September 12, 2009
    The Influence of Online Reviews

    84% of consumers are influenced by on line reviews.
    September 10, 2009
    Business owners, decision makers and consumers are increasingly turning to online
    customer reviews to help them make buying decisions, according to the latest survey from
    Opinion Research Corporation. A large proportion, 84%, said that browsing reviews
    influenced their decision on whether or not to purchase a product or service.

    However, the findings suggest that a “vocal minority” are leaving feedback and swaying
    consumer opinions and only 28% of respondents had posted their own reviews.
    Company Reputation will be a huge factor in the sales growth of your company.

    As the popularity of review sites grow a new area of business is growing with it. That is,
    monitoring and enhancing your company’s Internet reputation. Google, Yahoo, Bing (old
    MSN) and hundreds of other search engines and portals are allowing your customers to
    review your service.

    When your company gets good reviews a lot of great things happen.

       * Your company will move up in the local directories, so more prospects will find you.
       * Your listing will attract more attention because you have more reviews than others.
       * More prospects will call you or visit your site.
       * Your cost of online (and overall advertising) will go down.
       * Your company reputation will be significantly enhanced adding value to your brand.

    Any industry can benefit from monitoring and encouraging customers to do reviews online.
    Places to direct them are Google, Yahoo, Bing, and then the industry specific sites, such
    as Yelp (for hospitality related companies) Angie’s List (for consumer) and Trip Advisor for

    No matter if you are a moving company, a financial services firm, or a consultant, great
    online reviews can only help grow your company.
    Having started our online reputation enhancement programs a few months ago, we have
    seen terrific results. You can see our programs by clicking our programs.

    If you choose to “do it yourself” or have a professional manage your company reputation, it
    is worth the time and focus. Online reviews, Blogs, Twitter, social media, and portals are
    only growing. Did you know you can search only by “reviews” on Google now?

    Feel free to call me directly with any comments or questions about company reputation
    management. It’s an important piece of your marketing strategy.

    July 25, 2009
    Am I An Idiot? What’s Missing from your Marketing and Web Site

    In our very focused world of sales and marketing, most consultants or marketing  firms
    start with the basics.  How well each is thought through and implemented has more to do
    with the success of a marketing program than almost* anything else.

    Those basics generally being:

    * Define the target

    * Create an irresistible offer (But wait there’s More! )

    * Define the best ROI tactics to deliver the message ( Internet marketing, Radio, Direct
    mail, Trade shows, and a bunch more)
    * Track measure and adjust

    Yet, even with all of the above done well, there are two pieces that can sink a campaign
    faster than two rocks tied together. And the first is the BIG one.

    Start with your service or product. Ask this question: What can I do to my product or
    service that would make my target prospects say,” I would be an idiot not to to buy this”. It’s
    not just the offer, its the actual service itself.

    A quick example. In 1998 I was trying to sell a superior on line email service to large
    companies. The challenge was enormous. New product, a competitor that was offering the
    basic service for 80% less (a market share grab) and no real sales infrastructure.  So, we
    would call C level executives in I.T as a company they were not aware of, a reputation as a
    consumer based service, and a price 8 times higher than the market rate (I should mention
    it was worth the difference, but you know how that goes).

    So, we came up with two solutions, both had good ROI for the company and had the ” I
    would be an idiot” factor.  Within the year we won three major national accounts, United
    Airlines, Mazda America, and  I should mention that only one of the two new
    ideas worked, and that is all part of testing an measuring.

    If you want to hear what the best idea was, call me.  Because in most cases you can do it
    your self in one form or another.  (If your struggling with sales right now your behavior
    would be idiotic not to call).

    Now, as for what the second missing link is in marketing plans, and this can increase your
    conversions from most media (including your web site)
    by 10% to 30%,  It’s your marketing materials, and especially you web site. Most
    companies fail to appeal to 50% to 75% of buyers. Your marketing materials needs to be
    designed to appeal to the 4 (or 5, what ever you are comfortable with) primary personality
    types you sell too.  Chances are very high your site is developed by and designed for only
    25% of the buying population.  Ever meet some one who is not much into the web? People
    think their odd, I think its because we don’t communicate in their language on line, and
    therefore lose their attention.

    In the briefest form I can communicate, here are the four primary styles you need to some
    how incorporate in your marketing:

    Summary- Credible- convert
    Details and facts, no selling I will call you.
    Color and pictures. woo me to call
    You’re safe here. Call when comfortable.

    And , you need to package all that in a logical, easy to navigate web site. Easy? I think the
    best way to accomplish this is to use different marketing messages targeted to each
    personality with landing pages or landing mini sites with in your site developed for them.  
    Sound like a lot of work? It is.  Is a 10% to 30% conversion increase worth a lot of work?
    You decide.

    Call me if you want to explore this concept with your site. We don’t do many web sites, but
    we can work with many highly qualified, experienced, creative, and team focused
    companies who do sites really well.