Believe it or not – my team has been extremely successful in signing up clients with some offline tactics. The most successful offline medium for us has been Yellow Pages. We focus on companies that run full page advertisements on YP, and then search the company on the web to make sure it has a website. Yellow Pages is a great lead qualifier because it costs thousands of dollars for a full page ad (depending on the location). If a company can spend that amount of money on a print ad, they probably have funds to improve their online presence and SEO, which in most instances has better ROI.
So, we create a list of decision makers (or marketing contacts) at these companies, and reach out to them with comparable analysis of their spend on Yellow Pages vs. website SEO, with details around what impact the same dollar amount would have if spent on SEO. Our initial plan was to use this technique for local businesses, but it worked so well that we scaled it to generate leads across US. The only catch is that most of the times you are dealing directly with business owners or traditional marketing folks who have little knowledge of digital channels. So, there is a lot of hand-holding. But, it’s all worth the effort.
Jasmeet Sawhney is a serial entrepreneur who has been in digital marketing and social technologies for over 10 years. He has helped both startups and large corporations in their branding, product marketing, and lead generation efforts.
I think the single best way for small business owners to increase their profit margins is…
A 30-20 rate increase.
Every year, we analyze revenue generated from each distinct solution area. The objective is to identify offerings where we can increase our rates by 20 percent without losing the customer. We then select accounts that generate 30 percent of our total revenue across these identified solution offerings. Sometimes, this means that one of our clients may get the same service at a lower cost than the one we identify for rate increase. We have not lost a single customer because of this strategy.
We all share content on one or more social networks. In fact, social sharing has become one of the most common activities on the web. There are some who get a kick out of sharing everything in their life (“I just took a shower with chilling cold water!”); some feel connected when they share; some want to stay relevant within their circles; some want to build their credibility; and there are others who do it for various vague and valid reasons. But, very few understand how effective their sharing is, and how can they improve.
sharing comes with an expectation – that your connections and followers will react. If there are no reactions, incentives of sharing are diminished, which leads to decreased sharing.
No matter what you do for living, I can bet you have limited time. When you are active on social networks, it can take away good chunk of your time depending on how addicted (or dedicated) you are to building your presence. But, it is not hard to see that everyone’s social content does not get equal engagement. And, that is fine for most people. If all you want is to share your personal pictures with friends and family, you don’t really need to count likes and comments. But, even then, sharing comes with an expectation – that your connections and followers will react. If there are no reactions, incentives of sharing are diminished, which leads to decreased sharing.
On my way back home, as I pondered over our interaction, I thought of another recent incident. But, before I get into that (and, you must be wondering, why Santa?), here is what I look like [Top photo on the right].
The only difference: I was wearing a red turban and shirt on that day. As you can see, I still have a black beard. So, I don’t think I really look like Santa! But, at least, the kid thought so.
Going back to the other incident. Here is what recently happened with a fellow Sikh-American. Cartoonist Vishavjit Singh was featured in a Facebook Tips video that showed up randomly in people’s feeds. It immediately attracted a barrage of ignorant comments from bigots and racists who didn’t care about the content of the video or what Vishavjit was saying. These trolls instead chose to attack him based on what he looked like!
That is, because of his turban and beard.
Now, compare the above treatment with my being called a ‘Santa’ – a legendary, saintly and fatherly figure that represents Christmas in many ways and forms!
Isn’t that good? Hell, yeah!
Photo credit – littlesikhs.com
Christmas! What a wonderful time – isn’t it? Holidays, Family, Food, Gifts – enough reasons to love it! Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, or get gifts, who doesn’t like festivities?
Yesterday, I went to my daughter’s school and a cute little kid told me – “You look like Santa!” “Is that good or bad?” I asked. “I don’t know”, he said in all his innocence. On my way back home, I pondered about our interaction and a recent incident came to light. But, before I get into that (and, you must be wondering why Santa?), here is what I look like.
The only difference, I was wearing a Red turban and shirt today. As you can see, I still have black beard. So, I don’t think I really look like Santa! But, at least, the kid thought so.
