Helping ONLINE & OFFLINE Businesses Get MORE Customers

- October 21, 2016 - Edition #774 Circulation 4300+ Weekly - Ron Richardson - Editor -

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In this issue:

1. Notes from Ron (Editor): Generate Consistent Leads and Sales for Any Business...using LinkedIn

2. Internet News You Need: Google adds a ‘fact check’ feature

3. Mobile Marketing: Skip the Emojis: Your Small Business' Text-Messaging Campaign Should Be All About the Deals

4. Feature Article: Product Marketing: Exclusivity Doesn't Always Mean a Big Price Tag

5. Subscriber Ads:




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2. Internet Marketing News You Need

10 marketing metrics to master for first-time startup owners
When you’re just starting out as a business owner it’s easy to become wrapped up in the seemingly endless number of metrics you *need* to pay attention to in order to determine the success of your business…
Read the rest

Snapchat to publishers: no more revshare, we’ll pay you for content
Snapchat Discover has been a hit with publishers that want access to the popular messaging app’s highly-desirable audience, and some reports even indicate that some publishers have been willing to pay Snapchat for the opportunity to be included in Discover…
Read the rest

Google adds a ‘fact check’ feature
Google has added a new fact check feature within its News products, allowing users to separate fact from fiction on trending stories….
Read the rest

3. Mobile Marketing

Skip the Emojis: Your Small Business' Text-Messaging Campaign Should Be All About the Deals
Kristen Vanstrom

More than 90 percent of all text messages are opened and read within five minutes or less. And tons of small-business owners are ready to write their Short Message Service (SMS) success stories. 

Let me give you a piece of advice: If you're stuck on old-school methods, you'll struggle with SMS. This is a tactic for modern-day business owners. If you want to give text-message marketing a try but don't know where to start, check out these golden rules

Don't ramble.

There's a character limit for a reason. People don't want to receive a 300-word text blast from you. Don't feel too bad: They don't want a manifesto from any business. They just want an awesome offer with simple redemption instructions. So get right to the point. Open with the offer, and finish with a call to action. Unnecessary fluff only will distract your subscriber and result in lower redemption rates. 

Include an irresistible offer or exclusive piece of information.

Don't fire out a "Hey, what's up?" text. Remember, you're marketing your business, not trying to make friends. Keep it professional by limiting the amount of conversational language and focusing solely on the promotion. Your subscribers opted in expecting regular promotions, not a top-of-the-morning greeting.

Pay attention to time of day.

Don't send promotions at 10 p.m. Unless you own a nightclub or munchie paradise, launch your text campaigns during daylight hours. This gives people time to read and act on your offer. Always include a semi-urgent call to action, but give subscribers a reasonable window of time to redeem. People have schedules to keep. Your offers might not be their No. 1 priority, so give them ample time to act on the promotion or you'll risk becoming irrelevant to their daily needs.

Keep your customers at the forefront.

Make sure to keep customers' wants and needs in mind as you develop offers. Don't use text messaging as an outlet to discount your closeout inventory. Subscribers want to receive exclusive VIP deals, not backburner promotions. Give them the best of the best.

When you sit down with your staff to brainstorm irresistible promotions, get feedback from customer-support representatives. Talk to your inventory manager about which high-profile or in-demand products you can afford to discount. Finally, keep everyone in the loop. Gather relevant opinions so you can make the most informed decision. Above all else, know your customers.  

Text-message marketing isn't going anywhere. It's a permanent solution that's also great for small-business owners looking to market on a budget. Think of the last time you didn't open a text message. At least for me, it was the first day of never. That's why most businesses find success using this method.

Always remember text marketing is a permission-based method. If people haven't opted in to your list, you can't text them with offers. Doing so could result in legal ramifications. Abide by the regulations in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and you'll be just fine.

About the Author
Kristen Vanstrom is a self published author, television personality, and digital marketing specialist. Her entrepreneurial journey started in 2013, when she founded and sold an online burlesque clothing store. In October 2015, she released her first self help book, Poor Girl's Guide to Fame and Fortune. She currently resides in Jamestown, NY with her two spoiled bulldogs, Beauford and Lucy.

4. Feature

Product Marketing: Exclusivity Doesn't Always Mean a Big Price Tag
Eric Layer  

"Take an old boot. Burn it. Soak it in seawater."

That's not exactly the kind of language usually considered flattering ad copy, but it's exactly the lack of general appeal that makes the copy so effective for the Scotch whisky brand Laphroaig.

