Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the two topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual produce better results in these areas. Feel free to send me your questions. The blog is published on Wordpress and tumblr along with the LinkedIn publishing platform.

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Posted 3 weeks ago

Did Mobile Kill the TV Star?

Everyone remembers the popular song Video Killed the Radio star, which was a song about how the technology of television made radio and the radio star obsolete. As mobile devices and social media have become more prevalent worldwide; access to video content via video search engines/sharing services such as YouTube, Hulu and Netflix have disrupted how content is accessed. Prior to this shift, television/cable networks have controlled how video content was shared and distributed. Today the alternative content sharing methods I described above, have changed the format of television. As more and more advertising dollars are being shifted to mobile from television, the way television is run has to change.

Back to my original question, will Television suffer the same fate as Radio? Well not exactly.Television has embraced new technology. Content has been made available on mobile devices, Tablets Laptops and PC’s.Television networks have developed a strong presence on social networks. Every Television network and their shows; have their own branded social media channels. Video content is made available instantly via on demand programming for premium cable subscribers.

Dual Technology is used by television networks by allowing viewers to live tweet with characters of their favorite shows and television personalities via computers/mobile devices. Television networks use of Twitter is an example of dual technology. Live tweeting has proven to be a successful engagement strategy for television networks; engaging with millennial and baby-boomers alike. An example is tonight’s live Blue Bloods Actors chat via CBS’s branded BlueBlood’s Twitter handle.

Another marketing strategy, employed by television networks is to make the actors in their shows use products from advertisers. This is a shift from traditional advertisements; as most people are turned off by many traditional ads. Many Auto, Telecom, Clothing, Luxury Brands and even educational institutions use this form of advertising. It does not seem like an ad if it is part of the show. This is what television networks and advertisers are banking on.

Did Mobile kill the TV star? Not exactly but it killed a culture of television and cable monopolies. Although television and cable have changed to adopt to the shift to mobile, they still face threats from Apple, Intel, Google and Sony who attempting to offer television content via internet TV delivery platforms.

All of these changes that I mentioned above, will shift the power from the Television and cable networks into the hands of advertisers by driving down rates. The general public will also be able to access programming much cheaper but this is a discussion for down the road.

Did Mobile kill the TV star? You decide.

Posted 3 weeks ago

The Power of The Screen Shot & The Hash Tag: How Marketers Can Connect with Customers & Amplify their Reach

Screen-shots and hash-tags are an invaluable tool for marketers to reach and sell products to their audience. The old adage is that a picture is worth a 1000 words. As the fields of Marketing and Advertising shift to digital and mobile formats, the power of the image to tell stories and get your message across are the new tools of the 21st Century.

Hash-tags are also valuable tools because they allow marketers and everyday people to share their content with people who are out of their network. Hash-tags allow users on social networks to index their content. For example, if I share a blog post or an image with the tag #marketing, I can reach everyone who searches for that tag on a social network. My reach expands exponentially as a result. This is very powerful. Hash-tags started on Twitter then spread to other networks much like the like button on Facebook. Think of a hash-tag as a social network search engine like Google.

The screen shot is a great way for marketers to reach their audience and beyond. As the number of computers and mobile devices multiply worldwide, more people will capture everyday images of their lives and share them via Social Networks such as Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc…

Screen shots can be taken with both computers and mobile devices. This allows individuals, and small brands alike to market and reach potential customers via storytelling through screen shots. Fortune 500 brands have tapped into this marketing goldmine by soliciting everyday people to take pictures of themselves using the products that they love. Think of this as a picture version of a LinkedIn recommendation. It’s social proof.

Screen shots can also be used to share accomplishments and to advocate your love for your favorite brands. I have used screen shots in all of the ways that I have mentioned above. Recently, I was featured on Twitter’s Ads Blog for my endorsement of Verizon wireless.

When screen-shots are used with hash-tags, this is a marketing goldmine because marketers can share their story with billions of people worldwide and go beyond their regular followers. As a result, brands have potential to sell more and connect with people worldwide.

How have you used screen shots and hash-tags to sell and market your products?

Posted 5 weeks ago
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Posted 5 weeks ago
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Posted 5 weeks ago
Posted 5 weeks ago

Selling to Sociopaths: What to do when you can't Walk Away

Have you ever had a prospect and/or customer from hell? I am talking about a customer that seemed charming when everything in the transaction was going well and did a 180 degree turn when they didn’t get when they want. I have had several experiences like this during my time in outside sales. What about those prospects that smile to your face and then actively try to undermine you behind your back? I have dealt with these kind of prospects and customers as well. Behavior like this is clearly the work of a sociopath. For our purposes here, a sociopath has two definitions: 1 A person who has no conscience and is incapable of feeling emotions of any kind. 2 A person who gets pleasure from making other people miserable.

In a previous article, I discussed how to deal with difficult customers. The customers/prospects I described above, are extremely difficult to deal with. People who are sociopaths are in places of power and authority. In sales, I have had to deal with sociopaths from time to time. From the customer who demands what they are not entitled to and abusive customers who got pleasure from seeing me sweat.

Now you are asking how to deal with these people? Well the first thing that I would suggest is to avoid them like the plague if possible. What do you do if you need their business? Too often people like this hold the purse strings to that big commission, a promotion and make the difference between a big income and a very small one. Think of Don Drapers new boss Lou the Creative Director from Mad Men. He is a true sociopath.

How do you deal with such people? To deal with such people, you need to make a judgment call it see if it is worth it for you. If you decide that it is, you need to turn off your emotions and protect your health, put your head down and do what they want. You can justify this as a temporary situation or as a means to an end. Visualize yourself getting what you want as a result of servicing this sociopath. If you could do this, you could effectively deal with these sociopaths. Give them what they want so you could get what you want. This is not easy to do.

How have you dealt with Sociopaths in your business career?

Posted 5 weeks ago
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Posted 7 weeks ago

Poor Customer Service Costs Businesses Sales

Poor customers service costs businesses sales. I observed this first hand yesterday.

I was in the supermarket yesterday and I observed a man who was wanted to buy mussels (seafood). These mussels were packaged in bushels. As you can imagine, there were long lines in the supermarket. There were scales to weigh food items both at the Deli counter/Meat Department and at the checkout lines. After a long wait on the checkout line, the cashier was ringing up the items. When it came time to charge the customer for the mussels the cashier said, ” the mussels have to be weighted and priced by the Meat Department”. Mind you there was a scale right at the cash register!

As a result, the customer stormed out of the store in frustration leaving a large order behind. Clearly, the store should have done one of two things:

1 Have the deli counter personnel package and weigh all of the so the cashier could check customers out.

2 Train the cashier to weigh and price the mussels.

Also, the cashier should have had the store manager help this customer in this case.

Clearly the store should train it’s people better and have policies in place to prevent this from happening again. The store lost a lot of business from this order. It may seem small, but what if this would happen on a regular basis?

Lapses in customer service add up to damage to brand reputations, lost customers and lost profits.

How is poor customer service impacting your business?

Posted 7 weeks ago