an ad. That’s encouraging people to go buy some, but that scent was a prime. To help nudge the behavior that people were looking for in that case. 

So some other examples for this would be, you know, when people were asked to work on a project to get other with a team of people they weren’t familiar with and they put you in the room some were more combative, some were more cooperative. And it turns out that, you know, half of the rooms had a briefcase insight, half had a backpack. 

Everyone said they didn’t even notice it, but because of the very literal association that our brains have with these items, it changed the behavior. So because backpacks, we associate with schoolwork and projects and teamwork and group setting, those people were more cooperative. And briefcases are more boardroom and aggressive strategy. And that was reflected in the behavior, even though people said they didn’t even notice or see that the bags were there. But it did impact what they did because they were primed by. Right.  

Rich: So as we’re thinking about what we want to put out online, and obviously with the coffee example there is yet no scent that comes out of our computers. At least there shouldn’t be. So what kind of things, because I know you do a lot of one-on-one consulting with companies. So what kind of things can companies do either when people get to their websites, or maybe before priming them through like social media activity, which then brings them to the website that might put them in more of whether it’s a buying mood or whatever, the mood that you’re trying to set. Have you worked with anybody to talk about that?  

Melina: Yeah. And you know, the thing to remember is, you know, it’s easy to get hung up with something like scent, because it’s really easy to explain and we get it. But then I have people ask all the time, like, well, what do I do, I’m in a service based business” or “How do I have any impact here?” 

So there is a lot of power in images that’s used. And also you can have very good descriptive words that can be helping someone to lean one way or another. And again, priming that sort of experience. I like to think of something like a couch. So you’re going to buy a couch and the description says, “Material: leather.” Okay, right. That doesn’t really do much for me. I know what leather is, but there’s not much there. But if it says, “Buttery, soft, chocolate leather”, you go, ooh, that sounds nice. And you can almost feel it without actually touching anything. And it changes that experience. And if you were looking for the man cave, a leather chair, that’s not really the description that you want. So what are those words that could be priming a different type of leather to feel like it’s that more rustic, old world sort of a vibe that can help you get into that mindset to where you’re excited about it and your subconscious really wants that item, to then get into price after the fact. 

Rich: So even if we can’t make people smell our product, there’s enough we can do with pictures, words, and perhaps video, they get them-  maybe even to jar that smell if it’s appropriate – or whatever the feeling is so that they’re really primed to own this product or service.  

Melina: Right. And video is incredibly powerful at triggering something called ‘mirror neurons’, to where we can see someone doing something and we learn by that example. So this is where if a child watches someone open a jar, they can learn how to twist the lid in the same way without having to physically do it themselves or being told what to do. Which is a pretty amazing thing that not all species are able to do. But those mirror neurons help us.  

So if you’ve ever seen someone get a paper cut, and it’s just that horrible, you can almost feel it yourself, it’s awful. That is because of our mirror neurons that we’re able to feel the same thing. And so when you watch videos on YouTube and they show the subscribe click, and it feels like it’s totally unnecessary, why do you need to show me this? It actually makes it to where we feel like we’ve subscribed already. We feel like we’ve clicked on this item, we’ve bought it before, when we see it in video or someone else experiencing a product. And those mirror neurons help to make it so that it’s easier for us to take that same action down. 

Rich: Interesting. As you were talking about that, I was just thinking about how I can’t even watch those skateboard fail videos because it’s just so cringe-worthy to see those guys hit the bricks with their face. Anyway, probably very similar.  

So I think we’re both big fans of Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence, which was one of the first books I read around this topic. And so I certainly understand social proof. The idea that we look to others sometimes to see for clues on how we should behave. What are some ways that we can use social proof in our digital marketing?  

Melina: Cialdini is amazing. And I did interview him on my podcast, which is one of my highlights of the show, for sure. Talking about the expanded version of influence, where he’s added a seventh principle of persuasion.  

