Archive for March, 2010

Know Your Customers III: Lifecycle marketing

Lifecycle marketing is an effective program to reach current contacts and customers for repeat and referral business. It’s a special case of segmentation because it’s one you have direct knowledge of – the prospect and customer’s exposure to your product and the sales process.

Lifecycle marketing is strongest where there are clear and immediate signs of purchase intent, such as clicking an ad or filling a shopping cart. But it also applies in the B2B world for self-employed professionals and small businesses.

Your customer message depends on where they are in the lifecycle. Here are a few examples.

  • After initial lead acquisition, send educational information and offers to help that reinforce your messaging, unique selling proposition, value, and special product features. Stage this over time or use an autoresponder to maintain an ongoing relationship during this crucial time.
  • After initial use, such as first login, ask if there are questions or for immediate feedback.
  • After different levels of use or different features are first used, send appropriate tips.
  • After a positive transaction, such as a referral or purchase, send a thank you.
  • Before an important service or billing date, such as subscription renewal or lapse, remind the user of your service value and upcoming transaction.
  • Before an important date, such as service or use anniversary, send a personal email to show your appreciation.
  • After a customer demonstrates that they’re one of your top customers, such as through usage, level of purchase, community support, or other engagement, send a loyalty email that shows your appreciation and recognition and turns them into an evangelist.
  • When customers become inactive or at-risk, re-engage them to learn what happened and how you can recover their business.

TOOL TIP – WeMeUs contact management and lead generation is a personal CRM (Customer Relationship Management). WeMeUs both reminds you to stay in touch with top contacts and tracks the status of all your sales opportunities from initial contact through discussion and engagement. Use tags to further track customer segments and affiliation.

We’re so not into you

Remember when you were nine and that twerp during school recess called you a booger head.  Your mom sympathized and your dad told you to suck it up and forget about it.  Those days are back.

Protecting your reputation is a joke in the Internet age. Sure, employment, social, and dating services either don’t permit negative comments or give you control.  Don’t be fooled.

You may think you date in anonymity.  But … your bad behavior can and will be reported to the world at places like Don’t Date Him Girl, Never Date HerPeepSheets, aLoveLinksPlus, Cheater News, Cheaters Expose, and Liars, Cheaters & Bastards

The Internet is so large, ubiquitous, and anonymous that you can’t even pretend that you have control.

Companies, at least the smart ones, gave up years ago.  They provide a multiplicity of means (phone, chat, email, web, forum, Twitter, etc.) so you can contact them.  They employ reputation management systems so they know when and where they’re smeared.  When they can they respond courteously, professionally, and directly, regardless of the venom.

Do the same in your personal life.  Michael Arrington has some good tips at  Reputation Is Dead: It’s Time To Overlook Our Indiscretions.

My advice – Go back to the playground and remember what your dad said.

This is a fight you can’t win.  It IS nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune than to take arms against that sea of troubles.  Let your good work outshine a few nasty cuts. As Monty Python said, it’s just a flesh wound.  Really.

You couldn’t avoid school and you can’t avoid the net with a literal web of job, business, and social droppings.  You can’t control what people say about you.  Not then.  Not now.

If you’re an HR Manager researching a candidate, beware crossing professional-personal boundaries.  You don’t waltz into her house checking out her choice of panties and adult entertainment accessories. You shouldn’t be surprised to find an embarrassing photo on Facebook.

If you’re reading your own personal or company bashing, consider the context.  The truth is that they’re just not that into you (assuming a modicum of self-awareness).  Such diatribes say far more about the writer than the subject.  Response only breathes life into dying sparks.  Let it die, to be swallowed by the relentless and growing maw of the Internet and its hundreds of billions of web pages.

Everyone has dirt.  Life will go on.   Time heals all (or at least most) wounds. [Insert your own aphorism here.]

Know Your Customers II: Acquiring marketing data

Last week we covered customer segments.  In this issue we look at how to get this data from your contacts and prospects.

Here are a few techniques.

