Marketing with Meaning: The Importance of Satisfied Customers

bg_book1In his book, The Next Evolution of Marketing, Connect Your Customers by Marketing with Meaning*, Bob Gilbreath discusses the importance of ensuring customer satisfaction. He writes, “In order to communicate meaning through your marketing, you need to look at customer support postpurchase not just as cost center but as the key to ensuring long-term satisfaction and loyalty.”

What’s good customer support? And how can even the largest companies make you feel heard and taken care of?

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Walk to the Finish Line

finish-lineI recently came across Mitch Joel’s blog and his book, Six Pixels of Separation, and wholeheartedly agree with his perspective, “In praise of slow.”

As more and more businesses start taking on social media initiatives, we’ve started to see a collective mind-set where they not only want to see results immediately, they expect it.  In this fast-paced digital society we’re living in, our patience and expectations at times are skewed.

As Joel so aptly states, “You can’t quickly start a Blog and get results. It takes time to build your content, find you voice, develop a community and earn trust and respect. You can’t just publish a Podcast and expect your cash register to start ringing. You can’t join an online social network and derive any value from it unless you take the time to meet the right people, connect, share, build and grow. Digital Marketing is a relationship (at its highest level). Slow simply means that long-term results take time. There are no shortcuts to success.”

Digital marketing isn’t a race to the finish line. In fact, to do it most effectively, walking will serve you better than sprinting.

No Social Media Strategy is an Island

trees-on-an-islandNo social media strategy is an island, entire of itself. Instead, good strategies are integrated.

The question many people have when starting out is where they should be social media-wise? Some of the four key players to consider are blog, facebook, linkedin & twitter.

Depending on your goals, a good place to begin is with a blog. Metaphorically speaking, its like a strong rooted tree with lots of branches. One of the primary reasons why it has so much importance is that it can be anything you want it to be. Posts can be short, medium or longer in length. They can be original ideas, or can reference material you’ve read, and provide links. They can be anecdotal, funny, academic, journalistic and more.

On a blog, you can embed images, photos, videos, and podcasts. Your blog can then feed into your facebook profile/page, linkedin and twitter pages.

Again, depending on your goals and your particular needs for your work and industry, a good next step to consider would be facebook where you can further demonstrate the personality of your business and interact with your fans in more expansive two way conversations. Christina Warren has a great post on Mashable about integrating facebook with your blog with many valuable links.

A frequently asked question by many is where to find your blog’s feed url. Below is a short video by Dave Saunders which helps users to access the feed for their personal or company blog. Another easy way to find the url is by mousing over the orange RSS symbol (without clicking) and in the lower left-hand corner of your browser window you’ll see the url.

If you’re using a blog as the point where your social media presences branch off from, what have your experiences been like? Do you think it makes a difference in helping you to achieve higher visibility on the social sphere?

No social media strategy is an island, entire to itself. (inspired by John Donne’s, No Man is an Island)

Ideas Worth Spreading about the Internet

275px-ted_wordmarksvgIt’s surprising in a way that in all the time I’ve been using the Internet, I’ve only recently discovered TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). Catherine Weber told me about it awhile back and with so many things to be checking out and keeping up with a daily basis, I never made my way over. I’m so glad I did.

If you’re not familiar with TED, Wikipedia describes it this way: “TED is famous for its lectures, known as TED Talks, which originally focused on technology, entertainment and design, but have now expanded in scope to a broad set of topics including science, arts, politics, education, culture, business, global issues, technology and development.”

This morning I watched a talk by Stefana Broadbent, “How the Internet Enables Intimacy.” It’s a fascinating talk about how people are using social media, mobile phones, IM, as ways to stay connected to a surprisingly small core group of the people in their lives.
She offers some intriguing facts:

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