3 Ways To Dominate Your Market

My area of expertise is in leadership development using the philosophy of Lean Six Sigma, in other words “process improvement strategies”. 

Now join me on the journey I call A Tale of Two Companies: One business allowed its workers to be engaged by making improvements that allowed the customer to be first in mind. The second created an environment of “it’s not my job” eliminating employees from using client-first thinking. Now you might ask, “How can the customer not be first?”

Many believe Lean Six Sigma is solely for engineering and manufacturing companies. That’s the first misconception. This managerial approach is built on the premise of eliminating wasteful elements and focusing solely on the customer. Having taken that quick glimpse of Lean, as an entrepreneur, you can now see that this philosophy applies to all businesses. Every business operates in what Lean practitioners call SIPOC, (Suppliers, Input, Processes, Output and Customers). Understanding that small segment of lean thinking will open the door for you to look at the three ways to dominate your market. 

Related: Define Your Brand Identity in 3 Steps

How can I hinder?

Meet Office XYZ, a Dental Facility that has a small staff of 5-7 individuals each having their unique jobs when dealing with patients. I called this facility to make an appointment for my mother and was told they needed to verify her insurance and would call back once they received the approvals. Two weeks went by before I realized I had not heard from anyone regarding the insurance verification.

I called the office and asked to speak with the individual that was to call back, whom we’ll call Kelly. I was informed that Kelly was out of the office and had been ill for the past two weeks. My next question was: “is she the only person that verifies insurance?” The response was affirmative and I then asked to speak with a manager. I was told Kelly was the manager. Let’s stop here because now we enter that well-known rabbit hole of “it’s not my job.”

Related: Trends That Can Move Your Business Forward in 2021

How can I help?

Meet Office ABC, A Pizza Company with a similar-sized staff. One night I called for a pizza. Upon placing the order I was told my meal would be about 30 minutes. Half an hour on a Friday evening? This company operated far differently than the first. When I placed my order something incredible happened, I received a text with the following message:  “We’re making your order. It’s all coming together now. The kitchen staff is busy with your order making sure everything is just right.”

A few minutes later I received this missive: “It’s on the way. The driver has left the store and will be at your location shortly”, followed with, “Delivered! Time to eat. It’s been our pleasure serving you”.And it was within the time promised by the associate. 

The “go and see” mentality

These two very different experiences gave me moment to pause. Did Company XYZ know about the importance of “lean thinking” and did Company ABC know they were using the lean six sigma philosophy in their operations? Did the leader of Company XYZ actually walk the process to see if there were any wasteful elements that allowed their service to lack the three main components of customer first thinking: quality, speed and delivery? And what about Company ABC, did that leader utilize the concept of Gemba, meaning “go and see” to improve their value stream and get to the point where they asked what their customers appreciate?

When exploring Lean Six Sigma’s methodology the first step is to find the root cause for the identified waste. Then you move into seeking what the customer defines as quality, you determine the speed of getting your customer the item or rendering the service and you seek an appropriate method of delivery.

Focusing on the three lean strategies

One can’t assume to know what the clientele defines as quality unless they have actually been asked. In Company XYZ it is evident that no one took the initiative to seek input through surveys, focus groups or used any feedback techniques. There is a concept in the Lean lexicon called (VOC) Voice of the Customer. It simply means find out what your customers want and are willing to pay for. This is where you will find that notion of quality.

In the tale of Company ABC, you can attest to the fact that quality for their customers, myself included, is hot pizza, and being notified as to what’s going on with their order. How did they come to know and implement this into their operations? After receiving such great service I had to call and speak with one of their leaders. I was informed this is how they compete as a reckoning force within the market. 

The need for speed

Being the fastest in your field has a huge impact on your market.  As you can tell from the visit with Company XYZ speed played no major role in what they deemed as important to customers. Two weeks to verify insurance is beyond an acceptable practice. And, by the way, I failed to mention that I did speak with another person, upon request, who did call back within 24 hours to inform me that they did not accept the insurance.  Yet I waited 2 weeks for something that could have saved me both frustration and aggravation. Speed and convenience are major players in our buying experience.

Company ABC, epitomizes the importance of speed. On each text message I received that time stamp of delivery was also listed. Today there are ample services to ensure your customers get items and services in a speedy manner. This company has a system in place that allows employees to know time schedules for various sizes, as well as any increase in time based on selected toppings. Have you looked at your level of quickness, while keeping the high standard of quality appreciated by your customers?

