Tag Archives: blogging

Marketing ROI: Is It All About The Low Hanging Fruit?

“I want the marketing dollars I spend to have an immediate impact.  I need to be able to see sales go up within the first thirty days or I’m unlikely to continue with it.”

“I’ve never been able to see how using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or blogging can increase the leads I receive.”

“Is there any way to get my phone to ring more?”

“I’m really only interested in going after the low hanging fruit, something that will pay for my efforts right away.  After that, I’ll figure something else out.”

We live in a world of instant gratification.  We learn to move on quickly if we’re not immediately entertained.  Wall Street demands quarterly results. If something takes too long, it’s just not worth it.

I have been accused at times of quoting Seth Godin too much.  I don’t really mean to other than I am a regular reader and I truly believe he is one of the innovative thinkers of our time.  So, please forgive my idolatry.

In “Driveby Culture and the Endless Search for Wow,” Seth poses the question of whether as marketers we should be focused on getting and measuring the number of eyeballs that view our content or whether we should be concerned about those people who have a true interest, who want to listen, who may actually become long-term customers.

I’ve always tried to emphasize to business owners that what ever marketing efforts are made, it is ultimately about sales and profits, otherwise why expend the energy?  And, I am also a proponent of prioritizing efforts so that at least you can garner the “low hanging fruit,” so you can see some immediate results.  But, I am also quick to point out that many other marketing efforts, especially those where you are trying to build a dialog, a relationship with people who can help spread your brand, people who will be your proponents, will definitely take time and patience. Sometimes a Return on Investment or ROI is not measured short-term in more leads or calls.

Do you agree?

Marketing Communications: Why Is Everybody Always Yelling At Me?

man with megaphone yelling

There they were, two kids standing toe to toe and nose to nose, with faces beet red, cheeks puffed out, sweat dripping from their forehead, fists clenched to their side, and even though they weren’t more than a few inches from each other, their voices were raised in a mutual fortissimo that could be heard a block away.  The idea, of course: Speak louder than the other guy and win the argument.  This scene is a very funny thing to watch because as we all know, it just doesn’t work.  A whole lot of time and energy gets wasted.  Sound familiar?

I talk with business owners who are just getting into the “social media” game and of course they will ask my opinion on what they’ve done.  Many get caught in the trap of not being able to step outside of the mindset that social media tools should be used for promoting the business, to help people understand what it is about their company that is better than anything else out there.  And this extends beyond just social media to most other forms of communication.  Websites, billboards, brochures, television spots, email all are used as just another method of repeating their marketing message only louder, more often, to more people and oh yea, did I say LOUDER.  It is very hard to break old habits but it’s an absolute necessity.

We are yelled at all day, from so many sources, all standing about two inches from us trying as hard as possible to get our attention by yelling louder than anyone else, yet the effectiveness of this diminishes with each passing day.  As a species, we are developing greater capabilities for ignoring the noise.

As Seth Godin says, “The goal shouldn’t be to have a lot of people to yell at, the goal probably should be to have a lot of people who choose to listen.

Here are some ideas that might be different:

  • Instead of telling someone about your product or service, ask them what they need or what is on their mind
  • Use Twitter, Facebook, your blog, your website, email, etc. to start a conversation
  • Stop promoting yourself
  • Invite comments, even if they disagree
  • Let people understand what it is about YOU that they might find interesting or be able to relate with
  • Build trust
  • Tell what is happening in your industry and what is your take on it
  • Mention interesting books, blogs or articles that you have read
  • Strive to give more than you get

What are your thoughts or what might you add to this list?

Where’s Your Passion?


In a recent meeting with an entrepreneur where we were talking about online marketing activities and building his business, I asked the question, “What are you passionate about?”

His answer…”Wow, let me think about that, that’s a great question.”

Besides the obvious ones of his wife, his child, his extended family, his friends, his favorite sports team, or his church, my question to this entrepreneur really caused him to pause and think.

The word passion can have so many meanings but let’s take the definitions that really apply here:

  1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate
  2. a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything (i.e. a passion for music).

