Tag: Advice

Life changing question — Cardone Solutions

Life changing question — Cardone Solutions

— Read on uknewsposts.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/life-changing-question-cardone-solutions/


15 Quotes About Money From People Who Have Made Lots of It

Opinions about money range dramatically, even among those who have a lot of it. Some consider it the root of all evil while others consider it totally irrelevant to their success. Whether it’s in its acquisition, expenditure, saving or investing, most people devote a lot of time thinking about wealth and money. While it’s easy…


15 Quotes About Money From People Who Have Made Lots of It

Opinions about money range dramatically, even among those who have a lot of it. Some consider it the root of all evil while others consider it totally irrelevant to their success. Whether it’s in its acquisition, expenditure, saving or investing, most people devote a lot of time thinking about wealth and money. While it’s easy…


Twitter Marketing Tip 11

Wiith 42% of Twitter’s users following brands, it’s a fertile ground of marketing opportunities.

Twitter can spread awareness of your brand, generate leads, drive traffic to your site, build a loyal customer base and much more. 

You may have mastered the basics by now and know your hashtags from your trends, but there are some next-level tricks and ideas that often get missed out. 

Step up your social media game with this Twitter marketing tip to get you standing out from the competition: 

Optimise Your Profile For Getting Discovered 

Having a heavily RT’d post or receiving a ton of shares is great, but don’t forget there will be people who may find your profile of their own accord. For these people you need to ensure that you’re both easy to find, and it’s clear what you do when people arrive there. Have a cover photo that ties into your latest campaign, include your website link, and have a pinned post that gets across a key message or link. You also want to think about your bio, as this will help you appear in searches on Twitter. 

While you want to have a standout, unique bio, it’s no good if it doesn’t help anyone discover your profile. 

Make sure you weave in key industry terms so that people can easily find you

If you’re just starting a campaign, then it may be worth looking at ways you can optimize your whole social presence. 

If you like this Twitter Marketing Tip you might also like these Twitter Marketing Tips:

This Twitter marketing tip 11 page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

How to Use an Experience Map to Make Your Customers Even Happier: The Ultimate Guide

New post on Online Marketing Hub

How to Use an Experience Map to Make Your Customers Even Happier: The Ultimate Guide
by christopherjanb

Customers. Complex bunch.

They pull out their wallets and purses to trade hard-earned dollars for stuff. Stuff we design, organize, grow, program, or manufacture.

Stuff like curved TVs. Endurance events. Spicy vodka. Graphic design textbooks. Massive multiplayer online games. Lilac bulbs. Tax preparation software. Workout regimens.

If customers buy the stuff you make, then you got two things right:

You built a healthy audience.
You built products they love, which, of course, explains their buying behavior — if they have the money and they want it, they’ll buy it.
It’s not magic. There’s a blueprint. A faithful roadmap.

But that’s not all of it.

Between those two poles (building the audience and building the product), there is an element we can’t ignore: the customer experience. Which, no matter how hard you argue to the contrary, is probably terrible.

Don’t kid yourself. Even if it is good, it can be better. And when the customer experience is better, your customers are happier. And when customers are happier, you make more money.

Which is exactly what a Bain & Company study reported.

Why the customer experience usually stinks
See, the story businesses tell themselves — a whopping 80 percent, in fact — is that they deliver a “superior experience.” Not just a good experience. But a superior one.

This story is fiction, however. Because when asked, only eight percent of customers believe these companies were actually delivering.

That’s a huge discrepancy. So, why this customer experience gap?

Two reasons:

Growth initiatives damage your loyal customer base. Initiatives like fee increases, feature changes, and license limitations. These changes piss off your best people.
Good relationships are hard to build. Need I say more?
As the authors of the Bain & Company report wrote:

It’s extremely difficult to understand what customers really want, keep the promises you make to them, and maintain the right dialogue to ensure that you adjust your propositions according to customers’ changing or increasing needs.

As the authors go on to write, even efforts to understand customers can backfire.

We pillage the data in our web analytics, harvest the results from surveys, and identify patterns in purchasing behaviors.

Good things to know, but ultimately “buyers become numbers rather than people, segments rather than individuals. Companies become deaf to the real voices of real customers.”

Thus, the quality of customer experience declines, which doesn’t surprise Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg.