Why is the method of delivery so important to your customers? Is it easy to obtain your product or service? Delivery in its simplest form equates to how a customer receives your product or service. Simple right? Company XYZ’s delivery was neither exceptional nor satisfactory. The level of professionalism of their staff created an angst for the customer and therefore any method of delivery they deemed appropriate was subpar. There was no option as to whether they could email, text me or call me. Based on their performance I don’t think any of those options would have changed the outcome.

Related: Entrepreneurial Takeaways From 2020 to Guide Your Next Big Move

Company ABC created a delivery method that allowed me to select how I wanted to receive the product. They of course deliver in their vehicles, but I had an option to have it delivered to my door and left in an appropriate place, to have them ring the doorbell and I receive it face-to-face or contactless, it’s in the trunk and I come out and retrieve it. This allows the customer to select an option.

We have just visited two companies:  One eliminated waste and the other added to it. Which business are you? 

By: Sheryl Mays Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

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Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid

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Social media marketing is a strategy employed by many companies. One of the biggest complaints I hear from businesses is that they’re not having much success on social media. The thing is that certain social media marketing mistakes can cause brands to fail. I’ll be addressing several issues that may be impacting your social media efforts in this article.

Are you making any of the following mistakes?

1. Posting Without A Clear Strategy

Many organizations struggle with focus when they first start using social media marketing for business. There are two problems with posting without a clear strategy. First, your results will always reflect the quality of the content you publish on social media. Publishing sub-par content to hit a quantity target will often lead to inadequate results. I’d recommend asking the following questions before posting any content on social media:

• Is this of any interest to our target customer?

• Is this useful or of value to the consumer?

• Why should the target audience care?

Secondly, people generally have an innate ability for detecting inauthenticity. So, if your content isn’t well-thought-out, your business could come off as an organization that doesn’t care about what it shares with others. This isn’t good because it can destroy trust, which is a very important aspect of a business.

2. Being Overly Promotional

Companies can turn people off or make them less interested in their content by being too promotional. The reason for this is because consumers are on social media for what they want. So very few want to pay attention to what you want. The way you turn this around is by building trust. Constantly selling to your target audience comes off as selfish, not trustworthy — even though they may need your product.

Instead, focus on building a relationship with your target audience. The best way to do this is by being helpful and genuine. The former involves sharing valuable content that may or might not benefit your business and engaging with the audience regularly. The latter involves being true about wanting to make a difference. You have to give freely without expectation. All of this can help you connect and build trust with your target audience.

However, I’m not suggesting that you don’t promote on social media. Rather, limit the number of promotional posts. One promotional content for every four social media posts works for some companies, but your business may need a different ratio. I recommend testing the audience’s response.

3. Acting Like A Robot

Some businesses follow their social media calendars on a very strict basis. However, social media marketing isn’t something that should be rigid. There should be room for creativity and inspiration. For example, you don’t have to always share a blog post from your website every Wednesday because the social media calendar notes so. Staff should be able to share something else if it makes more sense.

A social media calendar should serve as a way to keep going instead of a be-all and end-all. Your calendar helps you on those days where creativity and inspiration are absent. Furthermore, your social media calendar should be ever-changing based on outcomes. Sticking to post ideas even when they aren’t yielding results is a waste of resources. I recommend making adjustments to the plan as you receive feedback from data (e.g., the rate of engagement, views, likes, etc.). Don’t be a robot.

4. Not Investing In Your Greatest Online Asset

You’ve probably seen companies on directories like Yelp that use a social media page as their website. These organizations don’t own a website and have chosen to use other platforms instead of investing in one. However, this is a huge mistake. The problem with relying on external platforms is that you have no control. The website may shut down, or they can decide to impose fees, restrict your capabilities and more.

Also, companies usually sacrifice branding possibilities on social platforms. Your business can only do what the social networks permit. I recommend using social media to boost traffic to your website — a platform you control. Use social networks to capture the attention of the target audience and attract them to your site or related business asset (e.g., email list).

5. Not Being Consistent

Every company should be consistent with their brand presence on social media. That means keeping brand assets in line with your style guide and avoid breaking promises. For instance, stick to it if you promised to share a new article from your website every day. Similarly, colors used with imagery should be in line with brand colors. From the tone of voice to font choice to post frequency and others, maintain consistency in everything involving your brand. This way, you’ll be noticed and remembered.

