Tom Peters' Blog on Defining Customers
Steve Yastrow over at tompeters.com has a simple definition of a customer:
Anyone whose actions affect your results.
Simple, succinct and broadly applicable. If we're talking about developing customer intuition and using tools to learn more about the background and happenings of our customers we better have a good definition. What do you think? Is this a good definition? Anything to add?
tompeters.com: Refine to Simplicity be sure to read the comments. Good stuff their too.
March 10, 2006 in award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building Customer Community, Business newsletter, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Boing Boing Reports on Two Disconnects Between Operations and the Customer Experience
Today Boing Boing reports on two stories that illustrate disconnects between operations departments and the revenue generating mission of an organization.
First it's airports. Cory Doctorow posts a report that airports are covering power outlets to deny power to travelers looking to recharge their laptops and cellphones. Many of these same airports sell access to WiFi internet access. Who can buy and use WiFi if their laptop batteries are depleted? This sounds like a disconnect between operations looking to curb electricity use and management that wants to generate more revenue and enhance travel customer experience.
Cory also points to a post on the Re-Imaginering blog that discusses maintenance problems at Walt Disney theme parks. Apparently, the operations budget is so tight that animatronics are deactivated instead of repaired, figures are repositioned to avoid excessive wear on costumes and entire new attractions are actively opposed by operations because they don't have the budget to maintain them. Again a disconnect between operations and the customer experience. Raving fans who are more than willing to evangelize the theme parks are noticing and the web is spreading the word.
How about your organization? Are you aware of any disconnects that are negatively effecting your customer experience? Maybe it's as simple as that incredibly cheap paper in your laser printer. That cheap stuff will save dome pennies but the client frowns at that cheap stuff their expensive reports and studies are printed on.
Where do you see disconnects that are sending mixed messages about your business to your customers? Is it time to realign your budgets and priorities?
A Whole New Mind Review at the BeTuitive Blog
BeTuitive designer Kat O'Connor joins the BeTuitive Blog with a really interesting review of Daniel Pink's new book A Whole New Mind
In A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink’s operating theory is that we are coming upon a new business and economic revolution, and the business world is moving from the Information Age (based upon the “knowledge worker” whose primary skill set is logical, analytical, and data-oriented) to a Conceptual Age – an age of designers, empathizers, of people skilled in building relationships among people and synthesizing details and concepts into a new and original whole.
Sounds like another must read. Read the rest of Kat's review and see if you don't agree.
Track Your Comments with coComment
I have been telling you for a long time now that you need to use the available Web Tools like Technorati, Feedster and PubSub to discover and track the conversations about your customers, your company and your products in the blogosphere. Beyond just discovering conversations you should join the conversations with constructive comments that add value to the conversations. Discovering blog posts good and bad about your product and responding in an authentic and transparent way is good for your business. It shows that you are listening and responsive to the needs of customers.
The problem comes when their are dozens of posts and you begin leaving comments all over the blogosphere. How do you know when others comment in response? You don't want to spend a lot of time manually checking each post to see if there are new comments. There's a new tool to help you track your commenting activity. coComment is a new service that helps you track your comments and see when others add comments to posts you have commented on. The service is in a private beta but go ahead and request and invitation. It seems they are sending them out within hours of your request. Not only can you track conversations you are participating you can get an RSS feed of your comments for your RSS reader. The service doesn't support all blogging platforms yet but is promising.
February 9, 2006 in award winning design, award winning magazine, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
5 Tips for Promoting your Blog to Popular Bloggers
OK, so by now you are totally “tuned-in” to blogs and all the wonderful things they can do to help spread the word about you, your company and your ideas. You've seen the power of good blog PR. A mention or two on a prominent blog and traffic to your own blog soars. But their doesn't seem to be any formula for getting those mentions. You keep sending those press releases and you submit every post you write to the popular sites but still the results are hit and miss. You decide to try harder. You begin to email everything to everyone hoping to up the percentage of signal by producing more noise.
Wrong, wrong wrong. You're thinking broadcast in a relationship world. Bloggers, especially popular bloggers, can smell self promotion a mile away. They aren't the PR department for your business or blog. They want relevant value for their own audience. They want information that fits their blog and their voice. If you want their help promoting your ideas you need to know and understand their ideas. This is more complex then building a bigger email list of “marketing” bloggers to whom you can spew send your latest press release. This is about using all the tips and tools of customer intuition to build your blog PR Intuition.
Participate - You need to seriously read and participate in conversations on blogs. Leave relevant value adding comments. Use trackbacks where appropriate.
Link - If you want popular blogs to link to you be sure that you have already linked to them.
Explain Yourself - Don't just submit a URL or send a press release, talk to the blogger. Write a brief personal message explaining why you think a blogger and their audience will be interested in what you have to say.
