Customer Managed Relationships

Seth points out that Disney is thinking differently about CRM. They see it differently. Customer Managed Relationships. CMR replacing CRM. “...our guests invite us into their lives and ultimately manage our presence/relationship with them.” Now that's understanding permission marketing. Who among us enjoys it when a marketer manages our relationship. We'd much rather manage our relationship.

So what's a marketer to do?

Be on all the Channels
Think about the relationship you want your customers to have with you. That's slightly different than thinking about the relationship you want to have with your customers. What channels of communication do your customers want to hear from you? You probably don't know so maybe you need to use multiple channels and let customers choose what's most convenient for them. Some customers will like email newsletters, some will like direct mail, some will like an RSS feed from your blog, and some will like podcasts. The point is that it should be the customers choice. The choice you have as a marketer is to populate the available channels with your message.

Track, Tweak and Be Respectable
When you offer multiple channels respect the choices of your customers. Don't assume that those that listen and respond to one channel will want to hear from you on other channels. For example don't assume that email newsletter readers will want to hear your podcast. It's ok to let them know you have one but it's not OK to send the podcast file in an email. At every opportunity Test and Tweak your message so that you continually improve your use of each channel of communication.

Sounds like a lot of work doesn't it? That's why you should consider outsourcing your email newsletters and blogs to a provider like BeTuitive Marketing where all the Tracking and Tweaking are respectfully handled for you by experts in permission marketing.

Technorati Tags: | | | | | | |

May 8, 2006 in award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, CMO, company blog, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Annoyed, Annoying or Glad to See You!

What's the most annoying thing you do? Not what annoys you the most but what you do that annoys others. Hard to know unless you are a mind reader. One way you can know some of what others might find annoying about you is to examine the behaviors of others that you find annoying and see if you do those same things. Do your coworkers constantly interrupt you? Ever want to strangle someone talking too loud on their mobile phone? Do you find yourself avoiding calls from chatty sales people? What about you? Do you interrupt your coworkers who are busy? Do you sometimes talk loudly on your cellphone? Do you chat too much with your busy sales leads? Many times with great self importance we are quick to excuse ourselves from behavior that we find annoying in others. “It was really important” “I just don't get good reception on the train.” “I'm just trying to build a relationship.” Reasonable, justification or excuse?

It's time to be more intuitive, to read people better and to understand what habits and work practices you can adjust this year that will enhance your ability to connect, collaborate and grow your working relationships with coworkers and customers.

Start this week and keep a list of annoyances that come into you day. Next week put those on your “Not ToDo” list. New Year, new habits, new level!

Technorati Tags: |

January 9, 2006 in award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, Brand enhancement, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I'm Curious...So I'm Asking

Recently, I have been in meetings and conferences and have seen lots of different solutions to how people manage all the stuff they carry around. So, I am curious...

Feel free to leave a comment with more details if you're so inclined.

Technorati Tags: | |

November 10, 2005 in Blog Outsourcing, Blogging Tools, Building Customer Community, Current Affairs, Travel, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Blogs: Friend or Foe?

Daniel Lyons has a piece on 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. Attack of the Blogs (reg req)

Technorati Tags: | | | | | |

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

What Should Casio Do in Response to Cory Doctorow's Post on Boing Boing

So what should Casio do now when the most widely linked and influential blog writes this just as they introduce a new product:

I'm an idiot. I bought another of these cameras, the S500, which is currently the top of Casio's line. It, too, has a screen that protrudes from the camera's body, and it, too, cracked within a month. The company is charging me another 90 pounds to fix this thing, and they've had it since October 4. No parts, you see.

So that's it for me and Casio -- it's a shame. The cameras are small, pretty and work well. But they suffer from flawed designs and a flawed manufacturer that treats repair customers like crap, and I can't think of a single good reason to go on giving them my business, no matter how cool this new six megapixel camera sounds.

Casio has a huge problem and they may not even know it. The above are the last two paragraphs of Cory Doctorow's post titled “Casio: cool cameras, terrible service -- buy something else” This is a full on crisis for Casio and their Exilim Digital Camera products as tens perhaps hundreds of thousands of potential customers have or will read this post. On any lessor blog this could be ignored but written by Cory on Boing Boing this is a problem.

