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With Jim Collins

Best-selling author of Good to Great

With Jack Welch

Former CEO of General Electric and best-selling author

With Patrick Lencioni

Best-selling author of the Five Dysfunctions of a Team and other leading management books.

George Levy featured in Computer World magazine.

George Levy Speaking at World Innovation Forum

With Miguel Bose

International Spanish music superstar

With Calvin Klein

Fashion designer and CEO – Creator of one of the world’s leading fashion empires.

Grow Online FollowingHave you ever been in a party and for some unfortunate reason, you wind up getting stuck in a conversation with someone who won’t stop talking, not even to take a breath?

You know who I’m talking about… The party guest that will not give you any space in the conversation, just talking away as if their every word was pure gold, and not even letting you squeeze a word in.

Being the Obnoxious Party Guest on Social Media

For the purpose of this blog post, I’d like you to think of Social Media as a great big, global party with millions and millions of simultaneous conversations going on worldwide. There are lots and lots of people talking, some more interesting than others… Depending on how interesting a person is, the group that gathers around that person usually reflects the level of interest.

Having said that, I am often approached and hear the same question and description of the challenges companies experience when growing their profiles:

“How can I grow my followers? I’m already posting lots of valuable content to my followers and fans, but my various social profiles are hardly growing.”

As if merely posting lots of content would immediately grant you an audience or loyal following…

Content is King… But only in moderation.

Posting tons of content without stopping, asking around for other opinions and replying when spoken to is the equivalent of being that obnoxious party guest who won’t stop talking about him or herself.

There is a common misconception on the web that the secret to get a big following is to publish tons and tons of valuable content.

While I absolutely agree that publishing lots of quality content will definitely help in establishing your social media profiles as a valuable source of important information – there is also the need for social media profiles to “listen” to their audiences and respond when they are spoken to.

In today’s world, there is a certain level of “being social” that is expected out of all brands with an active social media presence, and it is this constant “talking at the audience” and lack of “listening” that is sometimes the reason why companies see their social media profiles sit around with barely any growth.

Stop, Listen and Reply When You Are Spoken To.

If you are trying to grow your following on Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media channel – do yourself a favor and stop to take breath every once in a while…

“Listen” to what your audience is saying, and respond when you are spoken to. In fact, go one further and proactively ask your followers for their opinion. Being truly social shows them that you care… and if they see that you care, they’ll be far more likely to trust you, do business with you and recommend you to their friends.

Do you currently listen to your audience? What is your experience with engaging your followers in conversation?

Post a comment below, I’d love to know and will definitely respond…


Email MarketingLet’s face it – email marketing has developed quite a bad rap.

With SPAM messages accounting for over 60% of total emails sent worldwide (Statista 2016), it may seem at first glance that email marketing has lost its effectiveness.

Perhaps it may make sense to shift focus to Facebook, Twitter and other social media… wouldn’t that seem logical?

After all, many of us check our Facebook daily, even more often than our email inboxes.

Besides, email marketing has been around since the early days of the web. (That is so last century…)

But… Is Email Marketing Still Effective?

The fact is that email marketing has been for years the backbone of many campaigns, driving the lion’s share of results in many digital marketing promotions.

We’ve gotten used to getting promotional emails… And as customers, we know how to deal with emails. We either act on them, save them or delete them, and we move on to the next one. It behaves similar to how we handle physical direct mail in our mailboxes (which by the way is also still very effective.)

And when you look at the numbers – regardless of the massive volume of SPAM clogging our junk mail folders – properly executed email marketing is still a far more effective channel for delivering results than Posts or Tweets.

To back it up with data, here are 5 recent Key Stats you should know about Email Marketing and how it compares to Social Media Marketing.

1. Email is 40x more effective at acquiring a new customer than Facebook or Twitter. (Mckinsey)

2. When it comes to purchasing behavior, 4.24% of visitors from email marketing wind up buying something. That compares to only 0.59% from social media. (Monetate)

3) With Facebook lowering the organic reach of Facebook pages, only 2% of people who have liked a page will see a post on their News feed, that compares to roughly 79% of commercial emails sent (Return Path)

4) Email average order value is over three times higher than Social Media (McKinsey)

5) For one in five companies, email marketing provides an ROI greater than 70-to-1. (Direct Marketing Association 2015)

Combine Both Channels for Best Results

Even with all the unwanted email being sent, and problems with deliverability reducing the number of emails that actually make it into your target audience’s inbox – email is still clearly superior as a marketing vehicle over social media marketing.