Thank A Blogger - When a popular blog links to you and you see a good pop in your traffic and/or more inbound links send a brief thank you. Most bloggers are interested in the effects of their blogging. They'll be interested in brief accounts of what their blog does for others.
Be Human - When you are looking to spread your ideas treat others like humans not just email addresses. It's not about broadcasting it's about relationships.
February 2, 2006 in award winning magazine, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Writing Memorable Newsletters: Spreadability
Spreadability is the ease with which your ideas spread from person to person. It's two basic modes are newsletter forwards and workplace conversations. For readers to deem your newsletter of high value it needs to provide ideas that readers can use. Ideas that readers can apply in their own workflows, share with others in their organization or share with their professional networks are ideas that will keep subscribers reading each and every issue that you publish. Once you have the content ideas and you are properly using Themes with Focus and good Summaries it's time to make sure that those ideas are spreadable.
Tell Stories: Tell stories of how readers have used, discussed and spread your ideas. Use a sidebar column to profile readers and what and how they are learning from your newsletter. Readers will see how others are benefitting from your newsletter and be inspired to do the same.
Encourage Forwarding: Always include a forward to a friend mechanism. Readers may not use it but it plants the idea in their head that it's OK and a good thing to forward your newsletter to colleagues. Users may forward your newsletter using the forward function on their email application. While this isn't trackable through your email newsletter application it is the spread of your content and newsletter branding.
Blog Them: Continue the discussion about your ideas and content on a corporate blog. Once you move your readers from your newsletter to your blog it's just one click to move them to your corporate site. A blog is a good place for more information about your email newsletter content. You can receive feedback via comments, conduct polls, and drive other behavior through a blog.
Writing Memorable Newsletters: Summaries
Technorati Tags: B2B | comments | communication | content | corporate blogging | customer communications | email | emarketing | forward | interactivity | marketing | networking | newsletter | permission marketing | promotion | stories | storytelling | subscribe | summaries | word of mouth
November 9, 2005 in award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, company blog, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Business Blogging Author Shel Israel Shares Some Insight
Israel's interview is mostly promotion for the business blogging book he coauthored with Robert Scoble but he does share this one excellent insight:
How can publishers specifically benefit from the blogging revolution? What are the major mistakes that publishers make when thinking about blogs?
Digital publishers as well as the traditional kind need to understand the fundamental shift from a broadcast model of “I talk, you listen” to a conversational model of “I talk first, then listen to you.” This is a huge change that benefits everyone because we all usually prefer a conversation to a lecture. Most major mistakes will be made by publishers who either try to game the blogging system with gimmicks, posting false comments and by not carefully listening to what people have to say to them even when the comments are critical.
True very true. What do you think? Seen any good corporate blogging?
Publish.com: Why Corporate Blogs are Boring
October 30, 2005 in award winning magazine, Blogging Tools, Books, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Robert Scoble Wakes a Monster
Microsoft technical evangelist and prominent blogger Robert Scoble was invited to speak to Monster Cable about blogs and blogging. Monster is aware of the marketing challenge they have. Their site does not show up very well on search engines. They were unaware that the blogosphere is talking about Monster and boy will they get an earful when they tune into the conversation. Monster products are not well liked. A good blogging strategy might be able to stop the bleeding and perhaps turn the tide. Read the comments on Robert's post to get an idea of the tone of public opinion of Monster products.
I dare say that more and more companies are waking up to the fact that they need to be listening to what blogs are saying about their companies. At the same time corporations are at a loss for how to effectively use blogs for positive PR and crisis response. It's a delicate balancing act that requires experienced hands. A good reason to consider outsourcing your blog design, management and content creation. BeTuitive can help with all that.
Scobleizer: Visit to Monster Cable
October 28, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning magazine, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Blogs: Friend or Foe?
Daniel Lyons has a piece on Forbes.com that takes as decidedly old school view to the potential harm that blogs and bloggers can inflict on companies, brands and products. Blogs and Bloggers are seen as something to defend yourself against. Complete with a sidebar that includes strategies for turning the lawyers loose, the article is clearly written with a one sided view that blogs are dangerous and a threat. While there are potential dangers in the blogosphere there are even more opportunities for forward looking companies that realize that there is more to be gained by participating in the customer conversations that are already taking place in the blogosphere.
Try this exercise. Google your company name. How many of the top 15 results are sites that provide your input and point of view on issues important to your business? Is your company even the number one entry? It's true what they say about search engines loving blogs for their focused, fresh and relevant content.
Forbes.com: Attack of the Blogs (reg req)
October 28, 2005 in award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Current Affairs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
This month's review for the BeTuitive Business Book Club is up over at the BeTuitive Blog. Another good review, Susan.
I also want to remind you to go ahead and add yourself to the map of BeConnected readers on Frappr.