  • Web funnel. Create different web pages for your various segments. For example, your home page may have links that let the visitor click to explore solutions for different professions, such as recruiters, IT consultants, etc. Each web page then would have a different lead inquiry form that automatically identifies the user from his self-selected page.
  • Lead form. The lead form itself can directly provide options for the user to select his segment(s).
  • Survey. To increase survey participation, make them short, make them relevant, provide an offer like a white paper or sweepstakes entry, and show a compelling benefit, such as survey information (where applicable) will be shared with all participants.
  • Drip marketing. Drip marketing is an extremely effective data acquisition program. Send a regular and personal email that asks only one or two questions or a quick poll. Over time you will build both a strong customer relationship and powerful knowledge base.

Tool tip – use WeMeUs Contact Management and Lead Generation Lead Capture forms.

4th Annual Autism Charity Golf Tournament – May 21

Golf for a Great Cause!

Please join us for our 4th Annual Autism Charity Golf Tournament

Benefiting Autism & Special Needs Children
at Focus on the Future Training Center

Friday May 21 at Chase Oaks Golf Club, Plano

Join DallasBlue Founder and CEO Marc Freedman and network with Blue and other tournament golfers!

All registrations include:

  • Lunch
  • 18 holes
  • Contests with prizes for Best Putting, Longest Drive, & Closest to Pin
  • Great door prizes
  • Free golf gift bag
  • Score like the Pros! Buy mulligans at sign-in.
  • PLUS Free 1-year subscription to Golf Digest

DallasBlue golf sponsor

How You Can Help

DallasBlue and Focus on the Future have put together several golf and sponsorship packages from $65 and up to make it easy to enjoy great golf, benefit the charity, and get free advertising in the DallasBlue Executives newsletter, which reaches 7,000 DFW business executives and professionals.

Learn more and Register Now!

Thank you for your support and love

Know your customers I: Segmentation

This article kicks off a new series of marketing and sales tips. Subscribe to our blog or Twitter feed to receive future installments.

I earlier wrote about the Revenue Typhoon where the secret to generating revenues is creating an end-to-end integrated marketing and sales process. This Know Your Customers series will show how that happens.

The more you know about your contacts, prospects, and customers, the better you can tailor your messaging, communications, and products to increase sales. One technique is segmentation. There are many ways types of segments. The key is finding the ones that naturally divide your prospects by person and company and enable more targeted one-to-one marketing.

Typical B2B segments include:

  • Location
  • Industry
  • Market
  • Professional
  • Organizational title

Segmentation is developed at the beginning of marketing and sales planning where your Market definition describes a target customer. If you don’t have a formal marketing plan, take your best shot and define one. Then look to your actual customers. You may find reality different from your original customer notions. If they diverge, update your target customer profile to match who actually is buying your product.

Tool tip – use WeMeUs Contact Management and Lead Generation.  Learn more about WeMeUs tag and group management so you can store segmentation data on your leads and customers.

Business shrinks to nanoscale

Caroline McCarthy writes Why the social-media aggregator has croaked. Their downfall was inevitable. It’s no different from the roaring 90’s boom.  A grand slam like Twitter inspires thousands of innovation-less entrepreneurial marketers and developers.  Pop tech media celebrates the new and hip.  Investors get infatuated and pile on.

The business is exposed as a technology with no market. A few lucky ones flip their ventures to the big boys.  And everyone scurries like cockroaches to find and gush over the NEXT big thing.

This market froth will be repeated ad infinitum. The online sector has entered an unprecedented era of computing abundance.  This is similar to the record industry 15 years ago when technology from MP3s to the web to P2P pried open monopolistic content scarcity and destroyed mass media.

Open source, APIs, high-level development platforms and databases, the cloud, and free services combine to not only make it easy and cheap to create an app,  but also lower the competitive bar to virtually nil. You no longer need a company with several employees and a mil in the bank.  Individuals and partnerships , not companies, can and are creating valuable services.  Look no further than the wild success of numerous iPhone developers.

And we can help.


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