Social Media Marketing Mistakes Can Be Corrected

Mistakes are a part of business and life in general, so you can probably correct course even if your company is making some of the aforementioned social media marketing mistakes. Remember to keep your content authentic, be less promotional and be more focused on the audience. Don’t follow your social media calendar too strictly, invest in your website and be consistent. Lastly, the original purpose of social media is to connect people and foster engagement. Remember that, and good luck.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

CEO of SmartStreetMedia, an award winning full-service digital marketing agency based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Read Victor Smushkevich’s full executive profile here

Source: Council Post: Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid

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3 Effective And Low-Cost Marketing Strategies

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While marketing in today’s digital world provides many more options for businesses, it also makes it more difficult to know where and how to spend your marketing dollars. And when startups are competing with larger companies who have extensive marketing budgets, it can be especially intimidating to figure out how to win over consumers. Let’s take a look at how businesses can implement low-cost marketing strategies that still get results.

Pivotal Relationships Are Key 

Instead of attending low-budget networking event after event, give your time and attention to strategic functions that could lead to beneficial partnerships. Invest in attending high-caliber conferences or becoming a member of trusted organizations.

Also, be sure to research which organizations or groups the high profile individuals in your industry are a part of, and see if you can join those communities. You can use social media platforms, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, to reach out and engage with movers and shakers as well. This can increase the chances of meeting and developing pivotal relationships with individuals who have leverage in your industry. Above all, make sure you’re adding value to the people you meet as opposed to asking for favors or advice.

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Focus On The Product And Service

Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely powerful and effective, and that’s because it isn’t easy to obtain and isn’t a marketing ploy that a corporation has carefully crafted. Word-of-mouth marketing impressions result in five times more sales than paid media impressions. Not to mention that consumers are more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend.

But without a rock solid product or service, and a near-flawless customer experience, it is difficult to get people to tell their friends about your brand. Hosting focus groups, or using feedback software like SurveyMonkey or TypeForm can help you pinpoint what customers would like to see changed about your product. And it’s important to pay attention to reviews on sites like Google and Yelp to see where your product or service could be refined.

Word-of-mouth marketing drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending and is estimated to account for 13% of consumer sales.

That’s why it’s important to always be listening and improving – by doing so, you may find your customers do all the advertising for you.

Be Flexible, Yet Calculated

A great deal of the digital advertising rat race is caused by brands constantly hopping on the latest marketing trends just because others are doing it. Seeing competitors running Facebook ads doesn’t mean you should throw money into Facebook advertising the very next day. For one, the ad may not be converting as well as you suspect. Secondly, every brand is different. And lastly, getting a potential customer’s attention can be very challenging on a platform like Facebook where users are scrolling through to catch up with old friends or simply share a life update.

Be flexible and open to experimenting with new and creative ways to advertise your company – but also be meticulous in your ROI calculations. This way, you’ll know which avenues to double down on the next time you’re putting together your marketing budget. You might find your referral system is driving 90% of your company’s leads every month, which implies you can pump the brakes on more traditional forms of advertising.

If you have the right connections and your product solves a big enough problem, you might even find that you don’t need to advertise at all – the key is to find out what’s best for your business.

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When all your ducks are in a row in terms of advertising – creative concepts, prospect targeting, brand messaging, high-quality imagery and crisp copy, advertising can work wonders for a company of any type.

Marketing and advertising works, which is why the U.S. digital advertising industry alone is valued at $192 billion. Yet, if you’re strategic and crafty enough, and focus exclusively on relationship-building, your product, and word-of-mouth marketing, your company can significantly minimize advertising spend.

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I am the CEO of Studio 15, a socially responsible fashion brand. After leaving behind a 15-year career in the corporate fashion world, I started a company that focuses on doing good and supporting women. It’s Studio 15’s mission to promote and collaborate with other female-owned businesses and to support female entrepreneurs in developing countries through a partnership with Kleos MFG, a non-profit organization.

Source: 3 Effective And Low-Cost Marketing Strategies

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5 Confessions Marketers Are Afraid To Admit, Even To Themselves

As someone who’s been marketing things online for about a decade, I can tell you first hand that the fear of marketing is real. It prevented me from growing my business in the earlier stages, and it still does from time to time.

It also held me back from taking on client work for YEARS.

But thankfully, I also learned that I’m not alone. In fact, most marketers can probably tell you at least one or two things that cause them anxiety when it comes to marketing. Here are 5 of the most common.