But when we’re looking at social proof, because we are a hurting species, we look to others to help us decide what is a safe choice, what’s the best choice. So the simplest thing that you can be doing for social proof is to include a label on something of being most popular. Which again, it feels like we don’t have to tell people that it shouldn’t matter. It does very much.  

And, you know, Cialdini talks about how in a restaurant in China that they added ‘most popular’ to the dishes that actually were most popular, and it increased their likelihood of being sold between 13% and 20%, depending on the items. So if you consider, you know, that your most commonly bought product, if you add two simple words next to it somewhere call attention to it that this is the most popular, most people get this thing, then it’s 20% more likely people are going to buy it, keeping it most popular. And then it keeps going up and up really from there. Why would you not take advantage of something like that and really just calling attention to it.  

And really what I advise my clients on and through the podcast and everything is you really want to take some steps backward at any given time. So the biggest mistake I see companies make is that they don’t really understand the problem they’re trying to solve. Aren’t quite as strategic. Don’t go far enough back in the process. So instead of just saying, “well, this is our most popular product, I guess that’s what we have to list and increase”, but maybe it’s not profitable for you so that’s lame and that’s not useful. So if instead you go back and say, what is it that we actually want to promote? What’s the best for us? What’s the best for our customers and how can we really be putting our eggs into this basket? So then you’re looking at how you can use the anchoring and the priming and relativity to help boost sales of that call attention to it, throw all your primes in there, make it happen. 

And then as it becomes most popular, there’s some other way you can call out ‘best value’, whatever that is, then it does become that most popular and you can continue to promote something that’s profitable for you and best for your customers. It’s really just a win/win.  

Rich: I’m glad you said that. Because I was going to ask, what if our most popular thing is not necessarily our most profitable something, and how are some ethical ways to talk about some of the other products? But I think that those are some good examples. And even I’m sure, just things like new, our newest entry or something like that might be a way of drawing attention to what we actually want people to be paying attention to.  

Melina: Well, and just look around. So one other concept, and it’s the first one in the book, because I really think it foundationally is the most important, and it’s the easiest to start testing with, which is framing. So how you say something matters more than what you’re saying. If you go to buy a bunch of ground beef and there are two stacks, and one is labeled as 90% fat-free and the other is 10%. One very much feels better to most people in that you want 90% fat-free. It’s exactly the same, but it just feels different in the way that we hear it. 

And so if you look at how you’re framing a message, what you’re putting out there, it can make a difference. You can say something slightly differently to where it feels really good. And I look at these advertised statements of like ‘the fastest growing network in America’ or whatever cell phone company. Which is, you know, ‘fastest growing’ doesn’t really mean anything. It doesn’t have to mean something very good. It means you had, you know, nobody and you added 10 people.  

Rich: But one tower now you’ve doubled in America. 

Melina: But we just don’t necessarily hear them in that way. And so you can look at your data, your information, to see what is compelling about this particular item. Even looking at Starbucks, they do featured drinks based on a barista’s favorite of the week. And by featuring that item and saying, “This is Melina’s choice”, then you’re putting a lot of attention on it and people are more likely to try it. And then you can be seeing what works at helping to boost sales of those items that you want to be your most popular. And then as it grows, then you can use that most popular language.  

Rich: That’s a great example for sure. I’m actually thinking like local pet stores that sell dog products and you could just be like, “This is Fido’s favorite bone”, you know, if you’re looking to promote that specific bone, right. Because also people have dogs. 

All right. So trust is definitely something that is difficult to build online because we’re not actually meeting people face to face, maybe sometimes in a zoom call like this one, but generally people are seeing our content and we’re not really meeting them. What are some quick ways, maybe that we haven’t talked about yet, to build trust with our unseen audience. 

