Much has been written about using social media to reach prospective buyers and influencers, here we will look at how small businesses and professionals can effectively use social media as a market research tool. [Read more...]
Relationships have always been fundamental to success in business. We normally think of person to person relationships in this context, but this can also include relationships with a larger audience, community or market. Here the topic will be organizing your person to person network in order to accomplish your professional goals. [Read more...]
Perry Marshall’s book 80/20 Sales and Marketing is beyond thought provoking. Just when you think you appreciate the power of the 80/20 rule, Marshall introduces another concept that further expands your thinking.
What impacted me most in reading the book is that I thought I understood the 80/20 concept. What I learned was that the more you drill down into its implications, the more leverage you can get by applying it to different areas of your life and business.
These are some ideas to think about:
The 80/20 rule is pervasive. If you look closely you will see it in operation in many areas beyond sales and marketing.
As the risk of sounding overdramatic, starting to understand the 80/20 rule is like putting on lenses that can forever alter your perception of how world operates.
In the 4 Hour Chef Tim Ferriss talks about identifying a relatively small set of material or key concepts to focus on first when learning any new discipline – a form of 80/20 thinking applied to rapid learning.
The 80/20 Power curve, among other things, lets you know how much money you are leaving on the table if you don’t offer higher end products for those who want them.
The Power Curve also reinforces the importance of outsourcing less valuable tasks as soon as possible. Pay someone else to do the $10 an hour tasks so you can focus on the $1000 an hour tasks.
The average top 20% customer (or sales rep) is not worth 4X or even 10X more than the average 80% customer – they can be worth 16X or more than the average 80% customer.
The 80/20 rule applies wherever the natural law of positive feedback is operating. An example of positive feedback is water following the path of least resistance.
80/20 Saddle Curve illustrates how your opposition can actually work for you.
Social media is equally, if not more, powerful as a listening tool than it is for distributing your information.
One of the first questions that I had when I began the book was – when does the 80/20 rule not work? Perry answered this question towards the end of the book when discussing values. For example, while the 80/20 rule has a “survival of the fittest” element in its operation, our value of compassion drives us to help those less fortunate than us. Another instance where the 80/20 rule can be thwarted, again by human intervention, is in the case of negative reinforcement. An example of this would be a GPS system that intelligently corrects us when we go off course.
It goes without saying that I highly recommend this book. Please let me know what you think.
There are a number of ways that you can increase the actual or perceived value of what you offer. This can set you apart from competitors, justify higher prices and help you position your business as a leader in your marketplace. [Read more...]
Facebook provides both Pages and Groups. What’s the difference and when does it make sense to use one or the other?
Facebook Pages enable businesses and organizations to extensively showcase what they offer without visitors having to leave Facebook. Often this information will mirror what appears on their websites. Pages are administrated by individuals or teams who can remain invisible to visitors if they so choose.
Facebook Groups are usually formed around a shared area of interest such as topic or project and are designed for community building. They enable members to have discussions, share information and belong to a community within the Facebook walled garden. Groups are moderated by individuals who are visible to the community.
- Extensive analytics (Insights) enable you to track what is working and make improvements.
- The Like feature automatically increases their reach and there is no limit to the number of Fans a Page can have.
- They are a channel for directing traffic to your website.
- Pages give visitors the opportunity to engage with the Page by posting comments.
- If you include an opt-in tab on your Page it can help you grow your email list.
- There are numerous apps available for Pages which enhance their functionality.
- Administrators have control over what appears on the Page.
- Pages are indexed by search engines.
- They are not conductive to dialogues between visitors.
- Updates posted to your Page are shown to less than 20% of your Fans. To get more exposure you need to buy Facebook ads.
- Group members are more likely to return to their Groups than Page visitors are to return to Pages.
- Groups are more interactive than Pages.
- Groups can be open (anyone can view and join), closed (publicly visible, but require administrator approval to join) or secret (invisible to the public, you must be invited to join). Consequently Groups can serve as public or private discussion forums.
- You can look at metrics such as growth in membership and engagement, but there are not analytics like Insights.
- Groups must remain active in order to keep visitors returning.
- Group administrators can send updates to a maximum of 5,000 members.
- Groups are not consistently indexed by Google.
In summary, if your goal is branding, building awareness and engagement with the largest possible audience then you should use a Facebook Page. If you want to build a community of those who are already aware of you, host a discussion forum or work on projects as a team, then Facebook Groups can work well.
Please let us know how you have used Facebook Pages and Groups in your business.
The primary purpose of marketing has always been to facilitate sales in some way shape or form. This could be by building brand awareness and buyer trust in your product, educating potential customers about the product or nurturing prospects before they become qualified leads. [Read more...]