Zach Heller Marketing Week in Review

There is nothing mysterious about what it takes to be a good marketer today. No secret sauce or special formula. Successful marketers have an expert knowledge of their product and their customer. They know what problem they are trying to solve and how, and they’re able to find the right channels to communicate that message to the marketplace in order to connect with people. It’s a lot easier to type out here than it is to do. It takes time and dedication.

Here are last week’s posts, in case you missed them:

  1. New Series – Simple Website Fixes
  2. How to Deal with Negative Reviews
  3. Don’t Ignore Change

Happy Saturday!

Two Ways to Boost Your Marketing Knowledge:

  1. Subscribe to the blog and never miss another marketing post
  2. Subscribe to the monthly newsletter to get a curated list of the top marketing articles from around the web

Don’t Ignore Change

It is a good idea for any business to have a clear mission. Far from the standard, boilerplate mission statements that say a lot without really saying anything at all, a good mission is one that clearly explains why you do what you do, and what impact you hope to have on the lives of your consumers and other stakeholders.

But that mission must not prevent you from adapting to change. Especially in today’s world, where change comes faster than ever before.

The popular term for such adaptation by a company today is pivot. Successful companies looking to continue to succeed amidst rapid technological, demographic, and political change must learn to effectively pivot between strategies.

What happens when a new technology renders your product obsolete, like Fuji or Blockbuster? What happens when new competitors enter your market and steal your customers, like Apple with music or PayPal with digital payments?

The companies that respond best to change are the ones that see it coming and develop a plan. They spend money on research and development so that they know about changing technology before their competitors. They spend money on market research so that they know about changing consumer preferences before their competitors. They encourage critical thinking, and healthy challenges to the status quo, so that leaders cannot bury their head in the sand and ignore what’s coming.

Success today never guarantees success tomorrow. Invest in the future and be ready to pivot.

How to Deal with Negative Reviews

Negative reviews of your business or products can be a real stressor for today’s marketers. For one, they are generally seen as outside the sphere of control, and nobody likes feeling like they’re not in control. In addition, consumers today have proven less trusting of marketers’ claims and more likely to research on their own, using reviews as a key source of information before making a final decision.

So as a marketer, what’s the best way to deal with the inevitable negative reviews you are likely to get?

  1. Step 1 is simply to understand that they will come, and be ready for them. Having a plan in place alleviates some of the stress they create.
     
  2. Step 2 is to acknowledge them, and use them to get better. Not all reviews will be helpful or insightful. But some should open your eyes to key areas that need improvement – such as deficiencies in your product or service processes that can be improved. Create an open system of communicating this feedback to those departments that can do something about them.
     
  3. Step 3 is to respond. Avoid getting angry or blaming customers. Respond in a way that shows you hear what they are saying and will address it. If there is some way you can make the reviewer happy, do it. Right the wrong, and do it publicly so that your business can get credit for responding to customer complaints.
     
  4. Step 4 is to follow up. Some review sites, like Yelp, allow people to change a review after it’s posted. If you solve someone’s issues or address their complaints, it is more than reasonable to see if you can get that review changed or removed.
     
  5. Step 5 is to actively cultivate positive reviews. The best way to avoid negative reviews taking down your business is to make sure the happy outweigh the angry. Solicit positive reviews from satisfied customers in any way that you can. Make everyone who interacts with customers a proponent of the review culture, aware that a positive review is the single best outcome of all interactions. Go out of your way to delight customers and they’ll reward your for it.

The reality is, your company will get negative reviews. Every company does. It’s how you deal with them that will determine success.

New Series – Simple Website Fixes

All too often articles and blog posts in the marketing realm discuss big ideas and projects that can help you grow your business. But even small changes, executed well, can have a big impact. And in the digital world, that fact is doubly true.

There are an endless number of simple changes that can be made to any company’s website in order to improve performance. A website is never perfect, after all. We test and tweak over time and measure results, keeping what works and getting rid of what doesn’t.

Companies spend all kinds of money on consultants and other services aimed at redesigning or optimizing a website. But for the most part, you can do it all yourself. You just need to know where to start.

That’s what our new weekly series is here to help with. Each week, we will introduce a new “Simple Website Fix” and explain why it can help improve the performance of your website. Maybe not every tip will apply to every website. Maybe not every fix will outperform what you have today. But my goal is that enough of them have the desired impact to make it worth your while to keep reading.

We’ll be back Monday, March 13th with our first edition, and then every Monday thereafter.

Zach Heller Marketing Week in Review

Marketing is the art of storytelling. But the story your company is telling has to be one that your customers care about it. It has to relate to their lives, or it won’t mean anything. REI is an example of a company with a great story, one others should learn from. Because they are partially owned by their customers (or members), every decision they make is in the best interest of consumers That way their story becomes their customers’ story. The two entities are in it together, and that’s a recipe for success.

Here are last week’s posts for your reading pleasure:

  1. Marketing Funnel Series Recap
  2. What a Marketing Dashboard Should Tell You
  3. Surround Yourself with Dissenting Voices

Happy Saturday!

Two Ways to Boost Your Marketing Knowledge:

  1. Subscribe to the blog and never miss another marketing post
  2. Subscribe to the monthly newsletter to get a curated list of the top marketing articles from around the web