That being said, good digital marketers know that reaching customers via different channels simultaneously compounds the effect of a marketing message.

To that end, don’t think in terms of “either/or” – think “both”.

Your goal should be to find ways to integrate email and social media marketing, and communicate with your customers across ALL your channels simultaneously.


Image Credit: Vege | Adobe Stock

Growth HackingAs a digital marketer, I am constantly looking for ways to improve the results I get from the campaigns and marketing efforts I lead. One of the areas I am very interested in is the concept of “growth hacking.”

Growth Hacking Explained

If you are not familiar with growth hacking, it is an approach to marketing that revolves around first clearly identifying who the customer/user base is for a business, and then running quick, low-cost experiments across different marketing channels, testing and refining after each test.

The goal of each of these tests is to acquire new customers, and retain them for the long run.

What sets Growth Hacking apart is an almost obsessive focus on data and metrics, constantly testing, measuring, interpreting and looking for new ways to grow the customer base for a business in the most efficient way possible.

Because of this emphasis on running “lean” and keeping costs low, Growth Hackers typically shy away from traditional higher cost ads like Television, Print and Radio – and instead opt for social media, SEO, content marketing, email marketing and driving viral marketing wherever possible.

By avoiding running expensive campaigns with longer lead times such as a television, radio or print campaign, Growth Hackers instead are able to run and test multiple campaigns back to back at a much lower cost, gathering data all throughout, which can then be used to grow much more effectively.

The AIM Growth Hacking Formula

Now that we have covered what Growth Hacking is about, I want to share with you one of my preferred ways to keep myself rooted on what Growth Hacking is all about. I call it the “AIM Growth Hacking Formula”

AIM Growth Hacking

This three letter A.I.M. acronym I developed serves as a reminder that in marketing, each campaign you run presents and opportunity to improve the impact and ROI.

A.I.M. Stands for:

A. Analyze the results from the tests run.
I. Improve on the tests that have worked.
M. Multiply the investment on the tests that have yielded the best results.

AIM hammers home the fact that you need to measure digital marketing ROI in everything you do.

But beyond simply measuring… it is in the analyzing of the results that the real gains are made.

Taking action on those results, and investing accordingly, is what separates a truly effective marketer from someone who just spends money on marketing campaigns.

And remember:


Successful digital marketing campaigns are not born, they are made.


(Click to Tweet This Quote!)

If you enjoyed this post, I encourage you to view the following posts as well:

Why I Learned to Measure Digital Marketing ROI… and You Should Too.

Digital Marketing ROCKS: 5 Steps to Increase Sales

Image Credit: Jakub Jirsák | Adobe Stock

Marketing NoiseWhenever people ask me what I do, I tell them that I work with organizations to produce “Breakthrough” digital marketing strategies that increase sales while reducing overall marketing costs.

I then explain how I accomplish that…

The Main Challenge I Solve: Breaking Through the “Marketing Noise Barrier”

Today’s customers are overwhelmed by competing marketing messages and offers coming at them 24/7 through all channels and from all directions.

Because of this constant marketing, many qualified buyers simply ignore and block the vast majority of commercial messages as “noise.” (Think kind of like applying a Spam or Pop-up filter to all interrupt marketing… it can be flipping channels, clicking to a different site, closing a browser window… add your own variation)

This effect which I call the “marketing noise barrier” results in reduced sales for businesses since previously effective marketing efforts including direct mail, print advertising, seminar and event marketing, point of sale, TV, Radio and other marketing investments no longer yield the expected returns.

To compensate for these diminishing business results, many organizations increase spending on the same ineffective marketing actions and “turn up their noise volume even higher” to try and improve sales performance.

Breaking Through the “Marketing Noise Barrier”

Instead of following the “old-and-easy”, yet ineffective, approach of simply “making more noise” by running more ads, sending out more marketing messages, placing more sales calls and other tactics in an attempt to force their prospects to pay attention – I instead work with these organizations to change the direction of their marketing and establish ways of attracting their audience to them.

This is achieved in many ways but one of the primary ways is by offering relevant, interesting and valuable content that their target audience is actually looking for and willing to share.

Once we Reach  the target audience, we leverage the power of the Internet, mobile and social media to Obtain permission to market to them and we then establish trust with each prospect individually in order to build a long-lasting, profitable business relationships with these buyers.