Melina: Well, I think just taking the step back to while we did talk about it a little bit, but you know, video is a good thing, right? When you can have a video in there to show who you are, there’s a lot of value in that. I think also really paying attention to the language that’s used to be able to be authentic and transparent, versus being jargon heavy and maybe feeling like you’re talking down to somebody or whatever that happens to be. Just being transparent and helpful in the language can make a big difference as well as thinking of the imagery that you’re using.  

So when you are looking at a brand and you want to be conveying trust, there are certain colors that you can be using that evoke trust. There’s a reason that most financial institutions use the color blue, because it’s supposed to have that credibility with it. So if building trust is the most important thing, making sure that word choice that gets thrown in, imagery, everything that you’re doing again is helping to build that connection and trust. 

And another form of social proof that you can throw in having those sorts of testimonials where people are saying, you know, real people, I tried this, and I love it. You know, that can really be helpful as well.  

Rich: All right, tapping into some of that social proof. You’ve got a great chapter in the book called. “May I take your order?” And you look at how changes to a menu, like at a restaurant, greatly increased sales of certain items and even helped customers make better choices, making them happier in the end. And side note, like I said, I listened to your book, but I did happen to see when I was doing some research for today’s episode that’s it’s available on Kindle unlimited, which I have resource to, so I went and I checked it out. And I have to say this chapter especially was helped by the visuals in the book. It was became very clear to me. I thought it was pretty awesome. I’m wondering if you could take some of the lessons that you learned for menus and maybe apply that to like website navigation. Are there certain takeaways that we should keep in mind with your menu work that would make us build better menus, better navigation, to help our customers find where they want to go quicker, and just maybe draw attention to the more important parts of our website? 

Melina: Right. And yes, the visuals, like you said, in this chapter in particular are very helpful where you could see heat maps and, you know, things like that. There is also a PDF companion workbook that I have created. It’s 111 pages long, because I’m a ridiculous person. But that’s just a free whole bunch of worksheets that people can be doing to help apply what they learned from the book. Because that’s really the most important thing to me, that people can learn to apply things.  

And what you get when you’re looking at menus is this concept within behavioral sciences, we talk about as choice architecture. So the way that you present the information makes a difference in what people are going to choose. And so if you look at when you go into a restaurant. If they were to put everything alphabetically, let’s say that would be a horrible experience. It would be impossible. Or even if it was in price order, you know, whatever it is, it just doesn’t lend itself to a good dining experience. You want to put like items together to help as people are making kind of micro decisions along the way. 

So we humans make 35,000 decisions every single day. It’s a lot going on. And when you’re setting things up within your business, looking at those little micro choice points, and how you can be incorporating these behavioral economics concepts at each of those, can really make a difference.  

So when you’re looking at a website, like you said, when I first get there, what is it supposed to be leading me towards? We know that people aren’t going to get to your website and read every single page in all of its glory and click on every link in the exact order you want them to get to each point and read the entire white paper. No, you’re not going to do any of those things exactly how you want them to. So you need to be knowing again what you’re wanting people to do, what you’re leading them towards, what’s the profitable piece and whatnot, and use that kind of 80/20 rule. If 80% of the people were gonna want this item, and this is what we’re really known for, what do they need to see on the first page that can help prime them for this buying experience? And then where do they go next, and where do they go next? 

And then the way that you introduce the different options for somebody, again, anchoring with the high kind of bundled product of what you’re able to do. And then with something that most people need this one, you know, we’re bringing our herding back in. It’s really this combination of items and knowing that you want to be able to encourage the buying behavior with the least amount of words and experiences as possible. So how can you say it in less, is something I do with my clients a lot.  

Rich: All right. Sounds good. And you know, I’m remembering talking about the cocktails in that article as well,  and how they had the pictures of the cocktails which helped, because nobody wants to find out that they’re ordering a fufu drink with an umbrella in it if that’s not who they are. So that was really helpful.  

And I’m wondering, a lot of times on the new navigations, you actually see certain pictures that are cues for what you might find behind door number one, or door number two. And I’m wondering if that might also help people quickly identify where they should be going and what’s going to provide the best value for them while they’re searching. 

