Engaging Your Customers in 2011: It’s Easier Than You Think

Yesterday, I had a short but insightful meeting with a client about ways to increase customer engagement, or CE (for the ever-morphing definition of CE, please see Wikipedia’s page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_engagement). There seems to be some mystique in the market about how best to do this in the new social media landscape.

There are many case studies out there about CE successes and failures, but I believe that most small to medium sized companies should start simply. How do you develop relationships with customers offline? What has been successful? I bet the answers for companies with a customer-centric vision include the following: “We ask them questions. Then we listen to the answers. Then we make actionable steps to include that feedback into our strategic goals and objectives.” The same tact should be taken with online CE.

From your company’s Facebook page to free online survey tools like www.surveymonkey.com, there are several options for how to collect customer feedback. Don’t get mired in the method. Start simply. If you asked all of your customers – including your internal customers/employees – this question, “What is one thing we do that you wish we did better?” you should get enough information to dramatically improve your strategic plan for 2011. If you aren’t ready for the online leap, you could even pick up the phone and ask them. Be sure to thank everyone for his or her feedback. Realize that taking the time to thank your customers and employees can also be an opportunity for engagement.

So, now I am taking my own advice. Marketing to Go wants to know, “What is one thing we do that you wish we did better?” Thank you in advance for your feedback. Wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year. Respectfully, Laura Furumoto

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Marketing to Go Welcomes New Client LINKS4LIVES

We are pleased to announce that Marketing to Go has been chosen to develop the LINKS4LIVES marketing collateral and website. LINKS4LIVES works through the game of golf to recruit business executives as mentors of at-risk high schoolers in communities throughout the United States. Their goal is to get local Leaders Involved N Kids Scholarships (LINKS). For more information contact Jack Trainor, Executive Director, at (775) 356-5300.

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DJ Heckes Author of Full BRAIN Marketing Featured on WomenEntrepreneur.com

Congratulations to Marketing to Go client DJ Heckes, author of Full BRAIN Marketing for the small business, for her recent two-part book excerpt on WomenEntrepreneur.com  (Click here to read part one and two). In the coming months, DJ will also appear as a guest blogger on WomenEntrepreneur.com , which has been included in the Forbes list of “Top 100 Websites for Women.” Her first guest blog, “10 Tips for a Successful Tradeshow,” was published in October. Way to go DJ!

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See Jane Collaborate

Congratulations to Marketing to Go client Michele DeKinder-Smith, Founder and CEO of Jane Out of the Box, on the release of her new book, See Jane Collaborate. The premise of the book is that creating a successful, working business partnership takes careful consideration and advance planning. The road to a fruitful pairing can be fraught with peril, from personal values to professional ethics. Even when two prospective partners share great chemistry, conflicts can later arise over budgeting, financial style, growth strategy and even personal values. See Jane Collaborate gives business owners the tools to increase your odds of cementing a profitable, enjoyable partnership.

Right now, the media is filled with examples of women collaborating in business to keep the doors open during the economic crunch. A recent article in the Reno News & Review entitled, “Women’s Work,” addresses examples of this collaboration, including the co-locating trend among small local businesses and what that trend reveals about women as leaders. Collaboration is a win-win in this market as it can improve revenue, offer shared costs, streamline operations, provide a wider range of products and services to your clients, create a succession plan mechanism, and the list goes on and on.

See Jane Collaborate is not only timely, but also to the point. You can purchase the book at http://www.seejanecollaborate.com/. Congratulations Michele!

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Marketing to Go Welcomes Skiprok Interactive as Client Resource

Laura Furumoto, Owner of Marketing to Go, has been chosen as the exclusive Nevada representative for Skiprok Interactive. Skiprok supports its client’s needs in areas of web design, SEO/SEM, eDirect Marketing, Social Media, HD Interactive Video, Training, Complete Product Launches, 2D/3D, Complex Intranet/eCommerce/Web Services, Interactive Banners/Web Sites, pURL’s, Cross-media marketing. 