1. Can I actually market?

Can I Actually Market for marketing confessions

The kind of SEO results you want to be able to send to a client.

Maybe you’re looking at all the shiny emails in your inbox, trying to figure out how email marketing works, how SEO works, and it just seems like it’s too much. So you think to yourself, “I can’t do this.”

One of the biggest fears for marketing newcomers was echoed by Margo Aaron, founder of The Arena, the first virtual coworking space for solopreneurs.

“I hear from marketers all the time and it’s their biggest fear: Can I actually market?  

They develop niche expertise, like design or editing or SEO or headlines. But actually getting more customers into a funnel or increasing sales (or just awareness) for their clients – that creates impostor syndrome.

I definitely had this when I was consulting. It’s part of what’s been so fun about being on my own, I get to control the entire funnel and can actually judge my chops on their own merit (whereas with clients, you might control the website copy or design, but you’re not responsible for sending it traffic).” – Margo Aaron

Let’s get this straight. No one is born out of the womb knowing how to market. It’s a skill that we all have to learn, and it’s possible. It’s also always changing.

You don’t even have to go back to business school (unless you want to) because the internet is a goldmine of marketing resources. Find a course that teaches digital marketing skills or hire someone who can help you and teach it to you.

The other thing is that doing things for other people is HARD. I don’t care if you’re doing copywriting or mowing a lawn. Sure, I can mow my own lawn, but if somebody else is paying me for it (and paying me well), can I do it to their satisfaction? Maybe not.

The problem is that many people get stuck in the learning phase. Why? Fear. Every time you learn something, go try it out and see if it works for you. This is the only way that I know of to truly learn and get over fear and the imposter syndrome that many entrepreneurs suffer from.

2. I’m a spammer

“That they’re one of those spammy marketer types that everyone not so secretly HATES.” – Kaleigh Moore

I get it. You don’t want to come off as the person spamming everyone’s inbox or be the person behind the website with all the pop-ups. But there are tactful ways to get people’s attention without annoying them.
I’m a Spammer for marketing confessions

Please don’t be this guy. Do this instead.

Take for instance the businesses or person whose emails you can’t wait to read when you see them in your inbox. You don’t roll your eyes but instead, you’re excited to read them. What sets them apart from everyone else? TRUST.

They offer value, they delight, they sound like real people. They teach you something new or interesting. They are not pushing a sale every time they send you something.

When you give – whether that’s offering tips, resources free guides etc., and you are consistent – people will naturally show up at your doorstep when you have something to sell because by then, you’ve already won their trust.

And remember: attract, don’t chase. Chasing is what you do when people are running away. Chasing is what causes us to look for tools to do our jobs for us.

3. I want this tool to do my job for me

“If I buy this tool, it’ll put my marketing on autopilot.” – Me for my entire career, including the horrible purchase below.
I Want This Tool To Do My Job For Me for marketing confessions

But seriously, am I the only one who bought this?

If I asked you to write out the top three marketing “tools” you’ve wasted money on, you’d probably have to think for a second. Not because you don’t have three, but more because you have over ten and you’re just trying to rank them.

We’ve ALL bought tools hoping they’d do our jobs for us: make starting new relationships, getting sales, etc. easier.

The great thing about marketing in the 21st century is that there are many tools to help us automate tasks. We can schedule Twitter or Facebook posts for several weeks in advance or program promotional materials to be sent out automatically.

But this doesn’t mean we should try to put all our marketing on autopilot and pray for the best, especially when you’re just getting started.

No current clients or customers? You don’t need an outreach tool.

No social media followers? You don’t need a post scheduler.

In both of the above cases, you just need to start talking to people.

Most of the people trying to sell you on the dream of entrepreneurship are also trying to sell you some sort of product or tool. You don’t need them.

The world of marketing is always changing which means the strategies you use today will change next year or in less time, so while automation helps, it’s best to devise a strong strategy and keep yourself aligned with it.

And even with the right tools, the human part of marketing is absolutely necessary. Trends change, algorithms get rewritten, comments need responses, but what will set you apart from the rest is you. Your unique voice and perspective is a huge part of your marketing strategy whether you know it or not. And it cannot be replaced by any tool.