The liquor category is often defined by promises of great tastes and good times. So, Laphroaig's campaign—built on brutally honest reactions to the product from fans and foes alike—defies conventional wisdom. The brand has proudly advertised a comparison of the Laphroaig experience to "eating some burnt barbeque driftwood," a statement that it's "like drinking from a wooden medicine cabinet while it's on fire," and a claim that it tastes like "burnt Harley engine oil."

Laphroaig is a Scotch drinker's Scotch, with one of the strongest flavor profiles on the market. It's never going to be a hit with anybody looking for an easy-drinking, trendy summer cocktail. But Laphroaig's audience takes special pride in enjoying something that the rest of the world considers downright nasty.

By emphasizing that fact instead of ignoring it, Laphroaig earns special credibility among its target market. To those people, it defines itself as the strong, smoky Scotch brand rather than one among many. They could order another brand—perhaps even one they really enjoy more—or they could order one that gives them insider status as an elite, serious Scotch drinker. The benefit of that shift is enormous, and the expense is minimal. All it costs Laphroaig is admitting it doesn't have an audience that it never had anyway.

It's a tried and true strategy. Google once famously ran a billboard campaign that featured no logo, no website, and no contact information—just a math problem that, if solved, would lead the target to a job application.

Google, like Laphroaig, appealed to its target precisely by driving away everyone else. But by doing so, the company won the attention and admiration of the few who were in on the joke.

The principle of exclusivity is easily understood

People will pay extra money for certain brands because they assign value to owning something that not many people have. Too often, though, brands assume that if they're not Porsche or Omega, there's no room in their strategy for an exclusive approach.

The reality is that exclusivity is driven as much by people's tastes and lifestyles as by their wallets. Most people like to feel part of an exclusive club. The brands that understand that desire can inspire people to both buy their products and adopt them as part of a personal lifestyle.

Workwear brand Carhartt is a great example of a brand that does that successfully. The company has made a point of boasting that its brand is "designed where function meets fashion—then punches it in the face." Carhartt's heavy canvas jackets are never going to be the choice of the style-savvy. But by openly saying so, the brand buys extra credibility among its target audience members, who proudly see themselves as too tough, hard-working, and function-focused to care about the latest trends.

Mountain Dew gets it, too. Its "Puppymonkeybaby" spot in the 2016 Super Bowl was the most talked-about campaign on social media and also one of the most hated. But the ad's wacky, juvenile humor wasn't supposed to appeal to the 50-something pundits who scrutinized it in post-game take-downs. The ad was aimed at "Dew Dudes," the hyper-focused target the brand identified decades ago in its now-legendary turnaround. The spot's tone and humor were perfect for a brand whose social media replies routinely include phrases like, "DM us for more info, dude!" along with "Dig it!" or "Sick!"

Mountain Dew's language, content, and design intentionally read as off-putting and sophomoric to those outside the target audience, but that's exactly what makes the brand so appealing to those within it. Loyal customers see a company that understands them and rejects other crowds to be a part of theirs.

Conventionally, brand focus means ignoring those outside your audience. But brand strategists need to be thinking a step further. How do we take those who will never buy our product and turn them from a neutral into an asset?

The approach takes guts

Sometimes, this approach means burning bridges with people you might have hoped would come around to you eventually. But fortune favors the bold. You can keep your fingers crossed that you'll garner a broad following, or you can go all-in and find the few who will passionately make your brand a part of their personal identity.

Too often, traditional branding issues a sweeping promise that reads as a dare. For example, if Burger King claims it has the best fries or if Tylenol swears to banish my headache, then they're challenging me to prove them wrong. And if I don't think they deliver, then I'm disappointed.

But Laphroaig, Carhartt, Google, and Mountain Dew all do the opposite. If you tell me up front that I probably won't like what you're selling, then human nature takes over, and I instinctively want to prove that I'm sophisticated enough, tough enough, smart enough, or unique enough to love you. At worst, I'm going to agree with you and admit—perhaps wistfully—that your product isn't for me. But at best, I get something extra when I buy your product: I get to be part of the "in" crowd—something you've already told me is for the few, the proud, the best, and the brightest.

What you charge for that extra benefit is up to you.

About the Author
Eric Layer is an account executive at McKee Wallwork + Company, a full-service advertising agency in Albuquerque that specializes in stalled, stuck, and stale brands.

LinkedIn: Eric Layer  

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