Marketing to Go is proud to work in conjunction with the best in class of Nevada interactive, marketing, advertising, PR, print and other valued vendors. When a client needs an interactive company with international reach and resources, Skiprok is a great option. Skiprok is one of the fastest growing interactive digital marketing agencies.  Based in New York, Skiprok also has a presence in Cape Town South Africa and Mumbai India.  As the agency of record for many leading mid-size and enterprise clients in over 12 vertical industries and consumer markets, Skiprok US is supported by 25 local Project and Account Managers providing its clients fast and responsive support.

For more information, call Laura Furumoto at 775-830-3993 or e-mail Laura@MarketingtoGoNow.com .

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What Question Would You Ask 50,000 Millennials?

That is exactly what the Consumer Insights Interest Group on LinkedIn asked in a “contest” and I answered. Turns out that my question, “If you had an extra $100 to spend on any one of these things, what would it be?” was selected. They picked the response categories. Here are the results as posted on http://millennialindex.com/.

  • 13% of females and 12% of males would spend their $100 on “A Night Out”
  • 07% of females and 05% of males would buy “House/Apartment Stuff”
  • 10% of females and 09% of males would buy “Music/TV Downloads”
  • 37% of females and 20% of males would buy “Clothes”
  • 32% of females and 52% of males would buy “Electronics or Gadgets”

What would you have asked? You have the chance! As the winner, I get to supply another question free of charge through their network. I am having my own “contest” of my blog readers. Supply the question and I may select it for a soon to be executed survey of 50,000 Millennials. E-mail me your question at Laura@MarketingtoGoNow.com. Stay tuned!

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Babies Never Come Into This World Alone…

Last week I took my baby boy with me while I went to a local salon to get my toes done. I was getting all dolled up for a date with my husband – the Stevie Nicks concert at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe. As my weary feet got a lift, so did my spirit as the technician told me a story that I will never forgot.

She said that in Mexico there is a saying that, “A new baby always brings something new – good luck. Babies never come into this world alone. They always arrive carrying a package tucked under their arm. Within a short time of having the baby you will have good fortune, which usually takes the form of a large sum of money. However, the good luck can flow into your life in the form of new business, winning something, or other good fortune.” Being the good market researcher that I am, I looked this up and sure enough, in Spanish the saying is, “”el nuevo bebe siempre trae la torta bajo el brazo.” Taken literally, “a new baby always carries a torta under its arm.”

Now, for anyone who knows me, I LOVE food, and tortas are some of my favorite things to order at a Mexican restaurant. So, I looked at my son and reflected over the past 7 weeks since he had been born to assess the accuracy of this wives’ tale. All in all, good fortune has come with the new baby as I have:

  • welcomed family and friends into my hospital room and our home to meet the new baby and to catch up on life. Once of these dear friends said something very powerful to me, along the lines of the glass is half-full, that I had not heard in these terms before, “Our lives are filled with the abundance of the Universe which will come to us if we are open to it.”
  • had the pleasure of welcoming a friend and colleague of mine on the Professional Chapters Council of the American Marketing Association, DJ Heckes CEO of EXHIB-IT! (tradeshow marketing experts) and author of Full BRAIN Marketing for the small business, as a client to market her new book
  • worked with affable graphic designer Karin Wilson of Wild Woman Design to ghost write some of her blog articles and she has helped me with my new website
  • worked with talented artist and illustrator Kevn (not a typo!) Lambson of Idear Studios LLC to help market and launch a new project and he has helped me with my new website
  • had the pleasure of my mom coming to help me with the baby and my other children for the past nine weeks, which is the longest I have spent with her since moving away to college. It has been so nice to have the company as I work from home. I thank God that I still have my mom here on earth to experience the joy of her grandchildren.

I know you are asking yourselves, “what on earth does this have to do with marketing?” Until the technician told me this story, I had not taken a good look at all the wonderful things that had happened over the last seven weeks as daily life – and a little sleep deprivation – got in the way. Often times when we start a marketing campaign or a new marketing endeavor, we are all excited about its “birth.” We get caught up in the creative process, the execution, and the thrill of doing something new. However, we can get distracted and forget to purposely, consciously take account of the “torta.” It is our obligation as marketers to study and record the results of what our marketing projects bring into our world.

How will you document your marketing results today?

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