4. I’m just selling this to make money

I’m Just Selling This To Make Money for marketing confessions

“Depending on which side of the fence they fall on… That they might be selling something to get a financial leg up rather than something they’re 100% passionate about. Which, by the way, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes I think those of us who don’t want to be a ‘sleazy marketing person’ go too far to the other side and think everything we sell has to save the world”. – Caroline Zook, Wandering Aimfully

The reason why many marketers struggle with this one is that subconsciously or consciously, we’ve been taught money is the end all, be all. Whether you believe that or not, it still doesn’t dismiss the fact that we all need money to survive.

service@paypal for marketing confessions

I realized this was true when I got on the email list of a famous joint venture (JV) marketer. He’s famous for setting up big affiliate programs and bringing a ton of affiliates on board.

Ever see a big launch where it seems like everybody was promoting a product? That’s probably him behind the scenes. But, what I didn’t realize is that most of the people promoting the product had never even seen it.

He’d sent out videos and slide decks and landing pages that told you all the giveaways they were doing for top affiliates and how to set up your affiliate account, but when I asked to see the product…

he told me it wasn’t even done being produced.

I asked how people could be promoting it without ever seeing the product and he could not, after five more emails, understand why I’d have a problem with that.

Authenticity matters more than ever in marketing so next time you promote a product (or even your own product) consider whether it’s making the world better for other people, or just yourself.

5. I wouldn’t buy what I’m selling

I Wouldn’t Buy What I’m Selling

That’s right, many marketers aren’t even sure about the prices they charge their clients. One marketer confessed he still struggles with pricing. Asking for $10,000 for a consulting agreement when he wouldn’t purchase that himself is a weird paradox for him. He KNOWS that the training he’d provide or the work he’d do is part of a larger six-figure budget in both cases.

“Even though I’d never buy this for myself, it’s still priced correctly. Yep. They’ve budgeted for exactly this. It’s priced at or below market it’s a good option logically but the emotion is what it is.” – Kade Dworkin

There are two main reasons why marketers feel this way:

  1. Lack of confidence in their own skills.
  2. Confusion about what the market rate is.

In order to overcome the first one, you must remember all you’ve accomplished in order to get to where you are today. This means the number of years you worked in a related field, the number of years you spent in school, or even just the soul-searching part of your life that brought you here. Those were all not easy things to get through but I don’t have to tell you that. Factor this in when you are coming up with your prices.

Second, If you don’t know what your competitors are charging, you’re missing out on crucial information. Find out what they’re charging. Do this for several people and you’ll have a good idea of where your rates should be, which should help you stop questioning yours.

You need to know that there are people in need of the skills you have who are willing to pay for it. Do not water down your commodities for clients who will not appreciate it.

The bottom line

Business marketing can be scary especially if you’re just starting out, but don’t let the professionals who’ve been in the game a lot longer scare you. Everyone had to start somewhere and just like any skill, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Amazing talents or products do speak for themselves but in our overcrowded market today, you need to do marketing to lift it up, otherwise, no one will be able to hear you.

The best piece of advice I can offer is this: continue learning, and try what you learn.

Don’t be afraid to admit and confront these confessions.

That’s the only way you’ll truly get over your fears. Just remember that your skills and talents are unique and someone is looking for them. And when you find those people, charge what you’re worth but also deliver the heck out of the results.

By: Jeff Bullas

Forbes calls him a top influencer of Chief Marketing Officers and the world’s top social marketing talent. Entrepreneur lists him among 50 online marketing influencers to watch. Inc.com has him on the list of 20 digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter. Oanalytica named him #1 Global Content Marketing Influencer. BizHUMM ranks him as the world’s #1 business blogger.

Source: 5 Confessions Marketers Are Afraid To Admit, Even To Themselves

John Crestani

153K subscribers
💵 VIEW MY FREE TRAINING https://goo.gl/7tUaEq ★☆★ WHAT MY TRAINING SYSTEM INCLUDES ★☆★ 🔱 1-ON-1 COACHING 🔱 AUTOMATED ONLINE BUSINESS SYSTEM 🔱 TRAINING COURSE 🔱 LIVE WEEKLY TRAININGS 🔱 COMMUNITY 💰 SIGNUP https://bit.ly/2EfUKAk ★☆★ FOLLOW ME BELOW: ★☆★ 👽 YOUTUBE — https://goo.gl/xEqkAG 👽 FACEBOOK — http://bit.ly/2oqyVsX 👽 LINKEDIN — http://bit.ly/2HO8gOQ 👽 ANGEL LIST — http://bit.ly/2oDKnkm 👽 SNAPCHAT — @johnaffiliate 🎭 PRESS INQUIRIES CONTACT support@johncrestani.com

 

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