Melina: For sure. So that’s, like I was saying, of going back to what problem are you solving? What’s actually happening here? What do we do? And what are we trying to get people to do? When you think about one of the questions that we like to ask, again in behavioral sciences, what’s keeping people from doing the thing that you want them to be doing right now. What’s stopping them from doing that naturally. And when you look, cocktails – like you said – if you really take a step back and look at that experience, even though you made an amazing drink that these people are going to like and it’s well-priced and it’s presented in the architecture well, and it’s got the good anchors, you’ve done everything except we didn’t think about this barrier that when it gets delivered to the table, am I going to be embarrassed? Is everyone going to make fun of me if it has a big umbrella or a bunch of fruit and stuff all over the top of it, versus, you know, just coming in a very simple glass. 

And so by being able to show that image, which also helps with our priming of feeling, you get to see and go, ooh, that looks delicious and I’m not going to be embarrassed. It helps to overcome that obstacle before it even hits their brain. So those little “what’s keeping someone from doing the thing we want them to do right now” is a really important question to ask. And then how you can, again, put all your eggs in the basket to help get over those hurdles. 

Rich: All right. Now, many of the marketers I know love to try new things. They’re constantly attracted – or maybe distracted – by shiny new object syndrome. What they don’t always love doing is measuring their results to understand if it’s working or not. And I know you have a focus in the book on testing. What are a few of the basic things that we should be paying attention to when we start looking at the results of whatever we’re doing when it comes to marketing? What are the tests that we should be running or the KPIs that we should be paying attention? 

Melina: Yeah. Well, first I want to say, I don’t relate at all to that shiny object syndrome. I don’t do that… except for all the time. So when it comes to testing, what I recommend is this like three pronged, or just three things to keep in mind.  

So first is you want to keep your testing small. So don’t jump in and think that you’re going to do this hugely elaborate evaluation. If you look at the examples that I’ve given of the anchoring with the change in the ads for Snickers, there was only one word difference, but you’re testing just this little tweak to see what happens. So changing the color of a button or the subject line on an email, or the image that you use in an ad, whatever that is. If you have an idea of what you’re trying to figure out and the behavior you’re trying to influence and you just test one thing at a time, that can help a lot more. 

One of my colleagues at Texas A&M he’s the head of the department, but he said if you have a headache and you take eight things at once, then maybe your headache goes away, but you don’t know which one did anything. And so for the next time you have to take all eight again. Whereas if you just take one thing and see if that works and then take the next thing, then you don’t have to take so many pills. Essentially. In that example…  

Rich: So you don’t have to get your stomach pumped. 

Melina: We’re not having to worry about our liver and all that. Yeah. It’s an intense example that hopefully people aren’t doing. But we get what he’s saying there. So, yeah, so keeping it small with what you’re testing is one thing, and you want to be really thoughtful about then what it is that you are testing and why. 

So taking those steps back to what’s the problem we’re trying to solve. What’s the behavior we’re trying to nudge. What concept is going to help us the most. And how might we test that. When you’re testing small things that you’re very specifically looking at the difference they’re going to make, it makes it a lot easier to look at those results. And something like email where you have open rates and whatnot, or anything digital that has a lot of clicks and things like that makes it really easy then to start with some testing.  

And then once you get wins on small things, it can also help you to advocate to be able to do bigger research projects and things that are incorporating some of these concepts. But if you start too big and then you’re not able to do anything, it just can be failed before it starts. And really the third thing is, while we know that everything can matter, like these very subtle things, the imagery and the word choice and this and that, all these things I’ve been talking about. But don’t get hung up on feeling like you have to test everything you want to test early test often, but test the right things so that you’re not just wasting a bunch of. 

