Gravel Path through a Cornfield represents the customer journey

Maintaining Contact throughout the Customer Journey

We all know why it’s important to stay close to our customers throughout their customer journeys. So, I’ll leave the obvious to another blogger. But how do you go about it? And just whose responsibility is it? Those are entirely different questions.

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Cup of coffee beans sitting on a bed of whole coffee beans

Every Touchpoint Affects Your Brand, Starbucks®

We’re big fans of that down-home feeling you get when you visit the original Starbucks coffee shop in Seattle. And nothing helps carry that down-home feeling through the stores better than the hand-written signs that describe their products.

But which, we ask, is a greater risk to your brand: losing that folksy, homespun look, or losing your credibility among your customers, the vast majority of whom have at least graduated from high school? Read more

Net Promoter Calculator

Be Skeptical of High Net Promoter Scores

Recently, a “leading provider of civil and criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring” published a press release touting a Net Promoter Score of 82. If you think that’s incredible, then I think you may be on to something.

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SEO Image, Background Credit: © Vlad Gerasimov, Stocktrek Images, Corbis

SEO Tips from Someone Who Learned the Hard Way

“Is SEO a gimmick?” one client recently asked us – a fair question, given the fact that many agencies selling SEO are peddling smoke and mirrors.

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Comcast brand

Brand and the Disgruntled-Customer Effect

Today, telecom providers spend millions of dollars developing and promoting their brands. Over time, their investments burn brand-positive images on the mind of their consumers. Let’s say that one of those consumers – we’ll call him “Joe” – is driving his kids to school, when a white utility van cuts into his lane, forcing him onto the shoulder at 60 miles per hour. After quickly regaining his senses and glancing in the rear-view mirror to make sure his kids are alright, Joe looks back at the van and sees the logo of his telecom provider. And suddenly, the company’s carefully crafted brand fades from Joe’s mind, to be replaced by a more personal, and more permanent, image. Read more

Wise Beyond His Years

Wisdom Beyond His Years

Had we met in any other setting, I would have thought him too young to be a CEO. His eyes afire with anticipation, his speech slightly stilted, his mannerisms cautious, this green idealist bore more the markings of a lamb than a general.

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sailboat navigate research

A Sailor’s Perspective on Research

Sailors carry charts to help them avoid the shallows and find the channels – or seek the counsel of local captains and fishermen when they enter new waters. Coaches and managers of professional sports teams spend countless hours reviewing videotapes of their next opponent. Generals need to know their opponents’ strength, their numbers, their locations and their political aims before waging battle. Read more

Market Segmentation

Why Segmentation?

At first glance, it’s easy to believe that communication would be easier if all people were the same: if they all had exactly the same interests, the same values, the same motives. There would be no need to segment markets, to define audiences, to identify drivers, or to articulate individual messages.

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Good, Fast, and Cheap

Just last month, a colleague shared an old saw commonly cited by manufacturers. “I like to tell customers,” she said, “we can make it good, we can make it fast, and we can make it cheap – pick any two.”

Aphorisms, like this one, are memorable partly because they are pithy, partly because they are delightfully clever, and partly because they are true – or in this case, they were true when they were coined. Read more

Promoting Facebook Posts

A client recently asked us, “Are there really any good reasons to consider a Facebook promotion?” (They had owned Facebook page for quite some time, but until now, hadn’t ever advertised there.) I explained that, when the circumstances are right, a Facebook promotion can be an organization’s least expensive way to engage with its followers. And that for most organizations, it’s not a particularly good place to sell.

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