Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

What is a Hi-tech Marketing Copy Writer?

| Monday, June 7th, 2010 | No Comments »

hi tech marketing copy writerLet’s start out real simple; a copy writer (or copywriter – as it is sometimes spelled) writes copy for all sorts of things, from cereal boxes to TV ad scripts and a whole lot of stuff in between. Usually they get a set of guidelines from or conduct an interview with a client and then make the information sound polished, interesting and grammatically perfect.

A marketing copywriter is more of a specialist; this person writes things like sales collateral, web copy, case studies and other specific tools you might use to market to your potential customers.

A marketing copy writer does more than just create polished copy based on your guidelines, he should be able to help guide what you are communicating by asking the right questions (or using your existing creative brief or messaging guidelines) and using fundamental marketing principles to craft persuasive copy that fits in perfectly with your marketing objectives.  

If someone is billing himself as a marketing copywriter, he should have a degree in marketing or several years of experience writing copy for marketing collateral (or both).

A hi-tech marketing copy writer takes that specialization one step further, leveraging deep experience working in hi-tech industries to deliver polished marketing copy about hi-tech or other hard to understand products. A high tech marketing copy writer is primarily a translator – using a broad knowledge of technology to ask the right questions and turn “geek speak” into customer-friendly marketing collateral.

If you work in a hi-tech industry is it necessary to hire a hi-tech marketing copy writer for your marketing collateral? Not necessarily – a talented marketing copy writer can get the job done. But working with someone well-versed in technology who is comfortable dragging saleable product benefits out of engineers can lead to a better end product with less hand-holding and teeth-gnashing along the way. And that’s worth spending the extra time to find the right person for the job.

If You’re Not Doing This with Twitter Already You Should Be

| Thursday, March 11th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

Twitter

A little while ago I had the pleasure of attending the Rockstars of Social CRM event in Boston at the Renaissance Marriott, hosted by Chris Brogan and Radian6 (#soccrm on Twitter for those of you who are interested).

Now I am the first to admit that I am a social media newbie, but when it comes to CRM I have a lot of experience from back when “twitter” was something schoolgirls did when you made an off-color remark. But the event last night opened my eyes to some very interesting new ways that social media – and especially Twitter – can help with both offensive marketing and defensive (customer relationship) marketing, including customer service.

In particular, I was interested in what Frank Eliason, Director of Digital Care for Comcast had to say about how they are using Twitter to enhance customer service. He is on twitter as @ComcastCares. He actually reads and responds to tweets but that is kind of old news. Frank takes it a step further. For example, when Fox dropped its feed during a football game awhile back, Frank went straight to Twitter, which was of course lit up with tweets about how Comcast had dropped the game. Frank, having no idea if the problem was with Comcast or not, used Twitter to search for any tweet that had to do with the game blacking out, and discovered that dish users and other cable providers’ customers were having the same problem.

He was able to instantly 1) Realize that the problem was with Fox and not Comcast, 2) let the call center know that the problem was with Fox and not Comcast, 3) Let the field engineers know that the problem was not with Comcast, so they could stop troubleshooting, and 4) Get on Twitter and let his followers know that the problem was with Fox and not Comcast. His followers retweeted and a major customer service fiasco was averted. Pretty cool right?

Now, how is this relevant to B2B?

Monitor the airwaves

There have long been clipping services that will find and aggregate any news mention (TV or print) of your company and send it to you on DVD. www.newsclipsetc.com is one company I am familiar with. You can also set Google to alert you of any mention of your company on the web. For proactive PR and customer service reasons, I hope you are already doing this.

Using Twitter (and especially tweetdeck) makes it way too easy to monitor what is going on with your customers so you can head problems off at the pass. You should always have a search window open with your company name as the search term. Then when someone mentions your product – either in a positive or negative light – you can respond to them directly, with a “thank you” or an offer to help. Can you imagine a better way to surprise and delight your customers – not to mention all their followers who can see what is going on? And if something goes spectacularly wrong, like it did for Frank that day, you can be on top of it long before you would have heard about it through regular channels.

One of my clients, Three Deep Marketing, offers a service where they will monitor all social media for you, and help you design a full-scale social media campaign complete with a dashboard to monitor performance across selected channels. Check them out.

Have you had any experiences using Twitter or other Social Media for improved customer service or to enhance customer relationships? Please share them in the comment section below.

Are you over-promising and under-delivering?

| Thursday, March 4th, 2010 | No Comments »

Customer Relationship MarketingGuy dies and goes to limbo. Devil shows up and says, “Hey this is your lucky day! We’re going to let you choose if you want to go to heaven or hell.” First he shows the guy heaven: a bunch of placid folks in white robes floating about. Then he shows him hell: a raucous party in a hip night club. The guy thinks for a minute, and then picks hell. But when he gets there, it’s fire, brimstone, and eternal torment.  “What happened to the night club?” he wails to the devil. “Oh that?” says the devil, “That was just the marketing brochure.”

Marketing is all about engaging your customers, showing them you feel their pain, and demonstrating that you know how to relieve it. But what happens after the sale? Not your problem? It is if you want to sell anything else to that customer – or to anyone that customer interacts with. After all, we’ve all heard the saying “a happy customer tells one person, and an unhappy one tells anyone who will listen.”

I am talking specifically about customer service here, and it comes to mind because I have had two fantastic customer service experiences in the last few weeks – both of them from the types of companies from whom I have been trained to expect (and put up with) very bad customer service. Both vendors sell me services for my business. Both blew away my expectations and have me totally in the bag as a customer when it comes time to renew my contracts. Who are they? The first was Verizon Wireless, and the second was Fallon Community Health Plan. That’s right. The phone company and an insurance provider.

Waging a Customer Relationship Marketing Campaign

This brings us to the subject of Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM). CRM is a school of marketing founded on the principle that it is easier to sell more stuff to someone who has already purchased from you than it is to go out and get a brand new customer every time. And research has borne out that repeat customers tend to increase the dollar amount of purchases over time, are more likely to buy new products from you with a shorter sales cycle, and will personally recommend you to their colleagues (this is marketing GOLD).

This might seem anathema to marketing professionals. After all, if you stop needing to get new customers, don’t you stop needing marketing?  Au contraire. It takes a really savvy marketer to look at the big picture and develop the plans and programs that keep customers satisfied and keep them coming back. And I’m not talking about cardboard punch cards and free lattes here.

 A few very effective CRM strategies include:

  • Making sure your post-purchase service is on a par with your pre-purchase service (read: GOOD customer service – not punting them off to a heavily-scripted call bank in a third-world country)
  • Following up with new customers, making sure they are getting what they expected out of their solution, and helping them if they are not (I actually worked with a small company president who personally called all customers within a week of the sale to make sure they were happy with their purchase- Wow. But a quick email can also be very effective.)
  • Keeping in touch with past customers to let them know about new products, training opportunities, or webinars
  • Asking customers what you could be doing better and following up on their suggestions
  • Providing a forum for customers to interact with your experts and other customers to get help and tips

Have you implemented any CRM programs in your business? If so, how effective have they been? We want to know.