Rich: Sound advice, Melina. This has been great. And again, I can’t speak highly enough about your book or your podcast to all my listeners. They’ll be in the show notes as well. But where can people reach out to you online if they want to learn more and maybe work with you? 

Melina: Yeah. So thank you for all of that. I very much appreciate it. And so the best place to find me, the podcast, the book, all of that would be at thebrainybusiness.com. And for all of your listeners, we actually have a nice gift. They get the first chapter of my book, What Your Customer Wants And Can’t Tell You, for free, which is at thebrainybusiness.com/aoc. So that is available for them to go check out, just see that it’s a fit for you before you buy it. Try before you buy, that’s a reciprocity concept. We didn’t really talk about it today.  

Rich: There you go. Strongly recommend everybody check that out. We’ll have that link as well in the show notes. And Melina, absolute pleasure meeting you and talking to you today. Thank you so much for your time.  

Melina: [00:33:09] Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Show Notes:  

Melina Palmer uses behavioral economics to help businesses master the art of persuasion when it comes to their customer’s buying choices. Check out her new book – read the first chapter for FREE – and you will definitely want to listen to her podcast. 

Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine, and founder of the Agents of Change. He’s passionate about helping small businesses grow online and has put his 20+ years of experience into the book, The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing.  

The Five Step Process to Creating Videos That Engage Your Audience – Krista Mashore

Krista Mashore

Video is critical to your digital advertising, social media, and your sales funnels. With so many of your potential customers scrolling platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, you’ll need to create videos that get attention.  

But what goes into a video that’s going to not only stop the scroll, but create awareness, interest, desire, and action? Krista Mashore is here to explain exactly how to do that, as well as how to incorporate videos into your sales funnel from pre-funnel to purchase.  (more…)

What Ads Work for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey? – Brendan Hughes

Whether you call it the “buyer’s journey” or the “sales funnel”, the messaging for each stage needs to be appropriate. Discover what type of messaging and ads work for awareness, consideration, and decision.  

Brendan Hughes of Optily shares with us what works and what doesn’t, and how to attribute your sales to the right message and the right channel. 

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How to Be Funny (In Your Marketing) – Allie LeFevere

We’re constantly on the lookout for new and creative ways to help our brands stand out from the crowd, but why aren’t more brands using humor? Look at fast food chains like Wendy’s or Taco Bell, they’re killing it on their social channels because they’ve found a successful way to merge humor into their content to engage their audience in a fun way that stands out.

Turns out, humor is the most underrated competitive advantage in the game. At least that’s what Allie LeFevere, co-founder of Obedient humor branding agency, believes. On this episode she explains how to use humor to bring more positivity and personality into your marketing. (more…)

How to Not Only Attract the Right Customers, But Also Grow with Them – John Jantsch

It’s one thing to close a sale with a customer, but how do you get closer to them in a way that goes above the transactional relationship where you become a business they actually care about and that matters to them? Selling things is great, but nurturing relationships with die-hard evangelists for your business is even better for both sides.

John Jantsch, of Duct Tape Marketing, outlines a process we can use to not only grow our customer base, but allows you to develop a strategy for your entire business around how you’re going to move through those stages and up the customer success.  

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How to Use “Small Data” to Improve Your Marketing – Janelle Hailey

Data mining allows businesses to collect a pile of not only interesting, but very useful data, that can be used to help with growth as well as helping to determine what is and isn’t working with their current products and/or marketing strategies. This data can be very useful when it comes to finding patterns, changes, or anomalies that you may not have been aware of but can use to your advantage.  

Janelle Hailey explains what tools she uses at Olika to find this important data, and how she’s used it to help the brand and products align with what their mission represents, and how they’re giving their customers what they want by better understanding their behavior. 

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The Remarkability Formula – Rich Brooks

Are you struggling with your digital marketing? Unable to stand out online? The problem may not be your tactics or the channels you choose, but instead, it’s because you haven’t spent the time upfront determining what makes you remarkable.

(more…)