What led to this question was a discussion about whether online marketing had much of an application for his business.  As a group of highly educated professionals performing financial services, most if not all of their clientele come to them as a result of a referral.  Word of mouth was their key marketing strategy and there really wasn’t much of a need for him to put any real effort into improving his online visibility or reputation.  Blogging, social networks, search visibility are all good things, just for other people, not him.

You may be asking, David, what was his answer, what was he passionate about?

After some thought he said that he was passionate about helping people, and helping them to be more financially independent, so they can do what they really love to do, whatever that is, without worrying about money.

My next question was, “Do you like to write?” He said he does and that it has been a goal of his for some time to write a book.  Well, a book is a pretty big undertaking and maybe he could break that down into smaller pieces by writing short snippets, ideas that will help people or….a blog.

I did actually see a light bulb appear over his head.  He got it. A good friend of his had tried to convince him he needed to blog but had not explained it in exactly this way.

Write about what you’re really passionate about, not because it’s a great way to market yourself (even though it is) but just because you love to help people.  He left the meeting with much to think about.

In this world, those people who find their passion, what they really love, will be the ones that tell you that their work never really seems like work; that their success has been because they immerse themselves so completely in what they love and hence become very good at it.

Engaging in this phenomenon called social media requires time, effort and then some more time if you wish it to be successful.  Having a passion for what you are blogging, tweeting, friending, responding to will help you to stick with it.  Because, there are very few overnight wonders in social media.  Mostly there are people who have a passion for what they do and have been engaged long enough to start to see the great positive results that can be achieved.

What are you passionate about?

I’d love to know.


Social Media: I’m Gonna Blow Your Doors Off?


I just love the mental picture I get when I hear the phrase, “blow your doors off.”  It takes me back to when I was a kid, reading my first Hot Rod magazine and seeing those shiny dragsters with the big scoops sticking out of the hood, smoke pouring off the oversized spinning tires and flames belching from the chrome exhaust pipes.  It was what was on my mind when getting ready to race a friend on my gold-flaked Schwinn bicycle with high-rise handle bars, slick rear tire and a banana seat. And out of my mouth came the threat, “I’m gonna blow your doors off.”

You’re probably saying, “wow, you’re really competitive, and what does this have to do with marketing?”

Yes, I am competitive but that’s not the point here.  I talk to a lot of business owners of companies large and small, and from a number of industries.  Inevitably, the conversation will work its way toward what everyone seems to be talking about now, social media.  And even though there are major brands who have embraced social media like Dell, Star Bucks and Dominoes Pizza, many of these business owners will say to me, “David, I just don’t get how it will work for my business.”

Just so we’re straight, whether correct or not, I lump many things into my definition of social media to include:

  • Social networks like Facebook and My Space
  • Micro blogging sites like Twitter
  • Bookmarking and blog rating services such as Del.icio.us, Digg, Stumble Upon and Technorati
  • Picture and video platforms like You Tube and Flickr
  • Business networks like Linked In, Plaxo and Naymz and their groups and associations that provide for the ability to ask and answer industry specific questions.
  • And finally, Blogging and blog sites (and I suppose newsletters could also be included here)

There is not doubt that social media is getting a great deal of hype right now.  This may cause people to believe that it is a passing fad that will soon become stale.

Most experts agree that social media has so dramatically transformed our world’s society that we can never really go without it.  In fact, in his article, “How Social Media May Save The World,” Danny Dover talks of its ability to stop pandemics.  Read his entire article at:


Beyond these lofty claims, active participation in social media has a proven basis in sound marketing practices in addition to strong customer service attributes.  Jeff Bullas, in his blog post, provides 8 reasons why this is true.


Everyone should be aware that social media is not free, even though there is no cost to become involved.  It does take time and a carefully thought out strategy for what you want to accomplish and a time-table for when you would expect to see results.  Don’t anticipate a quick payoff, as it does take time.  But make no mistake, social media is here to stay and you can choose to ignore it or you can start to take an active role.  If you choose not to participate, just know that your competition will and they’ll be saying to you, “we’re gonna blow your doors off.”

All my best,