What should Casio do in response?
They need to respond - Get a response put together within 24 hours and post-it somewhere where bloggers can link to it.
Engage Cory Doctorow in conversation - Send your response to Cory in hopes that he blogs about it. Apologize to him for his service problems and explain how you will fix the systemic problems. Don't send him a free camera! That will surely backfire. Bloggers want to be engaged in conversation not marketed to, spun or bought.
Solicit Feedback - Evaluate Cory's comments. Invite him and a small group of his expert friends (Cory has a lot of influential geek friends) to advise your company on how to make better products. You want to turn this negative into a positive and gain positive word of mouth in the blogosphere for future products.
Blog the entire process.

Companies large and small will increasingly face PR problems like these as bloggers and citizen reviewers build their following and influence. My best advice on how to be ready for this kind of very visible negative PR is to have already established a corporate blog that has already built a trusted communication channel and conversation with customers and prospects. If you aren't completely comfortable with the culture and practice of the blog world then consider outsourcing your blog to an experienced partner who can help you become an authentic voice in the blogosphere. As in any endeavor experience can mean the difference between a long painful DIY disaster or a much shortened learning curve and path to success.

Technorati Tags: | | | | | | | | | | |

October 25, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Current Affairs, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What XM Satellite Radio Should Be Doing at the World Series

On the heals of my post yesterday about Story-crafting I can't resist commenting on XM Satellite Radio's plans to market to baseball fans by passing out coupons good for their portable receivers to all 40,000+ ticket holders to game one of the World Series in Chicago on Saturday.

This is old school marketing where the marketer tells the story and the consumer has to listen and respond in the narrow way as prescribed by the marketer. In fact fans who received the coupons have to buy at least three months of the $12.95/month service to get their radio. Way to build a nice barrier to entry XM. It's passive buy before you try marketing.

What XM Should Do

It's all about sampling the content not the hardware. By simply giving out coupons they don't allow potential customers to do either.

XM should:
-Develop special one station receivers to give to every fan on the way into the game.
-Partner with MLB and Fox to provide the best content possible.
-Do pre game and post game programming to cross promote XM content.
-Produce the game coverage with as much listener participation as possible. Use fan interviews, call-ins, contests, trivia quizzes, etc.
-Allow fans to trade in their receivers for discount coupons good for discounts on hardware and service.
-Consider broadcasting to those receivers that aren't turned in for a week following the game as further promotion of XM content.

A freebie that's got a hidden cost to it is doomed. You're bait and switching potential customers. Those prospects will feel cheated before they even hear the content. Pay per use media needs to be all about sampling. You don't buy a car without test driving it. You don't buy concert tickets to bands you've never heard before. What makes them think people will sign-up for audio content they have never heard before?

A single use sampling of the experience provides true motivation to buy. If customers feel that they can participate in the creation of the consuming experience they will take ownership and passionately evangelize the product, service or experience.

Bask in headlines like these, XM, because that's all you're likely to get out of this promotion.

Satellite Radio Outfit Outfits Baseball Fans

Technorati Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

October 20, 2005 in audio publication, Award winning publications, Brand enhancement, Current Affairs, Sports, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cellphone Accounts Way Up in India

The world of mobile computing and communication is changing. While Americans learn how to text message the rest of the world is adding users at an astounding rate. Consider this report from

Nearly 2.5 million Indians are buying new cellular phone connections every month, making the South Asian nation one of the world's most promising markets for mobile phone service providers, a senior industry official said Friday. [via The Associated Press].
“The number of
cellular phone users in India totalled 65 million at the end of September, up 53.5 per cent from a year ago, said Sanjeev Sharma, who heads the Indian operation of Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia Corp.

Your global marketing plans better include a mobile marketing strategy. Do you have a mobile version of your email newsletter? Have you segmented your mailing list to send a BlackBerry optimized version? Adds 2.5M Users A Month

How to Send an Email Newsletter
Marketers Need to Segment and Customize Newsletters

Technorati Tags: | | | | | | | | |

October 18, 2005 in award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogs, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, company blog, Current Affairs, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Meeting Etiquette: Part of Ongoing Relationship Development With Coworkers

I've been going to a lot of meetings lately. There has been a lot said about conducting good meetings in the productivity blog world. Beyond the basics of agendas and other meeting specifics. I think meetings are a direct reflection on the leader not just the project. Many people don't consider the future when they plan and conduct meetings. Those you're asking to attend the current meeting are probably the same coworkers you will invite to meetings on the next project. Here are some thoughts on meetings with that in mind.