How big data misleads marketers and execs
In their book Buyer Legends, the authors write, “This is the problem with all context-poor communication.” Without context, “statistics, test results, and best practices can often, and often have, misled many a marketer and executive.”

To successfully read data, the authors explain, you need to understand the physical, emotional, and psychological environments where that data is mined.

It’s a little bit like being an archaeologist, except your specimens are alive, not a scattered collection of ancient bones.

However, Avinash Kaushik points out what typically happens: “The thankless job of web reporting is to punt the part of interpreting the data, understanding the context, and identifying actions to the recipient of the data puke.”

Question is: Does that recipient understand the context? Probably not.

Furthermore, analysts think the consumer of the future is likely to resist “tidy consumer segments” — a cardinal marketing concept.

These analysts point to research that demonstrates low-income buyers reach for luxury items while high-end customers seek cheap items to satisfy basic needs.

This creates a “consumer in the middle.”

In their Global Agenda article “The Consumer of 2020,” market analysts James Allen and Darrell Rigby write, “understanding customers in the middle — and how they make purchasing decisions, depending on category, time of day, and even mood — will continue to be key to developing products and services.”

Pay attention to that line between the em dashes: “and how they make purchasing decisions, depending on category, time of day, and even mood.” They are talking about the customer experience.

So it’s not just about having the data, since Big Data is only half the equation …

The other half is Big Story.

How to make Big Data play nice with Big Story
“The ultimate challenge for data scientists,” says Laura Patterson in her article Why Your Data Scientists Need to Be Better Storytellers, “is to use the data to create stories. Data scientists worth their salt can use spreadsheets and visualization tools to support analysis.”

She continues:

Their real value lies in their ability to transform the data into a narrative experience for both internal and external communication.

Tough sledding, unless you have the right tools.

Tools like empathy maps, asset pillars, storyboards, personas, and worldview interviews.

But even with these tools, the insights can lead to fragmented, isolated stories. Your message, forgive the pun, is all over the map.

What you need is a way to merge all this data and these stories into one Big Story. But before we get into that, what exactly do I mean by Big Story?

Well, at this point, all I mean is the complete story of the customer journey with your product or service. From start to finish. It’s how a customer finds, interacts, and ends the relationship with you and your product.

That’s the Big Story. The only story, really, that matters. And it involves everyone in your company. Not just the developers, analysts, and marketers.

And to date, the best way to understand this journey is through the experience map.

The benefits of an experience map
“[The experience map] is the sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand,” says Adam Richardson, “not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer.”

And according to UX designer, Luke Chambers, it’s an idea that was borne out of the user experience. He unpacks some key benefits of the experience map:

Create consistency in your messages
Discover and capitalize on critical “moments of truth” for the user
Unite isolated departments across your company
Ignite a corporate focus on the customer
As the folks over at Adaptive Path point out in their helpful Guide to Experience Mapping:

When done well, an experience map illuminates the holistic customer experience, demonstrating the highs and lows people feel while interacting with your product or service. The process of mapping uncovers the key customer moments that, once improved, will unlock a more compelling and more valuable overall experience.

What does an experience map look like?
An experience map is a large visual of the path a consumer takes — from beginning to end — with your product.

The goal of this map is to get everyone on your team on the same page about the customer journey — so it is to be shared. In addition, the map must be an easy-to-understand, self-contained unit.

Here’s an example from Adaptive Path for Rail Europe:

This map demonstrates the journey a consumer would take while riding the trains in Europe. It follows her from the early stages of research and planning to the end of her trip.

You see what she is doing (searching Google, looking up timetables), what she is thinking during each action (Do I have everything I need? Am I on the right train?), and what she is feeling (Stressed: I’m about to leave the country and Rail Europe won’t answer the phone).

It’s framed in guiding principles (the red band at the top) and terminates with opportunities for Rail Europe (engage people on social media, improve the paper ticket experience).

In a piece on the Anatomy of an Experience Map, Chris Risdon at Adaptive Path suggests your experience map should have these five components:

The lens: This is how a particular person (a persona) views the journey. Keep in mind, this journey will not be the same for everyone. You will more than likely have more than one experience map.
The journey model: This is the actual design of the map. If all goes well, it should render insight to answer questions like “What happens here? What’s important about this transition?”
Qualitative insight: This is where the Doing-Thinking-Feeling of an empathy map comes in handy.
Quantitative information: This is data that brings attention to certain aspects of your map. It reveals information like “80 percent of people abandon the process at this touchpoint.”
Takeaways: This is where the map earns its money. What are the conclusions? Opportunities? Threats to the system? Does it identify your strengths? Highlight your weaknesses?
And now that we have a handle on this artifact, let’s see it in action.

How to create an experience map
For starters, get the right people in the room.

Invite a representative from every department in your company. If they touch the customer — in any way — invite them.

At a minimum, invite a person from sales, marketing, customer support, legal, human resources, finance, IT, research and development, production, fulfillment, and any stakeholder.

The Meeting Coordinator (MC) should send an invite for the meeting and explain that each person should come armed with a customer dossier. The MC can encourage the invitees to find this data in sources such as:

Call center logs
Web analytics reports
File logs
Customer satisfaction surveys
One-on-one interviews
Comments on your blog
Amazon reviews
Real-life conversations
Support emails
The social web
Customer conversations
At the start of the meeting, the MC should make sure the meeting has these essentials:

Large whiteboard or chalkboard
Hundreds of Post-it notes
Enough markers for everyone (a mix of color works nicely)
A room large enough to fit everyone comfortably
Snacks and drinks (especially caffeinated liquids)
The MC should also lay some ground rules:

All suggestions are welcome — even if these are gut intuitions and not necessarily backed by documented facts.
All participants should feel free to approach the board to place Post-it notes, write, and draw to add to the map.
Don’t be afraid to use words to explain — a lot of words (I’ll explain below).
Risdon’s group at Adaptive Path suggests breaking up the map in a framework of what the customer is Doing, Thinking, and Feeling throughout the journey (see the Rail Europe map above for an example).

Other categories you may want to consider are Place, Time, Devices, Channels, Touchpoints, and Relationships.

This meeting should be a four-to-eight-hour affair. You want to work in one long stretch — of course with plenty of breaks, snacks, and a good lunch — until you’ve exhausted all avenues.

The whiteboard may look like a big mess. That is okay.

Designing your experience map
If all went well during the meeting, the whiteboard should be a hot mess. But the MC, a designer, and a marketer (with writing chops) should sort through the mess and bring it to resemble something like this:

You can find that map and other examples here.

When you sit down to sort through the mess, keep in mind you don’t have to add all touchpoints that are mentioned. Select only the most important. The pivotal moments.

What you are after is a comprehensive and meaningful picture of the customer experience with your product — so only include meaningful touchpoints.

Once the MC, designer, and marketer have created a meaningful timeline, it’s time to design. And the principles of good design for experience maps include these:

Keep it simple: any viewer should be able to make sense out of the map at one glance. Don’t be afraid to include description boxes.
Keep it self-contained: The experience map should stand on its own. Everything needed to understand the map should be included.
Keep it sharable: Create a three-foot by six-foot poster to hang on the wall, but also create an 11-inch by 14-inch laminated version you can pass around.
To quote Adaptive Path, “To tell a great story, you’ll need to focus, communicate hierarchy, sketch fearlessly, and try to keep it simple. When it all comes together, it’s time for the final payoff: using your experience map.”

Once the map has been shared, your next step is to analyze the map. Here are two tools to help you do just that.

Creating the “prescriptive experience map”
The first tool is called the SWOT matrix.

While a Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat matrix is normally used to evaluate the future of a project or business, I’ve found the matrix useful in asking the right questions when evaluating customer interactions:

How do you know there is a problem? Is this a minor or major threat? How will it impact the company?
How do you know this is an opportunity?
Is this a strength? Is there a way to amplify this strength?
Is this a weakness? Will it be meaningful and profitable if we improve it? This is where the SWOT comes in.
The goal of this exercise is to help you find the actions, insights, and impact on the company that will lead to a prescriptive map.

It’s always healthy, however, to prioritize the actions, insights, and impact on the company (not all of your discoveries will be meaningful or profitable).

My favorite framework for determining priorities is the four-quadrant matrix:

Important and urgent
Important, but not urgent
Urgent, but not important
Neither important nor urgent
Once you’ve got your actions, insights, and impact on the company filtered through that framework — and the urgent and important aspects are taken care of — next you need to sit down and create the prescriptive experience map.

This is the place of sublime customer experience. This is future-looking.

To get there, Adam Richardson says, “Almost every conceivable customer question, problem, and need has been anticipated and addressed, creating a seamless experience that appears — to the customer — effortless.”

The prescriptive map is your ultimate goal. It’s a new map designed to guide your company in creating that customer experience that will make your mediocre experience a superior one — an experience customers will love. And you can test whether or not you reach that pinnacle of experiences through after-purchase surveys.

Richardson points out:

This doesn’t happen by accident; it happens by design. As is often the case in life, making something look easy is very difficult.

A quick and dirty experience map in action
Let me close with a personal example.

Take The Lede, one of Copyblogger Media’s podcasts. What would an experience map look like for it?

Well, as I mentioned above, there’s not one journey to rule them all, so in this case we’ll create an experience out of one of our personas (which is our lens).

It will be our “marketing professional at an agency” persona. One journey might look like this:

Imagine his boss emails him a link to follow Copyblogger on Twitter. “Treat their stream as a resource,” she says.

He visits their website, searches their blog, and then creates a column in TweetDeck for all of his favorite Copyblogger writers.

One of those writers shares a link to a podcast called The Lede. He clicks the link and listens to the episode online. He’s impressed, wants to listen to more, and decides to subscribe to the podcast.

However, he can’t. He has an Android, and The Lede is not on Stitcher.

The user has to listen to the podcast on the page. Not his ideal experience.

He then leaves a comment on Copyblogger’s Google+ page stating he wishes The Lede was on Stitcher.

This map then becomes a tool we analyze for underserved opportunities.

Through a real, live experience, we discovered that we have an audience that wants the podcast to be available on Stitcher.

So, it makes sense to put The Lede on it.

Adapting content for each customer …
No doubt creating an experience map is a huge undertaking. It involves time and resources. And you want a healthy return for that investment.

That’s why the map itself is not as important as what you get out of the map. The analysis is what counts — getting to the prescriptive map.

Because the prescriptive map will help you create and adapt content and products to fit your customers’ desires and tastes. Which will make them really happy.

In other words, delivering content and products at the right time, on the right device, to the right person.

That’s exactly what we’ll be focusing on in 2015. Something called adaptive content.

Stay tuned.

And join us over on LinkedIn to discuss how you evaluate your customers’ experiences and how those experiences influence your content strategy.

Flickr Creative Commons Image via Alexander Rentsch.

About the author
Demian Farnworth
Demian Farnworth is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.

The post How to Use an Experience Map to Make Your Customers Even Happier: The Ultimate Guide appeared first on Copyblogger.

For more on How to Use an Experience Map to Make Your Customers Even Happier: The Ultimate Guide see:

The How to Use an Experience Map to Make Your Customers Even Happier: The Ultimate Guide page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Getting started with paid promotions…

New post on Online Marketing Hub

Getting Started With Paid Promotions
by christopherjanb
Posted by anthonycoraggio

I’m receiving more and more questions from clients about how best to leverage paid content distribution and paid social platforms (here referred to together as ‘paid promotions’). There’s a lot of reason for increased interest—as content production has ramped up in digital marketing, it has become harder and harder to stand out from the crowd and reach the audience you want. Facebook shutting down companies’ free lunch social distribution has only further pressed the issue—and sometimes you’ve simply maxed out on other paid channels!

But more than simply being an extra ‘pay to play’ option, paid promotion is a crucial part of any holistic digital marketing strategy. By using the range of paid online promotion and advertising tools available, we can take more comprehensive control in presenting the best user experience throughout the funnel—delivering the right content, at the right time, to the right person. There are three primary functions of paid promotions:

Improve the breadth and depth of content distribution
Use powerful targeting to drive more qualified traffic
Capture, retain, and shepherd qualified users to ultimately produce conversions
How and why you might use paid promotions will of course vary quite a bit, but regardless of your end goal, there are two key tasks for anyone seeking to succeed in doing so. Do these two things right, and you will have laid a solid foundation for achieving your goals.


1. Define and target a specific audience
Defining a target audience in digital advertising or paid promotions is a more exacting exercise than usual, because we’re actually operationalizing a definition that can be precisely carried out by setting controls in a PPC-like interface. Think of it like programming a computer—you need to break down your definition in extremely concrete, exclusive terms that are interpretable by the tool you’re using. Don’t despair though—it’s not hard to do, and if you’ve been a good marketer and developed some proper user personas you’ll be ahead of the game!

Answer these questions to set a concrete definition of the people that should be targeted with a given campaign or content release. These are typically going to be the criteria you actually enter into an interface when starting a promotions campaign on a tool like Facebook or StumbleUpon.