This integrated approach enables companies to cost-effectively “Break through all the marketing noise” and effectively reach interested customers when they are ready to buy.

I have successfully applied this approach on organizations both large and small, and across a wide range of industries to drive millions of dollars in revenues and deliver considerable increases in sales while reducing the companies’ overall marketing costs.

I encourage you to give it a try for yourself and you will be able to see why this approach is so effective,

Three Questions to Consider:

1- Are you currently running offline and online marketing campaigns separately or are you following an integrated approach?

2- Does your organization have any content offerings that your target audience may find valuable and is currently searching for?

3- Can you find examples of “marketing noise barriers” in your specific industry? If so, who is the worst offender? Is it you? Is it your competitors?

Come Again Soon I had lunch last Friday at a fast food restaurant.

It was a great meal and the service at the location was phenomenal.

You could say that I was very pleased with the entire lunch experience. From the cleanliness of the place, to the staff, to the quality of the food.

Overall – it was a picture perfect lunch experience at a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR).

However, the reason I am writing this blog post has nothing to do with the food or the service I received but rather a sign that was on the door which I noticed as I walked out of the place.

The sign said “CASABO

My first thought was… “What does CASABO mean?”

Fortunately, there was a sentence below… “Come Again Soon And Bring Others”

A-haaaaa!!!

So THAT’s what CASABO means… It’s an acronym for “Come Again Soon And Bring Others”

Clever………

You see, I had seen in many places “Come Again Soon” and I had been invited to “Come Again Soon” many times before…

Only this time – I was offered to bring others.

Nice.

The Power of Bringing Others

If you have been following my work for some time, you may be familiar with my ROCKS 5-Step digital marketing framework.

In ROCKS, the 5 steps are:

R – REACH New Potential Customers

O – OBTAIN Contact Information and Permission to Market to Them

C – CLOSE the First Sale

K – KEEP Adding Value and Selling to the Customer

S – SHARE and Tell Others

Click here for a full explanation of ROCKS.

If we apply the ROCKS marketing framework to CASABO and the meal I had today…

The restaurant would have found some way to capture my contact information, such as my email in exchange for some sort of offer.

Perhaps, have me sign up with my email address for them to send me a coupon for a free cookie on my next visit or some other goodie which I would trade for my email address.

Once the restaurant has my email address and permission from me to contact me with their marketing messages, they can reach out to me and remind me to visit them… or to “Come Again” as they describe it in the CASABO message.

Furthermore, they can send me email offers that will let me “Buy one meal and get a second one at half price” (or something similar) – which is a perfect excuse for me to “Bring Others” along with me on my next visit!

The ROCKS formula doesn’t just apply to email, it can be used with mobile marketing and they could send me text messages with special offers.

In summary… The CASABO concept is a very powerful marketing idea to get repeat visits from your customers (which as I always explain… is one of the only three ways to increase sales)

The next step in executing that concept more effectively is to tie in digital marketing and find a way to build a communication channel with your customers.

Once you have a way to establish that marketing regular communication with your customer base, the possibilities are endless to drive repeat business. You can also tie in other opportunities to capture more information for your customer and develop a database which will let you send birthday and anniversary offers as well as all sorts of other marketing communications.

You can do so by having them sign up to your email list, or visit your Facebook page , have them Follow you on Twitter or join you in any other social media platform.

In today’s interconnected and digital world, every business needs to find a way to connect with their customers to establish a long term business relationship… There is far too much competition out there not to be doing so.

Unfortunately, the restaurant didn’t do any of those things.

As a result, I may go back some day… or not. The service and the food were great but…

Oh wait a minute, I just received a text message from another restaurant offering me $5 off my next meal. I guess that takes care of where I’m doing lunch for today… You know, I might just call a friend to join me while I’m at it.

Now… about YOUR business.

How could you apply CASABO?

And better yet… How could you apply digital marketing to make your current customers proactively “Come Again And Bring Others” rather than passively waiting and hoping they’ll think about your business the next time they are hungry?

Image Credit: © hafakot/ Adobe Stock

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About Levy
George Levy is an award-winning digital marketing and CRM expert with more than 15 years of experience creating and executing online and mobile strategies.
 
He is the former Vice President of Online Marketing for World Business Forum (WOBI) and a co-founding team member of Yupi.com, an Internet startup acquired by Microsoft Corporation to become what is now MSN Latino. Continue Reading ...

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