Clarity of Purpose. - Invited parties will be sure to ask questions about the meeting and the items to be discussed. Be ready with answers. If your answers are the content of the meeting you may not need the meeting just email, blog posts, wikis or other forms of communication. Meetings are about discussions not brain dumps. If you invite people to a info dump that they could get by reading an email, a report or an internal blog they won't want to come to your future info dumps meetings.
Reason Plus Details - I have been invited to a few meetings with just a title and a date and time. No hint as to why or what is being requested or discussed. It's too easy to send those Outlook meeting invites with too little information. Example: Project Y meeting, Tuesday 3 pm vs. Deliverable planning meeting for Project Y. Seeking input and ideas on the design of the deliverables. If your invited parties have to seek more information about the meeting before they are able to decide on attending you're wasting their time right off the bat.
At Your Service - Pay attention to who you are inviting to a given meeting. If your meeting includes those outside your office you should coordinate with them to see when they are most available for a meeting. For regular meetings periodically solicit feedback on the scheduling of the meeting. Bend your staff or team meetings around your workflow not the other way around. This honors people's time and keeps an organization agile.
Protect your Reputation - The quality of your meetings from invitation through to follow-up are a reflection of your professionalism. If your meetings are unorganized, behind schedule, unfocused, poorly run your coworkers will be less inclined to attend future meetings. You know, the one you have to have because nothing got done from the last one.
Appreciation - Be sure to value and appreciate the time and input that your meeting participants gave your meeting. You have a wide variety of options for how to thank people. Personal emails, group emails, blog posts, hand written notes, personal visits to their workspace, voicemail messages, etc. Invest the time and attention to appropriately appreciate people who come to your meetings.
Mentor those who don't do it right - people aren't born with(and seldom taught) the skills to plan and lead good meetings. When it goes poorly for your coworkers or reports take the time to mentor them to improve their meeting skills. You'll directly benefit next time you are in their meeting.

Of course, the golden rule is the guiding principle. Don't do or ask anything of your meeting participants that you don't like when others do it to you. How do you feel about wacky hats, noisemakers, seating hierarchies, agendas, meeting locations, etc.? Chances are others feel the same way.

Technorati Tags: | | | | | |

October 6, 2005 in award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, Blogging Tools, Books, Business newsletter, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Writeboard: An Abstract Tool Gets A Metaphor

What's in a name?

Almost everything. In this day of hyper-connectivity and zero time for anything new a name that evokes a metaphor is everything.

 Images Writeboard LogoThe productivity tool giants at 37 Signals are getting a lot of buzz these days for their new product called Writeboard. Writeboard is a collaborative writing environment. A what? Despite their own objections Whiteboard appears to be a simplified Wiki. A what? A lot of people are just beginning to understand what blogs are and have no idea what a Wiki is. At least people can understand that blog is from the words web and log. They know what those words mean. “Wiki? Oh, that's a fruit from New Zealand isn't it?.”

Everybody knows what a physical whiteboard is and how to use one. People write on them, erase and revise. Multiple people can view and contribute to the content. It's a whiteboard the offspring of the school chalkboards of our youth. We understand.

That's the brilliance of the 37 Signals developers. They took a complex sounding term - Wiki and attached a simple metaphor and suddenly the complex is understandable. Their product features a trademark simplicity and clean design. It's not feature rich by design. They practice reactionary development where feature development will quickly respond to customer requests and ideas. Minor features are added on the fly. It's smart.

Give yourself a break and take 10 minutes to explore this tool and see how you can use it to collaborate with customers and coworkers.

You can read a more detailed review of Writeboard but it's pretty painless and free to just jump in and play with it yourself.


Technorati Tags: | | | |

October 3, 2005 in award winning design, blog publish, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Current Affairs, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Weekend Projects for the Kids

Want to keep your kids occupied this weekend? Need to turn mad video game skills into mad science skills? Need to keep yourself away from the constant hurricane Rita coverage?

How about a project. Howtoons are great “how to” cartoons to inspire kids (and adults) to build simple kid friendly projects like air blasters, marshmallow shooters, soda rockets, fart machines, cd hovercrafts, etc. These are a great diversion to get kids interested in science and engineering. Worth a look.

Howtoons at

Technorati Tags: | | | | | | | |

September 23, 2005 in Building Customer Community, Current Affairs, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack