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I love my calculator. I know I could use my phone. Yet there is something tactile about punching numbers into my Texas Instruments TI-1795+. chartoftheday_10939_use_of_retro_devices_in_the_us_n

So it was no surprise to me, as we begin to enter the new year, that not everyone has the latest wearable tech or the latest phone. Bank of America conducted a study this year and found that nearly 50% of people are still using CDs. And 40% of the cool people are still using calculators. Or 36% are still using landline phones.

If you’ve made the switch from one technology to another, like I have with the landline phone, we all must remember that the “Curse of Knowledge” is hard to overcome. The curse is that it is difficult for informed people to think about problems from the perspective of uniformed people. In others words, you have no idea what people outside your organization are really thinking and feeling about what you know to be true. It’s why, for many nonprofits, you hear: “I know who you are, I just don’t know what you do.”

We are all slow to adapt to something. Make sure your marketing is moving with the entire audience, and not just the convenient media for you.

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I’m really not sure why we continue to separate B2B and B2C–they are all people with many of the same desires for optimized user engagement.Modern smart mobile phone with on line shopping store graphic

In a recent Marketo study, B2B buyers (just like consumers) tend to use websites, email, online communities for comparing products and services. And just like B2C contacts, B2B buyers expect their “interactions with vendors to be personalized and that the people they deal with should do a better job aligning engagement with buyer preferences.

Not surprising is that the fact that 75% of buyers said that vendors must have a “deep understanding of their needs” to be successful. Simply put, we all need to understand our audiences more deeply so we can deliver better content and engagement.

It’s not “What do you want to tell people”, it is “What do they want to hear.” And now, with the loss of sales person or distributor doing the initial direct selling, more emphasis, research and creativity must to be placed on better digital messaging from top to bottom. It means stronger creative for email campaigns, building landing pages instead of websites, personalizing of information and integrating the process from initial interest to post-sale feedback.

And that means more research, journey maps and sales funnel analysis. We all need to understand the customer journey–from B2B or B2C–at a more deeper, personal level.

 

 

According to an article in Harvard Business Review, the lack of alignment in sales and marketing hurts performance. When the two efforts are out of sync, the entire organization can suffer. Boxing Robots

“There is no question that, when sales and marketing work well together, companies see substantial improvement on important performance metrics: Sales cycles are shorter, market-entry costs go down, and the cost of sales is lower,” said the article, “Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing.”

In a recent study of sales leaders, “better messaging” was listed as the top assist to the sales process. It outranked “more qualified leads.”  Of the top six areas that would win more sales, salespeople wanted better materials, better messaging, better websites and more testimonials/case studies. Televerde-B2B-Marketing-Help-Sales-Win-Deals-Sept2017

We often talk about content marketing in a general sense, but salespeople are clamoring for more of all forms. Only a minority of executives believe the “quality or quantity of content provided to salespeople meets or exceeds expectations.”

So why can’t salespeople sell? It could be your content. So the war may continue to wage on and on,  but it sounds like more and better content will soothe all the wounds of the war for good.

 

We’ve talked about speed many times in this blog, but here is another reminder from our friends at Marketing Charts. CloudIQ-Shoppers-Contributors-Great-Online-Experience-Nov2017

When it comes to “great online experience, shoppers primarily have two things in mind: speed and ease.”  I believe those are the two bellwethers of any online experience, not just shoppers.

Some call it usability or functionality, but really it is ease of use, ease of finding what we want, ease of understanding what is presented and ease of contacting a human.  Surprisingly, speed and ease outdistanced personalization. A “proactive” web experience also ranked behind S&E. One reason might be that the ‘proactive’ experience requires more release of information and personal data.

Clean design with a simple, easy to understand brand story will serve you better than spending too much time on all the copy, links and complexity you add to your website. If you can’t simplify your message, then the customers are going to do it for you by going to a different site. Customers, donors, patients, stakeholders want it quick and easy.

 

 

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Thanksgiving in Autumn

When I was in charge of sales at a TV station, we had a contest to win a trip based on reaching a sales goal. We pushed hard to hit the goal, but it was the last few months where we really hit our stride and exceeded the goal line. It seemed like all our sales efforts gained traction at the end of the contest.

Maze

The original research showed that rats running a maze ran faster as they got closer to the food or goal. It seems we are the same as rats.

This is an example of the “goal gradient hypothesis” that states that the closer we get to a goal, the more effort is expended to achieve it. Some call it momentum, but Columbia University found that people will drink more coffee if they know they are getting close to the end of their punch card for a free drink.

So what to do with this information? The book Brainfluence, by Roger Dooley, suggests you should seed your goals to make it appear closer to the goal from the very beginning. You see this in loyalty programs for plane tickets. Many credit cards will give you 10,000 points toward your goal of 25,000 for a free ticket. Now you’re really ready to spend on that card with the reduced goal requirement. The 10,000 points also seems like a valued gift from the credit card.

All can benefit — sales, fundraising, productivity, punch cards – -from this simple perception-bending approach. Quickly moving toward a goal will make people more engaged and a lot more motivated.

I saw a new logo for an organization on a billboard. The new logo was ornate, elongated and fine-lined. To some it is beautiful. To a digital graphic designer it is a blur in the night. logo examples

The Internet has changed everything, including logo design. The best place to start looking at great, modern logo design and usage, is with the companies that are leading the digital space. Gone are fine lines. Gone are narrow rules. Gone are complicated structures. They are now replaced with extreme simplicity.

The mantra for the modern, digital designer is simplicity and legibility on smaller screens and devices. You have to start thinking smart phone, watches (and other apparel devices) and app buttons.  The application and usage issues are forcing many companies to adapt to 2 logos, although they call one a logo and the other an icon. I view them as the same thing.

Netflix is using a stylized “N” for apps and other small device uses. However the iconic Netflix typeface is still the office logo.  Google has also decided to use a prominent “G” as its app icon. Even the New York Times has simplified its logo-font to a T, but the fine lines are easily lost when you view it on a phone.

Today’s logos, and accompanying style guide, need to start with a mobile-first orientation. Once you have that logo use established, then design for the billboard. More eyeballs will view the logo online than will ever see the board on the side of the road.