Demographic Information – Our ideal target for this content is…

Age – Many platforms will offer simple age based targeting, usually in the form of your typical “18-24, 25 – 36” type brackets.

Gender – Again, this is a simple demographic setting and is often available. Think about setting up separate ‘A/B’ versions to separately address men and women when relevant!

Education Level/Status – Is your audience in school? Have they completed a degree? Facebook and LinkedIn will let you drill in on these parameters.

Geography – Be as specific as possible. Generally, the combination of a state/province and a metro area level is as granular as geotargeting options go.

There are a few more options you can find on places like Facebook -income level, marital status, employment status, and more can be particularly useful in B2C contexts.

Many platforms will also give you an opportunity to define your target audience by interests, so think about what relevant topics or subjects the target user might be particularly interested in or looking for while online! For example,
likes for travel blogs, language learning sites, famous travel writers, country specific cuisine, etc all can be used to converge on a very specific type of person.

2. Choose promotion channels
Once your target audience has been defined and the above questions answered with the best data available, you must consider the channels or platforms that will best make use of it. There are three major factors:

Which platforms have targeting capabilities and an audience that can best replicate the user profile using their targeting?
Remember to weight the user’s expected online behavior heavily in selecting platforms – while one might offer targeting to match the most targeting characteristics, if your audience does not actively use the platform’s core service it is of little value as a promotional channel.
Which platforms can best present the media to be promoted?
It is important not to detract from the user’s experience of the content, or place it in a channel that does not fit it’s form. A long form video, for example, will not usually fare well in skippable preroll spots or on-site rollover placements.
Remember also that use of different platforms can depend on device – and so might the usability of your content!
What behavioral context is preferable to achieve your objectives for this piece?
I strongly recommend taking a few minutes to browse around as a user when making these decisions, in order to think less abstractly about the experience you aim to create. Choosing channels is often a case-by-case process, but for common objectives there are some simple, intuitive guidelines to keep in mind:

If you want your content shared, promote it on channels that have built-in sharing capabilities (social media, StumbleUpon).
If you want users to feel they’ve ‘discovered’ a piece, focus on content plug-ins (Outbrain, Zemanta, etc), discovery tools (StumbleUpon), and more niche placements (subreddits, subject blogs)—depending on the accessibility/simplicity.
If your goal is a high level of direct exposure for content at a low price, content discovery plugins and display ad networks can deliver. Cost is relatively low and inventory is high, so it’s easy to get eyeballs on your work.
If conveying authority is important, officially sponsored or openly disclosed promotions on respected media platforms or with trusted individual publishers can be a good tool—though often more expensive.
It can be useful to combine these guidelines to plan for more complex goals. For example, if you want to convey a sense of ‘discovery’ but also encourage sharing, StumbleUpon Paid Discovery could fulfill both these needs—the sponsorship is subtle, the user is in ‘discovery mode’, and SU has a social sharing frame right on top of the page. If that audience isn’t engaged enough, you might bring traffic to a piece via Reddit and retarget for sharing on Twitter.

Planning for promotion should not be an exclusively post hoc activity—the content itself should be created with intended placement and utility in mind. Engage early in the process as goals for the content are first set, so that creative development and objectives do not ultimately conflict with the feasibility of promotions. Simply being involved in the conversation to flag potential problems is often enough!

Think outside of yourself…
One of the most critical parts of this framework is leveling what you want to achieve with what users will accept and value in a given medium, so I want to take a moment to reinforce the importance of this.

In answering questions of targeting and placement in a performance-driven world, it can be dangerously easy to think egocentrically, only in terms of what YOU want your customer to do in a given context—or more insidiously,
what you want them to want to do. Remember that as a marketer or advertiser you are necessarily carrying tremendous baggage, both in terms of product knowledge and expectations. It’s tremendously important to step back from your own (or your company’s) perspective and think as a user.

What you ultimately need to reach your goals isn’t necessarily what individuals using one of these channels wants when doing so, or are ready to do. Take the time to understand your audience and reach out to them in a way will resonate with the journey they are on.

What considerations do you pay special attention to when promoting content? Are there areas of the discipline you’d love to learn more about? Hit me back in the comments!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

For more about Getting Started with paid promotions or content marketing see:

The Getting started with paid promotions page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”