Going back to the incident. Here is what recently happened with a fellow Sikh who was featured in a Facebook Ad. Vishvajit Singh was featured in a Facebook Tips video that showed up randomly in people’s feeds. You can watch the video at the end of this article. Below is a sample of comments he got from bigots who didn’t care about content of the video or what he was saying. These trolls rather chose to attack him based on what he looks like!
Now, compare the above treatment with being called a ‘Santa’ – a legendary, saintly and fatherly figure that represents Christmas in many ways and forms! Isn’t that good? Hell, yeah!
What happened to Vishvajit Singh is nothing new. Sikhs have been targets of hatred and bigotry not just in US but also in their home country (India). This has happened not only once or recently, but throughout our 500+ years of history. But, the point I want to make is not about unwarranted hatred against Sikhs and other communities. We have all read and listened to it many times and it will sound like another rhetoric.
Rather, I simply want to put forward something that I believe is quite strange. Come Christmas time, every parent is ready to hand over their kids to a stranger dressed up as Santa – overly sized costume complete with long beard, moustache and headgear. Well, often, these costumes are smelly, hands are dirty, and conditions are not really the most hygienic. Add to it the fact that some of these Santas don’t even go through background checks!
Now, how many other occasions can you recall where parents would willfully hand over their kids to a stranger, or to emphasize, a ‘person’ with above description sans Santa costume? Yes, that stranger could be me, who this cute little kid called Santa! And, like me, many others who don’t look like so called “Typical American”, the way bigots and hate mongers describe it – White, European, and so on… And, us Santas, exist all year around. We don’t do it for money, though. It is part of our daily life – it is our faith!
Now, bear in mind, I do not intend to spoil the holiday mood or mean to say that anyone should stop posing with Santa! I take my kids to mall to pose with Santa. They actually took pictures yesterday with local Santa on the fire truck. I also do not intend to discount one of the biggest virtues of America – acceptance of all faiths, cultures and races, which most Americans embrace.
I just want to point out double standards of bigots (like the ones who posted comments on Vishvajit’s Ad), who in no way represent the spirit of America! Most racists and bigots don’t have the courage to say such things face-to-face, so they use the Internet. Nevertheless, they feel the same way and would never allow “Year-Around Santas” to even come close to their kids. The funny thing, though, they are out there today clicking pictures of their kids with someone, whom on another day, they might call ISIS or Taliban!
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!
Here’s Vishvajit Singh’s Facebook Tips Video
Also, published on Medium – https://medium.com/@jasmeetio/santa-for-a-day-isis-for-the-rest-c7e9a4f501ab
Here’s a question that I get asked often by sales and marketing professionals in regulated industries – does a Social CRM strategy work for regulated industries?
Let’s face it, if you’re in a regulated industry where you need approval from compliance department for any kind of Social Media use, it is in fact difficult to fully leverage all the benefits of a Social CRM. So, it is extremely important to first figure out why you need a Social CRM and understand benefits your company seeks from implementing it. Without understanding your specific needs and clarity on custom requirements, Social CRM implementation will not go much far and it is going to be an uphill task to convince C-Suite and Leadership to commit and invest in it.
While I totally agree with the Quality Assurance best practices you have mentioned in the article, are they any different from QA practices you would follow for a digital project in another industry, let’s say Insurance or Media? Would like to know your thoughts around how specifically this (or other approaches) can improve effectiveness of pharma digital projects. – JASMEET SAWHNEY
Your brand Is liable
Cases like these are not atypical in today’s world. Pharmaceutical executives need to think about evolving technology and be prepared for the impact when glitches happen. After all, the possibility exists that glitches may represent the same level of liability as a brand recall.
If your digital property is riddled with errors, your target is going to have a suboptimal experience. In other words, defects erode the relationship your target has with your brand.
If you answered yes to any one of the above, you are not alone. The good news (or, actually, the bad news) is that most of the companies that have actually made an investment in Social CRM do not leverage some of the basic features offered by the technology. So, what exactly does a Social CRM offer? The answer is complicated because feature set requirements of a Social CRM are dependent on various factors such as company goals, business functions involved, number of platform users, structure (centralized/de-centralized), industry, target demographic, use cases, regulation and compliance requirements, and many more. We can go into each of those in a separate blog post, but first, let’s get the basics right.